“She’s fluent in French you know. Often gets mistaken for a local!”
Ever been tempted to feel just a little envious of your fellow British people who have a natural bent for picking up foreign languages? When a well-meaning, friendly French person rabbits off a sentence in their mother tongue, innocently expecting an equally fluent reply from me, my few stock phrases soon feel grossly inadequate. I have a little French vocabulary, but almost no French grammar, so sentence construction ‘on the fly’ is impossible for me.
I wonder if it’s like that for most of us when it comes to the gospel. We know a few stock phrases like ‘Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins’, but as soon as a ‘local’ asks us a question that’s seemingly unrelated to our few stock phrases, we feel we have nothing left to say – we’ve already used up our best shot. Or so we might think.
The gospel is good news, but how many of us experience this good news when we wake up in the morning, in the midst of an ordinary day, or even when bad news strikes? Through the autumn series, we’re going to equip you to preach the gospel to yourself, applying the truths about Jesus to your everyday life so that you can believe more and more about Him as you journey through your life. This is really what sanctification is all about – believing more and more of the gospel until you reach maturity in the faith.
The ‘Gospel Fluency’ is also about being equipped to be able to speak the truths about Jesus to others, in any and every situation. And to do this in a non-cheesy, non-contrived manner that has real power to unlock people’s hearts and draw them closer to Christ. If you can preach the gospel to yourself, you can preach it to others as you listen to their story and identify what it is that they’re not believing about Jesus right now.
For some of you this might be an uncomfortable season. Maybe you’ve been sold the lie that the gospel is only for leading people to Jesus, not for making them more like Him. If that’s you, get ready for some good news: the gospel is for all of life; for Christians as much as non-Christians. Jesus is inescapable and He is pursuing each one of us. Let’s pray that as a result of this teaching, we all stand united as a gospel-centred church with Jesus at the centre of everything we think, say and do.
I’ll leave the final words to Rend Collective:
When I stand accused by my regrets
And the devil roars his empty threats
I will preach the gospel to myself
That I am not a man condemned
For Jesus Christ is my defence
My sin is nailed to the cross
My soul is healed by the scars
The weight of guilt I bear no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord