This Sunday evening I had the wonderful privilege of spending some time with some fellow christians just going back and forth sharing the amazing ways that our lives are currently being shaped by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It truly is an amazing thing – to see God at work in my life, and in the lives of the people around me through his Book.
Of all the reasons that I believe in the Bible, this is probably the most central and significant one. To those who take the time to really understand it, the Gospel clearly stands apart from any other philosophies in its aim and purpose, and it works its work to challenge and shape the stubborn human heart in ways that one cannot even imagine.
It is such a joy to look into the lives of people that surround me and to see them grow in brokenness and humility before a real and mighty God, while simultaneously learning from his Book to deepen their understanding of life and joy in him. It is a wonder to see where my life has come as a result of God’s gracious work in my mind and heart through the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is an even greater joy to see all these things grow exponentially in my life and in the lives of the people around me.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a most convincing and powerful message.
I have a great friend, who always asks me the simplest, yet most difficult questions concerning my christian life. A few weeks ago after talking about a few of these things, she asked me, “What would I change in my life if God were first?” No, Kristen, I haven’t forgotten this question. In fact, I have been mulling it over and over in my mind in the past weeks.
Although it is something I have thought about often, it was difficult for me to even begin to answer this question for myself just because I cannot even conceive of my life without the Gospel. It is not just a Sunday morning religion for me – it is the entire structure and support for my whole worldview, and it plays a definitive role in every single other aspect of my life. And the whole drive of my life is to see the influence of the person and work of Jesus Christ expand more and more into my heart and mind.
Where would my life be were it not for the saving grace of Christ? – It actually wouldn’t even exist. Sure, there would be a human being that would look exactly as I look today, and his name would be Andrey Bulanov – but he would be something that has no connection to who I am today. At best, he would be some half religious, highly insecure kid, sitting near the back of the church on sundays, completely void of direction, understanding, conviction or purpose. He would probably spend the majority of his mental energies seeking to win the favor of certain girls and guys who appeared to him more secure, glorious and powerful than he himself.
But, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians, “by the grace of God I am what I am.” And it is such an adventure to grow in my understanding of that grace and to see it shape life everyday.
What would be different in my life if I didn’t have Christ? (or better, if Christ didn’t have me?) You’ve heard the short answer: there would be no me. However, in the next few weeks I want to take the time and give a more lengthy answer to this very simple and highly foundational and important question. So, stay tuned for a few more posts that unpack the true magnitude of the Gospel in Life.