We talk a lot about the Gospel here at Community ... perhaps it's a word that is overused to some degree that no longer has much impact on our hearts and minds. I sure hope that's not the case! The word "Gospel" is packed with all the hope, beauty, joy, peace, life, assurance, forgiveness, etc. that anyone could possibly desire. In fact, it's richer and deeper than our imaginations can possibly conceive. The very thought of the Gospel should cause us to both fall on our faces in humble, repentant silence and also to jump for joy as we loudly shout praise to God who has forgiven us our sins and granted us status as His sons and daughters!
So maybe we do realize the importance of the Gospel and understand how central it is to our faith as followers of Jesus. But, if you're like me, maybe you struggle with knowing how it should practically effect how I live ... my thoughts, actions, words, relationships, work, motives, hobbies, involvement at church, family, future, etc. Over the next 4 weeks we will consider these things and seek to unpack what exactly do we mean when we refer to the "gospel" and how that looks in the lives of a family of believers - specifically the family known as Community Presbyterian Church.
The series will be called "Community Church in 4-D." This first Sunday (26 April) we will be in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 and define what we mean when we use the term "gospel." Then the following three Sundays (3,10,17 May) we will see how the Gospel frees and empowers us to Delight in, Depend on, and Declare Christ.
I know some of you are thinking, "I've already heard all this; these will be good Sundays to miss." If that thought has actually crossed your mind I would contend that God's holy and infallible Word says you, as much or more than anyone in the world, desperately needs to hear the Gospel again. We too easily forget. Maybe we need to heed what some men of faith have to say about the importance of the Gospel:
Jerry Bridges: "The gospel is not only the most important message in all of history; it is the only essential message in all of history."
D.A.Carson: "I fear that the cross, without ever being disowned, is constantly in danger of being dismissed from the central place it must enjoy, by relatively peripheral insights that take on far too much weight. Whenever the periphery is in danger of displacing the center, we are not far removed from idolatry."
John Stott: "All around us we see Christians and churches relaxing their grasp on the gospel, fumbling it, and in danger of letting it drop from their hands altogether."
Please make these next 4 Sundays of worship a priority for you and your family. It'll also be a fantastic opportunity to bring an unchurched friend or neighbor with you so that they, too, might hear the Gospel and put their faith and trust in Christ alone.