This is the defining page of this website, of our church, of our lives, and the universe itself. If you miss this, you miss what we are about, you miss the reason you exist, you miss the glory of God, you miss everything. And no, this is not exaggeration.
The glory of God is the reason everything exists. God is glorious, and everything that exists, exists to make His glory shine more brightly and be enjoyed more deeply. However, God did something that stands above and beyond all other things as the display of His glory. It is so important, the triune God had been planning it from eternity past. The epicenter of all eternity was when God sent His son to become a man, live a perfect life, die for the sin of rebels to redeem them to Himself, and then rise again victorious after three days.
You heard this before in Sunday school? Well, good. We need to hear it in Sunday school – and in our homes, and in our sermons, and in our conversations over barbeque, and in our ipods, and in our music, and in every conceivable place a message can be conveyed.
The God who created us, made us for Himself. Yet, starting with Adam and continuing right up to the latest newborn, we all reject Him and try to take His place. You do this when you lie, when you covet, when you selfishly refuse to serve others, when you lust, when you neglect duties, and countless others things you say, do, and think. All of those things are expressions of a proud heart that refuses to obey its Creator. You may not feel what you do is that bad or should be framed so drastically, but that is because you have become accustomed to your sin and calloused to holiness. Nonetheless, such a tremendous offense against a good and glorious and infinite God deserves nothing less than an infinite punishment, which is what Hell is. We all deserve that. Right now we deserve it.
However, God took action. His work began in the garden, culminated on the cross, and comes down to us even today. Instead of wrath, He acted in mercy and in grace. God took the punishment we deserved and bore it Himself in Jesus Christ. On the cross He satisfied His own wrath, then gave us forgiveness and put the very righteousness of Christ on our account.
The biblical response to this is reliant trust and broken repentance. To those who reject this message or respond with indifference or shallow repentance, the justice of eternal punishment is coming. But, for those who will trust in Christ alone, hoping only in Jesus’ work on the cross, God will grant forgiveness and give the righteousness of Christ to you. For those who repent of their belittling of God, their ignoring of God’s commands, their questioning of God’s character, their trusting in their own goodness, God will adopt you as His child through the blood of Jesus Christ.
This good news changes everything.
It now defines everything for us. The gospel teaches us where our identity rests and why. It transforms how we relate to people. It affects how we respond to suffering. It models how we do marriage. It informs us about true love. It empowers humble service. It frees us from fear, sinful habits, and sinful emotions. Nothing is excluded.
Therefore, by the grace of God, we will be a gospel-centered church.