How to Grow in the Gospel?

During last Sunday’s preaching, one of the main applications of the preaching pastor is to “grow in the gospel.” That is, to saturate ourselves with the truths of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

I thought to myself, “How do I do this practically? How do I experientially grow in the gospel?” Here are a few things I have come up with.

1. Preach the Gospel to yourself

Preach the Gospel to yourself in the morning

Preaching the gospel to yourself first thing in the morning is necessary because the mind is “malleable” (capable of being shaped) in the morning. This means that whatever you do or feed your mind in the first minutes of the day will greatly determine and affect your mindset and mood throughout the day. An example of this can be that time when you received a piece of bad news in the morning and how that news somehow crept into all your activities and ruined your day.

Metals that are subjected to the fire become malleable for a few minutes, giving the carpenter a set amount of time to bend it according to his desired shape. If he delays, the metal will grow cold and he will lose his chance. Likewise, our minds while still malleable must be shaped strategically and urgently in the early minutes of the day.

There is no better molder to shape our malleable minds with than the gospel. Thus, it is good to begin our day with the mindset that every blessing we will ever receive is a blood-bought grace by Christ; and whatever may come our way, it is part of God’s gracious providential work in our lives to mold us in the image of the Son. Also, it is good to be reminded that everything we will ever need for today (promise, hope, security) will be supplied in Christ. For the sake of the renewal of our minds, we must preach the gospel to ourselves in the evening.

Preach the Gospel to yourself in the evening

Preaching the gospel to yourself in the evening is necessary because it rescues us from pride and hopelessness.

First, it rescues us from pride because the gospel is a reminder that the only reason why we were able to accomplish or do good work today is God’s grace. What do we have that we did not receive? None. There is no exemption. All is grace.

Second, it rescues us from hopelessness because the gospel is a reminder that regardless of our failures and lacks today, we are still loved by God in Christ. Beloved, your successes or your failures neither increase nor decrease God’s favor upon you. You are consistently and eternally loved in Christ. In the gospel, our identity before God is secured forever. Beloved, let us sleep with the assurance that God loves dearly in Christ regardless of our performance. Thus, for the sake of our hope, we must preach the gospel to ourselves in the evening.

2. Grow in the Word

Another way that we can grow in the gospel is to persevere in the Word. The good news about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is testified by the God-breathed word. Thus, we cannot separate growth in the gospel and growth in His word.

We must develop the spiritual discipline of reading God’s word every day and meditating. Luke 24 tells us that the whole scripture is about Jesus Christ.

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27 ESV)

“Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Luke 24:44)

In John’s Gospel, we find this accusation by Jesus to the Torah-reading Pharisees: “39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40)

If the Old Testament anticipates the coming of Jesus, the New Testament records, witnesses, and explains His cross-work and teachings. All Biblical texts, therefore, are like roads that ultimately lead to Christ. The whole Bible is about Jesus.

This mindset that the whole Bible is about Jesus informs us that every text (when properly interpreted in its context and then connected to the storyline of the Bible) will lead us to either our need for or celebration of, the Anointed King who is also the Crucified Savior of the world. Thus, we can be reminded of the gospel in the Word.

3. Pursue fellowship and conversation with gospel-minded people

Another God-given means for us to grow in the gospel is gospel friendships wherein we can engage in gospel-centered conversation. The Christian faith when it is personally studied and believed leads to joy; The Christian faith when it is studied, believed, and discussed in the context of community leads to multiplied joy.

A young man once told me that among many things, he finds that having Christ-focused discussions with his brothers and sisters is one of God’s great means for his sanctification. I can relate to him.

I wonder though how many of us forget to pursue these kinds of relationships because of our busy schedules. I find in myself and in my observation of others, that when we leave our schedules un-tended, they would almost always swallow up all our time and lead us to an isolated Christian walk. We must fight the fight for joy. We must carve up our schedules in such a way that we leave enough room to pursue gospel-centered fellowship. Whether you admit it or not, you need it.

Most of the time, we know what we believe. Yes, we preach the gospel to ourselves daily. But it is just good sometimes to hear from the mouths of others. Somehow it affirms our faith and deepens our roots in Christ. Oh, that we would not neglect this God-ordained means for our growth in the gospel!

At this point, I believe it is also good to remind you to keep the gospel central in your everyday conversation. I don’t mean that that’s the only thing you talk about (but why not?) but somehow find a way to steer any conversation to the beauty and glory of Christ in the gospel.

4. Be a part of a local church and faithfully attend

Faithful participation in our local church is another means to grow in the Gospel. Perhaps one biblical teaching that is often neglected nowadays is the teaching that every genuine believer in Christ is a part of His body by God’s wise design. No Christian is an island, but each one is a member of another. This biblical teaching leads to the importance of church membership and faithful week-by-week attendance.

Faithfully attending the local church gathering every Lord’s Day yields dual benefits – for yourself and others.

Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

In other words, by attending corporate worship you are stirred in yourself to love and good works. You need to be stirred up and encouraged by the preaching of the word and the prayers and love of your fellow saints. You need this as often as you can. You need it every day, not to mention, every week.

Our attendance at the local gathering not only yields our blessings but also blesses others. By being faithful, you stir others to be faithful. With your presence and your words, you encourage your fellow believers. You become a means to strengthen His body. Among many other things, to stir and to be stirred is a strong reason to not neglect meeting together.

What do we use to stir and encourage one another? The gospel. Thus, faithful participation in the local church where you are reminded of the gospel and remind others of the gospel is a great means to grow in your knowledge and love of the same.

5. Participate in the Administration of the Sacraments

The Sacraments are another means to grow us in the Gospel because they are the gospel made visible. Baptism portrays death and resurrection in Christ; while the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration and a proclamation of the breaking of His body and His shed blood on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

Because these Sacraments cannot be separated from the Church, we must be part of a “healthy” church to enjoy these means of grace. A healthy church is a gospel-believing and gospel-proclaiming community of believers that conform their faith and practice in the word of God and properly administer the Sacraments.

Follow Him in Water Baptism

We must follow the Lord in water baptism. Most churches require water baptism to be counted in the church membership roll. But an even greater reason to participate in water baptism is the command and example of the Lord. After participating in our baptism, most of us stop there.

One thing I have learned from an older brother in the ministry is the blessing of taking time to attend the baptism of new believers. He said that to witness the supernatural working of God in a person’s life in transferring him/her from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of his beloved Son is a great reminder that the gospel is indeed the power of God to save. In other words, to see the power of the gospel in the lives of others is a great means to be reminded of the gospel itself. Beloved, if you have never made the time to attend the water baptisms in your church, now is a good time.

If the water baptism is a picture of our death and resurrection in Christ then surely it is a great means to grow in the gospel.

Eat the Supper in a Worthy Manner

Not only water baptism, but we must also participate in our church’s Lord’s Supper as often as we can, given that we observe it in a holy manner (1 Cor. 11). This means that we must consider the Lord’s Table as a holy endeavor that has serious ramifications. Paul mentioned judgment that leads to sickness and death as a direct consequence of taking the Lord’s Supper in an unholy manner. Verse 29 says, “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.”

How do we then take the Lord’s supper? Verse 28 offers an instruction, “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” Personal inspection and confession must precede our participation in the Supper. And it should also be done with unity (vv.17-22).

If the Supper is a commemoration and a proclamation of the gospel, surely it is a great means to grow in the Lord.

6. Make a list of Gospel prompts

Last, but not least, is making gospel prompts. This is something that I have just started recently but it yields great benefits. For one, seeing one gospel prompt keeps me awake for more so that I have an extended amount of time to think about spiritual things.

A prompt is any “event or fact that cause or bring about an action or feeling”. Newscasters use teleprompters to remember their spiel. Bible note-takers use symbols to easily remember a biblical truth (ex. Hammer – judgment of God).

A Gospel prompt is any physical object, word, or place that you can associate with the gospel. An example could be a tree. Whenever I see a tree, I remember the cross of Christ on which my Savior bled and died for the forgiveness of my sins. Another gospel prompt that I use is the sky. Whenever I look up to the sky, I try to remember the imminent coming of Christ wherein He will descend from the heavens with a triumphant shout (1 Thess. 4:16). One word that perhaps we can use as a prompt is the word “blessing”. We hear this as often as we notice. Perhaps we could think at this point how we become partakers of the blessing – in Christ (Gal. 3:14). Perhaps a place that we can use as a gospel prompt is the cemetery. At least once a year in the Philippines, we come to visit our dead relatives in the cemetery. That could be a good time to remember the reality of sin and death – death physical and spiritual. And only those who believe in Christ are assured of life after death. Those who would reject them in their lives and continue in their sin will die physically and spiritually forever. Life is short, but a dash in our tombstone, says my friend. May we make our dash count in light of eternity through the crucified Savior who poured out His blood as a payment for our sins, and who will clothe us in His righteousness if we would just put our faith in Him.

There are numerous Gospel prompts that we can use to keep ourselves awake to the reality of our sin, the sacrifice of Christ, His resurrection, and imminent return – in other words, of the gospel. And it may take some time to get ourselves accustomed to this practice, but I’m sure it will be more than worth it. Surely, constant thinking of things, words, and places that find their trajectory in the gospel is a great means to grow in the gospel.


So how do we grow in the gospel? Well, we diligently use all of God’s ordained means of grace by faith, while we depend upon the help of the Holy Spirit, eagerly fighting for a supreme joy and love for Christ above all things.

May the Lord cause you to grow in the gospel and use you to cause others to grow in the Gospel – for the sake of His church and His glory among the nations!

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