Archives For Gospel

Listened to a Matt Chandler sermon a few weeks ago where he gives a phenomenal gospel message to Bible Belt Christians:

For most of us, the former life that we need to proclaim is that we were busy with a thousand religious activities, but we didn’t know the gospel until Jesus saved us. “My former life” is that you were a deacon and Sunday school teacher, but you didn’t know Him. Or our former life needs to be, “I went to church four or five times a year. I went to church Christmas and Easter. I had Christian in my title of who I was, but in reality I had no idea who Jesus was. My life didn’t match up with the gospel calling on my life. I just didn’t know. So in my former life, this is what I treasured and this is what I pursued. And Jesus saved me.”

I think the most difficult group is going to be the group that has been in church a long, long time.

I’m saying that the offer stands, especially for you. For me, is it miraculous when someone in witchcraft comes to know the Lord? – Yes. But it’s just as miraculous, if not maybe more miraculous, when God saves among church folk. Some of them have been inoculated to Jesus: just enough to not need Him. They can talk the language just enough to not understand that they’re way outside of the Kingdom and under a false gospel. Oh, that He might move well in your hearts today.


Two GREAT posts I’ve come across on the Motive and Method for Evangelism:


The Motive for Evangelism

The first step toward leading people to become evangelists is to lead them to the waters of the Gospel.

If Jesus isn’t good news to us then we’ll never think He’s good news for others

A willingness to speak comes from a heart that is smitten by the only person in the universe worth talking about, and possibly looking foolish for.

When someone becomes a Christian, we make a big deal about it. We announce it on Sundays. . .we announce it on the web . . . we talk about it constantly. Many Christians report never having seen someone become a Christian before coming to our church. It is extremely encouraging for them to see something supernatural like someone “gittin saved.”

In celebrating someone’s conversion, we are celebrating evangelism. People need to know, especially in the Bible Belt, where Christianity is a cultural relic, that the Holy Spirit is alive and well, making disciples and building God’s Kingdom, and that they themselves can be a part of it. This celebration has awakened many to tell others about Jesus for the first time in their lives. Literally, evangelism begets evangelists.

Click to read the entire article.

Application for us (on this last part): at our weekly meeting we’ve started showing weekly videos of students experiencing life change).


The Method of Evangelism

Why you need to learn and memorize a clear way of explaining the gospel. A good apologetic on why you should learn a gospel tract (among other things).

A friend suddenly says to you, “Okay, tell me what this Christianity stuff is all about.” What would you say? Could you explain the gospel clearly in that moment?

Here’s the deal: if you think when the moment finally comes and your friend is ready to listen, that the gospel will flow “instinctively” and smoothly off your lips because, after all, you’ve been a Christian for years, you are wrong! It will come out of your mouth and fall on the floor in a muddled mess.

To be effective witnesses we must work at being able to take what we know in our heads and hearts and clearly express it out of our mouths.

Similar thinking (that’s verbalized in this article) has led me in recent years to a newfound love for the Knowing God Personally tract.

Strongly encourage you to read the entire article.

HT to @pablonunez for tweeting about this article – hooray for Twitter!


What are your takeaways from these two articles?


photo courtesy of . SantiMB .

Matt Chandler was phenomenal, as expected. Definitely the best spiritual development talk (as opposed to Leadership) of the conference.

Matt Chandler brought what, in my opinion, was missing in the Catalyst Conference: a focus on the gospel as the fuel for world change and personal heart change.


Here are my notes from the talk. They’re a bit disjointed as Matt tends to be. My favorite points are bolded.

  • What I was saved into was – ‘here are the rules’
  • As long as you keep the rules, me and God are cool
  • But I stunk at it
  • I would dominate the rules for a month and a half – and then I would fail
  • You know what that would lead me to do? – it would cause me to run from God for a month and a half
  • Paul preaches the gospel to believers in every book he writes with the exception of 2 Cor.
  • Paul believes that the gospel is not only what saves you but what sanctifies you
  • BB Warfield on why Christians can never move beyond the gospel:

There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be trust as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest.

