I have come to the realization that I need to grow in my understanding of what, exactly, the gospel of Christ is. I, like I'm sure most of you, can give a quick answer for what the gospel is, but do I really know it? Do I really believe it? Do I really understand it and make it a part of my life? Not usually.
So I've added gospel pages to my Bible journal and add to them any time I come across statements of truth in the Bible.
"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 from the gospel each day. We extract these benefits by being absorbed in the gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do." -Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians
And as I'm reading more and more works by Puritan pastors and theologians, I realize how incomplete and uninformed my understanding of the whole of gospel truly is.
"Over the course of time, preaching the gospel to myself every day has made more of a difference in my life than any other discipline I have ever practiced." -Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians
So here's how I'm going about it:
On six blank pages in my Bible journal I've written a title on each page.
1. I was
2. God (through Christ) did
3. I am
4. Christ is
5. The Holy Spirit is
1. I was:
On this page, list any truths you find in scripture of your state before you accepted God's gift of salvation and grace.
For example, in Ephesians 2 you could list:
-dead in trespasses and sins
-walked according to the course of this world
-walked according to the prince of the power of the air
2. God (through Christ) did:
Again, list any truths you find that show what God and Christ did because of His great love for us. Again, from Ephesians 2:
-but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love, even when we were dead in our sins, made us alive together with Christ
3. I am:
You find some of these in verse 6:
-raised up with Christ
-seated with Him in the heavenly places
4. Christ is:
These are all throughout this chapter:
-seated in the heavenly places
-our peace (verse 14)
5. The Holy Spirit is:
Seek out truths to know the Holy Spirit and the role He plays in our lives better.
-building us together into a holy temple in the Lord. (verse 21)
Why did God do all of this?
-because He is rich in mercy (verse 4)
-because of His great love with which He loved us (verse 4)
-in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace
-and His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (verse 7)
Now, anytime I am reading anywhere in the Bible (or other good, solid books) I write down notes on the appropriate page.
A great place in the Bible to start is in Ephesians chapter 2. It's laid out pretty plainly. Add in any truths you find in any of the epistles, and dig out the truths sprinkled through the gospels and the Old Testament.
As you fill a page, at the bottom of the page, write "continued on page __" and flip to the next blank page, title it the same, and continue filling the information.
And every day, as you are spending time with God, flip through those pages. Soak in the truths. Make them into a prayer of repentance, thankfulness, and hope.
How well versed are you in the gospel truths? Share your thoughts below and let's get this important conversation going!