The root problem for many local churches is that the gospel no longer fills their hearts. We have been captivated by issues of secondary importance and have slowly drifted from our first love (Rev. 2:4). Many churches have let one particular issue, rather than the whole gospel, characterize the whole of their ministry. These issue driven churches can either be either conservative or liberal and can be found in every denomination. They may get the gospel right on paper but are animated and directed by other principles.
The heart of the church is what drives it. How it makes decisions on budget and how they do ministry. What makes this text unique that it starts with the history of the Gospel. The text is done in three parts.
The History of the Gospel-The theme of scripture, the life of Christ and the death and resurrection of Christ.
The doctrine of the gospel- Justification, forgiveness, faith and repentance, reconciliation, sanctification and Good works.
The God of the Gospel- God condemns justly-, God Saves Sovereignly, God atones effectively, God calls irresistibly and God sustains faithfully.
A church that values the historical church is good for all and helps the believer to understand the gospel and not let the culture take the gospel hostage. It also helps the leaders of the church stay focused on what the priority of the church should be and not let the church be taken hostage. Does your church value the historical of the church?
The message of the church is how the gospel is understood. God’s responsibility and our response. You can take a survey, and you would have all sorts of answers to the message of the gospel and what Justification, Sanctification, repentance, forgiveness mean. It is how we worship God and how we worship God is important. It all comes down to who gets the glory.
The meaning for the church is how God is working thru us for community and body. What does the implications of our salvation look like. In our marriages, our work, our community.
A teaching that is not widely taught is the righteousness of Christ. How the sinner needs forgiveness which is good and true but how much more we need Christ righteousness. We seem to pursue the forgiveness and leave Christ righteousness behind. Christ righteousness is not just a cliché but it is an act of submission. Which may be why we don’t hear much of it or have a misunderstanding of what it means.
I appreciate the teaching of Joe Thorn and the role of the church to the believer and to those that do not believe. Very easy to understand but at the same time gives a high view of the Gospel and the gift of salvation.
A Special Thank You to Moody Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.