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?
This is message #3 in our Gospel for Real Life sermon series through the letter of James. Listen: Those of you who are runners know how important good form is not only for enjoying running but for avoiding injury. Some of us have a tendency toward pronation or supination when running. Pronation is when your … Continue reading “Walk This Way”
One of my spiritual heroes is a pastor from the 19th century named Octavius Winslow. In fact, I named my youngest child after him, calling her "Sarah Wynn." The Wynn is from Winslow. Get it? Sarah is after Jonathan Edward's wife. Anyway. His book, The Work of the Holy Spirit (1840), has had a profound effect … Continue reading How Sanctification Works
What motivates and inspires real change is not our resolutions to change, but God's resolution of grace. Find out more in Creekstone's New Year's message. Listen at this link or here:
Wise and helpful words from Richard Lovelace in his classic, Dynamics of Spiritual Life, one of my most "marked-up" books from seminary days. Much that we have interpreted as a defect of sanctification in church people is really an outgrowth of their loss of bearing with respect to justification. Christians who are no longer sure … Continue reading The Root of True Holiness
I want to remember today that I can't change or fix anyone. And neither can anyone change or fix me. That is the role of the Holy Spirit alone. But I can pray. I can ask. In my weakness, I can go to the Father, my strong Abba. He is able to do "immeasurably more … Continue reading Immeasurably More Than All I Can Ask or Imagine
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
Horatius Bonar was a "grace-cowboy" pastor who ministered in Scotland in the 19th century (1808-1889). In an article entitled, "The Root and Soil of Holiness," he deals with what produces the fruit of new life in true Christians. Read this as preparation for gathered worship tomorrow. It is fuel for the soul that craves (and … Continue reading Fuel for the Soul that Craves Grace
This is message #4 is our sermon series, The GRACE Awakening: Living All of Life in Light of the Gospel. The "big idea" is that it is radical grace that produces radical change.
This is the sermon promo for this week. Enjoy, and hope to see you Sunday!
Who does what in sanctification? Is is all God? Is it all me? Part God and part me? How am I to understand who does what? Well, I came across some passages today in my study that I think shed some helpful light in answering the question. Check these out (I've underlined some key phrases): … Continue reading Who Does What in Sanctification?
Thanks, Tullian. This is helpful.
In this post, Jean Larroux, Lead Pastor of Southwood PCA in Huntville, AL, describes a full-orbed view of what we mean when we talk about "believing the gospel." Thanks, Jean! In every realm of life we understand that our beliefs drive our behavior. If I believe it is going to rain then I bring an … Continue reading Believing the Gospel: A Full-Orbed View
A debate concerning sanctification is back in the evangelical headlines, primarily being waged on blogs. I think the issue can be simplified in a way that may facilitate clarity on where various folks stand on the subject. All we have to do is ask three questions: What are we to do? Does God expect Christians … Continue reading The Sanctification Debate Made Simple
This is message #2 is our sermon series, Generation NEXT.
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
Walter Marshall says, “By nature, you are completely addicted to [a] legal method of salvation. Even after you become a Christian by believing the gospel, your heart is still addicted to salvation by works.” After all, if the Apostle Peter could slip back into self-justification (Gal. 2), so can I. And I do. And so … Continue reading Consciously and Continuously
A blog post by Dr. Ed Welch says that fighting sin is tiring. It is hard. Exhausting. And he is right, because any fight is going to drain physical and psychological resources. So, some encouragement. If you are fighting sin (not in light of the law, but in light of the gospel), and have been … Continue reading Fatigued from the Fight?
Romans 6:14, "For you are not under the law, but under grace." —the Apostle Paul In Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary on the Whole Bible, they make the following comments on Paul's famous statement regarding law and grace: The force of this glorious assurance can only be felt by observing the grounds on which it … Continue reading Not Under Law, but Under Grace
A while back I had a conversation with my kids about doing the impossible. Now, it was not a pop-psychology, self-esteem message about how you can do anything you set your mind to do. Actually, we can't do anything we set our minds to. We cannot do the impossible, because the impossible is, well, impossible. … Continue reading How to Do the Impossible (A Sanctification Parable)
This is message #4 in our sermon series, Unfathomable: How the Vast Dimensions of God's Love Empower the Visible Expression of Ours.
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
This Sunday we are going to study Acts 4:1-31, a passage that reveals in dramatic fashion what it looks like to pledge one's allegiance to Jesus. Two men, Peter and John (along with a man who had been miraculously healed) are prepared to die for the testimony about Jesus as the crucified and risen Messiah. … Continue reading How Far Would You Go?