What are the non-negotiables of a church? Paul tells the Galatian churches that circumcision, abstaining from certain meats, and special days were not essential. They were, so to speak, negotiated right out. And that even though they were prescribed in the Law. What, then, if anything, is non-negotiable?
Gospel mercy, having a heart and actions that help the poor in their distress, is a non-negotiable in the mission of a true church. James called it true religion. Paul explains to the Galatian churches what he and the leaders of the church in Jerusalem agreed on: although circumcision, dietary restrictions, and special days were not an essential part of a church’s community life, we must “remember the poor” (Gal. 2:10).
Gospel mercy is placed as a priority by King Jesus himself both in the arrangement of the Gospels and in the teaching they contain. The early church testifies to its priority in their life. God himself places the poor in high priority and comes alongside those who do the same to help them.
Join us in worshipping our God and King as we explore the 3rd in our series on our missional priorities: Gospel culture, Gospel formation, Gospel mercy, Gospel outreach, and Gospel unity. It’s placement in the center, at the heart of our priorities, was not intentional (by us), but it sure could have been!