Nothing About You Is The Gospel…And That’s Good News – Tullian Tchividjian
How often have you heard the gospel equated with a positive change in a believer’s life? “I used to __________, but then I met Jesus and now I’m ___________.” It may be unintentional, but we make a serious mistake when we reduce the good news to its results, such as patience, sobriety, and compassion, in the lives of those who have heard it. These are beautiful developments, and belief in the gospel does produce such fruit. But the results should not be confused with the gospel itself. The gospel is not a means to an end, it is an end in itself.
“I resolve to make less than thirty new years resolutions this year, and keep at least two of them.”
Outcome: Stays up for fourteen straight days in an attempt to complete first resolution and subsequently ends up creating fifteen more.
“I resolve to be less regimented and spend more time relaxing.”
Outcome: Schedules relaxation between 3:15 and 3:42pm each afternoon, during which time they create detailed lists of how they will relax on following days.
“I resolve to party less… On weeknights… Before 5pm.”
Outcome: Drunkenly announces their resolution to five hundred of their closest friend on Thursday January 1st, at the bar, at 4pm.
“I resolve to screw over marginally less of my colleagues as I fearlessly charge towards success.”
Outcome: Keeps a detailed chart of co-workers they are not preying on. Eventually hires a colleague to manage this chart as a distraction while the ENTJ rises above them professionally.
NINE QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU EXEGETE PEOPLE – Paul David Tripp
Here are nine helpful questions to ask yourself as you attempt to be a student and exegete of your people:
- What are the cultural idols that are particularly attractive to my people?
- Where do they tend to buy into an unbiblical worldview with its accompanying hopes and dreams?
- Are there themes of spiritual struggle that I need to speak to?
- Where do they tend to get discouraged and need the hope of the gospel?
- What is the level of their biblical literacy and theological knowledge?
- How many of them are actively involved in service, and how many are “ecclesiastical consumers”?
- What do they tend to struggle with in the workplace?
- What do they wrestle with at home?
- What are they reading, watching, and listening to, and how are they influenced by it?
These questions – or others will similar heart-focus and lifestyle recognition – will help you in your preaching, teaching, and counseling as you connect the transforming message of the gospel to the real experiences of the people God has entrusted to your care.
What Are We Missing in Discipleship?
Lately there’s been a lot of talk about spiritual formation and discipleship, and rightfully so.
I think we can all agree there’s a discipleship deficit in many churches. There isn’t a whole lot of discipling going on, even though that’s precisely what we, as Jesus’ followers, were commissioned to do—make disciples.
So leaders are asking questions like, “What should we do?” and “How should we do it?” There are plenty of successful models that have been tried in a variety of contexts. But how can we best make disciples right where we are?
There are plenty of discipleship books and models. But what can we learn about discipleship from Christ and the early church? In this series of articles, we are looking at four discipleship principles found in Scripture:
- Maturity is a goal for disciples.
- God wants you and your church on a clear path toward spiritual growth.
- God involves us in our own growth, as well as our church’s growth.
- God calls you and your church to be spiritual leaders.