Theology and Practice of Evangelism - Lesson 5

The Gospel Message

In this lesson, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the theology and practice of evangelism, specifically the gospel message. You learn about the historical context of the gospel, its key components, and the theological themes it encompasses. Additionally, you explore how to effectively communicate the gospel message to different audiences and develop practical strategies for evangelism. By understanding the gospel message's foundational elements and how to present it, you are better equipped to share your faith with others.

Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
Lesson 5
Watching Now
The Gospel Message

I. Understanding the Gospel Message

A. Defining the Gospel

B. The Historical Context of the Gospel

II. Components of the Gospel Message

A. God's Nature and Character

B. Humanity's Sinfulness and Need for Salvation

C. Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord

D. The Holy Spirit's Role in Salvation

III. Theological Themes in the Gospel Message

A. Grace and Faith

B. Repentance and Forgiveness

C. Redemption and Reconciliation

IV. Effective Communication of the Gospel Message

A. Adapting the Message to the Audience

B. Practical Strategies for Evangelism

  • In order to share the Gospel, you must know what it meant, and how people are understanding what you are saying. The gospel core is the least you can believe and still be a Christian. If the least you can believe is sufficient to get you saved, then the least you can believe is the most you can require of anyone.
  • Christianity is the only world religion with an understanding of grace. Your most important ministry will be helping people understand how much God loves them. The heart of the gospel is that God loves you. Sin happens when we attempt to live as if there is no God. God, since the fall has done everything he can to establish relationship. God wants to make himself known to you in a way that you can understand.
  • At the Fall, Satan gained control of the world. Jesus takes it back in Revelation 5 because he meets the qualifications. The core elements of the sermons of the apostles are authoritative proofs, prophecies fulfilled, God’s activities described, apostolic eyewitnesses and miracles proclaimed. You will be heard with authority to the degree you are willing to put your life on the line. You die spiritually when you rationalize sin. Wind moves from high pressure to low pressure. We access the power of the Spirit by repenting and believing. Two sins mentioned throughout scripture are self-reliance and oppressing the poor.
  • The lesson tells the story of a professor who faces personal struggles and overcomes them with the help of faith, healing, and learning to overcome sin, ultimately showing that it's possible to prevail over life's challenges with God's guidance.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the core components of the gospel message, its theological themes, and how to effectively communicate it for evangelism purposes.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into leveraging your personal, church, and wider spheres of influence to effectively share the Gospel, overcome challenges, and expand your evangelistic reach.
  • Gain insights into ministry experiences and the power of faith, prayer, personal testimony, and baptism stories to navigate emergency situations that are bigger than yourself.
  • You will learn from this lesson that you are uniquely equipped to minister to those in your sphere of influence and that the church is indispensable for your survival. By treating others with respect and recognizing each person's importance, the church can become the living, breathing body of Jesus Christ.
  • In this lesson, you will learn that people are often hurting, angry, lonely, or tired, ministry requires dependence on God and rejection is important, preaching the text is key, our weaknesses can be our strengths, and close community is crucial for doing the work of the kingdom, while leading someone to Christ without providing ample opportunity for growth and nurture is a mistake.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about Charlie Haley, a man with a pastoral background who is currently involved in retreat ministry and considering going into the mission field abroad. The lesson covers topics related to evangelism and ministry, including tract ministry, follow-up and discipleship, and the importance of love and forgiveness within one's sphere of influence. The lesson also discusses the importance of building relationships and addressing felt needs with spiritual solutions.
  • This lecture begins as Dr. Tuttle is relating a story about a lady he met on an airplane. Jesus chose people as disciples that he could demonstrate by showing and telling them, and then depend on them to reproduce what they had been shown and taught. When Jesus gets too close, we raise the religious question to change the subject. As a result of the sin in the garden, we lost our ability to perceive reality beyond the senses. The Holy Spirit came, not to compensate for the absence of Jesus, but to guarantee his presence. We hold the truth, but the world sets the agenda and has the right to ask its own questions.
  • Often, it is implied that once you commit your life to Christ, all your problems are solved. The Hebrew concept of soul is body, mind and spirit. The Greek concept is that soul and body are separate, and that soul is good and body is evil. Prophecy and spiritual gifts are essential for the body of Christ to function. In the teaching in mainline churches, there is sometimes a disconnect between faith and life.
  • Trusting the Spirit of God is the key in this lesson. By remembering and trusting the Spirit, one can be utterly dependent upon God and do the hard work in preaching. Dr. Tuttle shares his personal experience of trusting the Spirit and provides context for Paul's second missionary journey, including Paul's conversion and early ministry, Peter's vision, and the conversion of Gentiles. The Spirit of God also taught Saul how Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
  • Through a deep exploration of Wesley's Methodism and Calvin's Reformed tradition, you gain an understanding of their respective theological frameworks, evangelistic strategies, and lasting influences on modern evangelism.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the significance of Wesley's Societies, their organizational structure, theological practices, and the lasting impact on modern church practices.
  • By exploring the Ethiopian Eunuch story, you gain insights on divine guidance, Scripture's role in evangelism, and early church inclusivity, while learning to apply practical evangelistic lessons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively share the gospel through action evangelism by understanding its theological basis, applying key principles, employing various methods, and overcoming common obstacles.
  • You gain insights into action evangelism's importance, principles, and various methods, while learning to overcome fears and obstacles, and equipping others for effective Gospel sharing.

