Daily Gospel: 3/31/11

Now I should like to know whether your soul, tired of its own righteousness, is learning to be revived by and to trust in the righteousness of Christ. . . . My dear brother, learn Christ and him crucified.  Learn to pray to him and, despairing of yourself, say, ‘You, Lord Jesus, are my righteousness, but I am your sin.  You have taken upon yourself what is mine and have given to me what is yours.  You have taken upon yourself what you were not and have given to me what I was not.’  Beware of aspiring to such purity that you will not wish to be looked upon as a sinner, or to be one.  For Christ dwells only in sinners.  On this account he descended from heaven, where he dwelt among the righteous, to dwell among sinners.  Meditate on this love of his and you will see his sweet consolation.

 - Martin Luther, (via Ray Ortlund)


Daily Gospel: 3/30/11

Let the laying hold of Christ as my propitiation be the unvarying initial act of every morning.
 - Thomas Chalmers


Daily Gospel: 3/29/2011

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
 - Romans 8:1-4, ESV


Daily Gospel: 3/28/2011

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned - every one - to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
 - Isaiah 53:6, ESV

A new venture: Daily Gospel

I was re-visiting an excellent article by Jerry Bridges this past weekend in the midst of some spiritual darkness and was greatly helped. The article is titled, "Gospel-Driven Sanctification," and can be found here. I highly commend the article to you all.

Bridges raises a number of memorable points in the article, but let's take a look at one thing I was especially captured by:
Gradually over time, and from a deep sense of need, I came to realize that the gospel is for believers, too. When I finally realized this, every morning I would pray over a Scripture such as Isaiah 53:6," All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all," and then say, "Lord, I have gone astray. I have turned to my own way, but you have laid all my sin on Christ and because of that I approach you and feel accepted by you."

I came to see that Paul's statement in Galatians 2:20, "The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me," was made in the context of justification (see vv. 15-21). Yet Paul was speaking in the present tense: "The life I now live ...." Because of the context, I realized Paul was not speaking about his sanctification but about his justification. For Paul, then, justification (being declared righteous by God on the basis of the righteousness of Christ) was not only a past-tense experience but also a present-day reality.
I was struck most powerfully by reading this as I saw the need to fill my heart and soul with gospel meditations daily - ideally before I engaged the world for the day.

Later in the article Bridges commends us to preach the gospel to ourselves daily. This is something that I see as an unparallelled need for my soul, living, joy, and all manner of my interactions and thoughts which occur throughout the day. If I do not begin my day with thinking about and actively meditating on the gospel, I will largely come to the end of that day joyless, useless, empty, or some combination thereof.

That being said, I would like to undertake a new venture for this blog. Lord willing, I will post a short Scripture, quote, hymn or some other gospel-centric content on the blog each morning. This will be done first for the help of my own soul (I shouldn't write for the sake of writing) with the goal of making Christ and his gospel my joy and focus. I believe Piper's maxim, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him," is certainly relevant to this endeavor. If along the way, some of you readers are helped, glory be to God.