Thursday, December 5, 2013

VNE 2013: Tim Keller | The Gospel-Centered Church and Discipleship at Work

Tim Keller Gospel Centered Church and Discipleship Lowell MA


2013 Vision New England – Reflection #2 | Pastor Tim Keller

Read the previous post:

Reflection #1 | Pastor Tim Keller Gospel-Centered Church and Evangelism

This is a continuing series reflecting on 3 discussions given by Dr. Timothy Keller at 2013 Vision New England held in Lowell, MA on Saturday, October 26. If you'd like to listen to what Keller had to say for yourself, here are the video and audio links:

Gospel-Centered Church and Evangelism video or audio
Gospel-Centered Church and Discipleship at Work video or audio
Gospel-Centered Church and Justice video or audio
Notes are provided below. If you want to hear more details about what I thought, feel free to drop me a line

Dr. Tim Keller | Saturday, October 26

Romans 8:5-9 Gospel-Centered Church and Discipleship at Work

If we're going to be serious about discipleship, then we need to ask 3 questions: 

1. Do we go out far enough into the world in order to interact with people's lives in the public sphere? 

2. Do we get close enough to people to get beyond their behaviors so we can understand their hearts' motivations?  

3. Do we get to know the attitudes and tendencies that set ourselves and others up for sin and then apply how the gospel can transform us?

If we're going to ask the questions above and do what they insinuate, then we need to be able to apply the gospel to where people spend most of their time: working in the world.


"Work is a good servant, not a good master." Throughout human history, there have been 5 ways for people to think about how to transform work by the gospel:

1. The gospel gives you an anchor for your identity from which you cannot sink.

"The problem with finding your identity in your work is if you're successful, it will go to your head or if you fail it will go to your heart. While you should do well for God's glory, the quality (i.e. monetary success) of your work is not the value of your worth."

2. The gospel gives you a new perspective on the dignity of all work.
"Without a godly view of the dignity of work, work will bore you. But every job is noble – and equally good. This perspective also gets rid of any class divide and the range of only certain jobs being considered valuable."

3. The gospel gives you a moral compass without which work could corrupt you.
"Some things are ruthless and selfish while not necessarily being illegal. The reason we have to keep regulating business is because we as humans continue to lack a moral compass."

4. The gospel gives you a life and worldview that allows you to not be completely shaped by the result of your work.
"Making money in business is like breathing in life. You need to breathe to live, but you don't want to live your whole life only breathing." 

5. The gospel gives you a hope that allows you not to be crushed by your work.
"In order to be made new by the hope of Jesus, we need to be in the practice of putting to death our sin and setting our mind on what God would have us believe and do."

Men and women who desire to be made new need to focus on mortification, aspiration, meditation, and affirmation. 

Mortification: Learning sinful patterns, knowing when they will arise, and fleeing temptation when it comes

Aspiration: Setting your mind regularly on who Jesus is and what He has done for you, believing that the gospel applies to who you are and what you do, and then living each day in light of this good news

Meditation: Reading God's Word and praying through:

Rejoicing in who God is

Repenting in what you have done in reflection of not believing who He is 

Recounting what He has done because of who He is

Requesting that you know, understand, and experience more of who He is and what He has done for you

Rethinking how you will live each day because of who He is and what He has done

Reflecting on all of the above 

"Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to Him at all.)" – Saint Paul (Romans 8:5-9)

Affirmation: Encouraging each other daily to persevere as we grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ together 

Check back next soon for Reflection #3 | Tim Kelle Gospel-Centered Church and Justice


Curiosity piqued? Something inside you being stirred? Go ahead and connect.

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