He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Friday, May 07, 2010 

Jesus is the Message of Missions

I was once in a ministry context in which several colleagues attempted to introduce into the work the strategy of “power evangelism.” Power evangelism proponents argue that the preaching of the gospel, particularly in certain cultures, must be preceded by “power encounters.” These encounters between the God of the Bible and the people’s supposed gods will demonstrate that our God is supremely powerful. Furthermore, these demonstrations of power are used in an attempt to validate the gospel message.

I fear, though, that such an approach betrays a lack of confidence in the message of the gospel itself. In fact, many in this world will never accept the truth of the gospel, no matter how many miracles or signs and wonders they witness. The cross will always seem foolish to the world, “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor 1:18). We must never be ashamed of the gospel, “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16).

Let me quickly summarize and make application. As ministers of the gospel, we are given the essential task of testifying to the person and work of Jesus Christ. That testimony, though given in different languages and illustrated in many different manners across cultures, must be consistent. We must talk about Jesus’ incarnation, his life and ministry, his death and resurrection, his ascension and his eventual return. We testify of these things and promote these truths, not simply in an impassioned, dutiful manner (what I would call a “Joe Friday” manner, i.e., “Just the facts, mam, just the facts.”), or merely from a sense of obligation. Rather, we do so because we understand that these truths offer hope, the only hope, for people in every place and in every generation.

- Dr. George Martin (this concludes the series from Dr. George H. Martin's "Jesus is the Message of Missions")

- Full lecture transcription with references can be found in pdf format here. Or you can listen to Dr. Martin give this lecture here. All posts were with permission of Dr. George Martin.

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