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GOSPEL CENTERED CHURCH (Kent Smith Notes 11/5/23)


John 20:30-31



“Your church may not be as gospel centered as you think” by Tony Merida (April 2018)



  • Those who redefine the Gospel

  • Those who make assumptions of the Gospel

  • Those who proclaim the Gospel but limited it to evangelism


Gospel Redefining Churches: Adding or subtracting from the gospel to shape it according to their desires. (Prosperity gospel / Social gospel/ Universal gospel)

Gospel Assuming Churches: They say they believe the gospel, but in their teachings, they elevate the human endeavor of self-improvement and self-realization.

God helps those who help themselves. Name it and claim it.

Gospel Affirming / Proclaiming Churches: The power of the gospel is limited to salvation alone, and only presented in an evangelistic manner.

You need the gospel to be saved, but after that it’s up to you to determine how you live your life.



For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Romans 1:16-17)


The Gospel shapes the community of believers and empowers their choices and conduct.

We look to Jesus and his life to inform the conduct and manner of our lives IN EVERY RESPECT.

Romans 1:16-17

A Few examples:

In marriage the example of how Jesus loved the church becomes our model.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

In giving and sacrificing for others Jesus is our model as taught in

2 Cor 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

In offering forgiveness to our fellow man, the gospel directs our conduct.

Col 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

In offering friendship to others

Ro 15:7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

All that we do as Christians should be governed by the life and teachings of Jesus.

It’s not simply wearing a WWJD bracelet! It is being a student of the Word to learn the conduct of God, especially as demonstrated by Jesus, and to practice it in your life.



Many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written SO THAT you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may HAVE LIFE in His name. (John 20:30-31)


The Gospel brings about changes in us TO GIVE US A LIFE!

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it ABUNDANTLY. (not simply eternally)

John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.



The Gospel of Christ fully applied produces a radically changed life.


1 Cor 6:9-11 It results is a radically changed life

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

2 Cor 3:1-6 Confidence

2 Cor 3:7-11 Assurance of Future Glory

2 Cor 3:12-18 Boldness and freedom in our speaking

Romans 11:33-36 It prompts us to worship.

Romans 8:31-35 It gives us hope in difficult times.

Romans 15:5-6 It gives us grounds for encouragement and unity

1 Thessalonians 1 It empowers a life worthy of emulation.



The Gospel is the path to the life He wants you to have.


By the Gospel we move:

From Death to Life Born Again

From Guilt to Pardon Justification

From Sin to Righteousness Sanctification

From Corruption to Perfection Glorification

The good news is that through Jesus we are:

Made Holy: Chosen and set apart for God’s glory

Filled with the Spirit: Empowered for service in His Church and Kingdom

Assigned as Ambassadors Sent to proclaim the Gospel to others

The good news of the Gospel is not simply salvation from sin and eternal life in heaven one day.

The REALLY GOOD NEWS is that we can live a LIFE NOW governed by the Spirit of God and the Word of God, exalting the glory of God, and experiencing the love of God and a friendship with Him constantly.

That our lives can have an eternally significant impact that brings God glory, for which He will reward us! (Heb 11:6)

That we can have a real loving family here and now that encourages, supports, teaches, and admonishes us so that we can share together the richness and fullness of true fellowship that genuinely accepts, loves, and serves one another for our good and God’s glory.

This is what we aspire to be as a church.

This is the gospel-led life and the gospel-centered church.



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