Monday, January 21, 2013

on The Gospel Order of Understanding Who We Are and What We Do

I just finished listening to a three part series, How Grace Changes Men, taught by Bryan Chapell at the Grace & Men Conference which was hosted in Orlando, FL back in 2009, and I want to share this with those of you who follow this blog.  I began listening to these messages on my way home form preaching on Sunday morning.  My heart was deeply affected.  I so needed to hear these messages!  I grew up in the Christian Church but for the longest time, I understood all of this backwards. I still get it backwards from time to time (or better, very often).

This brief transcript is form Bryan Chapell's introduction to the third message in the series. It will provide you with a sense of the direction of this message, but I recommend that you listen to the entire message. He draws this truth out in greater detail with exposition and illustration that was very helpful to me. Here's how Chapell explains the gospel order of understanding who we are in Christ.

What we're trying to do is to fill people with hope so that the living out of the gospel is a natural (supernatural) response of their lives. It normally flows when they have understood how great is God's love for them.

And, if you flip that around; if what you end up saying is, "You need to do these things" (those are the imperatives of the Christian life)━"You need to do these things and then you'll know the joy of the gospel, God will love you, and you will feel his embrace.

If you ever follow that order, making the imperatives the foundation of their relationship with God (not just eternally, but even daily), then people will be burdened and battered.  There is an order to the gospel.  It is this: the imperatives are based on the indicatives (indicatives are what we are by the work of Christ).  The imperatives are based on the indicatives; and the order is not reversible. …

That's always the message. Always, God is saying, "Yes, there are things to do, but it's based on who your are.  Who you are is not based on what you do.  Sometimes people say it this way, "We just confuse our who and our do."  We think who we are is based on what we do; but the fact of the matter is, what we do is based on who we are.  And if you capture that it will change absolutely everything in your life.

This audio series has been made available at

One other message that I would urge you to listen to is How Grace Informs the Devotional Life of a Man by Joe Novenson from 2008!!!