How Jesus' Greatness Supplies All That I Need
Paul’s focus on this section is the gospel message. We can summarize this section into a brief sentence: The message of the gospel is supreme. This message is what Christians need to be right with God and to grow mature. In other words, we do not need another message or further secret messages that the false teachers were claiming to teach. This gospel message is the message that can save and transform our lives.
He focuses upon the nature of the gospel message as Paul gives thanks for them. First, he thanks God that they were converted after believing that message (1:3-5).
According to 1:4, what is the evidence that Paul points to that shows they are Christians?
This personal faith in Jesus and a love for other Christians shows the change in their lives.
If you are a Christian, how have these evidences been displayed in your life?
Give God thanks for your conversion and the power of God in bringing this about.
By focusing on the powerful change in their lives, he not only gives thanks to God for His work in them, but, he also reminds them of the nature of that gospel message that they believed! In other words, if they were radically transformed by that message Epaphras gave (1:7), how could they look for another? This means that the message they heard was more than enough for them since it already changed them. One of the claims that the false teachers were making was that they needed something else beyond Jesus and the message they heard. By Paul reminding them of the power of that original message to change their lives, they should rest in that message and thank God for it!
Paul also makes a point to talk about the qualities of the gospel in 1:6-8 such as its truthfulness, its ability to powerfully work, it’s a message of grace and that it is the identical message as the apostles would give.
How do each of these qualities affect the way you think about the gospel message?
How do each of these qualities motivate you to share the gospel with people?
One such quality of the gospel is that it powerfully works. It “bears fruit and is increasing” (1:6). In the original language, this means that it is ongoingly and presently producing fruit. The Bible tells us that the gospel message keeps working in our lives, long after we have believed it! This is a huge praise!
How does it keep changing our lives? For some help here read Titus 2:11-14 (be specific here).
Paul spends a lot of time talking about the nature of the gospel in this section for the reason of helping them see that they do not need to find a new message or search for an update. The message that they truly need is the message they have already believed. They did not miss some teaching. They have the information needed to know God and grow close to Him. But what they did need was to be regularly reminded of the message. But it’s not just them who needs to be constantly reminded of this message. We also need it. We discover that not only is Jesus supreme, but so is His message!
Take the time right now to think through the “big truths” of this gospel message. Start considering the holiness and perfection of God, as well as His love and graciousness. Consider the condition we were all in—the terrible sins we have each committed. Consider the hopelessness of our state and the inability to rescue ourselves from judgment. Meditate upon the perfection of Jesus— His character and His work. Consider the joy of knowing that if we repent of our sins and put our trust in Him we are forgiven. Consider the promise that all those who trust in Him will be saved and forgiven and kept secure!
As you do this you will be led into thankfulness, worship, confession and it will produce natural prayer requests. Let the gospel take you by the hand and once again lead you into the presence of God and into a humble attitude of worship. This message really does keep bearing fruit in our lives! Christian, you don’t need another message, you just need to soak in this one again and again and watch the growth explode in your life.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that I have already received the best message that I could receive. Thank you that by this message you have changed my life. Help me not to fall prey to some new message or the claims of a newer message that takes me away from the only message that I need to draw close to you. Help me recall that message throughout each day so that I am changed and never let me stray from these truths that can help me grow. In the name of Jesus, Amen.