The heart of mission in Acts

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For over a century Westerners have been reinventing the gospel and mission with disastrous results.

Jim Hamilton helps blow away the confusion with a careful study of the central theme of the book of Acts. This is what he concludes on the gospel in Acts:

God’s justice is seen in his righteous reversal of the unjust condemnation of Jesus, in his just calling to account of those who perpetrated that crime, and in the proclamation that forgiveness of sins is available through Jesus.

Forgiveness is available through Jesus because Jesus has satisfied God’s justice in his death on the cross. Thus, the justice of God is of a piece with the salvation of God. God demonstrates his mercy by making a way for sins to be forgiven through the death of Jesus. Upholding his justice through the death of Jesus, God can extend mercy to guilty people who deserve only justice.

This mercy is offered to those who crucified the Messiah, and the redemptive mercy of God is put on display through the healings and teachings that the witnesses to the resurrection do in Acts.

God’s justice and his mercy balance one another. The justice keeps the mercy from becoming insipid sentimentality, while the mercy keeps the justice from crushing all with just punishment.  Justice and mercy serve a higher aim … for both display God and evoke the glory that God rightly deserves.

Jim Hamilton

Luke wrote his Gospel and Acts as one story told in two halves. 

Acts shows that at the heart of mission is the spread of the gospel resulting in disciples and churches to the glory of God.

Fools for Christ vs the Gospel of human flourishing

Andrew Walker

Andrew Walker

God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed. Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society. We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world. If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.

I want Christianity to influence culture as much as anyone. I want families intact. I love that the explosion of Christianity led to a revolution in human dignity; in hospitals and university. I want a renaissance of high culture that produces aesthetic wonders emanating from Christianity.

But if influence reduces merely to terms of human flourishing and the Common Good, we are not preaching the gospel. A flourishing culture that likes the trappings and benefits of Christianity, but not its kernel, isn’t biblical Christianity. A true gospel will be met with resistance because it overturns the accepted patterns of the world. New Testament Christianity assumes that a follower of Christ is well acquainted with scorn (2 Tim. 3:12).

Andrew Walker

If this is the future of the United Methodists....

If this is the future of the United Methodists, they have no future.

The right has the prosperity gospel. The left has the green gospel.

When will we learn that there is no “other gospel”. There is no other foundation.

3 Circles Life Conversation Guide [updated]


We’ve just finished a week of mission in Leicester. More to come on that.

A quick update to this post to say that the Three Circles gospel presentation served us well during the mission. It's easy to train people to use it. It's culturally relevant in the way it picks up the theme of "brokenness." It's easy to drop in your own story using the Three Circles. We're going with Malachi's version that replaces "Gospel" with "Jesus" as the title for the third circle and includes the graphic of the Cross. He also uses "Turn and Believe" rather than "Repent and Believe."

Soon I'll be introducing the Three Circles into our Following and Fishing training.

I suggest you learn the Three Circles and begin using it. Talking about Brokenness is a great lead in with people.

I’m learning this gospel presentation demonstrated here by Jimmy Scroggins. I’ll learn it, practice it, then use it and see what happens.

Visit LifeOnMission to find out more.

UPDATE: Listen to Jimmy Scroggins casting vision for multiplication movements.

UPDATE: Malachi Cooper shares the gospel using the Three Circles.

Malachi and his dad Troy are with us this week in Leicester for the Mission Breakout.

Tim Scheuer: How to share God's story within your story

Tim Scheuer demonstrates how he shares God’s story (the gospel) within his story.

Here’s how Ray Vaughn does it.

Why not have a go with your own version? Use your own headings for each section, not Tim’s.

If you put it on YouTube, send me the link.

If you lead someone to Christ, teach them to do this immediately and share it with family and friends.

(VIDEO) Following and Fishing: Session 3


The third of four sessions on multiplying disciples, groups and churches. Everywhere.

In this session you learn how to lead someone to Christ using a simple gospel outline.

Download the participant notes and an outline for trainers.

Following and Fishing: Sessions 1-4