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.