10 Feb What Does It Mean To Be A ‘Gospel-centered’ Church? (1/4)
We talk a lot about being gospel-centered as a church, and we encourage gospel-centered living among our people. From time to time we get asked by the curious, “What exactly does that mean? Aren’t all Christian churches gospel-centered?” Here is a brief explanation.
Before we jump into gospel-centeredness we need to be clear about the gospel itself. In the simplest of terms the gospel is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus that accomplishes redemption, renewal and restoration for all who believe and all of creation. In his life Jesus fulfilled the law and accomplished all righteousness on behalf of sinners who have broken God’s law at every point. In his death Jesus atones for our sins, satisfying the wrath of God and obtaining forgiveness for all who believe. God also accepts Jesus’ sinless and righteous life as a substitute for ours. By faith, God accepts both Jesus’ life and death in place of ours. In his resurrection Jesus’ victory over sin and death is the guarantee of our victory over the same in and through him. Jesus’ saving work not only redeems sinners, uniting them to God, but also assures the future restoration of all creation. This is the gospel, the “good news,” that God redeems a fallen world by his grace.
GOSPEL-CENTERED: THE BIG PICTURE
Therefore, to be gospel-centered means that that the gospel – and Jesus himself – is our greatest hope and boast, our deepest longing and joy, and our most passionate song and message. It means that the gospel is what defines us as Christians, unites us as brothers and sisters, changes us as sinner/saints and sends us as God’s missionaries. When we are gospel-centered the good news is exalted above every other good message and good feeling. When we set our minds on Jesus as our supreme treasure, our lives surge with freedom and joy.