It seems in many churches the need of the gospel is ONLY for unbelievers. I'm thankful that this is not true in all churches, but unfortunately it is in many. The gospel is, of course, for unbelievers, but I'm reminded this weekend why I still need the gospel more than a decade after I came to trust in Christ.
Last week I had the opportunity to preach Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The way to be poor in spirit is to place oneself before the Almighty God and see how you measure up to His expectations. During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells us exactly what His expectations are. In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says, "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Wow! Those are high expectations. It would have been easy to try to explain that God doesn't really expect us to be perfect, but that would not be true. God does expect perfection. And when we place ourselves open before Him we will see how miserably we have failed to keep His requirement of perfection.
This leads to Matthew 5:4, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Many Christians today, I think, jump to the second half of verse 4 before dealing with the first half. For me, I often times rest in Christ without realizing I still continually fall short of the requirements of God. But this verse says we are blessed when we mourn over our sin. I think it is very important that we see ourselves before God Almighty and realize that we still need His grace. We still need His mercy. We still need His hand to keep us because without we will fall away!
However, as Christians, we cannot stop there. The gospel is still applicable for us today. When I stand before God on my own I mourn the sin and devastation that I have brought upon myself. But I also rejoice and worship when I see that Christ took that judgment for me on the cross. Beloved, the gospel is still true. The gospel is still needed. I love the fact that I can still see the application of the gospel in my own life!