We all have much to thank our Great God and Savior for!!
I have really enjoyed a book I have been reading, so, as usual, I want to share it with you. I have not finished the book yet. It is one of those books that you tend to read over and over and to read slowly, because it is filled with some very helpful information. Information that will help us, I believe in our Christian walk.
The book is called "A Gospel Primer for Christians" Learning to see the Glories of God's Love by Milton Vincent. It is a very small book but it packs some weight in helpful advice. It's basic theme is that Christians should rehearse the gospel to themselves daily. You may have heard it expressed as to preach the gospel to yourself. The Gospel is not just for non-Christians. No, Vincent states that God did not give us His gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness. Vincent says that the Bible tell Christians to be continuously established and steadfast in the gospel and to refuse to be moved from there (Colossians 1:23).
Vincent makes a great point that we may forget at times, and that is to savor the tender involvement of the Holy Spirit with you in the process. Apart from Him, this discipline would be of no effect! The gospel first came "by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven" (1 Peter 1:12); and as you preach the gospel to yourself in dependence upon Him. the gospel will come to you afresh by the same Holy Spirit. The Spirit will seize the opportunity to pour out God's love in your heart (Romans 5:5); and He will, through the gospel, disclose the heart of the Father towards you (John 16:14-15).
Certainly, the Spirit is ministering to you in this way at all times, but preaching the gospel to yourself provides an opportunity for the Spirit to do so in a concentrated fashion.
Vincent says that the way Paul ministered to believer was re-preaching the gospel and then showing how it applied to life. For example, Ephesians 1-3 is all gospel, Colossians 1-2 is gospel, and Romans 1-11 is gospel. The remainder of such books shows specifically how to bring those gospel truths to bear on life.
Paul tells the Romans "So for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome." Romans 1:15
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 - Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
The Roman and Corinthian Christians had already believed and been saved by the gospel, yet Paul's method was to preach it to them again and again, and show them how to apply it to life.
An important reason to preach the gospel to ourselves is because of our fallen/sinful nature, it is a daily battle to believe the full scope of the gospel as we should. Vincent says there is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of our conscience, the condemning of our heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsing of the gospel.
The Bible twice describes the gospel as "the power of God."
Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes..."
1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
Join this along with the following Scriptures and we see the full weight of what Vincent is saying.
2 Corinthians 4:4 "...the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ...."
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since...the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe...
1 Corinthians1:23 "...we preach Christ crucified,...a stumbling block...."
There is nothing outside of the Godhead that described in Scripture like this. "The Power of God"
How powerful, then, must the gospel be that it would merit such a title! And how great is the salvation it should accomplish in my life, if I would only embrace it by faith and give it a central place in my thoughts each day!
Hebrews 4:2 "For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard."
Ephesians 1:18-19 "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know...what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
My prayer is that the Spirit of God would illuminate the Gospel to the eyes of our heart that we would fully see the greatness of God's Power.
We will look at more of Vincent's book next time.
Blessings in Christ!!