Agreed! I think by focusing on the simple Gospel we're going to be united as Christians. We have to almost intentionally avoid polarizing issues so we can include more people in Christ.
Galatians Week 5 - Dr. Chip Bennett
- How might we "embody the gospel" in our lives?
- What areas do we allow our freedoms in Christ to get enslaved once again?
- Are there areas in our lives we are not "all in" for the gospel?
Come on! The Gospel story is MASSIVELY INCLUSIVE...this speaks to me. The Gospel is for everyone - not just us, not just them, not just for those who have "earned" it, not just for anyone other than me - it is for everyone. That statement right there is a gamechanger folks. "Not getting everything right but getting one person right, and His name is Jesus."
What stands out to me is the power of the "inclusivity of the Gospel". Oftentimes, we want Christianity or the Church to look a certain way much like the some of the early Christians from from Jerusalem that Pastor Chip mentions. I love how PC emphasizes Paul's insistence and tenacity to proclaim this Gospel; to demonstrate that "there is neither Jew nor Gentile...". That really is powerful — especially for us today. In midst of all the division and disunity that's all around us, this message is such a reminder for us to remain in "the Messy Middle" and keep the main thing the main thing: That Christ died for ALL and that He totally changed the game for EVERYONE. My prayer for myself is that I don't become a stumbling block or a barrier for people to see/come to Jesus. This message is a strong reminder to me to be "all in" for the Gospel — not just for a church or a ministry or a position or a role — but by authentically reflecting Christ in all that I say and do. I'm definitely looking forward to hear more from PC as he unpacks more of this epistle!
This message speaks to me on so many levels. We are one family of God; we don't lose our ethnic identity when we become Christians. We need to remember that we are now a unified family and one body, Christ's body. I love that grace preaches the gospel. The gospel is not just for unbelievers. Every believer needs the gospel preached to them regularly to remember what Jesus has done for us. It's so easy to want to look for ways to earn favor with God, but we can't. Praise God for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Chip mentioned Jesus meeting us right where we are, and this is so true. I'm sure many have heard this statement many times in many churches only to be followed by, well you know you shouldn't dress that way, or do your hair that way, and if you don't believe this about this verse you're not really saved etc. Those people make themselves out to be the Holy Spirit for us. The gospel does the work. That's how lives are changed. I'm so proud to be part of a church family that lives out what is preached.
I love that the Lord has provided me the opportunity to be a per of a church that remembers the poor and has made it such a priority. While I know many churches talk about helping the poor – Grace follows Paul’s encouragement to be “eager” to do so, and does it in such an intentional, Kingdom focused way. Please join me in praying that Pastor’s Chip message will encourage us all to put our faith in action, and keep our eyes open to our neighbors in need so we can be a church who reaches the unchurched, by reflecting Christ in our words and actions. This in one way we can "embody the gospel" in our lives.
As always, so many AWESOME takeaways and opportunities in which to invite the Holy Spirit to reshape my heart and spirit to be more like Jesus. One point that really nestled deep is that the Gospel is radical and provocative but massively inclusive. In a culture of "clubs" and "exclusivity" and "invitation only" being highly valued and sought after, we have the most precious of all Invitations, given for any and all who might just believe. We need to continue to go ALL IN in making that Truth known to all!
This message was so thought provoking for me. I've been thinking about that first question quite a bit. I really think we often imagine "embodying the gospel" as only occurring when we do some kind of great, big, exciting action that tests our faith or makes a large immediate impact. I certainly think it would be "embodying the Gospel" if I were to sell all of my possessions and give the money to the poor, but I think that is not the only way to embody the gospel. I really think that a Christian's entire life should be cruciform shaped—in other words we live self-sacrificially on the day to day because it reflects Christ. We forgive and suffer wrong without seeking revenge to embody the gospel, we lay down our rights for the good of others to embody the gospel, we genuinely care for those in need to embody the gospel and we do something as simple as smiling at others and being kind to them all to embody the gospel. If embodying the gospel can actually be done in this way in my daily life, then that means every single day is filled with meaning and amazing opportunity to reflect Christ. Just the thought of that means every day should be exciting! I've certainly gained some wonderful new perspective this weekend!