Blog Archives

Keller on The Gospel, Moralism, and Irreligion

Check out this short video from Tim Keller on three ways to view the world.  The Christian message is often rejected because it is either viewed as moralism or is presented as such.  The Gospel is really the only thing that frees us and gives us hope.

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There Is Surely A Future Hope For Me

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.  There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.  Pr 23:17-18 

I’ve been reading through Proverbs over the last week and this verse seems to sum up the theme of proverbs: to be wise is to see that God is better and the only lasting good.  How often I’ve envied sinners in my heart.  How often I’ve wanted what was forbidden me because I doubted that God had something better in store.  When I’m tempted to secure my own good and pleasure, when my heart starts to yearn for that which it wasn’t meant for, I need to remember that, “God is Good so I don’t have to look elsewhere.” 

The brokenness and emptiness that we often feel in this world will never be cured by attaining some other broken and empty thing.  This world is fading.  This world will one day end and my life here will end as well.  Yet while my life will end here, there is surely a hope for me.  God sent His Son, Jesus, into this broken world.  He repaired my broken relationship with God by paying the debt I owed Him because of my rebellion.  One day he’ll also repair this broken world, my broken body, and my broken soul.  I’ll experience the ultimate good when God restores all things and I’ll see him face-to-face and live with him forever. 

God is Good.  I don’t have to look elsewhere.  I don’t have to chase fleeting pleasure I can never keep.  Rather I can be zealous for God’s good, because his good will last.  My hope in His good will not be cut off.  There is surely a hope for me.  There is surely a hope for us. 

 

For more on how God is Good and other truths that free us, check out Missional Training #12 – The 4 Gs and Tim Chester’s Blog and Tim’s book, You Can Change.

picture found here

 

 

The Thread

In our church plant, we want to always grow in our ability to become better story tellers in sharing the story of God.  Here’s a great video outlining the story of the bible.  Check it out:

  • What did you like about the way this story is told?
  • What about the Story resonated with your story, heart, and disposition?
  • Who could you share this story with?

What Story Will You Allow God To Tell In Your Death?

I had the great privilage of hearing Ryan and Jessica Woods share of the struggle with dealing with his dying of cancer and his hope in Jesus Christ.

You can follow Ryan and Jessica’s blog Here  Pray for Him and Jessica and that God might use their situation for something beautiful.

The Difference Between Irreligion, Religion and The Gospel

ireligion, religion, and the Gospel

A quick note on what how “religion” is used here.  We’re not using “religion” to describe a dedicated Christian who attends a church service.  Rather, Religion here really means religious performance, trying to attain God’s salvation by your own goodness or works.   The diagram above, I believe clearly shows this, yet I felt it necessary to make the distinction since so many are caught up in the delusion that one can belong to Christ and not be part of his Church.   

That said, seeing the distinction between religon, irreligion and the Gospel is pretty important.  We daily fall into disbelief and need to examine ourselves as to where we aren’t believing the Gospel.  I often use the 4 G’s for this.  Yet this diagram is helpful to check your motives and attitudes to see if they’re in light with Gospel belief or are the result of falling to the left or the right.

Tim Keller’s in his book, The Prodigal God, draws this distinction from the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  He talks of how there’s really two lost sons in that story:  The irreligious younger son who runs away from home and disownes his father by trying to make his own way, but also the prideful religious Pharisaical son who stays but really wants to replace his father through his own performance and hard work.  Keller says the Story leaves you yearning for a true elder brother who would go out and look for his lost brother.  He says it leaves you yearning for Christ.

The Gospel is the answer to both religion and irreligion.  Only in the Gospel can you rest, trusting in your true Elder Brother, Jesus, to save you and bring you home, and trusting in the gracious love of your Heavenly Father to run and accept you when you arrive.

Picture found Here along with some great Gospel-Centered resources.

Missional Training #13 – What is the Gospel?

We are made Christians through the Gospel.  As Christians we’re called to share the Gospel.  Yet so many of us don’t know how.  This is an excellent teaching from Jeff Vanderstelt about what the Gospel is and how to permeate your Missional Community or church with it.  Watch the following video.  Consider the questions below.

  1. How does walking in repentance and belief in the Gospel make you humble?  How does it make you bold?
  2. Why do we need a community to help us believe and walk in the gospel?
  3. Jeff said, “Every excuse is a gospel opportunity?”  What does he mean by that? 
  4. How does Jeff’s explanation of the Gospel expand your own view of the Gospel?  How is it helpful? 
  5. Jeff shared 4 questions that help us talk about the Gospel, our beliefs, and lives.  He asks, 1. Who is God(His Character and nature)?  2. What has He done (Christ’s Person and Work)? 3. Who are we (as a result of who God is and what he’s done)? 4. How do we live now (as a result…)?   How is this helpful in calling us to true belief and action?
  6. Jeff lays down a storyline:   Creation –> Fall –> Redemption –> Restoration. How does this storyline help you understand your’s and other’s stories?  How does it help you understand false stories in yours or other’s lives?
  7. How is Christ’s life, death, and resurrection a benefit not just for salvation, but in everyday life?

Here’s some great notes from Jeff on Gospel Fluency that covers much of what he’s sharing in this talk. 

The Soma School Notes also fill in much of what Jeff speaks about in this video which is missing from the Gospel Fluency document. 

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