Saturday, December 17, 2011

Truths for Gospel-Centered Living

The other day, Pastor Mark Driscoll posted some thoughts on his blog about gospel-centered living. I would encourage you to read the ten points he posted. To simply tease you to actually read them, let me give you points 3-5: 
3. The Gospel Must Be Preached 
The Word of God is powerful. And our God is a speaking God. When he made the world, he spoke it into existence. When he created our first parents, Adam and Eve, he spoke to them. And after they sinned, he spoke to them again, and he sent a succession of prophets to speak to us. He sent leaders in the New Testament to speak to us. And now God ultimately speaks to us through the Scriptures by the leading of the Holy Spirit. If you read the book that God wrote, God will speak to you. That's the primary way that God speaks today. The Scriptures are powerful to change lives when preached. But, the power is not in the preacher; the power is in the truth. The power is not in the preacher; the power is in the truth of the Word of God. It's when the preacher faithfully preaches the Word that lives are changed because faith comes by hearing the Word of God. 
4. The Gospel Must Be Received 
As important as it is for the gospel to be preached, it must also be received. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, "Which you received, in which you stand," like a soldier holding his ground, "and by which you are being saved." Salvation is a constant process. It starts with justification, where you are declared righteous in the sight of God because of the person and work of Jesus and faith in him. It continues with sanctification, where you learn and you grow by the power of the Holy Spirit. And it ends in glorification, where one day you die and are raised one day to be with Jesus, to be like him, to live for him, perfectly and forever. Paul says your salvation comes in receiving the truth about Jesus and then standing in it and continuing in it, as your salvation grows and you mature by God's grace. 
5. The Gospel Is The Most Important Thing 
In 1 Corinthians 15:3, Paul calls the gospel "of first importance." That is a massive statement. Essentially, Paul is saying that of all the information on the earth, that has ever been on the earth, is on the earth, or will ever be on the earth, there's one bit of information that supersedes and rises above all others: the person and work of Jesus. And while it's important to study at university, work hard at our jobs and trades, and learn a lot in this life, nothing is more important than to know Jesus and the gospel. Spend time in prayer and study of God's word, seek first the kingdom of God, and everything will be added to that.
Those are just three of his points. Check out the rest and be encouraged.

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