Real Life: Living in Christ

Yesterday at CrossWay Church was the second week of the Real Life series, where we’re studying 1 Thessalonians.  We looked at the whole first chapter, which explains the growth cycle of the gospel message and how we can participate in it.

First, the gospel comes not only with words, but with power, the Holy Spirit, and deep conviction.  Sometimes people might hear the good news about salvation in Jesus and just go along with it, or mentally agree to it as an acceptable idea.  But when that happens, the gospel has not actually been received.  When the gospel of Christ is welcomed, it’s obvious because there is life change.  That’s what happens when the gospel comes with power, the Holy Spirit, and deep conviction.  The gospel is like a seed, and at this point it takes root.

As the message sprouts and begins growing, God gives us three ingredients that produce specific kinds of fruit.  Our faith motivates us to work productively, our love causes us to labor, and our hope in Jesus inspires us to endure.  At this point the gospel seed is growing like a tree that is sprouting fruit on its branches.

The next thing that happens in the gospel growth cycle is that the message rings out.  Other people begin to notice.  The seed from our fruit begins to spread, take root, and sprout.

And then the cycle happens all over again with new people in new places!

The theme for this series, Real Life, is how living in Christ makes an actual, extraordinary difference in our otherwise ordinary and routine days.  So at the end of the message the church was given two challenges:

First, to honestly evaluate whether they had truly received the gospel or not.

Second, once the gospel has been received (evidenced by power, the Holy Spirit, and deep conviction, along with faith, love, and hope), the church was challenged to write down one way in which they will let the gospel message ring out from their lives.  I encouraged them to keep it simple and practical so everyone could actually do it.  I look forward to hearing the stories of what people do in response!

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Published in: on September 15, 2008 at 9:44 am  Leave a Comment  

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