Dominican Republic Team Update #1
July 8, 2019
Sunday, July 7
Our DR July 2019 team have arrived safely to the Dominican Republic last night (July 6), and are eager to serve! 193 people from the MBC family have come from across all our campuses and range from 6 to 71 years old, broken down into smaller ministry teams of 12-18 people. This morning, each team had the opportunity to attend a worship service, and fellowship and share a meal with the churches they will be serving with this week. These churches are part of the network of pastors that our partner Empowering Action serves, and represent the communities our teams will be in this week! Please pray for our team and our partner pastors, as we minister side by side together for the gospel over the next few days!
As we gathered together back at the hotel this evening for dinner and fellowship, pastor David shared about the importance of key words. The two words that we looked at tonight were gospel and church. These are two areas we want to understand clearly, as we think about sharing the gospel and living it out as the church.
In Ephesians 2:1-10 (and Romans 3:21-26) we see a summary of the gospel. Based on Ephesians, we reviewed six truths about the gospel:
- God’s Character. The gospel begins with the character of God; He is the only true and supreme God and is worthy of all glory. The gospel revolves around God and His work. When we explain “the gospel”, these truths must be conveyed. The goal of the gospel is to be reconciled into relationship with this supremely wonderful God.
- Offense of Sin. This is the core problem of humanity, that we have turned from God’s ways to pursue our own ways. When explaining the gospel, do not gloss over the “bad news” of sin…it’s critical to understand the “good news” of the gospel.
- Sufficiency of Christ. Once we realize who God is, in light of the seriousness of our sin, we realize that doing good works cannot save us. What makes the work of Jesus on the cross enough is the fact of who He is – not merely a man, or merely God; but rather God in the flesh! He lived the life we could not live (without sin), He died the death we deserved to die, and He conquered the enemy we could not conquer, defeating death! He is ALL sufficient.
- Personal Response. The gospel beckons a personal response; to turn from sin and to trust or turn to faith in Jesus. This is not working to earn our way to God but rather trusting what He has done in Jesus!
- Eternal Urgency. Matthew 22:13, Mark 9 and other verses talk about the endlessness of suffering that is eternal separation from God (i.e. Hell). The gospel is eternally important news to those who are perishing here on Earth. They urgently need to be told the good news.
- Life Transformation. The gospel transforms lives; it brings dead people to life and empowers believers to spread this news to those around them.
Our teams were challenged to “weave threads of the gospel”, using the six truths above, in all that we do and say this week and every week, no matter where we are.
And our second word tonight was church. There is instant fellowship with other believers in Christ. Followers of Christ share a spiritual bloodline, are part of the family of Christ…The Church! Our Father in heaven is pleased to see His children fellowshipping together, because Christ supersedes language, nationality or culture!
If the church exists, then when we are “on mission” here (in the Dominican Republic) or at home, our goal is to strengthen and encourage the church (where it exists) and plant new churches (where there are none).
Would you pray with us this week? Pray that the true gospel would be preached and that the churches we serve with are mutually encouraged and strengthened! This is how the glory of Christ is made known!