A guest post by Andrew Eppes

Before this past weekend I had heard many great things about Mark Driscoll. I had read a couple of his short books available on The Resurgence website. But to hear Mark Driscoll in person is another story. This man is serious about accurately and graphically depicting God’s word.  From the weekend of hearing him speak or preach four times I left very much encouraged and refreshed to reach the lost.

On March 12, Driscoll led what was called a City Celebration. Up to this event in Johannesburg he had done this same sort of event once in Durban and once in Cape Town. During this night Driscoll shares his research of the Via Dolorosa (the Way of Suffering). This 2-hour event was riveting. From my point of view Pastor Mark gave the most vivid description of the gospel I had ever heard due to his intense portrayal of the suffering of Jesus Christ. Here are a few points of His Friday night talk:

  • Crucifixion was not graphically spoken of in the Bible because of its intense and horrific nature.
  • When we share the gospel we need to unpack the death of Jesus and not just say, “He died for my sins.”
  • Martin Luther said, “The cross is the Great Exchange [our sin for Christ’s righteousness].”
  • Driscoll: “This was not a victim but the Victor.”
  • A few responses to the death of Jesus should be: 1. Repentance 2. Restitution 3. Reconciliation.

Over the weekend another trademark theme of Driscoll’s preaching came out: abolish religion. I think up to this point I hadn’t really gone head first in to this topic because I thought I was safe. But the more I listened to Pastor Mark talk about how entangled we are in religion the more the Spirit began to convict my heart. “Religion is like an abusive father…religion ends in pride or despair,” Driscoll said. Quotes like this really helped me analyze where am I simply being religious in my life. We need to be people that are more interested in understanding and studying the character of God and not trying to get get get things from God.

On Sunday, Pastor Mark was the guest preacher at God First Church in Joburg. The topic for Sunday’s message was “Man to Man.” Pastor Mark started his message with turning to scripture about the qualification of Elders in the church. He said that the church needs to have “elder-qualified men” everywhere in the church and that the qualifications of an elder from scripture should be what we as men are striving to be. He said Jesus Christ is our ultimate example of a man who came to earth and took responsibility. People out in this world today are seeking to belong to some group that will give them purpose and worth and Pastor Mark tells us that this is what the church should be: a place to equip men and women to reach out to others and take from the ultimate example of Jesus Christ.

Driscoll listed four main attributes of a real man:

  • A man who loves God (one who is above reproach and likes to lead).
  • A man who loves his family (a man of one wife, submissive children underneath him).
  • A man who manages himself (sober-minded and self-controlled, see 1 Peter 3).
  • A man who loves his city (a man of hospitality, a man well thought of by those outside, see 1 Thess. 4).

Listen to Driscoll’s complete message at God First.

This weekend was a great reminder that as men we have a large responsibility to lead in godly ways and not be timid in the way we depict the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. For those of us who are single, we have that ability to practice leading and aiming to grow daily in our understanding of God through stretching our knowledge of biblical theology.  And for those of us who are married, it’s a reminder that God has not called us to be wimpy and passive in the way we are to lead our wives and families but to be men that take responsibility and exemplify loving our wives and children as Jesus Christ loves His church.

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Andrew is a missionary with Athletes in Action, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ, in Johannesburg.  You can follow his ministry adventure on his blog A Journey to South AfricaIf you are so inclined, you can give to his ministry.

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