GUEST POST ~ #Reassess Your Gospel
From this episode:
“It is when we grasp and wrestle with both perspectives that we have a gospel that both places our salvation squarely on the work of Jesus on the Cross and sends us out to be his body, his family of redemption, and restoration in the world. It is when the world both hears the good news and witnesses a demonstration of restoration that they are most inclined to believe. This is a BIG Gospel!“
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Caesar Kalinowski: 00:00:01
There's a risk of distorting the Gospel when we view it through only one of these two lenses.
If we view the Gospel primarily as the power that sets us free, we could end up focused on our own personal salvation, getting outta hell and going to heaven someday.
Which can become a very human-centered Gospel.
However, if we view the Gospel as purely focused on the restoration of all things, we can tip over the other way and believe and start proclaiming a social Gospel.
This is seen in the churches that are centered primarily on doing good works and acts of service and large social projects.
In their cities, but they rarely move toward a proclamation of the Gospel that includes sin, repentance, and salvation found in Christ alone.
It's when we grasp and wrestle with both, both of these perspectives, that we have a Gospel that places our salvation squarely on the work of Jesus on the cross, and sends us out to be his body, his family of redemption and restoration in the world.
It's when the world both hears the good news and sees a demonstration of restoration that they are most inclined to believe.
This is a big Gospel, the Gospel of the kingdom that Jesus was talking about.
Welcome to the Everyday Disciple Podcast, where you'll learn how to live with greater intentionality and an integrated faith that naturally fits into every area of life.
In other words, discipleship as a lifestyle.
This is the stuff your parents, pastors and seminary professors probably forgot to tell you.
And now here's your host, Caesar Kalinowski.
Caesar Kalinowski: 00:01:39
Welcome to the Everyday Disciple Podcast.
The power of the Gospel is really much bigger than we proclaim.
The Gospel is by faith in Christ and Christ alone
The power of the Gospel saves us and sets us free in so many ways, but often that's where we stop; we don't proclaim the full Gospel, which includes the second lens, which is the purpose of the Gospel.
And if we don't also embrace the purpose of the Gospel, It shines a light on why maybe the church has been really shy on making disciples in recent years. I, praise God, there's a resurgence of, of interest in this, but I really think if the church is not making disciples as our primary mission and really embracing it as a lifestyle, it's a Gospel issue at its core.
God in Christ has given us both. The amazing good news. The of message of reconciliation, the Gospel power.
But he's also given us the Ministry of Reconciliation, a Gospel purpose. This is the other lens.
We've gotta help our people see Gospel has a purpose for our lives. It just doesn't save us and leave us there.
Two Corinthians five, 17 and 19. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he's a new creation and he has committed to us this message of reconciliation.”
Ephesians two 10 then says, “we are God's workmanship created in Christ to do good works, which God and prepared in advance for us to do.”
Do our folks know that they have good works prepared in advance for them to do?
That's what the Gospel purpose is.
And that good works probably is not ushering or handing out flyers at the door or just working in children's ministry or doing everything in our box.
Do they realize their purpose is so much bigger than that now to.
Coming into this purpose of the Gospel sort of brings us into the reason for our salvation and the second lens.
And so to get this second lens of the Gospel, we need to look at the, at the Gospel through the lens of a story.
If you look at it as a story creation, Fall redemption restoration.
And man, I could speak for days on how, on how to help form your people in understanding their own story and telling their story and helping to listen to other people's stories through those lenses.
But if you look at scripture, not thematically, where we see the power of the God, the power of the Gospel, but you look at it this way as a storyline, what does it appear?
What's it heading towards?
Restoration. The restoration of all things.
I mean, the story starts in a garden and everything is amazing and there's two trees and it ends in a garden and everything is amazing and there's two trees and they're both the tree of life and it says God will come and dwell of his people. And it all will be restored.
No more sickness or pain or death or decay or any of that. It all gets restored.
The purpose of the Gospel is ultimately about restoration, and we'll see in a minute why restoration brings about God being glorified in all things.
See, the Gospel is not just about my individual happiness and God's plan for my life.
It's about God's plan for the whole world.
That's my number one prayer. For my kids, for people in our community, I want them to understand that God seriously does have a plan for the whole world.
This American dream life where we pretty much as the church look just like our culture, except we hide our sin better and we wedge a little bit of Jesus and church going and a little bit of mission in now cause it's a cool term. Other than that, we're not that different. That is not what Christ died on a cross for.
God has a plan for the world, and he's got a purpose for your life.
