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"The Gospel of Effect"

Date published: 11/18/2020

1 Corinthians 9:25 “They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”


   This Scripture is so easy to understand, but one that requires a lot of processing.  How often do you find yourself saying: “If only I had told the truth immediately.” “If only I had done what I believed.” “If only I had accepted the consequences upfront.”  Truth is often evident before your eyes, but you are afraid to face reality. 


   So many things in our walk with Christ fall into this category.  In this verse Paul gives a simple paradigm in which to place all these “if onlys.”  The paradigm is quite simple: The things of this world do not last, while your life with God is forever, forever, and forever.  Money will decompose, pleasure will not compare to heaven, our physical bodies and looks will be nothing in comparison to our heavenly bodies. 


   Not just grasping but living in the reality of your heavenly destination totally changes the way you live.  Recognize that this microcosm that composes your life is dwarfed in the reality of your heavenly existence with your Creator.  In

1 Corinthians 15:10, you see Paul not just grasping this reality but owning it as his life mission: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect.”  


   If Jesus loved you enough to step down from His deity, live as a human, and die for your sins, why would you not want to live your life in such a way that constantly points others to His indescribable love and sacrifice?  Grasping God’s love expressed through Jesus should naturally change the prioritization of your life so as to allow God’s total nature and work to be reflected in your life.  


   Paul gives the secret to living this way in 1 Corinthians 15:36: “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.”  Your life in Christ reaches fullness when you die to the things of this world, so that you can live to the things of God.  This happens when you make the decision to change your “if only” to “I will.”  I will place Christ first in my life.  I will choose Christ and His ways over the temporal things of this world.  I will live with “effect” because it is Christ who lives in meI will live with “effect” because it is God who loves and provides for me as no other!


Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself up for me.”


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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area:  “Satisfaction” and “God’s Purpose for You.”