This is it the final session of the conference. This will be led by Tim Keller who we just heard from. It’s hard to describe but that was the greatest intro of a speaker I’ve ever heard. Hilarious. You’ll have to ask me about it.
The DNA of a reproducing church has to be the gospel. Romans 1:16 doesn’t say that the gospel brings the power of God. But the gospel is the power of God. This passage started the Reformation which really changed the word. He said he is going to reverse directions and give a very theological talk. (Bring it sir). A fuller version of this talk will be in the latest issue of Leadership Magazine if you’re interested.
But we live in a day where Christians don’t know the gospel. It is becoming common for Christians to misunderstand it. Is the gospel the kingdom of God as it seems to be in the Synoptic Gospels (Matt. Mark, Luke), or is it belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God as in John, or is it about atonement and justification like in Paul’s letter? So what do we say.
Here’s his understanding: The Bible teaches that there is 1 gospel. Yet the gospel has several forms. Paul shows that there is one gospel. Read Galatians 1:9. One gospel but they are emphasizing different things about the gospel. But look at Gal. 2:7. What’s he talking about? Read also, 1 Cor. 1:22-25. The New Testament is written in real time to different audiences. So, with the gospel, the writers were confronting the wrong of their culture’s false belief or lifestyle, but at the same time pointing to Christ as the fulfillment of what they were looking for in those false ways. So as missionaries we take the one true gospel to our culture to confront and show fulfillment.
What is the One Gospel?
- In Christ God emptied himself and became a human.
- In Christ God atoned for our sins, substituted himself for us and died and rose again in our place.
- In Christ, God will return to destroy death, disease, and decay. New heaven and new earth.
All of the NT teach those things, but they bring out and emphasize different aspects. For example, The Campus Crusade, Billy Graham crown emphasize point 2. The Emergent Group (McLaren, Bell, Pagitt) today are upset about losing point 3 and so they respond by emphasizing point 3 and even call only point 3 the gospel. That is preaching 1/3 gospel. On the other hand, some ministries only preach point 2 so they are insufficient as well. You have to have all three points. Three things ought then to be a part of our church.
- Our values should be about service and loving others, not power, popularity, or money. This emphasizes point 1 of the gospel.
- The . Our preaching ought to be substitutionary atonement. The repentance of sin and conversion to God through Jesus death and resurrection for us in our place. This emphasizes point 2.
- We ought to hate and attack and make war on poverty, death, disease, racial injustice, and other social ills in hope of Christ’s return. This emphasizes point 3.
He is afraid that nobody has the gospel. Yikes!
To Preachers From Tim Keller: John’s gospel puts more emphasis on point 2, conversion. The Synoptics put more emphasis on point 1. Paul does it all, but not at the same time. So in preaching you don’t have to preach all 3 points all at once. You will have folks in your church that are most attracted to one point more than the other. So every gospel presentation won’t hit everyone. So you give’em all at different times. Like in Gal. 2:7, a gospel to the circumcised and the uncircumcised. Then he says to preach expositionally (verse by verse through the Bible) that way you hit it all.