Displaying the Gospel in the Church
We are studying through 9 Marks of A Healthy Church during our Wednesday night services this summer. I used the following quote from Mark Dever in our recent session on the Gospel:
"As we gather to worship God and exercise love and good deeds toward one another, we demonstrate in real life, you might say, the fact that God has reconciled us to himself and to one another. We demonstrate to the world that we have been changed, not primarily because we memorize Bible verses, pray before meals, tithe a portion of our income, and listen to Christian radio stations, but because we increasingly show a willingness to put up with, to forgive, and even to love a bunch of sinners.
You and I cannot demonstrate love or joy or peace or patience or kindness sitting all by ourselves on an island. No we demonstrate it when the people we have committed to loving give us good reasons not to love them, but we do anyway.
Do you see it? It's right there--right in the midst of a group of sinners who have committed to loving one another--that the gospel is displayed. The church gives a visual presentation of the gospel when we forgive one another as Christ has forgiven us, when we commit to one another as Christ has committed to us, and when we lay down our lives for one another as Christ laid down his life for us. Together we can display the gospel of Jesus Christ in a way we just can't by ourselves."