The Year of Gospel-Centered Living
As 2015 begins, many of us make resolutions for the new year. Some even do so with a “theme.” I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions—themed or theme-less.
However, in 2015, I’m making an exception. For me, by Christ’s grace, I want 2015 to be:
The Year of Gospel-Centered Living
8 Gospel-Centered Life Questions
But what does it even mean to live gospel-centered? I’m going to defined gospel-centered living as my attempt to live according to the Bible’s answers to life’s 8 ultimate questions.
In Gospel-Centered Counseling, I outlined life’s 8 ultimate questions as:
1. The Word: “Where do we find wisdom for life in a broken world?”
2. The Trinity: “What comes into our mind when we think about God?” “Whose view of God will we believe—Christ’s or Satan’s?”
3. Creation: “Whose are we?” “In what story do we find ourselves?”
4. Fall: “What’s the root source of our problem?” “What went wrong?”
5. Redemption: “How does Christ bring us peace with God?” “How does Christ change people?”
6. Church: “Where can we find a place to belong and become?”
7. Consummation: “How does our future destiny with Christ make a difference in our lives today as saints who struggle against suffering and sin?”
8. Sanctification: “Why are we here?” “How do we become like Jesus?” How can our inner life increasingly reflect the inner life of Christ?”
8 Gospel-Centered Life GPS Points
In 2015, I want to follow God’s wisdom in addressing each of these questions each day. In Gospel-Centered Counseling, I offer gospel-centered answers to life’s ultimate questions. These answers are like a GPS—God’s Positioning Scripture—which provide biblical insight for living.
Let’s consider each one together…
1. The Word: I will seek to discover wisdom for how to live life in a broken world from the wisest person who ever lived—Christ!
So, my guide is not simply WWJD—What Would Jesus Do? My guiding question is, HWJT—“How Would Jesus Think?” “Do I have the mind of Christ as I think through life issues?” I’ll especially be thinking through the mind of Christ as pictured in Philippians 2:1-5.
2. The Trinity: Because Satan attempts to plant seeds of doubt about God’s good heart, I will seek to crop the Christ of the cross back into my picture.
So, when I think about life, myself, others, and God, I’ll seek to do so through the grid of my crucified and risen Savior—that’s as Gospel-centered as you can get. I’ll be asking, “Am I interpreting life through the lens of the cross?” I’ll especially be thinking through the sacrifice of Christ as portrayed in Philippians 2:6-11.
3. Creation: Because I am made by and for Christ to be like Christ, I will seek heart transformation where my heart increasingly reflects the heart of Christ—relationally, rationally, volitionally, and emotionally.
So, in 2015 I’ll be asking, “Am I relating like Christ, thinking like Christ, choosing like Christ, and responding emotionally like Christ?” Again, Christ’s model in Philippians 2:1-11 will be my guidepost.
4. Fall: Since the essence of my sin is choosing to love anyone or anything more than God, I will seek God’s assessment of my affections.
The heart is not only an idol factor; the heart is a false love factory. So, in 2015, rather than pointing my finger at others or at my circumstances as the “cause” of my sin, I’ll be seeking to assess my affections: “Am I loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and spirit?” Jesus’s greatest commandments in Matthew 22:35-40 will be my guide, as will be Jesus’s life as modeled in the Garden in Matthew 26:36-46.
5. Redemption: Because Christ has already changed me, I will seek to apply Christ’s gospel of grace to my daily life as a justified, reconciled, regenerated, and redeemed person.
In 2015, instead of trying to change myself, I will seek to live out the new person, the new creation, I already am in Christ. I’ll be asking, “What difference does my complete salvation (justification, reconciliation, regeneration, and redemption) make in how I live today?” I’ll especially be thinking through the application(s) of Colossians 3:1-11 to my life and relationships.
6. Church: Because the church is the place to belong to Christ and the body of Christ and to become like Christ, I will apply the truth that sanctification is a community journey.
In 2015, instead of trying to change by myself, I will seek to journey with my local church community in living out our newness in Christ together. I’ll be asking, “Together will all the saints, how can we glorify God by grasping the grace of God?” I’ll be especially applying to my life the truths of Colossians 3:12-17 and Ephesians 3:14-21.
7. Consummation: Because Christ has already won the final victory, I will seek to live today in light of my future hope.
In 2015, instead of seeing life with eyeballs only—from a temporal perspective, I will seek to look at life with spiritual eyes—from an eternal perspective. I’ll be asking, “What difference does Christ’s final victory make in how I face life today?” I’ll especially be applying the truths of Hebrews 11:24-27 and Revelation 19:1-21.
8. Sanctification: Because my life purpose is to reflect Christ, I will seek to apply my complete salvation through God’s grace, Spirit, Word, and people.
I am not here in 2015 to change my circumstances or fix my feelings. I am here to reflect Christ. So, I’ll be asking, “How can I cooperate with God’s grace, God’s Spirit, God’s Word, and God’s people to become who I already am in Christ?” I’ll especially be applying Romans 6:1-14 to my daily growth in grace.
Join the Conversation
Will you join me on my journey? Will 2015 be your year of gospel-centered living?
Which of life’s 8 ultimate questions and answers seem most important to you as you head into 2015? Why?
Posted on January 28, 2015