Archives For Gospel

May we display the gospel more clearly in our marriages as we declare the gospel more compassionately in our culture.

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– David Platt

Ephesians1:18,19

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Check out this fascinating quote explaining the meaning of Paul’s unique phrase the “eyes of your heart.” It is more than just a misjudging of the location of one’s ocular devices. It is Paul describing the importance of the Holy Spirit’s regenerating work in our hearts allowing us to see the truth.

Paul uses a strange construction here: the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. Usually we think of the eyes as being in our head, and we connect the head with the brain and the brain with the mind. Hence we say that we understand a particular teaching with the mind. But the apostle refers to the eyes of the heart. What does he mean?
He means that by nature we are closed to the things of God. He does not mean that we cannot discuss them nor have intellectual debates about them. But the heart in New Testament terms refers to the central disposition, inclination, bent, or proclivity of the human soul. In simple terms, the bias. Everybody has a bias and prejudices. The word ‘prejudice’ is usually a pejorative term, but what it literally means is to prejudge certain things, to have a standpoint, a viewpoint.
Our natural prejudgment of reality is against God. To receive the truth of God requires that our ‘anti’ bias be changed. The key work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is not giving new knowledge to the brain but changing the disposition of the heart. Before the Spirit turns that heart of stone into a heart of flesh, we have no desire for the things of God. We may desire the blessings that only God can give us, but we have no affection for the things of God. At the moment of regeneration, the eyes of the heart are opened somewhat, but this is just the beginning. The whole Christian life involves an unfolding and enlarging of the heart’s openness to the things of God. There are concepts, attitudes, and values in my life at present that do not please God, for there will be stony parts to my heart as long as sin abides within me. Sin clouds my thinking, my will, my desires, my affections. There will always be parts of me that need to be opened more and more to let the fullness of God’s truth dwell in me. — The Purpose of God: Ephesians

2 Cor. 2:12-17
 

I. Victory March 

     A. Christ is the general 
     B. God is the sovereign victor 
     C. Christ spreads his fame
          1. Christians are his means
          2. Fragrances (aroma) are his mode
 
Transition: We have this brilliant contrast highlighted in this passage of scripture. The believers apparent (temporal) defeat vs the believers actual (Spiritual) victory. 
 
II. Defeated Victory
     A. Contrasting themes
          1. Death is here but Christ delivers 
               (2 Cor. 1:8-9 / 1:10)
          2. My spirit is not at rest but God leads me in a triumphal procession 
               ( 2 Cor. 2:12-14)
          3. Struck down but not destroyed because we have life in Jesus 
               (2 Cor. 4:8-10) 
          4. Outer self is wasting away but our inner self is being renewed
                (2 Cor. 4:16-18) 
          5. A thorn was given to me to harass me but God said my grace is sufficient 
               (2 Cor. 12:7/ 12:9)
     B. Constructing themes
          1. Christ builds me into a fragrant vessel
          2. Christ turns me from a loser into a winner
 
Conclusion: Through Christ’s death on the cross I can now offer up my life on the sacrificial alter to be consumed for his glory. The aroma of my life will spread to those around me whether they be saved or unsaved. I give myself to be the sweet smelling fragrance of life for all see.  Oh Lord, let the aroma of salvation permeate the world around me so others may see more of you and less of me. 
 “For who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:16) 
“For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10)
 
 
         
 

I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezek. 36:26–27)

This is a cataclysmic event. “Getting saved” is not about praying a prayer and then continuing to live our lives as though nothing happened. No, when God enters our lives, we are changed from the inside out.
— from Multiply

Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

Do you relate to God as if he exists to further your selfish ambitions or are you convinced that you exist to glorify him? Are you trying to live without God? Iain Murray describes this way of thinking:

Worldliness is departing from God. It is a man-centered way of thinking; it proposes objectives which demand no radical breach with man’s fallen nature; it judges the importance of things by the present and material results; it weighs success by numbers; it covets human esteem and wants no unpopularity; it knows no truth for which it is worth suffering; it declines to be “a fool for Christ’s sake”. Worldliness is the mind-set of the unregenerate. it adopts idols and is at war with God. 

Are you at war with God?

If not what is your heart like?

You see worldliness is not simply externals but rather a matter of the heart.

For that’s where worldliness is. It exists in our hearts. Worldliness does not consist in outward behavior, though our actions can certainly be an evidence of worldliness within. But the real location of worldliness is internal. It resides in our hearts.

