• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • March 2016
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27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, (Philippians 1:27)

I must thank a former pastor of mine, Kurt Gebhards, for the title of this post. He preached an outstanding series of sermons on this subject a number of years ago. I have included a link if you wish to hear those sermons.

As Christians our lives are to be saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to abide in Christ as the branch abides in the vine. (John 15:1-4) By His word of truth, we are brought forth as a new creation. (James 1:18 ESV) Our way of living is sanctified by the truth of the gospel (John 17:17 ESV) because the word of God is at work within us. (1 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV) It is by the reading, careful study, and meditation of the Scriptures, along with constant prayer and hearing the Word preached, that we are trained in righteousness to produce godly lives.

Gaining gospel progress incorporates everything in the paragraph above (and more) to produce in us the character of Jesus Christ. Jesus said:

… I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. (John 5:30 ESV)

How does your gospel progress compare to Jesus’ statement above? In this verse, we see a characteristic of Christ that should be adopted by every Christian. God’s Will is for us to do His Will. Often we get too hung up desiring a personal word (something mystical?) or sign telling us what to do when God has already sent us a written message telling us His Will. The message is called the Bible. If you love Jesus, read and study the Scriptures. If you abide in Christ you will begin to see gospel progress in your life.

The Holy Spirit works alongside us to produce lives glorifying to God. All Christians are inhabited by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, our role is to dedicate ourselves to cooperating with the Holy Spirit to gain gospel progress. We should also examine and test ourselves frequently to determine if we are living a life exalting to God. The psalmist wrote it beautifully when he said:

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)

Although perfection is far from us, gaining gospel progress is the calling of every Christian man and woman. We seek to gain gospel progress in our lives, not because we are trying to work our way into heaven, but because we already know God’s grace will take us there. By faith, we know that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us and we belong to Him and abide in Him. Such faith earnestly strives for the virtue and knowledge (2 Peter 1:5 ESV) which results in gaining gospel progress.

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