Do you remember the first time you heard the Gospel? I don’t. I grew up in church and cannot think of a time before I believed that Jesus was God, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. Sometimes I envy those who have clear-cut memories of their life before they met Jesus and how much they changed immediately after.
Although I am unable to remember the exact moment that I came to faith, the truth is that I am dramatically different because of God’s intervention in my life. Jesus has used specific events and people to draw me to Himself, even though I’m not sure when I first truly embraced Him.
Take a look at Erin and Jenn’s posts, and you will see that God has given each of us a unique story. If you remember the time you first met Jesus, please know that encounter absolutely testifies to God’s love and power. But that first moment is not the be-all and end-all of the Christian life. Our goal is to glorify God by becoming more and more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, no matter what the beginning of that process looked like.
All of us must continue growing in our understanding of and response to the Gospel. As many of us have stated, we never graduate from the Gospel. We don’t have a one-time response to it and then we’re done with it. Tim Keller has tweeted, “The gospel is not just the ABCs but the A to Z of Christianity.”
It is helpful, then, for us to examine where we are with God today. Below are a few questions you might ask yourself to see how God is at work in your life. Again, remember that the Gospel is our motivation for all of this. Without that foundation, any action we take becomes religious law rather than joyful obedience to our loving Father.
- Am I growing in repentance? Am I confessing and fighting sin? (1 John 1:8-10, 3:4-10)
- Am I maturing in obedience? Am I keeping God’s commands and becoming more like Jesus? (1 John 2:3-6, John 15:10)
- Is God’s love for me causing me to love Him and others more? (1 John 4:7-12, 1 John 4:19, John 13:35)
- Do I see the fruits of the Spirit increasing in my life? (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Am I living by faith? Have I developed in my trust of God’s Word, His character, and the person and work of Jesus? (Galatians 2:20, Romans 14:23)
If you answered “yes” to these questions, I hope that brings you to a place of humility and worship as you consider God’s faithfulness in your life. Be encouraged to keep pressing on and fighting the good fight!
If any of these questions caused you to feel unsure about God’s work in your life, remember Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 2:12-13 to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” It may be time for some soul-searching and repenting, but God promises that if you come near to Him, He will come near to you (James 4:8).
Whatever your response to these questions, hold onto this prayer and promise:
1 Thessalonians 5 : 23-24, emphasis mine
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.