Dr. Tuttle teaches three critical points around evangelism: how to share your faith story, what evangelism is and how to approach it, and that God has more invested in evangelism than we do – He is in control. God is at work. He wants us to, "show up and pay attention [to the Spirit]," and to care about people enough to "press" them by asking probing questions about what they think and what's going on in their lives.

Evangelism is essentially about the core of the Gospel, ministering in your sphere of influence and sustaining those you reach.

Recommended Books

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Those who serve on mission fields in areas where Christian faith is not the dominant religion quickly come to understand a central truth: when one is sharing the gospel, one...

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Dr. Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
The Gospel Message
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] The following lectures provided by biblical training. The speaker is Dr. Robert Tuttle. For more information, go to WW dot Biblical training dot org. Most of the world is knowledgeable. Remember I told you about my doctor friend? Do you realize 60 60% of Americans cannot name the four Gospels? Julia. I could not name the four Gospels when I was 20 years old. Son of a son of a minister. I may have been able to, but I certainly hadn't given it any thought. I don't think I had ever in my life, said Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. 60%. Of Americans cannot name the four gospel. I don't have cable television. So I went up like, I'm staying in a hotel and I have cable television. I listen to stuff I don't normally listen to. I was listening to a comedy routine. The guy got up and said, Evangelical Christians blame 911 on God. And if that's true, you know what that means, don't you? It means God's a prick. And it does, by the way. The movie, The Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall Western. They're burying a friend. Who was shot dead. And Costas asking Duval if he would like to pray over there, over the grave. And Duvall said, I'm not talking to that son of a bitch. He allowed this to happen. Don't you realize that a lot of your ministry is helping people understand that God is not an S.O.B.? Don't you know that's what most of the world. Too many of my friends had real problems with church. And real problems with Christianity. Because of the way you and I, not the world. You and I talk about God. For 40 years. I disciple six students a semester, one on one with my most important, and to lay people off my most important ministry over the years.

[00:02:20] They read the same four chapter of the Bible, and I tell you this. So they read the same four chapter of the Bible every week, every day. And they journal the day's events and what God is teaching them in the world. They come in and meet with me one hour and we talk about what God is teaching us in the Word. For one semester. I'll sometimes re-up for one more semester. Never. Never longer than that. I think that's been perhaps my most important ministry over the years. Never got paid for it. It's really, you know, about a sixth of my time. 8 hours a week. Never miss. I have one student. We're talking about how the world views God. He has a 14 year old daughter when she was nine. Five years ago, she was bitten by a mosquito in her backyard in Orlando, Florida, and contracted viral in its epiglottis and has not spoken a word or moved a muscle since. Someone has to turn her every hour, 24 hours a day. And medicate her for bedsores turns her and hydrates her. And changes the bottles and you know, the stuff 24 seven His all night with her was Monday night and I disabled him 9:00 8:00 on Tuesday morning. He was always sleepy, always going to sleep, and he ought to go to sleep. Crying out loud. Been up all night with his daughter. I cannot tell you how many people told him that was the will of God. God's will. Trust me, I cannot tell you how many people told him that. Steve Harper and I are praying. His name is Jose Hernandez from Puerto Rico. If Dave Harper and I were praying with Jose about Michelle as his daughter. And Steve was praying God.

[00:04:21] Michele seems to be caught between two worlds. Either take her home or raise her up, which seemed like at the time a pretty good prayer to me until I'm driving home on the tower that afternoon. And as I'm driving. I got an insight. My Ph.D. was in mysticism. I watched these old mystics work really hard to get out of the body and the mind so that their spirit could communicate with the spirit of God uninhibited. And for moments, just for flashes, they could do it. I work really hard to suppress the flesh, Wesley said at one point in his life. Self-denial is the all in all the five stages in classical mysticism, Awakening, purging, Illumination, Dark Night, LA Soul and Union with God. Projectionists suppress the flesh to the place where it requires little or nothing of the spirit so that no spirits and and spirits in prayer. The flesh no longer interrupts the spirit to say, I'm sleep. You put me to bed or I'm hungry. Feed me. You're trained to do without sleep and without food so that the body no longer interrupts the spirit with spirits in prayer. They work really hard to get out of the body, out of the mind, so that the spirit can communicate with the spirit of God, uninhibited and just for flashes. They could do it, and they were in the spirit. You know what I realized? Driving home that afternoon? The disease did that for Michele. So that now, Michel Spirit communicates with the Spirit of God uninhibited. Now, her daddy described many times staying up all night with Michelle, watching her. In the bit, he said. Sometimes in the middle of the night, usually around 2:00. I would sense something about Michelle. A presence that almost overwhelmed me.

