Commitments of a Gospel CultureBy Scott Hamilton
January 12, 2022
Over the course of this year I have been writing here about Gospel Culture. Ultimately Gospel culture is what flows out of Gospel people. Gospel people are those who are gripped by the grace and glory of Jesus such as transforms not just them but the environment they inhabit together. That environment is the local church. As a local church here in Glasgow, Scotland we have sought to express what it means to be Gospel people pursuing Gospel Culture together by way of the following five commitments.
A commitment through Biblical conversion
By coming into membership of this local church I am choosing to identify myself as being among the number of those who have experienced the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ and have personally responded to His work on the cross by way of confession of sin and repentance from sin.
I believe that Biblical conversion is more than just attendance at church, some family connection or a matter of routine. It is my personal desire to live and act in response to all that Jesus is and all I know that He has done for me. I long for it to bear fruit in my life being lived by the power of God’s grace through the presence of God the Spirit.
A commitment to Biblical clarity.
By coming into membership of this local church I understand that my belonging to a local church is framed by my believing the same things as that local church. Church membership is a matter of my convictions as much as it is a matter of my commitment.
To that end I am expressing agreement with the doctrinal statement of Harvest Glasgow. I am resolving not to work in any way to distract or distort or create division through how I approach matters of Biblical conviction.
I also recognise that being a meaningful part of a local church involves a willingness to continue to deepen my knowledge of God and growing depth in Biblical truth.
A commitment to Biblical consistency
By coming into membership of this local church I am expressing a desire for my life to bring glory to Jesus and contributes to the glory Jesus receives from His church. This happens when I am growing in grace to live life in such a way that does not contradict what God’s Word says.
To that end I resolve to flee, with God’s help, from any action or attitude that might bring Jesus’ name into disrepute. I resolve to repent when contradictions occur and appreciate the place that Biblical accountability and restorative love have in my life in keeping me walking in holiness and obedience.
Implicit in all this is the desire that my life should present people with a picture of the transforming power of Jesus Christ and that I am increasingly gripped by, and in need of, the Gospel every day.
A commitment to Biblical community
By coming into membership of this local church I am recognising that God’s Word calls me to active and invested participation in the local church. It involves me sharing my life with the people that God has put with me in this local church and invites me to invest in their growth in godliness and obedience. I need the help and support of those God has put alongside me in this local church to live the life that He has called me to. I recognise that this commitment to Biblical community means that I flee to unity over disunity, reconciliation over conflict, speaking graciously over gossip and remembering the cross when I am tempted to be critical. The Gospel calls me to love most, forgive fast and be at peace with people inasmuch as it depends upon me.
A commitment to Biblical contribution
By coming into membership of this local church I am investing what God has given to me in such a way as that it might bear fruit for His glory through me. To that end I will steward my time, my talent and my treasure in the local church to build up the body for God’s glory and the fame of Jesus. I understand that this is a commitment to serve, steward financially and be willing to make sacrifices so that the reach of the Gospel might increase through this local church.
My biblical contribution flows from understanding that how I use what is precious to me shows where my priorities lie and, ultimately, where my heart rests and I long for that to be things that glorify Jesus. As we look into 2022, these are the commitments we are praying God will give us grace to pursue here in Scotland and also across every church represented in our GCC family.