Friday, February 6, 2009

The Purpose and Mission of Real Truth Matters Part 1

by S. Michael Durham

Real Truth Matters exists to pursue the recovery of New Testament Christianity by promoting the pursuit of Christ as the Gospel.

An assessment of much of current American Christianity is that it has been diluted, if not perverted. It has been modified, if not altogether changed, leaving many to believe a false gospel. Our nation has not kept within its borders this distortion of truth. We have transported it by sea and land to pollute a good portion of the world’s Christian population. It should remind us of the infamous garbage barge that traveled all the way from New York City to Central America and back trying to find a place to dispose the garbage. American Christendom has dumped its theological garbage all over the world.

It is the mission of Real Truth Matters to work for the recovery of primitive Christianity without trying to recreate first century culture. Many have attempted to recover New Testament Christianity thinking the secret is returning to a resemblance of first century Judean culture. Others think we need to revive the early church climate and recreate their structure and practice. However, it is unnecessary to duplicate the cultural practices of the first century in order to revive Christianity. The gospel is transcultural, meaning, it will work in any culture. The answer to the recovery of the gospel is not cultural.

Another attempt to rediscover biblical Christianity recommends new methodology. It is suggested that if we can find better methods of communication or better contextualize the message we would advance the cause of Christ. Surely improvement in communication or contextualization is a worthy goal. But, if not careful, the goal becomes more important than the gospel and the gospel is compromised. Most efforts to better share the message has led to changing the message. And most enterprises to more cleverly blend Christianity into the present culture have resulted in a more worldly Christianity.

RTM’s mission is not methodology driven, but theologically driven. The answer is not in something new and improved but tried and true. It is the rediscovery and proclamation of the same gospel that the apostles of Christ proclaimed. In many circles the old gospel will sound very new. But its novelty is in the telling and hearing not in its longevity.

The above purpose statement is a theologically driven mission. The following outline is an explanation of this sentence and our ministry.

A. Christo-Centric—Apostolic Gospel

1. Christ is the gospel. The gospel is not about Christ, it is Christ.

The gospel is not just about the death and resurrection of Christ. It is Jesus. It is Jesus, His person as the Son of God and the Son of Man. It is all about what He is and has done in the redemption of sinners.

This constitutes a major portion of the problem of modernized Christianity. It fails to recognize Christ, Himself. Even though Jesus is the subject of its gospel, He is not the gospel to most professing Christians. Their gospel is what Jesus has done for them. But the New Testament does not tell men to believe in only what He has done. It tells them to believe upon Him and in Him.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:40).

For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame (Romans 10:11).

Why is this significant? Because the gospel is not just believing certain facts about Christ. It is the reality of the person of Christ in the believer. Biblical Christianity is the life of Christ in the soul of man. Christ, in believers, also means more than having a companion. The life of Christ is the power from which the believer lives.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4).

This does not minimize faith in our Lord’s sacrificial death and in His triumphal resurrection. But His death would not have been effectual to the salvation of men had He not been who He is. Nor would He have risen from the dead. It is His person and all that He is and has done that is the good news.

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