What Does It Mean to Be "Christ-Centered"?
There's a lot of ministries and preachers, speakers and organizations out there who claim to be "Christ Centered." I can't help but wonder, though, if they know what that means. You see, many who claim to be centered on Christ actually have little to do with His Gospel. Don't get me wrong; they do many fine things, like caring for the sick, helping orphans, providing food and water, seeking equality for people, etc., and yet their entire focus is on THIS life. As I study the Gospels, Jesus wasn't focused on improving the quality of life in the present. He was about building the Kingdom of God, and rescuing humanity from their captor and destroyer, sin, and setting them free from its burden, death. Jesus was all about the Gospel, and anything that is centered on Christ is centered on His Gospel. To say we are Christ-centered is not enough. If Jesus is truly at the center of all things, then His life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection ought to be the core of all we do. We need to be focused on getting people to Him, and the promise of eternal life for those who believe in Him. Jesus came to call us from death to life, and He's still calling! To be Christ-centered, we must do as He did, even dying to ourselves (whether physically or symbolically) to see the lost get found. We need to be centered on loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. To be centered on Jesus, we need to seek to be LIKE Jesus. Nothing else is acceptable, and when we walk away from that, we no longer represent Him. 1 Peter 2:1-25 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.