Here are my notes from last week’s Reaching the Unreached conference, probably the best Christian conference I’ve been on. If you weren’t there, the videos will be posted on the RTU blog. As with all my conference notes, these are not verbatim, so what I wrote might not be what Pete Jackson actually said.
Pete Jackson – St Andrew’s Kendray
Change is Possible
It is easy for Christians to get sucked into the glory of the world. Whatever shines we want. We love glory. X-box connect – glory of 100m spirit victory. Quickly stripped away, reality dawns. How much more useful it would be if the X-box showed us that our car will one day rust, our body age and die.
How are we to grow true, mature Christians in Christ on the estates of Britain?
- Our task is to present the word of God in all its fullness.
Patronising conversation “It works for those on council estates, it wouldn’t work in a thinking middle class area.” We are in the danger of thinking similar thoughts. Can I preach the whole bible to the church? The word goes out, the church is formed and believers are changed.
I must plan to present the word of God in all its fullness. Where are we going beyond the end of the month? If I don’t plan to teach the word of God in its fulness then I won’t preach the word of God in its fulness.
Preach the OT as the way to make us wise for salvation in Christ. To have knowledge of the scriptures is to know Christ, to have a deeper knowledge of the scriptures gives us a deeper knowledge of Christ which leads to a deeper love, joy and desire to obey.
The mystery of Christ has been made known. We have the privilege to make the mystery known.
What do people hope for? A job, no job. A bigger TV. Get drunk. New top score on computer game. All fake glory. We have the privilege of proclaiming Christ through whom we have the hope of real and lasting glory. People must be taught and learn.
Don’t let the good become the enemy of the best. The word of God is the best, don’t let anything get in the way.
- Our purpose is to present everyone mature in Christ.
V28 – No inverted snobbery, don’t rule anyone out, don’t focus only on the estate, but on everyone so that all may be presented mature in Christ. Status now perfect, though we are not. Paul is talking about spiritual maturity, change and growth in relationship with Christ. Maturity is not about being sorted. This is a maturity of relationship to Christ.
How did Paul do it? He proclaimed Christ – admonishing and teaching.
Admonish is to lovingly tell people that what they are doing will lead them into serious problems with God. Be prepared to call sin sin.
Teach Christ – put off, forgive as the Lord forgave you, relate the gospel to life.
The clearer our vision of Christ, the more we see he deserves our affection and duty.
Paul probably found the work of growing disciples harder than evangelism. I struggle (1:29, 2:1). People are born as spiritual babies. There are runny noses and worse to deal with. Our sin is enjoyable, attractive and easier to live in that to follow Christ.
As we struggle to present people mature, God gives us power and energy. God works in us. Paul was wearied, but as he laboured, God was powerfully at work in him and through him.