Redeemer is a church in Chorlton, Manchester. We are a gospel formed family on mission. So what does “gospel formed” mean?
Gospel formed means we find our identity, our work, our relationships, indeed, the entirety of our lives in the story of the gospel.
So let’s start with the first part: gospel. What is the gospel? The gospel is the good message that God Himself is making this world new, turning everything that is old and broken into something new and complete. He does this through bringing His world to bear upon ours, ultimately through coming as Jesus into our world. (1)
This is the big story of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. As we read the Bible we learn specifically how God is working this out. And we also learn where we need to re-align ourselves to better reflect this wonderful story in our lives. Being gospel formed means giving ourselves over to what the Bible says.
Individuals and Community
Individually, this message means that we can be re-created by our Creator Himself. This happens not by anything we do, but solely by the grace of God in our lives through Jesus. You can read more about that here.
God is not just re-creating individuals, He’s creating a new people for Himself. The gospel means we get to be part of God’s family, together. We are now called to live as a functional, loving family together, as brothers and sisters under a good and loving Father.
Being gospel formed means we seek to be formed only by the gospel. There are so many cultural narratives in our world vying for our attention and our time. And they offer so many identities for us to try on. But no other story delivers on their promise. When we think we’ve been using them for our needs, we find we’ve been used up instead. Only the gospel actually comes through in what it promises.
This is not just true on the individual level, but on the church level. We, as Redeemer, a church that is gospel formed, are called to live this story out together. That means we eat together, talk about the Bible together, pray together, enjoy being with each other.
The gospel is not merely a story, behind the story is a Person. This story would not exist or be true without Jesus, God Himself, making it happen. From the beginning of time, God had a plan to create a people for Himself. This plan became a Person when Jesus came to earth, in our flesh, was born, lived, died, and resurrected.
Through who Jesus is and what He’s done, this is not just a great message or a great story, it’s a great truth. Being gospel formed means giving ourselves over to its author, Jesus Christ.