Mez McConnell carries out remarkable ministry among marginalised groups of people, a background that he shares with those he ministers to.
Here he writes about the way in which the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, rather than detracting from his ministry to the needs of people, actually is the foundation that enables him to serve.
Here’s the introduction and the last his six points from an article on 20schemesequip.
There can be a misapprehension in some circles about how we minister effectively to the poor. I was at a conference once, and the discussion centred around handing out food and other necessities. My frustration was that this is often the apex of help given to the poor and needy, when what is needed is a much more comprehensive approach to this kind of ministry.
The poor need to be taught as part of our service to them. They need to hear the gospel, and when some respond (as they will) they need to be taught in order for them to grow, mature, and be allowed to move into positions of leadership. Of course, all doctrine and teaching is important, but here are some reasons why I believe teaching the doctrine of the atonement is vital to ministry among the poor.
6. It keep us from preaching moralism. It’s easy for law to overtake grace in housing schemes. This is the silent killer here. People live such chaotic lives that it is easy to send them away with a ‘to do’ list rather than continually preach grace to them. It is easy for Christians to put their assurance for salvation in the things they do for Jesus rather than in the Son of God himself.
I woke up this morning confident of heaven. Not because I had a great devotional or because my prayers were on fire, but because Jesus died on the cross for my sin. He absorbed the wrath that was duly mine. He paid a price that I could not afford. He has been raised to the right hand of God the Father where he intercedes for me, even now. The atonement was His glorious, bloody idea from start to finish.
Read the whole post here.