f The Wittenberg Door: Living Worthy of the Gospel

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Living Worthy of the Gospel

. . . let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ.

Philippians 1:27

The Gospel is not about what we have done; it's about what Christ has done. The only thing you and I contribute is sin and hatred of God. Jesus did everything righteously required by God of men. He obeyed God's law, in total —perfectly! He also suffered the infinite and righteous wrath of God against sinners, satisfying the Father's Holy indignation. To that end, He dispatches preachers to proclaim His finished work (Romans 1:13-19, 10:6-17) and graciously works faith into the hearts of men (Philippians 1:29, Ephesians 2:1, 4-9, Philippians 2:13). All of this is His work "lest any man should boast."

When saved, the “work “done by us (e.g., faith and repentance) is in response to that which the Triune God has done. In other words, our positive response to the gospel proclamation was God’s doing and not ours! We responded positively because of His work, not the other way around.

Given this amazing work by God on our behalf, we are charged in this verse to live "as becometh" (KJV) "worthy of" (NKJV)" of the Gospel; and in so doing, even then we can do no more than profess that "we are unprofitable servants" having done that which was "our duty to do" (Luke 17:5-10). This is because, like our positive response to the gospel, our good works also stem from God’s glorious grace. The difference, however, is our “good” works contributed nothing to our salvation, but they do contribute to our being conformed to the image of Christ in sanctification.

Grace and more grace. Our life in Christ begins and ends with His work and His mercy. How then can we not strive to live thankfully and faithfully? How then can we not live “worthy of the Gospel of Christ”?

--The Deacon

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