The Unassumed Gospel
At Lakewood, we don’t assume that everyone who attends our services already understands the gospel. Rather, we desire that the saving message of Jesus be made explicitly clear through our teaching and preaching.
What is the gospel? While the word “gospel” means “good news,” this message doesn’t seem as good as it really is until we first understand how lost and sinful we are. The Bible is clear that we’re all sinners (i.e. law-breakers), guilty before a holy God, and deserving of His eternal judgment. Because of His great love, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take on a human nature, to live the perfect life that we could never live, to die on the cross in our place in order to make a payment for our sins, and then to rise again from the dead to conquer death. God commands all of us to consciously repent (i.e. make a decision of the heart to turn from our sin) and to personally trust Jesus as our Savior from sin and hell. If we will do this, we will be forgiven of our sins and granted eternal life; such salvation can only come to us by God’s grace, through faith — not by our good works.
Believe, Be Baptized, Belong
Those who have responded appropriately to the message of the gospel (i.e. believers) should follow the Lord in believer’s baptism by immersion, which is the first step of “going public” with one’s faith. We also believe that God desires every believer to be an identified part of a local church fellowship. We call this "church membership." For more information on “Believe, Be Baptized, Belong,” listen to this sermon from the Lakewood pulpit.
The majority of the sermons preached from the Lakewood pulpit are expository, meaning that the point of the week’s Scripture passage is also the point of the sermon — with specific application made to the lives of God’s people. Typically, our pastors will preach through entire books of the Bible, paragraph by paragraph, verse by verse. While we are not opposed to topical messages, so long as they flow from the text of Scripture rightly interpreted, our church’s primary diet is expository preaching.