In a previous document , Ryan Berg briefly and creatively described Cru's three main priorities: Embracing the Gospel Personally , Experiencing the Gospel Together , and Extending the Gospel to Others . Here, using passages from the book of 1 Peter, he explains in fuller detail the aspects of the third priority.
The Apostle Peter highlights three D's from the life of Christ and then prescribes them for the life of the believer in Christ. These D's— Displaying, Demonstrating, and Declaring the Gospel —are distinguishable but inseparable. Working together, Christ uses them to bring salvation by “showing” and “telling” the Gospel.
Being—Christ in us by who we are (and who we are becoming.)
In these few verses Peter makes a strong statement toward the power of the “conduct” displayed in the hidden person of the heart to “win” others to Christ. Although a challenging teaching to his hearers, at least one principle that is clearly purposed is that the “conduct”—meaning a day to day pattern of living (cf. 1:15)—serves as a “means God will use to ‘win’ such persons…” through the Christian’s behavior (1 Peter Tyndale NT Commentaries, Wayne Grudem. Pg. 146).
Doing—Christ through us by stepping into others needs
“The hidden person of the heart” is both the foundation for our conduct—being, as well as the driving force that leads us into action—doing (cf. Luke 6:45). In this case, Peter speaks of these actions or “good works” as a way to demonstrate the Gospel. He shares that “when believers do good deeds, some unbelievers will repent and believe and thus glorify God.” (ESV Crossway Study Bible). The actual word “glorify” occurs 61 times in the NT but is never used to speak of unbelievers who are forced unwillingly to admit that God is right and the Gospel is true. Thus Peter argues that “they are converted and glorify God because of seeing “your good deeds.” (1 Peter Tyndale NT Commentaries, Wayne Grudem. Pg. 146).
Saying—Christ spoken by us as we proclaim the Gospel
As God’s redeemed ones, Christians are to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light”. It is this declaration that gives words to the display and demonstration of the work of Jesus through the Gospel in the believer’s life. In other NT uses, the word for “excellencies” means worthiness of approval or praise. To declare God’s excellencies is to speak of all he is and has done—most notably seen in the Gospel. The following phrases in verse 9 & 10, seem to highlight the salvation accomplished by Christ and given through the Spirit. Therefore, to declare his excellencies is most expressly done by declaring the Gospel.
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