The assurance of my salvation is not based upon who I am nor upon what I have done. Rather, the assurance of my salvation is based upon who Jesus is, what he has done and what he is doing. That carries implications not just for moments of doubt and anxiety and worry, but for normal, mundane every day life. Just as your assurance isn’t focused on you, but Jesus, your every day life isn’t about you either…it’s about Jesus. We say things like this all the time, “Live a gospel-centered life” or “living the cross-centered life.” But what that actually looks like is a little fuzzy.
Paul David Tripp, in his book A Quest for More warns us of cheap imitations for Christ-centeredness and I want to pass them along to you:
- Activism: I have a cause! I have a thing I do. It may look like you love Christ because you are active in a moral cause. That’s not bad, just don’t play like that’s loving Jesus.
- Legalism: I keep the rules. The will know we are Christians by our rules, and I have lots of them and I am supremely confident in my own righteousness.
- Formalism: I am dedicated to church. I come to church, serve the church, give to the church, do things with the church, invite people to the church.
- Emotionalism: I cry every time I hear certain songs on the radio. That might mean you have an emotional personality, but it doesn’t mean that you love Jesus.
- Creedalism: I believe the right things in the right ways about the right stuff and I have acronyms and charts about the end times and I will fight for the truth. Don’t get me wrong, I think you should stand for the truth, but a lot of times we stand for the truth against no one. One pastor told a story of a guy who came to him and said, “I would die for the King James Bible…” The pastor said, “Who would kill you?”
- Externalism: I do all the right things. I say Amen at the right time, I know all the spiritual phrases to use. When I pray I say things like “hedge of protection” and I tell people they have a “servant’s heart”, and “I’ll pray about it”, etc. I show all the signs of being someone who loves Jesus.
So if these imitations are to be avoided, what does Christ-centered living look like? How can I live in the reality of my assurance in Christ?
- Christ is my Source: I actively acknowledge that everything I have comes from Christ and has been purchased by Christ. He is the source of all that is wise, true, loving and good.
- Christ is my Motive: Christ is the reason I do everything I do. I want to value what he values, love what he loves, I want to be his disciple, follower, ambassador, etc.
- Christ is my Goal: I willingly submit every glory of my life to Christ and his glory. Above everything else I want Christ to be honored, glorified and exalted by my life.
- Christ is my Hope: My hope is anchored in Christ. What are you hoping in? If I had_______ life would be great. When Christ is my hope, he is the one thing in which I have confidence.
What tends to compete with Christ being the center of your life? What is it that occupies your thought and passion? Repent of that today and fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.