Thursday, April 16, 2009

Integrating the gospel

John Fonville shares his own experiences in explaining the relationship of an effective ministry and the gospel. Here's a sample:
. . .pastors and churches today may theoretically profess a belief in the person and work of Christ (i.e, the gospel), but in practice the operative gospel becomes the dominant focus of all the preaching and teaching (e.g., Three Keys for a Happy Marriage and so on).

The problem with this understanding of discipleship is that it is not integrally related to the gospel. Such a truncated, narrow view of the gospel is one of the greatest problems plaguing the Evangelical church today.

The relationship of the Bible’s imperatives (i.e., the things we are commanded to be and do; e.g., “Be holy,” [1 Pet. 1:15]; “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” [Eph. 4:26] etc…) to the Bible’s indicatives (i.e., the things that are already a fact; e.g., “we have redemption through His blood,” [Eph. 1:7]; “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” [Rom. 5:1]) is critical.

Sadly, a great majority of preachers, believers and churches have no idea of this essential distinction, it is not even on the radar screen. Yet, without this distinction, one doesn’t possess a true knowledge of the Christian faith and therefore effective ministry is impossible.


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