Thinking Clearly about the Gospel

“Of this you have heard before in the word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing – as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf . . .” Col 1:5b-8

This brief section in Paul’s opening paragraph to the Colossians is immensely helpful to us as we try to think clearly about what the gospel is, what it does, and how we should administer it in my church and community. I find myself reflecting back on this passage just about every week. Here are a few simple, clarifying observations from this section that I think of as Paul’s “theology of the Gospel:”

The Gospel is described as “the word of the truth” (:5)

The Gospel is a message that must be spoken and “heard” (:5)

The Gospel is not something you are born knowing or stumble into, but it must “come to you” from the outside (:6)

The Gospel is not just for some people, but in God’s plan it is advancing “in the whole world” (:6)

The Gospel always brings transformation: it “bears fruit and grows” (:6)

The Gospel requires careful, patient instruction and application, because it must be “understood” (:6)

The Gospel is not a call to human effort or behavior change, but the announcement of  “the grace of God in truth” (:6)

The Gospel is not just a hoop we jump through or a prayer we pray one time, but it must be “learned” (:7)

The Gospel is often learned through personal instruction, implying a personal relationship, time spent together, etc.  (:7)

Ministers of the Gospel should think of themselves as “servants/slaves” (:7)

Ministers of the Gospel are called to be “faithful ministers of Christ” (:7)

Ministers of the Gospel are motivated, in part, by a love for the people to whom they are ministering: “on your behalf” (:7)


About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
This entry was posted in Christian Life, Pastoral Ministry, Scripture and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Thinking Clearly about the Gospel

  1. Well doen! Very helpful.

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