Thursday, October 13, 2005

What is the Gospel Conference

In light of Bailey Smiths' "Save-a-soul-a-month ministry, I thought it would be very appropriate to plug an upcoming conference on the Gospel. In many ways the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been lost in our day. If it is not recovered, we are sunk. May the Lord grant us such a recovery--regardless of the cost.

Next month Founders Ministries is sponsoring a conference in Tampa, Florida on the theme, "What is the Gospel?" The questions that I mentioned yesterday will be directly addressed. We can no longer afford to assume that "we all know what the Gospel is." Nor can we assume that we all know what a church is, or what evangelism is, or what Christianity is.

This conference will specifically consider each of these questions. For more information visit this site.

7 comments:

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

What a great idea. Thank you for doing this Tom!

David B. Hewitt said...

Yes, thank you for doing this! I live in Indianapolis and am currently unemployed, so I won't be able to make it....will some information about this conference be posted online at some point so that those of us who are unable to attend might benefit from the wisdom?

ldwhite said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David B. Hewitt said...

In light of the obvious confusion over the Gospel, I was motivated this morning during my devotional time to type out my own understanding of it. I'm glad I did, and interestingly enough, it looks a lot like the 5 points. :) My reflections are as follows:

First, God is completely holy and righteous. The Scriptures tell us that there is no darkness in Him at all (1 John 1) and that His standard is perfection (Matt 5:48, Leviticus 19:2). Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and therefore fulfilled the Father’s requirements.
Second, man is hopelessly lost in his sin, totally and completely depraved, unable to choose God, with everything in his life being stained with sin (Romans 3:10–18, Genesis 6:5, Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:23). This is the Total Depravity of Reformed Theology. Therefore, we have missed God’s perfect standard, and we deserve Hell as our punishment (Romans 6:23).
God, however, because of an act of immeasurable love, chose some, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. (Eph 1:4–5) There wasn’t ANY foreseeable goodness in us at all, since we were completely corrupted by sin (nature and choice). This choosing is based not at all on our goodness (since there wasn’t any) but entirely on God’s grace, mercy, and love. This is the “Unconditional Election” of God’s grace, and is the second part of the pillar doctrines of Reformed theology. However, because a sacrifice, a perfect eternal sacrifice was required to pay a death penalty for sin, something had to be done to appease God’s righteousness and justice for these elect. That is where the death of Christ comes in and we get to the next poing.
Third, Jesus’s death on the cross completely satisfied God’s justice and wrath against the sin of the elect so that they were indeed bought from their deserved place in Hell (ie redeemed). The atonement is called “Limited Atonement” because, though the death of Christ is infinitely valuable, its purpose was to save the elect, and that it does. All of the sins of the elect, including their unbelief, are paid for. There is nothing left to be done regarding them; the debt is paid in full. Christ came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10) and he did both; God’s wrath is satisfied. What an elect person must do then is trust Christ as Lord and Savior and receive this gift (which is completely paid for), turning away from their sin. However, there is a problem here, in that, while their debts are cancelled, they are still in their corrupt states of rebellion against God (total depravity) and cannot choose Him. That is where the next truth comes from.
Fourth, God must impart an act of grace, effecting a supernatural change in our hearts so that we can come to Him. This change gives us a new heart, and we are born again, immediately repenting of sins and placing faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, becoming a child of God; all of these things are God’s gifts.
This grace is called “Irresistible Grace” because it overcomes our natural man’s otherwise unrepairable bent toward rebellion, changing our wills so that we WANT (because it isn’t against our wills; we just now want things differently from before) Christ and begin to see Him as infinitely beautiful. We then, without fail, receive Him by faith (John 1:12, John 6:37ff, John 10:27), become God’s children and taking hold of the gift that God purchased for us. We confess Christ as our Lord, and believe He was raised from the dead (Romans 10:9–10). We are truly then saved, not because of anything we’ve done on our own, but because God did it all. He gets all the glory in our salvations, because all of it is His work (Eph 2:8–9).
Lastly, true Christians persevere. God holds His children, His elect, and they shall never perish – ever! (John 3:16, John 10:28–29) This is called “Perseverance of the Saints” and has two implications, one of which was stated already:
One, God holds on to His elect. He is the one who maintains our salvation. (Php 1:6) This is sometimes called “eternal security.”
Secondly, true believers will persevere to the end. Though all of us slip into sin, some for longer times than others, those that claim Christ for a while but fall away and do not ever return were after all, not true Christians and never really saved. (Matt 7:21, 1 Jn 2:4, 1 Jn 2:19)

There. Comments would be appreciated, of course, because as we all are, I am ever growing in my understanding.

God's blessings to you all!

David Hewitt

ldwhite said...

Thanks for the new website...it looks great! I visit here several times a week and find the information very encouraging

David B. Hewitt said...

Also, the means that God uses to effect His grace of course is the Gospel proclaimed by people such as you and myself (evangelism), utilizing many of the Scriptures I cited (though of course not an exclusive list), based on Romans 1:16 and Romans 10:17

:)

Dave Hewitt

Chip said...

david hewitt -- I used to serve on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana (made my home in Zionsville). How're things in Indy? It's been a couple of years since I've been there and my wife and I sure do miss it.