Gospel Fluency Report/Reflection Paper

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Gospel Fluency Report/Reflection Paper

Post by Kenji on Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:40 am

Part 1 of the book dealt with Vanderstlet’s definition and explanation of Gospel Fluency. The idea fundamentally comes from his view of the Christian’s attempt and failure to live out a gospel-centered life because he/she does not know the gospel, or he/she is not trained to be able to “speak it” fluently, even if they knew it. The comparison that he shows between learning a language and living out the gospel was very relatable to me since I was forced to learn a new language in high school. His main point is that Jesus needs to be the center and we need to be “immersed” in His gospel in order to be able to “speak it fluently.”

Part 2 of the book deals with actual gospel and its presentation. The author takes us through the different stages of the story of God: creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. He expounds on these ideas later in the book, but his main concern here is that the Christian does not even know why the gospel is a good news for him/her. He also stresses the importance of knowing what we are saved from, which is mainly the power of sin and not just hell. He then finishes the section of the book with saying that the key to receiving such good news is faith. Our main problem is the unbelief of how good the gospel is.

Part 3 has to do with the application of the gospel in our individual lives. One of the points that Vanderstelt often drives home throughout the book is the fact that the gospel is applicable to each Christian’s life and it is not a vague or big idea that people understand only collectively. God is a personal God and He wants us to know His truths and how they affect our individual lives. The main concept in this section is the idea of “fruit to root.” Christians often mistake sanctification as fixing the external problems(the fruit) in our lives so that we would change internally(root). The answer to sanctification comes from faith in God to transform our tree/root so that through our identity the fruits of our faith would be produced.

Part 4 shows the exposition of part 3’s ideas in the setting of a Christian community. The author explains how to speak the gospel in different circumstances using real life examples. He goes through examples of how eating meals together can have a great impact, and also how to bring the “hero” of the story back to its center. Speaking the gospel fluently is about bringing Jesus back to our conversations and actions. Christians keep putting Jesus as the side character and ourselves as the main character.

Part 5 ends the book with a few presentations of what Vanderstlet thinks are important techniques in being able to speak the gospel fluently, especially to the unbeliever. Some of the things he talks about include: listening well, showing people how to live out the gospel, the importance of telling people and recognizing Jesus, and how important love and wisdom are for successfully show people the gospel.

I personally loved the reminder of the gospel itself and the power that rests in it. The gospel has the power to transform me, and through my transformation, it is also able to save and transform others. It is refreshing to have that reminder especially because I have a tendency to carry a lot of my ministerial burdens on my shoulder. I cannot save but Jesus can!
I also loved the reminder of the power that rests in listening and listening to people well. Listening well is such an easy thing to forget and we often devalue it, but has given me some of the most fruitful results in my discipleship. I was challenged with involving God and the Holy Spirit more during these times of listening and not just to rely on my own thoughts and understanding.

Lastly, I personally thought some of the ideas given in chapter 11 were not as powerful as others and seemed rather cheesy or forced. Applying the gospel is difficult so I would love to talk about different ideas on how to do that in our class.

Kenji
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Gospel Fluency

Post by Brittony on Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:15 pm

Within Gospel Fluency, a few points stuck out to me the most, in which I found simple but powerful. Some points I definitely needed to read to check my own beliefs about God.
In the first few chapters the author talks about making everything about Jesus, which to some Christians is normal rhetoric but to really dive deep into what that means takes even more effort, and so it’s not done all the time.
I know I don’t always apply Jesus in every situation; more often than not my emotions drive the way I think and what I do. I know it’s bad when I’m crying at incredibly cute cat videos; this is a real thing. I know emotions are good but they’re not my god. As this is something that I’ve been working on for about 3-4 years, I really appreciated chapters 8 and 9. In these chapters Vanderstelt talked about actions being the fruit of our beliefs and taking captive the thoughts and emotions that aren’t righteous.
I often say, “I feel this or that,” in those times of insecurity I say what I’m feeling, not necessarily the beliefs of the insecurity. Again, I’m sure I’ve heard this before but this time it just clicked. The hope “we are still being saved (Pg. 119),” by Jesus is comforting. He hasn’t given up on us.
As Part 5 points out multiple times, Jesus is advocating for us. That is what I want my Core Group girls to really believe and understand. God is full of grace more so than we are of sin. Jesus is fighting for us constantly. That’s not to say we continue to sin (Romans 6: 1-2). I want my Core Group girls to encounter God's grace in a very real way. I believe it is effort on my part to be very real with them; real in my everyday life, real in my struggles, but incredibly real in what Jesus is doing in my life. Not to put my life on a pedestal but for Jesus to be brought to the surface and shine. It is my hope, then, to have my girls be comfortable to share their everyday life, struggles, and what Jesus is doing in their lives and for their roots to be transformed by the Gospel and to grow deeper into Jesus.

Brittony
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Gospel Fluency Reflection

Post by Matt Ostermeyer on Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:31 pm

“Gospel Fluency” by Jeff Vanderstelt is arguably my favorite read of all time (not including the Bible of course). I fell in love with this book because I believe it points us to everything that we forget all of the time. I felt extraordinarily humbled when reading this book, and further opened to how much God loves me through His Son Jesus. I think that we live in a culture where we constantly desire to measure up and feel as though we have achieved a certain level of understanding, and wisdom, etc. We live like this as if there is a finish line to obtain in our lives. But I have seen that when we build on this improper foundation our lives get hard.
I believe that the lessons in this book are lessons that we must all remember. The practicality of guiding people to the truth about Jesus Christ and the true character of Christ in light of the lies they have grabbed onto from the enemy is beautiful. Jeff’s words are simple but powerful and true. I am thankful that he points out so many dire needs in this book! The need to understand and admit our unbelief, the joy of being sanctified, the need of showing us how to guide others to freedom, the need of speaking the truths about God into other’s lives, the need to apply the truths about God to our everyday situation, the skills of sharing our story as if were Jesus’. I am just recounting of course what is in the book. However, every teaching point in this book is something that we just lose sight of everyday. The gospel is so amazing! It brings so much freedom.
Since opening the pages of this book God has brought me so much freedom in many areas of my life. I feel more equipped than ever to share the good news and speak truth into other’s lives. I have already noticed distinct changes in the council I have been giving others as it is more rooted in the story of Jesus and what he has done for us. I don’t say this to boast in myself but to rejoice in the amazing revelation that Jesus placed in Jeff Vanderstelt’s heart. I have also realized that since reading this book I have been hungrier for growth, more ready to admit my sin, more joyful then I can remember, and so ready to ask questions that I have. But it isn’t the book itself but Jesus through the author. I praise God for the wisdom that he has brought me through this book. I pray that everyone will read this book. Jesus is awesome!

Matt Ostermeyer
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