Posted tagged ‘Gospel Alphabet’

The Gospel Alphabet: Z is for Zeal

April 1, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V |
W | X | Y

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “Z”.

Z is for Zeal

May God stir both our own hearts and the hearts of those we are called to serve with an authentic zeal for the Gospel, and for the Christ of the Gospel. We have seen how fully this marked Paul’s life. We could certainly say the same of Jesus, whose first public words were a call to repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15) and whose entire ministry was Gospel. All that Jesus said and did and was, in life and in death, was a display of God’s Good News for humanity. In every way, may we never be lacking in zeal but keep our spiritual fervor as we serve the Lord (Rom. 12:11) in and through this glorious Gospel, the Good News of Christ.

The Gospel Alphabet: Y is for Yielding

March 26, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V |
W | X

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “Y”.

Y is for Yielding

The Gospel must be continually set forth before church members because it is in view of God’s mercy that we are provoked to yield our lives fully to God as living sacrifices (Rom. 6:13; 12:1). It is the kindness of God displayed in the Gospel that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4) so that we no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us and was raised again (2 Cor. 5:15).

The Gospel Alphabet: X is for Xenophilia

March 18, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “X”.

X is for Xenophilia

The actual Greek word we have in mind here is philoxenia, which literally means “love of strangers, foreigners, aliens.” Our coinage, if such it be, means exactly the same. In our English New Testaments, philoxenia is rendered as “hospitality” (Rom. 12:13; 1 Pet. 4:9) and “to show hospitality to strangers” (1 Tim. 3:2). In the final judgment Jesus will either commend or condemn based upon whether or not people have welcomed “the least of these” (and thus welcomed Christ himself; Matt. 25:35, 43).  Jesus is the greatest model for philoxenia, as is indicated in the Gospel narratives as well as in the whole wonder of his incarnation and passion. Indeed, we were not merely strangers to him; we were God’s enemies when he died for us (Rom. 5:8). In declaring such love, the Gospel also calls us to imitate it (1 John 4:10-11).

The Gospel Alphabet: W is for Worship

March 11, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “W”.

W is for Worship

We must continually teach and learn the Gospel because there is simply nothing else that evokes worship and adoration as the Gospel does. A quick survey of the hymnody of the church through the past twenty centuries makes this clear. The best hymns–ancient and contemporary–which have shown themselves to have staying power have always been Gospel-obsessed. God is glorified, Christ is exalted, and the cross and Christ’s atoning work are central. The same is true of other key elements of Christian worship–our preaching, our confessions, our prayers, our sacraments. Take away the Gospel and Christian worship simply ceases. The Gospel moves us endlessly to wonder and adore.

The Gospel Alphabet: V is for Vision

March 4, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U 

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “V”.

V is for Vision

Keeping our minds focused on the Gospel can help us align our hearts to God’s own heart. We so easily fall into pettiness and needless division when we are not prizing the things God prizes. Jesus endured the cross and its shame because of the joy set before him (Heb. 12:2), a joy which we take to refer to the fact that through suffering and death he would bring many children to glory (Heb. 2:10-18). Paul likewise endured all manner of things for the sake of the Gospel and in the furtherance of its saving ministry (1 Cor. 9:23; Phil. 1:12-13; 2 Tim. 1:11-12). A clear vision of the gospel imparts great fortitude in struggling toward it and great forbearance in the face of distractions from it.

The Gospel Alphabet: U is for Unity

February 26, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “U”.

U is for Unity

A clear Gospel focus in our preaching and teaching has the potential to contribute to the unity of the church. In the latter half of the twentieth century one frequently seen example of this was the evangelistic campaigns of Billy Graham, which typically featured the cooperation of a great diversity of congregations and denominations. At the  beginning of this century new movements are afoot for the sake of the Gospel that aim to be both evangelical and ecumenical. We never seem to achieve perfect consensus here because we need to constantly wrestle with variant details of conviction and, of course, with all kinds of intellectual spin-offs of our fallenness. But magnifying the Gospel as our central point of reference can help us keep a variety of lesser concerns in proper perspective (Phil. 1:18).

————–

Annotation from me:

Packer seems to be focusing primary on evangelicalism as a whole, and indeed there are gospel-centered movements (Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel, etc.) who are working to “renew the center” of evangelical life. But on a local church level, I believe a commitment to the gospel does its greatest work in promoting and protecting unity.  There will always be competing cultures, surging personal preferences, and various approaches or philosophies of ministry.  But what defines the identities and shapes the contours of the church should be the Gospel.  When we are united around the Gospel and all of its implications and applications, we snuff out competing sub-cultures and celebrate diversity in multiple facets of life.

 

The Gospel Alphabet: S is for Salvation

February 12, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “S”.

S is for Salvation

Scripture is quite clear that the Gospel “is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). As we have already noted, this is not a truth pertaining only to evangelism. The Gospel saves those who believe, from first to last, through and through. It includes all the wondrous doctrines of our great salvation, including election, regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification, and much more. For this reason alone, the Gospel must remain central in all the ministries of the church.

