Christ-Centered Ministry in the Cincinnati area
standing for the truth of God's sovereign grace
Gospel of Grace Church
The Gospel Driven Church
by Scott Price
The word of God tell us a tremendous amount about the gospel. This gospel is the message of how God glorifies Himself in the salvation of ungodly sinners by the life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is so important that God even uses the gospel message as a means in salvation. So much can be said about the gospel that the words used cannot be exhausted in this short life. This is because of the God described out in this gospel has no end to the splendor and glory that is in Him.
There are many best selling religious books that may be better suited for propping up one end of a couch when one of the legs breaks off. A couple of these number one selling books are titled, "Purpose Driven Church" and "Purpose Driven Life". They are written by the world-famous Arminian preacher, Rick Warren, who pastors a "mega-church".
Yes, God does have a purpose, a glorious one to say the least. But, the purpose of God is in Christ Jesus and spelled out clearly in His glorious gospel of grace. This gospel dictates all that we say and do about spiritual things. It fences our words and actions, our methods and motives. The Spirit of God gives us spiritual life through the means of this gospel and that is only the beginning in our experience in the power of the gospel message. The Holy Spirit takes this gospel and uses it as our guidance manual in the New Covenant experience as we live by faith.
What should our motives be as we do the good works that God has foreordained? Gospel motives, of course. How should we forgive others who have wronged us? The gospel is a living instruction on that. How should we view a marriage between a man and woman? The gospel of Christ and His Church fits best here too. How do we see all the Old Testament stories in the Bible and interpret them? The gospel of Christ is ALWAYS the answer. God's churches are Gospel Driven churches. It must be the central, preeminent message!
As we fellowship with God's people are we allowed to speak of our children, our hobbies, our jobs or the current events going on in the world? Of course we have that liberty and many of those things are part of what defines us as we pass quickly through this evil world, but our preeminent focus in fellowship is driven by the gospel (Phil 1:5).
Our real and eternal identity that matters in this life, which actually places real value to us, is our life in Christ. Does this mean we cannot enjoy other things in this life or have a sense of humor? Of course not, but that very idea is one of Legalism's trademarks, putting folks in bondage and sometimes actually driving some people mentally insane.
Just because the gospel is the central, preeminent message in God's word are we to neglect all other doctrines that are contained in the word of God? Of course not. We are to funnel our attention through the filter of the gospel of the grace of God in Christ, comparing Scripture with Scripture. If God's gospel does not drive the church the church will die, and rightly so. My sincere prayer is that all churches that are not driven by the only true gospel do die and die quickly, if the Lord wills.
Always Driven by Grace Alone
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them" Ephesians 2:10
God's people are not motivated by mercenary reasons. A mercenary is one who fights for a paycheck, often for a country that is not his own. The people of God do not fight the good fight of out of legalism, glory of the flesh, fame, reputation, reward, merit, guilt or fear. If this would ever happen in a gospel church it would be attributed to poor teaching, bad hearing, or may be proof of the hearer not being converted. All the above-mentioned motives are wicked and evil "dead works". These dead works are to be constantly exposed as such.
On the other hand if good teaching is in place that clearly, boldly and repetitively declares that a person who holds to the gospel of grace should be believing that the Person and work of Christ alone is the only ground of our justification and acceptance before a holy God. Their motives are all done by God-given faith and are fueled by grace, love, gratitude, thankfulness, and joy. If people who claim to believe the Christ of that message do not work or act in faith by love then this too may be evidence of their non-regeneration. God has paid a precious price to insure that the foreordained decree of blessings He purchased through His Son to be worked in His people through His Spirit. God is said to be the One who is the working in us both to will and do of His good pleasure. If grace will not drive God's people then we should be convinced that Law will certainly not either.
Why then is false religion so excited and motivated about their work for "god" and do things with such fervor and zeal? They often times work circles around the people of God. God's preachers are not to be so discouraged as to change the message to cause an effect in people to get something done. God is big enough to work in people and get things done. The preacher must remain faithful to the Lord and His message of grace being patient with the weak and frail.
The justified sinner has no room for boasting before, during or even after his salvation in anything ever done by faith through love. If these proper gospel motives are constantly put in place in the practical exhortations of their preaching and teaching and nothing in the form of positive action happens, then God will use another one of His sheep to get the task at hand accomplished. It is a blessing to be used of God in His kingdom. It is a blessing to see His gospel go out, His Kingdom expand, His sheep grow in grace and His church thrive by grace. May God grant His people the eyes to see what is really important in this short life.
by Scott Price
"He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant forever: holy and reverend is His name." Psalm 111:9
Many men would have us believe they are above all other people when it comes to position in the kingdom of God. They take on the title "Reverend" and claim they are "men of the cloth" or "clergy". They want us to believe the people in the pews are mere "laity" or "lay persons". Many of these men who think so highly of themselves are state approved but not God approved.
The LORD Jesus Christ has put all the members of His church on all one level: JUSTIFIED by an imputed righteousness. No one person or group of people are any better than the others when it comes to Christ and His church. All God's people are ministers of the gospel and are encouraged to edify one another. All the members of the body are said to have a gift and are encouraged to exercise them in the ministry of the gospel.
God is the ONLY one that should be considered REVEREND. There are many Protestant and Baptist POPES running around thinking more of themselves than they ought to. Many "Pastors" would be better off if the would spend time pastoring (verb) rather than boasting in the title. Some have "their people" bound by non biblical ecclesiastical nonsense.
Imputation, both of sin and of righteousness, is the great leveler. We who are saved by God's grace have the very righteousness of the Lord imputed to our account and are blessed based on that. All of God's people worship and reverence Him and are taught by God that man at his best is altogether vanity. The bible warns us to beware of false prophets who desire the preeminence among men and who would seek to steal reverence from God for themselves. Thank God for the Chief Shepherd who looks after His sheep and warns them of such blasphemers.
Did Christ Die for a Building?
by Scott Price
"Husbands loves your wives, even as Christ also the church and gave Himself for it" Ephesians 5:25
The vast majority of people today, religious or not, call a church building "the church". The word church in the Bible refers to a God-called group of believers assembled together. God Almighty calls His people by the power of His Spirit and through the means of the gospel message, which brings them to conversion and into the family of God. These are the people that the Lord Jesus Christ died for to give them eternal life by merits of His blood and righteousness which He established by His life and death.
The Bible does not talk about church buildings. The early church met in homes/houses. A few hundred years later there was a focus on building church buildings, especially when Constantine ran the first pagan, state church. The thrust went back to the physical adornment of the building to try and make it holy like the Old Testament form of worship that the book of Hebrews warns us to leave. Now a days, a group of believers that do not own or rent a "church building" is considered odd to the mainstream. The Bible does not focus on the temporary, physical forms of worship but the eternal, spiritual aspect of worship. The church is God's people not a building.
Do not forget the suffering Christ went through to obtain eternal redemption for His people by a successful, victorious, substitutionary atonement made for a group of ungodly sinners that make up His church. Christ did not die for a building. Did He establish righteousness for a building? A building has nothing to do with it folks. Building will burn in the end. God's people are precious to Him. He gave His Son for them who in turn gave Himself for them by enduring the death of the cross. Lets give words the definitions that God gives them in His book. Next thing you know people will try to put an altar back in the church. Oops, I guess they already have..