Gospel Priming

stacey

by Stacey Lee 

“if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister(Colossians 1:23)

Hey GOC! Looking for a good read? I highly recommend A Gospel Primer for Christians by Milton Vincent!

This book radically changed the way that I view and live my life as a Christian. In the Gospel Primer, Milton Vincent emphasizes the importance and necessity of constantly preaching the Gospel to ourselves because the Good News of Jesus Christ is for EVERYONE. For the non-Christian and the Christian.

The Gospel is for the non-Christian, so that they may know God and be saved.

The Gospel is for the Christian because “we never graduate from the Gospel.” We need it in every aspect of our lives—for our sanctification, our conviction over sin, our evangelism. Everything.

Vincent quotes: “God did not give us His Gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness. The wise believer learns this truth early and becomes proficient in extracting available benefits by being absorbed in the Gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do” (Introduction). 

The Gospel transformed the way I read the Bible in light of God’s will to save me. The Gospel causes me to hate my sin, and compels me to run the opposite direction towards my Savior. The Gospel brings me healing and comfort during seasons of trial; as my hope remains steadfast in Him who saved me, I rejoice.

Christians, we need to preach the Gospel to ourselves always. Along with a few points that Vincent highlights in his book, I add a few of my own, as to why we desperately need the Gospel:

  1. The Gospel brings us back to our Foundation: Jesus Christ, who bridged the gap between me (a filthy, undeserving sinner) and God (my gracious Heavenly Father) (Hebrews 10:19-21). Because Christ is the mediator, I may boldly approach the throne of grace and have purpose in life: to bring glory and praise to God!
  2. The Gospel makes me hate my sin. As I stand closer to the cross, I see my Savior who died for every sin of mine. He suffered the pain for me. It is at the cross of Jesus that I realize my sin is filthy, and I love God more as I stand in awe of His love and grace. Resulting, I run harder towards Him in pursuit of holiness rather than my sin (Hebrews 12:1-3).
  3. The Gospel gives me hope for today and even greater hope for tomorrow. I may be hopeful through fiery trials because of this promise that the Lord gives me as His child: He works all things for good, for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). And with my security in Heaven, I rejoice in the hope that one day, I will be with God forever, where He will wipe away every tear. The sufferings in this life are incomparable to eternity with God, granted to us through His Son, and we may look forward to being reunited with Him (Philippians 3:20-21).
  4. Preaching the Gospel to myself helps me preach it to others:
    1. CLEARLY, because regularly preaching the Gospel allows me to practice articulating it more cohesively to others
    2. CREATIVELY, as I learn of other ways to apply the Gospel in daily life, I may share it with others in a relatable way
    3. PASSIONATELY, since I love God more by reminding myself of the love He has shown me, and out of this sincere love for God, I desire for others to know Him as well. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)

May we pursue what is of greatest importance—the upward call of Jesus Christ, and knowing Him through the Gospel. And in doing so, may we live in a way that glorifies the King!

On an endnote, let me introduce my small group “Gospel Priming Jar,” an M&M jar that helps us preach the Gospel to ourselves. Every week, we take an M&M, and each color represents a different way to prime the Gospel. If we choose a blue M&M, we will share something from our Bible reading that brought us back to the Gospel. If yellow, speak of a life event that revealed our need for the Gospel. If green, pull up Gospel-centered song lyrics.

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I got YELLOW:

This week, I spent time in the hospital offering art projects to the visitors. As I passed by each patient room, both love and sorrow filled me knowing that patients were sick because I kept flashing back to memories of family members in the hospital. At this point of my life, I realized that life is short; Psalm 103:5 says it best “as for man, his days are like grass,” which grows in one season and then fades in the next. It dawned on me that each day of life itself is a revelation of God’s grace. I do not deserve every day of life and good health; yet, God grants it to me.

The grace of each day reminds me of the gift of salvation. Even though I deserve punishment for my sin, God gave His Son Jesus Christ to take the penalty for me—I am truly so undeserving of this, just as I am for each day of life. In light of the fact that life is indeed a mere breathe, I question: am I being faithful with sharing the Gospel and being the best testimony for Jesus to those around me?

I must number my days (Psalm 90:12) and use my time efficiently to minister to others and make Jesus Christ known.

 

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