Talk 1 from the Midlands Students Conference, 25th March 2017.
Gospel Life For All
Gospel ministry = telling the god news of Jesus to non-Christians (evangelism) & building up the faith and obedience of Christians (discipleship).
The question isn’t “whether should I be in gospel ministry?” but “how should I be involved in gospel ministry?”
(2) All Christians are called to do gospel ministry
Jesus calls all of His disciples to make disciples through the task of evangelism and grow disciples through the task of teaching them obedience.
(3) What gospel ministry will look like for most people
For most Christians gospel ministry will be done in the midst of normal life.
(a) Your degree and future secular work have great value
Your degree studies and your future secular job are highly valued in God’s eyes, Genesis 1:27-28.
Image of God = delegated responsibility from God to rule the earth.
Genesis 1:28 = creation/cultural mandate. Adam starts to obey the cultural mandate.
Filling the earth = more than procreation!
“Human beings ‘filling the earth’ means something far more than plants and animals filling the earth. It means civilization not just procreation.” Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavour, p.56.
Subduing the earth = utilizing creation’s resources,
“The word ‘subdue’ indicates that, though all God had made was good, it was still to a great degree undeveloped. God left creation with deep untapped potential for cultivation that people were to unlock through their labour.” Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavour, p.36.
Adam obeying the cultural mandate. Genesis 2:15.
(b) Studying and working is neither a curse nor a necessary evil
We work because God is a worker and He designed us to be workers too!
(c) A right view of work will give you a right view of ‘set apart’ ministry
Set apart gospel workers aren’t the elite and Christians doing secular work aren’t settling for second best.
(d) We need to remember that secular work isn’t gospel ministry but may provide a platform for it
Your degree studies and any future secular job isn’t gospel ministry although it might provide opportunities for gospel ministry.
(4) Discussion Questions
1. In what ways do Jesus’ words in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) persuade you that all Christians should be involved in gospel ministry? How do Jesus’ words encourage you to get involved in evangelism and discipleship now?
2. Have you ever considered that your degree and future work fulfils God’s cultural mandate? If not, how has your thinking changed?
3. When do we think that work is a necessary evil? How does God’s Word change how we think about work?
4. In what ways does a Biblical understanding of work shape the way we think of secular work compared to fulltime set apart ministry?
5. Do you agree that work isn’t gospel ministry? What opportunities has your degree given you to engage in gospel ministry?
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)