Archives For Gospel

How do you know if you’re a Christian or if you are just claiming to be one?

In today’s message on Ephesians 5:1-5, we will discuss 4 marks of a true Christian. Join us as we dive into God’s Word. Continue Reading…

Join me in studying Paul’s description of his ministry to the Ephesians in chapter 3:1-13.
If you have ever wondered what is next in the Christian life, this is the sermon for you.
Make sure to subscribe to receive the rest of the series in the book of Ephesians. Continue Reading…

Join me in studying Paul’s Explanation of God’s Grace for the Ephesians 2:11-23.
If you have ever wondered what Christian life should look like in regards to the church, this is the sermon for you.
Make sure to subscribe to receive the rest of the series in the book of Ephesians. Continue Reading…

Join me in studying Paul’s Explanation of God’s Grace for the Ephesians 2:1-10.
If you have ever wondered what the gospel is, this is the sermon for you.
Make sure to subscribe to receive the rest of the series in the book of Ephesians. Continue Reading…

People warned Spurgeon that he would break down physically and emotionally under the stress of such expansive preaching. Spurgeon replied: “If I have done so, I am glad of it. I would do the same again. If I had fifty constitutions I would rejoice to break them down in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.” He added: “We find ourselves able to preach ten or twelve times a week, and we find we are the stronger for it…. ‘Oh,’ said one of the members, ‘our minister will kill himself.’ … That is the kind of work that will kill no man. It is preaching to sleepy congregations that kills good ministers.” Spurgeon found strength in preaching.

-Steven Lawson, The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon

The Work of a Preacher according to @CharlesSpurgeon

The local church is God’s evangelism plan. The local church is God’s evangelism program.

-Mark Dever, 9 Marks of a Healthy Church

Evangelism & The Church @9MarksOnline @MarkDever

CampusNews  Thorough Gospel presentations bear fruit

I just received an email from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and I was in an article with one of my favorite professors, Dr. Matt Queen (@DrMattQueen).

As you would think, I am pretty stoked. I was very encouraged by the kind words of Dr. Queen and his wise words of instruction. I hope that it is an inspiration for others to go and intentionally seek the lost.

Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of man came to Seek and Save the Lost”

You Can Read the Article Here!

 Or Download the PDF Here CampusNews Thorough Gospel presentations bear fruit

 

Paul gives some wise advice to the church in Ephesus from his experiences in ministry as he is saying his last goodbye before heading to Jerusalem that all believers can profit from. Read the Scripture below and see how you are imitating Paul’s example in ministry to the Ephesians.

Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders
Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them:
“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities
and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
(Acts 20:17-35 ESV)

 

  • Do Not Shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God.

As believers, we must be willing to share and discuss everything according to God’s word. In our culture it is not always the popular thing to proclaim what the word of God has to say on a certain topic. But Christians must be willing to proclaim God’s desires and be willing to act in a fashion that would bring those to reality.

How can you be better at giving the full counsel of God?

  • Pay Careful Attention to Yourself and to the Flock God has entrusted you with.

Believers must pay careful attention to their spiritual walk and the spiritual walk of those around them. Every believer is both a sheep and a shepherd. They are first a sheep under the authority of the true shepherd which is Christ and we are to seek His will and conform to it. The second they are a shepherd to those around them, prodding and pushing others to grow closer to Jesus. This may be through witnessing to friends who do not know the Lord or encouraging other believers to leave their sin and get serious about their spiritual walk with God.

What can you do to guard yourself spiritually? Who do you need to help get closer to God?

  • Value the Church because God has obtained it with His own blood.

Believers must also value what the Lord values and that is His church which He set up and purchased through His work on the cross. Therefore believers must respect and honor the church as the future bride of Christ. This would include honoring other believers within the church even when you have disagreements and defending the church when others are speaking against it.

How do you value the church that God loves?

  • Be Alert. Wolves will come in among you

Christians will always be under persecution whether at this current moment or in the near future. Therefore, when it comes do not be surprised. “Be Alert” as Paul says and be ready for it mentally and spiritually. Determine for yourself now what you will do.

Will you stay in the fight and not give up or will you collapse under the pressure?

  • Pray for and Admonish the Church even through tears

All believers should be in constant prayer. Not only for ourselves but also for those around them. This would include praying for those who are going through a hard time and those about to go through a hard time. Believers should even be in the midst of prayer for others when they are going through a hard time themselves.

Who can you pray for and admonish today?

  • Do Not Covet the Worldly things of life.

One of the most covertly destructive things a believer can do is start to covet worldly things. This is a big one in our consumer culture because we can even tie these worldly things to our spiritual walk. Such as a new iPad for Bible study or the new super expensive study Bible or whatever it may be. The point it is, is that when we start to place our trust more in the new, hip, & trendy thing, we lose sight of the true savior, Jesus.

What do you need to let go of in order to place Jesus at the top of your mind and heart?

In my devotional this morning I was inspired by the content that Oswald Chambers put forth. He addresses an issue that is not discussed as much as it should be in the Christian world today. Chambers addressed the topic of how to get more connected with God. I paraphrased a few of my thoughts while reading it below. (you can read the entire devotional for yourself at www.utmost.org)

My vision of God is dependent on the condition of my character. If my character is flawed, so will my vision be. My character determines whether God’s truth can be revealed to me. 

