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Posts Tagged with "GOSPEL"

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A Person, Not a Program

I once heard a story of an Asian Christian who was getting a tour of all the grand churches and ministries in a particular part of America. After seeing it all he was asked what he thought. He said, "It is truly amazing what you have been able to do without God." It is a stinging rebuke that touches on a reality that is a constant problem in American Christianity....

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You Have Never Disappointed God

When it comes to relational failures, being disappointed is bad but being a disappointment is even worse. Failing to come through when people are counting on you is one of the deepest kinds of shame a person can feel. Our very worth is brought into question because now people will regard us as having some degree of evil or incompetence. This can result in a lingering...

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Sin in a Holy God’s Presence

One of the constant proofs that we are more sinful than we dare dream is that we don't ask the questions that matter. People ask, "Why isn't God blessing me" when they should be asking "why isn't God destroying me?" People ask, "Where is God in this trial" when they should be asking "Why would God be in this trial." Most of the time we are comfortable with a sin-cursed w...

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How Not to Supercharge your Spiritual Growth

If you put a gun to my head, you have just given me a lot of motivation to do what you say. This is basically the idea in a legalistic community. The logic is all there. Motivation springs forth from what you really love. If you can put what is beloved in jeopardy, then you have touched the source of motivation. If you can do it ultimately, then you have found the ulti...

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Saving Believers Especially

1 Timothy 4:10 says something we don't expect. "God is the savior of all men." All of them. That is a big statement, and one not readily accepted. In a world so full of suffering, most people shake their fist at God because they know he could do something yet he seems unconcerned. But in actuality he has done something. He has kept them out of hell. The one thing they de...

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How God Likes to Use Power

One of the most frustrating realities, and at the same time one of the most wonderful realities, is that God is not like us. This is wonderful because if God became moody or capricious, even for a moment, all of reality would be unalterably unhinged. We tend to forget this. And we forget it because we are busy suppressing our angst that God hasn't done what we see as c...

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Grace Is More Amazing Still: A Sermon Correction

So this blog post is a bit embarrassing and humbling. Correction usually is. It is one thing to be a juggler and to drop a ball. That is embarrassing. But when you are leading a juggling instructional course on not dropping balls and you then drop a ball, that is really embarrassing. That is what this blog post is like. In my sermon that spent much time on understanding ...

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The Ten Words of Grace

Some things never change: Governments want to tax your money; change is the only constant; and the Cubs are going to lose. These things are a sure bet. The church has one to add to the list; explaining the place of the Old Testament law. With every new generation fresh explanations have to be given regarding the church's relationship with the law. This is not a bad thing...

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Using The Bible Unbiblically

One of the new words in our modern conversation is the word "hack." With the rise of computers came the pursuit of getting around systems or using them for purposes unintended by the original creators. An ever present danger today is that your computer will be hacked and your credit card information stolen. But since the term basically means doing something in an unconve...

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God Doesn’t Give Second Chances

There are a handful of idioms commonly used to speak of a person getting a do over: a new lease on life; a fresh start; turning over a new leaf; starting with a clean slate. We all have needed this at some point, in some area of our life. It is not surprising then, when these get carried over into the spiritual realm. They can work sometimes, but not always. One familiar...

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Why Saying “Some Catholics Are Saved” is Foolish and Problematic

Over the years, I have regularly heard this comment in evangelical circles, "It is possible for a Catholic to be saved." Now, I understand that context matters. If the comment was made during the heavy exchange of a thoroughly biblical dialog, with two people grappling over the precise doctrines of conversion, such a comment would not be too much of a concern. Sadly, tha...

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All Roads Lead To The Cross

The greatest moment of all human history is what Christ did on the cross. Certainly, there have been remarkable moments from the past such as the creation of the universe and a miracle-filled exodus. And without doubt, there will be remarkable moments to come; such as the return of Christ and the marriage feast of the Lamb. But the Cross stands by itself. The greatest re...

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How Do You Prepare For Holy Living?

If you fail to plan, plan to fail. Statements like that are clich for a reason. They are so true and so observable in everyday life they cement themselves into our consciousness. We have all seen the need for preparation, even if we are not good at doing it. Regardless, the need for preparation is ubiquitous. Every different activity has its own unique preparation requir...

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The Slavery That Freedom Requires

On December 14, 2012 Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, did an interview with Os Guinness. This interview was transcribed and posted on Al Mohler's blog on March 18, 2013. It was a very interesting discussion about one of Guinness's books titled A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future....

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Cute Bunnies, Jolly Santa, and Horrid Syncretism

It happens every time we come to Christmas and Easter. Someone somewhere waves a large red flag of warning over our celebrations. Their argument is that buried in the holiday is a connection to paganism. Is this true? Do we need to jettison these celebrations, or radically alter them? Are there dangers lurking in what we do? These are valid questions. We shouldn't shy a...

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A Surprising Mark of Godly Love

Are you a loving person? Your answer can help you determine your level of spiritual maturity. Christians are to be known by our love (John 13:35), and only those who love abide in the light (1 John 2:10). The attributes of biblical love listed in 1 Corinthians 13 are helpful. However, love is like an ocean with various currents constantly moving the waters. Some currents...

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I Am the Worst Sinner I Know

In last week's sermon, while we were looking at the reasons behind the reality that new covenant people still sin, I said that I am the worst sinner I know. I just dropped that statement like a landmine and left it sitting there. While no one mentioned it, I can imagine someone pondering what is behind such a statement. Is there a landmine of sin in Pastor Jay's life tha...

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Your Christmas Needs More Easter

If you have been to any birthday parties for 4 year olds lately, you know what I am about to tell you. When the piata comes out, there are two dominate mindsets. First is the parent's. This mindset is driven by visions of some boy swinging for the fences only to connect with the pigtails of some sweet, unsuspecting party-goer. The main thing the parents want is for that ...

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The Engine of Application

One of the dreaded features of buying a car is the reality that you have to know something about the engine. Most people are not mechanics. Yet, if you are going to buy a car, someway, somehow, you have to know enough about the engine to know that your purchase will be a wise one. Without that engine, you will only have a leather-interior paper weight. Even after your pu...

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The Power That Creates Godliness

There is a sober warning that comes in Paul's last letter. In 2 Timothy, Paul warns that difficult days will come and they will be difficult because they will be filled with godless, evil men manifesting every form of corruption. He says in 3:5 that one of their defining features is they will be "holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power." This ...

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Problem Method, Problem Message, or Both? Another look at “Easy Believeism”

Last Sunday night there was a verse in Hosea that promoted a short discussion about the "Easy Believeism" mindset. I thought a few more reflections might be helpful. I think this might be one of those cases that shows us the complexities of discerning between the methods used and the messages conveyed. There is a need to start with some definition. When I speak of "Easy...

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Book Review: God’s Love

First of all, many will be pleased to know that this isn't even a book, but a booklet, totaling only 16 pages. Those 16 pages focus on one message: God's love is not well represented by such a vague, weak word that is weighed down with unbiblical notions, and instead should be tied to biblical language that makes it the glorious thing it is. The author, David Powlison, ...

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