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On Being Christ-Centered and Gospel-Saturated

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Since I’ve changed a few things about my blog (one being the subtitle), I thought I would write a little about what it means to be Christ-Centered and Gospel-Saturated.

Committed to being Christ-Centered.  When I think about being Christ-Centered Paul’s words in Colossians 1:15-18 come to mind.  In Colossians 1:15-18, Paul discusses the nature of Christ, his work, and his preeminence in all things.  To be Christ-centered means to recognize the supreme worth and glory of Jesus in everything.  He is the end goal of what the Old Testament promised.  For us to be a Christ-centered people means that we must read the Scriptures from a Christ-centered perspective.  Every promise, story, event, person, or institution found in the Old Testament must find its meaning, significance, and transformation in light of Jesus Christ. In Christ all the promises of God are yes and amen (2 Cor 1:20).  Being Christ-centered also means that our destiny, our purpose in life as believers is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Rom 8:20; Col 3:10).  Jesus is the man par excellence (Heb 2:5-18). The very purpose for which we have been created is to bring God glory.  The way we come to understand that purpose is by looking at the true man; the Son of Man who teaches us what it means to be true worshippers of the Father.  The appearance of Christ in the world instructs us in godliness, which is nothing less than thinking, living, and reflecting the splendor, majesty, and holiness of our Father (Titus 2:11-12).  To be Christ-centered also means recognizing that cultural and cosmic renewal will take place in Christ.  The miracles we read about in the Gospels testify to this truth: the creation obeys his commands, the demons fear his authority, sicknesses are cured by his mere touch, and the dead are raised to life.  Jesus has already begun this cosmic and cultural renewal with his appearing, but we wait for the final consummation of the age when there will be a New Heavens and New Earth (Rev 21-22).  As Christ’s disciples we are to carry out this mandate of renewal.  We are to bring every thought, action, work, leisure, art, activity, and pursuit under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 10:5).  Adam failed to properly exercise dominion over God’s good creation.  Christ is now bringing all things in conformity to himself as the true Adam.

Committed to being Gospel-Saturated.  Being Gospel-saturated is the practical outworking of seeing the supremacy of Christ in all things.  The gospel is simply the good news that in Christ sinners are reconciled to God. Therefore, to be a gospel-saturated people means to have this good news of peace with God change every bit of our lives, relationships, and surroundings.  The gospel becomes the basis for every action in our lives.  In other words, the gospel is not just the message that gets us saved, but it is the message that continually informs us of what it means to live and grow as kingdom people (sanctification), and it is that message which ensures our future glorification.  The New Testament is replete with this teaching. The very basis for our sanctification is internalizing the gospel and living it out.  For example, the reason we forgive others is because God in Christ has forgiven us (Col 3:13).  The gospel truth is that God has forgiven us and the outworking of that gospel truth is to forgive each other.  Another example is 1 John 4:11.  If God has loved us by sending his Son to die for our sins, then we ought to love one another.  A final example is how marriage has been transformed by the gospel.  Marriage was an institution formed by God at creation.  Yet marriage has been distorted and perverted because of sin.  However, the gospel shows us that marriage was always a picture of a greater marriage–a wedding together of Christ and his people.  Our union with Christ (the gospel) becomes the basis for instruction of how husbands are to love their wives and how wives are to submit to their husbands (Eph 5:22-33).  There are many other examples in the New Testament and one need only to read it to see the countless ways that the gospel is the basis and means for our regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.  And so, if the gospel has an ongoing relevance in our lives we must not only know this gospel, but live in light of the gospel, share the gospel, talk about the gospel, preach the gospel, pray the gospel, memorize the gospel, teach the gospel, and set our hope in the future glory of the gospel, which is nothing less than eternal communion with the living God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Categories: Christian Living, Gospel
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