Posts belonging to Category Gospel

Law Before and After Gospel

Here is a good quote from Ursinus on the role of the law both before and after the preaching of the gospel:

The preaching of the law goes before, preparing and leading us to a knowledge of the gospel: “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:20) Hence, there can be no sorrow for sin without the law. After the sinner has once been led to a knowledge of sin, then the preaching of the gospel follows, encouraging contrite hearts by the assurance of the mercy of God through Christ. Without the preaching there is no faith, and without faith there is no love to God, and hence no conversion to him. After the preaching of the gospel, the preaching of the law again follows, that it may be the rule of our thankfulness and of our life.

The law, therefore, precedes, and follows conversion. It precedes that it may lead to a knowledge and sorrow for sin: it follows that it may serve as a rule of life to the converted. It is for this reason that the prophets first charge sin upon the ungodly, threaten punishment, and exhort to repentance; then comfort and promise pardon and forgiveness; and lastly, again exhort and prescribe the duties of piety and godliness (Ursinus, Commentary, 472).   HT: Ref21

Related post: Past, Present and Future Grace

The Gospel for Cell Phone Reps

This is my last week working for Cellular Sales/Verizon before returning to pastoring. I have had many opportunities to share my faith while at Cellular Sales, but I wanted to find a fun way to share my faith with all my fellow reps before leaving. So, I present to you below: “The Gospel for Cell Phone Reps.” (If you’re not a cell phone rep, you probably won’t get the inside jokes, but I do hope you get the gospel!) All the best to my hard-working friends at Cellular Sales. You guys are the best!


1) God offers a new activation and a fresh start to everyone who comes to him.

“If anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)

2) None of us passes God’s credit check on our own. We have all broken God’s laws, and we owe a debt we cannot pay.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

“For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

3) God loves you so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to die for your sins so that you could be restored to a right relationship with God.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

4) God’s commissions are based on faith, not performance.

“Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” (Romans 4:4-5)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

5) When you put your faith in Christ, you won’t need to wait twenty months for your next upgrade. God gives you spiritual upgrades on a regular basis.

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2-3)

6) It’s good to take spiritual inventory every day.

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

7) Don’t forget Church Protect®!

Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)

If you get tired of hearing the gospel …

… then you probably won’t care much for heaven!

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:11-12)

Gentleness and Grace (PTOM 7)

(Last week and this I am sharing my Personal Theology of Ministry. Click here for more posts from the Personal Theology of Ministry series.)

Grace is the hallmark of true Christian ministry:

Therefore my ministry will be characterized by grace. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:1-9). The gospel we share is the gospel of grace (Acts 20:24). An understanding of God’s grace and kindness leads people to repentance and salvation (Romans 2:4; Titus 3:3-8). People only grow in Christ and bear fruit as they come to understand God’s grace in all its truth (Colossians 1:6). Therefore, as a pastor my attitude will be marked by gentleness and grace. I will restore others gently, carry other’s burdens and maintain humility (Galatians 6:1-5). I will not quarrel but gently instruct others in the truth (2 Timothy 2:24-26). I will answer people’s questions with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15-16). I will grow in God’s grace and encourage others to do the same (2 Peter 3:18). Once again, Jesus Christ is our supreme example. Christ models gentleness in ministry, sympathy with people’s weaknesses, and approachability (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4:15-16).

Back to Table of Contents | Next section: Accountability ( PTOM 8 )

Related post: Church Search

The Gospel and the Jewish People

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) released the following statement on The Gospel and the Jewish People on March 28, 2008 (see below). The statement is being distributed in a variety of Christian and secular publications, including Christianity Today and the New York Times. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the CEO & International Director of WEA, comments,

Increasingly, Jewish Evangelism is being marginalized and even dismissed as irrelevant, inappropriate, unethical or deceptive by some segments of the church. This statement is an attempt to speak to the evangelical community about the biblical basis for sharing their faith with all people, including Jews. It is our hope that it will be received in the spirit it is intended by the non-evangelicals who see it. Namely, that it is a statement of friendship and profound respect for the Jewish people, a commitment to stand with the Jewish people who have suffered mistreatment simply for being Jewish. And that part of our friendship and care and respect is shown is our commitment to share the love of God in Christ whom we believe is their Savior as well as ours.

