Skip to main content

The Gospel, defined

By God’s grace, I persevered through two years as a youth pastor when I began pastoral ministry. One of the great blessings of doing youth ministry was to recognize the need to be as simple and crystal clear as possible. Otherwise forget it, teenagers will eat your lunch. If I tried to skirt an issue, or beat around the bush, or was fuzzy in my own thinking, they would see it as naptime. Eventually, I learned to be direct. I would say to the teenagers, “If at the end of the day, after all is said and done, you do not know what the gospel is, I have failed you as a youth pastor. But if at the end of the day you do know what the gospel is, then I have succeeded. Yes, there is more to it than that, we are going to be learning how to love each other, and serve others, and build community together and learning how to understand the Bible, all of which are products of the gospel. But at the end of the day, the primary measure of my success as a youth pastor is whether or not you understand what the gospel is.” Hopefully till this day you could walk up to them and ask them, “What is the gospel?” and hear a simple short summary. Here it is, the gospel is this:
We are all sinners who stand under the judgment of God. But God in his grace has sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place on the cross and to rise again, that whoever repents and believes in him will be saved.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The 'Greatest' Theologian/Preacher/Christian Philosopher

Here's a fun little discussion for us. Who is the greatest theologian since the apostle Paul? Sounds too subjective, but here are some criteria to evaluate by: 1) Personal life - Did this person's personal character reflect his convictions effectively? 2) Breadth of Influence - How wide and long has this person's influence effected the church and the world? 3) Depth of thought - How careful, biblical, and articulate were this persons's works? My vote to come...

Does Church History Matter?

In a so called unprecedented age, where all of Christianity is re-inventing itself, and all of Christian doctrine is up for re-writing , one must ask the question "Does church history matter?" (Just to write this almost makes me cringe at how unbelievably near-sighted my generation has become!) If we say 'yes it matters' too emphatically, the response will be "Why are you Protestants then?" Didn't Luther radically depart from centuries of theological teaching. One common criticism against Luther (and the Reformation) was "Can you alone be right and the whole world be wrong?" And, when Luther talks about Sola Scriptura, isn't he saying Scripture is all that matters? A few things about Luther. First, his Sola Scriptura argument was not that Scripture is the only authority for the church, but that Scripture alone is the final authority for the church. According to Luther, there can be, indeed should be, lesser authorities, including pasto

What would you want in a New Service?

At FBC we are thinking about adding a new service, open to everyone but geared towards 20-30-40 year olds. The gospel remains the constant, but how are we to be all things to all men that by all possible means we might save some. What would you want to see happening in a worship service that would allow style to work towards gospel-centeredness rather than as a hindrance from it? Examples 1. Breaking into small group prayer, more chance for fellowship 2. Better use of technology 3. Question/answer times during or after the message 4. More cultural engagement --dealing with what's going on in the world 5. More ancient liturgy, candles, incense, better tie into history Any thoughts, lay them out.