Monday, April 19, 2010

Heidelberg Catechism (entry #3 from Section 4)

Here is what stuck out to me today:

"But divine love without divine wrath is meaningless. When we minimize God's justice, we do not exalt his mercy, we undermine it. God's mercy exhibits its full power and sweetness when we see it not merely as a general goodwill to all people, but as the means by which God's people are rescued, in Christ, from their just wrath & condemnation." (p. 35, DeYoung)

In our preaching & gospel presenting, it is certainly true that we must compellingly share the love of Christ. It is equally true that we must share the dire nature of man's situation apart from God's mercy; thereby, exulting in the wonder & magnificence of our redemption from the wrath of God.

We are definitely deserving of God's wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). Then, there is the "divine intervention" in Ephesians 2:4, "but, God, who is rich in mercy..."

May we celebrate the justice of much as we celebrate the mercy of God. Both prompt us to worship our Awesome Savior.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quotes from T4G Conference (these are good)

I did not have the joy of being there, but I just read these:

“Jesus’ evangelism plan is the community of faith living out the gospel.”  ~ Mark Dever

“The church is multi-ethnical, not multi-cultural.” ~ Thabiti Anyabwile

“Sow the gospel … go to sleep … and it will grow [as God desires].” ~ John MacArthur

“[On teaching simply ...] you can feed a child a steak, but if you love him you’ll cut it into little pieces.” ~ Josh Harris

“[I commend to you] a lifelong meditation on the 4 Gospels to more fully see and savor the glories of the Savior and fellowship with him.” ~ John Piper

“The power is not in you, the power is under the hood [in the gospel]!” ~ C.J. Mahaney

“Prepare your people for suffering.” ~ Mahaney with Matt Chandler

Monday, April 12, 2010

Heidelberg Catechism (entry #2)

I am trying to read through Kevin DeYoung's book The Good News We Almost Forgot one entry each Monday.

Today's reading is on the question of "total depravity". It speaks to how we came to be in the situation we are in as sinners, corrupt in our very natures.

I particularly appreciated DeYoung's definition of "total depravity"--

1. We are bad through & through (in head and heart and will)
2. We are unable to do anything truly righteous because our "good" acts do not come from faith and do not aim at the glory of God.

The only solution to this problem of a depraved nature is the supernatural work of God's grace through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. It is the "born again" reality.

That is the good news!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On the blogs for 4/7/2010

I thought these were good this morning:

Shoot your dogs (no, it's not what you think)

Cremation or Burial? (interesting)

Here is a list to help us become legalists (by Mark Driscoll):

How to Become a Legalist:

  1. Make rules outside the Bible.
  2. Push yourself to try and keep your rules.
  3. Castigate yourself when you don't keep your rules.
  4. Become proud when you do keep your rules.
  5. Appoint yourself as judge over other people.
  6. Get angry with people who break your rules or have different rules.
  7. "Beat" the losers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Top Ten Signs of a Dying Church

Just read the following by James Emery White over at Serious Times

The Top Ten Signs Of…
10.    There’s plenty of parking near the building for weekend services. 
9.      You can always get your favorite seat, or simply ask who is sitting in it to           move.
8.      The music is always familiar, and never too loud.
7.      The pastor has been in everyone’s home, and knows everybody’s name.
6.      You are never asked for money. 
5.      Phrases like, “We’ve never done it that way before,” “I’m not being faithless, just realistic,” “Why pray?  God’s gonna do what God’s gonna do,” “If God wants His church to grow it will grow – we don’t have to do anything,” and “They really should do something about that” are common refrains.
4.      You can be confident that whatever change there is will be incremental, insignificant, and will only happen with your direct input and approval.
3.      There aren’t any of those left-leaning, evolution-believing, gay-marriage supporting, Harry Potter reading pagans daring to attend; just the pro-family, Christian-radio listening, fish-sticker wearing, big-Bible carrying types.
2.      The Bible is seldom taught in ways that are uncomfortable or challenging.
1.      It is always about you – getting fed, getting ministered to, with services evaluated by what you get out of it.
Yep, there you have it.  The top ten signs of
...a dying church.

Monday, April 5, 2010

On the blogs for 4/5/2010

Church and Culture (good read)

Ask your wife these questions (good one guys)

God's Power Toward Us

Bible Intake (good tool)

Sabbatical for Pastors (interesting)

Discipling someone who can't read or write (wow!)

Funerals (good reminders)

Maybe more later....

The Heidelberg Catechism

I began reading last week a book by Kevin DeYoung as he summarizes the Heidelberg Catechism in short readings; one for every Sunday.

I just read number 2 about the depravity of man, what the Catechism calls misery. Then, it goes on to use Matthew 22:37-40 to bring our attention to the reality of that "misery" in that we cannot even follow these two laws to perfection--we fail, and we fail miserably.

The Catechism asks the question, "Can I live up to all this perfectly?"

The answer (stunning): No. I have a natural tendency to hate God and my neighbor.
Wow! Hate, really? That's strong.

Kevin says, "the first thing we need in order to experience the comfort of the gospel is to be made uncomfortable with our sin."

Yes, we need to know the "misery" of our sin and its effects upon us. Then, we may gaze upon the crucified one who paid the "misery" I deserve and respond in worship and praise of His indescribable gift of grace.

Kevin will probably never read this, but thanks for making something like readable in small chunks. God bless you.