I’m in a blog series trying to make the case what a church ought to provide its people is: lots of gospel, lots of safety, and lots of time. Today I want to hone in on the necessity of the gospel being central in the life of a church.
A lot of people think the gospel is the truth lost people need to believe in order to be saved. This is true. But there's much more. The gospel is the truth Christians need to believe in order to be transformed.
In Galatians 2, Paul talks about his confrontation of Peter. He writes, “When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas…” (Gal. 2:14).
Peter was not acting in line with the truth of the gospel.
Let’s assume Peter, at this moment, was a genuine Christian. Peter doesn’t need the gospel in order to be saved. He’s already saved. But Peter does need the gospel to help him live in appropriate ways. He needs the gospel to help him think certain thoughts and not other thoughts; to believe certain beliefs and not others; etc. As a Christian, Peter needs the gospel in order to think, believe, and behave like a Christian. Or to put it differently, we need to learn to live out the "lines" of the gospel. We need to live out the implications of the gospel.
The gospel is NOT the doctrine we need to believe in order to be saved and then we move on other “deeper” doctrines. We never move beyond the gospel! We ought never to get passed the gospel! In the life of the church, the gospel needs to be the A to Z of Christianity because it is the A to Z of Christianity.