“To them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you” (Galatians 2:5)
Make pure gospel doctrine your purpose. The gospel is not the ABCs of the Christian faith; it is the A to Z. Christ is the Alpha and Omega.
Doctrine is not just for professors and pastors; it is the truth of the gospel for which every Christian must be concerned. Paul says that the whole purpose of this is so that the truth of the gospel might remain with us, and we are to have that purpose for ourselves, our church, our neighborhoods, and the world. Our purpose is not to have a happy life; our purpose is the furthering of the gospel. Our purpose is not “Now that I’ve become a Christian, I can slip into cruise control”; our purpose is to go deeper with God in doctrine.
Be set free from the slavery of a wasted life. If my life is about getting a paycheck, and cleaning the car, and tidying up the yard, and going to family weddings, then just put me out of my misery. You’ve got to have a bigger vision for your life than that. To live, you have to have something worth dying for. The great question is not “What do I want people to say about me at my funeral?” The great question is “What is there to do that I’m willing to give my life’s blood for so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved?”
Get up early. Stay up late. Pray like heaven and hell depend on it. Christianity is not just about singing nice hymns and preaching pretty sermons. I don’t do ministry so that I can sit in leather armchairs in a boardroom. I’m in ministry to maintain the truth of the gospel. Don’t make a career of ministry. You seminarians, you full-time Christian workers, don’t waste your life with career moves. Don’t give your life to ministry; give your life to Christ and the truth of his gospel.