Category Archives: Discipleship

Divorce & Remarriage, Pt. 1

This is the first in a series of posts on some of the more common biblical views of divorce and remarriage. The content of these posts come mostly from some lectures David Jones gave at SEBTS.

Introduction

Same-sex marriage is getting a lot of attention right now and for good reason. However, I believe there is a more fundamental and pervasive problem with our views of marriage and the family. As Dr. David Jones once said in an ethics class at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, divorce and remarriage are hands down the greatest moral problems facing the church today. What do you think about that statement?

Do you think divorce and remarriage are the greatest moral problems facing the church? Even though there is no way to REALLY know what is the greatest moral problem anywhere, I think Dr. Jones might be right.

Today we hear people complaining that we need to stop our government from redefining marriage, but haven’t we already redefined marriage back in the 1970s and 1980s when almost every state adopted some form of no-fault divorce law? Part of me thinks we should not be so surprised that so many young people today have a low view of marriage and are happy to approve same-sex marriage. Anyone born after 1983 has grown up seeing their parents treat marriage just like a contract. They have not observed the perpetual and life-long covenantal vows “for better or for worse, till death do us part.” Instead when things go bad and someone is not happy, then they get a divorce. The very essence of marriage as a covenant has already been redefined by both our government and an entire generation of “failed marriages.” Continue reading

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, Bible Studies, Christian Living, Counseling, Discipleship, Family Ministry, Lectures, Marriage, Matthew, Pastoral Ministry, SEBTS

Can Someone Be A Homosexual Christian?

The following post is the 4th of a 5 part series of posts on “Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality?” In this 4th post I will be answering the question “Can Someone Be A Homosexual Christian?” If you would like to see the other questions addressed in this series of posts, then just click the links below:

Pt. 1 – Is Homosexuality A Sin?

Pt. 2 – Are People Born Gay?

Pt. 3 – Is Homosexuality Worse Than Other Sins?

Pt. 5 – How Did Jesus Treat People With Sexual Sin?

I originally wrote the content of these posts when I was asked to address these questions at a summer youth camp. The intended purpose of these posts are to help Christians who already have a firm conviction about the authority of Scripture. I want them to better understand what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. So my hope is that these truths will help instruct Christians who want to share the gospel with the homosexuals they know.

Can Someone Be A Homosexual Christian?

Like some of the other questions in this series, this question can be a bit tricky. If I were to be asked this question in a conversation I probably would not want to just answer it right away. Instead I would want to know what the person asking the question means by “homosexual Christian.”

What makes someone a homosexual? Is it having homosexual desires or temptations? Is it having a history of homosexual activity in your life? Does it mean that you are currently practicing homosexual behavior?

How we define what makes someone a homosexual really makes a big difference in how we answer this question. Continue reading

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Filed under 1 John, Christian Living, Discipleship, Evangelism, Sanctification, Sexuality, The Church

Principles of Giving

The following are my notes of Ed Gravely’s lecture at SEBTS on 2 Corinthians 8-9.

1. Giving is a spiritual / theological endeavor. (2 Cor. 8:8-10)

This is the most important principle. Giving is gospel-centered. Paul calls us to consider the example of Jesus’ generosity and give all of himself to us.

We need to be careful to connect material blessing with generosity. We cannot “out give” God because of how much God gave us with sending his son Jesus.

2. Giving takes discipline and commitment. (2 Cor. 8:10-11)

It takes discipline to follow through on their desires. It takes discipline to give and Christians will always put us one or two steps behind the culture in our finances. For example, if you tithe you will be at least one step behind those who do not give 10% of their salary away.

(See comments below about the context of the chapters.)

3. Giving should be in proportion to your abundance. (2 Cor. 8:12-15)

It would be foolish to give in such a way that you do not have any money yourself that now other church members would need to help you.

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, Christian Living, Discipleship, Finances, Lectures, Money, Scripture, SEBTS

Heaven Fuels Radical Obedience

Notice in the teachings of Jesus the connection between Christian obedience and our hope in heaven:

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11, 12)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19, 20)

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:28, 29) Continue reading

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Meditation, Discipleship, Heaven, Sanctification, Scripture, Suffering

Urban Impact

Thesis & Outline

The thesis of this book is most clearly stated in the introduction of the book. Thompson states, “This book…is a trumpet call to muster our forces and at the same time deals with the philosophy and practical principles that make any ministry in the city successful. This book is a practical how-to book on growing a successful urban ministry” (xix). Several of Thompson’s chapters directly support this thesis.

In the first two chapters he provides the foundation of the book and explains both the biblical and philosophical need for ministering in urban areas. Then in chapters three and four Thompson gets more practical and shares basic biblical principles that he believes are missing in urban ministries today. The next two chapters, five and six, Thompson shares some principles and how-to’s on personal discipleship. He believes that personal discipleship is the most effective tool he has used in urban ministry in the last thirty years. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Book Summaries, Chicago, Church Planting, Discipleship, Evangelism, Missions, The Church

Search and Rescue

Thesis

The thesis of Neil Cole’s book Search & Rescue: Becoming A Disciple Who Makes A Difference is to present a principles, values, and a methodology of discipleship that will produce disciple makers reproduce healthy disciple makers.

Outline

The first part of the book is based upon the apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy and in this part Cole unpacks the biblical principles and values that form the proper framework for discipleship. Some of his key points include having the proper motivation for discipleship and understanding the importance of multiplication. He uses the word “hero” throughout the book to refer to disciples because he believes it more clearly communicates what God has called us to do when he saved and rescued us. We are now to save and rescue others. However, just like a trained lifeguard we should not just run out into the ocean without preparing ourselves. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Book Summaries, Discipleship, Pastoral Ministry, The Church

The Urban Face of Mission

Thesis & Summary

The thesis of this book is most clearly stated on page two in the introduction of the book, “this volume is intended to communicate some of Harvie’s concerns for world evangelization.”

This book was put together in the honor of the late Harvie Conn who was a man with great concerns about the poor, justice, and ethnic reconciliation in the cities. Each of the contributors wrote a chapter on some topic related to these things that Harvie was most passionate about.

The first part of the book communicated what Harvie taught about the important and strategic role of the cities in accomplishing God’s mission on earth. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Book Summaries, Church Planting, Discipleship, Evangelism, The Church