New Here

New Here

New Here

The Gospel is Rooted in Biblical Truth

Years ago, I was serving in a voluntary leadership position in a church.

It was a good church and I learned a lot while our family worshiped there, but I remember one night when I questioned something the pastor asked us to do. Years before, the church held a whole-church retreat to seek to discover what God had called them to do. The result was a biblically based and even catchy mission statement for the church.

On the night in question the pastor decided to make it a requirement for each of the church leaders to memorize the church’s mission statement so that we could all communicate it whenever church members or visitors asked what we were all about. I was considerably younger then and decided not to ask the question burning on my lips.

The question I wanted to ask was, “Would everyone in the room be able to articulate the gospel as clearly as the church’s new slogan?” I wondered if I could clearly communicate the gospel myself or if I would end up rambling and only semi-coherent. In hindsight, I suspect not. The reason wasn’t because we were not all believers. The reason was because we had not been clearly taught how to communicate the gospel.

Take a minute to contemplate this important question. Think about what you would say if someone were to ask you, “What is this good news about Jesus Christ really about?”

I was particularly struck by something Matt Chandler said in a sermon he delivered at a pastor’s conference a number of years ago.  He referred to a phrase found in the book Soul Searching by Christian Smith that identifies a disturbing trend in the church today.

Smith calls the trend “Christian Therapeutic Moralistic Deism”. Take a second to get your mind wrapped around that mouthful of an expression, “Christian Therapeutic Moralistic Deism”. In other words, everything is about behavior modification. This is how you behave. This is how you don’t behave. It amounts to nothing more than slapping moralistic Band-Aids on top of an arterial bleed of a sin problem. Preachers have become pop psychologists in the pulpit doling out personal advice rather than providing a steady diet of biblical truth.

This happens when we think we can improve the teachings of the Bible by pitting the worldly wisdom against the wisdom of the Word. This happens the more we attempt to market churches amidst the sea of entertainment alternatives. Pastors preach on corporate success, financial success, marital success and, even in some bizarre cases, weight loss success in the name of Jesus.

Friends, we do not need to market God. We do not need to sell His gospel. It cannot be improved upon. We need to read it, hear it, understand it, live it, and proclaim it as if our life depends on it, because it does. Make sure you are ready to give a clear explanation of the gospel to anyone God brings into your life.

A good resource to make sure you have a biblically rooted understanding of the gospel and not something that could be found in the self-help section at the bookstore can be found in Greg Gilbert’s little book, What is the Gospel? (Click book title for link to order.)

In Christ,