Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gospel Power

Tim Challies wrote a wonderful article about what it means to live a Gospel-Centered life. It was not a huge article but a helpful one. Please take the time to click here and read the entire article and check out the recommended resources at the bottom. I have read a few of the books Tim recommends and I would also recommend them myself. On top of the list is C.J. Mahaney's book Living the Cross-Centered Life which is practical for any Christian. Also a book not on Tim's list would be Milton Vincent's book A Gospel Primer for Christians. Below is a snippet from Tim's article:

The first thing we’ll need to do is define gospel. In our church we’ve got a handy little short-hand way of doing this, one that all the kids understand. I’m pretty sure you could go to just about any child in the church, ask “what is the gospel?” and hear this response: “Christ died for our sins and was raised.” When we talk about this during services, we accompany it with a little action. We begin with a closed fist held out in front of us and with each of the first five words we open one finger. “Christ…died…for…our…sins.” And then, with the open hand, we raise it up and say “and was raised.” And that’s the gospel. Of course the gospel can be as simple as those eight words or as complex as many volumes of theological text. But the essential gospel is right there—that Jesus Christ was put to death as an atoning sacrifice for our sins and was then raised back to life.

Living a gospel-centered life is really simply living in such a way that this gospel is central. Thus when any kind of a situation arises we can say, “How does the gospel apply to this situation?” When I am dealing with a particular sin or temptation I can ask, “How can I apply the gospel to this sin?” When I am confused about parenting, how I am to raise my children, I can ask, “What does the gospel tell me about my task in parenting?” The primary reality of the Christian life is this one: Christ died for our sins and was raised. Thus everything else flows out of that gospel and every question is answered in reference to it.

What a comfort to know the Gospel does not just save us from God's wrath and cleanses us from all sin but the Gospel is also sustaining for every child of God. The Gospel takes us through every situation this life has to offer and then ushers home in to the presence of the God at the center of the Gospel. He saves and sustains by his grace through the Gospel!

Grace upon grace,

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