GORDON - 5 MARKS OF A GOSPEL CHURCH
Gospel is a third millennium buzzword! Many of you will be familiar with gospel partnerships where a group of like-minded local churches join forces for evangelism and mutual encouragement . We talk about gospel-hearted people, gospel leaders, gospel principles, gospel passion, and gospel initiatives; we warmly embrace gospel ministry when it is firmly anchored to Scripture and we honour those whose sacrificial service is driven by their unashamed commitment to the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16). We are passionate for church members to live their daily lives in a manner that is gospel-centred and gospel-focused. In today’s wishy-washy world of evangelicalism, our ministry mindset and theological nous are best shaped when the gospel is our default position. Across the pond in the USA we have the highly-acclaimed organisation, The Gospel Coalition, and a biennial conference appropriately called T4G (Together for the Gospel). We even refer to some local congregations of God’s redeemed people as gospel churches because they clearly display signs of gospel integrity. Such a label could be tagged onto the church in Thessalonica. Given that scenario, the important questions are: What makes a church, a gospel church? What defines it? What is its hallmark? What is its DNA? The answer to those questions, and more, is found in this Pauline epistle!