Pursuing Gospel Fluency
During this summer our leaders are gathering on Sunday Nights to be trained in Gospel Fluency. What is Gospel Fluency? It is the ability to freely think, speak, express and articulate the Gospel as it applies to the everyday stuff of life. Fluency involves a level of deep understanding where language does not require translating, but flows freely from our hearts to our words.
Why would we pursue fluency in the Gospel? Because we believe that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16) and because we believe the Gospel is God’s path for a believers sanctification (Hebrews 12:2; Phil 1:6; Col 2:6). The same Gospel that saves us works to sanctify us. The freedom that Jesus offers to us in his Gospel is not meant to be some conceptual (philosophical or theological), but a functional relief to the hardships we encounter in our everyday lives. A functional Gospel that impacts your every day requires Gospel Fluency.
The goal of this focus is to become better at making the Good News of Jesus’ substitution and sacrifice for us a tangible offering of relief to those we serve and love on a daily basis. This requires two things; First an ongoing intentional pursuit of Gospel Fluency; Second that we become intentional in how we speak to each other with the Gospel. If the church is to be known as a hospital for sinners, then it must be a place where we share real pain, hardship, discouragement, struggle, frustration, and confession of sin with out fear of others judgement, condemnation, or shame. The church must be place where we speak the Gospel into these difficulties. It is the news of the Gospel that works to relieve, restore, and heal.
When we bring the truth of who Jesus is and what he has accomplished for us into our everyday struggles, we are advocating for sanctification. The Gospel tells us that:
1. Jesus is our substitute life - this is needed, because no one is perfect.
2. Jesus experienced our substitute death - also necessary, because there is no other sufficient sacrifice.
3. Jesus resurrected from the dead - this truth tells us that we also will be “made new,” in Christ.
The truths of the Gospel begin to effect our everyday struggles when we move from a conceptual belief in the work of Jesus into a functional belief. When asked what must be done to do the work of God, Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in whom he has sent,” (John 6:29). The sent one is Jesus. To grow in Gospel fluency is to grow in functional belief in the finished work of Jesus.
The challenge with accepting the reality of a functional Gospel is that we are people prone to deception and idolatry. Deception is believing lies. Idolatry happens when we place hope in anything other than God. There are three ways that this unbelief occurs in our lives, and in the lives of people we will engage with comes from:
1. We don’t believe because we lack the truth about God (ignorant of the gospel)
2. We believe lies about God (bad theology or a bad definition of the gospel)
3. We fail to trust in the God we know (no application of the gospel)
When we fail to believe the Gospel (which happens to us all quite often) we need someone who is Gospel Fluent to speak the gospel into our lives, to help us graciously see what we are not believing. If I am failing to trust God with my finances, I need my wife to graciously remind me of how God has always provided. When I am feeling anxiety about a meeting or event, I need to be reminded that my hope is placed in the finished work of Jesus, and not what others think about me. When my world is crashing down, and all feels lost, I need to be reminded that the Gospel is my only hope in life and death.
There is no greater truth than God loves us. In this we must grow fluent. The Church must learn, believe, and articulate over and over, daily even, the finished work of Christ.