Our Passion: The Centrality of Substitution
I deeply desire for each resource we produce to renew your heart by encountering the Father’s heart for you, awakening your soul more and more to the height, depth, width, and breadth of his deep, unrelenting love expressed most undeniably through the cross of Christ—that you would live all of life in view of that story of redemption, seeing, savoring, and celebrating the glorious grace of God in Jesus!
The story of redemption is the story of the Bible and of all history. The epicenter of that story is the cross of Christ, where he becomes a substitute for sinners, taking the place of judgment so that we can be forgiven and free.
Dr. Tim Keller says, “The key to spiritual renewal is the continual re-discovery of the gospel.”
Keeping with that philosophy, the message of the cross looms large in every MSD resource, with the goal being a “continual re-discovery of the gospel." Tethering all of our content to the cross, we long for believers to come alive to the present value of Jesus’ blood.
If there is a word that most encapsulates the theological foundation of the gospel, it is substitution.
This is why every piece of content we produce touches on the concept of “Jesus in my place.” He lived in our place, achieving an actual record of perfect righteousness with which to replace the rags of our unrighteousness and self-righteousness. He also died in our place, satisfying in full the demands of justice our sin deserved. As our sin-bearer and righteousness provider, Jesus is our substitute in life and death. His resurrection serves as confirmation that these extraordinary gospel promises are true.
When someone consciously believes the gospel, the Spirit engrafts them into Jesus like a branch is connected to a vine. Theologically, we call this union with Christ, where we abide in him by faith, believing that Jesus’ perfect righteousness is now our perfect righteousness (our new and true identity).
As a believer presses into the vine with a present awareness of the value of Jesus’ blood, the Holy Spirit, like sap from the vine, flows into them, filling the disciple with new desires and abilities, changing me from the inside out.
This cross-centered theology of substitution is the foundation underlying every Mustard Seed Discipleship resource.