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Missions 101

Two Soldiers in the Army of the Lamb

Oct. 16, 2012By: Evan Burns

One of the great joys of serving overseas has been the deep spiritual friendships God has given me with a few Asian brothers.  Trust-based and transparent friendships in that particular culture take a long time to develop.  As I grew with a certain Asian brother who pastors a small underground church, I began to see that his Christian spirituality radically challenged mine.  Evangelism and public testimony are not optional for underground Christians in that country.  They view their spiritual walk with Christ as one of picking up a shameful, embarrassing cross and going public with their witness.  The notion of just singing songs to Christ, contemplating his benefits, and studying the gospel without earnestly broadcasting it as the best news in the world, such a notion is truly foreign to them.  In their view of biblical spirituality, regular bold and joyful evangelism is the sign of a true disciple. Gospel study without gospel witness is not true Christian discipleship.  I consider my brothers in that country among those of whom the world is not worthy.  He is a frontline soldier in the army of the lamb. 

Written to his church in the 18th century, the following letter by the British Particular Baptist pastor, Andrew Fuller, could have been easily written by my Asian brother. It captures well the spirit of what ought to be among normal Christian discipleship in every era and every nation—a Spirit-empowered passion for gospel proclamation among the lost.

Dear brethren,

In our last public letter, we addressed you on the work of the Holy Spirit.  In this we would direct your attention to the promise of the Spirit as the grand encouragement in promoting the spread of the gospel. 

We take for granted that the spread of the gospel is the great object of your desire.  Without this it will be hard to prove that you are Christian churches.  An agreement in a few favourite opinions, or on the side of a disputed subject, or even a disagreement with others, will often induce men to form themselves into religious societies, and to expend much zeal and much property in accomplishing their objects.  But this is not Christianity.  We may be of what is called a sect, but we must not be of a sectarian spirit, seeking only the promotion of a party.  The true churches of Jesus Christ travail in birth for the salvation of men.  They are the armies of the Lamb, the grand object of whose existence is to extend the Redeemer's kingdom.

The Works of Andrew Fuller III, 359.

 

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