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Adult Education: Fall 2009. Introducing Paul. Gospelizing 101: Paul’s Spirituality. For Paul, the whole of the Christian life is gospel-driven. Theology attends to the God who is the God of the Gospel Christology is understanding the man Jesus who is announced in the gospel

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Gospelizing 101:

Paul’s Spirituality


Theology attends to the God who is the God of the Gospel

  • Christology is understanding the man Jesus who is announced in the gospel
  • Ethics is living a life worthy of the gospel
  • Salvation is discovered by unpacking the polyphonic richness of the gospel
  • Apologetics is the defense of the gospel
  • Ecclesiology is the doctrine of the community of the gospel
  • Missiology is the science of gospelizing

Discipleship is the process of ‘gospelizing ourselves to attain the full measure of maturity in Christ. This is done in two prominent ways in Paul:

Cruciformity: being shaped in accord with the cross of Christ

Anastasisity: being made alive by the power of Christ’s resurrection


Some points from Paul about the cross of Jesus:

  • The message of Christ crucified was foolishness to Greeks and a stumbling block to Jews.
  • It divides humans into those who are perishing and those being saved.
  • The cross exposes the wisdom of the world as sham.
  • The cross is the embodiment of God’s wisdom and power.
  • Is the source of wisdom, righteousness, holiness and redemption.

The cross shapes the church’s life.

  • When the church ceases to be a living metaphor of the cross it exchanges God’s foolishness for the world’s wisdom.
  • The community that embodies the cross will manifest mutual forgiveness.
  • The community that embodies the cross will overflow in love.
  • The community that embodies the cross will follow the pattern of Christ’s example.
  • The community that embodies the cross will find itself at odds with the world.
  • The community that takes up the cross will find its identity in the cross.

The lesson from Paul is that a spirituality rooted in anything other than the cross will inevitably become novel, then triumphalistic, then wishy-washy, then worldly, then trivial and finally, stone dead. Christian spirituality is not a private matter that takes place in the mental events of our thought life, but is manifested in action. A cruciform spirituality means not merely wearing a cross but carrying one as well.


Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.—Romans 6.4


“Evangelical theology with its healthy fixation on the cross, has often neglected the resurrection to the point that the resurrection becomes little more than the proof of what God did on the cross.”


How the Resurrection has

  • impact on our spiritual journey:
  • Believers have been made alive with Christ
  • The resurrection imparts hope to Christians
  • The resurrection is motivation to press on towards the goal for which Christ called believers
  • The resurrection assures us of God’s goodness and empowerment.

Do you agree with Michael Bird that evangelicals have neglected the Resurrection? If so, how do you account for this neglect?