Christian, what’s your role in the mission to see disciples in disciple-making churches exist among all peoples? Because the Lord has given you the Spirit and promised you the grace to serve him, you have an important role to play in the mission. Is your role to serve and support the mission through local ministries? Or, is your contribution to advance the gospel among t...Keep Reading
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For Paul, the attitudes and perspectives of “the world” which needed to be crucified were his boasting in his Jewish pedigree and works of law-righteousness. For others, it may be a commitment to one’s career, or even to one’s own family. And for some, like myself, it can be a preoccupation with Christian ministry...
Pornography is one expression of sexual immorality inundating our culture.[i] Grievously, it’s far too common in the church as well. Covenant Eyes reports that “64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month.”[ii] Such statistics hardly represent the biblical imperative: “sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Eph 5:3). Are you among the 64% or the 15%? By God’s grace, you don’t have to be. Are others you know among them? By God’s grace, you can help them not to be. Contrary to popular resolve, Christians can say No to pornography and to any other sexual temptation....
The following reasons remain part of my own arsenal in the fight against lust and sexual immorality. I share them to equip you in the same fight. Part two will come soon, where I develop eight ways to fight sexual temptation. Until then please consider these seriously, especially those of you who may be looking at and thinking about porn. Some of my comments are geared toward men, but much of this post also applies to women....
James 2 has challenged the church for centuries. Based on Paul’s teaching in Romans 3:28, Reformed Protestants have confessed that justification is by faith alone apart from works. Yet James asserts that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone (Jas 2:24). So the question becomes, “Does James contradict Paul?” Since the Holy Spirit inspired both James and Paul, we must answer No. Rather, the following observations demonstrate how the two complement one another....
Vision in the local church is what the Bible tells us God wants for us, in us, and through us to the praise of his glory in Jesus Christ. Based on the observations below, it is our conviction that an important part of the Bible’s vision for local churches is for them to plant more local churches, where new disciples can manifest God’s kingdom on earth and submit to one another in love and truth....
One of the most breathtaking sentences I’ve encountered in the writings of Paul appears in Romans 15. In the midst of describing his plans to visit Jerusalem, Rome, and ultimately Spain, Paul justifies his travel to Spain by saying that he has fulfilled the ministry of the gospel, even to the extent that he has no more room to work in the regions stretching from Jerusale...Keep Reading
For many of us at Redeemer Church, it may be clear why we include both “our neighbors” and “the nations” in our vision statement. But over time new people join our local church and even existing members can forget why we’re so explicit about both neighbors and the nations. Thus, consider the following a brief primer on some of the theology driving the distinction...Keep Reading
Rachel and I sat to talk last night about the people suffering the aftermath of an earthquake in Nepal, the decision regarding marriage before the Supreme Court, and even longer about the situation in Baltimore and the hurt we feel for all involved. The events seem so huge; the issues involved, so complex; the people needing help, so many. We both wanted so badly to do som...Keep Reading
We began by looking at the sole basis of our fellowship, unity in Christ, and then turned to taking advantage of every means of grace afforded us to foster gospel-centered community that makes Christ supreme in every area of life. In particular, we looked at how small groups...Keep Reading
I pointed out a distinction the Bible makes between progressive sanctification and positional sanctification. As we learn together, I thought it would be helpful to highlight the distinction for you again and then show you why this distinction matters for your Christian walk....Keep Reading
Being “authentic” is popular nowadays, and usually carries with it connotations of casting off all the outward constraints preventing someone from “true self-expression.” But that’s not the sort of authenticity I have in mind or that one should find characterizing Jesus’ church, especially when the church is defined, not by what is inside us but by what is outs...Keep Reading
We meet together as a church to help each other live in the good of the gospel daily. And that means motivating each other to follow Jesus with the gospel’s empowering truth(s). We lead each other to drink deeply from the endless fountain of God’s glory in Christ, so that our souls rise with gratitude and run with faith....Keep Reading
In this post, I begin by looking at devotion to biblical truth. From the start, the church devoted itself to the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42; 4:33). Fellowship wasn’t centered on just anything, but on the living word of God, which revealed Christ to them, brought them joy, and shaped their devotion to God, their love for one another, and their witness to the world (A...Keep Reading
A new book is out titled, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, by Matthew Vines. The question the church must answer is this: “Does Vines’s interpretation of the Old and New Testament passages on human sexuality accurately represent what God says about human sexuality?” Several leaders in the evangelical church have alrea...Keep Reading