Before you can claim to see the Lord, there must be something that is conformed to the likeness of God in you. This requires you to put God first in all circumstances before we can be in continual communion with Him.

As I was reading and thinking through this I couldn’t help but thinking of my life and those around me seeking a deeper relationship with God without knowing really how to get there. It would seem that in the midst of all the easy-going self-help / motivational sermons and bible studies that we have lost our understanding of what it takes to have a correct relationship with God.

[Side Note:  I say this because I listen to a lot of podcasts from across the nation and I read a lot of books and recently it seems that we shy away from the root problem of sin and the value of living a holy life. To be honest, it is troubling to me that the only place I seem to find any illusion to a commitment to holiness is found in the Scripture and in the writings of older theologians such as Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitfield, Moody, etc. or ones that are not as old such as Oswald Chambers or Bill Graham.]

Let us not be fooled friends, the Lord gave you grace for salvation to cover your sins and deliver you from the perils of torment. But He now expects you as Lord to follow Him and be holy unto Him.

“[13] Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. [14] As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, [15] but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, [16] since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV)

I am not saying that you will or are immediately perfect or sinless. Because we all still fall short of God and even Paul dealt with the struggles of sin in the flesh. (Romans 7) But even Paul while struggling in his sin knew that he could not keep sinning and be in right relationship with God.

“[6:1] What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? [2] By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? [3] Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? [4] We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

[5] For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. [6] We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. [7] For one who has died has been set free from sin. [8] Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. [9] We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. [10] For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. [11] So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
[12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. [13] Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. [14] For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:1-14 ESV)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we must realize that the Lord desires for you to be in correct relationship with him and that in order for this to happen we must stop sinning and replace that sin with His presence in our lives. It is the only way we can become closer to him.

Lord, correct my character so I can see you faithfully and you can reveal your truth to me. Lord remove my sin from me so that I can walk more faithfully to you.

Quotes on Living Holy Lives

Spurgeon – “Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”(read more here)

D.L. Moody – “Lord make me as holy as a sinner saved by grace can be”

Billy Graham – “holiness is God’s priority for our earthly lives. A disciple of Christ should always be careful not to place a higher value on being “happy” than on being holy. Yes, it gives our heavenly Father pleasure for us to have happiness, but not at the cost of our personal holiness.” (read more here)

John Brown – “Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervors, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills.”

AW Tozer – “The holy man is not one who cannot sin. A holy man is one who will not sin.

The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy.

The whole purpose of God in redemption is to make us holy and to restore us to the image of God. To accomplish this He disengages us from earthly ambitions and draws us away from the cheap and unworthy prizes that worldly men set their hearts upon.

The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy.

No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he shall be.”

What have you dedicated more time to this week? Your happiness or your holiness?

Do you have any scriptures or quotes that inspire you to be more holy in your walk with Christ? Post them as a comment for all to see.

It has been a while since I have made a post on here. To be frank, life has been a little crazy. Between everything going on at seminary with classes, the things going on in the ministry at church, & trying to keep my priorities straight at home. There really has been no real time to process my thoughts well enough to get them down. In all honesty, this post may even be the result of God slowing things down for me to an extent.

I don’t want this to come off as me complaining. I am just letting you know that I believe that sometimes God will bring times in our lives that do not make sense to us in order to slow us down. These things or events may even be seen as a negative situation or trial because we do not understand it on the surface. But I would like to encourage you and remind you that we can take comfort in the God who is sovereign and in control of all things to care for us.

A Biblical Example:

For those who do not know the story of Joseph, Joseph was one of many sons of the patriarch Jacob. And Joesph was unique among his brothers; he was his father’s favorite & he had prophetic dreams. Well one day Joseph dreamed that his family would bow down to him & because of this dream, his brothers devised a plan to get rid of Joseph. They sold Joseph into slavery. Joseph’s new masters then took & sold him to Egypt. And once in Egypt, Joseph worked in the house of potipher and then was wrongfully thrown in prison.

Now you have to admit that at this point in time, Joseph has some pretty large trials or hangups in his life. One minute he is seeing visions from God for the future and the next he is sold into slavery. Then he finds himself living in a jail cell away from home & none of his family know or care where he is. In this time I would be willing to bet that he had some serious questions for God. Because he did not understand why God had slowed him down with these trials.

It is not until the end that we see the roller coaster of Joseph’s life then begins to make sense. You see, as time went on and Joseph endured, God gave Joseph a vision of a famine which eventually lead Joseph’s family back to him & also provided for the remnant in which God made covenant with. It was not until these last events that Joseph understood what God was doing. This is further confirmed in the words of Joseph when he said “But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. “ (Genesis 50:19-20)

(I had to cut a lot of the story out for sake of space, you can read the story for yourself in Genesis 37-50.)

Some Biblical Instruction For Dealing with Trials:

So the question that you may be asking yourself is…What are we do while we are in these trials?…

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:2-8 ESV)

1) Count your trials joy because they are a test of your faith and they produce steadfastness which builds you as a Christian.

2) PRAY! Ask for God’s wisdom in the trials. He will give you wisdom to endure and He will determine your path even when you do not see it.

3) Do NOT Doubt Him who is working for your good.

I hope this is a blessing to you and that you can take courage in the faith that God has given us.