A friend of mine who works in some of the hardest places in the world with the persecuted church asked me one day: “Caesar, is the life you're living worth, Christ dying for? Is the life you're currently living worth him dying on a cross?”
t's like, ouch, ouch.
And what he was getting after, what he was getting after is, oh, there's so much more. There's so much more than just stacking up and amassing and piling up stuff and in church attendance and ushering and maybe tithing and oh my gosh, if you go to a midweek group, you're freaking rockstar Christian. There's way more than that.
When we repent of our sin and we receive the new life that God has offered us, we begin this journey of restoration inside and out, and not for just for us. So we'll have a happier life, more peace, less strife. But this restoration begins in us for the whole world. For the whole world.
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Now, a word of caution here.
There are those that believe that the church, by restoring stuff, accomplishes the bringing about of the kingdom. That's not what we're saying here, and we've gotta be careful that we don't tip our people into that. The kingdom is established by the king. Jesus is the king. The restoration is his work. We submit to that work.
It's amazing that he chooses us as plan A to accomplish that.
There is no Plan B that I could find in the book yet, but we, we, we, we, we do not want to tip into, well, we bring about the kingdom.
If we could just get enough stuff cleaned up around here. That's not what we're talking about.
What was the plan Jesus gave us for accomplishing the purpose of the Gospel, the restoration of all things?
It's found in Matthew 28: “Go and make disciples.”
Thanks Jesus. Thanks for clearing that up for us.
How is going and making disciples gonna bring about the restoration of all things and ultimately the glorification of God in all things?
When cities. When cultures, when nations are restored as the Gospel restores the hearts of the people in that culture.
What if increasingly in the cities, there was more and more teachers, educators, administrators, principals, people on the school boards that were truly disciples of Christ. And they, they, they were, they were bringing about kingdom restoration by bringing about Disciple making to that people group.
The mission is always to a people group.
It's never a, it's never a, it's never a construct or a building or a system. It's always the hearts of the people in it.
What if the business, what about, what about industry and business in this city or any city that you live in was completely devoid of disciples.
You know, owners are mistreating employees around the world. But, but what if, what if business was increasingly full of disciples?
What if seriously, many of you and many of the people in your churches were taught and trained and released and sent and supported to start and run businesses for the sake of the community, for the sake of being a display of the Gospel?
Do we really believe the Gospel has a purpose and it's moving towards the restoration of all things, which is always gonna be, and always has been, and always will be about people healthcare.
Can you imagine if the government was increasingly full of disciples of Christ service organizations?
It's gonna be disciples who make disciples in every area of culture. That is what brings about restoration. That's why the purpose of the Gospel restoration of all things gets accomplished by the plan, go and make disciples.
Is that central to your churches? The mission is Disciple making.
Whatever you do on Sunday, whatever your budget line items look like in your budgets this fall, whatever you do midweek, whatever you do, if it doesn't somehow prop up, promote expedite and accelerate the multiplication of disciples who make disciples, you're going the wrong direction. And I don't care how long your church has done it. I don't care how many other guys are doing it. I don't care how many videos are up on Verge or resurgence or any of that. If it's not making disciples who make disciples, we're going the wrong way.
This is where it gets really good.
See when this happens, when disciples increasingly are filling up. Every little nook and cranny of culture in your neighborhood and your neighborhood and media over there in that city and this family that went to LA and is doing it in film and in government over here when every little nook and cranny is reached by the Gospel.
When disciples of Jesus fill the earth, and this is the point. The restoration of all things will fill the earth with God's glory when everything is full of Jesus.
That's why it's all about making disciples.
Psalm 72: “May the whole earth be filled with his glory.”
What does glory really mean? In Hebrew, the word glory means weight; weighty.
God is the most glorious. He's the most weighty one in the universe. He's I am. So to bring God glory to glorify is to, is to manifest that hidden essence that amazingness.
Jesus, it says was the glory of the Father, the exact representation of the Father. He was the glory of God. That's what we're to be. That's what God is doing in us, this glorification process.
The purpose of of the Gospel is that the whole world would be filled with Jesus. That's the purpose that brings about the restoration of our cities.
Not more church services, not better preaching, not lots and lots of hands outs, not lots of world aid. Jesus filling all things. And that happens through disciples making disciples. Making disciples that fill the world is the plan that accomplishes the purpose. That's why it's so critical that we focus on that and, and I want to call you to that.
Let me read this Ephesians one, starting in 18. Paul's talking to the church and about the same kind of stuff says.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart … love that term … The eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he's called you.
