God the Prize. Sin the Problem. Jesus the Answer. Faith the Response. Holiness the Journey. Love the Reputation. Joy the End.
Over the past eleven weeks, we taught the gospel and how that applies to Christian living through our series: Gospel Pathway. Though Gospel Pathway has wrapped up as a series our hope and prayer is that you grew in your understanding of the gospel. So often at Veritas we get asked the question, ‘How do I live out the gospel?’ The Gospel Pathway series is the framework to help answer that question.
The nature of how the gospel affects our lives as Christians starts off with God as the completely sufficient and exciting prize! Just as when you miss the first button while buttoning your shirt, if you have that button off — if God isn’t the prize — everything following will be a mess. As Christians, we have access to our Creator and have the opportunity to commune with Him.
However, sin is an issue for us. We want what He hasn’t given, or we assume/act as if he has made an error and try to compensate for God the prize, or worse, we attempt to play God in our own lives. Many times sin manifests itself in our lives with drugs, alcohol, or sex — but there are more subtle sins that we all deal with on a daily basis. The very thought that we can plan or experience something better than God is pride. Pride is wicked and is a problem. The fact that we demand things that God hasn’t given such as health, a house, car, bike, spouse, children, etc., bears witness to our sinful impatience with the Lord and selfishness that comes from the heart. This permeates every aspect of daily life and the decisions we make. We need help. Greed, selfishness, and pride leave us wanting that which isn’t ours to demand and often creates an attitude of angrily shaking our fists at God.
God, in his sovereignty, saw the helpless needs of man and sent Jesus Christ for us. Jesus Christ took the punishment for sin. Jesus Christ died for pride, selfishness, and for every time we think we have a better plan than God. Jesus Christ took the punishment for each time we turn to alcohol, anger, comfort, exercise, or food to numb pain. Jesus takes the punishment and gives his righteousness so we can receive The Prize. We can stand before him unashamed and free to worship because of Christ’s finished work on the cross.
Seeing God’s work we get to respond in faith. Indeed, seeing his work is a gift and the fuel that encourages us to respond to God as the treasure in each aspect of life. The journey of faith has within it a pursuit of holiness (Holiness the Journey) and love (Love the Reputation). These things aren’t separate when it comes to walking in faith. We get God through the work of Jesus Christ and we walk by the power of the Spirit as we pursue him. Sadly, many of us have walked in religion, a distortion of the relational intimacy that God desires to have with his creation. Religion says you must, while prizing God says we get to! This heart change results in joy to the end.
When we are doing what we are called to do, there is joy. We are called to treasure the Lord above all else. He has created us and he has dealt with the issue of sin in our lives through his Son Jesus Christ. We are free, REJOICE!
This journey isn’t a one-and-done situation, it is something we have walked through as a church and it is something we can walk through on a weekly and daily basis. Perhaps ask yourself these questions
- How am I treasuring God in this moment?
- How has sin crept in and deceived me?
- How has Jesus addressed this?
- Because he loved me enough to address this, how do I walk in faith and joy from here?
May God be glorified as we continue to walk the gospel pathway, applying the gospel to our lives everyday. He is the prize and sufficient for all of our needs.