Meditation Monday: Love For The Church Is Gospel Centered

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Meditation Monday is where I share my ramblings and reflections from Sunday’s sermons from Watson Chapel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR, Pastor Todd Howard. Currently we are going through Colossians and Genesis, todays post focuses on Colossians 2:1-7.

Do You Love The Church?

Simple, but yet a deep question. We know Christ loves the Church, Scripture tells us He died to redeem and purify the church, who is called His bride (Eph. 5:25-27). We know Christ loves the church, but do you and I, his followers share the same zeal and passion Christ does for the church and it’s mission?

In Colossians Paul expresses his desires and passion for the believers in Colosse. Through Paul’s passions for the church we learn characteristics of people who love the church.

Gospel Minded

When our world hears heart, we think feelings, but when the Biblical writers talk about the heart, they were thinking of the mind. Paul expresses to the church in Colosse that he wants their hearts to be encouraged,

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God ‘s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (Col. 2:1-3 ESVST)

How does Paul want their hearts to be encouraged? Through assurance, understanding, wisdom, and knowledge, all faculties of the mind. Paul wanted them and us to have assurance, understanding, knowledge and wisdom concerning the absolute truth of the mystery of God which is Christ and the Gospel. As Christians, we love the church when we are Gospel minded. We become Gospel minded when we have Gospel knowledge, Gospel understanding, Gospel assurance, and Gospel wisdom. One of the ways we gain knowledge, understanding, assurance, and wisdom is through studying God’s word and learning from godly teachers.

How does being Gospel minded show love for the church? Gospel minded people are about the mission of the church, which is to make disciples. Think of Gospel minded as a verb, an action word. Gospel minded people create Gospel movement.

Another way Gospel minded people love the church is by guarding it from false teachers.

I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments (Col. 2:4 ESVST)

Are you a guardian of truth? Can you explain, defend, and teach the Gospel?

Gospel Love

being knit together in love, (Col. 2:2b ESVST)

Every person who turns from sin and clings to the Gospel of Christ is knitted together in love, into the church. The very Gospel which saves us cements us together into one body. Our Gospel affirmations bring us together as a body, under one head, who is Christ.

The result of being knitted together in love by the Gospel, is the members of the body loving one another. Think about Paul, the various beatings and near death experiences he had so that God maybe glorified in his love for the church. How far are you willing to go for the church? What are you willing to do, give up, lay aside, pick up for the church?

Christ very clearly stated,

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 ESVST)

Our love for eachother is a witness to the world. How we love those different from us, wether it be by personality, race, or any other difference, our love for one another is a lamp post to the world. Is your lamp dim or is it shining bright with Gospel love? Are you loving those you disagree with, those who are difficult,  and those who are different than you?

Gospel Walk

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
(Col. 2: 6-7 ESVST)

The power of the Gospel which saves you is the same power which enables to walk in Him. God’s work of salvation from his divine favor falling on you to final glorification in heaven is the power of the Spirit applying the Gospel in your life. Just as you recieved Christ,  by grace through faith, so walk in Him, by grace through faith.

What does a Gospel walk imply?

Transformation. A Gospel walk implies change and growth. Last night I was looking at pictures of my children when they were little and compared them to now. There are major changes not just physically, but emotionally, and spiritually. Throughout the years you should noticed the transformation of you becoming less like you and more like Christ.

How does a Gospel walk show love for the church?

Look at the descriptors Paul uses rooted, built up, and established in the faith. All those require involvement. When we walk a Gospel walk we participate in the building up of others in the church who are walking a Gospel walk. A Gospel walk is living the Gospel out by serving others and together we become rooted, built up, and established in the faith.

Gospel Gratitude

The Gospel should lead us to abound in thanksgiving, because it is all the grace of God, lavished on sinful man. Gospel gratitude produces in the believer a content heart satisfied in the Giver. Keeps our eyes focused on God and off the temporal stuff which distracts.

Can you imagine a community of believers who are Gospel minded, sharing in Gospel love, walking a Gospel walk, with Gospel gratitude?

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him

Until next time

Soli Deo Gloria

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