What Is “Applying The Gospel?”

As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith (Colossians 2:6-7).

The Gospel is objective, historical, revealed, gracious truth about who God is and what he has done for us in the Person and Work of his Son Jesus Christ. Applying the Gospel is learning how that gracious truth intersects with our lives and changes us. It’s seeing the goodness of God, believing it, and living in light of it. It’s knowing God, relationally, as he has revealed himself in the Scriptures, and letting him overhaul the way we think, feel, speak, and act. It’s resting or leaning on the trustworthy God, and reordering our values and pursuits around him. It’s turning away from the poverty of our own resources for life, and living vicariously through Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the healing salve; applying the Gospel means locating the spiritual brokenness in our lives, and pouring on the remedy for restoration.

God’s grace to us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t merely our starting point for the Christian life, it’s our resource for the whole Christian life. We grow to be more like Jesus as we behold him, as we trust more deeply in him and in his gracious love. Often it’s hard work, applying the Gospel to our lives, but it’s worth it.