  • My fear is that we shackle our people with chains when we don’t understand the gospel
  • Because what we give people is the list
  • What they’re going to get from you is what Christ came to destroy
  • You have to do ____ to be accepted by Him
  • Most young people assume that the gospel is only their ticket into heaven
  • That’s why secret sin dominates the church – it’s a failure to apply the gospel
  • “Well if we have cheap grace, then people will live in licentiousness”
  • 1) They won’t if they’re saved 2) Heb 12 – there is the Lord’s discipline
  • It’s what DA Carson calls Grace Driven Effort
  • How do I know if I get the gospel?
  • When they screw up what they do? If they run to God, they get it. If they run away from God, they don’t get it
  • How do you train your people to fight the flesh?
  • Wrong – The threats of the law and the promises of heaven (do this – don’t do this). If you do this _____, this will happen. We build a reward system with God.       Heaven’s not a place for people afraid of hell. It’s a place where God is.
  • Right – We’ve been given the weapons of Grace (not with the will) – The word of God and the Promises of the Covenant
  • You don’t need to feel good about you. You need to feel good about Jesus
  • Do you teach people that sin is an external sin or a heart issue?
  • Are you training people to attack the root or to attack the branches?
  • If you’re just shaping morals, you’re attacking branches
  • Was it not the best behaved people on earth that killed Jesus?
  • Grace driven effort – it’s violent
  • You teach your people the weight of sin
  • A lot of people don’t like sin because it ruins things but they have no idea of the offense of their sin
  • Levity is a predominant thing in so many of our churches
  • But sin is heavy
  • Most of us don’t deal violently with sin
  • We keep sin close and give it room, board in our heart
  • People who understand the gospel understand that sin is an afront on God’s holiness that shames His name
  • So we deal with sin violently
  • When I go to the gym, I know there will be some lady running basically in her bra and panties on the treadmill. I know that the enemy is there to destroy me. “Lord, guard my eyes, let me feel what’s on the line, for your name”
  • “I’m in a long line of incompetent men that God has made much of Himself thru” (Moses, a donkey)
  • When we look at our money, I like nice stuff, I’m drawn toward it.
  • God’s on mission here and my comforts come in the new earth (when I don’t live in Dallas anymore, I live in San Diego)
  • The great thing about living in Dallas is that no matter where you go it’s awesome.
  • You’ve got nothing without the gospel
  • Can you get people to do all kinds of external things without the gospel? Sure
  • Can you grow a huge church without the gospel? sure
  • But you can’t see hearts transformed and worshippers of God happen without the gospel
  • We are made to worship
  • It’s why grown men paint their bodies and go to games
  • God is not in love with a future version of us – he is in love with us as we are right now

What was your favorite point from Matt?

Becoming an Antioch Movement

November 9, 2010 — 1 Comment

“St. Peter’s Cave Church in Antakya – one of the oldest churches in Christianity.

Peter, Barnabus and Paul all worked with the Christian community in Antioch.”

The church in Antioch as described in the book of Acts is a fascinating case study on building a thriving gospel movement.

Just wanted to share a great resource I used in our staff meeting last week that our staff really enjoyed and were motivated by (it took about 45 minutes).

Here’s essentially what it is:

  • Looking at three passages in the book of Acts, what are the consistent themes and distinguishing marks of the church at Antioch?
  • What can we learn about building a movement where the gospel spreads rapidly
  • How can we be a sending movement like the church at Antioch – Are we a leadership/laborer-factory like the church at Antioch?

Here’s how to set it up (download the notes listed below so this will make more sense):

  • Read the first passage out loud
  • Ask- “What do you observe about the movement in Antioch in this passage?”
  • Repeat for all three passages
  • Ask- “What are the take-aways for our campus in building that type of movement that is modeled in Antioch?”
  • Share some summary thoughts from the 5 Movement Building Principles (that Ken Cochrum came up with)
  • End with some of the closing questions to further apply it to your movement (see notes below)

The notes and idea are from Brian McCollister (Cru Director at Ohio University) who did this exercise at our Regional Local Leaders conference last week.

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photo courtesy of tamra hays

I used the Gospel-Centered Life Bible study this year with my Senior guys Bible Study and it’s phenomenal.  Almost zero prep.  Incredible heart-probing, Christ centered content.

I just skimmed thru it again this morning during my QT and came across great material to use with students re: being missional. I plan on using this for our student Leadership Retreat to kick off the year.

It’s from Ch. 7 – The Gospel Propels us Outward.

“If the gospel is renewing you internally, it will also be propelling you externally.”

There’s a Bible passage to work thru (Gal 5:13-15), an article and great discussion questions to think thru at the end like:

  1. Identify a missional opportunity in your life in which you are not motivated to do what you “should” do. Here are some categories to jump-start your thinking: showing hospitality to neighbors; actively praying for and engaging with co-workers; sharing the gospel with a family member; serving someone in poverty; giving generously;
  2. What heart issues hinder you from rightly motivated action in this situation?
  3. Repentance: What sin do you see in yourself that you need to repent of?   Faith: What specific gospel promises or truths are you not really believing?

Here’s a link where you can purchase it from World Harvest Mission (it’s written by a couple of former Cru staff – Bob Thune and Will Walker).  You download the file from them – it’s $7 for one copy, $40 for the license to print 20 studies.