Friday, March 17, 2006

What makes Good News good? Part five

Concluding thoughts on John Piper's sermon 'What makes the Good News good?'

Patient teaching is called for.
2 Timothy 2:24-26.

So how does God use His people to do the work that only He can do, and carry the message that only He can explain. These verses in 2 Timothy seem to provide something of an answer. We have to be patient, and we have to teach. There is a great deal to be said for the good work that can be done for the Gospel through relationships, through always being there for a non Christian mate, for being someone they can trust and rely on. But this will only get the Gosple so far. Unless people here the Gospel they will nbot be saved. Unless people are told that the only way to bridge the gap created between them and God by their sin is through Jesus on the cross, they will not be saved. So, as it says in 2 Timothy, we must teach. We must be kind, and we must be patient. We must plug away at teaching the Gospel, being faithful in the oppotunites the Lord gives us to talk about Him. As important as being kind and patient is, there must be room for correction. If someone tells you they believe Jesus to be the reincarnation of a cat, then they must be corrected! And why? Why must we teach with kindness and patience? So that 'God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth'. We must teach, so that people may be saved.

God will grant them repentance...grant them a change of mind about Him and who He is. A repentance that leads to a knowledge of the truth. Now, this knowledge of the truth must be something more than knowing the Gospel, because how can someone be saved if He doesn't know the Gospel. This is more than the knowledge that the Devil has of God and His Gospel. This is, this must be, the ever growing knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:4-6), which is what saved them in the first place. The more we see of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the more we'll love and want to honour and glory God and His name. This knowledge is really knowing it. Really knowing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. This is the knowledge that saves us, that keeps us, that grows us. Lostness is blindness to this glory. This knowledge allows us to escape the snare of the Devil. We see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We repent because of it. We are counted as righteous through are repentance and subsequent faith.

This is a challenging message for me. Too often i'm happy to try and be a good guy in my house, on my course, to my family. And while yes, of course that is called for, no one will be saved by me empyting the dishwasher (profound words eh?) Teach teach teach. Always with kindness, always with gentleness, always with the focus on God. Then perhaps He may grant people the repentance that leads to knowledge of His glory, His glory shown to us in the face of Jesus Christ.

If you haven't yet listened to this sermon, and i haven't put you off please do! The message, the way is taught, the beauty of the truth in it is amazing. Paul's linked to two more sermons by John Piper here, i'll be tucking into those soon hopefully.


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