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When People Look Bigger Than God!


GospelRE2

Pic@ J. Dodson

Understanding the Gospel radically changes our relationships.

When we forget the Gospel people can start to look bigger than God.  And so we look to them for approval: to make us feel special, to make us feel wanted, to make us look great, and to recognize our achievements and overlook our failures.   So when we forget the Gospel, we can become unstable, demanding, needy, fearful, controlling, comparing, manipulating- to get what we want from others.  Even people’s criticisms can completely shatter our spirits, because we derive our worth based on what they think of us.  But when we look to others for everything we should be looking for in Christ, we will be disappointed greatly in the end.  People will fail us while Christ will not.  You see: our hope does not rest in people, but on God who is our ultimate source of all hope.

The Gospel gives us a new way to see God, ourselves and others.

When we grow in our understanding of how Holy God is, we also see what’s left of our remaining sinful nature ( like in Isaiah 6 when young Isaiah saw the holiness of God, he said, “I saw the Lord ……Holy, is the Lord….woe to me, for I’m a man of unclean lips”).  Realizing our sinfulness in light of God’s holiness also creates in us a deeper and greater appreciation for God’s mercy, and the gift of righteousness imputed to us (2 Cor. 5:21).  This is the Spirit’s work in our hearts.  All that we ever need has already been given to us in Christ.  All things are ours already in Christ (I Cor. 3: 18-23).  When we remember the Gospel, we bless the Father for having blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3).

In remembering the Gospel, we realize that all our needs are met in Christ.  In recognizing this, we also become more secure because we are God’s children.  We know one thing does not change, and that is our right-standing with God. The Gospel gives us confidence because we’ve been given His righteousness.  We know God approves of us because of Jesus.  We know He smiles at us, because of Jesus’ perfect obedience.    And so, this enables us to give our time, energy and resources to others since our needs are fully met in Christ alone.  We also become truly loving to our neighbors because we no longer need people to make us feel important or recognize our successes and so on.  Even when criticized, we know we’re actually far worse than what people actually think of us- if it weren’t for Christ.  We no longer expect to be treated better than what Jesus got on the cross, because we have died with Him.   Christ becomes all in all.  We find our rest in Him, as we have rested from all our works- including our need for approval.  We love out of knowing that we are always loved by God at all times.  In remembering the Gospel daily- moment by moment, we ask of others as servants, “How can I love and serve you well?”  versus “What can I get from you?”

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