Listen: This month, many Christians will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which was unintentionally, but effectively launched on October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The protestant reformation was a rediscovery of grace, that reconciliation with God is … Continue reading What About Works?
Cur Deus Homo was written by Anselm of Canterbury between 1094–1098 A.D. In this work he asks and answers the question of why God became man. Why he wrote Cur Deus Homo is answered in the preface to his work: I have been often and most earnestly requested by many, both personally and by letter, that … Continue reading Cur Deus Homo?
Many of us are familiar with the WWJD acrostic that stands for What Would Jesus Do? The idea is that when faced with moral or ethical dilemmas, we should appeal to the example of Jesus. I have no argument against that. However, from my experience, I often fail to do what he would do. Sometimes, … Continue reading WWJS
“Faith comes by hearing...” ~ Romans 10:17 In the Preface to Martin Luther's Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, he writes about the necessity to preach and believe the doctrine of justification (passive righteousness), constantly preaching it, teaching it, repeating it and living by it as the way to walk with Jesus. There is a … Continue reading Listen to This
This is a special message in view of the historic re-discovery of grace and the posting of the 95 Theses by Martin Luther on Oct. 31, 1517.
These quotes comparing justification and sanctification are from one of my favorite books, True Spirituality, by Francis Schaeffer. "In justification, the basis is the finished work of Jesus Christ; in sanctification, it [also] is the finished work of Christ. In justification, we must see, acknowledge, and act upon the fact that we cannot save ourselves. … Continue reading Raising Empty Hands of Faith
Last night I taught on Galatians 3:1-14 for the Sunday Night Fellowship of Creekstone UNG students. This morning, I marinated my heart in that passage again, and am glad that I did. In verse 5, Paul says, "Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or … Continue reading Faith and Miracles
Journalist Piers Morgan interviewed radio shock-jock Howard Stern in January, 2011. At one point in the interview, Morgan brought up Stern’s relationship with his father, asking, "How often does [your father] say to you, 'Great show, Howard'?" Even though you couldn't see Stern's eyes because of the dark glasses, the pain in his heart was … Continue reading The Gospel Rocks
Series: “Wrong Way: 4 Unexpected Principles that Will Turn Your Life Around” The first principle... “Weakness is not a Liability”; the second: “The Greatest is the Servant,” the third: “Living Requires Dying” —> Today, “The Bad are In, but the Good are Out” Because of a fruit-based diet experiment in August, I learned how to choose/pick good … Continue reading Sermon Notes for Sept. 23, 2012
When I blow it, there are some choice words that I expect to hear. You are a failure. Why can't you get it right? You always let me down. You are a disappointment. Those are law words. Thankfully, in the gospel, there are other choice words spoken by Jesus: "It is finished and you are … Continue reading Choice Words
Below are the Sermon Resource Pages that contain the outline, discussion questions and bonus notes.
Here is a summary (Part 2) from last weeks Grace and Men Conference at Perimeter Church. For Part 1, just go here. The notes below are from Tullian Tchividjian's talk on Galatians 5:16-26. There are no human fingerprints on the golden chain of salvation (Rom. 8:29-30). So... Don't fall into the trap of thinking that … Continue reading Grace and Men Conference Summary, Part 2
We are all in a struggle for righteousness, whether as parents, students, professors, engineers or preachers. We all have an impulse in us that wants to "make a name for ourselves." What we discover in Romans 10 is that Jesus is the end of the struggle. Since he has built a righteousness for me, I … Continue reading Sermon Audio (4.22.12): “No More Sandcastles” • Romans 10:1-21
At a Key Life pastor's conference, Dan Allender, said, "The Christian faith and the grace at its heart is so radical that most congregations can't deal with it." I will raise my hand to confess that I am one of those who wants to believe the gospel at a radical depth, but who struggles. Fear … Continue reading God’s Drastic, Offensive, Liberating, Shocking and Counterintuitive Grace
This is today's message from Creekstone. The main point for us from this passage is to grasp that the macro-promises of God’s plan give context to the micro-problems of my life — they enable me to see every circumstance with hope. I trust that this will be encouraging and helpful. You also may listen here.
Today we are studying Romans 8:29-30 in the morning service at Creekstone. Since we will be considering doctrines that require more explanation that I am able to provide in the time we have available, I have included below some exlanatory notes for you with regard to the five key doctrines Paul mentions in these verses: … Continue reading Some Brief Explanatory Notes on Romans 8:29-30
I have been reading through the historic Belgic Confession (16th c.) recently (as suggested by my wife, Kristy), and wow, it is gold! For example, Article XXII, makes a helpful distinction between being saved by faith as a meritorious work versus being saved through faith as an instrument. Here is how it reads: "Therefore we justly … Continue reading The Difference Between By and Through
This very well may be essential reading for every disciple of Jesus. I am reading it with great profit and blessing. It is easy to read, yet profound in its substance. Get it here, or by clicking on the image above.
In case you missed it, here is the sermon audio (including notes) from the message this past Sunday on Romans 5:20-6:4. Here we begin making a transition from understanding the grace-foundations of our justification to experiencing the grace-dynamics of our sanctification. So we are at a hinge in the letter of Romans—a hinge that will … Continue reading Sermon Audio and Notes • “The Inevitable Question” (Romans 5:20-6:4)
In my study today for Sunday's message, I came across a statement in The Reformation Study Bible that I found helpful for those of us entrusted with preaching and teaching. Concerning Romans 6:1-14, the study note says, “So great was [Paul’s] emphasis on the freeness of God’s grace in the face of sin that his … Continue reading Facing Charges
Today I had lunch with a friend who made a comment that rocked me. He said something to the effect, "The key to sanctification is learning to get used to my justification." That idea really struck me: I am called to get used to being the recipient of extravagant grace. I am called to get … Continue reading It is Hard Getting Used to Grace
On Monday, Kristy and I had our monthly "marriage maintenance" phone appointment with our World Harvest mentor/gospel discipler, Stu Batstone. As I was expressing my frustration with how often I seemed to run into a wall in sanctification (2 steps forward and 3, 4, 5 or more steps back... and feeling totally unsaved), he shared an … Continue reading My Heart as a Continent in Need of Perpetual Gospel Advance