How the Gospel changes us, shapes our family life, and brings us peace and happiness // Episode 53

Find spiritual growth as you live out the gospel of Jesus

What are we talking about today?

The truth of the gospel changes our lives. But how?  If we want spiritual growth that gives us the peace and joy Jesus promises, we must understand the fullness of the gospel. 

Today, we’re looking at the book of Colossians to better understand… what is the gospel? How is it changing me? (Or maybe… is it changing me?) What does it mean for my family life?

If you aren’t a Christian yet… you’ll be challenged and changed. And if you already follow Christ… you will be so encouraged. Either way, let’s dive in!

Listen to Episode 53:

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Snag your resources for spiritual growth here!

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, you’ll also want to check out these earlier podcast episodes that connect with this same topic:

  • Episode 3 // What does it mean to be a Christian? The 3 things needed to love God well, and 3 impacts on your daily life.
  • Episode 4 // Want to boost your spiritual growth? Check out these five practical strategies for growing closer to God. 
  • Episode 26 // Handling the conviction of the Holy Spirit WITHOUT condemnation and WITH an action plan
  • Episode 39 // Take your thoughts captive to Christ.. but how?! Let’s build our intimacy with God and strengthen our own mental health by practicing 4 key steps to controlling our thought life.

Let me also offer a FREE resource that I know will be helpful:

To experience spiritual growth and build intimacy with God, you need to spend time reading the Bible and talking to God in prayer… every day. 

Yep. Every day. And if that isn’t yet a habit in your life, grab a copy of my FREE Holy Habits: 45-Day Bible & Prayer Challenge

This new daily habit will boost your spiritual growth and strengthen your faith journey. This way, you’ll get more comfortable in the Bible and in prayer, and you’ll grow closer to the Lord.

Experience spiritual growth by living out the gospel

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

I’m largely going to walk through the book of Colossians today as a guide to our conversation about the gospel.

You may wonder: What is the book of Colossians? Well, this is a short book in the New Testament that the Apostle Paul and his “son in the faith” (Timothy) wrote to believers in a city called Colossea. It was written about 60 years after Jesus died, was resurrected, and ascended back into heaven.

What is the gospel?

We see the fullness of the gospel right at the beginning of this short letter. Open your bible (or click here to see it online) and read through Colossians 1:15-23.

  • CREATION (v. 15-20 ) God created all things – God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • FALL (v. 21) Humanity sinned, and we are all therefore “alienated from God and enemies in our minds because of our evil behavior.”
  • REDEMPTION (v. 22) Jesus came to reconcile us with God – to forgive those sins, pay the penalty for them, and cover us with his own righteousness
  • LIVED FAITH (v. 23) We now live our lives in Christ and for Christ, “continuing in the faith, established and firm”

How do I become a Christian?

Becoming a Christian is not about saying a magic prayer. It’s not as simple as “inviting Jesus into my heart” and then continuing to live life just like you were before.

If you want to follow Jesus, to identify him as your Lord and Savior, it is simple to become a Christian. But – warning! – it will change your life.

  1. Believe the gospel. (See above!)
  2. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior  (let’s jump over to Romans 10:9).
  3. Start living through the power of Jesus alive in your life now. (Colossians 1:9-14)

Yep. That’s it. 

What does spiritual growth look like?

Once you’ve believed, confessed, and are now trying to live your life the way God wants you to… what does that look like? You’re probably wondering at this point, how do I grow spiritually? 

  • Seek to grow in knowledge of God so you can follow his will (Colossians 1:9-14)
  • Stay rooted in Jesus and the Word of God (Colossians 2:6-8)
  • Focus your heart and thoughts on the things of God, not the world (Colossians 3:1-3)
  • Stop doing the things God calls sinful and start living the way God wants you to – treating people well, devoting yourself to prayer, and sharing the gospel (Colossians 3:5-4:6)
  • Stay connected with God’s Word and God’s people (Colossians 1:23, 3:15-17, 4:7-18)

A great, short book to read through is 1 John. It helps us clearly see how our love of God is connected with our obedience to God. We will continue to sin. The question is, how we respond to our sin? With confession, forgiveness, and grace? Or by making sin a habit?

Trust me, friend, you will see the fruit of the Holy Spirit… over time.

A great resource for your spiritual growth

Ultimately, we experience spiritual growth by spending time in the Bible and talking to God in prayer. Circle back to Episode 4 and see the 5 action steps that you need for spiritual growth. 

But if this is new for you, or you’re trying to go deeper in your relationship with God, you may want to try my free Holy Habits 45-Day Bible & Prayer Challenge.

How does the gospel change your life and relationships?

After we become a Christian, Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit. This means that God lives in us! (I’d encourage you to read the gospel of John, chapters 14-16 for more about the Holy Spirit.)

Ultimately, we change because of the Holy Spirit working in our life.

We can’t experience real, deep change from own effort, skills, or strategies. Instead, spiritual growth happens by letting God work in our lives.

  • He shapes our HEART: we start to love like Jesus – sacrificial love that blesses others.
  • God shapes our THOUGHTS: our preferences, priorities, and reactions become shaped by Scripture and the Spirit… not our flesh and the world.
  • The gospel shapes our BEHAVIORS: we “put off” evil things like sexual immorality, greed, anger and rage, filthy language, lying … and put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love.
  • He shapes our INTERACTIONS: submission; love and kindness; obedience; do what is right and fair.

2 questions to ask yourself

With all of this in mind, you need to ask yourself two important questions:

  1. Have I given my life to Jesus? (the gospel)
  2. Once the answer is yes… Am I really letting the gospel shape me?

You can circle back and listen to Episode 3 as well as Episode 4 for the what, why, and how of Christian living and spiritual growth. 

And don’t forget, you can get the Holy Habits 45-Day Bible & Prayer Challenge for FREE to get you started and comfortable opening God’s Word and talking to him daily.

Friday Faith Follow-up

In this bonus episode of the Friday Faith Follow-up, I share a simple explanation of the gospel (for yourself or to model how you could share it with someone else) called the Romans Road. (See below for all of those Bible references.) Also, I address some FAQ about the Christian experience and share 5 tips for spiritual growth. Go ahead and listen now!

The "Romans Road" through the gospel

  • Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  • Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 
  • Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • Romans 10:9 “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  • Romans 5:1  “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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