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Matt Chandler on How to Preach the Explicit Gospel

To transform lives, the gospel needs to be clear in every sermon, on every text, on every subject.

Editor's note: Don't expect subtlety from Matt Chandler. Listening to him preach, you don't get the sense that's his personality, and the challenges he has faced in recent years with cancer don't lead someone to be less intense about what matters in life. What matters to Matt is the gospel, and in his new book The Explicit Gospel he lets us know how to preach it straight up. Okay, Chandler, don't mince words; how should we proclaim the good news in a way that changes lives? What is the difference between preaching the explicit gospel and a non-explicit gospel?

Matt Chandler: If you're preaching the gospel explicitly, then you have at your center the work of Christ, and the work of Christ is what fuels moral transformation. Second Corinthians 3:18 says, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." How are we transformed? Beholding ...

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Bob Pond

May 10, 2012  5:07pm

This dude holds the tension and this is what we need to keep reminding ourselves. The Gospel is the springboard to right living... right living emerges from the Gospel. I find people continually need to be reminded of that in order to stay in the Grace of Christ, to stay on the spring board.

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Dave Hibbin

May 08, 2012  3:13am

I think Matt makes many good points but I agree with Richard that I see the Bible encouraging both grace and discipline. Grace is the stuff only God can do...discipline involves the things only I can do. Surely preachers must help people inside, and outside the Church, discern the difference as they unpack God's Word before them.

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Richard Doebler

May 07, 2012  5:05pm

Matt says, "You can't do the law." True enough, but the even the gospel requires a response--it's called obedience. Jesus put it quite explicitly: "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46). Peter (who grasped the concepts of grace in the gospel through his own failures) said, "Make every effort to add to your faith..." (2 Pet 1:5). We need to be careful that we don't avoid obedience or spiritual discipline by labeling them "works" or "law." The gospel calls for our response. The gospel not only says, "Believe" and "Receive," but also "Do."

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Charles Green

May 07, 2012  10:11am

Right on!

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