One question I frequently hear is, “Should I run Christianity Explored for people in the congregation or should I focus on people outside?” My answer is “yes!” Both people inside and outside the church need a better grasp of the gospel.
Recently I read in Tim Keller’s book Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), how Keller’s thoughts regarding using the gospel were impacted by the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Dr. Lloyd-Jones served in London in the mid-twentieth century.
On page 80 of Center Church, Keller wrote:
Why use the gospel to edify Christians? D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gave two reasons. First, we should not “assume that all…who are members of the Church are…Christians. This, to me, is the most fatal blunder of all.” Second, many people have accepted Christianity intellectually but have never come under the power of the Word and the gospel and therefore have not truly repented. In other words, it is important to remember that some of your members are not really converted.”
“One of the most exhilarating experiences in the life of a preacher is what happens when people whom everybody had assumed to be Christians are suddenly converted and truly become Christians. Nothing has a more powerful effect upon the life of a church than when that happens to a number of people.” (Keller quoting from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972).
Not only have many professing Christians never truly repented and rested in grace; regenerate Christians, in order to grow, need to constantly feel the power of the gospel and rehearse the experience of conversion again and again.