30 DAYS OF PRAYER | DAY 12 – Praying We Never Assume the Gospel
As a new church, there are few more dangerous pitfalls to inhibiting God’s work in and through us than to assume the gospel: God’s redemptive plan for sinners. As a pastor, It’s easy to immerse yourself in strategies on how to reach your city with the gospel- so much to the point that you forget that you are also one who is broken and in need of the gospel.
Paul never grew tired of reminding God’s people of the gospel because the gospel never became plain, unnecessary, or inactive in Paul’s life. A reading through Romans 7 will quickly demonstrate that even the great Apostle Paul was broken and in need of the gospel. It is for this reason that Paul never gave instruction on how to live out the gospel before reminding his readers of what the gospel is.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7
How we live out the gospel and the mission of God is important, but the “how” never precedes our necessity to walk in remembrance and renewal of why the gospel is needed, and what the gospel is actively doing in us. To move to application of the gospel without remembering that we are broken and in need of Jesus is to assume the gospel.
Todd Engstrom, pastor at The Austin Stone, has brought forth many helpful observations regarding this pitfall of assuming the gospel, and none of them more significant to me than this:
“The gospel is foundation and fuel for those who pursue mission.”
As a church, we are driven to see Jesus leave the mark of redemption on those around us because Jesus has left His mark of redemption on us (Eph. 1:13). It is only when we are walking in our dependence of the gospel that we are free to share the gospel in an authentic way, so that others might also walk in the gospel.
It is my prayer that God would always stir our hearts to be captivated by the beauty of the gospel in our own hearts so that we might boldly and humbly share the good news of Jesus and leave the mark of redemption on many in this City.
This post was written by Chris Gray, Associate Pastor at Redemption Church.
–January 12th is a very big day for Redemption Church! Thank you for praying with us! For more information about the launch of Redemption Church and how you can pray for us, please click here.