Oftentimes, we seek to define worldliness as anything or anyone involved with today’s culture. But culture is not worldliness. As soon as one mentions this there is often an immediate chance for people to take offense. However, “the conflict often reveals a wrong focus on externals.”

Yes, it is true conduct often reveals the intent of the heart. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” But your judgment of others conduct does not always ring true with the Bible. You pass judgment on someone’s differing external behaviors but you miss the beam in your own eye. When inclined to judge, first stop and check your motives. Is your heart motivated by love? Is your heart motivated with kindness? Is your heart motivated with an intent to restore? If so judge and confront, but if not, back off and get your own heart right first. Worldliness is not a clothing style or a music style but rather it is an arrogant confident love for something that is dying. We must seek to confront those who are loving the world but be cautious not misjudge someone’s “culture” because it is simply not our own.

The idea and quotes came from the below mentioned book.
Book suggestion: BUY THIS BOOK: (click the link for information) C.J. Mahaney’s book called,  Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World
The Rumours Of His Parties...

The Rumours Of His Parties… (Photo credit: Brainless Angel)

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Didn’t see that coming did you?

Let’s review, Richard Cory had everything a person could want: like-ability,health, attractiveness, attitude(swag), beauty, intelligence, money, fame, and admirers. Richard Cory illustrates how wealth cannot bring contentment. You can’t fill emptiness with more emptiness because in the end all you get is nothing. Are you hungry right now? How about a few hours from now? Hunger is temporarily satisfied and then hungry again. Materialism is the same way it’s like our metaphysical hunger and it’s insatiable.

Apart from God’s living water and bread of life we will always thirst and always hunger. Richard Cory supposedly had the whole world in his hands but instead reached for a pistol and took his own life because he could not see anyone or anything to satisfy his thirst. “The key to life is not money, power, respect or even two private jets (Lecrae) but it is the bread of life and his name is Jesus Christ.  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)

 

Someone has to say it

jordantmoody —  February 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

What Someone Needs to Say

Albert Mohler has a terrific piece in Christianity Today about the latest tantrum over Tim Tebow. In case you missed it, Tebow backed out of a speaking gig at a prominent Baptist church whose pastor is known for provocative statements and for teaching that homosexual behavior is sinful. We don’t know all the reasons Tebow canceled the engagement, but we do know the pressure to do so was intense. The secular press can be as fundamentalist as any hard core Baptist when it comes to its orthodoxies.

And at present, one of the worst heresies is to be in the same zip code with someone who takes a firm stance on homosexuality. From the Giglio Imbroglio to the Tebow Tantrum, or even the Chick-Fil-A controversy before that, we see the new way our world works. “If you espouse views we deem intolerant,” the logic goes, “or collaborate with someone who does, we will not tolerate you or anything you stand for.” It’s the Ivan Drago approach to cultural persuasion: I must break you.

So someone needs to refuse to be broken. Maybe some famous Christian athlete or actor needs to do it. Maybe a famous academic. Maybe a well known musician or humanitarian. Maybe you will be called upon this week to give account for your faith. Give it time and most of us will need to say something. What we must not do is allow the world to dictate what is and what is not a socially acceptable view on sexuality. The world may do that anyway, but we can at least play a little defense by refusing to play the game on their terms.

The next time—and there will be a next time—some famous Christian is pilloried in the press for maybe, possibly, at some point now or in the past holding to the traditional view of marriage, I hope he (or she) will come up to the microphone and say something like this:

Thanks for coming out today. I’ll try to make this brief and get right to the point.

Some people are really upset because they think I believe God does not approve of homosexual behavior. Well, I’d like to clarify: that is what I believe. Like everyone I believe some actions are good and some are not. We all have some form of morality. Thankfully, on a lot of topics most everyone agrees. Almost everybody agrees that murder is wrong and stealing is wrong and telling a bold-faced lie is wrong. But on other topics, we don’t all agree. That’s part of life. That’s part of being human. We have different views on raising children, on religion, on sex before marriage, on marriage itself, and on a hundred other issues.

I’m a Christian. That doesn’t mean I think I’m better than anyone. In fact, I’m a Christian because I know how bad I am and that I need a Savior. But as a Christian I believe the Bible. I believe God is smarter than I am. I believe God tells us about himself, tells us how to be saved, and tells us how to live in this book. That’s actually what most Americans have believed about the Bible throughout our history. I understand that some people in this country don’t believe in God or the Bible. I understand that some people interpret the Bible differently. But I think the Bible is pretty clear that sex is a gift to be experienced in the context of marriage between a man and a woman. I’m challenged by this teaching too. I am tempted to sin in a thousand different ways, including ways that involve my sexuality. But if God tells me what’s right and wrong in the Bible, I have to trust him. If Jesus is really Lord, then he gets to the call the shots.

