One of our Sunday Classes at Calvary Community Church this semester is entitled “World Religions.” This week I am teaching, and the task is to define Christianity. That is an interesting challenge, given the current state of evangelicalism in our country and world today.
Ironically, this topic came up just this past Sunday when we had some couples over for lunch after church. Our conversation drifted toward the church, and they asked a number of questions about what we believe, as opposed to what they’d heard we believed. How would you answer that question, “What do you believe?” Or, “What do you believe about X?” Or, “What is Christianity?” What would be some of the first things you would say?
Our goal at Calvary is to get the Gospel at the core of all we do. We long to be a Gospel-centered people. It is why we are moving so methodically through the book of Galatians on Sunday mornings. It was why we relaunched our small group ministry this past fall as Connection Groups, and had all our groups begin with a book study on Living The Cross-Centered Life. The Gospel defines Christianity and what we believe. And you can’t talk about the Gospel without talking about Jesus Christ.
Graeme Goldsworthy says it this way ::
“The gospel is saying that, what man cannot do in order to be accepted with God, this God Himself has done for us in the person of Jesus Christ.
To be acceptable to God we must present to God a life of perfect and unceasing obedience to his will. The gospel declares that Jesus has done this for us.
For God to be righteous he must deal with our sin. This also he has done for us in Jesus.
The holy law of God was lived out perfectly for us by Christ, and its penalty was paid perfectly for us by Christ. The living and dying of Christ for us, and this alone is the basis of our acceptance with God.”
– Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom, p86 (HT: Of First Importance)
If you are in the St. Cloud area, come join us at 9:15 a.m. this coming Sunday morning at Calvary Community Church as we spend a little more time talking about Jesus and the Gospel in order to answer the questions.