[00:06:19] Just a glow, not a physical glow necessarily, but just a presence. And I said, next time that happens, I want you I want I want you to run to her, put her hands on your head, and begged her to bless you. The next Tuesday morning, I couldn't wait to hear what happened. He came in. He was changed. He said, You'll never forget what happened. Never believe what happened last night. Is it 2:00 in the morning? All of a sudden, Michelle is lit. I ran to her, put her hands on my head, begged her to bless me, and it was electric. I almost went up. You know, I told him, I said, Jose, you're going to spend the rest of eternity at her feet thanking her for making you the man that you are. Suddenly. He realized God didn't do this. God allowed it to happen. And a student died of cancer. And when she contracted crack cancer, she didn't say, Why me? She said, Why not? God doesn't exempt us from trouble. But I'm telling you, God can use it. Don't blame God. God not an S.O.B.. God's a really good God. I was driving home that afternoon on the freeway, got another insight that suddenly I'm sensing Michelle talking with God. I hear God saying personal, Michelle. You do know how much I love you, don't you, Michelle? Yeah. Yeah, Papa. I know how much you love me. And God said. I absolutely adore you. And you say the word and I'll take you home with me. I got a place waiting for you in heaven. You will not believe. You're going to love it, darling. You say the word and you're going to go home with me. You know what I heard Michelle say in my spirit? Papa.

[00:08:23] I don't think I'm quite ready. I think I need to hang on a little longer so I can bless my mama and my daddy. I told him that. And now Michele's is no longer a tragedy. Now, Michelle's blessing has changed her attitude because of the way they understand God. We Christians need to be really careful the way we talk about God. We're giving people the wrong message. God comes across as some kind of cosmic killjoy. When God adores us, there's nothing God wouldn't do for us. Gave His only son. Please be careful about the way you talk about God. Be careful about the messages you send. And how do you do that? It depends on how you understand the nature of God. When you understand the nature of God as a God of love, that will take care of that. You won't go blaming God for 911. God's punishment. On a dark society. Well, I've got a capable app that I'm sure. I mean, that was seen to be the message. I've always had trouble with Joshua. Whoa. Cats and dogs, women and children. That's ethnic cleansing. And so theologically, the only way I can deal with that is somehow the land send away all and all the good that was in them. There was no longer any good left to respond to God. I had a question in the class, the class on line yesterday, I think it was on the unpardonable sin. No one in this room has committed the unpardonable thing you have. Name Come close. So let me deliver. You've met little Damien right now. The only way to commit the unpardonable sin is to send away everything good becomes bad. Everything bad becomes good. Send away every ounce of good that's in you.

[00:10:29] That's the context for that. Check it out. It's where everything bad becomes good. Everything good becomes bad. So there's no longer good any good within us left to respond to God that's grieving the Holy Spirit. I only met one or two people in my life who I suspected had gotten to that place. Just like Luther. Luther said, if you're concerned about being the elect, it means you're the elect. If you weren't the elect, you surely wouldn't be concerned about being elect. If you're concerned about the unpardonable sin, it means you have not yet committed the unpardonable sin. Lighten up. God is a good God. God never turns God's back on you. You talk about God in a way that's appropriate when you know just how much God loves you and the world will not think because of what you say that God's damn be. See what I'm saying? What about when praying for healing? I'm saying, God, do it. God, sometimes there's no. I don't understand, Haley. Neither do you. And I've written a couple of books on it. After an oral healing for Robert for six years, sometimes right next to the man. And he told me I mentioned it yesterday that he'd only seen a half dozen people heal instantaneously in his life. I said, all I've seen more people than that with my own eyes. He said, Bob, if we understate, people tend to fill in, if we overstate and don't believe anything we tell them. You hear that? Occasionally God will heal instantaneously. I bore witness, didn't I, Yesterday, with regard to my throat losing my voice most of the time God heals gradually. That's that's Frank McNutt. Francis McNutt book Healing and Christianity, which is a Ph.D. dissertation. He had to document this stuff with X-rays and all that kind of stuff.

