Friday Morning: Tim Jordan -- "The Power of Cross-Cultural Ministry in the Spiritual Advancement of the Preacher"

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The session began by singing "As the Deer" followed by Tim's message.

Text: 1 Cor. 9

Introduction:

  • I want to finish what I started on Wednesday
  • The pastor is not the pillar and ground of the truth; the church is.
  • Paul was called to a cross-cultural and really gets his feet wet in Antioch.
  • He spends the rest of his life occasionally visiting home, but mostly away preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God all over the Roman empire.
  • We’re just going to survey and reference the text this morning; it will be highly applicational.

Observation:

  • Verse 19ff, his personal preferences and practices were a manner of his personal rights and liberty and they were never going to be placed on par with the doctrine of Christ, the truth of the Scripture, the doctrine of Christ.  It was not going to be the same. He understood that.
  • He makes it clear that his personal cultural preferences and applications were always going to serve others.
  • He makes it clear that it was his practice to discern, to exegete not just the scripture but also the culture into which he was taking the Gospel, so that he did not add any defense to the Gospel.
  • You can’t make the Gospel better.
  • Never compromise on what God has said; be ready to compromise willingly on what you prefer.
  • At no time would Paul condone the clear teaching of scripture to accommodate someone’s personal preferences.  He restricted his liberty for the Gospel. The truth of the Gospel was the real and controlling purpose.

Application:

  • Two influences on me personally in this area: (1) clear expository preaching of God’s Word, (2) missions. Our church was primarily concerned with church planting in the US for about 20 years.  world missions were secondary in priority.
  • I grew up believing I wouldn’t grow up because either Jesus would return or the communists would kill us. There was a real terror.
  • Suddenly, in 1992, there was an opportunity to go into countries where communism failed. So we started going there. This led to our doing cross-cultural mission trips with our people.
  • In that experience in our church, unintentionally, it began to create an affection to take the Gospel other places.
  • There were other guys that would go over there that we would pray with, share resources with, etc., but when we came back to the US, we wouldn’t talk to each other.
  • So that experience became a clarifying effect for us, that some things are not so important.
  • Over time, it became clear that this is the Gospel and must never be compromised and this (secondly) could be and in some cases must be compromised for the Gospel.
  • It led in my mind to this truism: God’s Word will pass unaltered through “customs.” What we do with it here at Calvary—all of that would not pass through “customs.”
  • How much of my own culture has become unwittingly canonized into the Gospel?
  • God brings me into contact with people from other traditions, which has resulted in long, sanctifying relationships. E.g., Dave Doran, Les Ollila’s friend-sharing, etc.
  • The process of ongoing brother-sharpening-brother is not available to all, which is a reason for conferences like this.
  • Even though I have a bunch of guys here, I tend to be talking to the same guys—which is good because they’re good guys. However, it can be, at times, that we’re just telling each other the same thing. Finding other people, outside your normal little fellowship, who doesn’t swim in the same pond as you do, but is committed to the important things, that I believe with all my heart is indispensable to continued growing in the Bible.
  • Friendships and exposures and relationship don’t change what God said, but they help me to think about it more.
  • I’m really interested into how much has been messed up by what I have imported into the Gospel.
  • You can’t do it alone.
  • I’m not telling you what meetings to go to or whom to talk to, but to shop for ongoing sanctifying friendships.
  • Paul had an influence on a lot of people, but a lot of people had an influence on him w/o corrupting him or the Gospel.
  • We absolutely need each other.
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