Last week I asked: What would the church of the first century, the church Jesus built, the church the apostles worked with look like if it existed in our community today? The first observation from Scripture was that it would be Christ-centered – particularly in following His teaching and authority as expressed in the New Testament. He would be the Head of His church!
But there is much more to being Christ-centered! The early church was focused on Jesus being the reason for our forgiveness. It is expressed in a wide variety of words in Scripture: salvation, redemption, deliverance, atonement, regeneration, justification, eternal life, sanctification…
Salvation from sin is the very reason for Jesus coming to earth:
“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” – Matthew 20:28
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us….” – 1 John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
“for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” – Luke 19:10
Sometimes people talk about accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. However, His Lordship implies our need to submit to and obey Jesus – to accept His authority. So, many people want to accept Jesus as Savior because it brings a blessing to them, but don’t really want to accept Him as Lord because it requires something OF them.
The church of the New Testament accepted Jesus as Savior by trusting in His sacrifice on the cross for sin and having faith that their sin was forgiven in the grace and mercy Jesus brought. However, the church of the New Testament also submitted to Jesus as Head, Lord, King, and ruler of their lives. That is how Christ-centered the church of the New Testament – and that’s how Christ-centered we want to be in all things! dd
Next Week: What would a worship assembly look like?