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The Relevantly Potent Gospel Series

The Relevantly Potent Gospel Part 1: Mission

The Relevantly Potent Gospel Part 2: Message

The Relevantly Potent Gospel Part 3: Evidence

 
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The Ministry Model of Jesus Part 1

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EFFECTIVE MINISTRY

The Relevantly Potent Gospel: The Real Good News

By Frank A. DeCenso Jr.
Guest Writer

CBN.comHave some Christian fellowships substituted proclaiming the presence and power of God with simple "seeker-sensitive" sermons full of anecdotes and interesting stories, hoping to present a "relevant" Christianity? Whatever happened to announcing, "The kingdom of God is at hand,” and it can powerfully affect your life?

Messages like “Ten Steps to Feel Better about Yourself” and “How to Be a Happy <fill in the blank>” may be popular and appear to deal with peoples' needs. They may even fill the pews with "seekers" looking for something better than what their earthly lives can provide. But are those messages bringing real change to the recipients?

Jesus and the early church proclaimed what I term the relevantly potent gospel – good news with demonstration of God’s presence and kingdom power. This good news brought the multitudes to Jesus because it was divinely potent and it relevantly transformed their lives. Let's examine the relevantly potent gospel by looking at its mission, message, and evidence.

A Relevantly Potent Mission

Luke 4
18"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."

There is nothing more relevant to an unbeliever than release from captivity; healing of spirit, soul, and body; and freedom from oppression. No amount of counseling will bring sight to blind eyes; no anecdotally filled sermons can set at liberty the oppressed – only the presence and power of God can bring the true results people need. Jesus stated in Luke 4:21 that this passage, quoted from Isaiah 61, was fulfilled in Him.

Therefore, His mission was not to counsel the hurting with pop psychology to make folks feel better about themselves. His mission required the release of divine power to meet the most profound needs, and He has called us to the very same mission (John 14:12) and to preach the very same gospel (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-18).

What is the gospel that Jesus brought and, as mandated, we are to proclaim? It is simply this – that fallen, sinful man, because of the propitiatory work of Jesus on the cross (Romans 3:23-26), can now enjoy forgiveness of sin and eternal fellowship with God (1 John 1:3). This is an awesome privilege that nothing other than the blood of the sinless Son of God, the Lamb of God, could have provided (Hebrews 10:19-22). Jesus and His death and resurrection have made it possible for mankind to enjoy eternal communion with the Creator of the universe! All it takes is for a person to come to Jesus in salvific belief (John 3:16-18) and when that occurs, they enter into a new kingdom (Colossians 1:13), the kingdom of God that is ever-present and ever-powerful.

Believe it or not: the good news doesn’t stop there – although fellowship with God is the greatest gift and privilege we have. The good news is also that God is more than capable and willing to meet peoples’ most relevant needs with His power. Wow! Eternal fellowship with God that starts now, and His awesome power available to reach the greatest of possible needs today – now that’s GOOD NEWS!



Copyright © 2005 by Frank A. DeCenso Jr.

All verses NKJV

Frank has been teaching the Bible in churches and other venues for more than 20 years. He is currently the Ministry Resources Director at Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Virginia Beach, Va. He is an employee at Regent University in the Information Technology Department. He is also the founder of Presence-Powered Ministries. Frank is married and lives in Virginia Beach.

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