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Defending Your Faith Network


Matthias Media

                              

Resources for growing disciple-making disciples


Matthias Media is an evangelical publishing ministry which focuses on providing high-quality, biblical resources—resources for Outreach, Follow-up, Growth and Training. Our big goal as a ministry is to persuade all Christians of the truth of God's purposes in Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible, and equip them with high-quality resources, so that by the work of the Holy Spirit they will:

  • abandon their lives to the honour and service of Christ in daily holiness and decision-making
  • pray constantly in Christ's name for the fruitfulness and growth of his gospel
  • speak the Bible's life-changing word whenever and however they can—in the home, in the world and in the fellowship of his people.


                                             
      All Christian ministry is a mixture of trellis and vine. There is vine work: the prayerful preaching and teaching of the word of God to see people converted and grow to maturity as disciples of Christ.


      Vine work is the Great Commission. And there is trellis work: creating, maintaining the physical, organizational structures and programs that support vine work and its growth.


      What’s the state of the trellis and vine in your part of the world? Has trellis work taken over, as it has a habit of doing? Is the vine work being done by very few (perhaps only the pastor on Sunday)? And is the vine starting to wilt as a result?


      The image of trellis and vine raises all the fundamental questions of Christian ministry:

      • What is the vine for?
      • How does the vine grow?
      • How does the vine relate to my church?
      • What is vine work and what is trellis work, and how can we tell the difference?
      • What part do different people play in growing the vine?
      • How can we get more people involved in vine work?


      In The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne answer these urgent questions afresh. They dig back into the Bible’s view of Christian ministry, and argue that a major mind-shift is required if we are to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ, and see the vine flourish again.

      An Online Library

      GoThereFor.com is an online library where disciple-making thinking is stimulated, where ideas are shared and discussed, and where individuals, small groups and churches can easily access digital resources to help you get on with the vital job of disciple-making.

       

      Resources for growing disciple-making disciples


      Think of the people you meet each day. Your family. Your colleagues at work. The man at the newspaper stand. The lady in the seat opposite on the bus. The old friend you catch up with after work. Your tennis partner. The guy sitting by himself in the park at lunchtime. Of all the countless people who cross your path—some well known to you, some hardly at all—is there a single one of them who shouldn’t be following Jesus? Is there a single one of them who doesn’t need Jesus?


      Of course the answer is No to both questions. But many Christians feel overwhelmed and inadequate when it comes to reaching out to those around us. We’re unsure as to where to start and what to say, and more than a little fearful that we will make fools of ourselves.


      This short course starts from square one, and helps you make a start. Over six interactive sessions you’ll explore topics like:

      • The core motivation for reaching out to others
      • What the gospel of Jesus really is
      • How to depend on God in prayer as you speak to others
      • How to solve the problem of ‘But I hardly know any non-Christian people’
      • How to invite people to take positive steps towards knowing Jesus (through reading a book or coming to an event)
      • How to tell your own story of what God has done for you in Jesus
      • How to explain the gospel of Jesus in a simple way.


      The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is good news. And good news is always worth sharing. Our prayer is that through this course you will be motivated, encouraged and equipped to make a start—even a small one—in doing just that.


       
      What is it?
      "You, Me and the Bible" is a resource to help two or three friends to sit down together and discover the central message of the Bible. Each of the six sessions contains:
      • two short Bible passages to read and talk about
      • questions and ideas to stimulate discussion
      • a linked summary video to draw the ideas together
      • concluding questions to discuss the implications

      What are the six central ideas?
      The passages in "You, Me and the Bible" are taken from all over the Bible, and introduce readers to six key ideas in the Bible's message:
      • God as our creator and ruler
      • Humanity as rebels against God
      • God's judgement on our rebellion
      • Jesus' death for our sins
      • Jesus' resurrection as Lord of all
      • The twofold response that all this requires of us.
      (You may recognize this as following the well-known Two ways to live outline of the biblical gospel.)

      What are the components?
      "You, Me and the Bible" has four components:
      • this reading guide itself (the workbook), containing all the Bible passages and discussion questions
      • six summary videos (one for each session) as well as a general intro video; these will all be available soon for download by following the links in the guide (see below for a sample)
      • a set of light-hearted invitation videos to help with inviting your friends.
      • some background notes and ideas for the person coordinating the Bible reading (coming soon).
      Two Ways to Live
      Two Ways
      to Live
      Interactive Bible Studies
      Interactive
      Bible Studies
      Pathway Bible Guides
      Pathway
      Bible Guides
      The Daily Reading Bible
      The Daily
      Reading Bible
      Guidebooks for Life
      Guidebooks

      MiniZines
      MiniZines
      Six Steps to...
      Six Steps
      to...
      Little Black Books
      Little Black
      Books
      Christianity Explored
      Christianity
      Explored

      Our Mission


      Labels are often dangerous things to use because they often mean different things in different places. So when we say that Matthias Media is “an evangelical publishing ministry”, you might not be exactly sure what we mean, since just about everyone wants to call themselves ‘evangelical’ these days.


