The Gospel is not just propositions.
NOVEMBER 20, 2023
The gospel is not just propositions. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
This is Key Life. We’re here to let you know that because of what Jesus has done, God will never be angry at you again. Steve invited our friend Matt Heard to do the teaching this week. Matt is a speaker, teacher, writer, pastor, coach, and the founder of a ministry called Thrive.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great week-end, and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. We’ve got a great week this week. My dear friend, Matt Heard, Dr. Heard, by the way, and if you want to know a little bit about him, you need to go to the website and check it out. It’s ThriveFullyAlive.com ThriveFullyAlive.com and you’ll find out stuff that is absolutely life changing. Matt is one of the voices of Key Life, and he spends his life with Christian institutions and churches, leading conferences and speaking and consulting, and he has a great insight into the church and to Christians and our needs and what need to happen. And then occasionally Matt comes in and as a voice of Key Life and does some teaching. And he’s going to be doing most of the teaching this week, but I’m going to be here too cause I’m going to have questions as he goes along. Before we get into this, let’s pray. Father, thanks for writing it down in Scripture and forgive us when we’ve ignored it. Father, you gave your Son to die on a cross for us, and that’s not a statement, it’s a reality that affects how we live and how we define ourselves. Father, during this Thanksgiving week, we’re thankful for so much. For our family, and our friends, and our church, and for you, and all that you have given, which is all of that. But Father, you also have given us the good news, and that is the basis of our Thanksgiving. Father, you know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast. You know the hard places and the soft places, the laughter and the tears and your sovereign over all of it. And now Father, oversee this broadcast and apply it to our head that we won’t be superficial, to our hearts that we might not be cold, and then to our hands and our feet so that the world can hear the laughter of the redeemed. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Hi Matt.
Matt Heard: Well, hey, Steve.
I’m glad you came in, and you had to come from Colorado to do this.
Matt Heard: I’ll tell you what, I’m happy to be here. What I’m really happy about, is because I had done most of my doctoral studies, but never did the dissertation, but you just gave me an honorary doctorate. And so, I’m so excited that you’re now calling me Doctor.
And you’re not even a nurse.
Matt Heard: No, no, but you know, but just like there are a lot of nurses seem to know more than the doctor. So that’s awesome, so from now on, you can call me not mad, but
Matt Heard: Well, Dr. Grand
How about Your Eminence?
Matt Heard: Grand Pontificate I think.
You would prefer that?
Matt Heard: I think that would be good because that’s what you make me call you. Hey, it’s so good to be here.
It’s good to to have you.
Matt Heard: Thanksgiving week
How about that?
Matt Heard: and here we were talking about, what are we going to talk about? And there is so much when you start wading into the gospel and what would it be like for us to spend Thanksgiving week being thankful ultimately, but the reality of the gospel. And so often people, they put that to the side and come up with other things. We can be thankful for all those other things, but how about the centrality of what the gospel is?
And it really is. You know, life has a funny way of, well, somebody has said the world rolls over on top of somebody who was just sitting on top of it every day. And that happens to all of us. So, at Thanksgiving, there are people who are listening to us right now who maybe don’t think they have anything for which to be thankful. And there are others who, like you said, set aside the centrality of what we’re about and they’re thankful for turkeys. And that’s good. You ought to be thankful if it’s a good turkey. But you ought to go back to the beginning of what this thing is all about. What is the gospel?
Matt Heard: Well, since I have my doctorate, I can talk about the Greek word Evangelion. But yeah, that’s where the word gospel comes from. Good news. It is good news. And amazingly, and a lot of churches, you know, at Key Life, part of our deal here is wanting to make sure that we’re engaging not just with the doctrine of the gospel, but the dance of it. And there, and to do that, it’s a matter of saying, all right, the gospel is like you said just a second ago, it’s more than propositions. It is propositional, but it is more than proposition. And for me to go deep enough with the gospel, I’ve got to get beyond just truth statements, not around them, not ignoring them, embracing them fully, but seeing those propositional truth statements fit into an overall plot. And you know, when I start realizing that the gospel is plot as well as proposition. All of a sudden I start getting more thankful, realizing that I’m caught up in something that God’s up to on this planet and he’s making all things new. He’s taking what was present in Creation and he’s renewing it. It’s not like God said, okay, that didn’t work, let’s figure out something else. He says, no, what I did was good and I’m going to redeem it. So, when Jesus came, you know, he said his primary mission. I joke, I think we’ve talked about this before. I joke with some of my discipleship friends, Navigatore friends, ministry that I love, but I tell them, you know, Jesus’ primary mission was not to make disciples. And of course that kind of causes some hesitation, but I’ll say it with a smile. I said, that’s his primary strategy, his primary mission is bringing people to life, you know, John 10:10, he couldn’t have said it more clearly, he says.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I’ve come that they may have life and have it to the full.
