Beyond passing the test, the gospel cycle transforms your soul.

14 03 2016

There is a prevalent teaching which says that when we encounter a trial, our goal as disciples should be to pass the test. Some teach that we should seek to learn the lesson which God is trying to teach so that we do not have to go through it again. This teaching is well-meant, but an inadequate understanding of God’s ways. Yes, our gospel cycles give us lessons to learn in our spiritual growth, but there are many benefits to gain, and much glory to give, in the continual expressions of the gospel cycle. For in dying and living the gospel we experience emaus roadthe presence of God more deeply in our lives. We do so in at least three ways.

Intimacy with Christ. As Jesus meets us along the trail, we learn of His gospel work not just academically but in our spiritual experience. Over time, we grow in our intimacy with Christ, and deepen our worship of Him. The ministry of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, cheers us through each challenge along the Jesus way.

Conformity to Christ. Every time we surrender, we become more like Jesus who surrendered. As we sacrifice for Him, we become more like the One who died a sacrificial death on the cross. As we abide in Him, Jesus draws near and abides in us. And as we manifest the living Christ, He shows that He lives, resurrected, in and through us.

Purpose in life. The greatest outcome of our continually dying and living the gospel is that, in so doing, we live out the most magnificent purpose of human existence, which is to honor and display the Son of God in His seminal work on earth. There is no higher purpose than to give oneself fully to, and to become one with, the mission of God in saving humankind for the glory of the Son.

You can see, therefore, why it is woefully inadequate to wish that we could avoid experiencing the gospel cycle, for to do so would lessen our maturation as disciples and, most importantly, detract from the glory due to the Son of God. Though many expressions of the gospel cycle are difficult, they should nevertheless be humbly embraced as the most profound means by which we can live our earthly years for the glory of God!

 

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