Gospel Motivation for Gospel Living

What should be our motivation to live for God? In Colossians 1:3-14 Paul provides a model.

Paul’s Model is the Gospel

Looking at this section, you should notice that Paul mentions the gospel right after he talks about the Corinthians faith and love. Then down in verses 12-14, you should also notice that Paul expounds on the gospel, right after he calls the Corinthians to live lives pleasing to God.

Paul’s focus on the gospel tells us that he wants us to be motivated to live gospel-centered lives out of the gospel.

What Paul Could Have Done, But Doesn’t

You see, Paul could have motivated the Colossians to live for God in a number of ways. He could have told them to live for God because God said so, or because that is what will win favor with God, or because that is how we will make it to heaven, or because this is what makes you a good person. Paul could have used any number of tactics to motivate the Colossians, but he didn’t. Instead he used the gospel.

Just as Paul wants the Colossians to find their motivation for Christian living through the gospel, he wants us to do the same.

Examples of Gospel Motivation

Looking at Colossians 1:3-14, we see that if we are struggling:

  • In our faith – we need to remember that if God provides His Son for our salvation and guarantees our future inheritance, He is able to provide for our daily needs.
  • With loving others – we need to remember the love of God in giving His only Son for our sins.
  • With doing good works – we need to remember that sin no longer masters us, but God is our Master, freeing us to live for Him and not for sin.
  • With growing in our relationship with God – we need to remember that God so desires a relationship with us that He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins, redeeming us from His wrath.
  • With enduring trials and tribulations patiently with joy – we need to remember that this world is not all there is. Jesus will return, defeat our enemies, and setup His perfect kingdom one day.
  • With worshipping God – we need to remember that He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, qualifying us to share in the inheritance with the Saints.

You see, the gospel is not only given for our salvation, but it is also given as motivation for godly living. So the next time you are struggling in any of these areas, meditate on the gospel; allow it to motivate you to live lives pleasing to God.

Questions for Reflection

  1. How have you tried to motivate yourself, or others, to live for God in the past?
  2. How does a gospel motivation change the way you look at living for God?




Why Aren’t Christians Growing?

Why aren’t Christians growing? More specifically, why do Christians become stagnant in Christ-like growth?

What Occurs in Salvation?

If we think about some of what occurs in salvation, this question becomes even more urgent. When we come to Christ, we are:

  • Delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ, releasing us from bondage to sin and Satan (Col. 1:13; Rom. 6:5-7).
  • Redeemed from God’s wrath and forgiven our sin, restoring our relationship with God (Col. 1:14).
  • Given the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; Rom. 8:9-11).
  • Made a new Creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
  • Given a new desire for the things of God (Rom. 7:22).

If these things, and more, occur in salvation, how can we be stagnant in Christ-like growth?

How is it Possible to be Stagnant in Christ-like Growth?

Paul addresses this issue with the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3, when he says starting in verse 1,

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh (1 Cor. 3:1-3a).

The reason they had not grown. The reason Paul wasn’t able to feed them solid food, even after some time, was due to their source of wisdom.

Prior to penning the opening verses of chapter 3, Paul spends the better part of two chapters expounding the difference between the world’s wisdom and God’s wisdom. Paul ends chapter 2, by telling us the natural person is not able to understand the wisdom of God; therefore, they believe it is foolish. On the other hand, Paul tells us, the wisdom of God is understandable to the Christian, and it is prized instead of rejected.

Why are Christians able to understand God’s wisdom, when the world can’t? Christians are able to understand and prize the wisdom of God because they have the mind of Christ. They possess His mindset, which leads them to see God not as a foolish old man in the sky, but as a wise Father who is to be worshipped, sought, led and governed by.

The Ability Isn’t Used

But while the Corinthians have the ability to understand the wisdom of God, they are not seeking it, nor are they living by it. That is the reason they aren’t growing. They aren’t looking to God for wisdom, even though they are able; they are, instead, looking at the world, allowing its wisdom to direct and guide them.

We Do the Same

The Corinthians aren’t the only ones guilty of leaving their God-given ability on the table. We do the same. I believe that is because we often forget the pervasive nature of the world’s wisdom. We forget that the world’s wisdom is there confronting and influencing us every time we turn on the radio, television, and computer. It is there when we open the newspaper and magazine. It is there wherever we go. Since the world’s wisdom is all around us, influencing us in ways we may not readily be aware, we naively believe that that’s just how things are supposed to be done.

We Must Fight With a Christian Worldview

We, however, must fight the tendency to go along with the status quo of society, thinking that is the way we must do things. We must instead turn to God’s Word, to His wisdom, as often as we can, in order to develop a distinctly Christian worldview. One that allows us to judge the world’s advice, thoughts, and judgments with Scripture. One that causes us to look to God’s Word for advice, instead of the latest New York Times best seller. One that causes us to seek Christian counsel, instead of asking our non-Christian co-worker what therapist, pill, or self-help guru pulled them through their latest crisis. If we do that – if we turn to God’s Word and use our God-given ability to discern and understand His wisdom, we would see more Christ-like growth in our lives.

So why do Christians remain stagnant in their growth in Christ-likeness, in their ability to understand the deep things of God’s Word? Because we consistently seek and live by the world’s wisdom, rather than God’s wisdom.

Question for Reflection

  1. Whose wisdom do you often turn to in times of need?



Old Church

10 Reason We Should Regularly Gather with the Church

Yesterday was the Lord’s Day, the day we gather as a church in worship. As a pastor, I always look forward to Sundays. Not only do I get to preach, but I also have the opportunity to praise God alongside others, and watch how the Lord will use our fellowship for His glory.

As Christians, we should all desire to gather together with one another as often as possible. To motivate you to regularly gather, here are 10 reasons gathering with the church is important.

10 Reason We Should Regularly Gather with the Church

(1) To be obedient to God’s command (Heb. 10:23-25).

(2) To be equipped for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:11-14).

(3) To have our minds renewed through the preaching of the Word (Rom. 12:1-2).

(4) To employ our spiritual gifts for the benefit of the church (1 Cor. 12).

(5) To evangelize the watching world through our love for one another (John 13:35).

(6) To be held accountable by other mature brothers and sisters in the Lord (Acts 18:24-26).

(7) To be discipled by older, godly men and women (Titus 2:2-6),

(8) To ease the mind of your shepherd, so he is not worrying about your soul (Heb. 13:17).

(9) To grow in our faith of the Lord Jesus Christ as we are taught His Word (1 Pet. 2:2).

(10) To be encouraged to persevere in the faith by other believers (Heb. 3:12-14).

Question for Reflection

  1. Can you think of other reasons we should regularly gather as a church?



For more information see A Sample Statement on Regular Church Attendance from 9 Marks