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The Gospel-centered Life

The Gospel-centered Life is a 9 session study by Robert Thune and Will Walker that demonstrates how the freedom of the Gospel is applicable and needed in everyday life. It includes visuals, examples and questions which do a great job of helping people to understand the Gospel and to see both legalism and self-righteousness in their own lives.

Here are the 9 lessons:

  1. The Gospel Grid
  2. Pretending & Performing
  3. Believing the Gospel
  4. Law & Gospel
  5. Repentance
  6. Heart Idolatry
  7. Mission
  8. Forgiveness
  9. Conflict

Personal Experience

I was first exposed to this material when I was taken through it for a discipleship group that I was a part of in college. God used it to help me understand more deeply the freedom of the Gospel.

Since then, I have used it in small discipleship groups which I have led, and it has been exciting to see God use it to help the Gospel become less abstract and more precious to people in the group as they learn that the Gospel has no strings attached.

Jesus and the cross become “bigger” to us as we understand more of how sinful we are and how holy God is.

Positives

It is easy to describe the Gospel in a way that is formulaic and unengaging. It is more difficult to explain the Gospel in a way that helps people to see how deeply applicable it is to every part of their lives. This book does that.

It does this by exposing the legalism and self-righteousness that is so deeply rooted in each one of us. And it then shows how the Gospel is the answer for these things.

It doesn’t allow participants to just think about problems in other people. Instead it forces participants to unpeel the layers of sin in their own hearts and lives, so that the freedom of the Gospel can be applied to it.

The “Gospel Grid” is emphasized throughout the book. It explains that Jesus and the cross become “bigger” to us as we understand more of how sinful we are and how holy God is.

Concerns

I have very little negative to say about this study, and I would highly recommend it. But I wish a few things were worded a bit differently in Lesson 8 as it deals with forgiveness. Some of the language sounds a bit syncretistic, like God has moved towards us and it is our job to respond and move towards Him. In that particular spot, it doesn’t do a good job of explaining how faith itself is a gift from God. That portion sticks out, because the rest of the book does so well to emphasize the completeness of the work that Christ has done on our behalf.

// REVIEW PROVIDED BY PASTOR MATTHEW QUANBECK

  • ©2009 by Serge
  • Published 2011 New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC 27404

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