Episode 083: An Interview with Matthew Bates

In this podcast we sit down with New Testament scholar Matthew Bates to talk about what he means by “gospel allegiance”.

We’ve missed what the gospel means and what faith means, and in light of that the whole package has been skewed…

What I am trying to say is that the gospel focuses on Jesus’ kingship, and in light of that, faith is the allegiance that we give to the king… we haven’t paid enough attention to this…

The gospel is the news that Jesus is the saving king, the victorious king… the Bible itself summarizes the gospel that way… “Christ” is a royal title, not a name…

The problem is that in the church we’ve often reduced the gospel to the cross, rather than the whole event of Jesus… this has the effect of putting the emphasis on the wrong place…

The word faith in the New Testament can also mean loyalty, and even faithfulness… this then will involve our bodily doing in some way…

The Christian community for too long has been swept along by the notion that Jesus is king over my spiritual life but not king over anything in the actual world…

When the Christian community gathers together and confesses that Jesus is king, we are creating an alternative social-political reality…

A lot of our disputes in the church about salvation have to do with grace… grace in the ancient world was reciprocal… if you received a gift you needed to give a response gift to keep the circle of gratitude moving…

Understanding this helps us see that God has already given the gift – the Christ-gift, the gospel, and the benefits that flow from it… none of us deserved it… in light of it, we are invited to reciprocate with our allegiance…

A good starting place for pastors would be to do a series on the gospel… look at texts that talk about Jesus being installed as the Son of God with power…

Working on the “gospel” first paves the way to work on the notion of allegiance… you need to help people see that faith doesn’t deny trust but usually means loyalty, which is a holistic response…

You can grab Matthew’s book Gospel Allegiance over at Amazon!

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