Gospel centred.

Gospel centred.

When it comes to questions about how we are to flourish, succeed and better ourselves, our culture has numerous answers, most of which start with the word ‘self’. Self-help, self-esteem, self-motivation. For some reason we think the answers are inside of ourselves.

In complete contrast, Christianity is nothing like that. For sure, the Jesus of history promises the fullest expression of life on offer, a fuller and realer version of you. But the centre of Christianity is actually not about what you do or who you can be. It is news about what has been done for you in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. The gospel.

News only makes sense within a story and a context. So what’s the story behind the news that Christianity is all about? It is the human story. Designed to run the world and represent the God who made it, we wanted instead to run it for ourselves and represent ourselves in it. As we moved away from our purpose we became less and less of who we were made to be, less of ourselves, to the point where we became enslaved. Enslaved to expectations, enslaved to misplaced desires and dreams, enslaved to the never-ending cycle of keeping up appearances and going up in the world. We become human-doings rather than human-beings. One of the things about oppressed people is they tend to oppress others. So we end up not just as slaves, but as slave masters, creating whole societies built on injustice, intolerance, exploitation and greed. The human plight, our plight, as described in the Bible is worse than we ever dare fear.

The solution however is better than we ever would dare imagine. We need a rescuer, a redeemer, one who will liberate us from the chains that have been placed on us, that we place on ourselves and others. That is what happened at the crucifixion of Jesus. Where the only human who has ever lived who was all he was made to be, became less than human. Where the liberator became a captive. Where the God of freedom died as a slave, for us. That’s the news. The news that should shape everything.

This news, this centre, has power. Power to make whole, power to heal, power to restore, power to turn upside down, power to bring freedom. Freedom from the things we need to leave behind, and freedom for the people we were made to be. That’s why we want to be gospel centred at Redeemer. To start to build our lives around this story, and live in the freedom Jesus has won for us.