Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Full Gospel, Again?

One of the reasons many people favor this “new” view of the gospel is that it gives the church a swift kick in the pants.

God’s people have emphasized the “Four Laws” view of the gospel. Man’s sin makes him God’s enemy. Man needs to respond to Jesus’ invitation to be reconciled to God and avoid a just punishment. As someone who knows he deserves God's just punishment, I am personally very grateful Jesus paid the ransom, and I have this reconciliation.

But there has been a tendency for people to think once they have gone forward and prayed the prayer, their responsibilities consist of showing up at the meetings and paying their dues.

I know someone who likes to quote the Apostle John, who said the reason Jesus came into the world was to destroy the works of the devil. I would not argue against that. I would argue that God’s pattern is to remove the evil, then to fill the void with good. We destroy Satan’s works by filling the world with Jesus’ works. Jesus did not command us to get professions of faith. Jesus commanded us to make disciples.

Disciples are molded step by step, day by day, to think, to live, to act and to speak like Jesus. Jesus has an expectation that his disciples will greatly impact society, politics and culture. Jesus also expects that impact to happen almost immediately. It should not take years. It should not take special schooling.

There may be instruction. The further away from a Jesus centered heritage, the more concepts, behaviors, attitudes and motivations ought to be removed and new life planted. But the Spirit of God is planted in hearts. A personal revolution takes places in the hearts of people.

Some fun has been poked at George Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light” metaphor. George did not invent the concept behind the metaphor. God did. God’s Spirit in the hearts of disciples should stand out like stars on a dark night.

God has ignited the lights in our hearts. And the expectations and systems of current churches has too often put the light under the bed and in the closet, where it does no good.

So, if we include in the gospel, God transforming the world system into his kingdom, and the process of forming disciples as the catalyst to that transformation, there has to be a revolution at the heart of church, as well as the heart of people.

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