Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Still learning the gospel

I became a Christian during my senior year in college (you can read the details here.) That night, after the life-changing meeting, I went to the student newspaper office where I worked as managing editor. My hours were generally daytime, although within a few weeks I would be in the middle of a campus flu epidemic for several weeks, with my news editors and several reporters confined to bed.

I stopped briefly by to talk to the editor, who was working on his editorial for the next day. I don’t recall the specific reason, but I do vividly remember understanding that everything had changed. Even the light in the editor’s office seemed different. (When I think back on it, he probably thought I had been drinking.)

That night, at my apartment, I opened the Bible given to me and started reading what I had been told to read – the Gospel of John. I was beginning an exploration of what the gospel meant. The next day I met with the man who had led me to Christ, the director of Campus Crusade for Christ for LSU, and by the weekend I was attending a discipleship group at a house off-campus. It was led by a fraternity brother of mine, who had been wrapped up in drugs until he became a Christian.

The group was studying the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. That particular lesson was on the tabernacle, and I listened as my fraternity brother explained how the symbolism, design, and furnishings of the tabernacle related to Christ. I was beginning to learn how the Old Testament related to the gospel.

A few weeks later, when I drove with the Campus Crusade director to Fort Walton Beach spring break outreach, I spent time explaining to anyone who asked what the gospel was – even while I was still learning it.

I’m still learning what the gospel is.

The gospel isn’t just for people who have never heard it. It’s also for people who been hearing it and learning it for more than 40 years, and more than a lifetime.

“…The gospel is for believers also, and we must pursue holiness, or any other aspect of discipleship, in the atmosphere of the gospel, ” ,” says Jerry Bridges in The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness. And that means, Bridges says, that we must preach the gospel – first and foremost – to ourselves. And keep preaching it.

How does that happen? “You continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life.”

For a Christian, that’s a lifetime summed up in one sentence.

Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’re discussing The Discipline of Grace. To see other posts on this chapter, “Preach the Gospel to Yourself,” please visit Jason at Connecting to Impact.

Photograph by Ha’anala 76 via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.


Martha Jane Orlando said...

Learning the gospel is definitely a life-long journey, but it does get easier to preach it to ourselves when we constantly immerse ourselves in it.
Great reflection, Glynn!

TC Avey said...

I love that this book emphasis our continueal need of the Gospel. We need His grace daily.

Betty Draper said...

I love to tell the old old story how Jesus came to save... ME. Of course He came to save the whole world but if I had been the only one in the world He still would have shed His blood for my salvation. I ask Him daily to drive me deeper into my salvation so I can clearly share it when I get the chance it. I just witness to a 40 year old man while flying to my mother death bed. I was in no shape to talk but he was a talker. Soon I found myself listening to his story and then begin to pray, God give me a chance to witness to him. He loved science and kept referring to reference that said scientist know there is something out there but they are not sure what. There is was, my time to speak my testimony. I said, you know, I know the one who knows whats out there because He created it. Soon he found himself listening to me as I shared about my born again mother dying as we speak. By the time I got to my mother bedside my heart was lifted and not heavy. And, he left me with this remark, you have given me something to think about. By the way, pray for Rob...