Thursday, January 3, 2008

I think one of the pressing needs facing Christians today is the need for precision and clarity in the gospel presentation. People know about God. People know about Jesus. People know (vaguely) about heaven and hell. But do they really know what is involved or the ramifications thereof?

Flying from coast to coast last week put me next to an elderly couple from Atlanta. I was reminded again of the opaqueness of the gospel in people’s minds. People have this far-removed and distant connection with the truth revealed in God’s Word. But, sad to say, this is not enough to save a person’s soul. When I asked this couple for their testimonies, I received the simple, traditional answer along the lines of: “I went to a revival meeting when I was young and went forward and did business with God.” And that’s it. That was their testimony. Anything about God and His holiness or justice? No. Anything about man and his sinfulness, rebellion, transgressions or lawlessness? No. Anything about Jesus Christ and his substitutionary death on our behalf on Calvary’s cross? No. Anything about faith in Christ and making Him Lord and King in all of life? No.

This reminded me of the need for precision in presenting the Gospel. People – even those who go to church regularly – know the gospel. But do they have the precise, clear and thorough understanding that is required in the various facets of the gospel? Now don’t hear me wrong. I’m not saying that everyone needs to be a biblical scholar in order to be saved. But what I am saying is that everyone who is genuinely saved will know the simple, yet precise, details of man’s sin, God’s holiness, Christ’s righteousness imputed to us through faith in Him and Lordship salvation. That’s it. That’s the gospel. That’s the truth that we find revealed in God’s Word. Yet that is also something that is lacking, for the most part, in evangelical pulpits around the world.

God is concerned with details. God is concerned with precision. He doesn’t leave us in the dark or in the grey with regards to biblical data. For example, in Genesis 49, when Jacob summoned his sons and blessed them, he was not vague, opaque and unclear. Rather, he was clear in his blessing upon each of his sons; especially the blessing of Judah:

Genesis 49:10 10 "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

This is a specific Messianic prophecy. Even from 1800 BC, God spoke through Jacob and prophesied that Shiloh (i.e. “The Messiah”) would come out of a specific tribe of Israel. It is my prayer that we as believers would be more precise in our gospel sharing so that we reveal “The whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) to people as we seek to be precise and thorough in our gospel presentations.


Dad said...

Geoff, this is excellent...and a much needed admonition. I believe personally that we need to be precise not only in Gospel discussions but in our overall communication of doctrine and where we personally stand on issues. There is an abundance of ambiguity and sloppiness in general Christian communications that does not reflect well at all on ourselves or the God we worship. We need to reflect excellence and throughness in all we do.

Thank you for calling each of us to be diligent and precise.


geoffrey kirkland said...

You got it dad. You are RIGHT on! Of course, I learned this from you. You're the model par excellence!

Much love.

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