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Gospel-Centered

As a church, we want to make a big deal about the central truths of the gospel of God's grace.  God's unconditional love of hell-deserving sinners (Rom. 5:8-10; Eph. 1:4-6; 2:1-4), free grace (Rom. 11:5-6; 2 Tim. 1:9), mercy (Titus 3:5), forgiveness (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14), Christ's substitutionary atonement (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 1 Pet. 3:18), and other themes are not just words; they are the heart and soul of the Christian message and the Christian life (Gal. 2:20).  The "old, old story of Jesus and His love" is not repetitive and monotonous, but what sinners need to hear in order to be saved (Rom. 10:14-15) and what Christians need to hear in order to make and grow disciples (Matt. 28:19-20) and grow in grace themselves (2 Pet. 3:18).

We want to avoid Christless Christianity which reduces Christianity to a bunch of religious stories, moralism, and "how-to," self-help strategies.  When unsaved people visit our church, we want them to leave having heard the gospel of God's grace.  We want Christians to be constantly reminded that they have been saved by grace and they will be kept by grace.  Therefore, in addition to preaching the word, we enjoy singing gospel-saturated psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, the public reading of the Scriptures, praying because of the gospel, and living out the "one-another" commands in light of the cross.

At the same time, "Gospel-centered" does not mean that there are no commandments for Christians to obey or that commandment-keeping is irrelevant or secondary in the Christian life (see Matt. 7:21-27; Matt. 28:20; John 14:15, 21; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 2:6).  "The Hole in Our Holiness" by Kevin DeYoung is an excellent resource for understanding the biblical connection between the Gospel of grace and keeping God's commandments.

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