However, since we live in the modern world and not the Seventeenth century, we must determine how our doctrinal commitments are to be explained, embodied, and applied to the particular people and context in which we live and serve. We express this in terms of our core values, purpose statement, and mission. At Christ the King we believe The Gospel is our central core value from which everything else extends.
We believe that the Gospel is central and sufficient to our lives. Paul boldly declared that the Gospel is “the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes . . . ” (Romans 1:16). The gospel means “good news.” It is the basic message that “God made Him (Christ), who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Gospel says that we are so sinful, lost and helpless that only the righteous life, sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, can save us. But it also says that those who trust in Christ’s life and work instead of their own efforts are now “renewed in the spirit of your mind and have put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:23-24).
This means that the Gospel truly is God’s power for authentic transformation and renewal in our lives. Rather than being the minimum truth necessary to enter the kingdom, the Gospel is the way we make all our progress in the kingdom. It is not merely the “first step” in living the Christian life; it is foundational to our ongoing growth in grace. The Gospel is not just the “A-B-C’s” but the “A-Z” of the Christian life.
First, the Gospel tells us that sin has affected our body, mind and soul so deeply that we are far more wicked than we ever dared believe, but at the same time we are more deeply and profoundly loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared to hope. This Gospel truth works inside a Christian to bring about our growth in grace. The more we understand the Gospel, the more we see the radical nature of sin, and therefore we become more aware that we are saved solely by God’s all-powerful grace. Then God’s grace becomes more real, precious and electrifying to us. As a result of this, the Gospel gives us enormous power to live authentically. We have the power and freedom to admit our flaws to God, ourselves, and one another without giving in to defeat and despair. Therefore, renewal and transformation are truly possible – even inevitable – because of the Gospel’s work in our lives.
Secondly, the knowledge of our forgiveness and acceptance in Jesus Christ makes obeying the Word of God a delight to us instead of a burdensome requirement to gain God’s favor. We come to see the law of God and our obedience to it as a way to thankfully respond to the One who has enriched us so mightily, instead of being bludgeoned by it. This new way makes the moral and sacrificial life a joy, while the old way makes it a burden.
Thirdly, because the Gospel brings us forgiveness, acceptance and a new motivation to please God, we are also freed and empowered to love and serve others according to Christ’s kingdom pattern. This means that in humility we show mercy to people around us because God, through Christ, has shown us mercy and continues to do so throughout our lives.
So, the Gospel is central to everything we do at Christ the King Presbyterian Church- how we approach God in our worship; how we seek to love and relate to one another inside and outside the church; how we teach and encourage one another to grow in the Christian life; how we help one another in the midst of our daily struggles and difficulties; and how we go about taking the Gospel’s life-transforming message to others in both word and action.