Ray Ortlund has helped a generation of pastors see how our doctrine gives rise to culture. As he says, "Gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture." And from that gospel doctrine arises a culture engaged in gospel mission.

A few of Paul's letters, at their most sweeping level, follow this outline. Ephesians 1–3: Gospel Doctrine; Ephesians 4–5: Gospel Culture; Ephesians 6: Gospel Mission. Colossians 1–2: Gospel Doctrine; Colossians 3–4: Gospel Culture.

Paul's letter to the Romans reveals these three categories, showing us what a gospel-centered church believes, how a gospel-centered lives, and what a gospel-centered church does on mission.

Gospel Doctrine in Romans 1-11

What a gospel-centered church believes:

  • Romans 1–2: Sin is real. God will judge sinners
  • Romans 3: But there is hope in Jesus
  • Romans 4: And it is credited by faith
  • Romans 5: God proves his love in Christ's work
  • Romans 6: And Christ makes us alive with him
  • Romans 7 & 8: We are weak. God is not. He helps us.
  • Romans 9 & 10: God is sovereign, so believe the gospel
  • Romans 11: Doctrine leads to doxology. Praise Him!

Gospel Culture in Romans 12–15

How a gospel-centered church lives in Christ as our model and means:

  • Romans 12: Loves, serves, and honors one another
  • Romans 13: Lives different than the world
  • Romans 14: Dies to self
  • Romans 15: Welcomes one another

Gospel Mission in Romans 15–16

What a gospel-centered church does with the message of Christ:

  • Romans 15: Keeps spreading the gospel
  • Romans 16: Works together to preach Jesus

Romans is a masterclass in being a gospel-centered church. Gospel doctrine leads to a gospel culture that is on gospel mission.