Yesterday I concluded the series Gospel Centered, which was a study in Galatians. In this series I highlighted the major points of Paul’s letter to the Galatians and the controversy that had transpired. The controversy was that some Judaizers, or Jewish believers, entered town (after Paul had left) and begin to tell the Galatian believers that if they really wanted to be right with God and be part of the “people of God” then they would need to follow through on circumcision as well as adhere to the Mosaic law, particularly the dietary laws and festivals. Paul hears of what is happening and writes the letter to the churches throughout Galatia and explains how “astonished” he is that they are quickly deserting the gospel Paul preached and turning to “a different gospel.” Throughout the letter Paul is constantly bringing them back to the gospel—that salvation is only found in Jesus Christ, by faith alone and grace alone. Neither salvation nor sanctification is the work of man, but the work of Christ.
This is why Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20); “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:22-24); “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). In a simplistic way, the gospel is Jesus’ invitation for us to come and die so that we may live. Thus we die to our self, our sin, and our self-righteous pride, and let Jesus Christ raise us to new life and allow him (through the Spirit) to live through us. That basically sums up the series through Galatians.
And I wanted to follow up this morning on the fact that a gospel-centered life is also active. There was a lot of focus on what Christ has done and that all of our life should revolve and be centered around King Jesus. But as our lives are centered around King Jesus and allowing him to live through us, we must realize that the gospel will be active in and through us. In other words, are lives will be actively displaying and communicating the work of Christ in our lives. Paul in explaining to the Ephesian believers that they had been saved by grace ends by writing, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:8-10).
As new creations in Christ, having been transformed by his grace and redemptive work on the cross, we have been created for action and activity. Our activity (“good works”) in this world is founded upon his life and work. Take Paul’s letter to Titus; in that letter eight times Paul refers to “good works.” Christ did not save us that we may sit down and go ‘Whew, I’m glad I’m saved,’ but saved us unto good works. He saved us toward activity, namely his activity. I encourage you to sit down sometime today, or this week, and read Titus and see Paul’s references to the activity of the gospel, or the “good works” that should flow from the gospel. As you do, ask yourself this question (as I asked myself): Is the gospel active in my life?
* to listen to messages from the Gospel Centered series visit:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/northland-baptist-church/id579311084?mt=2