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PlumbLines-3

Plumb lines are a series of short, pithy statements that we, at the Summit, use as rallying points—both for our staff and for the entire church. They are a way to encapsulate our ministry philosophy in short, memorable phrases.

Plumb Line #1 at the Summit is: “The gospel is not just the diving board; it’s the pool.”

Christianity teaches something fundamentally different than every other religion. Every other religion says that if you change, you will be accepted. But Christianity says, Because you have been accepted, therefore change.” Christianity doesn’t proclaim good advice, but good news. And that news transforms us from the inside out.

This is by no means an intuitive truth. And those of us in the church tend to forget it quite a bit. For many evangelicals, the gospel functions solely as the entry rite into Christianity; it is the prayer we pray to begin our relationship with Jesus; the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of the “real” Christian life.

The gospel, however, is not just the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of Christianity; it is the pool itself. It is not only the way we begin in Christ; it is the way we grow in Christ. As Tim Keller says, the gospel is not just the ABCs of Christianity, but it is the A–Z. All of the Christian life flows from the good news of what Jesus has done.

That’s why growth in Christ is never going beyond the gospel, but going deeper into the gospel. The purest waters from the spring of life are found by digging deeper, not wider, into the gospel well.

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While doing some research on the idea of “work as worship,” I found these insightful nuggets from a handful of Puritan authors. (For those of you in the RDU area, don’t forget to register for our Gospel at Work conference, which will help you think biblically about your work.)

“Be laborious and diligent in your callings… and if you cheerfully serve [God] in the labour of your hands, with a heavenly and obedient mind, it will be as acceptable to him as if you had spent all that time in more spiritual exercises.” Richard Baxter

Choose that employment or calling … in which you may be most serviceable to God. Choose not that in which you may be most rich or honourable in the world.” Richard Baxter

“Christians should so spiritualize our hearts and affections that we may have heavenly hearts in earthly employments.” Thomas Gouge

“If God be God over us, he must be over us in every thing.” Peter Bulkeley

“Have you forgot … the milkhouse, the stable, the barn, and the like, where God did visit your soul?” John Bunyan

“It is in your shops where you may most confidently expect the presence and blessing of God.” Richard Steele

“The main end of our lives is to serve God in the serving of men in the works of our callings.” William Perkins

On May 17–18, I will be participating in an event that LifeWay is hosting in Nashville, called The Gospel Project Experience. The conference will focus on the main events of the gospel through times of vibrant worship and engaging messages. Continue Reading…