for our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. [2 Corinthians 1:12]
keep it simple.
sitting under john ryan’s teaching this week, i heard these words… “the gospel is simple, that’s why a little kid can understand it and become a believer.” it’s so simple, yet it’s the most profound thing we will ever hear. that’s why it’s boast worthy.
paul is saying he can boast in the grace of God, who placed his very truth on paul’s conscience through the Holy Spirit, causing paul to live out the gospel with the love that was also placed in his heart. in other words, since the gospel is simple, living out the gospel is also simple.
now, that’s not to say living out the gospel is easy. we all come across difficult decisions to make, difficult relationships to maintain, and situations that need serious prayer to work through. but if we’re living with the focus of a holy God who gave up his one and only Son to have a relationship with us (john 14:6), sent him to die to pay the price for our rebellion (isaiah 53:6), raised him from the dead to ultimately manifest his authority over sin and death (acts 2:24), and placed him on a throne so that some day all of his children will reign together with him (2 timothy 2:11-12) – only then can we live for him. not out of duty. not to try to earn his favor. not out of a desire to look sinless in the eyes of men. but out of gratitude. out of awe of our amazing God and his amazing love. through God’s grace, if our lives can be all about the gospel, the things of this world that cloud our view of God will fade. our desire to find our worth in earthly things will grow weaker. our confusion about how we should fill the hours in our day will become clearer.
paul’s simple and sincere living spoke clearly about the work the Holy Spirit was doing in his heart. so I have to ask myself, what does my living say? what do my behaviors show as important to me? what do my hobbies show others that i focus on? what do my spending habits show about my heart’s desire?
does my life point to Jesus Christ?
ask yourself these questions, and better yet, ask a friend who will be real with you these questions. then pray. ask the Lord for a desire for the gospel to be central in your life. ask to love the things he loves and hate the things he hates. ask him to strip you of all the things in life that waste your precious time here on earth. ask for more of him.
thank you, Father, for the simplicity of the gospel. thank you for sending Jesus to set an example of simple gospel living. thank you for grace.
~ arwen eastman