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  • But for the Grace of God

    Question for discussion:

    Should the proclamation of the gospel begin with the call to faith and repentance? Why or why not?

    Many Blessings,
    RW

  • #2
    Originally posted by RogerW View Post
    Question for discussion:

    Should the proclamation of the gospel begin with the call to faith and repentance? Why or why not?
    I don't believe so. First you bring God's blessing to the nations by helping the poor and so on, and when they ask you why you are acting so different from the rest of the world, you can explain why. To me, we must follow in Jesus' footsteps, and often Jesus' verbal proclamation was an explanation of what he was physically doing.

    So I believe we should be out doing what Jesus was doing and explaining why we are doing it: because Jesus is the risen Messiah and the Lord of the world and we have been called to be his servants.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by enarchay View Post
      I don't believe so. First you bring God's blessing to the nations by helping the poor and so on, and when they ask you why you are acting so different from the rest of the world, you can explain why. To me, we must follow in Jesus' footsteps, and often Jesus' verbal proclamation was an explanation of what he was physically doing.

      So I believe we should be out doing what Jesus was doing and explaining why we are doing it: because Jesus is the risen Messiah and the Lord of the world and we have been called to be his servants.
      Greetings Enarchay,

      If I am understanding you correctly you believe we must first meet the felt needs, or physical needs of people and this will make them more readily receive the gospel?

      Blessings,
      RW

      Comment


      • #4
        I am inclined to believe that calling for faith and repentence would not make much sense to anyone unless they first understand who Jesus is and why we are called to be His servants.

        But then again, John the Baptist was preaching repentence before Jesus came on the scene so i will be interested to see other view points on this issue.

        Comment


        • #5
          If I am understanding you correctly you believe we must first meet the felt needs, or physical needs of people and this will make them more readily receive the gospel?
          Something like that. Before Jesus gave parables (i.e. Luke 15) explaining his welcoming of sinners, he welcomed the sinners. So action comes before explanation, in my opinion.

          Unlike the Romans who welcomed people into their kingdom at the edge of the sword, we welcome people into our kingdom with love. This is why helping the poor and those who are in need of comfort and so on is so important prior to the proclamation of Jesus as the risen Messiah.

          I think my opinion ties in with James statements:

          "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (Jas 2:14-17).

          The promise made to Abraham is that in him the nations will be blessed (Gen 18:18). The same is true for us. So start blessing the nations!

          Comment


          • #6
            But then again, John the Baptist was preaching repentence before Jesus came on the scene so i will be interested to see other view points on this issue.
            True. However, I think John's audience understood what he meant more than our audience 2000 years later. The proclamation of the "kingdom of God" is all-Greek to the average, Biblically ignorant, modern person.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by enarchay View Post
              True. However, I think John's audience understood what he meant more than our audience 2000 years later. The proclamation of the "kingdom of God" is all-Greek to the average, Biblically ignorant, modern person.
              Excellent point. John's "audience" was a jewish population that already knew a messiah was to come. Therefore, his message was not foreign to them.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gard View Post
                Excellent point. John's "audience" was a jewish population that already knew a messiah was to come. Therefore, his message was not foreign to them.
                Yes. On the other hand, we live in a society that has largely lost touch with its Jewish roots. Therefore, we must act out the Kingdom of God, rather than verbally explain its arrival, so we can afterward explain it in a way that is easy to understand. Remember Jesus' statement: "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 19:1). What other things can be said to be "such is the kingdom of heaven"? Ask yourself that. Do those things that are such in the kingdom of God. When people ask you why, explain it: Jesus is Lord. I'm pretty sure that is easy to understand.

                My point is, the gospel is not all about "saving souls" as it is understand by most modern Christians. It is about helping others as we would help ourselves and then giving them the opportunity to become a part of the people of God, the seed of Abraham.

                We are a Kingdom and we have a King. We are the servants of that King. We serve that King by serving others. When people wonder why we are serving them, we explain we are servants of the King. If they want to become servants as well, we explain how. That is our job in my mind.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                  Question for discussion:

                  Should the proclamation of the gospel begin with the call to faith and repentance? Why or why not?

                  Many Blessings,
                  RW
                  Well, there's no prescribed order...I think it will depend on the individual. There are some folks I've talked to that understood their sinful state even before I began witnessing to them...in that case, they are READY for the gospel (good news) and repentance & faith comes easily. They desperately WANT to be forgiven & saved.

                  For others, they are prideful and either:

                  a) think they are a good person so they deserve heaven

                  - or-

                  b) don't think their sin is bad enough to send them to hell.

                  In this case it is necessary to first show them (using the scriptures) that no one is good enough and that all sin is punishable by death & eternal separation from God in a place called hell.

                  A person can't repent unless they understand their sinful position before God.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I honestly don't think "hell" as many interpret it today has any place in the gospel, but that's just me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by enarchay View Post
                      I honestly don't think "hell" as many interpret it today has any place in the gospel, but that's just me.
                      So in a witnessing situation, what would you tell a person the penalty for their sin is?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gard View Post
                        I am inclined to believe that calling for faith and repentence would not make much sense to anyone unless they first understand who Jesus is and why we are called to be His servants.

                        But then again, John the Baptist was preaching repentence before Jesus came on the scene so i will be interested to see other view points on this issue.
                        Greetings Gard,

                        Yes, John the Baptist did come preaching repentence, and yet as you have stated it would not make much sense to anyone unless they first understand who Jesus is. Do you find it interesting (if so, why) that the first sermon preached by Peter was to "devout Jews" (Acts 2:5), and yet the message he preached began with the sovereinty of God and fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, and the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God?

