The Gospel is Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. When this is confused or muffled as it has disastrous consequences for Churches locally, globally and for Christians individually. Dr. Goldsworthy points out that the meaning of Scriptures is unlocked by the death and resurrection of Christ. Luke 24:13-35 points to the need for Christian leaders and believers to understand the Christ-centric nature of Scripture in order to properly interpret the Bible. Jesus by explaining the Scriptures was engaging in the task of hermeneutics.
The words “gospel-centered” and “Christ-centered” have become buzzwords in Reformed and evangelical circles much the same way that the emergent church became popular many years go. Words such as “Gospel-centered” and “Christ-Centered” are biblical and therefore should be defined and explained biblically. It is far too common in evangelical circles today to attach a “label” to such buzzwords and then the meaning is lost. The Christ-Centered nature of the Bible should never be assumed but explained and upheld by every evangelical believer. The phrase “Gospel-Centered” should never be treated lightly because the death, burial and resurrection of Christ form the basis for the Gospel. Christ-Centered means just hat keeping Christ at the center of the explanation of the passage. Being Christ-Centered does not mean forcing a biblical text into saying “this is about Christ” but explaining how it relates to Christ. Being “Gospel-Centered” like being “Christ-Centered” does not mean forcing the biblical text to teach the Gospel. Being “Gospel-Centered” means explaining how the Gospel finds its fulfillment in a particular text. When biblical teaching is treated as common or just as another phrase the result is that the meaning of biblical phrases is depleted for a meaning other than what the Bible teaches.
The goal for every Christian should be to live lives that are Christ-Centered that is lives that not only profess in words but also in actions that Christ the Lord is being honored as Lord in their hearts. Every Christian should live Gospel-Centered lives- lives that reflect the truth of the Gospel they profess with their words. In other words- Christ-Centered and Gospel-Centered are words that should lead the individual Christian, and Churches (locally and globally) not just to mere proclamation but equally to action. The way Christians treat the poor, care for their cities, treat orphans and widows is a good indication whether the Christian of the Church takes seriously the Gospel one professes. The Gospel is not just words one professes. The Gospel is words one professes accompanied by action that demonstrates a heart- transformation has been wrought by the Holy Spirit resulting in the display of the fruits of the Spirit, godliness and service to the King of Kings, for His glory alone.
Through the work of the Holy Spirit- Jesus alone can open or close one’s eyes to the Christ-Centric nature of His Word. The Gospel according to Jesus is His death, burial, and resurrection. The Gospel Jesus explained to the disciples walking on the road of Emmaus is the same Gospel today with the same power to save. The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of man (Romans 1:16). The goal of the Gospel is much more than reciting words and taking action for Christ. The Gospel is the message Jesus explained as the centerpiece of the Bible. The Gospel then is more than just words and actions- the Gospel is the message God gave His people to believe, confess, and live by.
The Gospel according to Jesus is under attack today in the academy by men and women who seek to redefine the biblical teaching on justification. The Gospel is under attack by a liberal media who want Christians to redefine the exclusiveness of Jesus to mean the opposite of people perishing and going to hell. The Gospel according to Jesus is under attack by liberal scholars who seek to raise doubt and question the unity of the Bible itself. The Gospel according to Jesus is Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
The message of the Gospel has sustained the Church locally and globally for two-thousand and ten years. The Gospel of Christ continues to go forward with great speed all around the world because it alone is the means God is using to create a people who once were not His people. The Gospel alone contains the power of God to sanctify people for God’s glory and make them useful for His service. The Gospel according to Jesus will continue to go forward because it is the means God uses to justify and sanctify people for His own glory so that His Church, and His Kingdom will go forward till the day Jesus Christ returns for His people.