      In the part of the world where our ministry was born (Sydney, Australia), ‘evangelical’ is a way of saying that you walk in the footsteps of the Reformers and of the evangelical movements that followed them. For us, being evangelical means that we love the famous ‘solas’ of the Reformation: Christ Alone, Scripture Alone, Grace Alone and Faith Alone, all to the glory of God alone. It means that we are driven by the evangel (good news) of Jesus Christ: we centre our theology on it; we read the Bible through its lens; we are compelled by its irresistible logic, and love to see the name of Jesus preached and held high everywhere.


      So we have a mission statement that sets the agenda for our publishing ministry:


      We want to persuade all Christians of the truth of God’s purposes in Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible, and equip them with high-quality resources, so that by the work of the Holy Spirit they will:


      » abandon their lives to the honour and service of Christ in daily holiness and decision-making


      » pray constantly in Christ’s name for the fruitfulness and growth of his gospel


      » speak the Bible’s life-changing word whenever and however they can—in the home, in the world and in the fellowship of his people.


      We're not the slightest bit interested in adding to the already monumental pile of Christian books churned out each year by the Christian publishing industry. The world needs more Christian books like it needs more websites.


      However, we are passionate about publishing resources that fuel, promote and support gospel growth. So our publishing criteria for any project is threefold:


      1.   Does it meet a gospel ministry need?

      2.  Is the content faithful to the Bible?

      3.  Is the quality of a high standard?


      The growth that the gospel produces in people's lives is also the organizing principle for Matthias Media's ministry resources. As the word is prayerfully proclaimed, people change. They move and grow. With some grey areas and overlap, the ‘gospel growth process’ usually follows the diagram below.

      The Gospel Growth Process
      We make contact with non-Christians, raise Christian issues with them, and seek opportunities to proclaim the gospel to them.
      Once people respond to the gospel message and put their faith in Christ, initial follow-up is needed to establish them in the faith, and teach them the basics.
      Then follows the lifelong process of growing in Christian knowledge and conviction, and in the godly character that flows from it.

      This growth happens through feeding on the Scriptures.

      Godliness is also about serving others: reaching out to them, following them up, and helping them grow. We gain the motivation and maturity to serve others, and we need training in how to do this.

      This is a helpful way of thinking about pastoral ministry. Ministry is about shepherding people through these stages of growth—to evangelize them, care for them, feed them, protect them, and equip them so that they grow into mature, gospel-hearted servants of others.


      Our ministry resources are designed to help you at each stage of this gospel growth process. Everything we produce is designed to support outreach, follow-up, growth and training. That's what we're about.


      Our Statement


      In Scripture, God teaches us that true life is to be found only in the knowledge of the true and living God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He also warns us that the times we live in will be marked by doctrinal error and godless living. We therefore commit ourselves to proclaim and contend for the following teachings of the Bible, being convinced that these truths express not only the liberating faith once for all delivered to the saints, but the points at which that faith is under threat at the present time.


      1. The truth and centrality of the gospel of Jesus, the crucified and risen Christ.


      The gospel is the momentous news concerning God's divine Son, who was sent into the world by his Father and who became the man Jesus Christ. The gospel declares that Jesus is God incarnate, that he lived a sinless life, that he died on the cross to bear God's righteous anger at us because of our sin, and that he was bodily raised from death and exalted to the right hand of God as the Lord and Ruler of the world (i.e. ‘the Christ’). According to this same gospel, Jesus Christ will return as judge of the living and the dead, bringing eternal punishment on those who have not obeyed him, but salvation from wrath and eternal life to all who have repented and put their trust in him. The gospel thus commands a twofold response: turning back from our rebellion against God to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord (repentance), and trusting in the risen Christ alone for forgiveness of sins and eternal life (faith).


      This gospel of Christ crucified demonstrates the wondrous love and righteousness of God, and reveals his eternal plan to unite all things in heaven and on earth under one head, even Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glory and grace. By the proclamation of this gospel, God is gathering from every nation a people for his own possession—a people who are justified by Jesus' blood and zealous for good works.


