Becoming Fluent in the Gospel—A New CF Blog Coming Your Way
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to share at our monthly CF leader’s meeting about something called “Gospel Fluency.” (you can listen to the podcast here). I didn’t coin the phrase (Pastor Jeff Vanderstelt did). But I really like it. Essentially the idea is this:
If you’ve ever tried to learn a language, you know that there’s a lot of frustration. It’s slow-going. At first you have to think about each word someone is saying, or each word you want to say, and translate it into your first language. But at some point—if you persist—you cross over and begin to think in the new language. You start to have dreams in the new language. You’re able to have conversations without thinking about each word and translating it into English in your head. You’re becoming fluent.
That’s how I want it to be for us—with the gospel. “Gospel fluency” is about the gospel becoming the language we think in, how we hear and see and interpret life, how we speak to one another. Fluent in the gospel—the gospel as our heart language.
Why Gospel Fluency?
The gospel is not just the message that saves us. It’s also the means by which we grow and mature as Christians. Author and pastor Tim Keller says,
We never “get beyond the gospel” in our Christian life to something more “advanced.” The gospel is not the first “step” in a “stairway” of truths, rather, it is more like the “hub” in a “wheel” of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A-Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make progress in the kingdom…The main problem, then, in the Christian life is that we have not thought out the deep implications of the gospel, we have not ‘used’ the gospel in and on all parts of our life… All of us, to some degree live around the truth of the gospel but do not ‘get’ it. So the key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of the gospel. A stage of renewal is always the discovery of a new implication or application of the gospel–seeing more of its truth.
Once God saves us, he doesn’t move us beyond the gospel. Rather, he takes us deeper and deeper into the gospel. That’s how we grow. That’s how we’re transformed. The fruit of real love and joy and peace in our lives only grows in the soil of the gospel.
The gospel is not just for unbelievers. It’s our greatest need every day.
Why the Gospel in Life Blog?
So the aim of this blog is to help us become “fluent” in the gospel. For it to become our heart language. The blog is called the “Gospel in Life” blog because we want to help make connections between the gospel and the everyday stuff of life. We’ll explore how the gospel intersects with marriage, parenting, work, sexuality, struggles with sin, insecurity, exercise and body image, suffering, and countless other things that make up the day to day moments of our lives.
Pastor Mike Bullmore says, “A local church is healthy to the degree that: (1) its leaders are able to accurately, effectively, and broadly bring the gospel to bear in the real lives of their people; and (2) its people have a deep personal understanding of and appreciation for the gospel, so as to be able to live in the good of the gospel daily.”
That’s the aim of this blog. To equip us to learn how to apply the gospel to our own lives and the lives of others so we can be a community of people who “live in the good of the gospel daily.”
What to Expect from the Blog
Over the past few years, I feel like God has put me through a gospel workshop of sorts, as he has pressed the gospel on me from all directions and has caused the truth of the gospel to work its way deeper and deeper into the “unevangelized” regions of my soul. One of the ways I have grown and learned how the gospel applies to the day-in-day-out stuff of life is through reading articles, blogs, and other resources related to the gospel. I get to do this as part of my job as a pastor. Not everybody gets that luxury. So I want to make accessible to you some of the resources I come across that can help us think through how to apply the gospel to everyday life, saving you the time of having to find them yourself.
To begin with, I’m planning to post on each Tuesday of the month–what I’ll call “Two for Tuesday.” I’ll include two links to short blogs or articles—along with a brief description or quote to give you a taste for what the article is about. These will be articles that I’ve found helpful that relate the gospel to some area of life.
We may post at other times as well, but the “Two for Tuesday” post will be the thing you can count on each week. The first Two-for-Tuesday is ready for your reading enjoyment here. And if you’d like the weekly posts to be sent to you by email, you can sign-up for that here (just click the “Get Christian Fellowship Gospel in Life delivered by email” link and enter your email address).
We hope, in time, to grow and expand the blog. We may write some of our own content. We may ask others in the church to participate.
I pray this will be a valuable tool to help us create a culture of people immersed in the gospel who “speak the truth in love” to one another (Eph. 4:15) so that we “grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:15).
Excited to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus with you (2 Pet. 3:18),