The Gospel and Biblical Community

Jonathan Dodson, on the Resurgence, writes:

Biblical community is significant not because it makes you feel significant, but because it recognizes that Jesus is our common source of significance. The gospel, not people, becomes the means to the end of our identity. Our sense of acceptance flows from our relationship with Christ which, in turn, frees us to love and serve one another, instead of judging, demanding or ostracizing. We become a “one-another” community, freed by the gospel to love and serve each other. We are never too spiritually mature for the gospel.

[…] Does your church, community, small group, or missional community gather in anticipation of being reminded of the gospel, corrected in the gospel, motivated by the gospel, to sing of the gospel? If not, what can you do to reshape community expectations around the gospel, not community? Have you become too mature for community or too community-centered for the gospel? Consider how to make the gospel central, and community will follow.

Read the whole thing.

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4 Comments on “The Gospel and Biblical Community”

  1. brad richter Says:

    I think he got the word gospel and Jesus mixed up. The gospel did not die for me Jesus did. The gospel does not free us to love one another Jesus does . Something does not smell right.


    • Brad,

      Nowhere does Jonathan say that the gospel “died for you.” I do not think he got mixed up. The gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ–His person and work, and what that matters. The goal of the gospel is to bring us to God, and as such the gospel is the means by which we are freed from sin and self to love God and serve one another. To divorce Jesus and the gospel as you have so implied is a dichotomy I think you would not want to make.

      • brad richter Says:

        Tim thanks for the blog one of the few I look forward to reading. I dont want to divorce the gospel from Jesus . Jesus is the gospel but the gospel is not Jesus. One is an it the other is a He I just think he gives credit to the it that is reserved only for the He but then I drive a truck with a lumber rack and pound nails for a living. Brad


        • Brad,

          I see what you are saying. What I think Jonathan is saying (or at least what I would argue) is that the gospel is where we see Jesus. In Paul’s terms, the gospel is the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We see the face of Jesus in the gospel. While the gospel is not Jesus (although I agree with Piper that “God is the gospel”), we cannot know Jesus apart from the gospel.

          In similar terms, the gospel is not a “plan of salvation” but “the man of salvation”–the God-man, Jesus Christ.

          BTW, thanks for reading the blog, and I praise God for the privilege of discussing such gospel matters with fellow believers in Christ Jesus.


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