In the video, Bart hits on three things that get to the heart of what life looks like when we forget the incredible gift of God’s love for us.
- You Try to Earn God’s Favor – As an artist, Bart tried to earn a place at God’s table through all the ministry he was doing. How often do we treat our religious works as currency and try to impress God with all we can do “for His kingdom”?
- You Externalize God’s Love – For Bart, it was easier to tell 10,000 people that God loved them than to acknowledge that fact for himself. We, too, can find ourselves doling out spiritual encouragement from a place of routine familiarity, rather than an abiding sense of God’s love for us.
- You Look For Your Identity Outside Christ – Gospel forgetfulness led Bart to seek his identity, not in Christ, but in his art. In the same way, we can acknowledge with our lips that Jesus is our Lord and that He died for us, but in our hearts try to find our most profound sense of self in things like family or career.
The Gospel Calls us to Remember God’s Love
We’re not the first Christians in the world to suffer from Gospel amnesia, nor will we be the last. The Ephesians, much like us, needed a lesson from Paul on how to remember.
Having just laid out the free grace of God in saving sinners, Paul gives a command: REMEMBER.
More specifically, remember who you were before Christ—aliens and strangers, separated from God, without hope. Why should we remember that? Because that’s who you used to be. Christ, by his blood, has brought near those who were once far off. In his crucified body, He tore down the wall that divided Jew from the Gentile.
Jesus has created, in Himself, one new humanity. He’s declared peace, not just between God and man, but man and neighbor. And, through Him, this one new body called the Church enjoys intimate access to the Father in the Spirit.
Now, we’re all a part of God’s communal building project; He’s making a new house and a new temple, fit for His dwelling. This is the fundamental reality that underlies what Paul’s going to say about the Christian life in chapter 4 and after.
“Remember this,” Paul says. Remember who you were before Christ so that you can put on the new identity He’s given you—so that you can be what you already are in Him.
In sum: we’ve been saved from the power of sin making its home in us, through God’s Spirit making its home in us. Remember the Gospel of your salvation. (Read Ephesians 2 as a reminder!)
Reminding One Another Of God’s Love
What does it look like to remember who we were before and who we are now in Christ? In part, Paul says, it means putting away falsehood and speaking truth to one another. Why? Again, because we are members of the one body of Christ.
It turns out this was the key dynamic that flipped things around for Bart Millard. In the video, he talked about a friend who saw with great wisdom into his forgetfulness and challenged him to remember the Gospel.
This is the essence of what he said:
- Christ Died For You – Stop externalizing God’s love. He is for you just as much as He is for others. He loves you as an individual. Remember that.
- You are a Child of God – God has adopted you into His family (Rom 8:15-17). You didn’t earn it, and there’s nothing you can do to lose it either.
- You are Infinitely Favored in Christ – If God didn’t spare His own precious Son, what will He hold back from you? (Read Rom 8:32) The Father “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”. Own that.
How to Remember God Loves You
We are forgetful creatures. We need to be reminded of the Gospel every day.
We can do both individually and collectively “as members of one another,” whether by soaking in Scripture, sharing an encouraging word, or reading good Christian books.
The clip shared at the beginning of this blog post comes from the I Can Only Imagine Video Series and partners with the I Can Only Imagine Journal. The Imagine Journal is designed to take you—individually or in groups—on a 28-day journey with Jesus. Our goal is to help you remember who you are in Christ, reorient your life in light of His reality, and reimagine the future He has for you. Click here to browse our I Can Only Imagine Resources.
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