If you are anything like me, I have grown weary of seeing the word “gospel” attached to everything. We have gospel-centered, gospel-driven, gospel-community, gospel-doctrine, gospel-communication, gospel-marriages, gospel-everything. There is nothing wrong with the word, but I fear its overuse will eventually make it meaningless…or worse. I agree with what I believe is the intent behind the use of these compound words. Authors, bloggers, pastors, and teachers are all addressing heart motivation. The last thing they want is someone to approach discipleship, marriage, doctrine, or any aspect of life, in a self-centered or self-reliant way–the very antithesis of the gospel.
I don’t argue we should stop using the word, rather, we should regularly remind ourselves not only of the facts of the gospel, but its implications. In other words, we need to stop assuming people understand the truth of what we are talking about just because we attach the word Gospel to it Michael Horton in his aptly titled book, Gospel Commission, explains WHY the gospel transforms not only our lives but also our life as the church:
“Like our own lives, the church is gospel-driven. Every new covenant command is grounded in the gospel. We love God because he first loved us (1John 4.10,19). We choose Christ because he chose us (John 15.16; Eph 1.4-5, 11; 2Thess 2.13). We are called to holiness because we are already declared to be holy in Christ, clothed in his righteousness (Col. 1.22, 3.12; 1Cor 1.30). Because we have been crucified, buried, and raised with Christ, we are no longer under the tyranny of sin and are therefore to off up ourselves in body and soul to righteousness (Rom 6.1-14). In view of the “mercies of God,” we are called to “present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rom 12.1). Great Commission, pg. 24