Monthly Archives: April 2012

Preaching Like Paul

I hope it is safe to assume that we would all aspire to preach like Paul. In other words, I think we would aspire to communicate the gospel with the clarity that Paul did. So how do you know if you are preaching the same gospel that Paul preached?

Here is a little test to see if you preach like Paul did:

Do you ever have people respond to your presentation of the gospel by asking you “that is it?…It’s that simple? What about my works?…Are you saying it does not matter what I do?”

I was recently sharing the gospel with a non-Christian and he said almost all those things. I apparently was making salvation sound TOO easy and grace was TOO free. It was shocking to him.

Apparently Paul got those questions and responses too. As he is writing the letter to the Romans he knows what objections they are going to bring up when he says things like “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:19-21)

Paul’s logic here is that if we are first and foremost guilty before God because of our union with Adam how much more are we righteous and perfect in God’s eyes because of our union with Christ.

Perfectly righteous? YES!!!!

But won’t that teaching just lead to more sinning?

Paul knows that is exactly what some people will be thinking which is why Paul wrote what he did in chapter 6.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?…What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!” (Romans 6:1, 2, 15)

So is that how you preach and communicate the gospel? Are you hearing the objections Paul heard? Do you have to talk about how grace leads to more holiness in your gospel conversations?

If not, then it may be because you are not preaching with the clarity that Paul did. It may be that your not preaching the gospel at all.

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Filed under Evangelism, Preaching, Romans, The Gospel

Confidence In God

The following is my notes of Michael Lopes “Discover” message at George Washington University

Introduction

Bear Bryant was out shooting ducks for 3 hours and after missing a duck he looked over at John McCay an says, “Look there is a miracle. A flying dead duck.”

Bryant had confidence in himself but how do we have confidence in God?

I was a rebellious child and God was not spoken of in our home until I did something wrong. My Dad would say, “Son, you know that God knows what you did.” No matter what I said I was going to be grounded.

My parents never granted my requests when I was grounded.

What is the connection between prayer and our confidence before God? I want you to know the confidence we have in approaching God in prayer. That is my topic for tonight. Continue reading

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Filed under 1 John, Campus Outreach, Prayer, Sermons, Washington D.C.

John Piper’s T4G 2012 Message

Glory, Majesty, Dominion, and Authority Keep Us Safe for Everlasting Joy: Reflections on God’s Keeping Power through 32 Years of Ministry

(Audio of this message can be found HERE. Video of this message can be found HERE.)

Jude 1:24-25

This message has two parts.

This first part I want draw you in amazement that I am still a Christian and hope you will be amazed that you are still a Christian.

The second part is how that came about.

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24, 25)

Part 1

I complete this year 60 years of being a Christian, 32 years of pastoral ministry, 44 years of marriage, and 40 years of being a father.

I am amazed that I have lasted this long. To help you understand this I want to read an excerpt from my journal in 1986 when I was 40 years old and been at the church for 6 years. Continue reading

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Filed under 9 Marks, God, Jude, Pastoral Ministry, Sermons, T4G 2012

T4G Panel – Celebrity Pastor: Indecent Exposure?

(Audio of the panel can be found HERE.)

What do we mean by celebrity pastors?

Trueman: Western culture is a celebrity culture. Knowing that our society is this way means that we need to be careful about how we present leaders in the church. What concerns me is that at the school that I teach students say the most influential pastors in their lives are not pastors they know and they are all aspiring to be these pastors with big churches. I wonder if this is why there is such a burnout rate among pastors. Big name pastors need to be careful of promoting themselves. Also it seems this does not seem to encourage faithfulness as much as worldly success. Paul says to find ordinary guys who preach the gospel.

Anyabwile: I agree with Carl’s concerns. I reacted online because there is also a need to appreciate men who are faithful and worthy of double honor. We need to bring a distinction between celebrity and notoriety.

Duncan: Certain media or platforms can project these kind of celebrity responses.

Anyabwile: We live in a day where anyone can make things public and viral. We also have a public that needs to be discerning about how we show appreciation. There are various levels of responsibility. Continue reading

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Filed under 9 Marks, Pastoral Ministry, T4G 2012

Matt Chandler’s T4G 2012 Message

(Audio of this message can be found HERE. Video of this message can be found HERE.)

The Fulfillment of the Gospel

Revelation 21 & 22

Two years ago I was told I would probably be dead from cancer and should not be here today. He has been good that I’m here today but he is good whether I live or die. He is good because he is God.

Some are here today undone and not sure how you are going to make it and you have had a list of people you want God to kill.

But has not God been good to you in this conference to remind you about how good God is. Don’t be too much of a shepherd that you do not get shepherded.

As pastors we have a front row seat of watching God bring people out of darkness and into the light. We get to see the spectacular work of regeneration.

And at the exact same time we get to see the tragedies of a fallen world. We walk into hospital rooms and do funerals and weep with our people. We have tragedies and weighty weeks.

We have front row seats to the brokenness of a fallen world.

It is unbelievably important to have an anchor of hope for your soul. Continue reading

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Filed under 9 Marks, Revelation, Sermons, T4G 2012, The Gospel

T4G 2012 Panel – Inerrancy: Did God Really Say?

(Listen to the audio of this panel HERE.)

Al Mohler read the affirmations and denials of T4G on inerrancy

John did you see inerrancy lost in your seminary at Fuller?

Piper: No. It happened while I was in Germany.

Simon, is this just a reformation thing?

Gathercole: No. We see inerrancy taught in Augustine very clearly.

Is there a unified thought in Christian history on inerrancy?

Duncan: Yes. I appreciate the honesty of some recent authors who even argued against inerrancy, but they at least agreed that Christians have always believed this in history.

Peter what do you believe about the bible?

Williams: I want to add more than inerrant and inspired and authoritative. Words like historical and clear. Continue reading

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Filed under 9 Marks, Pastoral Ministry, Scripture, T4G 2012

Ligon Duncan’s T4G 2012 Message

(Listen to the audio HERE. See the video HERE.)

The Underestimated God: God’s Ruthless, Compassionate, Grace in the Pursuit of His Own Glory and His Ministers’ Joy

I want to bring special encouragement for those here who are struggling. We sometimes think the crushing darkness will not come but then it comes.

God wants us to study our disappointments because we will learn what we really love and believe when the bottom falls out.

In our disappointments we forget God is God and that God is good. We are tempted to succumb to idolatry. We think a greater treasure has been taken from us then what God can give us.

You do not want to be in 1 Kings 19 in your ministry. You want to be in 1 Kings 18 at Mount Carmel.

1 Kings 19

What are your greatest losses in life? What are your hopes and treasures that you have never gotten or were taken away. Continue reading

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Filed under 1 Kings, 9 Marks, God, T4G 2012, The Gospel