Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary partnered with 9Marks to host “A Conference on the Gospel” Feb. 4 in Kansas City, Mo., with sessions aimed at providing a biblical understanding of the Gospel.
Keynote speakers Mark Dever, Zach Schlegel, Brian Davis, Bobby Scott, and Jeremy Treat spoke on how the Gospel is essential for the local church, salvation and reconciliation with God.
“We are grateful to partner with 9Marks to encourage pastors and ministry leaders from around the nation,” said president Jason Allen.
“Through such events, we also desire these pastors and ministry leaders to know that they can trust Midwestern Seminary to provide unparalleled theological education for not only themselves but for those called into the ministry from their churches.”
Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., led the conference’s first session focusing on the Gospel and its role in the local church.
Dever warned the audience to “never assume that everyone knows and understands what the Good News is.” He then defined the Gospel, saying, “The good news is that God, through Christ, is reconciling sinners to Himself so that all who have repented of their sins and trust in Christ alone for their salvation are forgiven for their sins. The punishments have fallen on Christ, our substitute, who was crucified, died, buried, was raised, ascended, and is returning.
“I took about 40 seconds [to] say that to you,” he continued. “So, there is no reason that you can’t, in your own fellowship of Christians, often remind each other of what the Good News is. Make sure the Good News is clear. There are many ways it can be said, but the news itself is wonderful.”
Dever also noted that the local church holds special responsibility for shaping and preserving the Gospel. Once a church is established, then that body should be a “pillar and foundation of Gospel truth.”
Schlegel, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Upper Marlboro, Md., brought a message about how words are vitally important for anyone who is communicating, but they’re even more essential for pastors. The reason pastors should feel the weightiness of their word selection is because carelessly preached words could wreck lives, or they could wreck churches.
Preaching from 2 Timothy 2:14-26, Schlegel highlighted how the apostle Paul taught Timothy to deal with false teachers in the church. As such, an example is provided for how today’s pastors can protect their churches and protect the Gospel. Schlegel captured Paul’s words in metaphors of the good worker, the clean vessel and the Lord’s servant.
A “good worker,” that is the pastor, is to remind the church body of the Gospel, lead them away from quarreling, handle God’s word rightly, and strive to be approved by God. The pastor as a “clean vessel” is to distance himself from false teachers and false teaching.
“Pastor, settle in your mind right now about the sufficiency of God’s word for our task,” Schlegel said. “Hold fast to God’s word. Preach God’s word. Stay away from the ear-tickling ideas of man that twist and ignore the words of God so you will be a vessel for honorable use.”
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Source: Baptist Press