If you have hung around me much, you probably know that I like the word “gospel.” The word “gospel” is packed. I believe it is supremely important. In fact, I would dare to say that the church globally is off base if it is not centered on the gospel. On the flip side, it can become blurry at best when we start to use the word “gospel-centered” for everything that we describe. For instance, “That right there is a perfect example of: a gospel-centered marriage, gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered preaching.” It’s the same way when we use the word “Christ-centered.”
If we aren’t careful, all we will have is a gospel-centered vocabulary. Just like the words missional, discipleship, fellowship, and the rest, the word “gospel” will become just another buzz word if it isn’t consistently and completely defined.
Timothy Keller, pastor and author, does a stellar job explaining what it looks like to have a gospel-centered life in the arena of money in his book, “Counterfeit Gods.”
The solution to stinginess is a reorientation to the generosity of Christ in the gospel, how he poured out his wealth for you. Now You don’t have to worry about money -the Cross proves God’s care for you and gives you security. Now you don’t have to envy anyone else’s money. Jesus’s love and salvation confers on you a remarkable status–one that money cannot give you. Money cannot save you from tragedy, or give you control in a chaotic world. Only God can do that. What breaks the power of money over us is not just redoubled effort to follow the example of Christ. Rather, it is deepening your understanding of the salvation of Christ, what you have in him, and then living out the changes that that understanding makes in your heart -the seat of your mind, will, and emotions. Faith in the gospel restructures our motivations, our self-understanding and identity, our view of the world. Behavioral compliance to rules without a complete change of heart will be superficial and fleeting.
The gospel changes every facet of our living. Will we create another buzz word, or will we remind ourselves daily of the power and implications the gospel has on our lives?