[00:12:26] Most of the time, healing is gradual. I was in Australia back in the seventies and eighties. I was traveling the world trying to help churches interpret their Pentecostal gifts in light of their own traditions. Because people in mainland churches, if they had Pentecostal experiences, they felt like they had to leave their their mainland churches and go join a peasant classical Pentecostal church. And I'm traveling the world literally from Australia, New Zealand to Russia and Estonia and Scandinavia all over the world, helping churches understand how to interpret their Pentecostal gifts and experience in light of their own traditions. Methodist Wesleyan Theology of Grace. Piece of Cake. Catholics The Sacraments. Piece of Cake. Lutheran Still Applies. Sola Scriptura. Presbyterians. A Lot of the Sovereignty of God. Bad. Southern bad district. Tough. That was the only problem. Dispensation. Elysium. If you want to write the work of the Spirit of 150 A.D., it's hard to help those folks interpret panic about that. But that was about the only really difficult thing I had. I was invited to the Southern Baptist National International Convention. To speak. Back in the mid seventies on the work of the Holy Spirit. I was teaching at Fuller and they had their number one theologian debate me. And they were expecting the theologians, quite frankly, to take me apart. It's not that I cannot be taken apart, but the spirit of God jumped on me. You loved it. He didn't take me apart, let me tell you. He hung his head. And realize. Well, but that's a tough assignment. Yes. Whether they're healed or not. You know. God. We're not telling God what to do. We're doing what God told us. Pray for the sick that they be healed. The prayers of the faithful will help bring healing a rarely instantaneous, most of the time gradual, sometimes through the medical sciences.

[00:14:43] I am. My daughter and son in law are doctors. God loves doctors enough to let them in. On the fun of playing nursemaid to Haley. God loves ministers enough to let us in on the fun to play nursemaid to Haley. No self-respecting doctor claims healing powers. You leave it up to the doctor, You take the stitches out, the arm falls off. God does the healing. We know that sometimes. And God. Here are some ways. Totally. Unexpected. Because you know what? We don't understand the nature of our disease. I had a woman I was having conducting a healing service. Come up to me. Livonia, Michigan. As I was inviting people forward for prayer, she said, Do you believe God can heal my mouth? I said, Yes, ma'am, I do. She opened her mouth and not a tooth in her head. I'm saying, Whoa. Here's a challenge. They had these services the same time of the year, every year. She announced to me that the year before, she had come forward at the invitation and with the wastebasket and took out her false teeth and pitched them in the wastebasket, saying, announcing to the congregation, God is going to God told me God is going to give me a new set of teeth. And after the service, my husband came up and retrieved those teeth. And his lack of faith has cost me my healing. And I'm about to divorce that blankety blank. It is. Son of a black. I'm saying. Wait a minute. This is universal, by the way. I said, let me give you a principle, child. The one who puts those teeth in your mouth is the one who takes them out of your mouth. Grow up. It's a pretty good witness to a dentist to have to take your dentures out because you got a whole new set coming in because 40 people are praying for you.

[00:16:28] Right. And the doctor who puts the child on insulin is the doctor who takes the child off insulin. Don't mess with me. Grow up, for crying out loud. Use your head. So said, I want to give you an assignment. I want you to go home and I want you to find those teeth. And I want you to soak them a long time. And I want you to put those teeth in your mouth. And I want you to give your husband a kiss he'll never forget. Big, sloppy one. That was very nice. Anymore I'm standing up on the first step, going up to the chancel. And as long as there's a glass doors and a vestibule and no more doors that go out on the street. And I happen to be looking out there and I see this woman and her husband, who is six foot five. Come in that door and he's looking for somebody. And when he sees me, he's coming through the door down. Now he's part in the wave and I'm not sure what's on his mind. I've had people come on me before. And I'm up on the step. And somehow when he gets to me, he gets his arms up underneath my arms and he's got me up off the floor hugging me. I mean, that far up the floor. He's real happy. In my head, he juggling, juggling me, and I'm sure my head's kind of flopping around. And finally, when my head quit blowing around, I looked down. I put my hand on a chair on his shoulder, and his wife is standing right there. You know what she did? She did this. She goes. I went back, that church had me back. Can you believe it? The next year she was the first one to the communion rail.

[00:18:13] And she said, Preacher. We have no idea. Yet last year has been absolutely the most wonderful year of my life. And my husband and I, bless his heart, just bought an RV and we're about to go take off on our second honeymoon. Are you going to tell me she didn't get healed? I forgot. Claim. Forgot to ask her about our teeth. Yeah, she was healed, but she didn't understand the nature of her disease. You see. She didn't need teeth. She needed a new attitude toward her sweet husband who adored her. Ultimately we're all going to be healed by living in the presence of God. There's an old woman named Agnes Sanford. You ever hear of Agnes Sanford? Wrote a book, Healing of the Emotions. Damaged emotions. I lived in Monrovia. California. Prayed for the San and San Andreas fault. She was kind of. He was world famous back in the sixties and seventies. She took a liking to me. She and her housemate, Edith, drew me, so that had me over to their house about once a month for dinner. Especially after my wife and I were separated. And. Edith Drury. Get this, would come to my classes at four seminary, sit over in the corner and pray for me for the entire hour while I was center stage, or their head bowed or hands folded and pray for me. Not once did anybody say, What's the old woman doing because they knew what she was doing. And you can imagine I liked Edith Drury a lot. I understand 83 and I maintained contact with Edith. She only lived on an island off the coast of Maine when she wasn't in Southern California. I maintain contact with her to draw. As you can well imagine.