The Gospel Alphabet: R is for Righteousness

February 5, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R 

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “R”.

R is for Righteousness

In the Gospel “a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last” (Rom. 1:17). Paul’s argument in the letter to the Romans is deep and complex, but we submit that the Gospel reveals God’s righteousness in at least these two ways. First, it is a declaration that God himself is just and righteous, for the Gospel teaches that in Christ our sins have been fully propitiated as a basis for his forgiving of us (Rom. 3:24-26; 1 John 1:9, 2:2). Then, second, through the Gospel God declares us righteous as we put our faith in Christ Jesus. Thus in the Gospel God demonstrates “his own justice at the present time, so as to be just and the ones who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). It is truly vital beyond words that we faithfully preach and teach this Gospel.

The Gospel Alphabet: Q is for Quickening

January 30, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “Q”.

Q is for Quickening

Though by nature we were dead in our trespasses and sins and were objects of God’s wrath, God quickened us–made us alive with Christ–through his love and grace (Eph. 2:1-5). This God did, and still does, as we believe the Gospel, putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Lutheran theology especially emphasizes the notion that the Gospel is God’s quickening word, spoken to us in infinite mercy. We need to hear this word continually for our own sakes and to speak it faithfully to others.

The Gospel Alphabet: P is for Passion

January 15, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “P”.

P is for Passion

Passion comes from the Latin passio, meaning “suffering.” We celebrate each year the passion of our Lord when we attend to the historic remembrance of Holy Week. Likewise, whenever we partake of the Lord’s Supper together we “proclaim the Lord’s death till he comes.” It is given to us not only to believe in Christ the Suffering Servant but also to suffer for him ourselves (Phil. 1:29). Paul saw his own suffering for the Gospel and for the building up of the church as an active participation in the afflictions of Christ (Col. 1:24; Phil. 3:10-11). We must be forthright in teaching our congregants, by word and by example, that this is part of our calling as well.

The Gospel Alphabet: O is for Obedience

January 8, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “O”.

O is for Obedience

The Gospel calls forth obedience (Rom. 1:5) in at least three ways. First, we must obey the Gospel by believing and receiving the Good News (John 6:29). Second, the faith that saves works itself out in obedient living by God’s empowering grace (Phil. 2:12-13). Third, we are to obey Jesus’ command to bring this Gospel to the nations (Matt. 28:18-20). In our ministries of teaching and formation these calls to obey the Gospel must be clear and unequivocal.

The Gospel Alphabet: N is for Narrative

December 25, 2011

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M 

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “N”.

N is for Narrative

We must ever study the Gospel because it is the apex and summary of the great narrative of God’s redemptive activity in the world.  It is into this Story that we have been called.  In an age when many deny the existence of a single metanarrative that applies to all persons it is more crucial than ever that we know the biblical narrative and tell it faithfully to others, asking God to convince hearers as we do so that this is their Story as well.

The Gospel Alphabet: M is for Mission

December 20, 2011

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “M”.

M is for Mission

And why we must continually learn and teach the Gospel? We do so that we may not lose sight of the great work that God is doing in our day.  God is actively engaged in the wondrous work of reconciling all things to himself.  It was for this that the Son of God came forth.  “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19).  And this work continues in and through us, the body of Christ, gathered and dispersed throughout the world today.  The very work for which the Father sent the Son, the Son has now sent his church to continue (Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21).  And he promises to be with us always.  Being in his presence must be taken as seriously as doing the work of true mission, for mission can only have power and a cutting edge when Christ is indwelling us and we him.

The Gospel Alphabet: L is for Love

December 11, 2011

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K 

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “L”.

L is for Love

The Gospel is the revelation of God’s abounding love: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).  We do well to immerse ourselves and the saints we serve in that Good News.  The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, for example, is an ongoing, multi sensory reminder of Christ crucified (1 Cor. 11:26).  God’s Gospel love also calls forth love as response.  The Lord’s Supper both declares God’s love and demands that we love one another in turn (1 Cor. 11:27).  John, “the beloved apostle,” makes these truths very clear.  “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:10-11).  And again he writes, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  Would we see love grow in the hearts of God’s people and reach to their neighbors–both saints and sinners?  Then we must school them continuously in the Gospel of love.

The Gospel Alphabet: K is for Knowledge

November 27, 2011

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J 

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “K”.

K is for Knowledge

We continually learn the Gospel, even as believers, because the Gospel is the revelation of the knowledge and wisdom of God.  Though the message of Christ crucified seems foolish to many in this age, “to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24).  The Gospel is “a message of wisdom among the mature” (1 Cor. 2:6), a message that is “God’s secret wisdom” that has been hidden for ages (1 Cor. 2:7).  But “God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:10).  “‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he would instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).  Would we grow in the knowledge of God’s wisdom? Would we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? Then let us remain steadfast in the Gospel.