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Gospel-Centered Piety

Reformed theology has always underscored the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, including spiritual disciplines of private prayer and meditation on scripture. However, these personal spiritual devotions are to be fueled by corporate gatherings of God’s people. Many people view spirituality as moving from the individual to the family to the church, Reformed or Gospel-centered piety as I call it, moves in the opposite direction, from the public means of grace to the private.

Another way to look at it is, in Gospel-centered piety, the arrow is always pointing downward, from God to  us, and then through us to our neighbours. I can do nothing to improve my relationship with the Lord. I can give him any gift that would obligate him to bless me–gifts come down, they don’t go up. (Acts 17:24-25; Romans 11:35-36)     

Christian Piety does not begin with the lonely individual in his apartment, nor does it end there. Our works do not go up to God, but our works go out to our neighbours. God is already completely satisfied with us in Jesus Christ, so our works have no value except for their horizontal application to our community. It is crucial to understand and believe that your works or good deeds do not change your standing before God, but that because of Christ work on the cross you have been declared righteous (justification) 

The Christian Life starts with God and everything eminates from him, and when thinking of how to grow deeper in the Gospel, do not think what you can do for God, but think about What God, in Christ, has done for you.