[00:20:18] And we just kind of liked each other. She was like maybe 30 years older than I was. About 20 years ago, I called her. And so, Edith, how you doing? And she said, Well, the doctor's left as I won't be dead in three days. I said, What? She said, Baby, you're not hard here. I said, No, I'm not. Hard to hear him. And that's hard to hear. And she said, Well, I'm in the final stages of a melanoma and I've got it most of the week to live. So we spent the next 10 minutes saying goodbye. I shook. And finally, before I hung up, I said, Let me pray for you. She said, Sweetheart, you can pray for me on the one condition. You do not hold me back. I said, okay, I won't hold you back. I want to pray the prayer of Enock. Folks. I have no idea what that is. I have made it up. I said, Dear God, take away the pain. And let it through a walk with you a little bit further every day until one day soon it'll be easier for her to go on home with you than to return to her temple of flesh and blood. Amen. And she said, Thank you, sweetheart. I said, You're welcome. And I said, Oh, by the way, Edith, would you do me a favor? She said, Name it. I said, When you get to heaven, will you give John Wesley my regards? She said, You got it, baby. And click hung up. Two days she was dead. Sometimes instantaneously, most of the time, gradually, sometimes for the medical sciences. Sometimes in ways we totally don't expect because don't understand the nature of the disease ultimately about dying. That's when all our parts go bionic.

[00:22:07] Kind of looking forward to that, aren't you? Golf was good news. Bad news, Good news. We've been through that. OC guidelines. Well, the gospel core. Okay. Is it biblical? The Bible is the word of God. Timothy 316. What's that say? Word of God. Hebrews 412. Sharper than this one. I want you to cut yourself. I was on an inner interfaith panel in Chicago. It was on the radio. I may even tell them. I don't remember. But it was a me and a muslim imam. And I'm. We had a Hindu, I think. Anyway, interfaith panel, interfaith interchange down here. Been so proud of me. I behave myself until this Muslim imam said. The problem with you, Christian, is you don't have the word of God. And we Muslims believe that the Koran in the Arabic is the word of God. He held it up and said, this is not word of God. This is a translation of the word of God. But we believe that the Koran and the Arabic is the word of God. And said, You Christians don't have a word of God. By the way, I've told you only 14% of Muslims can read this. Only 14% of Arabs. If you're from Iran, you're Farsi. You can't read this, can't read The word of God has to be in there. You know that. Don't you have to be in Arabic? So this problem, your question, you don't have a word of God. I'm saying. Whoa, wait a minute. What do you mean? Hey said, Don't you realize how many times the Bible has been changed since the King James? Your original text? I said, Sir, first of all, our original text is not King James. I have to be the first English translation of original text in the Greek, at Hebrew and in a bit of Aramaic.

[00:24:19] And I've got to tell you, we Christians believe that the Bible, many of us believe the Bible is every bit as much the word of God as you believe the Koran as the word of God. Sir, don't ever say that again. And we're in a world which you learn such a thing. You know what he said? You won't believe this. From Garrett Evangelical. Where I taught for most of my career. Then I went over there and they gave me books. No, no self-respecting. No intelligent Christian believes the Bible is the word of God. Like you believe the conqueror is the word of God. I said, Listen, pal. He said, They gave me their book. I said, Listen, pal, you're you're listening to those people would be like me listening to Salman Rushdie. I just wouldn't take their word for it. We believe the Bible is the word of God. Remember, I walked into a faculty luncheon, had like 25 of us in the room, and they were laughing at one of my students who believe that Daniel was written in the fifth century. They say Daniel claims to have been written laughing at my student because Daniel talked about things that happened after the time of Maccabees. 16818 B.C.. And I happened to sit down next to a guy named Dick Stegner. He's dead now. I miss him. And Stegner wrote his Ph.D. on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I leaned over to Dick and said, Dick, isn't Daniel in the Dead Sea Scrolls eight times? I said, Dick, can you carbon date? The parts of Daniel have the parts of the Dead Sea scrolls that have Daniel. He said, what, within a decade or so? I. So what did you find out? He said. 250 B.C., give or take.

