Here at CityLight, we believe that Gospel Centrality is vital to the Christ-follower and the church. We believe all that we do flows from the gospel. It is the power of God to save us, shape us, compel us, and completely transform us. The gospel changes who we are, how we think, and how we invest our lives. Because of our belief that the gospel will completely transform us we need to see how that transformation takes place.
A Gospel-Centered Life
We often talk and think about living a gospel-centered life, but it is honestly much easier said than done. When we look at this kind of life, there is no better person to look at than Jesus Himself. Jesus lived a life that we could never live. He walked as we walked, yet without sin. Jesus embodied a gospel-centered life. He is the example that we follow.
In the gospel account of John, in chapter 13, we are allowed to take a closer look at what exactly a gospel-centered life looks like. In v. 1, we see that Jesus knew that His hour had come. Jesus was coming down to His last days here on this earth, and instead of eating more food or drinking more wine, He rises from the table, lays His outer garments aside, and takes a towel and ties it around Himself. Starting in v. 5, we see what exactly a gospel-centered life looks like. Jesus poured water into a basin then began to do the job of a servant and wash the feet of the disciples.
The Christian life doesn’t begin until we die to ourselves. Jesus didn’t care that He just had a few days left to do whatever pleased Him; He knew what His purpose was. So many times believers today don’t know what their purpose is in the Christian life. We go to a gathering once a week and read our bibles throughout the week, but there is no real service to others. We forget our true ministry is to serve.
After Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He sat back down at the table and began to teach once again. Jesus tells them in v. 14-15, “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you.”1 This intimate moment between Jesus and His disciples gives us insight into what Jesus calls us to do today. Jesus, our highest example, did the job of a servant and washed the feet of men. If Jesus stooped that low, how much lower should we stoop? This takes us to one of my favorite passages in Scripture, Philippians 2:5-11:
“Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Jesus came from a perfect place called heaven and came down to this sinful earth and left His kingship and was born in a barn. This is a gospel-centered life. If we want to truly live a gospel-centered life, then we have to die to ourselves, our boundaries that we set up between ourselves and other brothers and sisters in Christ, and our presuppositions. Jesus is the ultimate example that we look to when striving for a gospel-centered life. He embodied the form of a servant; and came not for His well-being, but the well-being of the lost.
The Spirit desires for all of us to live a life that is well-pleasing to God, but so many times, we quench Him and try to live the life that we want to live with our selfish mindset on how we think we should live and carry out the ministry. This is a dangerous place to be; when we quench the Spirit and do not allow Him to have full reign in our heart and mind, our ministry and/or life will be self-centered and not gospel-centered. Allow the Spirit to work and reign in your heart and mind.
So how do we live a gospel-centered life? By looking to Jesus, who is the originator and perfector of our faith. He is our example. We, first of all, die to ourselves; we die to our desires, we die to our selfishness, we die to our pride, we die to ourselves. Once we die and let the Holy Spirit have full reign of our every thought and desire of our life, then we will be living a gospel-centered life.
- Christian Standard Bible. (2020). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.