LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tell The Whole Story - Reid Ferguson

Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings from the ScriptureMark 16.15 - And He said to them, "Go into all the worldand proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation."One of Fanny Crosby's most beloved hymns begins -"Tell me the story of Jesus,Write on my heart every word.Tell me the story most precious,Sweetest that ever was heard."

I never liked the idea of telling the "story" of Jesus. To mymind, I wanted to be clear that it was not a story in thesense of a fairy tale, or a myth. Of course, her words didn'timply it was. Her words were meant to convey that the Gospel is more than a sound-byte of Biblical truth. The Gospel requires a context if it is to be understood. When Paul entered Synagogues, his main focus was to convince his hearers that Jesus was the Messiah. The Jews already had a clear context in which a "Messiah" made sense. They already shared certain foundational pre-suppositions. But when Paul is on Mars Hill (Acts 17) it is a different story. He has to create the proper contextbefore he introduces them to Christ. In this sense, and especially in our present age and culture, this becomes increasingly important in terms of our own evangelism. In other words, we need to tell the "story" of Jesus. The truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth.

As Sky and I drove back from Texas this past week, we saw many a "Gospel" billboard. Well meaning Christians all over this land are trying to get the message out. So it is we would see gigantic signs, full sized billboards with the words "Jesus Saves" on them. The problem is, for increasing millions in our society, they have no frame of reference for who Jesus is, or who, what or how He "saves".We must tell the "story" of Jesus. We have to give the entire account. We need to not only to tell them Jesus saves, we need to tell them what precisely that means.

Following Paul's lead, it seems to me that when we evangelize, we need to be sure there is some very basic ground covered so that there is no mistake about the Gospel message we preach. I would suggest 7 essentials.In our conversations with men and women, we can pretty quickly ascertain what of these foundations concepts they already do grasp (if any) and that then informs where we need to fill in the gaps to give the entire picture, and truly "good news" them. It isn't complex. It is no more than our kids in Sunday School ought to know. But you'd be amazed how many do not have this paradigm at all.As a bare minimum, we need to establish for them a world-view consisting in -
1. God as Creator, Man as Creature.
2. God as Righteous, Man as a Rebel - sinner
3. God as Promisor, man as Promised to
4. God Incarnate in Jesus Christ - Man as Visited by God
5. Jesus' death as Atoning Sacrifice - Man as Called toRepent and Believe
6. Jesus as Raised from the dead - Man as Guaranteed
.7. Jesus as Coming Judge - Man as soon to be Judged

.Beloved, let us tell the "story" of Jesus. The WHOLE story.The entire account, if only in overview. That men might indeed believe, and be saved.Don't know how to witness? Just cover the story. A child can master it. And our world desperately needs it.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yes, it is vital to put the message of salvation in Christ into its context within the Biblical scheme.

July 13, 2007 1:56 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew? Is that you? Nah, can't be.

July 13, 2007 2:01 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,
I believe you have a heart for the Word in its entirety. I'm glad for that.
Mark,
This is a good post. I was glad to be reminded of the first point. I often think the message starts with the fact that we are sinners, but it's good to remember the context of Creator and His creatures.
Thank you.

July 13, 2007 3:24 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yes, it is.

I think Antonio would agree as well, though he might write a far longer comment than me if he was saying so.

July 13, 2007 5:39 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

I am here in the bible belt and I have been amazed at how misunderstood the gospel is in my area. They know a little about Jesus and that there are a lot of churches, but they do not understand the work and person of Jesus and how salvation is a free gift that is accessed by faith. Even some church members are fuzzy on what secures their salvation.

July 13, 2007 7:14 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazzy,
When we moved waaaay out in the country to a farm, my husband's brother was a frequent visitor. (My husband was raised on a farm with six siblings.)
When we told his brother we were heading to church one particular Sunday, we invited the brother to come. He declined, noting that he knew that church was really the only way to get to know folks and socialize when you live way out in the country. He presumed that's why we attended. I'm wondering if that could account for lack of knowledge of the gospel among church-goers.
We too may be in the Bible belt (north Florida - where there are a lot of churches for a particularly agricultural unpopulated area).

July 13, 2007 8:49 PM

 
Blogger Sista Cala said...

Context is EVERYTHING. Whether you are talking about our Savior or about the kid next door. Think of how folks make the wrong assumptions when they come in on the end of a conversation.

July 14, 2007 3:21 AM

 
Blogger Paul G said...

Mark;
I like the post, excellent comments!

Jazzycat;
I heard about the Bible belt in America, sounds like a very strong Christian community.
Pity! We do not have a Bible belt here in Australia.
But we love the Lord Jesus and rejoice in our salvation just like you.
All you guys do have a good sound understanding of Scripture.

Oh! Perhaps a misunderstanding on my behalf, you said that salvation is accessed by faith. I like to think, that salvation is not accessed by anything, but rather worked out or lived by faith.

July 14, 2007 8:52 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Paul G,
I guess I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I believe saving faith alone secures salvation through justification at the moment one has that faith. But, you are right in that sanctification is part of our salvation as well and we are told to work out our salvation (sanctification) with fear and trembling. Justification and sanctification both flow from the grace of God.

July 14, 2007 5:29 PM

 
Blogger Paul G said...

Jazzycat;
Thanks for clarifying that, I know you are clear in what you say.

It is good for us to know such a wonderful and mighty savior Jesus Christ who gives us life, (a new birth) apart from us doing or knowing anything, this to me is amazing grace.

July 15, 2007 2:58 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

The world needs to know as much about Jesus Christ as we can tell them!

As recorded in John 4:
10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and *who it is* who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

We must, through the power of the Spirit of God, tell them WHO HE IS, that lost sinners may ask and receive that living water.

July 15, 2007 9:26 PM

 

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