JD Greear said, “Those people who really believe the Gospel show it by becoming like the Gospel.” The Gospel is amazing. The fact that I’m a wretched sinner, I’ve broken God’s law, in my flesh I am prone to be selfish every day, all my good deeds are like filthy rags Isaiah said, therefore, I deserve the pit of hell.
But God in His grace died for me while I was His enemy. He took my punishment so I could live, He made me righteous in Christ, and He forgave all my sins. Jesus is incredibly humble, self-less, and merciful! Who am I to withhold forgiveness when I’ve been forgiven so much?
The Gospel gives me the amazing ability to forgive those who hurt me. The Gospel helps me to see that I’m first a sinner who has sinned much against God before I see how much I’ve been sinned against. Until I see the amazing grace of God toward a wretched sinner like me, I won’t be very gracious toward others.
It was God’s kindness that lead me to repentance over my sin, so what makes us think that treating others with revenge or contempt will change them? Jesus’ way is to offer grace to those who strike His cheek. We have crucified Christ with our sins yet He not only defeated sin on our behalf but He also makes us His child.
So the Gospel is Christ not only paying for our sins on the cross, but also restoring us to a right relationship with the Father. Now Jesus calls us to treat others the same way He has treated us. Not that we have to die on a cross because that won’t help anyone, none of us are holy and perfect, but we should love others in the same way that He has loved us.
1 John 2:4-6 says, “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (ESV).
The bottom line is this: If we say we believe the Gospel, if we say we know Christ, if we call ourselves Christians, then our obedience and our life will be a reflection of Christ’s life. We will live and talk and walk as His did. We won’t be perfect in this life, but our life will be growing in holiness. We will, as JD Greear said, “become like the Gospel.” We’ll become more like Christ.
But that will only happen as we mediate on the deep truths of the Gospel. The more we study our Bible, the more we worship and adore Christ, and the more we trust in His amazing grace, the more He will change us to be more like His Son who is rich in mercy, patient in afflictions, abundant in love, full of joy, controlled by the Spirit, kind toward others, and faithful to God.
The more my relationship with God grows in the Gospel of grace, the more my life will reflect the Son, and the more I will treat others the way Jesus treated me!