Every third Thursday of the month I travel down south to attend what’s called a Gospel Cohort. About thirty guys, many of them church planters with the Acts 29 Network, and most of them way younger than I, gather for refresher lessons on the centrality of the gospel in our lives and ministries. It is one of the most important things I do in my schedule to ward of the regular onset of gospel amnesia.
Today’s talk covered the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, what John Stott called Jesus’ manifesto of the kingdom. The presenter described a profile of a gospel-centered person from the opening words of the sermon in Matthew 5:2-12. The first four aspects he referred to as Living at the Foot of the Cross. The second four he called Loving from the Foot of the Cross.
Here they are:
- A Gospel-Centered person is keenly aware of their spiritual poverty (v. 3).
- A Gospel-Centered person is quick to mourn their sin (v. 4).
- A Gospel-Centered person lives a life of meekness (v. 5).
- A Gospel-Centered person hungers for righteousness and the One who is righteous (v. 6).
- A Gospel-Centered person pursues a life of mercy (v. 7).
- A Gospel-Centered person pursues a life of purity (v. 8).
- A Gospel-Centered person pursues a life of peace (v. 9).
- A Gospel-Centered person pursues mercy, purity, and peace regardless of the cost (vs. 10-12).
The cross is the great equalizer. At the foot of the cross all stand on the same footing and in the same condition – spiritual beggars entirely dependent on God’s mercy. From the foot of the cross, captivated by the gospel and motivated by its mercies, all can live a life of mission in this world characterized by mercy, purity, and peacemaking no matter what the cost.
Are you a gospel-centered person? Live moment-by-moment at and from the foot of the cross and God will make you one.