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Healthy Targets

Healthy Foundations – Gospel

Today I share the fourth of nine targets for healthy churches. The next category is that of Healthy Foundations and the three targets in this category are Gospel, Scripture, and Prayer. Every structure that is built to last must have a solid and secure foundation. The gospel is an essential foundation that every church must stand strong on. The good news about Jesus must be the center of every local church. When Jesus began his ministry, he began with the good news, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). In describing the gospel, Paul writes, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins…, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-5). He also declared that the gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16). Both Jesus and Paul make it clear that the proper response to hearing the gospel is repentance and belief, and that the results are forgiveness, reconciliation and everlasting life. Trusting and applying the Gospel is our only hope for salvation. Churches must never move on from the gospel but be saturated by it. The gospel is to be central in everything we do – worship, evangelism, discipleship, building biblical community, ministry and missions. As members of the Body of Christ we are not only partakers of the gospel but also a part of making it known to others. Jesus began his ministry proclaiming the gospel and ended his ministry with the call, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). Therefore, let us faithfully endeavor to obey his command. – Dr. Gary Mathes