Here at Refreshing Springs Church, we often talk about the Antioch tradition of the Church in the first century. We talk about what the Church is, how it was formed, and what it means to be a local church in the Antioch tradition. Along those lines, we have focused on five headings or categories that serve as a grid or framework for the Church that we call The Five C's. They are:
Core of the gospel is what was known as the "Kerygma" (Romans 16:25). It is the announcement from God, and through the prophets, of a promise of a Savior from sin and death. It announces the story and facts of his life, his sacrificial death, his resurrection and ascension, as well as his return to judge the living and the dead. It is the fact of what God did in, to, and through his Son to restore man to a right relationship with God. Peter’s five sermons in Acts revolved around this. Paul preached this in the synagogues of the Jews and was central to his gospel (1 Corinthians 1:13-31).
Content of the Gospel (Romans 1:16-17) is the other side of the cross, that invisible and spiritual work of God behind the scenes. God treating his son “as if” he were a sinner in order to treat sinners “as if” they were righteous. He does this when by grace through faith they have repented and believed the Kerygma. It is seen clearly in the writings of Paul when he uses the word "Euangelion" “good news” in reference to the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus that would be counted as justification or righteousness to the sinner who believes. It explains what the cross achieves in the mind and purpose of God; i.e.. forgiveness, righteousness, union with Christ, adoption and redemption, etc. The fullest treatment of Euangelion is in the Letter to the Romans “God’s Righteousness through Faith” and Galatians’ “Justification by Faith Alone”.
Conduct of the Gospel, i.e.. (Romans 12:1-2), is the teaching known as “Didache” that every believer was expected to know and live out in their personal walk before God, their families, and the larger family of families the church. It included living out gospel teaching in the midst of the world through sound doctrine (Titus 2:1), good occupations and good deeds. The Household order of the church and the family is central to the propagation of the Kerygma, Euangelion, and Didache.
Context of the Gospel: The church is the ordained context as a family of families of the establishing process of believers. Ephesians 3:8-11 shows the eternal purpose of God in structuring a unique people who in Christ would show his wisdom to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies. Jew and gentile becoming one new man in Christ, living according to the Kerygma, Euangelion, and Didache as a well ordered community would show God’s people as a display people i.e.. (1 Peter 2:9-12). Our churches benefit from strong families and strong families make strong churches. Strong Churches are witnesses for the progress of the gospel (Phil. 1:27).
Commission was given to the apostles to plant believing communities throughout the world. Making disciples was the main point of Matthew 28, as well as Luke 24. To evangelize strategic cities, establish churches, and entrust well trained leaders is the cycle that Luke records in Acts as the model to be used then and in our age for the sake of the Great Commission. Developing leaders who are prepared in skill, character, and Biblical theology is vital to the furtherance of the gospel. Churches establishing networks led by apostolic teams are the age old strategy that is to be re-examined and re-established in order to have well established churches and movements of churches. The work of the Spirit, as he applies the work of the cross in the local church, positions the mission and evangelism of a family of families to permeate a city, region, country, or continent.