Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Gospel Empowers Its Own Implications

This post from Justin Taylor is really important.

A taste:
The dominant mode of evangelical preaching on sanctification, the main way to motivate for godly living, sounds something like this:

You are not _____;

You should be _________;

Therefore, do or be ________!

Fill in the blank with anything good and biblical (holy; salt and light; feed the poor; walk humbly; give generously; etc.).

This is not how Paul and the other New Testament writers motivated the church in light of the resurrection and the outpouring of the Spirit. They did give imperatives (=what you should do), but they do so only based on indicatives (=what God has done).

The problem with the typical evangelical motivation toward radical or sacrificial living is that “imperatives divorced from indicatives become impossibilities” (to quote Tullian Tchividjian). Or another way that Tullian puts it: “gospel obligations must be based on gospel declarations.”

Yes. This is crucial for anyone aspiring to gospel-centered teaching and preaching, and to anyone aspiring to gospel-centered ministry, from how we teach our children Bible stories and Bible lessons to how we "gospel" each other in small groups and classes.

Last weekend I had the great privilege and blessing of speaking to youth pastors, youth workers, and youth themselves at The Calling conference in Auburn, Maine. In a morning session, I preached to impress the importance of gospel-centrality for all of life, and therefore all of ministry. In the afternoon session, I preached a message called "The Empowering Gospel," in which I spoke from this thesis: the gospel empowers its own implications.

In this message I preached against sin -- specifically, pornography and a catch-all I called "superficiality" -- and I cast a vision and issued a call for ministry, mission, and church planting in New England, but I endeavored to do so by appealing to Christ's finished work and the believer's new identity in Christ, not by leveraging by means of law or guilt.

You can listen to this message here.

I think this gospel truth -- again, that the gospel empowers its own implications -- is really, really important. It's something I am also exploring and celebrating in my current book project.

The Gospel Empowering Its Own Implications is Poetry
Apply the Gospel to Everything


BiF said...

Jared, I appreciate the links to the audio but is there any chance of getting transcripts or the source documents so we can read them as well. I just think I do better reading than listening. I don't think I am as focused when listening and not giving my full attention.

Jared said...

BiF, I don't do sermon manuscripts, but I could email you my outlines/notes from the session if you want. I don't know how intelligible they will be by themselves, but with the audio, they might help.

BiF said...

No, that's okay, I give a try listening to it. Are you getting your stuff up to itunes or another venue where it can be downloaded?

Jared said...

Weekly sermon audio is being posted here for the time being: http://drop.io/msccfiles

Website is in process of overhaul right now and eventually audio will be more user friendly, but that page allows streaming and downloading.

Anonymous said...

Thinking about your comment at The Calling, Saturday, about believers need to rediscover the Gospel in what you termed "Gospel Wakefulness", it just dawned on me that that's what revival is in Scripture--being overwhelmed by a relentless God as His mercy meets a realized sinner. Looking at what I deserve, and looking at what Jesus did on the cross, and working those theological truths=Gospel wakefulness=REVIVAL. Thanks for bringing that to us, Jared.

bryan said...

Being gospel-centered isn't something you just "choose" to be. Chewing on some stuff from Saturday, when the gospel has consumed you, something supernaturally done by the Spirit, how can you not desire to be gospel centered? It's like that first serious relationship you get into: you're thinking about it constantly, talking about it constantly, singing about it constantly, etc. Combined with our love for the gospel, and our tiredness of seeing youth ministries breed immature programs, which breed immature disciples, we are committed to being gospel-centered. Dude, thanks for your commitment to gospel-centered ministry.

Doug said...

Hey Jared, I'm a bit late to this party. When I clicked on the link for audio, it didn't work. Is there another way of getting ahold of it?


Jared said...

Veddy eenteresting.

Go here instead: http://www.atmospherechurch.com/the-calling-10/

The audio once linked in this post is the last one listed there.

Doug said...

Thanks, and keep going!