GOSPEL CENTRALITY

The gospel — the good news that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead (1 Cor 15:1-5) — is absolutely central to everything we do at Gospel Life Church. Why?


Sadly, many Christians think the gospel is like a ticket to a NASCAR race. It’s necessary to get us into the venue, but once we’re in, the ticket goes in the trash. It's no longer necessary.


However, according to Scripture, the gospel is not like a NASCAR ticket, it's more like a NASCAR engine. It not only gets your car in the race, it keeps your car in the race! All the way to the end. 


Dr. Yancey Arrington says this about Paul's message to Christians: “Paul frames his ministry and preaching as being centered on Jesus. And not just any perspective on Jesus — he hones in on the cross. In other words, Paul preached on various ‘real-life’ topics, but he did so in such a way that Jesus wasn’t seen as just another life coach, self-help expert, Mr. Fix It, or success guru. In Paul’s preaching, Jesus is the crucified and risen Lord. There is no other option, because there is no other Jesus.”


Paul puts it succinctly to the Christians in Colossae: "Do not move from the hope held out in the gospel" (Col 1:23).


Paul tells the Christians in Corinth: "I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cor 2:2).


Plus! The gospel is simply the message of the Bible. There just is no other message to give Christians or non-Christians. Jesus explicitly told His disciples that the entire Bible, every page, is about Him and His work: "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself" (Lk 24:27).


Three real-life examples of why Christians need the gospel:


1. The Gospel Provides Balance


The gospel gives me balance between two extremes. On one hand, while my sins make me insecure and crush my spirit, the gospel reminds me that I’m loved and forgiven (Rom 5:8). On the other hand, while my "successes" and good works inflate my ego, the gospel reminds me that I’m loved and accepted by grace, not my works (Eph 2:8-9). The gospel takes my head out of the clouds and my heart out of the gutter.


2. The Gospel Provides Confidence


“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).  Notice, Paul is not presenting the gospel itself but something that is true “now” because of the gospel. He's explaining one of the gospel's benefits, and it is stunning! Because Jesus took away all my sins on the cross, I am forever free from the guilt and shame that sin brings. Therefore, I can always confidently approach God in worship and prayer, knowing that even though I still sin, He forever loves and accepts me in Christ.


"In Christ and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence" (Eph 3:12).


3. The Gospel Provides Rest


So many Christians and preachers are saying I'm not doing enough. I'm not reading my Bible enough, I'm not serving enough, I'm not praying enough, I'm not giving enough, etc. But when is "enough" enough? And whose standard of "enough" am I supposed to use? It's confusing and stressful.


But the gospel floods my anxious soul with rest because I'm reminded that Jesus' message to me is not "Do better! Try harder!" but "It is finished!"


"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28).