Fight for Joy

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At church we’re starting a series on the Gospel and why the Gospel really is good news.  I’ve been taking some time to think on this, and I realize that I rarely let myself reflect on why Jesus is good news for my life right in this moment, not just a crucial step in my conversion.

I found this quote by John Piper that reminds us that banking on what God has done and believing in who God says we is crucial in our walk of faith.

Fight for joy, not by doing things that establish your identity with God, but by becoming what your identity already is with God in Christ.  Become what you are.

These words are so beautiful to me.  I am prone to getting swept up in this world and letting it define me.  I’m prone to messing up, overlooking people in my life, and living in a sin of self worship. I’m prone to wallowing in my own imperfections.

Yet – my identity is what Christ says it is.  Piper makes this even more real to me than I’ve felt in a long time:

We are justified by grace through faith alone because of our union with Christ whose righteousness is counted as ours.  Because of this union with Christ, we are already dead and raised and holy and light.

The secret of rugged joy in the battle with sin is to fight to become what we are in Christ.  You have already died with Christ (Rom 6:5-6),; therefore “consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11).  You have already been made alive together with Christ (Eph. 2:5); therefore, “Seek the things that are above” (Col. 3:1).  You are already holy in Christ (Col.3:12); therefore “be holy in all your conduct (1 Pet. 1:15).  You already are the light of the world in Christ (Matt 5:14); therefore “let your light shine” (Matt. 5:16)

I praise God for allowing me to see a glimpse of his mercy, and for allowing the Gospel to be deep enough that I’ll never find the bottom.

As Piper notes, “But oh, what a difference it makes to be assured, in the discouraging darkness of our own imperfection, that we have a perfect righteousness – namely, Christ’s”

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