Monday, April 27, 2015

How Do Christians Grow in a Local Church-Part 3: Understanding the Gospel

Many Christians assume the gospel is just the accounts of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. While that is partially true, that is not the case. The gospel is good news. What is the good news? That God has sent His Son in the likeness of sinful man to fulfill the law , die on our behalf, and rise from the dead. The gospel tells us God's rescue plan for redeeming sinful mankind who have rebelled against Him. This should be news that causes all Christians to celebrate everyday even in corporate worship.

A proper understanding of the gospel will help Christians grow not just in their daily walk with Jesus, but in their local church. In 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, Mark Dever wrote:

A church that promotes a biblical understanding especially of the Gospel is a church that will help us grow as Christians.

As we realize more and more the depth of our need, we are trained to rely on Christ...When we begin to have a more biblical understanding of our state as humans, though, we're grievously saddened by tragedies that may happen in Kosovo or at Columbine High School or Wedgewood Baptist, we can't say that we're finally shocked by the way that a non-Christian would be. We understand something of our tremendous capacities as image-bearers of God and how terribly wrong those capacities can go when we don't use them in submission to God. As we begin to understand more of our own brokenness, of our sinful rebellion, we-strange as it may seem-begin to understand more of His love...When...we begin to understand the reality of our sinful rebellion against God, then we begin to understand more of God's love for us in Christ.

A church that is clear on the Gospel will help you grow as a Christian. It will help you grow in confidence as you know the love of God. Indeed you cannot help but grow in confidence as you understand more and more what God has done for you in Christ.

Recommended Reading:

The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler

The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ by Ray Ortlund

What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert

Gospel Formed by J.A. Medders

Gospel Wakefulness by Jared C Wilson

Gospel Deeps by Jared C Wilson

Gospel: Recovering the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear

The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges

The Gospel Transformation Bible

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