Growing Through the Gospel

October 22, 2020

By Erin Bird

The Princess Bride is a classic movie beloved by many. If you haven't seen it, it is about a Spanish swordsman avenging the death of his father who was murdered by a government official who happened to have six fingers.
Now, if you HAVE seen the movie, you might be taking issue with my synopsis. "Yes," you admit, "there is a story line of revenge against the six-fingered man, but that's not everything the movie is about! You left out the love story of Wesley and Buttercup, and Prince Humperdink's treachery, and the R.O.U.S.es, and Vizzini's death to iocane powder, and The Machine, and what about the Impressive Clergyman?!?!?"

And you'd be right. There is so much more about The Princess Bride.

Many people do something similar with the Gospel. They tell people the gospel is what "saves" a person spiritually. And while that is very true, salvation isn't the totality of the Gospel. The Gospel is so much more. It isn't just what saves you, it is also what sanctifies you. As Tim Keller says in his article entitled "The Centrality of the Gospel,"

"We never 'get beyond the gospel' in our Christian life to something more 'advanced.' The gospel is not the first 'step' in a 'stairway' of truths, rather, it is more like the 'hub' in a 'wheel' of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A-Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make progress in the kingdom."

This is why the Apostle Paul said  to the Jesus-followers living in Colossae...

"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him." (Colossians 2:6)

In other words: How does a person receive Christ Jesus the Lord? Through the Gospel. So how should a person "walk in him" (i.e. growing spiritually)? Through the Gospel.

This is SUCH an important facet of the Gospel. Throughout this series, we've seen how we are redeemed,  justified,  adopted,  ransomed, and so much more through Jesus' life, death, & resurrection. But too many Christians accept these truths, but still try to live out their faith through their own power and strength, rather than let the Gospel be at the center of their spiritual growth.

But if you are going to become the person God calls you to be, it is going to come through your continual surrender to the Gospel. That surrender can be seen by surrendering:

  • your time to read the Scripture, to pray, and to serve others
  • your possessions to bless others
  • your activities to avoid the things that draw you away from Christ and invest in activies that draw you to Him.

But those activities alone don't help you grow spiritually. They have to be paired with the gospel where they are motivated by the Spirit.

So may you, this week, seek to grow spiritually by surrendering your time, your possession, your activities, and your affections through the Gospel, so you might find the joy God offers to you through Christ.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

We are on a mission to help people love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived.

It doesn't matter to us if you:

  • are a Wartburg student or a grandparent,
  • vote Democrat or Republican,
  • are married, divorced, or single,
  • have gone to church for years or haven't been to church in years,
  • make $100,000/yr. or wonder how you're going to pay rent this month,
  • or fear your past mistakes make you unlovable to God or others.

No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, we want to help you become who God has created you to be.

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