Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Explicit Gospel: Called to be faithful, not fruitful

As I am reading The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler, I thought I'd share some quotes that I liked:
"Isaiah, then, is not called to be fruitful but simply to be faithful. And, in fact, he's told he will not be fruitful. The priority God charges him with is not success but integrity. He is sent to proclaim a word to the people who in the end can see but not perceive, who can hear but not hear.

"One of the things we don’t preach well is that ministry that looks fruitless is constantly happening in the Scriptures. We don’t do conferences on that. There aren’t too many books written about how you can toil away all your life and be unbelievably faithful to God and see little fruit this side of heaven. And yet God sees things differently. We always have to be a little bit wary of the idea that numeric growth and enthusiastic response are always signs of success. The Bible isn’t going to support that. Faithfulness is success; obedience is success.

"What we learn about God’s call to Isaiah provides a strange sense of freedom. A hearer’s response is not our responsibility; our responsibility is to be faithful to God’s call and the message of the gospel. No, a hearer’s response is his or her responsibility. But one of the mistakes we can make in our focusing on individual response in the gospel on the ground is to lose sight of God’s sovereign working behind our words and actions and our hearer’s response. Receptivity and rejection are ultimately dependent upon God’s will, not ours." (pp. 74-75)
The Explicit Gospel is currently on sale at the Westminster Bookstore: $9.89 (45% off list price).

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