Christians, We Still Need The Gospel
We know that we are called to share the gospel. Scripture makes that crystal clear. We rightly emphasize the urgent need to share it with those that do not know Christ, because “how then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Rom.10:14). But what about those that have heard and do believe? How much do we emphasize sharing the gospel with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? How much do we practice that?
Both are absolutely needed.
Every Minute, Every Day
We are often told and reminded to preach the gospel to ourselves. I doubt I am the only one that sometimes finds myself in a place of not really remembering that the gospel is still for me, even as a believer. Sometimes we (Christians) don’t seem to remember the gospel and can’t seem to preach it to ourselves.
We need someone to share the gospel with us.
Brothers and sisters, you are that someone to me. I am that someone to you. And we are all that someone to one another.
We need those who will rejoice with us, weep with us, and confront us with the gospel when we have forgotten it and need to hear it.
As believers, we don’t grow past our day by day, minute by minute need for the gospel.
But in order for the beauty and healing light of the gospel to shine into the depths of our hearts to expose the sin and darkness we are sitting in or wrestling with, we have to be honest, vulnerable, and transparent. We have to share with others the sins that so easily entangle us.
Exposed and Seen
Exposing our sin is uncomfortable because it exposes us. It brings to light the sins we try to convince ourselves aren’t really sins, or at least not sins worth addressing. At the end of the day, we are okay with those sins. It forces us to truly look at ourselves and our sin, and it means others have to see that too. We have to take off the perfectly manicured facade we’ve erected to convince everyone that “we have it all together.” We have to be honest with God, others, and ourselves. We have to admit what deep down we truly know about ourselves: We don’t have it together and we are actually a mess.
Vulnerability, transparency, and honesty reveal the true ugliness and messiness of our life and sin that we are prone to cover up with our picture-perfect Instagram worthy masks.
But the beauty and freedom in taking that mask off is knowing that we will be met with love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy from our brothers and sisters, but more importantly from God.
There are two temptations that can keep us from truly confessing sin and repenting—never being vulnerable and honest about our sin to God, ourself, or our brothers or sisters or readily admitting we are sinners and need grace but never actually confessing and repenting of our sin. There could be some confession of sin, but more than likely it is just the “acceptable” sins.
In both of these temptations there is a lack of true and honest confession of specific sin(s). We are more comfortable talking about sin if we are generalizing it or talking about someone else’s sin. Talking about how sin has affected people, our culture, our town, and the world is generalizing it and shifting the focus off of us and onto everyone else. Everyone else is struggling with the problem, but not us (1 John 1:5-10).
Sin is everywhere; it’s in me, and it’s in you. Fighting against our own sin should be addressed before we point out everyone else’s (Matt. 7:1-5).
Fighting to Flourish
Ultimately, nothing good grows in the dark. I’m pretty sure mold can. And I’m 100% positive sin can. Just like plants need light and water to flourish and grow, we need the light of the world, the fount of living water, the gospel – Jesus – to flourish and grow.
Part of that flourishing and growing happens within community. It happens when we get honest with ourselves and those around us about where we are at and what we are struggling with so that we both can be reminded of the truth of the gospel and the grace and forgiveness that is found at the cross. We are reminded of and rejoice in the victory that is ours in Christ because of His righteousness, not our own (Col. 1:21-22).
I don’t say any of this because I’ve mastered it. I definitely haven’t. I can give you a list of people to ask who will second that statement.
But I do say it as someone the Lord has and continues to work in to become more vulnerable, honest, and transparent. It still isn’t my favorite thing to do, because there is risk involved. Allowing yourself to be seen and known by people is hard and a little (or a lot) scary. The enemy wants you to hold on to those things to prevent you from seeing the goodness, beauty, blessing, love, grace, and acceptance found in confessing your sin to God and others (1 John 1:9). We don’t celebrate our sin, but we realize despite our sin we stand forgiven and accepted through the blood of Jesus Christ. We must fight sin and put it to death. When it is brought out into the light and confronted with the truth of the gospel and the Word, we and those alongside us are better equipped to fight (Eph. 5:7-14).
We admonish one another, correct one another, teach one another, encourage one another, honestly confess to one another, forgive one another, extend grace and patience to one another, and continuously point one another back to Christ, the gospel, the Bible, and the power of Spirit. Apart from those, we fight in vain. But, in and by those and our dependence on them, we grow, and change, and fight, knowing the victory is sure.
Mackenzie has called Canyon home for the past 5 years and graduated from WT in 2016. She is currently pursuing a MA in Ministry to Women through Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is in the final weeks of her position as the intern at FBC. She plans to continue to call Canyon home as she will be starting a new job at WT as an Administrative Associate in the Engineering & Computer Science Department. If she isn’t working or doing homework, she can typically be found spending time with people – more than likely talking very animatedly with her hands and laughing too loud over a cup of coffee.