Monday, April 27, 2009

The Functional Centrality of the Gospel

This is taken from a workshop lead by Michael Bullmore during the Gospel Coalition National Conference.

A recently asked question - "What is the greatest, most crying need in the church today?"

Not just a biblical/theological literacy but a functioning biblical/theological literacy, especially a functioning gospel. I believe a local church is healthy to the degree that: 1) its pastor-teachers are able--accurately, effectively and broadly--to bring the gospel to bear specifically into the real lives of the people; and 2) its people have a deep personal understanding of and a deep personal appreciation for the gospel so as to be able to live in the good of the gospel daily.
One of the greatest challenges, yet one of the most important tasks, of pastoral ministry is to help people actually see the connections between the gospel and the thinking and behavior that make up their everyday lives. We know well the centrality of the gospel message but in order for it to have a functional centrality it must be clearly, carefully and consistently connected to the real issues--issues of thought and conduct--of people's lives, this kind of ministry is most greatly needed.

The heart of the gospel is: 1 Corinthians 15:3 -- "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures."

Some good verses to consider some implications of the gospel. "Gospel truths": 1 Timothy 1:10-11; Romans 5:1, 8:1, 8:32. "Gospel conduct": Philippians 1:27; Galatians 2:14, Titus 2:1; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Ephesians 4:32, 5:25; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9.

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