September 07, 2008

The March of the Gospel

Philippians 1:12-18

The important thing is that in every way … Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Philippians 1:18


It is true that “where God sends reformation, Satan works deformation.” What God builds, Satan seeks to destroy. When God leads people forward in his grace, Satan tries to push them back into misery.

Yet this truth also remains: The forward march of the gospel cannot be stopped!

The assaults against the gospel are many. For Paul, they included his imprisonment, envy and rivalry among fellow missionaries, and the use of Jesus’ name for self-promotion. For us, it may be the rejection of Christ as the only true Savior, or it may be a matter of giving in to the mixed-up moralities of our time.

But there is good news. The forward march of the gospel cannot be stopped!

Satan’s goal is to push us back into the cesspool of shame, the dungeon of guilt, the prison of fear. But, to paraphrase a line from a Hollywood movie, that’s a “whole lot of ugly coming from a parade of stupid.” The forward march of the gospel announces that Jesus bore our human shame, removed our guilt, and freed us from sin’s punishment. He daily parades his love in order to nourish life.

Nothing can ultimately stop the forward march of the gospel. There is great joy, then, for all who keep in step with Jesus.

Dear Lord, I rejoice that in spite of opposition, your gospel achieves its purpose. Continue to reveal your grace and to help me walk in the way of Jesus. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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