Last week I confessed my envy of a book written by J.D. Greear, Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary. I admitted that I wish I had written the book. Here, in J.D.’s words, is a synopsis of Gospel-centered Christianity that expresses exactly what I would want to communicate to everyone in my church, to everyone who reads this blog, to everyone who I encounter:
Living a life centered on the gospel is not about praying the Sinner’s Prayer to make sure you’re going to heaven and then learning a bunch of new principles to master the Christian life. Gospel-centeredness is about saturating your heart in the good news of Jesus – letting it so remake your mind so that you see everything about yourself and your life through its lens.
Growth in grace is not going beyond the gospel, but deeper into it.
Make the gospel the center of your life. Turn to it when you are in pain. Let it be the foundation of your identity. Ground your confidence in it. Run to it when your soul feels restless. Take solace there in times of confusion and comfort there in times of regret. Dwell on it until righteous passions for God spring up within you. Let it inspire you to God-centered, death-defying dreams for his glory.
My soul has found its resting place. No longer do I struggle, in anguish, over what I must do for God to be pleased with me. Christ has accomplished it all on my behalf. I can add nothing to it, and I can take nothing away. I have a lot of room to grow in my Christian life, but my position in Him is secure.
Having found (or better yet, been found by) Him, and overwhelmed at his grace, my heart is growing in love for him and others. Generosity is like a stream that flows ever stronger in my heart. I give away more money now than I ever have, not because I have to, but because I want to. I think about myself less now than I ever have – mainly because I have found a greater, more captivating kingdom to live for than my own. The splendor of his Kingdom has made me bored with mine.
So I invite you to dive deeper into the gospel. Study it deeply – [not just] like a seminarian studies doctrine, but like you study a sunset that leaves you speechless; or like a man who is passionately in love with his wife studies her, until he is so captivated by her that his enthrallment with her drives out any allurement toward other women.
The gospel is not merely the diving board off of which you jump into the pool of Christianity; the gospel is the pool itself. So keep going deeper into it. You will never find the bottom.