Back to the Gospel - Background Page

Paul, Bunty and David Collins write:

As we have seen the horrific needs of a dying world - nations in turmoil, people's lives in chaos - our hearts have cried out to the Lord for the answers. The Lord took us to His own prayer:

"I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me" John 17:9.

The Church was Christ's priority in prayer because the answer to the world is the Church. It is through the Church that Jesus and a desperately seeking world are brought together. In His prayer, Jesus declared:

"I have given them the glory that you gave me..." John 17:22.

God has planned for a glorious Church, and the measure of the glory God intends is exactly the same measure that Christ had! As that prayer continues, Jesus reveals why He has given us His glory:

"...that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe..." John 17:21.

Yet as we look at the Church today we catch only rare glimpses of the glorious Church described in scripture. With many others, we have been concerned about the divisions, the moral breadown and the inter-church competition in the Body of Christ. In addition, many Christians struggle with personal problems, many times receiving counselling for years without coming through to a significant victory. They are genuine believers, desiring to follow the Lord, but often confide that they feel they are "faking it." As we have travelled in the Body of Christ, we have observed that these problems are widespread.

None of us can take an outside position to address these problems. We cannot afford an "us and them" attitude. These are our problems because we are all part of the one Body. With this in mind, we spend many days on our prayer mountain on Lamma Island, which overlooks Hong Kong and the mainland of China. It was during this intense time of seeking the Lord that He revealed the need for us as His Body to return to the whole Gospel.

The Lord showed us that we have been preaching a part Gospel rather than a whole Gospel. This, in turn, has often emptied the Cross of its power to transform both the life of the individual believer and the Church as a whole. Hence this manual outlines what is a vital message - a message needed by all of us in the Body of Christ.

It is with deep gratitude to the Lord that we follow what we believe to be His instructions to publish this message. This is not an ordinary book. It is a manual for the Christian life, a framework within which we can find a Gospel-oriented perspective. Each chapter is designed as an overview, not an in-depth study. Each is a key to one facet of the Gospel. A little key can open a big door, but it is up to each believer to personally unlock that door.

We encourage you to take each key in this manual to open a wider, more breath-taking view of "the treasures of wisdom" that God has locked into His Gospel. As we return to the whole Gospel, the Body will be cleansed and healed. The prayer of the Lord Jesus will be answered. His glory will be revealed through His Church "so that the world may believe."

Paul Collins, Bunty Collins, David Collins
Hong Kong, 1994

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