- Today, what would you celebrate today about your missional community?
- Today, what would you confess or lament about your missional community?
- Today, what are you hopes for your missional community?
Scripture: I Corinthians 15:1-11
Simple Prayer: God, lead us to know your word and help us to preach the Gospel with our lives!
The Bible and the Gospel: God speaks through the scriptures. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the authority for Christian faith and life, so we look to the scriptures asking God to reveal to us who he is, who we are, and what God expects of us. We also look to the scriptures to learn more of his desire for us, for the people of the world, and for all of creation. We read, study, meditate on, and pray the scriptures expectantly for this leads us to grow in our relationship with God, to thrive as human beings, and to see the world with love, honesty, and hope. We expect the study of scripture to lead us into service in God’s Kingdom. (Genesis 1:1-2, II Tim 3:16-17)
What God speaks through the scriptures is good news! The story unfolds from a good creation, through a disastrous fall, to a costly redemption, leading to a great restoration. At the heart of the story is Jesus Christ, who came into our fallen world to reverse the curse of that disastrous fall. In Jesus Christ, God has entered into our broken world and come near to us “full of grace and truth.” (Mark 2:15, John 1:17). Jesus paid the penalty for our sins with his death on the cross and rose from the dead, reversing the curses of sin and death, bringing us into eternal life. (I John 2:1-2). He is inviting us to reorient our lives toward Him. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are brought into a relationship with God, forgiven of our sins, given hope for eternal life, and invited into God’s work of reconciliation and restoration. As God has done this for us, we live as ambassadors of hope in an often-cynical world. We believe that those who have received the good news of the gospel should naturally proclaim it with hope to all people through word and action. (Acts 1:8, John 20:21)
Author and thinker David Fitch defines the gospel this way. “the gospel is the announcement that God has fulfilled the promise of the scriptures to make the world right in Jesus Christ. (I Cor 15:1-11). Christ has died for our sins. By his death and resurrection (and ascension), he has defeated the effects of our sins, including death itself. He now sits at the right hand of the Father ruling over the world. In Christ, the new creation has begun. Old things are passing away. Behold, the new has begun. (2 Cor 5:17) All who respond to this good news, repent of the old ways, and make Jesus their Lord and Savior, enter in and become part of what God is doing to reconcile the whole world to himself and receive power to become the children of God.”
David Fitch goes on to explain that one of our jobs to proclaim the gospel. We are to bear witness to God’s Kingdom, to what Jesus Christ has done. (Acts 1:8) “This is different from conveying information.” While he emphasizes the importance of teaching, he describes how proclamation is different.
“Proclamation” he says, “is description. It is like painting a picture. The proclaimer describes the world as it is under Jesus as Lord and then invites the person into it. Proclamation does not explain the gospel or argue for it. Proclamation tells the story, describes the alternative account of reality it offers, and then asks, ‘Can you see it? Can you receive the news? Do you want to enter in?’”
But how is the message delivered? Not everyone is gifted or willing to preach with words! But the urgency to proclaim the gospel presses in on all of us. But if it is Jesus Christ who lives in us by the power of the Holy Spirit, then our lives and our life together should always preach the gospel.
Reflection and Practice:
- When you are reading the Bible, how easy is it for you to discern the voice of God?
- If someone was to ask you to show them the Gospel in the Bible, how would you answer?
- When have we shown beautifully what God’s kingdom is like?
- When did we blow it?
- Is there anything you need to do in response? When and how will you do it?