Are the words of Christ relevant to Christian living today? Should all of the gospels be suitable for our understanding of who Christ is and what He came into this world to do? As you read each gospel you discover that Jesus’ teachings about salvation includes both subjects of believing and behaving.
In Matthew 5:1, 2 Jesus taught the disciples who were his followers, “kingdom of heaven” principles for them to live by. In verse 6 He states: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” From that one verse we learn about the fact of God’s “righteousness.” Righteousness is what the “new birth” brings at salvation. By believing on Christ that, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” The moment you receive Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior you become “righteous” in God’s eyes.
This is called our “position of righteousness.” Jesus places us in right standing with the Father. We become His children. When we become born by God’s Spirit into God’s Kingdom, His Spirit works within us to help us become more and more like Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (TLB)
Salvation is not just a position of righteousness you hold before God, but it’s a condition of righteousness you live out before others every day. It is a present work of God sanctifying us by bringing our character development into conformity with our position in Christ. We are called to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18) The Scriptures are all given to us to “teach, rebuke, correct, and instruct us in righteousness; so that He may complete us and equip us for all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)
When we read the gospels we discover that all the words of Jesus are words of spirit and life to the soul. How would we discover who Jesus is outside of what He communicated while He was here on earth? Through His words! And the example He set with His deeds, culminating in His death and resurrection. What kind of relationship can we have with the Lord if we did not have any of His words which He spoke to us?
I have renewed my interest in reading the four gospels. I pray that this also might be placed in your heart to do as well!