[00:26:00] I said, Now, wait a minute. You're laughing at my student because my student believes that Daniel was written when Daniel claims to have been written. Not after the Maccabees. Course, you don't believe in predictive prophecy. So you think that Daniel had to be written after the time of the Maccabees couldn't talk about things and name names? How do you account for that? And they said, Well, if you whisper in the air, but the time it gets, you know, good and gets over here, you don't know what to believe. And I'm saying, Jesus, thank you for delivering these dear people into my hands. All I had to do was lean over to Stegner and say, Stegner, have you compared the Dead Sea Scrolls with the next earliest? Manuscript for 58 700 years, he said, You know, that was my dissertation. I said, What do you find? Do you realize 700 years of transcribing not one letter is out of place? Do you know that? Not one letter. They not only counted the words on the page, they counted the letters on the page. 700 years at transcribing. Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls. You see, that took us back 700 years. Not one letter is out of place. Little wonder. I believe the Bible. Is trustworthy. Believe it with all of my heart. Let me give you a little illustration. I told you, I'm not a fundamentalist. Doesn't threaten you. What is that? A man running downhill. Hill We can get consensus, right? We all agree with that man running down hill. Fundamentalism believes that the Spirit of God reveals this. The words on the page. That's called what? Verbal plenary inspiration. That the inspiration extends to the choice of words, right? That's what fundamentalists believe. God bless them.

[00:28:07] Verbal. Plenary Inspiration. Plenary inspiration extends to the choice of words. Every word, every word in the Bible is chosen by the Holy Spirit. What I believe is that the inspiration is the image behind this is what the Spirit of God reveals. The image behind the word and which is the right brain function and instructing the left side of our brains, the side of our brain, which articulates to provide the articulation, guaranteeing that whatever words are necessary to describe the right brain image accurately are on the page that way. Part. Listen, folks. Paul Newman wrote a book, The Book of Hebrews, and I wrote 12th Night A Romeo and Juliet. If you know anything about structure, language, structure and Greek. You realize. So the inspiration is a right brain function. The Spirit of God gave the authors of Scripture an image of what took place and is trusting the left side of their brain to provide the articulation, but doing it in such a way that there's a guarantee that the words on the page adequately and accurately describe the image behind the word. That's why the Bible is trustworthy, I believe. Prophecies all prophecy the same way. And Fuller Seminary. I talked with a man who had been in the electroencephalogram back in the 1930s. He was in his eighties back when I was just a kid. For some reason he let me take teach a class with him and the School of Psychology. Why? I don't know. It was a course on integrating psychology and theology, and we gave a prize for the student who best integrated psychology in theology. Finally, we had to throw it out. Why? Because you cannot integrate psychology and theology. The judge has theistic back psychology as as has as a humanistic base.

[00:30:06] Now you can be a Christian psychologist. You know, I've had therapy, you know that I believe you can be a Christian psychologist, but a good psychologist better know the difference between clinical and confessional, just like your surgeon better know the difference between clinical and confessional. I want my surgeon to pray over me. But I want my surgeon to be board certified and up on their discipline. You understand? But anyway, he invented electrocardiogram. And then route of infinite electrocardiogram. He realized we had a lesion to the left side of the brain. You can articulate it, but you could no longer vision. And when you had a lesion to the right side of the brain, you could dream, but you couldn't articulate it. And so he coined the words right and left. Brian Lee Travis. Check it out. Good man, wonderful man of God. He really found it full of Polish school of psychology. Wonderful man of God. Love that man. He liked me, too. We had a great time teaching that class. Just a young 29 year old squirt, and he was like, 82 years old. You don't think we had a ball? We had more fun. Anyway. It's just a little different way to look at inspiration. This is the gospel core. And this, let's say Roman. Roman Catholic. Infallibility of the pope. This is Baptist baptism by immersion. And Mennonite pacifism. This is the core. This is the baggage. Wider sphere of influence. The court. Jesus has lowered whatever it takes to communicate Jesus as Lord of the core of the Gospel. We've talked about that from a biblical perspective. We've talked about that from a historical perspective, and we've talked about that from a theological perspective. Jesus is Lord, This is bad, just wider sphere.

[00:32:11] But the baptism by immersion, you see, this is baggage. Baggage is not bad. It's just baggage. This is the core least you can believe to be a Christian. You see this particular bag? It enables the Baptist a minister within their wider sphere. Aren't you glad we're not all Baptist? Aren't you glad we're not? All Episcopalians are all united Methodist. Pacifism infallible. The Pope. Core, the baggage, the wider sphere. The Scriptures do suggest that there was indeed a corpus of belief taught by Jesus in the Apostles that is essential for salvation. In fact, the heart of the good news is more significantly, Jesus himself. Not that the stories about what he said and did are not important, by the way. If you had to reduce the words of Jesus to one sentence, you know what they'd have to be. You might not want to hear this, so stop your ears. You know what it be. You ready for this? He or she is willing to give up their life for my sake will gain it. Because the only way to be gracious, to be a servant and the only way to be first is to be last. There are days and weeks out. I want to be last. Get your children to pray for me. It's what I call the first principle of Christianity. He or she is willing to give up their their life for my sake will gain it. Because the only way to be great is to be a servant. And the only way to be first is to be last. So when God assigns you to a little appointment no one else wants. What do you do? Thank God. God's just given you a chance to shine. I've got my reward. I want to get to heaven because I'm pleading on.

