In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.” In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel. Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.” Packer writes,
“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).
This week, we come to the letter “M”.
M is for Mission
And why we must continually learn and teach the Gospel? We do so that we may not lose sight of the great work that God is doing in our day. God is actively engaged in the wondrous work of reconciling all things to himself. It was for this that the Son of God came forth. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). And this work continues in and through us, the body of Christ, gathered and dispersed throughout the world today. The very work for which the Father sent the Son, the Son has now sent his church to continue (Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21). And he promises to be with us always. Being in his presence must be taken as seriously as doing the work of true mission, for mission can only have power and a cutting edge when Christ is indwelling us and we him.