That power of the Gospel is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated at his right hand in the heavenly realms. Far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, far above all the media muck and educational woes and healthcare issues.
That's how powerful this power of the Gospel is.
Jesus is the message. Jesus is the Gospel. Jesus is the point. The P, he's the power. His life, death and resurrection fulfills or fills full. Both the power and the purpose of the Gospel.
The Gospel saves us and restores us, and then sends us out to make disciples who make disciples.
And how many of us are content to let people sit in our churches and listen to our awesome preaching week after month after year after life? They've never been a part of a community that lives on the mission of making disciples together.
If we want to give our people a full Gospel and they can kind of think through it this way, with these handles, what happens if a person or a people only get a steady diet of the power of the Gospel to set them free?
What, what are we potentially in danger of them becoming? Man-centered, it's all about you. Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life. You need to make a personal decision to accept him into your life as your personal savior. And you have a personal walk and a personal faith.
See, it can become this amazingly powerful Gospel that has the power that has saved us, is saving us, will save us, can become very man-centered. It's kind of about you and your happiness and avoiding hell.
And we sort of paint heaven like, you know, a trip to the dentist office where we're all just kind of waiting to go in and hoping to God Jesus returns before it's our turn to get our teeth cleaned.
We have to have the purpose that no, no, see, you have been saved and you do inherit this amazing inheritance in Christ for a purpose.
Folks, I, I gotta let you know, and, and it's gonna cost everything you have. Jesus said if you don't lose your life, you won't gain his life.
If you try to hang onto your American dream life, you'll lose it.
If we only preach the power of the Gospel, the restoration side of things, we, we can't end up with a very social Gospel. In churches that are busy, busy, busy, get it done, restore everything, fix everything, have every kind of feeding thing, every kind of this sheltering, housing, cars, ministry, we do it all. And people do it without the power and it becomes law and it becomes a heavy yolk.
But if you have Gospel power connected to his Gospel purpose of making disciples to make, make disciples, that's a powerful Gospel.
And we've gotta give our people these both lenses and, and we work it and, and we need to work it into everything, not just the Gospel series or not just a tag on the end of the message, but our people need to hear and understand.
The power they have in Christ that's transforming them now for the purpose of making disciples to fill the earth with God's glory, call your folks to this point, them to the power that raised Christ from the dead that now dwells in them.
God's Gospel power will accomplish his purpose when we believe that.
It's that powerful and necessary that we embrace this fully.
Both the power and the purpose of the Gospel.
I hope it's causing you to do a little thinking and scrutinizing, you know, how have we been proclaiming the Gospel and how often and are we leaning one way or the other?
I hope you will embrace this and proclaim the biggest of gospels.
As big as the Gospel is to all your people, and as you make disciples, they will really understand both the power and the purpose of the Gospel.
Okay, let me get to today's big three. As always, I like to summarize the show in some ways and say, Hey, if nothing else, don't miss these three things. They're sort of head, heart, and hands and a bit actionable at the end here.
Don't miss these three things first.
The Gospel is not just about our individual happiness or God's plan for my life. It's God's plan for the whole world.
When we understand both lenses of the Gospel, it propels us well beyond a Christianity that is focused on sin management and behavioral modification, and it sends us out to be a part of the restoration of all things.
Second, the more we embrace both the power and the purpose of the Gospel, the more the church will engage in making disciples of Jesus and filling the world with his glory. Calling people to God's eternal purpose is a powerful way. To help them see all of life as an opportunity for mission. It's way bigger than chasing the American dream or whatever dream wherever you're living. And I just wanna remind you, it's not enough to call people to church attendance and participation in Christian events. The adventure we were created for awaits.
And then third God in Christ has given us both the message of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation. Don't forget, don't miss it.
It's important that we hold both of these aspects of our mission intention together. Focusing on one without the other is not a complete understanding of nor participation in God's eternal purposes for his church. It's just too small.
So ask yourself, which do I tend to lean toward or proclaim more often?
The power. Or the purpose and, and whichever it is, then ask the spirit to guide you in a fuller embrace and proclamation of the Gospel in all of life.
He will, the spirit will do, that God is going to accomplish.
He is accomplishing his eternal purpose to fill the world with his glory, and he's doing it through his family, through us. The redeemed.
It's amazing, right?
How powerful is this is how big this is.
I wish I had heard this, uh, years and years and years ago. I wish this was proclaimed from the rooftops and the seats and the pulpits of every church and everywhere.
Heath Hollensbe: 00:35:40
Thanks for joining us today.
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