Here are some notes from two seminars I did here last weekend for various leaders of various ministries. The overall title was 'Far-reaching Discipleship: The Gospel for all of life' and the sessions had the very simple aim of trying to expand everyone's concept of what being and making disciples involves.
Session 1: The gospel is about the Lordship/rule of Jesus Christ.
1. How Jesus summarised the Gospel – The Kingdom of God
The gospel is about the kingdom of God. In and through Jesus, God is ruling in such a way as to sort out creation, defeat death, save his people, destroy his enemies
1 Corinthians 15:22-26
2. Ηow the NT authors summarised the Gospel - ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’
Romans 1:1-4. Jesus is the Christ and Son of God from Psalm 2. He has inherited the rebellious nations of the world and rules over them. “Jesus Christ our Lord” is Paul’s summary, which is repeated throughout the NT (e.g. Mark 1:1, John 20:31, Acts 2:36, Acts 16:31, 1 Corinthians 12:3, 2 Corinthians 4:3-5, 2 Timothy 2:8, Romans 10:9 and Philippians 2:11).
In the gospel God is saying to the world “Jesus Christ is Lord”
3. Key events of the Gospel
NT authors also highlight some key events in their gospel summaries. Jesus' Lordship is never far in the background.
Cross = establishing his reign, populating his kingdom. Revelation 5: 9-10
Resurrection = declaration of Jesus’ Lordship/Sonship. Romans 1:4
Ascension = installation as ruler of the universe. 1 Peter 3:22, Ephesians 1:20-23
The Gospel is a declaration of regime change.
The gospel is God’s declaration to the world that Jesus Christ owns this world and everything and everyone in it. This is good news because his Lordship involves sorting creation out by defeating sin, saving his people, destroying death, crushing his enemies.
5. Brief implications
So what does all this mean? Some starters:
Faith involves personal allegiance
If the gospel that we’re asking people to believe that 'Jesus is Lord' then faith involves a change of allegiance, swapping sides, yielding to Jesus the Lord.
Faith results in obedience
We can’t really believe the gospel message that says ‘Jesus is Lord’ and go on as if he’s not.
We must say no to pitting 'mission' against 'maturity'
The same gospel that says Jesus Christ is Lord drives us out into the world and compels us to deep ever deeper roots into Christ.