InPursuit

Discipline of The Gospel {Book Club Thursdays}

Welcome!

We’re jumping into Barbara Hughes’, Disciplines of a Godly Woman (affil. link).
For your convenience, all the posts in the series will be archived here. Or, to make life even easier, subscribe to our Book Club Thursdays newsletter and receive all book club posts directly to your email. 

You will also receive a link to our private FB group where we can chat through some of the concepts in this book and a free PDF downloadable Study Sheet

I hope you’re ready for the ride, because it’s going to be filled with encouragement, insight, and God-inspired wisdom.

 

Chapter 2: Discipline of the Gospel

Our next stop is really the most important stop of all. It’s where we find the meaning, purpose, motivation, and satisfaction we’re looking for. It’s where we find, not only the navigation details for our journey, but the door through which we enter. Miss this part and you end up going in circles, never truly fulfilled, always walking through life with a big question mark in your heart.

Barbara shares that in the many years she’s spoken and taught to women, she’s always surprised at how difficult they find it to answer the question, ‘What is the Gospel?’

And so, before we move forward, perhaps we, too, should land on level ground.

What is the Gospel?

In 2016, a new word of the year was added to the Oxford dictionary: post-truth, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

In a postmodern world where it’s believe we can define our own truths, it’s imperative we ground ourselves in the never-changing word of God. Let’s go there.

God is a holy God. Without holiness we will never see God (Hebrews 12:14). That’s a problem for us because Scripture tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23).

So how is that problem resolved? 

Second Corinthians 5:21 answers this for us, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Over and over in Scripture, we see the work of Jesus Christ confirming and fulfilling the words spoken by the Law and the prophets. It’s a work we can see, follow, and trust.

Paul reminds us to hold fast to this unchangeable gospel. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 he writes, Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”

That leaves us with the next question: How do we receive this forgiveness and new life? 

Romans 10:9-10 tells us, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.

Why would God do this for me? Why would Jesus follow through on such a plan? 

John 3:16 gives us a good glimpse into the heart of God, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

And 1 John 3:16 says, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.”

There you have it. It’s all because of Love!

And so, my friends, “the discipline of the gospel is coming to God on His terms.

The Gospel Defines Us

Living a life outside of the parameters God created us to live in is futile. It leaves us restless and seeking purpose and meaning. The Gospel, therefore, is the perfect representation of who we are, who we were created to be, and who we can be–by the power of the Holy Spirit and in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, all for the glory of God the Father.

As we read through this chapter, let’s look at some of these truths:

-we are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27)

-we are distinctly female (Genesis 1:27)

-we are of great value as can be seen by the costly price Jesus paid for our redemption

-we are sinners and rebels (Genesis 3, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:23)

-we can be saved from God’s wrath against all ungodliness (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:3-9)

-we can become children of God and members of his family, the Church (John 1:12; 3:5-8, Mark 3:31-35)

-we are partners with all the saints for the sake of the gospel (Philippians 1:1-6, 2:14-15)

“The Gospel, therefore, not only brings dignity and value to our humanity, but it brings purpose and meaning to gender distinctions,” (p. 25).

The Gospel Motivates Us

I love Acts 17:28 which says, “for in Him we live and move and have our being.” There is so much freedom when we walk in this truth. We need not wander aimlessly for we have the center mark, Jesus Christ, to keep aligning us on the right course.

Again… in the power of the Holy Spirit, by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for the glory of the Father. That becomes the motivation behind all we do.

The Gospel is motivating; it gives us purpose in life: “Whatever yo do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). 

God’s holy influence over our souls moves us into action. We cannot settle long in ‘nothingness’. We feel uncomfortable and out of place with ‘mediocrity’. We understand we’re on kingdom mission and our lives move in that purpose. As Barbara writes, “If you don’t remember anything else about this book, remember that the Gospel is the foundation for every single thing you are and do.”

The Gospel Satisfies Us

I’ve been on a long journey of understanding how the gospel meets this need. Search through the pages of this blog and you’ll find how God continues working that out in my life, He is enough!

Oh how I love the truth expounded in 2 Peter 1:3, in Him we have all that’s needed for life and godliness. Imagine that?! The Creator who created us and knows how we’re wired and formed to live, says that we have all that’s needed for both life and godliness. I don’t know how that makes you feel, but it causes me to switch gears. It urges me to stop looking for my satisfaction from somewhere ‘out there’. It reminds me why dying to self and living in Christ is always the best answer. Nothing, absolutely nothing this world offers, will ever fulfill us. Don’t get me wrong. The world might offer things that seem to delight us, excite us, entertain us, and make us feel good. But nothing, apart from Jesus Christ, can ever fulfill and satisfy the depths of our longing.

Yes, indeed, the Gospel is everything!

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The Discipline of the Gospel must work its way in us. This chapter is foundational. The Gospel gives us the firm foundation on which to build and stand. Without it, we build foolishly. Without it we fight weakly, and move aimlessly. I encourage you to go through the Scriptures shared here (and in this chapter). Allow God to transform you as you renew your mind with His truth. Then meet me here next week when we’ll talk about the Discipline of Submission (Don’t let that title scare you) .

{Thoughts to Ponder}

Q1: What does Hebrews 9:27 tell us about what we can expect in the future?

Q2: Is there unconfessed sin and rebellion in your life?

Q3: What does 1 Peter 3:8 tell us about the answer to our very grave situation?

Q4: How will that change the way I live my life?

**Some discussion questions taken from Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes. All quotes by Barbara Hughes unless otherwise noted. 

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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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