ABCD – Evangelical 

We looked for a way to summarise our understanding of the term “Evangelical” as it applies to our church, acknowledging that for some the word carries unfortunate connotations.

Each button below leads to a talk and some ideas for further thinking.

ACTIVE - BIBLE - CHRIST - DECIDE

ACTIVE

“We are active in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through what we do and say.”

Listen to a talk by Steve Gaze.

We believe that Jesus Christ and his dying on the cross for our sins is good news for all society, and that everyone can enter into relationship with him if they turn away from their sin and devote their lives to him. ….  Spurred on by a desire to bring good news to our communities, we are passionate about bringing about change for the good and so social action forms a central part of how we live as Christians locally, nationally and globally.  [Evangelical Alliance]

He has shown all you people what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

[Jesus] said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

For starters …

Can you remember an occasion where someone did or said something that helped you understand better the good news of Jesus Christ?

To chew on …

What is the good news of Jesus Christ?

What does it mean to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”? Compare with Matthew 28:18-20.

What “good works” do you think God prepared in advance for you to do? (see Ephesians 2:10)

Are you better at “doing” or “saying”? Who could you team up with, or what could you get involved in to be more effective overall in “doing and saying”?

For prayer and action …

Read Colossians 4:2-6, and pray that, as Christians attending Hardwick Evangelical Church, we will proclaim the message of Christ clearly.

What could I do this week to share this message of Jesus with others through what I do and say?

Further Bible references on sharing the good news of Jesus through what we do and say:

Isaiah 58:1-9
John 13:34-35
James 2:14-26

BIBLE

“We aim to live our lives in line with the teaching of the Bible.”

Listen to a talk by David Instone-Brewer

Evangelical Christians hold to the conviction that God’s objective truth was supremely revealed through his Word in the Old and New Testaments.  The Bible must always take precedence over reason, tradition, church authority and individual experience. [Evangelical Alliance]

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

For starters …

Do you have a favourite bible verse or passage? What is it and why?

To chew on …

What do you understand by the phrase “all Scripture is God-breathed”? What does it mean in practice for you?

Can you share an example of how the Bible has been useful to teach, rebuke, correct or train you or someone you know?

How do you deal with those passages you don’t understand, or that say something you don’t like?

What place does reason, tradition, church authority or experience have in relation to Bible teaching?

For prayer and action …

Thank God for the Bible, for those who have worked to make it available to us in our own language, and for those who have taught it to us.

Is there something I should be doing to better live my life in line with the teaching of the Bible?

Further Bible references on inspiration and value of the Bible:

Isaiah 40:8
Psalm 119:105
Matthew 5:18
2 Peter 1:20-21
2 Peter 3:15-16

CHRIST and the CROSS

“We believe that because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, God forgives us for what we’ve done wrong, and transforms us from who we were towards who he intends us to be.”

Listen to a talk by Robbie Thomson

The death of Jesus is of central importance. The ceremony that Jesus gave us to remember him is a memorial of his death. That is how he wanted to be remembered, and that is indeed the most distinctive feature of the Christian faith. Jesus died for us, for our sins. There are several theories of why his death saves us, but Scripture repeatedly says that we are saved through his death — he died for us, for our sins. [Evangelical Alliance]
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve.

For starters …

What do you find most “attractive” about Jesus? Why?

To chew on …

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is both God and man, human and divine (Romans 1:3-4). Why are both aspects important?

What are the positives and negatives about the message of the cross: for you, and for others? (1 Corinthians 1:23)

What about the resurrection? Why is it important?
(1 Corinthians 15:14)

What about the value of living a good life? Where does that fit in with the cross?

For prayer and action …

Thank God for Jesus’ birth as a person, his life, death and resurrection. Thank God for the person, or people, who introduced you to Jesus.

What could I do to share this message with others?

Further Bible references on Christ, the cross and resurrection:

Isaiah 53
Matthew 1:21-23
Colossians 1:19-23

DECIDE

“We long to see people come to know Jesus and to decide to live for him.”

Listen to a talk by Kate Gaze

We believe that Jesus Christ and his dying on the cross for our sins is good news for all society, and that everyone can enter into relationship with him if they turn away from their sin and devote their lives to him.  [Evangelical Alliance]

[Jesus] said, “The kingdom of God has come near.  Repent and believe the good news!”

Then [Jesus] said to them all, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  What good is it for you to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit your very self?”   
 

For starters …

Share one of the benefits of being a Christian (follower of Jesus), either from your own experience or from what you’ve observed in someone else?

To chew on …

What does it mean for someone “to take up their cross daily and follow” Jesus? (see Luke 9:23-25). How is this “good news”?

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). What does this mean?

How are we saved from death and what does that mean? Surely everyone dies including Christians? (see Ephesians 2:1-10)

What is my motivation to see others turn to Christ? (see 2 Corinthians 5:11-21)

For prayer and action …

Is there something I need to “die to” and “turn from” today and live instead for Christ?

For whom can I pray for an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them?

Further Bible references on the call to follow Christ:

Acts 2:38-39
Romans 10:9-15