Gospel Shapes Our Life
How does one know their life is shaped by the gospel? What does it look like? The essence of the gospel is not following some rules. Rather the gospel is the power of God for our salvation and transformation. It changes our life radically. Every aspect of our life begins to be shaped by the gospel. How do we know whether we are shaped by a religious moralistic way or truly transformed by the gospel?
In a religious moralistic grid, one assumes the following:
a. God justifies those with good behaviour and condemns those with bad behaviour.
b. If you are a good person, then you will do well in life.
c. If you are doing well in life, then you must be a good person.
We see these underlying assumptions in the prayer of the Pharisee. He compares himself to the tax collector and feels superior and justified because of his own good record. We also notice a similar assumption when the young ruler approaches Jesus and gives details of his moral record. Religious moralistic worldview looks at the world as good versus bad and focuses on external behaviour and not the heart.
A gospel shaped life on the other hand has a growing awareness of God and self. God is holy, set apart, glorious, blameless and righteous. When the gospel shapes your life, you have a growing understanding of who God really is. It does not mean God is becoming more holy but your own understanding of his holy character grows more and more.
As your awareness of God’s holiness grows, your awareness of your own sin grows. You realise how sin is not just in external disobedience or breaking of laws but it runs deep into my heart. It does not mean as you grow in Christ, you sin more. But as you grow in Christ, your awareness of your sin increases.
As your awareness of God’s holiness and your own sin increases, there is a growing appreciation for Jesus and the cross. Who will bridge the gap between God’s holiness and my sin? This gap is infinitely large and there is no way we can do anything about it, unless God has done something for us.
A life shaped by the gospel has a deep awareness of the gospel, a growing appreciation for the gospel, a sense of awe and delight over what Christ has done on the cross, a posture of being broken and humble over our sin and a confidence and security in Christ.
Is the gospel shaping your life? Do you see tendencies of religious, moralistic views that influence your behaviour? Is your heart moved by what Jesus has done on your behalf?