And there’s so much in that that can cause me in whatever situation that I’m in to be thankful and to say, really, you’ve got a target on me to bring me not out of being irreligious to being religious, but from being dead to being alive. What does that look like? And that verse is not about super spirituality, John 10:10, it is about the core of this agenda Jesus has and it’s a verse that’s about plot. The thief, I mean, you’ve got antagonists, protagonists, you’ve got this plot that’s brewing all in this one sentence where Jesus says, you know what? There’s an enemy here and he’s all about destroying what God’s up to. I’ve come that you might have life. And we’ll unpack it, as the week comes along.
You were telling me about being at a conference and sitting with a group of educators. And you asked them a couple of questions. And I think that focuses on what you just said. You said, would you spend a half an hour? You remember the incident?
Matt Heard: Yeah.
Tell us about it.
Matt Heard: Well, and probably tomorrow we’ll spend more time on that verse at the end of John, where he says.
I’ve written this gospel
that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. And that by believing you may have life in his name.
There are two reasons he wrote it. That’s part A, part B. And I talked about that and sat down with some educated, Christian school educators. I didn’t know they were Christian school educators until I was already sitting down with them and some delightful people, a couple of principals and the vice principal and a Dean. And they brought up that part A, part B of, cause I’ve described them as orthodoxy and vibrancy, and maybe we can just treat tomorrow and we can unpack that. But bottom line orthodoxy is that believing in Jesus is the Messiah and all that that entails. But then the part B is believing present tense, not just saying, Hey, I believed it a while back and I’m good. Believing present tense so that I might have life in his name. So, I might have, and we’ll talk about this later in the week too, the Zoe, life that he’s saying there. And I said, Hey, if you were to look at your faculty and how many of them would you be confident in spending 30 minutes with a junior in high school, talking about part A, what’s it mean to believe in Jesus as Messiah? You know? And they said, well, they all would or they wouldn’t have a job at a Christian school. But I said, okay, how about part B? How many of your faculty would you be confident in spending 30 minutes with a junior in high school at this Christian school talking about, this is what life in his name looks like, this is what vibrancy looks like, this is what the dance of the gospel looks like. And there was some hesitation and some of that cause all of us, you know, if we’re raised in evangelicalism, we’re big on the propositional doctrine and that’s all very, very important, but we’ve got to get to the so what. And our kids are calling us on it, you know, okay, this is all, these are all truth statements. But so what, what does it look like for me to not just know the lyrics of the gospel, but also the music of the gospel and as a result, do the dance. So, if I’m going to be thankful for the gospel, I’ve got to engage not just with these propositional statements, but with the overall plot. You have to stay with us this week. It’s Thanksgiving week, but we’re thankful and articulating and teaching on the most important thing about which to be thankful. It’s the gospel and it’s good news. It’s proposition and plot. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve Brown and Matt Heard. We love Matt and I am so stoked that he’ll be with us through Thursday talking about being thankful for the gospel. What a great Thanksgiving week theme, right? More from Steve and Matt tomorrow. Hope you will join us. Well, I’m not a great video game player, but there is a time when I am amazing and that time is when the difficulty is set to easy. In that context, yeah, I’m a regular pinball wizard. It’s kind of like that with giving thanks to God. Things going well? Easy setting. But what about when the game of life notches up to expert? When things are not going well? Well, Steve addressed that very relatable challenge in a classic message called The Principle of Praise. Can we send you that sermon CD for free? If so, then call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. To mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the CD called The Principle of Praise. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter, text that to 28950. And hey, if you can’t give, we get it. But please do pray for us, would you? Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.