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Mastered By the Gospel

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Matthew’s Genealogy Like You’ve Never Heard It Before

In this video performance from The Gospel Coalition’s ‘Songs of Hope’ Advent concert (which premiered Dec. 6, 2020), Poor Bishop Hooper performs their song “Christ”—a beautiful take on the genealogy of Jesus recorded in Matthew’s Gospel (1:1–17). The song is from Poor Bishop Hooper’s Advent project, Firstborn, which includes music, illustrations, videos, and writing—including a 48-page study on the lineage of Jesus. Why is the genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel important? Here’s what Tim Keller said in a 2016 interview with TGC: Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus does a lot of work. First, it roots Jesus in history. The gospel doesn’t begin...

Talking about the gospel is good. Telling others the gospel is even better. But how do we explain some of most important (and potentially confusing) doctrines of the gospel, such as justification and propitiation?

Trevin Wax raises the challenge of contextualization. What difference does our location make when preaching and evangelizing? J. D. Greear and Greg Gilbert draw upon their experience of preaching in areas with lots of highly educated unbelievers to encourage Christians to be forthright about what we believe. Unbelievers may be put off by what they hear, and we may need to help them ask different questions than the ones they carried into church that morning. But we must not assume that dumbing down—-or worse, changing or hiding what we believe—-will somehow aid the work of God in their lives.

At the same time, we must aim for more than mastering the gospel. As Wax points out, we must be mastered by the gospel. That means getting our doctrine right but also loving our neighbors, both inside and outside the church, with tangible acts of service.