The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). Faith in God incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ revealed in the Gospel results in eternal life. We know this.
We also know that the Gospel is not just for salvation but also for spiritual growth and maturity. From the time we are new babes in Christ until we are with Jesus in heaven the Gospel needs to be a part of our everyday life.
We never move on from the Gospel:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures… 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Galatians 3:2-3; Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
How do we take the Gospel and apply its truths to our personal life and struggles?
You notice in Matthew 4, when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, He used specific Scripture to combat the enemy’s lies. He didn’t just throw some generalities at Satan but rather targeted truth at the specific temptation.
Jesus was speaking truth to Satan (Matthew 4: 4, 7, 10). In our situation, we need to speak truth in faith to ourselves, to our hearts and minds, to mount an offensive against the world, the flesh and the devil.
We are leaky sieves and need regular reminders of truth. This is not a one-and-done exercise. Every time we are tempted with a lie or to seek comfort from an idol, we need to recall targeted truth. We need to preach the Gospel to ourselves. I don’t mean simply saying “Christ died, Christ rose again, and Christ is coming again” and then on to the next thing. I mean targeted Gospel truths.
Permit me a hypothetical example:
Let’s say I struggle with love of money. It finds its way into my life in so many ways. It causes arguments in my marriage because I want to save and my husband wants to spend, or vice versa. I like the pleasures and leisure I can buy with money. I like the feeling of security a padded bank account gives me. It shows itself through anxiety when I see it shrinking or when the market crashes and we lose a sizable portion of our savings.
In this illustration, as I give serious thought to my situation, God reveals to me that I have a love of money. I am trusting money to fulfill my desire for – control, pleasure, security, peace and rest.
To have Gospel Victory – in the moment, (or actually many moments), I need to speak targeted truth to myself. What Gospel truth does my heart need to hear and believe?
Diane, “I am never really in control and my knowledge is limited so my control is limited, faulty and probably self-serving. There is only One who is sovereignly in control; He is good and knows all things so His control is perfect and good. [i] It is in Him that true pleasure is found and enjoyed.[ii] He alone is trustworthy and my true security, able to deliver.[iii] As a child of God, I am in Christ and can rest in Him and in His finished work on the cross.[iv] My peace is not because I have ‘enough’ money but because Jesus is my treasure, my greatest treasure, and He supplies my needs. [v] “
There are many other verses that I could add to my Gospel arsenal but I think this gives you a practical illustration of how to embrace the victory Christ already accomplished on the cross on our behalf.
[i] Hebrews 2:8 Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. Romans 11:33-36 – Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
[ii] Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
[iii] Psalm 9:10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you; Isaiah 30:15 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength; And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
[iv] 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 And because of him[e] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
[v] Psalm 16:5-6 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance; Galatians 3:26… for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith… Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.