In simple terms, the “gospel” refers to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Through his atoning death and the power of his resurrection, he is able to make wayward sinners friends of God. In short, he is able to do for us what we are unable to do for ourselves.
As one called to preach, I’ve thought about how the gospel should infuse our preaching. Not every message must be an explicit explanation of the gospel. But every message should strike a note of hope, offering a bit of gospel to the topic at hand.
Gospel-centered preaching recognizes that the true power of transformation lies with God, not within us. Reconciliation, forgiveness, patience, endurance — and other godly virtues — are the result of allowing God to work in our lives.
When we give the impression that we are “three steps” from any life change without mentioning God’s role, we risk creating a man-centered gospel that sprinkles in a little Jesus for good measure.
The central plot line of the Bible is all about Jesus. It is the story of God’s redemptive action on people’s behalf.
Gospel-centered preaching is powerful because we are not responsible for the power — God is.