I don’t expect everyone in a free country to agree that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord or that the Bible is the inspired word of God. But in a free country I expect that we can hold to different views without automatically resorting to shame and ridicule. I hope that my fans will understand that we can still root for the same team or watch the same movies even if we believe in some different things. I also hope my critics will try to understand why billions of people all around the world believe what I do about God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, faith, and marriage.

So the short answer to your question is: Yes I do still believe God designed sex for marriage between a man and a woman. And yes, I’m still accepting the invitation to speak. I don’t fault you for you doing your job. And I don’t deny your right to disagree with me in the strongest terms. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not going to let you dictate the terms of this conversation. I’m not going to be intimidated by bad press. And I’m not going to live my whole life trying to prove that I’m something I’m not. It ain’t gonna happen.

I’m a Bible-believing Christian. There, I said it. I’m out of the closet.  I’m not bitter. I’m not on a crusade. I just think it’s time to stand up and say enough is enough. I don’t like making people angry. But I can’t live my life to make you happy.

I don’t think I have anything else to say about the subject. If you want to know what I believe and what Christians are like, I’d be happy to take you with me to church anytime. I hope you all have a great day, because that’s what I plan on having now that this is over.

I don’t know exactly what Louie Giglio or Tim Tebow should have said or done. I’m not privy to all the information or behind-the-scenes conversation. This post isn’t about the past. It’s about what is coming in our future. At some point (and many points actually), Christians need to simply take it on the chin, not back down, affirm the truth, put in a good word for Jesus, and keep on smiling.

  Blog Post from The Gospel Coalition Blog

Week 9 ~ Read Matthew 1-7

jordantmoody —  November 5, 2012 — 1 Comment

Author: Matthew

Date: 50s or 60s

Destination: Jewish audience in unknown location

Purpose: To demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament

Theme: Jesus is Immanuel, the Messiah, and the Savior of God’s people

Key Verses: 16:13-20

Matthew’s Gospel demonstrates with special clarity that Jesus’ death was sacrificial and that he rescued his disciples from the penalty for their sins. Thus it is no surprise that E. Renan identified Matthew’s Gospel as the most important book ever written.

Interesting note on Matthew as a tax collector. In the discussion of the payment of imperial taxes (Matt. 22:15-22), Mark and Luke both used the Greek term denarion, but Matthw also included the more precise term nomisma (“state coin”). The use of more precise terminology in referring to currency may suggest the expertise of a former tax collector. Similarly, among the Gospels only Matthew includes the pericope about Jesus and Peter paying the temple tax (17:24-27)

Matthew’s Gospel stressed four aspects of Jesus’ identity.

First, Jesus is the Messiah

Second, Jesus is the new Abraham

Third, Jesus is the new Moses

Fourth, Jesus is the Immanuel

Bibliography: Kosternberger, Andreas L., Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the Cross and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2009.

the Explicit Gospel

jordantmoody —  July 12, 2012 — 3 Comments

This is the new book I am currently reading. It is simple and yet profound all at the same time. I have heard the gospel many of times and oftentimes it becomes old to me. One point of the gospel that he mentioned in this book really stuck out to me this time.

Matt Chandler says, “What if the Bible isn’t about us at all? What if we aren’t the story of God’s revelation?”

We aren’t all we think we are cracked up to be. The gospel is not about us and has never been about us. God is not lonely in need of fellowship from us and that is certainly not the reason he sent His Son to die on the cross for us. The reason behind the gospel is God glorifying His name. “The Bible is for us, but it’s not about us.”

Our Thoughts

bobbyemberley —  May 23, 2012 — Leave a comment

I read this morning in II Corinthians 11. Paul says that he is concerned for the Corinthians that their thoughts would be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. Our thoughts do not drift and wander at their own will. They are led and directed, and if we aren’t doing that through the power of God, then something else will. This passage focuses not on what we shouldn’t think about but on what should fill our minds. We need to direct our thoughts towards a sincere and pure devotion for Christ. The fight for godliness begins in the mind, a mind that think correctly and devotedly about Jesus, his spirit, and his gospel.