      Accordingly, we are opposed to any teaching that denies the unique and universal Lordship of the risen Christ as the only name under heaven by which people must be saved, that rejects the penal substitutionary atonement of the Cross, or that diminishes the reality of future judgement and hell. We also oppose any practice of Christian ministry that displaces the clear, faithful and frequent speaking of this gospel in favour of other emphases, such as social action or personal fulfilment, or that promises salvation without personal repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We also resist the call to any Christian ‘unity’ that is not based on the truth of this gospel.


      2. The necessity of the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit to initiate and enable repentance and faith.


      In view of the universal sinfulness and spiritual deadness of all people, only the inward life-giving work of God's Holy Spirit can open our eyes to the truth of the gospel, and initiate repentance and faith (these being also the essential Spirit-enabled responses to God's grace throughout the Christian life). All Christian believers are baptized in the Spirit, being born again by his power to eternal life with God as our Father and Jesus as our Lord. The Spirit leads us to put to death the misdeeds of the body and to produce the fruit of holy living. He unites us as one body in Christ, and draws us together in local assemblies to love and encourage one another.


      Accordingly, we reject any teaching that denies God's predestining sovereignty in bringing believers to new birth by his Spirit, and we oppose the worldliness that resists the Spirit's leading towards daily holiness and love of our neighbour. While affirming the ongoing supernatural work of God's Spirit in our lives, we disagree with the view that churches today should seek to display the full range of ‘miraculous gifts’ mentioned in the New Testament in order to be faithful, and effective in mission. We are also opposed to any teaching that divides Christians according to their experience of the Spirit—whether on the basis of a so-called ‘second blessing’ or ‘baptism’ or ‘filling’ of the Spirit, or a more intense level of emotional experience, or the claim to a higher level of victory over sin in this life.


      3. The assurance of salvation that belongs to those who have been justified by the blood of Jesus and sealed by his Spirit.


      Those who by the Spirit's work trust in Christ's blood alone are now justified before God, are given eternal life and are assured of their salvation at the Last Day. This true living faith will always lead to the good works God has prepared for us to do, but these good works do not earn our salvation, either now or on the Last Day.


      Accordingly, we are opposed to any teaching that undermines assurance of salvation for believers, either by denying our present justification, or by questioning our experience of the Spirit, or by requiring the performance of certain religious observances as necessary for salvation.


      4. The authority and sufficiency of the God-breathed Scriptures for gospel truth and life.


      The gospel of Jesus Christ is revealed and explained in the writings of the Old and New Testaments. All the words of the Bible are God's words. They are not only true, reliable and authoritative, but God's sufficient means for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training his people in every age. Whatever else it may entail, or however it may be supported, all Christian evangelism and ministry centre on the prayerful speaking of the Bible's truth.

      Accordingly, we refute any view that diminishes the Bible's authority, such as those who place the Bible under the authority of the Church or scholarship. We also oppose the claim that sections of Scripture are erroneous (e.g. in rejecting the bodily resurrection of Christ) or no longer relevant (e.g. in denying the continuing validity of biblical gender distinctions or the Bible's teachings on sexual morality). We also stand opposed to any view that rejects the Bible's sufficiency by claiming access to new or fresh revelation—whether by ecstatic experience, words of knowledge, meditative contemplation, church councils or liturgical ritual.


      5. The tension of gospel living in the world today.


      As those living between the resurrection and return of Christ, we rejoice and give thanks for all the good gifts we receive from God's hand in creation. We also count it all joy when we suffer the inevitable trials, illnesses and persecutions of this present evil age, knowing that in his goodness, God uses them to prove and strengthen our faith. In the midst of our trials, we entrust ourselves to God and devote ourselves to doing good, confident that he will deliver us, either now or in the age to come. We long for the resurrection of the dead and the new creation, which God will bring decisively in his own secret time at the return of Jesus Christ, and in which all the blessings won by Christ will be experienced in their fullness, including freedom from sickness, pain, injustice, poverty and death.


      Accordingly, we stand opposed to the ‘social gospel’, the ‘prosperity gospel’ and the ‘healing gospel’—all of which falsely seek to draw into this age the blessings of the next. We also lament how many are in love with this present world and its pleasures, rather than longing for the age to come.


      6. The urgency of gospel living in the world today.


      By their nature, these glorious gospel truths demand not only to be proclaimed and contended for, but also to be lived. To assent to these truths without also enacting them in our lives is neither to understand them nor really to believe them.

      Thus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and with our hearts compelled by the love of Christ, we declare our determination to:

      • abandon our lives to the honour and service of Christ in daily holiness and decision-making
      • pray constantly in Christ's name for the fruitfulness and growth of his gospel
      • speak the Bible's life-changing word whenever and however we can—in the home, in the world and in the fellowship of his people.


      Revised August 2010.

      All material on this page © 2008–2015 Matthias Media and The Briefing.