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Gospel-Centered Teaching highlights

For those of us who teach, it is important to keep a broad perspective in our lessons. Every message we give should be centered on the gospel. But this is sometimes hard to remember and difficult to do.

Trevin Wax’s book Gospel-Centered Teaching has been very helpful to me lately.

Below are a few highlights. Take a look at them. You can use this as a guide for preparing your own lessons. If you find this helpful, I would highly recommend you get a copy of the book for yourself.

We progress in holiness the more we’re immersed in the truth that Christ died to save helpless sinners like you and me.

Why should we be gospel-centered in our teaching?

  1. Because the gospel is the power of God for salvation.
    • “It reminds us that the power to save is not in our expert teaching skills, but in the power of God’s Spirit working through God’s Word.”
  2. Because the gospel is the power of God for sanctification
    • “We progress in holiness the more we immerse ourselves in the truth that Jesus Christ bled and died to save helpless sinners like you and me.”
  3. Because the gospel is the motivation for mission.
    • “The Spirit of God uses the gospel of God to motivate the people of God to be on mission with God.”
    • “The root cause of our lack of engagement in God’s mission is not a missions problem but a gospel problem.”
    • “Nothing will motivate you and your group to be on mission for God’s Kingdom more than knowing and loving the King of kings.”
    • “Teaching cannot be considered “gospel-centered” unless it has a missionary shape to it. Unless the truths of God’s Word are leading us to mission, we are just studying the gospel as a closed group of like-minded Christians, not an all-embracing group of fervent ambassadors for King Jesus. Miss the mission, and you’ve missed the point of gospel-centrality.”
    • “Missional fruitfulness comes from a heart gripped by God’s greatness and enthralled with His grace.”

Three Questions to ask when preparing to teach

  1. How does this topic/passage fit into the big story of Scripture?
  2. What is distinctively Christian about the way I am addressing the topic/passage? (Would this be true if Jesus hadn’t died and been raised?)
  3. How does this truth equip God’s church to live on mission?

General Helpful Quotes

“At the end of the day, unless we bring people back to the gospel, we are not offering anything distinctively Christian in our small groups. We may be commenting on Christian Scripture, pulling out good points of application, and offering solid information. But it’s the gospel that makes our teaching distinctively Christian. It’s the gospel that separates our study from mere moralistic suggestions or information overload.”

“Ed Stetzer often says that he never wants to preach a sermon that could be true had Jesus not died and been raised.”

“Deeper teaching happens when we have deeper teachers. Your group won’t remember everything you teach them, but they will probably remember what you’re most excited about.”