How do we determine the value of a local church? What do we look for and what is considered a win? Methods are important, as is the wonderful quality of the people, but what matters most? Much can be forgiven, but the one great calling and commission of the church must always remain front and center. What is the priority and commission of the church? What is the priority of Christian living?
In the last few verses of Colossians 1, the apostle Paul addresses these questions. First and foremost, we are commissioned to present the Gospel (Colossians 1:24-27). Teaching the Word of God is terrific unless the Gospel is not at the heart of it. The Word of God, to Paul, is the message of Christ. Anyone who claims they are presenting the Word of God without a philosophical centrality of the Gospel message of Christ is missing the actual commission Paul refers to in this passage.
As we’ve seen in recent weeks, the Gospel message is most clearly defined by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. The Gospel in its purest form is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ- the simplicity of belief in Jesus for salvation. Therefore, the Gospel is central. As a church, the Gospel is our commission and central focus to all that we do. We desire more than anything to see people believe in Christ for salvation. But the Gospel must remain central in the life of a believer as well. As followers of Christ we grow and are alive only in our continual and growing belief in him. May Christ remain the central purpose and commission of the church, and may each of our lives be committed to the daily life changing interaction with Christ for the continued transformation of our lives. Let's live daily the Gospel through submission to our king, Jesus Christ!
- Take a few minutes to share your story of how you came to belief in Christ. What was it about the Gospel that compelled you to believe?
- Where do you see the church fulfilling its commission to present the Gospel? Where might the church improve in this area?
- How can the Gospel message still affect you today? What steps can you take to ensure that the Gospel remains relevant and refreshing in your life? How can this group help?