Why one church in Minneapolis defines herself as ‘Cross-Centered’

After recently listening to a great sermon on the Cross I have been convicted. Convicted because I have not been spending enough time studying the Cross. So over the next few weeks and months I am planning to study through John Stott’s, The Cross of Christ (IVP: 1986). I am a big fan of Stott but admittedly have never read the entire book through (please don’t email, I know the shame of this admission). So for the coming weeks I am going to center my attention and affections upon the Cross through this study.

The quote that brought conviction came from a sermon entitled The Glory of the Cross delivered by Rick Gamache, the senior pastor of a neat church in Minneapolis (April, 2006; Sovereign Grace Fellowship). Itself is a wonderful sermon well worth your time this weekend (listen in .mp3). Here is a short excerpt:

“I want to try and articulate briefly for you why we are very careful to refer to Sovereign Grace Fellowship as a ‘Gospel-centered’ or ‘Cross-centered’ church. If you have been around here for any amount of time you know we don’t refer to ourselves mainly as a ‘God-centered’ church though I definitely use those terms. We use that term on occasion because we are thoroughly centered on God here. But we don’t even use terms to refer to ourselves namely as a ‘Christ-centered’ church. Now, again we sometimes use that phrase because here we are thoroughly centered upon Christ. But we prefer to be even more precise so we use the term ‘Gospel-centered’ or ‘Cross-centered’ church … Because the Cross is the centerpiece of the good news, the Apostle Paul says in Galatians 6:14 that he ‘boasts in’ (‘exults in,’ or ‘rejoices in’ – that one Greek word can have all those meanings), he ‘rejoices in’ nothing except the Cross of Jesus Christ because it’s where our salvation was purchased and where God was revealed in glory. So Martin Luther was correct when he wrote this: ‘The Cross alone is our theology. There is not a word in the Bible which we can understand without reference to the Cross.'”

Rick Gamache, sermon on The Glory of Christ; April, 2006, Sovereign Grace Fellowship; Minneapolis, MN

(sermon on The Glory of Christ; April, 2006, Sovereign Grace Fellowship; church in Minneapolis, MN)

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