Wednesday 01st July, 2015 
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Going Deeper

identifying marks: Gospel Church

Colin Dye

We are a gospel church. I know that sounds old-fashioned these days. But God forbid that we should forget the basic foundations just because we want to be trendy. We do believe in living out the gospel in a relevant and contemporary fashion. But sometimes it's just not cool to be a Christian, especially when society bases its values and beliefs on the sinking sands of human opinion.

The gospel is still the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes it. Notice the gospel is about salvation. It means that people can be rescued from a Christ-less eternity. We are called to be a beacon of light beaming out the good news. Jesus saves. The primary purpose of the gospel is to call people to surrender their lives to Christ and to live for the glory of God. This is totally opposed to the spirit of darkness which prevails in the world.

We are called to proclaim God's message both with our words and our lives.

The gospel is powerless to save until it is released by proclamation. From the days of the Early Church until now, God's method remains unchanged. The Word is God's means of revealing Christ to a lost world. "Preach the gospel wherever you go", Saint Francis is reported to have said. And then he added these words: "Use words if necessary." He was trying to point out that we must live the gospel as well as preach it. Nothing short of a powerful and credible proclamation of the life-changing gospel will change people's hearts and bring our nation back to God. We are also called to engage with this world through the gospel.

Gospel truth is powerful. It confronts every error and godless system of thought that has penetrated our world. Governments, media moguls, educationalists and the movers and shakers of our age all base their ideas and aspirations on human reasoning. We should expose through the truth of the gospel the delusion of any belief system not founded on Christ. This means we must understand the full revelation of God and how it speaks into every area of life.

Finally, we are called to demonstrate God's alternative gospel society, which is the church.

It is too late to stand up with our protest banners and expect a Christ-rejecting world to listen to us. They need to see credible examples of life as it is meant to be lived. This means growing and showing a truly Christian society. The word "society" means people living together in relationship, following shared values and objectives. That describes us. We, the church, are a society, the society of God's kingdom. When men and women of the world's society see how we live together, they will know that we have something better. The way we do marriage and family, the way we live in multiracial harmony, and, indeed, in every other way we demonstrate true community, if it is God's way, it will attract those from outside it.

All this comes from the gospel of God. It's all about Jesus, and it is what we are all about.