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November Mission Moment

The Gospel is good news. How? How is it good news to us and our culture? Yes, it certainly includes the glorious forgiveness of our sins and adoption into the family of God through the death and resurrection of Christ! But I am convinced that the good news is more detailed than that as it intersects with our lives and the lives of others.

What if a surgeon only had a sword to work with instead of a scalpel? Is the sword fine enough to perform a delicate surgery? Possibly for an amputation, but otherwise, no. In the same way, the Gospel goes beyond broad swipes of truth into the fine-tuned truth tailored to our particular struggles with sin and suffering.

Applying the Gospel to Our Hearts

The concept of a detailed application of the Gospel is a natural outworking of the fact that the Gospel is not only the means of entry into the Christian faith, but also the means of our sanctification or growth in holiness. When we begin to understand this concept at a personal level, then we can begin to apply the truth of the Gospel to the specific struggles of our brothers and sisters as well as those outside of the faith.

We use the term “Gospel fluency” to describe the ability to see and apply the gospel in detailed ways, and speak of it in natural conversation. Are you fluent in the Gospel? I confess that I have a lot of growing to do in this. As in Spanish, I know a lot of “words” and can piece together some “sentences”, but I could speak about the Gospel more naturally if I practiced doing so more often.

The local church is the perfect context to practice speaking the Gospel to one another. Just like we become fluent in a language by immersing ourselves in a community that speaks it - so it is with Gospel fluency.

As we are speaking the Gospel to one another, we need to be reminded that the Gospel - the Way, the Truth, and the Life - is a Person, not merely a set of historical facts. Jesus Christ is the Gospel. He is the one who transforms us, both in justification and ongoing sanctification. Is Jesus changing us? Are we speaking of him because we are being shaped by a relationship with him? As we draw close to him through the truths of his Word, our specific struggles with sin will come into the light. He will reveal the idols of our heart. It’s right here, in the idols of our  heart, where the fine-tuned truths of Jesus speak the loudest. Let’s listen, and proclaim these to one another and to a world that so desperately needs freedom, and an affection that brings lasting hope and peace.

One of the heart idols I can struggle with is the desire for approval. I can easily be influenced by how I think others will receive what I say or do. When approval is my idol, then I don’t speak uncomfortable truths to others and, at my worst, I am devastated when I don’t measure up to what others expect of me. But do you know what Jesus speaks to me in this? He says that I am “in Him”, no matter what I’ve done or have failed to do. His blood has covered my inadequacies. I am approved by the Almighty God, because Jesus’ perfect life of obedience has been credited to my account. I am accepted into an everlasting kingdom - the Kingdom of God - and so I don’t need to be accepted into the kingdom of man (which is here today and gone tomorrow). These truths change me. They diminish my fear of man and give me boldness to be faithful with the truths I have been given. These are the kind of fine-tuned truths that emanate from the Gospel (Christ) like beams of light into my heart. How does Jesus speak to the struggles of your heart?

Applying the Gospel in All of Life

As we think about the fine-tuned truths of the Gospel, let us begin speaking them to one another and thereby begin our immersion into Gospel fluency. Growing in Gospel fluency  is an ongoing journey we are on together.

In this season of “Who’s Your One”, let’s be praying for our “one” to hear and see the Gospel of Christ in its beautiful entirety - both the breathtaking landscapes and the finely-crafted flowers. How is the Gospel good news to you? How is it good news to them?

Practical steps with your “one”:

  1. Be praying for them: for opportunities to know their heart and speak the hope of the Gospel to them (including praying in the very moments of conversation).
  2. Be prepared with scripture passages that speak truths of the Gospel that may be particularly relevant to them. “Do you mind if I share something that brings me hope when I’m feeling [fill in the blank]?”