Being gospel-centered means relying on the shed blood and righteous life of Jesus for our standing and acceptance with God. It means that we seek to obey and serve God out of gratitude for what he has done rather than obeying and serving in an effort to earn his acceptance.
Being gospel-centered is being empowered by the Holy Spirit not only to understand the robust nature of the gospel but also to walk in the implications of it in every area of our lives— to repeatedly be shaped and defined by our identity in Christ, and to build rhythms and structures at home and church that support marveling, cherishing, and being formed by the gospel message.
To be gospel-centered begins with the reality that the gospel is not simply the entry point into the Christian life but also the foundation and force that shapes all we do as followers of Jesus, both in our daily lives and in our experience as the corporate body of Christ. The gospel is the good news of what God has graciously done in the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to satisfy his own wrath and secure the forgiveness of sins and perfect righteousness for all who trust in Jesus by faith alone. The gospel informs, controls , and energizes all we do, from the dynamics of interpersonal relationships and marriage to work, our use of money, speech, parenting, mission, and all aspects of ministry in the local church and beyond.
To be gospel-centered is to live your life with the constant awareness that the gospel changes everything. It is to ask in every situation, What difference does the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ make here and now?
Gospel-centrality means that any aspect of life is viewed in its cosmic context, in which God is “summing up” all things in Christ (Eph. 1:10-11). All of creation is seen in that full context, and connections are made between everything that is and the kingdom purposes for which it was called into being. Every passage of Scripture is interpreted in light of the story of Jesus, as is every passage of a believer’s unfolding life story.
The gospel is God’s good-news announcement that Jesus has done for sinners what sinners could never do for themselves. The gospel doxologically declares that because of Christ’s finished work for you, you already have all the justification, approval, security, love , worth, meaning, and rescue you long for and look for in a thousand different people and places smaller than Jesus. The gospel broadcasts the liberating truth that God relates to us based on Jesus’ work for us, not our work for him; Jesus’ performance for us, not our performance for him. Because Jesus came to secure for us what we could never secure for ourselves, life doesn’t have to be a tireless effort to justify ourselves. He came to rescue us from the slavish need to be right, rewarded, regarded, and respected. He came to relieve us of the burden we inherently feel to “get it done.” The gospel announces that it’s not on me to ensure that the ultimate verdict on my life is pass and not fail.
Source: J. A. Medders’ Gospel Formed