We have been given a gospel. Not a creed.

Posted: August 25, 2009 by joarm in christian living, Christianity, church
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You can subscribe, assent or intellectually attach to a creed.  But a gospel is a message and it must be told.  We’ve been given a gospel, a message that is intended to be communicated to everyone.  That’s what Jesus said.  Yes we have creeds to govern the truth of that message but the essential thing is the message (truthfully held) and the continued proclamation of that message.  In the end our effectiveness as gospel bearers comes down to two main criteria: BELIEF and VALUE.  Let me explain.

It’s been raining a lot lately so let’s use rain as the analogy.  When it’s cloudy, the weather forecast says it’s going to rain and you start to feel the first few drops on your nose ( I think mine must stick out a way cause that’s where I usually feel it first) you believe it’s going to rain.  Your BELIEF is so strong that it causes you to act according to what you VALUE.  You value the dry clothes on the washing line so you bring them in off the line.  You value the upholstery in your car so you shut the windows.  If you’ve missed the rain for such a long time and it’s breaking the drought then you’ll probably go out in it and let it soak you to the skin (praise God for the rain).  You BELIEVE that it will rain, you BELIEVE that it is raining and you act on that BELIEF according to what you VALUE.

So back to the gospel.  The message that came to you.  God’s revelation of His purposes, His attitude and your only hope.  Let’s be more specific.  God told you that He is going to make it rain.  The storm is brewing.  The rain is judgement, fire and hell.  Devastating rain.  Jesus presents himself as the only fire proof umbrella, the only hope for you or anyone and you say you believe.  I say I believe.  But do I really believe?  Does it make you act on behalf of the things that you value?  Does it make you get out of your comfort zone and bring that message of  judgement and salvation to the sea of souls drowning all around you?  Does it make me pray about my neighbours, my family, my friends, my country, my leaders and ask for opportunities to tell them the message – to pass on the gospel?  Or do my actions prove what I really believe and value.  Does my obsession with what people think of me govern my words, the way I dress, who I hang out with?  Does my addiction to pleasure whether sinful or legitimate make me choose fun over edification and evangelism?  Does my insatiable appetite for comfort, security and ease drive me to spend every waking moment thinking how I might turn this conversation, or this activity or this person into another part of my ever expanding kingdom when really I should be thinking how I might turn all these opportunities to the service of my King Jesus.

What do you believe?   What do you value?

What are you going to do about it?

May we be humbled by God to see the weakness of our belief – the amazing grace of our saviour and the pressing needs of  everyone who has not heard the gospel.  It’s the most important message and if we believe it’s true, we need to tell it to those we value.

  1. Daniel says:

    ouch ouch ouch! Thank you Josh. Is there any connection to this confusion of belief and value with Romans 7?

  2. georgiearm says:

    I guess our response is the same as this dad’s – recorded in Mark 9…

    21Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

    “From childhood,” he answered. 22″It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

    23″ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

    24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

  3. Alistair Bain says:

    Good one Josh. I was incredibly spurred on by Greg Lee’s comment on Sunday that when people ask him how big his church is (it’s 500) he doesn’t answer them directly. Instead he says something like “there are 300,000 people in Newcastle. That’s the more important number.”

    There are about 60,000-70,000 people in Launceston. Let’s stop counting the number of people inside our churches and look beyond the church car park to the harvest which is dying in the ground for lack of harvesters. Honestly. If churches are growing in Launceston it’s because others are shrinking. Sheep rustling. Shuffling of deck chairs. So little evangelism going on. So few conversions. We can’t hide behind our Reformed theology and talk about God’s sovereignty if we aren’t out confronting the world with the gospel can we?

    @Daniel. Romans 7 is a bit of my hobby horse. Don’t get me started?

    Thanks again.

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