“conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear” (1 Peter 1:17, NKJV)
What comes to mind when you hear the word “gospel”? You may well think of the good news of great joy announced by the heavenly messenger to the shepherds outside Bethlehem. In the gospel is found a righteousness from God that is by faith in what Christ achieved and not by works done by us. It holds the promise of forgiveness of sins and life eternal.
But the gospel is more than that, just like Christ’s redeeming work involved more than just us. It reaches to the entire creation (Rom. 8). We are not merely new creatures; we are part of a new creation that speaks to the Kingdom of God.
Jesus referred to the gospel as the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23). The Kingdom was our Lord’s preeminent teaching, illustrated in parables and demonstrated in works of power that showed authority over Satan and reversal of the effects of the fall.
For us to embrace the gospel is to recognize Christ as King. Bowing before Him is to renounce our citizenship of this world and to embrace Him as Lord of all. That means we consider ourselves citizens of heaven and aliens in this world.
It is on that basis Peter urges us: “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:17–19).
A gospel-directed life seeks first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. It flows out of a new heart taken captive by Christ to follow Him, serve Him, and honor Him in every facet, every role, every day, everywhere. A gospel-directed life is a Christ-centered life.
REFLECTION: The gospel is the gospel of the Kingdom. In all things, bow before Christ your King.
Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.