The purpose of Gospel Convergence is to provide:
“Meditations on the Life of Jesus in the Mission of His Church for the Glory of God”
This encapsulates our Theological Vision which can be broken down into three complementary points:
- Mission Orientated
- Doxologically Driven
We believe that to be aligned with God in how he designed his universe to operate means being Christ-Centred, both in how we read and interpret the Scriptures and also in how we live our lives as individuals and within our various and varied communities.
This has profound implications for every area of our lives and we hope that we can help others, as well as ourselves, to see Christ clearer from the pages of Scripture to even the most mundane parts of our day and everything in-between.
We believe that being Christ-Centred has unambiguous Biblical warrant and tremendous practical application.
Practical Application (Part 2)
We have a saying in Northern Ireland, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing that a tomato doesn’t belong in a fruit salad.” Which is to say that there is a difference between intelligence and wisdom. Likewise, there is a difference between having an informational knowledge of Jesus and a transformational knowledge of him. Paul wants the church in Colossae to have a transformational knowledge of Jesus by virtue of his being in them and their being in him.
A transformational knowledge of Jesus is one that results in having our hearts, as well as our minds, changed by the gospel so that we know how to live with Jesus as the centre of our lives and desire to live a life with Jesus at the centre.
C.S. Lewis superbly and succinctly explains the difference between a life centred on Christ and one which is not:
“Look for yourself, and you will find loneliness and despair. But look for Christ and you will find Him and everything else.”
Lewis was clearly referencing the letter to the Hebrews:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV)
The author of the letter to the Hebrews and C.S. Lewis are essentially saying the same thing, that in order to live a Christ-Centred life a person needs to take their focus off themselves and “look to/for Jesus” because only when we, by the grace of God, do this will our lives gradually become re-attuned to God’s cosmic symphony.
Looking to Jesus is trusting in who he has made us as a new creation in his image and consequently what God then says about who we are by merit of Christ’s finished work on our behalf. So when we read in Matthew,
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”” (3:16-17 ESV)
We can know, because we belong to Jesus and are “in Christ”, when God looks at us he says of us, “This is my beloved son/daughter, with whom I am well pleased.” We did nothing to deserve this gracious privilege, it is all because of Jesus and this should cause us to marvel and ask ourselves, “Who is this God who freely justifies undeserving sinners like us?”
To know God in this way, deeply and personally, is to be Christ-Centred.
The irony of this is that we will only find ourselves by looking outside of ourselves to Another, Jesus Christ.
To be Christ-Centred, then, is not to have all the answers but to have the one Answer who truly matters and really makes a difference (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:18-22).