The Gospel is the good news of God’s grace invading the darkness and brokenness of this world. It is the good news that God has acted in history to conquer evil, rebellion, and sin and reconcile sinners to himself through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15:1-12). Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the Gospel. His resurrection is the power of the Gospel. His ascension is the glory of the Gospel.
Gospel-centered is a phrase that you'll hear often at RSBC. In fact, this word holds a significant place in who we aim to be and what we aim to do as a local church. Our vision statement says,
We exist to eagerly worship Jesus through Gospel-centered teaching, community and outreach.
The Apostle Paul tells us that in Jesus "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). In Christ, "the fullness of God was pleased to dwell" (Col. 1:19). Therefore, the person and work of Jesus Christ is the central message in all things, and the essence of deep teaching is found in Christ alone.
For us, Gospel-centered is much more than a buzzword to capture people's attention. The desire of your pastors is to lead you to an understanding that, the Gospel shapes everything we are and everything that we do. A Gospel-centered church understands and grows its people in the grace-enabled, Gospel identities of Disciple, Family, and Ambassador
With this understanding in mind, our worship of Jesus launches RSBC towards upward delight in God, inward love and unity for each other, and zealously outward in love and service for the communities we aim to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And it is Christ alone who:
We plead with you not to let the repetition with which you will hear the word, Gospel-centered, lead you to a calloused indifference to its significance. Instead, let the true weight of the word sink into your hearts, helping you rekindle the flames of passion for what Christ has done for you and who you are in him.
For His Glory,
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. | 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is primarily an action, stemming from deep affections which believe the best in and hope the best for others.
Love is not...
Love does not...
For His Glory,
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. | Hebrews 12:28-29
How can Christians show gratitude for what God has done for them in Jesus Christ? The answer is surprisingly simple and natural. We show our appreciation by offering to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.
When we worship, we have a unique opportunity to give back to God. And though God is not served by human hands, as though he needed anything (Acts 17:25), worship does give Christians the ability to calibrate our hearts and our affections on God. Without question, as Christians, we should be grateful for what Christ purchased for us by his life, death, and resurrection. In Christ, we are given an eternal hope; or as the author of Hebrews calls it, the unshakable kingdom. There is no greater gift that can be given and God-honoring worship is the natural response of a heart that has found eternal and everlasting joy.
Acceptable worship is characterized (qualified) by reverence and awe and it is absolutely crucial that we understand what this means. In order for worship to be God-honoring worship, it must be centered on worship-worthy things and fashioned in worship-worthy ways. Scripture tells us who the focus of our worship should be. God is Jealous for our worship (Exodus 34:14). He refuses to share his glory with anyone else. In fact, it would be unrighteous for Him to do so. He alone is worthy of all praise.
We also see that in order to rightly worship God, we must fearfully (reverentially) worship God (Psalms 96:4-5). With a word, God made all things. His power, his glory, his awesome wonder should never be taken lightly. Christians should not be flippant or irreverent with the Creator of the Universe. God's glory necessitates reverence and awe, and acceptable worship must acknowledge the fact that though God is good, he is not safe.
Therefore, acceptable worship is Christ-centered and God-exalting worship. A healthy fear of God's glory and wonder is the kind of worship that is acceptable to God. In reverence, Christians sing God's truth and promises, pray God's will and Word, read and meditate on God's Word, and love and serve others for the glory of God alone . No worship band or meticulously-choreographed worship experience can ever produce acceptable worship. In order for worship to be God-honoring, Christians must worship the LORD in Spirit and in Truth.
As RSBC matures and improves in our worship, may we always keep these truths at the forefront of everything we do. As we allow our hearts to do what they are naturally compelled to do, in gratitude for what the LORD has done for us in Christ, may we work diligently to ensure we are doing so in a way that brings glory and honor to God.
by: Jason Allen
Jason is a pastor at RSBC. He loves seeing God's people coming together, in true community, to worship Jesus eagerly and intentionally with their every day lives. He and his wife Anna are raising their three kids and discovering new ways to grow and pursue Jesus together.