The gospel is…the word about Jesus Christ and what he did for us in order to restore us to a right relationship with God. – Graeme Goldsworthy

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Gospel as Our Primary Method

There is much pressure for a church planter, like myself, to place the primary focus of growing a church on the methods of men, rather than on the gospel. It is my conviction as lead pastor of New Covenant Community Church that our primary focus as a congregation and as leaders must be on the power of God found in the gospel. This alone will grow us in love as a community. This alone will grow us in personal grace as Christians. This alone will fill the baptismal waters with new converts. This alone will cause Christians who are starving for Christ-centered preaching and friendship to become members.

We strive for God-glorifying excellence in our preaching, music, follow up, finances, friendliness, facilities, and fellowship, but these – apart from the power of the gospel – will not put down deep Jesus-centered roots of Spirit-saturated growth into the soil of our existence. God must be central. And when He’s central His Son will be our passion. And when His Son is our passion, His Spirit’s power will be present. This alone extends the Kingdom of God. As I often pray for our church, “O God, build Your Kingdom, by Your power, for Your glory!”

“…the method of the Gospel…does not ask, ‘What will men like? What do men want?’ and then say, ‘Let’s give them that, thus reducing the glory.’ No, no! The truth! The Spirit! This is, let me repeat quite clearly, a supernatural Gospel, a supernatural message. It is miraculous. That is the whole point about it. That is why it is what it is. That is why it has done what it has done. That is why it will do what it will do...We are dealing here with what Paul describes as ‘the power of God.’ He was writing to Rome, the seat of government of the whole Roman Empire. But Paul says, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,’ – why not? – ‘for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek' (Rom. 1:16).

“This is no human teaching, no mere philosophy. This is God’s truth, and He sends His Spirit upon it, and the Spirit does the work. It is the Spirit along who can enlighten a man or woman; it is the Spirit alone who can change people. This is a miraculous, supernatural Gospel, and if the modern man tells me that he does not believe in the supernatural, so much for the modern man! That is why he and his world are as they are. There is no hope for people until they realize their perilous condition and in utter helplessness cry out unto the Lord and begin to experience the power of this blessed Spirit.

“That was the apostolic method, and you see how different it is from so much that is popular today. Oh, the cheapening of the Gospel! Oh, the reduction of the message and the reliance upon human methods and expedients instead of upon the power of the Spirit of the living God!” – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Victorious Christianity (306-07)

No comments:

Post a Comment