Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Getting the Gospel Right

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. (I Timothy 4:6 KJV)

The gospel matters. Getting the gospel right matters. If a minister gets the gospel wrong, then he is NOT a “good” minister. If a minister does not clearly articulate what the gospel is then his preaching, at best, will simply restrain the hearts of people, but won’t transform them. Preaching and teaching that does not communicate the gospel will actually inoculate people to Jesus.

For instance, I can teach on debt management, family life, parenting skills, peer pressure in school, substance abuse, addictions, and finding a sense of purpose in life and be TOTALLY CHRISTLESS in my presentation! If I am not expounding the scriptures (of good doctrine and words of faith) it is emptiness. On the other hand I can stand in the pulpit and say, “In Jesus Christ and His cross I have been set free from the slavery of sin and trap of materialism, and have a new identity in Him. ‘For me to live is Christ.’”

See the difference?

Paul is pleading with Timothy to be trained in the gospel, to get it right, and to put your people in remembrance of good doctrine and words of faith. By doing so you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ.

This is essential because the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the last days some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (I Tim.4:1), and that superstitious wives fables (v.7) will find their way into the church. To that end, the gospel of Jesus Christ must be taught faithfully to root out that which is false.

These things command and teach (v.11).

We cannot be cowards when it comes to teaching the commands of scripture. The temptation of every minister is to soft-sell the message of Jesus Christ in an attempt to hold on to people. But in doing so, it robs everyone who is listening of correct, deep worship.

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this, thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee (v.16).

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