Over a series of posts, I’m writing about the sentences that have changed my life (part 1). Here’s the second: The gospel is not just the ABC’s but the A-to-Z of the Christian life.
I’m not exactly sure who first coined this sentence — my guess would be either Dick Kauffman or Tim Keller — but I first came across it in a study called “Gospel and Heart,” that Kauffman and Keller created together. Regardless, this sentence has been a terrific summary of what it means to be “gospel-centered.”
This idea was and is so influential to me because I often thought of the gospel as something you moved on from as you matured as a Christian (the ABC’s). It was important–critically important–for salvation. But once you had salvation, I assumed you really just needed a better understanding of biblical principles.
I actually remember talking with a pastor friend who was telling me how he wanted to have the gospel be in every sermon and I thought, “How boring.” How wrong I was.
The flaw in my thinking, however, was not realizing that all biblical principles are connected to the gospel. Additionally, a robust understanding of the gospel provides the power to obey biblical principles. The gospel really is the A-to-Z of the Christian life.
I’ve now come to see the gospel as a precious jewel that can be turned and examined from countless angles, all with a fresh perspective on the majesty of God.
I’ve come to believe that the gospel can be in every sermon I preach in a way that is fresh and interesting.
Most importantly, I’ve seen the gospel continue to change and grow me in deeper ways the longer I follow Jesus.
Resources to Explore:
- A Gospel Primer for Christians / excellent, short, creative book (with an awful cover)
- The Gospel for Real Life / Jerry Bridges was way ahead of his time in understanding how to “preach the gospel to yourself.” This is an excellent, practical book.
How have you seen the gospel as the A-to-Z of the Christian life?