Tag Archives: The Gospel

Marriage In Gospel Focus

The following are my notes from Tim Keller’s portion of the sermon given by him and his wife at The Gospel Coalition’s 2012 National Women’s Conference. A video of the entire message can be found HERE

1. The Unreal and Distorted Relationship of Our Culture to Marriage

Here are three statistics about marriage in our culture:

1. The divorce rate today is about 50%, but it was only 25% in 1960.

2. In 1960 75% of all US adults were married, but today it is less than 50%.

3. In 1960 the percent of those who cohabited was not even on the map, but today 25% of all unmarried women ages 25-40 are living with a man. Over half of all women in their 20s, 30s, & 40s will at one time cohabit.

These statistics are striking and show a huge change in our culture but they also communicate a set of assumptions:

Continue reading

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Filed under Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, Christian Living, Family Ministry, Marriage, Sermons

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

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

Are You Fluent In The Gospel?

Have you ever studied a foreign language? Have you ever become fluent in another language?

Even thought I took six years of Spanish throughout middle school and high school I would have never considered myself to be fluent. I knew a lot, but I was constantly translating English to Spanish or Spanish to English. The more I studied the better I got, but I never got to the point where I thought, spoke, and lived my life in Spanish. In other words, I never became fluent.

Recently, I have been listening to some teaching by Jeff Vanderstelt. He is a pastor and church leader in Tacoma, Washington. During one of his teachings he used the process of learning a language as an illustration of what the Christian life is like.

Here is what he said: Continue reading

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Filed under Sanctification, The Gospel

The Gospel & Our Everyday Lives

What do you think is the most important thing about Christianity? … How would you answer that question?

This would be one way I think we could answer it. The very center of Christianity is an announcement of some historical facts about a man named Jesus Christ. What do you think about that answer? Do you believe that? The truth that holds the Bible all together is some historical facts?

Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 15:3. “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.”

What does Paul say is “of first importance?” The message that he delivered and that message is “that Christ died for our sins.”

Substitution Is The Heart of Christianity

Have you ever heard or thought about the fact that substitution is the heart and center of the Christian faith. Think about it this way.

What is sin?

It the fact that we have substituted ourselves for God.

What is salvation?

It is the fact that Jesus Christ has substituted himself for us.

What is sin?

It is when we take what God alone deserves.

What is salvation?

It is when Jesus Christ has put himself in our place and he took what we deserve. Continue reading

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, Campus Outreach, Law and Gospel, Romans, Sanctification, Sermons, The Gospel

Have You Any News?

What good does it do me to tell me that the type of religion presented in the Bible is a very fine type of religion and that the thing for me to do is just to start practicing that type of religion now? … I will tell you, my friend. It does not one tiniest little bit of good…. What I need first of all is not exhortation but a gospel, not directions for saving myself but knowledge of how God has saved me. Have you any good news for me? That is the question that I ask of you. I know your exhortations will not help me. But if anything has been done to save me, will you not tell me the facts?

— J. Gresham Machen, Christian Faith in the Modern World

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Filed under Book Quotes, Law and Gospel, Preaching, The Gospel

You Do Not Want God To Judge Your Heart

When Jesus preaches His most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, He does not present an easier law. Instead He hammers the crowds and His disciples with the truth that God demands perfect  obedience.

Consider the six “you have heard it said…but I say to you” statements in Matthew 5:20-48. Then try and figure out how the following two statements, which function as bookends of that section, make the law any easier: “unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:20, 48). How is this easier or gentler? Continue reading

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Filed under Law and Gospel, The Gospel