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Is The Gospel Assumed or Explicit in Your Life?

*The Gospel Assumed or Explicit? By Josh Patterson

Is the gospel assumed in your relationships? Or, is the gospel explicit? I have been thinking about this distinction for a few days now. Those who live life under the banner of an assumed gospel simply navigate the waters of life with an underlying foundation that is personal and meaningful. An assumed gospel often means that a person deeply values the gospel and tries to live life according to the gospel.

The issue with an assumed gospel is that it is often too personal and, therefore, becomes private. The person who lives under the assumption of the gospel often knows how it relates to their life, but nobody else does. Their kids never see how the gospel affects decisions, arguments, finances, etc. Their neighbors never hear of the hope within. Their co-workers are left to wonder about what makes them different. Those who live under the assumed gospel often find it awkward to bring it up and talk about the work of Christ. Why? Because they never bring it up and learn to articulate the implications of Christ’s work and their life.

On the contrary, those who are explicit about the gospel in their relationships have a different effect. By living out the gospel and speaking about the gospel and working through the gospel (verbally), they are helping to connect the dots for those around them. Their kids hear how the gospel relates to the family finances or time or relationships or arguments. Their neighbors hear about the hope within. Co-workers are privy to the reality that this person is not simply a moral guy/girl, but one who is forgiven and transformed by the death and resurrection of Christ.

I want to encourage you to begin, and with some of you, continue to make the gospel explicit in your relationships. Don’t waste life by living an assumed gospel; rather, flesh it out and connect the dots for yourself and those around you. Talk with your spouse about how Christ’s Person and work relates to everything. Pass this on to your kids. Mention Christ. Talk about Christ. Point to Christ. Relate to Christ. Oftentimes where the gospel is assumed, it is quickly lost.

*Josh Patterson is the Executive Pastor at the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. This article is from the Appendix in The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler, and is from the August 4, 2009 posting from the web site: http://fm.thevillagechurch.net/blog/pastors/?p=308.

 

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Book Review: The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler

The Antidote to Gospel Inoculation

When Saint Augustine was living a life of licentiousness many generations ago he was hearing some children playing near where he was seated, playing a game with the refrain “Take up and read, take up and read.” He picked up his Bible and opened it to the book of Romans and proceeded to read about his sin and his desperate need of the provision of Christ’s imputed righteousness by faith in his death, burial, and resurrection in exchange for his sin. He was convicted of his sin and powerfully drawn by the work of the Holy Spirit toward faith and repentance in the person and work of Christ.

Whether you are a rebel, or someone who has heard the gospel (or what may pass for the gospel today) – you are well advised to take up this book and read it. In the past men like Augustine, Luther, and Calvin understood with passion and clarity our need to comprehend the richness and depth of the gospel, and proclaim it with passionate urgency – because souls are hanging in the balance. In this book Chandler definitively understands and articulates the power of the gospel and the desperate need we all have to understand the depth of our sin before a Holy God, and the just requirements He has that we have failed to meet, and thus our desperate need for what Christ came to save us from and unto.

In three parts Chandler clearly articulates the gospel essentials (God, Man, Christ, and our response); the gospel’s theological underpinnings (Creation, Fall, Reconciliation, and Consummation); and lastly its implications and applications for all of the aspects of our lives. The author is to be commended for writing a book that is passionate about the gospel; clearly articulates the gospel; calls for a response to the gospel; and demonstrates how to communicate and live out the gospel.

I highly recommend this book especially for preachers who proclaim the word of God week in and week out. He will inspire you to NOT compromise the gospel and to rest in the work of the Holy Spirit in applying it’s power in the lives of your people. My hope and prayer is that in reading this book your passion will be stirred to unflinchingly proclaim the gospel powerfully in truth and love – resulting in the saving of many lives. I think that the Apostle Paul would wholeheartedly agree with all that Chandler articulates in this book and would add, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel (as conveyed in this book), for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people. He has recently taken the post as President of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. His sermons are among the top selling (free) podcasts on itunes and he speaks at conferences worldwide. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over ten years where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. He lives in Texas with his wife, Lauren, and their three children: Audrey, Reid and Norah.

 

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