As Christians, we often grasp the Gospel in theory while failing to understand how it should change our lives in practice. This is especially true when we think about how the Gospel transforms the way we treat other people.
In his book The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ, Ray Ortlund shows us what happens when we understand the Gospel and live in light of its transforming power. He emphasizes how a right understanding of the Gospel will lead to a culture shaped by the Gospel. This new culture produces an atmosphere that helps Christians experience the power of the Gospel and that demonstrates the reality of the Gospel to unbelievers.
Here are the best quotes from The Gospel.
“How many people in our cities are ex-Christians, and even strongly anti-Christian, because they went to church to hear ‘good news of great joy’ (Luke 2:10) but it was drowned out by strife and trouble.” (17)
“The test of a gospel-centered church is its doctrine on paper plus its culture in practice.” (18)
“So this is a book about the gospel, yes. But more specifically. It’s about how the gospel can shape the life and culture of our churches so that they portray Christ as he really is, according to the gospel.” (19)
“Gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture. The doctrine of grace creates a culture of grace.” (21)
“When the doctrine is clear and the culture is beautiful, that church will be powerful. But there are no shortcuts to getting there. Without the doctrine, the culture will be weak. Without the culture, the doctrine will seem pointless.” (21)
“Truth without grace will be harsh and ugly. Grace without truth is sentimental and cowardly.” (22)
“Scripture is clear. Christians have to choose between isolation, which is easy, and belonging, which is costly–and much more satisfying.” (41)
“There is no churchless Christianity in the Bible. We individualistic Americans need to face that. God is building a new community, and it’s worth belonging to.” (41)
“The gospel is not the story of Christ loving a pure bride who loves him; it’s the story of his love for a whore who thinks he has nothing to offer and keeps giving herself to others.” (45)
“Gospel doctrine creates Gospel cultures called churches, where wonderful things happen to unworthy people for the glory of Christ alone.” (51)“The family of God is where people behave in a new way. I think of it as a simple equation: gospel + safety + time. The family of God is where people should find lots of gospel, lots of safety, and lots of time.” (72)
“The goal is not to make the church safe for sin; it’s to make it safe for confession and repentance.” (73)
“We either proudly believe that we are too good to be judged, or we proudly believe we are too bad to be saved. So the gospel is a continual surprise, and we need to hear it again and again.” (79)
“But God graciously lets us wear ourselves out, and these efforts come to nothing. Life exists not in us but in Christ alone and Christ fully. We live in him.” (81)
“There is nothing mechanical or formulaic about living by faith in Christ. It means looking away from ourselves to him.” (91)
“The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ refuses to be held at arm’s length with critical detachment.” (96)
“But no one is static. No one is not responding to the gospel. Everyone is moving further along one path or the other.” (98)
“I know of only one infallible way to get a church praying, and to keep it praying, for the power of God to come down: we need to fail. We need to fail so badly and so obviously that we find out how much we really do trust ourselves rather than God.” (106)
“Every church, to some extent, clogs and hinders the gospel, even as we intend to advance the gospel. So each one of our churches should examine itself. Then we should make every adjustment, however painful, however embarrassing, however controversial, out of love for the Lord Jesus Christ. He will honor our courage, because it springs from faith.” (109)
“If we fail to love one another in ways so striking that we actually start looking like Jesus, then the world has the right to judge that we know nothing of him. They might be wrong. We might indeed by Christians. But the world is right to dismiss unloving Christians as unchristian.” (111)
(You can see the best quotes from other books here.)
“The Best Quotes from Remember Death“