One of the best pages on our church’s website is the page that explains our love for the gospel. It includes 9 Gospel Resolutions that drive how we think about our ministry. Here they are. Which of these stand out to you the most?
1. We resolve to read the Bible as the Gospel.
Since the central theme of the Bible is-the sufferings and glory of Christ, we resolve to read the Bible as the story of salvation, not moralistic lessons. We resolve to see how the law, the ceremonies, and the history all point us to their fulfillment in the coming of the Deliverer promised in Genesis 3:15 and throughout the Bible.
2. We resolve to preach and teach the Gospel to believers, not just unbelievers.
We become Christians and we grow as Christians by grace through faith in Jesus. Therefore, we resolve to preach the Gospel as the means to grow, not ‘biblical principles for living’ (which means ‘the law’) to believers.
3. We resolve to preach and teach the Gospel in every sermon and every lesson.
The most desperate need of both unbelievers and believers is to hear and appropriate the Gospel to their lives each and every day. Therefore, we resolve to point people to the Gospel in every sermon, lesson, Missional Community meeting, etc.
4. We resolve to receive the Gospel as the “milk” and the “meat” of God’s Word.
Since the whole Bible is the Gospel and Christ crucified is the wisdom and power of God (1 Cor. 1:22-24), then we never move beyond the Gospel to something deeper. There is nothing deeper than the Gospel. Therefore, we resolve to view the Gospel as both the A-B-C’s and the A-to-Z of Christianity.
5. We resolve to view the world and the church through the lens of the Gospel.
Since the Bible is our ultimate authority and the Bible is the Gospel, we resolve to know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). This means our understanding of the world and church and how to address its needs and problems will be based on the Gospel.
6. We resolve to be “new” people, not “nice” people.
The Gospel is out not to reform people but to transform people. Churches that preach for behavioral reformation tend to elevate middle-class values to the level of biblical norm and focus on external change. We resolve to seek transformation at the motivational and character level, not merely behavioral modification.
7. We resolve to believe that the Gospel can change anyone.
Since we are saved by grace, there are no hopeless cases and no hopeless situations. Since we are saved by grace, we resolve to have great respect and great hope for every unbeliever.
8. We resolve to motivate with grace, not guilt.
The Gospel is the power of God to motivate us. Those gripped by the Gospel are compelled by the love of Christ (2 Cor 5:14) to serve, give, and witness. Therefore, we resolve not to motivate people through guilt trips driving them to obey out of fear. But rather we resolve to motivate people through the Gospel that sets us free to love unconditionally out of gratitude for God’s grace.
9. We resolve to solve all problems (personal, church, social) with the Gospel.
The root of all of our problems is that something other than Christ is serving as our functional savior. Therefore we neither tell people: “You shouldn’t act like that–stop it!” nor “You need to accept yourself as you are!” Rather, we call them to repent of their idols and trust in Christ who through his life and death is the only one who can give them all they are longing for.