Ephesians 4:30-32 – Living in Gospel-Centered Community

Let me put it this way: If you excise the gospel community from your thinking about the gospel announcement, you gut the gospel of its purpose. Though the church is not the subject of the gospel announcement (Christ alone is the subject, of course), the church is a necessary object. Christ’s death has a purpose: to save sinners and incorporate them into a community that reflects His glory.
Too many times, we think of the gospel as a story that jumps from the Garden of Eden (we’ve all sinned) right to the cross (but Jesus fixes everything). On its own, that works fine in getting across the systematic points of our need for salvation and God’s provision in Christ, but from a biblical theological perspective, it doesn’t do justice to what’s actually in the text.
We often emphasize the first purpose – that Christ died to redeem us from sin. But we can’t miss the second part of that purpose, the “why” of Christ’s cleansing us from sin – that we would be a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.
The gospel announcement of Jesus Christ must be understood within the context of the story that gives it meaning. This announcement then births the gospel community. Saying the good news is limited to the gospel announcement is like saying, “The good news is that the adoption papers are signed” without a view to the purpose of the papers – to incorporate an orphan into a family! We can say all day long that becoming part of the family is the implication of the adoption process, not the process itself. But to make that point too forcefully risks losing the point of it all.
Christ’s death and resurrection completes the transaction of the gospel, yes. But the purpose of Christ’s work is that, in union with Him, we would be reconciled to the Father and adopted into His family.
Good news all around! So, let’s make sure that in our thinking and speaking about the centrality of the gospel announcement we not leave out the gospel-formed family. Otherwise, we gut the gospel of its purpose.

Trevin Wax

Read Ephesians 4:30-32 and consider what the implications of this verse are for gospel-centered community. What are ways you can put off sin which hinders biblical community, and in what ways can you put on godliness in its place?

Posted on: May 30, 2019 - 10:00PM

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