Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
- acting in obedience to God (going/serving in church)
- having the right doctrine
- having the right feelings toward God (experience)
- trying hard to follow God
- Justification: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1
- Sanctification: "and from him you yourselves are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom for us from God, and righteosness and sanctification and redemption." 1 Corinthians 1:30
- New Life: "But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness." Romans 8:10
- Glorification: "God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power" 1 Corinthians 6:14
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
"We are Christians. Radical, full-blooded, Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered, mission-advancing, soul-winning, church-loving, holiness-pursing, sovereignty-savoring, grace-besotted, broken-hearted, happy followers of the omnipotent, crucified Christ. At least that’s our imperfect commitment.
In other words, we are Calvinists. But that label is not nearly as useful as telling people what you actually believe! So forget the label, if it helps, and tell them clearly, without evasion or ambiguity, what you believe about salvation.
If they say, “Are you a Calvinist?” say, “You decide. Here is what I believe . . .”
I believe I am so spiritually corrupt and prideful and rebellious that I would never have come to faith in Jesus without God’s merciful, sovereign victory over the last vestiges of my rebellion. (1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 3:1–4; Romans 8:7).
I believe Christ died as a substitute for sinners to provide a bona fide offer of salvation to all people, and that he had an invincible design in his death to obtain his chosen bride, namely, the assembly of all believers, whose names were eternally written in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain. (John 3:16; John 10:15; Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 13:8)
When I was dead in my trespasses, and blind to the beauty of Christ, God made me alive, opened the eyes of my heart, granted me to believe, and united me to Jesus, with all the benefits of forgiveness and justification and eternal life. (Ephesians 2:4–5; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 2:29; Ephesians 2:8–9; Acts 16:14; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:9)
I am eternally secure not mainly because of anything I did in the past, but decisively because God is faithful to complete the work he began—to sustain my faith, and to keep me from apostasy, and to hold me back from sin that leads to death. (1 Corinthians 1:8–9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1:25; John 10:28–29; 1 John 5:16)
Call it what you will, this is my life. I believe it because I see it in the Bible. And because I have experienced it. Everlasting praise to the greatness of the glory of the grace of God!"
Friday, January 21, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
It is possible for two psychologies to coexist in our hearts at once – pain and praise. It’s like a football player who plays hurt. He feels bad. But he also feels good. Both at the same time. It is so meaningful to be on the team and not in the stands, on the field and not on the bench. A man doesn’t mind the two-a-day practices and the wind sprints and the drills and the work and the sweat. He’s glad to be playing the game, and not an easy game. That is the very thing that satisfies a man’s heart.
We rejoice in our sufferings (Romans 5:3). Not in spite of our sufferings. Not in the midst of our sufferings. But in our sufferings. It is our sufferings that make us rejoice. Our sufferings prove that we are not sidelined but deeply involved in the great struggle of our times. God, in grace, has set us apart to himself for a purpose of glory in this generation.
It’s not easy. We wouldn’t want it to be easy. We praise God just for including us.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
- Pastor Paul Tripp, Whiter than Snow
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin."
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
"If you were to ask the average Christian sitting in a worship service on Sunday morning to summarize the message of Christianity, you would most likely hear something along the lines of "The message of Christianity is that God loves me." Or someone might say, "The message of Christianity is that God loves me enough to send his Son, Jesus, to die for me."
As wonderful as this sentiment sounds, is it biblical? Isn't it incomplete, based on what we have seen in the Bible? "God loves me" is not the essence of biblical Christianity. Because if "God loves me" is the message of Christianity, then who is the object of Christianity?
God loves me. Me. Christianity's object is me.
Therefore, when I look for a church, I look for the music that best fits me and the programs that best cater to me and my family. When I make plans for my life and career, it is about what works best for me and my family. When I consider the house I will live in, the car I will drive, the clothes I will wear, the way I will live, I will choose according to what is best for me. This is the version of Christianity that largely prevails in our culture.
But it is not biblical Christianity.
The message of biblical Christianity is not "God loves me, period", as if we were the object of our own faith. The message of biblical Christianity is "God loves me so that I might make him -- his ways, his salvation, his glory and his greatness -- known among all nations." Now God is the object of our faith, and Christianity centers around him. We are not the end of the gospel; God is."
The truth is that God loves us unbelievably. He created us in His image, rescued us after our betrayal of Him, lives in us and will one day spend eternity with us. But we are not the end of God's plan. The end of God's purpose in the world is God, and the supreme glory of His grace, which we have been graciously given our lives to find joy in, proclaim and treasure more than anything else.
May the Lord extend his grace on us as we seek to do so, resting in Jesus and what He has done for us.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
"The dangerous assumption we unknowingly accept in the American dream is that our greatest asset is our own ability. The American dream prizes what people can accomplish when they believe in themselves and trust in themselves, and we are drawn toward such thinking. But the gospel has different priorities. The gospel beckons us to die to ourselves and to believe in God and trust in his power. In the gospel, God confronts us with our utter inability to accomplish anything of value apart from him. This is what Jesus meant when he said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Even more important is the subtly fatal goal we will achieve when we pursue the American dream. As long as we achieve our desires in our own power, we will always attribute it to our own glory. To use Adam's words, we will be "recognized by others for what [we] are." This, after all, is the goal of the American dream: to make much of ourselves. But here the gospel and the American dream are clearly and ultimately antithetical to each other. While the goal of the American dream is to make much of us, the goal of the gospel is to make much of God."
I have only read three chapters of the book written by David Platt titled Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream. It is wonderfully refreshing, and presents the life-giving truth of the gospel.