[00:33:53] I'm presuming on the blood of Jesus. People say, Don't you be? Are you going to heaven, Jordan? I'm going to heaven. Aren't you being pursued? I said, Of course I'm being. But I'm presuming on the blood of Jesus. But I'll probably get in on the grace of God. I've got my reward. You know who's going to shine And glory is those people who are starving, those little churches. No one else wants to serve. And if you're ever stuck in a place like that, I beg you, remember me in your kingdom. You know, if you're really smart, you know what you're going to do for the rest of your life. You're going to make friends with poor people and get on your knees in front of them and put their hands on your bald head and beg them to remember you and your kingdom and their kingdom because they're going to shine and glory. Go to the first are going to be last and the last are going to be first. Bishops loved me to preach that sermon at annual conference. I get a lot of invitations to go preach that sermon, an annual conference. But the truth? The whole of my life. People are treated with me with more respect than I deserve. I have no idea why. If you understand the core, you can be consistent with core and flexible with everything else. Which will increase your sphere of influence, which means you can be all things to all people. That's what Paul's talking about. I want to be all things to all people that I might win. What? Not all, But then I might win some. Okay. Is that necessary? Is it biblical? Is it necessary? And does it work? If it doesn't work in the field, don't preach from the pulpit.

[00:35:36] Do you honestly believe that will change people's lives? I'm talking to you now. Does it work? Will it change people's lives? Why do I go out once a month and preach in local churches? What's my way of keeping my awe and the water of the local church? I'm testing this stuff. I'm teaching you folks. And if it won't get people, say, in the church, I'm not going to. I'm not going to teach it from the lectern. If it doesn't work in the field, don't preach it from the pulpit. Don't mess with people. Preach it because you know it works. If you're willing to repent of your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ, I guarantee you. The Spirit of God will move from a high pressure to low pressure. I mean that if it doesn't work, I'm a dead man at stake. My life on it. You understand? I've already done that. But I'm not ashamed to say it. I'd stake my life on it. Are you trust in Jesus? If you repented of your sins and put your faith and trust in Jesus. Have you. I stake my life on the conviction that you're going to have. And if you're not, I'm going to be really ticked off. I'm going to come looking for you. You hear me? If you don't go to heaven. I'm going to be really ticked off. What a waste. All I'm asking you to do is to presume when the blood of Jesus. Repent of your sins. What's that mean? We've been talking about that. Put your faith and trust in each. So that we can measure up the law. The spirit of life. Set me free from the law of sin and death. Wait. I said, You can't be saved by words, but you can't be say without them either.

[00:37:30] He also said methods that don't fulfill all righteousness deserve the hottest place in the lake of fire. You know, West said the Mystics were the rock upon which I nearly made shipwreck. Later in his life, he used their life to illustrate perfection. The rock upon which our newly made shipwrecked youth in their life to illustrate Christian perfection. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize you can't have it both ways. Are can you? I took three years of my life to sort through that problem. You know what I discovered? There was mystical gold. There was mystical dross. He learned to sift the golden, the dross. And he finally realized that if the mystics their lives manifest fruit that only faith can produce. And they got faith of that talking about it. You'll she'll know a tree by fruit. Either make a tree good and its fruit good or a tree bad. And it's fruit bad. But you shall know a tree by its fruit. I don't care if it looks like a great vine. If it produces apples, call it an apple tree. So if the mystical are manifesting fruit that only faith can produce, then they have faith. So he uses their life to illustrate perfection. He says to bear they don't know how to. They misunderstand. They. But they got faith because their lives manifest fruit that only faith can produce. What do you think of that? So what? Wesley? Later in life by grace, you're, say, through faith. As confirmed. By what? Not assurance by works. Methods that don't fulfill all righteousness deserve the hottest place in the lake of fire. Thick and hungry cloud in the naked within the second in prison. That's God's call on our lives. This church has good balance, doesn't it? You're doing a lot of that, aren't you? We go stuff and too much stuff in our pockets.

[00:39:25] You'll never see a hearse, a U-Haul trailer behind. There's only one way to take it where you have to give it away. Or Rob has taught me that. Only way to take it away is to give it away. Learn how to give it away. My wife keeps telling me, Well, honey, you're giving it away by virtue of the fact that you don't make much money. I say high dollar doesn't work that way. Whatever I got. I've got. I'm always looking for a kingdom investment. I might tell you a story. You got a minute? Then we'll have a break. I was on a bus in Kiev, Ukraine. I took students to Russia and the Ukraine in January. You haven't been to Russia? Russia? January. I work there. Sweet tails off. I mean, we were having healing service there. We rented a church. We out there on housing and one house, maybe 14 people in the room, and none of them have been saved more than two months. I mean, the spirit of God is this is just you got home or 20, 30 klicks south of Chernobyl. They had a digital clock in the town giving the radiation readout for that day. We rented a building there, had this church, had one little house. Upper floors opposite lower floor was for youth meetings. The only building they had, but they had 6000 members. But they met in these little little house churches and coal water flats, and they would come together on Sunday to celebrate and had to rent a building. But size this, you know, the auditorium downstairs, the only building big enough seats, 6000 people. And. They ran it for 3 hours. The first hour, they would cleanse it, praying over it, broadcast on all the demons.

