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Living From The Gospel



Living from the gospel - there is quite a difference between the idea of “living from the gospel” and “living for the gospel.”  Perhaps we have heard it said that we should “live for Christ,” I contend that Paul, starting in Romans 12:1 (on the foundation of Romans 1-11) is attempting to open our eyes to God’s desire to get us to live from the gospel (live from Christ).


The difference between these two phrases (living for & living from) speaks to our motivations, power and even our expectations. If our starting point is that we have already received the limitless grace and eternal spiritual blessing of Christ then our life cannot somehow achieve those for us. If our worth, dignity and identity are already rock solid in Christ then our lives cannot not be the source of those things.


However, on the contrary, there is a potential of confusion if we understand that we are to live for Christ or for the gospel.  There is great harm in the misunderstanding that our worth, dignity, identity, acceptance, salvation (any form), spiritual family, forgiveness, justification, or presence of the Holy Spirit are things are achieved by the life we should life (living for those things). God wants us to be convinced of the reality that we already have the above truths. Therefore, we should live today with those established truths (Romans 8:38-39).

Because of the gospel, how should we live?


Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)


Every Christian has a continual debt that will not be discharged; it is a the debt of love to our fellowman. God’s mercy and grace saved us, saves us and will save us as well as His grace and mercy can and should motivate and enable us to love others. Romans 5:8 informs us that love is to be demonstrated in action and that it is always a substitutionary sacrifice. God loved us while we were sinners and His enemies, He demonstrated His love in that He substituted Christ for us when He became the sacrificial Lamb.


God’s love can flow through us to others if we continually depend on Him; the life we live is to be a life of faith (Galatians 2:20). However, there are times that we find excuses to not live a life of faith and love. Those excuses are “loop-holes” to the life of faith and love God desires for us. Below are 3 common “loop-holes” to the love God’s wants us to demonstrate to others. Under each “loop-hole” there are some verses about God’s love that has no “loop-holes.” He is forever faithful in His love.


Loop-hole #1 - circumstances

There is a possibility for us to first evaluate the circumstances prior to demonstrating love towards others. Comfort and ease can at times become primary or more desired than the tangible demonstration of love. When demonstrating love may be seen as an impediment to our standard of living or just something we want to do, this is the loop-hole of circumstances.

God’s love informs us; He shows us what genuine, real love is. What does God’s love tell us about this loop-hole?

  • God's love led Christ to give Himself up, sacrifice Himself. (Ephesians 5:25)

  • God's love led Christ to lay down His life. (1 John 3:16-18; John 10:17)


Loop-hole #2 - behaviors or actions of others

There is a possibility for us to first evaluate the behaviors or actions of others prior to us extending love to them. We either want others to first show that love to us or that our continual love toward others depends on their reciprocated love.

God’s love informs us; He shows us what genuine, real love is. What does God’s love tell us about this loop-hole?

  • God's love is not dependent on our actions; He initiates His love. (1 John 4:19)

  • God's love is not dependent on our actions; He maintains His love. (1 Corinthians 13:7)


Loop-hole #3 - self interest

There is a possibility that we look to our own self interest prior to demonstrating love toward others. We can consider the ramifications of our love and how it effects our schedules, tasks, finances etc., and if we see that living sacrificially will cost us too much we can become hesitant even disobedient to loving others. In our love, we become primary in our decision to extend love or not.

God’s love informs us; He shows us what genuine, real love is. What does God’s love tell us about this loop-hole?

  • God's love is not self-seeking. (1 Corinthians 13:5)

  • God's love was not displayed out of self ambition. (Philippians 2:3-4)


There may be many reasons for us to evaluate our lives in light of the God and His good news. One being that His character re-frames what love is, and His Spirit therefore can enable us to love. When considering the how we should live because of the gospel, we must ask “How do I love my neighbor?” What is love for all people, not just my people? Hold lightly to your freedoms in this world…life is short; eternity is long. The most important question for any of us—is not, what are my rights? But am I loving my neighbor?










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