Church = Gospel City

The Church is called to be a city within a city. Matthew 5:14-15 says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Last night, while I was preaching in our evening service, I said, “The church is called to be a gospel city.” I like that and as I unpacked it, I would like to think it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. The church is called to be an ambassador of the gospel in the world we live in. The gospel is counter-cultural and very challenging.

The more I preach the gospel, the more I find it excruciatingly difficult to swallow because it rejects many of the things our society says is important. When I mention the word “Gospel” in this blog, I’m not meaning it just in an evangelistic sense, I mean it in a biblical sense of the whole counsel of God’s Word that points to Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 15:1-4 outlines what the essence of the gospel is, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…”

It is this gospel that we are called to proclaim and it is this gospel we are not to be ashamed of. Paul said in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.””

Too many of us have lost confidence in the gospel and rely on therapeutic ministry to provoke change in people’s lives. The Apostle Paul acknowledges that the gospel is a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, the gospel is Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Cor 1:20-25).

I want to spend my days proclaiming the Gospel and building a Gospel City for the glory of God and the salvation of humanity. What about you? Have you made Christianity something other than about the Gospel. The Gospel is the essence of and substance of Christianity. Let’s follow Paul’s example, “I decided to know nothing among you except Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2).

Lead the Change!

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One Response to “Church = Gospel City”

  1. Some valid observations there. Well said.

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