WHAT IS THE GOSPEL AND WHY IS IT CENTRAL TO THE CHRISTIAN LIFE?
Examining the Central role of Jesus and His Gospel in the Christian life.
What you believe really matters.
All of us are theologians. And we are continually working out our theology – it is being demonstrated in how we live (James 2:14-26). Our beliefs about God, the Gospel and ourselves will be seen in what we do.
The Gospel is a message of first importance.
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15.1-4, “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.”
The starting point: the Gospel message.
Short-hand Definition - Through the person and work of Jesus Christ, God fully accomplishes salvation for us, rescuing us from judgment for sin into fellowship with Him, and then restores the creation in which we can enjoy our new life together with Him forever (Tim Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church) So, A Gospel-centered church doesn’t first ask the question, “What works best?” Instead, it asks, “How do we best display who God is and what He has done in and through Jesus Christ appropriately within the culture we are sent to?”
Our goal is not to “convert” people to our church. Our goal is to see them converted to Jesus through the Gospel so that they can BE THE CHURCH on mission that truly declares and demonstrates the Gospel in all of life. Therefore, our starting point in thinking through what our church should be like must be informed by the Gospel. Our ultimate desire is to build a church that makes disciples who follow Jesus in community so that we can make new disciples and continue to plant other churches.
HOW DO WE LIVE OUT THE GOSPEL AS A DISCIPLE OF JESUS AT RCPO?
By practicing the gospel rhythms of life!
We believe a genuine disciple of Christ will desire to be in the Word of God on a regular basis, will be committed to living their faith out in a local church family, and will be committed to participating in the Redemptive Mission of God in their natural spheres of influence outside of the church family.
A true disciple is a Learner, Family member and Missionary who is pursuing Jesus rationally, relationally, and missionally.
*RATIONAL:: A disciple is committed to knowing Jesus more intimately through the truth of the Bible.
*RELATIONAL:: A disciple is committed to fleshing out those truths in a church family.
*MISSIONAL:: A disciple is committed to sharing the life changing Grace they have personally experienced with others through their words and deeds
* These are old reformed teachings made popular again in Jonathan Dodson’s, “Gospel Centered Discipleship”.
WHAT ARE THE VALUES WE USE TO COMMUNICATE THIS?
These 4 rhythms are our discipleship pathway
CONNECT:: The Connection Rhythm is designed to call us to live out the Gospel in such a way that we connect the Story of Jesus to our own lives and the lives of those God has put in our path. The Christian life is one rooted in spiritual vitality and abundant living (John 10:10) We connect to the Gospel through our worship services, the study of the scripture, community groups, prayer, and deepening our relational roots in the church community.
GROW:: The Grow Rhythm is designed for people to live out the Gospel in the context of deep, authentic relationships. When the Gospel begins to mold and shape our lives for the glory of God everything changes. Life’s purposes begin to reflect the character of God as we grow in Him. The primary, but not only way, for you to grow as a disciple of Christ at RCPO is to get into a Community Group.
SERVE:: The Serve Rhythm is designed to equip and train the church to live our lives on mission with God. The Bible calls us to serve each other in the church (the church family or those already in Christ) and to serve those outside the walls of the church who do not yet know Christ.
God created the church and gave it the mission of restoration in the world. This is why Restoration Church exists to make Jesus known in our local communities and abroad. We do this by serving the church family, serving in our community, planting churches, and through supporting the ministry of adoption.
GIVE:: The Give Rhythm is designed to help us see that when a person is truly following Jesus as a disciple they will begin to live sacrificially for the sake of others in the same way Jesus did for them. Giving ones self for the sake of others is the core truth of the Christian faith. It was most beautifully exemplified for us when Jesus went to the cross for us.
This heart deep motivation is the driving force in why we ask all Gospel Partners to give of themselves to support the disciple making work of the church with their:
1. Time- making time to serve God.
2. Talents- identifying your God given gifts to use for God.
3. Treasures- faithfully supporting Jesus’ Mission at Restoration and your life with your tithes and offerings.
These gospel rhythms are much more then a program.
These rhythms are NOT simply programs we create, but rather rhythms or patterns in which we live. In light of this, Connect, Grow, Serve and Give is the Gospel heartbeat of our church and is meant to be seen in every facet of our lives. As a church, we are called to embrace the Gospel and seek that the rhythms of Gospel transformation shape us personally (Gospel and You), communally (Gospel and Church) and missionally (Gospel and Culture).