Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Remaining Confident in the Gospel

This morning at T4G, Thabiti Anyabewile is speaking from 1 Timothy 4. I sometimes go through the seasons of doubt he is talking about by losing confidence in the Gospel. Not that I wouldn't affirm the Gospel as a necessity and of first importance, but that even in my thoughts I question whether it is true.

Being a student of Southern Seminary and the leader of a college ministry, you probably think I am an apostate or heretic. No. I am just being honest. We will all go through doubts unlike Jesus who had perfect confidence. When we do go through these doubts, it is important to have your faith community and closest friends with you for support.

As Anyabewile has said this morning, it is necessary that we have confidence in the Gospel. Those who we witness and minister to need us to be confident and we need the confidence. As Paul writes in 1 Timothy 4, the Gospel is sufficient. It has everything we need. Going further, the Gospel is trustworthy. And lastly, the Gospel comes to the worst of sinners and has the power to save the least deserving (including myself).

Hearing this sermon has been great personally. CJ Mahaney did a similar thing yesterday morning. They have both delivered the right messages at the right time for me to keep my confidence in the Gospel and for me to not be discouraged in ministry.

For application, Anyabewile suggests "9 Marks of a Gospel Confident Ministry" (in the style of Dever):
1. We ought to situate ourselves around the worst of sinners for opportunities to advance the Gospel.
2. We ought to speak the Gospel slowly and carefully.
3. We ought to fear being unfaithful more than we fear being unfruitful.
4. We ought to endeavor to preach the Gospel every Sunday (pastors).
5. We ought to be careful with new converts.
6. We ought to study the Gospel in deeper and more varied ways. Take one truth or theme of the Gospel and ransack Scripture to see how the Scripture presents that truth.
7. We ought to preach to open eyes not just to disseminate information.
8. We ought to constantly ask ourselves if our confidence is in the Gospel or something else.
9. We ought to rely on the power of God. We ought to pray for the Spirit to unleash His power in our preaching and ministering to others.

If you are interested in the Together for the Gospel conference, you can listen online for free as the sessions are filmed and hosted online live. I encourage you to do this as these are awesome messages.

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