My goal in this series is our greater joy in Jesus, even in complex struggles intellectually, emotionally, relationally, etc. So, each time I will offer a buffet on 8 ‘P’s of good news. Chew and savor whatever helps your joy in Jesus. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)
Yes, seven, because there are seven practical, and joyful truths in the next “P” of good news: the Purpose of Christ, communing with Him and His people. If you’ve been following this series, you know this was introduced on the fourth and central day of the creation week to illustrate it as the truth around which all else in the good news revolves. If you missed it, you can see that on the video below.
And the first part of good news in Christ’s purpose is seen in the Sabbath: “Rest in Me”. All people – believers and unbelievers – rest in someone or something as our primary confidence to cover our past sins, to give us joyful purpose now, and to be our hope later. True Christians rest in Christ but also struggle and sin by resting instead in self, our spouse, work, friends, possessions, experiences, etc. And one of the most subtle and distorted appearances of rest is putting faith in our faith: how much we believe rather than in whom we believe. This is why some privately pray “the sinner’s prayer” or knee at the front of a church over and over fearing they weren’t sincere enough before. Theirs is not the true rest in Christ of Hebrews 4:10 but a desperate work described in Hebrews 12:14-17. They are hoping in the how much they’ve felt sorry or how often “repented”, as if they need to warm God’s cold heart. They miss the good news that He is not our problem – He’s provided our solution in Christ. Thus, the Sabbath reminds us to rest in Christ who has provided everything we need for life physically (Exodus 20:8-11) and spiritually (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). See this for yourself on the video below.
And the first part of Christ’s Purpose – rest in Him – has many practical implications and specific joys. Lauren and I discuss some of these on the video at the bottom of this article. As you listen, remember that the 8 “P”s of the gospel is a paradigm like a sport, musical score, or highway. These works of Christ are interactive around His “main event” of daily communing with God and His people. This is why Scripture begins by revealing not only Adam and Eve walking with each other in complete innocence and intimacy (Genesis 2:22-25) but also God in physical form walking with them. (Genesis 3:8) And the highlight of Scripture is the end in which we live forever with Christ face-to-face and with all of His people in paradise. (Revelation 21-22) So, the goal of Life is walking with Christ and the means of Life is resting in Christ on the way: His work as God’s sacrifice in our place on the cross and praying for us as our eternal High Priest (Hebrews 1:1-16) and His Holy Spirit to live in us so we want to walk with Him as we rest in Him more and more by His grace. (2 Corinthians 3:18). His purpose of walking with Him informs our daily choices to honor Him, and our rest in Christ strengthens and encourages to follow Him by faith in Him. For “He is faithful, and He will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)