It's About the Gospel
“I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16)
The Centrality of the Gospel
We believe that the Gospel is the power of God both for the salvation of the lost and for the transformation of believers (Rom. 1:16).
We believe that all Scripture must be interpreted through the lens of the Gospel (Lk 24:27, 45-48).
Because of that, we believe that every sermon should point us to the Gospel as the ultimate solution to the problems we face in this broken world.
We believe that all our counsel of one another should ultimately point to the Gospel as our only hope for lasting change.
We believe that all sin should be confronted with the Gospel in order to show people that Jesus is better than whatever else they are tempted to put their hope in.
We believe that the Gospel is the only way to salvation and so we are committed to lovingly and boldly sharing it with those who have yet to put their trust in Jesus.
Definition of the Gospel
The Gospel is the good news that God sent his only Son Jesus to sacrificially give His life on the cross so that he might save a people for himself and adopt us into his family. In order to do this Jesus came and lived the life of love that you and I have failed to live and then he died the death that you and I deserve for our selfish rebellion against God.
Through His perfect life and sacrificial death Jesus has truly paid our debt to God and is able to offer us the forgiveness of all our sins and adoption into his family.
On the third day God demonstrated that he accepted Jesus’ sacrifice by raising him again from the dead. Now our great enemy death has been conquered and God is in the process of making his invisible kingdom visible through the church.
Benefits of the Gospel
Because of what Jesus did for us through his death and resurrection, He now offers us:
- The Forgiveness of Sins
- Eternal life
- Adoption into his eternal family so that now we can call God our Father
- Fellowship with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
- A peace that surpasses understanding
- His presence within us through his Holy Spirit
- Freedom from the power of sin
- Every Spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
- Ultimately because of what Jesus did for us on the cross all of God’s promises to his people found in the Bible have begun to be fulfilled and will one day completely be fulfilled at the 2nd coming of Jesus.
The Call of the Gospel
The call of the Gospel is that we would stop trying to justify ourselves – and instead put our trust in Jesus’ finished work for us on the cross.
The Gospel is offered by grace and received through faith. There is nothing that we can ever do to earn God’s favor; but by faith, we can receive it as a free gift which He offers us because of His amazing love.
The ultimate call of the Gospel is to despair of ourselves and look to Jesus and his finished work on the cross as our only hope.
Our Response to the Gospel
Our response to the Gospel is love.
Love for God because of the way that he has first loved us and given his only Son on the cross in our place. The Bible says those who are forgiven much respond by loving much.
Love for one another because God has made us a family by adopting us as his children.
And love for the lost because we remember how it is that we were lost but God loved us anyway and sent his only Son to save us.
Our Life in the Gospel
We believe that as long as we are on this earth, we will never outgrow our need for the Gospel. Ultimately, every sin we commit happens because we have lost sight of some aspect of the Gospel.
We sin when we let anything other than God take first place in our lives – even if it’s only for a moment. Sin is letting something other than Jesus sit at the center of our lives and control us. We sin because we decide that something in this world is more worthy of our trust than Jesus is.
So the only way to fight sin is to see that Jesus is better than whatever else we are trusting in. The entire book of Hebrews is trying to help the church battle sin by showing them that Jesus is better than anything else they are tempted to turn to.
Now what does that have to do with the Gospel? Nowhere do we see Jesus’ worth more clearly than in his death and resurrection.
- In His death on the cross, we see His love and realize that we can trust Him to keep all of His promises to us.
- In His resurrection from the dead, we see that he is powerful enough to keep all of His promises to us.
The Christian life of Repentance and Faith in the Gospel.
The life of the believer is meant to be an upward spiral of repentance and faith. This means that the more we come to know about God, the more we become aware of our own sinfulness.
As we become more aware of our sinfulness, we run to the cross where we find that God loves us and is able to forgive us of all our sins.
As we are forgiven, we respond by loving him and longing to keep his commandments.
As we love him and get closer to him, we become more aware of how far we still have to go.
Again, we must run to the cross and repent. Again, He is there to shower us with His love and forgive us once again.
This frees us to be a confessing people. We don’t have to hide our sin anymore. We don’t have to pretend or preform anymore. Instead, we can confess our sins and experience God’s mercy and receive His forgiveness and respond by loving Him more than ever before.
When we do this, we find that God uses our forgiven sin as the fuel that ignites the flames of our love for Him.