Things That Are Above

Gospel Thinking for Gospel Living

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Welcome to Things That Are Above: Gospel Thinking for Gospel Living. As a husband, father, youth pastor, and full-time university student, I have a lot on my mind, and God’s word challenges me to sift everything I think about through the sieve of the gospel:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Phil. 4:8-9, English Standard Version [ESV])

In these verses, Paul tells the Philippians act on the basis of their beliefs, as Paul himself does (cf. Phil. 3:8-17). By joyfully meditating on the gospel, the Philippians would begin to live out the gospel in their daily lives. Paul put it more succinctly to the Colossians:

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:2-3)

In other words, we are to think about the gospel–that we have died and that our lives are hidden with Christ in God–in order to live out the gospel (cf. Col. 3:5-17). If I am to live in such a way so as to glorify God in whatever I do, I need to think about the gospel and how it applies to every facet of my life: home, church, and university; family, ministry, and academics. So this blog is my attempt to think about the gospel in all these spheres of life. Some posts will focus on the gospel as it pertains to my relationship with my wife or daughter. Other posts will focus on how the gospel should affect my (youth) ministry. Still other posts will focus on how the gospel applies to my academic experiences at college.

It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will edify you as I think through how the gospel applies to my various life circumstances. May the Holy Spirit apply the sermons I have preached to you just as he first applied them to me even before I preached them. May the Holy Spirit encourage, comfort, and convict you in my blog posts after he encourages, comforts, and convicts me before and as I write them.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Heb. 13:20-21)

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Written by Jordan Atkinson

June 26, 2013 at 7:24 PM

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