Here is the wording of the actual statement:

The Gospel and the Jewish People – An Evangelical Statement
March 28, 2008

As evangelical Christians, we want to express our genuine friendship and love for the Jewish people. We sadly acknowledge that church history has been marred with anti-Semitic words and deeds; and that at times when the Jewish people were in great peril, the church did far less than it should have.

  • We pledge our commitment to be loving friends and to stand against such injustice in our generation. At the same time, we want to be transparent in affirming that we believe the most loving and Scriptural expression of our friendship toward Jewish people, and to anyone we call friend, is to forthrightly share the love of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
  • We believe that it is only through Jesus that all people can receive eternal life. If Jesus is not the Messiah of the Jewish people, He cannot be the Savior of the World (Acts 4:12).
  • We recognize that it is good and right for those with specialized knowledge, history and skills to use these gifts to introduce individuals to the Messiah, and that includes those ministries specifically directed to the Jewish people (1 Corinthians 9:20-22).
  • We deplore the use of deception or coercion in evangelism; however, we reject the notion that it is deceptive for followers of Jesus Christ who were born Jewish to continue to identify as Jews (Romans 11:1).

We want to make it clear that, as evangelical Christians, we do not wish to offend our Jewish friends by the above statements; but we are compelled by our faith and commitment to the Scriptures to stand by these principles. It is out of our profound respect for Jewish people that we seek to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them, and encourage others to do the same, for we believe that salvation is only found in Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the World.

The statement has been affirmed by a wide variety of Christian leaders including the following:

  • Rev. Dr. Lon Allison—Director, Billy Graham Center
  • Dr. Mark Bailey—President, Dallas Theological Seminary
  • Joel Belz—Founder, World Magazine
  • Doug Birdsall—Executive Chair, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization
  • Dr. D. A. Carson—Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Chuck Colson—Founder, Prison Fellowship
  • Mark Greene—Executive Director, London Institute of Contemporary Christianity
  • Stan Guthrie—Managing Editor, Special Projects, Christianity Today
  • Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.—President Emeritus, Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Haddon Robinson—President, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Geoff Tunnecliffe—International Director, World Evangelical Alliance

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has condemned the statement as “offensive and insulting to the Jewish people,” while the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) maintains that it is “a statement of friendship and profound respect for the Jewish people.” I agree with the WEA. What do you think?

Gospel Presentations in 25 Different Languages

Grace Community Church recently put free Gospel presentations in 25 different languages on their website.

Grace Community Church has several different approaches for the kind of cross-language evangelism that Los Angeles requires. We have evangelistic Bible studies taught in nine different languages. We have teach ESL (English as a second language) classes that serve as a connection for people in our community. The idea is that they join our ESL class, and then get connected to the appropriate Bible study.

We also offer Gospel presentations on CD in the 40 most common languages in our area. We give these away Sunday mornings from a table at our church. We have found they are popular and helpful, as people take them to give to neighbors and co-workers that don’t speak the same language.

We have recently put those gospel presentations on-line, for free. So, if you know someone who is more comfortable in another language, and you are looking for a way to present them the Gospel, see if their language is on our site. You can make your own CD for them, or you can email them the link. (Source: Pulpit Magazine)

This sounds like a great resource. A big thanks to the good people at Grace Church for making these available online.

Evangelicals and the Front Line of the Gospel

Mark Dever over at Together for the Gospel contends that the gospel is the real front line for evangelical Christians. After reflecting on Evangelicals and Catholics Together, (and joking about Calvinists and Arminians Together), Dever makes the following great point:

The real front line is not between Calvinist evangelicals and Arminian evangelicals. It is between those who are lost in their sins and those who have been saved by God’s sheer grace in Christ. Here, there is much togetherness in the Gospel by evangelical believers. 500 years ago Rome warned us that we Protestants would continue to split into countless groups, if we split with them over this. Well, 500 years of history have passed, and the verdict is in resoundingly. Rome was wrong. The Gospel is clear . . . the good news about the Holy God who sent his Son to die and be raised for the justification of sinners. And that we experience God’s forgiveness and new life through faith alone in Christ alone. We don’t need a bishop in Rome or anywhere else to tell us this. We don’t need a world-wide organization. We just need the Holy Spirit, the Bible and the faithful teaching of this gospel by any one of thousands of congregations around the globe faithful to this gospel.

The Gospel is the real front line. And the Gospel is what all of us evangelicals are really together for. Whatever conference we may go to.