                        Many Blessings,
                        RW

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by enarchay View Post
                          Yes. On the other hand, we live in a society that has largely lost touch with its Jewish roots. Therefore, we must act out the Kingdom of God, rather than verbally explain its arrival, so we can afterward explain it in a way that is easy to understand. Remember Jesus' statement: "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 19:1). What other things can be said to be "such is the kingdom of heaven"? Ask yourself that. Do those things that are such in the kingdom of God. When people ask you why, explain it: Jesus is Lord. I'm pretty sure that is easy to understand.

                          My point is, the gospel is not all about "saving souls" as it is understand by most modern Christians. It is about helping others as we would help ourselves and then giving them the opportunity to become a part of the people of God, the seed of Abraham.

                          We are a Kingdom and we have a King. We are the servants of that King. We serve that King by serving others. When people wonder why we are serving them, we explain we are servants of the King. If they want to become servants as well, we explain how. That is our job in my mind.
                          Greetings Enarchay,

                          This is a very common thinking today. It does indeed (James) demonstrate living faith. But how is this any different then a world wide organization such as the American Red Cross? I mean, wouldn't you agree that even the world takes care of its own when it comes to physical/felt needs, even if not very well at times? Please don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that we are not also called to care for the needs of others. Is meeting felt/physical needs Paul's primary focus?

                          Many Blessings,
                          RW

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sold Out View Post
                            Well, there's no prescribed order...I think it will depend on the individual. There are some folks I've talked to that understood their sinful state even before I began witnessing to them...in that case, they are READY for the gospel (good news) and repentance & faith comes easily. They desperately WANT to be forgiven & saved.

                            For others, they are prideful and either:

                            a) think they are a good person so they deserve heaven

                            - or-

                            b) don't think their sin is bad enough to send them to hell.

                            In this case it is necessary to first show them (using the scriptures) that no one is good enough and that all sin is punishable by death & eternal separation from God in a place called hell.

                            A person can't repent unless they understand their sinful position before God.
                            Greetings Sold Out,

                            What do you mean when you say, that some folks understand their sinful state even before you begin witnessing to them and are therefore ready for the gospel and repentance? How are they aware of their sinful state? I'm not trying to be difficult, I just want to understand where their understanding comes from, and if they already know they are without hope, should we then proceed to the proclamation of the gospel? And if we do how will this affect the call to faith and repentance?

                            Many Blessings,
                            RW

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                              Question for discussion:

                              Should the proclamation of the gospel begin with the call to faith and repentance? Why or why not?

                              Many Blessings,
                              RW
                              IMHO, I do not abide by "gospel peddling" in contrast to Paul and others who proclaimed and taught the 'good news' with a call to the faith and repentence.

                              Those who peddle the word of God, tend not to rely upon or do not believe that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives sight to the spiritually blind or life to the spiritually dead, with "motivational tactics" to get results..and avoid the issue that they are sinners and headed for eternal damnation..

                              Paul and his fellow-laborers in the gospel were not gospel peddlers. They speak the truth of the gospel, plainly, and with purity of motive. They did not speak so as to please men and gain their approval and applause; they spoke in the sight of God, seeking to glorify Him by accurately representing His Son, and thereby pleasing Him with the sweet smell of Christ. Nor was this unloving, the priorities were to love God first and to apply the 'agape love' to those they imparted the gospel to.

                              I am concerned about worldly wisdom that does not focus on Christ crucified, whichis the true gospel being lost, watered down or abandoned if we rely upon "tactic's" beyond a point..that almost become seductive in the spirit of persuasion and doctrine of "results".

                              I also believe that the Commandment to love God first and others next is not a religious mandate of spiritual authority with how to preach the word of God, but a relational imperative of spiritual life..that is to be the authority over our lives.

                              In this respect, we can look at others concerns and needs in repsect to having a sincere and authentic desire to serve them, but in such a way that never overrides or departs form keeping our relationship in Christ from being compromised. So our motives are subject to scrutiny when we approach this concern..

                              What matters most?

                              Do we love folks into faith by "conditionally" avoiding offending them with the word of God ? Or by our love for Christ will we live our faith unconditionally and simply love others unconditionally?

                              Like Paul, we can be confident as we obey our Lord’s command to proclaim the gospel to lost sinners. Our confidence must not to be in ourselves, but in God, through Jesus Christ. This confidence in God, rather than in ourselves, strikes a death blow to the “human potential” teaching which is so popular in our day.


                              4 And such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

                              Paul’s troubled spirit does not deprive him of his confidence in proclaiming the gospel. The gospel is not rendered powerful to save by Paul’s state of mind or by any persuasive methods he employs.

                              It is the Christian’s duty to faithfully proclaim the Word of God; it is God who uses the preached word to glorify Himself by saving some and condemning others.

                              IMHO, 200o years ago, societies problems were not so different, so cultural diferences are not the problem that has to be addressed, Society today has "sinful priorities". it's all about "me worship"..yet another form of idolatry that is not any less substantial or problematic than the Pagan worship of false idols in Paul's day..nor did Paul atempt to"persuade' with motivational tactics or depart from preaching the Wordof God with the good news of Christ and the bad news for sinners whenit came to their sin..

                              So why should we change our tacitc's to accomondate the world? We do not save sinners, the Gospel of Christ does..

                              We should approach this as thermostats, willing to allow the Holy Spirit to adjust us in respect to what degree we proceed with in respect to the passion we bring to this..but the Word of God is like a thermometer...it measures the condition of the ones we bring the Word of God to. We are to be submissive to the Holy Spirit to be adjusted accordingly (regardless of the culture), it is not our job to adjust others, just love them in any climate to tell the the truth and the essentials.no mater what the reception is...no differently today than in Paul's day..Gods truth and His Word are the same now as then, and forever.
                              Last edited by Amazedgrace21; Sep 26th 2007, 05:16 PM. Reason: sp
                              "On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand." My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, Edward Mote

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