• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Easy to say, hard to do

The central and core value of World Team is the Gospel. When asked to talk about the Gospel, the words come pretty easily. However, allowing the impact of those words to go to the very depths of our souls is hard work. It’s easy to say what we mean by the Gospel. It’s hard to live out the truth of the Gospel each day.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in talking about the Lord’s Table wrote this: “It speaks to us of the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand … It confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone. “My son, give me thine heart” (Prov 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad!easy hard

That quote hit hard. It’s easy for me to see others as sinners; as ‘great, desperate sinners’. It’s a lot harder to view myself that way. However, when I minimize the pollution of sin in my life, I also minimize the work of Christ on my behalf. Christ died for my sins because I had no ability to pay down my spiritual debt, nor any way to restore the honour of God that had been irreparably damaged by my actions.

When I recognize more and more, the great, desperate sinner that I am, the sweeter the message of the Gospel becomes to me.

However, I need others in that battle; to help me remember who I am and what Christ now says about me.

One writer put it this way: “We desperately need to surround ourselves with brothers and sisters in Christ who are truly honest about their sin … they can remind us of the gospel time and time again. These are people who won’t be surprised by your sin when you confess it. They will say, “Of course you sinned … come with me to the throne of grace to celebrate the love of your Saviour and to find help in your time of need.”

Do you have friends like that?

2 Responses

  1. Wow, great insight! Thanks for sharing this, David! I seem to struggle badly with the first task already:

    “When asked to talk about the Gospel, the words come pretty easily.”

    Having been at home recently with my unbelieving relatives, I asked three of them, my dad, mum and brother the following question:

    “I have been abroad for 24 years telling the people about the Gospel. I would like to find out whether I have communicated it to you as well in all those years, during the few times we saw each other.

    Imagine someone comes to you who has never heard the Gospel. He asks, ‘how can I become a Christian?’ How would you answer them?”

    The thought that came to my mind before that fateful encounter was, ‘If they can tell me how someone can become a Christian, then the chances are relatively high that they themselves are Christians.

    The answers ranged from ‘I would send him to Adrian…:-)’ to, ‘you become a Christian by being born in a Christian family.’

    Needless to say my heart sunk terribly! What on earth did I do wrong over all those years that they still did not get it? What about the people abroad whom I thought I had told the last 24 years?

    Then suddenly it dawned on me. I allowed myself to be lead by them to answer all kind of questions, such as about evolution, the failure of the church, has the Bible been changed, do you believe in three gods, etc.

    A few years ago I corrected that huge problem with the people group we are working with, our cousins. The tool I stumbled upon enables us to lead the conversation, rather than to be led. The latter is one of the greatest problems when it comes to talking about the Gospel in my opinion. As they say:

    The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing: Jesus!

    Anyone who is interested in that tool I can send it to them. Well, that is my cousins sorted, at least beginning to…What about my mum, dad and brothers? I told them the actual Gospel, starting with the creation, Adam and Eve, animal sacrifice and Jesus the final, perfect sacrifice.

    Whenever, they wanted to digress, saying, ‘I don’t believe this and that,’ I gently brought them back with a smile to the purpose of this exercise: To answer the question, ‘how can I become a Christian’, not necessarily to believe it.

    My brother said, he had never before heard it so clearly. Glory to God alone! My 87 year old dad and mum are still struggling to grasp the ‘mechanics’ of the Gospel let alone believing in them. May God show mercy!

    I am going to write it down for my parents and all the other relatives we were unable to visit. Once it is finished I am going to offer it as well, to those of you who speak German at least. Faith comes by hearing (reading) the Gospel. Please pray.

    Moving on to the second part of your message, your main point actually….Well, maybe that is for another time, otherwise this gets too long….Let me go and search for those around me who are truly honest about their sin. If I cannot find them, I will have another go being one of those I search for myself.

    • thanks Adrian for sharing. It’s not the tool that is ultimately important, rather the source of the motivation behind it. And you have explained that well … that it is all about Jesus.

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