[Guest Post Feat. Ryan Mayfield]
What does it mean to be fluent in a foreign language? A combination of personal experience and Webster’s dictionary have led me to this definition:
Fluency is the ability to accurately hear and respond in a specific language.
What if we thought of the gospel like a foreign language? What if we began to believe and live like the gospel was something to be spoken and listened to on a minute-by-minute, daily basis? What if the gospel began to affect and infect the everyday, normal lives of Jesus’ people? What if the gospel became the normal language we spoke, instead of just a pep-talk we listen to on Sunday mornings and, occasionally, Wednesday evenings?
Just like we can be fluent in a foreign language, we can be fluent in the gospel.
Gospel Fluency is when a person knows the good news of Jesus and is able to accurately apply it to normal, everyday life.
The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” So, the gospel of Jesus is, simply put, the good news of how Jesus’ life and death impacts the world. Jesus, and everything he does and causes, is good news. Jesus himself tells us this as he reads from the book of Isaiah while teaching in a synagogue:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” (Luke 4:18)
Jesus says that his purpose is to proclaim good news! He says he came to set captives free, to heal the blind, free people from oppression, and to show people that God cares for them deeply! And that’s all good news!
So, today, as you examine your own self, what fears or anxieties are holding you captive? The gospel of Jesus is that he can set you free from that captivity. What illness plagues you? The gospel of Jesus is that he can heal you! What forces in your life oppress your very soul? Jesus can come alongside you to help you live free from your oppression. And when you feel lonely or unloved, the gospel of Jesus stands to remind you of the deepest love of the Creator towards you.
This is not prosperity theology. The world is dark and broken. Sin is real. But when Jesus’ kingdom collides with earth, here and now, restoration and redemption take place. One day, King Jesus will return and all things will be made new and right. Until then, fluently speaking and applying the gospel to our normal, everyday lives will allow us to walk in the freedom and joy of life that Jesus always intended for his people to have.