A Prayer About Losing and Regaining the Gospel
Scotty Smith, Founding Pastor, Christ Community Church, Franklin TN
“BUT the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it- the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God‟s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus". (Romans 3:21-26).
Dear Jesus, how did it ever come to pass that there was even a need for the Reformation? What circumstances created the necessity for Martin Luther to nail his Ninety-Five Theses to the front door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517?
All my questions are rhetorical, Jesus, for I know quite well why we needed the Reformation and why we‟ll always need to be rediscovering and reaffirming the gospel of your sovereign and saving grace. I know this because I know my own proud and foolish heart.
Jesus, the gospel declares me to be a whole lot worse off than I can imagine, and certainly a whole lot worse that I want to acknowledge. Jesus, I never needed you merely to be a moral model for me to follow. I never needed a religious experience or rules to obey, I needed you to live a life of perfect obedience for me. I needed you to fulfill all the demands of the law for me. Thank you for doing this perfectly, Jesus.
And I needed you to take my place upon the cross, receiving the punishment I deserve for all the ways I fall short of God‟s glory” breaking, ignoring, and going way beyond his law, and worst of all, worshiping other gods. I needed you to exhaust God‟s just and holy wrath against me and my sin- lest I despair of my guilt or foolishly try to curry God‟s favor by anything of my own. Thank you for doing this perfectly, Jesus.
Jesus, I even needed you to give me this very faith I needed to receive this free and full justification. This you have done perfectly as well. I praise you. I worship you. I once again affirm today that my hope is built on nothing less, nothing more, and nothing other than your blood and your righteousness. On you, Lord Jesus, the solid and saving Rock, I stand. All other ground in sinking sand. Keep bringing me back to the gospel, Jesus; keep bringing me back to the gospel pus nothing. I pray in you most holy and gracious name, Amen.
from Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith, Scotty Smith, 2011, Baker Books,