Archive for November, 2008
This is from an actual conversation that my wife Jeanine had with our 8 year old Zoe after John Piper was at our church for the To Every Tribe Missions Conference in October.
“Zoe, it smells like you need to put on deodorant.”
“Mom, I thought you told me not to put on deodorant unless I smell really, really bad.”
“You do smell pretty bad, Zoe.”
“But, I shouldn’t wear it everyday?”
“No, Zoe.” (It’s not good for you!)
“So, I should only wear it if I haven’t showered for a couple of days, I am smelling bad, and someone like John Piper is coming over for lunch. Right?”
“That’s sounds about right, Zoe.”
So, save your deodorant for important people like John Piper. So, that is how you gauge how important you are to her-just smell!
Out of the mouths of babes . . .
Grace and peace,
Much is said about preaching the gospel, necessarily so; however, few people seem to understand the Christian’s on-going need to preach the gospel to yourself on a regular basis.
Last Sunday morning we considered the content of the gospel as we looked at John 19-20. Paul summarizes it nicely in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “Christ dies for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” In other words, the content of the gospel is Christ-His life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, exaltation to the right hand of God. This is precisely the gospel that Peter preached in Acts 2.
The gospel is a historic event that was preordained by God, and it concerned His Son (Romans 1:1-4). And this gospel demands a response – faith: “Do not disbelieve, but believe” (John 20:27). Our response to the gospel (repentance and faith) is not the gospel, but the gospel requires a response.
We also saw that this gospel has implications: justification, sanctification, and glorification. It is because of this gospel – what God has done for us in Jesus Christ – that we have forgiveness of sins, right standing before a holy God, desire for holiness, freedom from sin’s guilt and power, hope in a resurrection. Again, these are not the gospel, but the gospel brings these blessings.
Because this gospel is good news for the world, we must proclaim it! We must proclaim it to those who are in bondage to sin and who fear death in order that they may see the truth and beauty of Christ and find freedom. Yet, we must also continually preach this gospel to ourselves to remind us of the truth and beauty of Christ and the freedom that He brings from this world, the flesh and the devil AND that He is the one who brings us to God – our true treasure.
I think most Christians understand the need to preach the gospel to the nations, but we think very little of preaching the gospel to ourselves on a regular basis. Therefore, I want to recommend a resource that outlines the blessings of the gospel as a reminder of why we should preach the gospel to ourselves – A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love by Milton Vincent. This will be a wonderful resource to encourage you as you walk daily with Christ.
Grace and peace,
This Sunday morning we will look at John 19:28-20:31. As we prepare for this Sunday morning’s gathering, I want to ask, “What is the gospel?” Consider these responses:
T4G Panel Discussion: R. C. Sproul, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, C. J. Mahaney, Al Mohler
I just finished Sinclair Ferguson’s In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life. It was a wonderful devotional tool because it focused upon Christ – His incarnation, His work, His Spirit, His benefits to us in salvation, His life in us and our perseverance in Him. It did all this in fifty brief chapters of two to three pages each.
I cannot recommend it highly enough. I pray that you get it, read it and delight yourself in Christ through it.
Grace and peace,
Now that election day has come and gone, what are we to do? How do we move forward as whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ?
One article predicted that this morning half of Americans would be disappointed. Though that may be the case, we must remember that regardless of who was elected yesterday, Christ is our King! Our allegiance is to Him, and He is still on the throne. Our hope does not rest in a particular candidate or political party; our hope rests in Christ and everything that He had done for us by His life and by His death.
Also, in light of God’s sovereignty, we must remember that Mr. Obama is God’s president. Scripture reminds us that “there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1). No elected official or tyrannical dictator can thwart God’s plan. In fact, history reminds us that it is God who raises kings (and presidents) and brings them down, and He uses them as His instruments through whom He accomplishes all His holy will.
The apostle Paul argues that because our leaders are instituted by God, we must, therefore, submit to them, “not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience” (Romans 13:5). Paul goes on to say, “for the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:6-7).
This means that we are to pay respect and honor to President-elect Obama and his government. Beware of getting caught of in the sin of self-righteousness and “murdering” political officials with your words.
By the same token, we have the responsibility outlined in Scripture to obey God rather than men when men (governments) seek to lead us against our biblical convictions. We see this example in Daniel and his friends (Daniel 1-6). Thus, as Christians, we will respectfully disagree with the world’s definition of human life and continue our fight for the sanctity of human life (just one example).
Confess your sins to God. Ask God to forgive you for all the times you bad-mouthed a candidate or public official. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23), but God is just and will forgive us our sins if we confess them (1 John 1:9). Pray for President-elect Obama and his government. The Bible reminds us that we are to pray for those who are in authority over us, whether we voted for them or not, so that we would experience peace (1 Timothy 2:1-8).
Regardless of governing authorities, we have been commissioned to take the gospel of Jesus Christ, our king, to the nations, for our sovereign king has no territorial boundaries that limit His kingdom. He is king over all creation, and we long to see peoples from every tribe, language and nation become worshippers of Jesus Christ in order that the whole earth would be filled with His glory. Our Lord and King Jesus Christ will accomplish all this, for the government rests on His shoulder, and “of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this” (Isaiah 9:7).
Grace and peace,
If you have only recently joined us, we are concluding our study of John’s gospel over the next few weeks. Please feel free to access and listen to our previous messages from our John series, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict: A Study of John’s Gospel.”
This Sunday night we continue our exposition of Genesis as we look at chapter 17, “God’s Promises and Descendants.”
If you are new to the Austin area, we invite you to visit with us at High Pointe Baptist Church.
Grace and peace,