Gospel DNA is the term we use to describe those core elements of the gospel of Jesus Christ which give definition to those who have been transformed by its power and been given new hearts by the work of the Spirit of God. Gospel identity can express itself in limitless ways but always produces certain core characteristics that can only be traced to this particular DNA. Because these core components of life flow out of belief in the gospel, we want to learn to embrace this identity and live it out as the primary means of making disciples of Jesus.
The apostle John wrote that we love because God first loved us. This same principle applies to each of the following aspects of our identity in Christ – we live in a way that is consistent with who God has made us to be in Jesus.
We are Children in the Family of God
God is a perfect loving Father who has adopted as his own children those who received his Son Jesus, making us part of his family forever and offering an eternal inheritance. So we can rest in him and love and honour him as our Father and we can love and treat others who believe as brothers and sisters. This love he gives us for each other is meant to define us as a family.
We are Stewards in God’s Kingdom
God has given us everything we have to be used in a way that is consistent with the building of his Kingdom. Because he is generous toward us and able to continually meet all of our needs we are free to be generous with others – intentionally investing our possessions, finances, time, skills, relationships, and opportunities for the glory of our King.
We are a Light in the Darkness
Jesus, as the Son of God, left his home with the Father and brought light to our world so that we might no longer live in darkness. He now shines his light through those who follow him for the sake of others, loving and blessing them and inviting them to come to experience the light. We live in such a way that we bring light to the world around us, not blinding people but simply helping them to more clearly see Jesus for who he is and the amazing life that only he can offer them.
We are Servants of the King
Jesus, as the Son of Man, came to serve and sacrifice his life in order to provide life for others. In doing so, he purchased us who believe to be his servants so that we might live for him and no longer for ourselves. Because he rescued us and secured our eternal future, we are free to sacrifice our own interests even to the point of laying down our lives in order to serve others. Jesus impacts the hearts of people by calling, equipping, and empowering us to serve those around us.
We are Travellers on Life’s Journey
The journey of life is very challenging, but the Spirit of God lives in us, never leaving us, but rather guiding us and speaking to us as the Spirit of Truth and the perfect Counsellor. It is crucial that we learn to hear his voice and that we are quick to listen and obey. As we walk with the Spirit he helps us assess our heart affections; recognize, take responsibility for, and repent of sin; and bear fruit that brings glory to God. Listening to the Spirit is the key to applying the gospel to all of life.
We are Messengers with Good News
Just as the gospel was proclaimed to us, so we, by faith, become messengers of the same good news. The Holy Spirit of God loves to tell the story of Jesus and his work, making the Father famous and rescuing people from his wrath through their faith in the good news that is proclaimed to them. He provides the understanding, faith, courage, and desire to proclaim the truth of the gospel in all its fullness, leveraging its power to transform all areas of unbelief in our lives. This often takes the shape of gospel oriented conversations, counseling, teaching, and public preaching.
We are Coaches
Jesus calls his church to go into all the world and make disciples. Trusting in the love and provision of the Father, the finished work of Jesus the Son, and the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we reproduce the specific heart affections, the understandings, and the experiences of our Gospel DNA in the lives of others. Through our personal influence, our example, and our instruction we lead others to grow toward maturity in each core element of the gospel-centered life.
Use our Gospel DNA Survey yourself or have a leader/coach or friend fill it out for you to help you identify areas that need growth.