Wednesday, March 22, 2017

On Growth

"When the gospel is preached, and the Spirit is at work, then growth is what happens."  ~ Colin Marshall & Tony Payne, The Trellis and the Vine

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.  Colossians 1:3-6

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ultimate Purpose

"Secular work is valuable and good, and must not be despised or downgraded.  But it is not the centre or purpose of our lives, nor the means by which God will save the world.  My primary identity as  Christian is not that I am an accountant or a carpenter, but that I am a disciple-making disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ."  ~ Colin Marshall & Tony Payne, The Trellis and the Vine

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Substitute

One of the most important doctrines of Scripture is something we call "substitutionary atonement."  In simple terms, in means that one's sins can be paid for by the death of another.  That is what Christ accomplishes, and to toss out or ignore or downplay substitutionary atonement (a.k.a. penal substitution) is to cut the heart out of the gospel.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

One Powerful Word

"The plane went down, but no one was hurt."

"You have cancer, but it's easily treatable."

"Your son was in a car crash, but he's fine."

What a powerful conjuction: but. Even though life doesn't always play out this way, it does in Christ.  Take a look at this snippet from Ephesians:

"You were DEAD in your trespasses and sins . . . BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love . . . made us ALIVE" (Ephesians 2:1,4-5).

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Don't Be Confused About Sin

"Another misunderstanding of sin is to say that it's just a matter of negative thinking.  Get rid of your old wineskins!  Think bigger!  God wants to show you is incredible favor, if you'll just get rid of all those negative mind-sets that hold you back!  Now that's a compelling message to self-reliant people who want to believe they can take care of their sin all by themselves.  That's probably why men who proclaim that message have managed to build some of the largest churches in the world."  What Is the Gospel, by Greg Gilbert

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Don't Make Light of Sin, Nor Christ

"Many Christians talk about sin as if it were merely a relational tiff between God and man, and what is needed is for us simply to apologize and accept God's forgiveness.  That image of sin as lovers' quarrel, though, distorts the relationship in which we stand to God.  It communicates that there is no broken law, no violated justice, no righteous wrath, no holy judgment - and therefore, ultimately, no need for a substitute to bear that judgement, either."  What Is the Gospel, by Greg Gilbert

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Whole Truth And Nothing But

"We Christians have done a bang-up job convincing the world that God loves them.  But if we're going to understand just how glorious and life-giving the gospel of Jesus Christ is, we have to understand that his loving and compassionate God is also holy and righteous, and that he is determined never to overlook, ignore, or tolerate sin."  What Is the Gospel, by Greg Gilbert