Implications of Being Gospel-Centered

IMPLICATIONS OF BEING GOSPEL-CENTERED

Keeping the gospel central was Paul’s concern, as he wrote the book of Galatians. The gospel foundation of the Galatian churches was being undermined as others intermingled human effort with grace. Paul’s message to the church and false teachers is that a non-grace gospel is a non-gospel.  The good news of the gospel is that Christ faithfully lived the life that I have failed to live and died the death that I deserve to die and that sinners stand in God’s favor always and solely on the merits of the righteous life and substitutionary death of Christ. Human effort neither brings a sinner into a relationship with the Holy Triune God nor does it enhance or maintain one’s relationship with God.

As we continue to read through the book of Galatians, we see clearly some of the implications of getting the gospel wrong. Let me briefly suggest some of those implications.

  • GETTING THE GOSPEL WRONG AFFECTS HOW YOU SEE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

When something other than the gospel is elevated among Christians, unity in Christ is threatened. In Galatians 2:14-16 we see how Peter failed to live out the implications of the gospel of grace. Even though he knew that the gospel of Christ removed the barrier between Jew and Gentile and that the ceremonial practices of the Old Covenant were abolished in Christ, he broke fellowship with Gentile believers because of the influence of those who set forth law-keeping as a measure of one’s standing with God.

In the gospel we dance in celebration together over the victory accomplished in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not over our preference for theological systems or denominational labels or ethnocentricities or idiosyncratic church expectations. Continue reading “Implications of Being Gospel-Centered”

The Transcendent Joy of the Gospel

The beginning of the First Epistle of Peter assures us that though we live as exiles of the dispesion, we have been granted a new identity in Christ.  In Jesus Christ, we have been granted a new identity that defines us and helps us to live faithfully. A fruit of that identity is that we become a people of a living hope, not despair -our identity thrives in knowing the value and certainty of what we possess in Christ. But not only do we have a living hope as a fruit of our identity, we have a transcendent joy.

1 Peter 1:6-9 talks about that Transcendent Joy – one that is experienced in this world but that is not dependent on this world – it comes from God the Father, on the basis of the work of Christ, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life. Continue reading “The Transcendent Joy of the Gospel”