Breathe the Gospel

“When [James 1:21 says] ‘receive the implanted word,’ I think there is an implication that the gospel remains the center of the word that we receive every day. It is the gospel—the central message that Christ died for our sins and rose again and gives us eternal joy in God through faith—it’s this gospel that took root in our lives when we were born again. The gospel is implanted in us, and we need to breathe it in every day. You never outgrow your need for the good news of forgiven sin and imputed righteousness and eternal life and God being totally for you—and all of this by grace alone, on the basis of Christ alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone. You never graduate to a class where that is not the center of the curriculum. I think this is implied in saying that the word that saved us and is implanted in us is what we should go on receiving every day.

But God’s word, the Scripture, is more than just the gospel. And Paul says all of it is inspired and profitable (2 Timothy 3:17). It is one piece of fabric. The gospel is the supremely glorious design in the center of the fabric. But all of it is woven together as one fabric. So my biblical exhortation is: Every day with meekness receive the word of God. That is, every day be in the Bible. Breathe the Bible. Don’t try to hold your breath from Monday to Wednesday. Breathe every day.’”

John Piper in “Receive With Meekness the Implanted Word” (Sermon given January 6, 2008)

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