We just completed a short series at The Well called The Gospel-Centered Life. It was a three part series that started with simply explaining the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. We then looked at the gospel-centered life is not a me-centered life, and the gospel-centered life is missional.
1. The gospel-centered life is not me-centered.
Idolatry is our main sin problem and self-worship is our main idolatry problem. Many of the problems that we have come from this problem, from being me-centered. Depression, anxiety, bitterness, fights, jealousy, etc. Yes, I know some of these can be chemically induced, but majority of the time, I would say they are caused by self-worship, or trusting oneself over God.
Depression – I’m trusting in the surrounding cloud over trusting the light outside the cloud.
Anxiety – I’m trusting in the hustle and bustle and problems and activities and what’s next and what if and…not trusting in the God who rested on the 7th day because He has it all under control and all of it is good.
Bitterness – I’m trusting that my view of this person and their actions is all that matters and it doesn’t matter if I’m wrong, even if I’m only 10% wrong and it doesn’t matter if God says forgive because He can’t possibly know what they did to me…
Fights, jealousy, etc…you get the picture.
A couple years ago I got E. coli from Taco Bell during a late night road trip with my wife. We had to spend $100 to pay for a hotel room so I could throw up in it all night. What joy. But, you know what? This is what happens with sin. It may taste good going down, but its effects are disastrous. But, what if instead of resting and throwing up, I go back to that same Taco Bell and order some more quesadillas…”that will make me feel better. If only I had more quesadillas!”
That’s exactly what we do with our lives and with our sin.
You’re constantly depressed? Just keep thinking about how depressed you are and how bad life is…
You’re feeling guilty? Just keep thinking of ways to get alone with your boyfriend or girlfriend and how to not get caught looking at porn…that’ll fix it…
You feel hopeless? Just keep thinking of all the things that haven’t gone your way…
You feel anxious? Just keep thinking about all you have to do and all the time you DON’T have…
We’re like dogs returning to our own vomit!…and we wonder why we’re left with a bad taste in our mouths.
A me-centered life leads to frustration and despair. A God-centered life leads to joy and human flourishing.
So, stop looking at your belly button and moping around…and LOOK UP! Get your eyes off yourself and get your eyes on Christ!
Colossians 3:1-3 – “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
2. The gospel-centered life is missional.
What I mean by mission is proclaiming and making known the gospel, the good news of Jesus. Mission is a natural overflowing of a gospel-saturated life. So, we should address our lack of mission not by addressing mission (saying ‘just do it’), but by addressing our unbelief in the gospel.
If you are full of the gospel…if you truly grasp its depth and importance…if you are dwelling on its goodness every day, you can’t help but share it.
If you came up with the cure for cancer, you would share it with the world! You’ve been given the cure for something far worse than cancer…the gospel. Do you share it?
We should both live out the gospel and invite people in to the gospel.
Here are some specific ways you can live out the gospel: (1 Peter 2:12; Matthew 5:16)
- Encourage those around you
- Withhold gossip, sarcasm, and slander
- Gently correct what is not good
- Stand up for what is good
- Tell people about Jesus (explain the gospel, share your own story, talk about how the gospel applies to situations they are facing, etc.)
- Help others in practical ways, even when it’s not fun or costs you money
- Listen well, especially to the concerns and questions people have
- Choose to do the right thing, even when there is pressure to do otherwise
Here are some specific ways you can invite people in to the gospel: (Romans 10:13-15)
- Ask questions that lead to meaningful conversation
- Invite people to come with you to lunch, a party, church, a church event – really just whatever you are doing
- Introduce people to your friends (don’t be protective or jealous)
- Be honest about your struggles; it helps people open up about theirs
- Initiate conversation with people who are different from you
- Don’t hide your faith
What has been said above are some of the highlights from the last two weeks of messages from The Well. To get the full feel for this content, please listen to the sermons on the sermon page or on our podcast.
May God bless you as you set your eyes on Christ, living out and inviting people into the gospel that you and I hold so dear!