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Following Jesus Together - July 20, 2022

Gospel Renewal & Outreach

 As we keep repeating, the GRO (Gospel Renewal & Outreach) committee is planning a major event in the life of our church. We will be spending a weekend together, October 21-23rd, meditating on God’s mission in the world. For those who don’t know, here are the members of that committee who are actively working to serve you:

 Ruling Elder Brandon Perkins and his wife, Leslie

Bill and Hellen Challener

John and Sharon Milne

Bethany Thompson

David and Rae Whitehead

 In preparation for our gathering in the Fall, I want to meditate with you on the Biblical portrait of gospel renewal. What is it? Why do we need it? How does it happen? What is the connection between Gospel renewal and our participation in God’s mission to make Jesus known and worshipped and enjoyed by every tribe, tongue and nation?


 What is gospel renewal?

 The gospel is an announcement of good news.  It’s news, not a do-better list. ““A gospel” was news of a great historical event that changed the listeners’ condition and required response (such as a victory in war or the ascension of a new king).”1

 What historical event took place? Jesus. (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-9)

 Jesus Christ, God’s King, is now ruling and reigning in power through his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to God’s right hand. God is right now, subduing and reconciling all things and all people through Christ. (Colossians 1:15-23)

 We, who believe are now included in God’s plan to renew all things through Jesus. Our condition changes. We are now friends, not enemies. Adopted as sons, not orphans. Justified, not condemned. Sanctified, not rejected. Holy, not unclean. We now have God on our side forever (Psalm 110:4).

 The appropriate response required, according to Jesus is this: “Repent and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15) We start our journey with Jesus and continue our journey with Jesus, regularly needing to repent and believe the gospel again and again.

 Gospel renewal is something that happens when we engage and believe the promises of the gospel in greater depth and sincerity. We find our hearts being transformed by the same Jesus who loved us first.

 Consider these passages:

 Psalm 19:7 – The law of the Lord revives the soul.  The law – God’s instruction – which includes His promise to send a Messiah – reorients and renews and restores our soul. We get turned in the wrong direction and need revived!

Psalm 42 – Why are you cast down, O my soul?  - Sometimes God feels far away…so we have to preach the gospel to our heart again. “Soul, Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.

 Psalm 51:12 - Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. We can find ourselves, like David, crying out for help to enjoy God and needing the gift  of being made willing.             

One of my favorite prayers is Ephesians 3 – In the first two chapters, Paul lays out the good news of God’s love, the abundance of His mercy, and the never ending riches of His grace. This is all given us through the gift of faith in Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension. Then in Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul prays that Christians would know the love of Christ!

We want to say, “Paul, you already told us about the love of Christ.”

Paul to Christians: “The love of Christ surpasses knowledge. It’s as far as the east is from the west, stretching from the highest heights and lowest depths. There’s more!”

               Paul is praying for gospel renewal for Christians, for hearts that grasp God’s love in Christ – again and again and again.

 I’ll work through the other questions in August. Do you see that gospel renewal is part of the ordinary life of the Christian? Can you relate to these saints of old, thirsty, needing to go back to the well of Christ’s mercy?

If so, you’ll hear what Paul Tripp is getting at, when he describes a church where Jesus changes people:

 "The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed.” 1

 Every time we gather as the church, we ought to expect God to renew and revive our hearts as we see Jesus, God’s gospel with the eyes of faith. Then the gospel becomes the best news you’ve ever heard and can’t wait to tell someone else!

 See you Sunday!

1 Quoted in “Gospel Christianity” Lesson 1 from