[00:41:08] Second hour, that was the worship service. The third hour was cleaning it up. And we always ran out of time, so we'd have a be in a healing service. Well, I'll have to take it outside. 20 below zero. Work these for students. And so going home, I said, I think I'm I'll take you to Paris for a little R&R and so you can do some processing that. We're really happy to do that. So on the bus going to the airport. There's only one empty seat on the bus that's next to me. I'm busy working with airline tickets to get them all sorted for all these students. And at one of the stops, a woman gets on the bus. Selling little paintings like this. And she sits down next to me and I'm so busy with these tickets, I did not. I simply didn't have time to give her the attention she deserved. So she lost interest in me, turned across the aisle to an Asian businessman. And is showing him her little paintings. And he picked out one and said, What would you like for this one? She said, $15. The main income in the Ukraine back then was $150 a year. So $15 was a lot of money for her. You know what he said? He said that pain is not worth $15. That painting's worth at least $250. I'll give you $250 for it. I could feel the weight on the seat next to me. And I got to tell you, I'm liking this guy a lot. He just gave her almost two years salary. We get to the airport. I'm looking for this. I want to talk to him. I'm liking him. Poor. He disappeared. I could never exist. On airplane. The plane is virtually empty.

[00:43:11] There's no one on the plane but me and my students. So it's three there and three seats here. So I'm about halfway back and I'm in the middle seat. Glad to kind of spread out. Don't mess with me. Reading the fourth chapter of the Bible, I've got the Bible on my lap. After the plane takes off, levels off. I'm dozing, so I just put the seat back, you know? But the Bible up on my chest and I'm dozing. And all of a sudden I feel the weight and the seat next to me go down. I say, Oh, don't do that. Go away. Leave me alone. I opened one I. And looking at me like this was this Asian businessman. Before I can peep, he said. We got to talk. I said, About what? He said, I don't know. We just got to talk. I said, Talk. So he says for businesses in London, I live in Oxford. But I'm Japanese. And my father's dying in a hospital in Tokyo. This was Monday and he says, I have to go and I have to be. I haven't spoken to my father in ten years. Are you understand the oldest son, the elder son, you understand the significance that in an Asian culture I have to be reconciled with my father and I've got to fly to Tokyo on Friday. I've got to be reconciled. I said, What's it going to take? He said, It's going to take a miracle. I said, Well, we may be onto something here. Do you believe in miracles? He said, Hell no, I'm an atheist. I've left out a part, he said. The reason I don't have I haven't spoken to my father is that 12 years ago he took a mistress.

[00:44:49] And when my saintly mother, Buddhist mother found out about it, it killed her. And after my mother died, he married this mistress and moved her into our home. And I've not spoken to my father nor spoken to him in ten years. And that's when I say, what's it going to take? Is that a miracle? He said, No, hell no, I don't believe in God, he said. What's more, I know I don't believe in God since my mother died. I have no one to admire. And I said, this is a no brainer. I know where this is going. I'm just talking to this guy. I said, Tell me about the kind of person you would admire. Ten or 15 years. He tells me about the kind of person he would admire. After ten or 15 minutes. So help me. All I had to do was to hit the button on this seat, which brought me up. The Bible just plopped right on in my lap. I did not have to turn a page. I simply read to him what was on the page in front of me. And he said, You mean I've been talking about Jesus? I said, Yeah, you've been talking about Jesus. And I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to ask Jesus. To help you. Be reconciled with your father. What's more, I want to pray to Jesus every day on this page, the kind of guy you would admire. I'm a pray to him every day until you're reconciled with your father. Now, when that happens, let me know, for crying out loud. I like you, but I don't like it well enough to pray for you every day for the rest of my life. Let me off the hook, for crying out loud.

[00:46:31] And he said, Why would you do that for me? I said, You're not worth $15. You're worth at least $250. He said, Oh, no, you saw that. I said, Listen, pal, I'm not the only one who saw that. So help me. This is the God's truth. Ten days later, I get me a fax. He said, Bob, I got to tell you, I will not only reconcile with my father, I was reconciled with his wife and stayed in their home. And by the way, before you start praying for me, I got one or two other things I'd like you to pray about. In that. Wonderful. Let's take a break. Come back in 15 minutes.