My Daily Need

“The Gospel is so foolish (according to my natural wisdom), so scandalous (according to my conscience), and so incredible (according to my timid heart), that it is a daily battle to believe the full scope of it as I should. There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart, and the lies of the world and of the Devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the gospel.” Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians.

My conscience works really well. I need only to briefly consider sin and my heart starts to beat faster. When I inevitably fall into sin anyway, be it impatience or pride or rebellion or discontentment, the memory stays in my mind. A small voice continually reminds me of my vast array of failings and when my mind turns towards the Lord and His praise, my heart immediately hurls condemnation at me. And how do I fight back? My heart has no need of slander; it has an unlimited and ever growing storage of ammunition to use against me.

The answer, of course is the gospel. It is true that I am a sinner, and a very good one at that. It is true that there is nothing redeeming about me. It is true that on my own there is nothing good about me. It is true that I cannot save myself. It is true that all of my works are empty. It is true that I cannot even grasp the depravity of my heart.

But…

It is also true that Jesus came to earth and lived a sinless life. It is also true that He willingly died on the cross for my sins. It is also true that He rose again three days later and forever conquered sin and death. It is also true that I have been justified, that I have been covered in the righteousness of Christ and that God has declared me Not Guilty. It is also true that I have been adopted into the family of God and that He loves me as His beloved child. It is also true that God has promised to never leave me and to never forsake me. It is also true that God has promised to remain faithful despite my unfaithfulness. It is also true that God has given me the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

This then is the way to fight against the truths that condemn me – to daily rehearse the truths of the gospel. To daily remind myself that the truth of the gospel far outweighs the truth of my sin. To daily remind myself that the work has already been done, I will never be less guilty than I am today. The only way to fight against the knowledge of my sin is to dwell in the knowledge of the gospel because the gospel is the only thing more powerful than my sin.

This truth should set us free to live in the joy of our position with Christ. As the chorus of one of my favorite songs puts it:

The old is gone, the new has come
What You complete is completely done
We’re heirs with Christ, the victory won
What You complete is completely done

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