Gospel-Centeredness

I went to the Bob Jones University Faculty/Staff opening meeting this year with real excitement, more than ever in the nine times I’ve gone.

Yes, heavy hors d’oeuvres were on their way, including my annual shrimp dosage. But somehow I felt that something even better would happen.

It did. Stephen Jones, president of BJU and a sincerely godly man, made “Living in Light of the Gospel” the theme for the year. Last year’s theme put feet to the truth. This year’s theme gives the feet the energy they need to move.

I’m excited about this theme because gospel-centeredness is, in my estimation, another way of saying God-centeredness. Gospel-driven sanctification is a way of orienting our focus on the resources available to us in divine grace.

Pastors who focus on duty to the exclusion of grace can create pathologies in people. I’ve seen it. Pastors who focus on grace to the exclusion of obedience… Well, I’m too young to have seen that, but equal pathologies are likely possible. I believe both sides fail to understand that grace brings with it a regenerating power. God’s grace forgives, but it also renovates—and it will not fail to do either.

“Putting Feet to the Truth” and “Living in Light of the Gospel” are two complementary themes.

Here are a few articles on gospel-centeredness that in general look helpful.

Author: Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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