H.O.W. is the Gospel Good News?

Besides being translated from the Greek  εὐαγγέλιον (euaggelion), the Gospel is Good News because it answers the Bad News, as demonstrated in Ephesians 2:1-10:

H – Human Depravity “And you who were dead in trespasses and sins” (2:1)

O – Original Sin“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” (2:2,3)

W – Wrath of God against sin“…and were by nature the children of wrath.” (2:3)

God’s answer to this is The Good News.

”But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Eph. 2:4-10

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George Whitfield and the 3 R’s

I was introduced to these during a run while listening to a sermon by Steve Lawson on this extraordinary servant of God:

George Whitfield (called the “Chief of Pastors” by Charles Spurgeon, who himself was called the “Prince of Preachers”) focused on these 3 themes during his 3 decades of George Whitfieldpreaching:

Ruination of Sin – Rom. 3:23: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Redemption in Christ – Gal. 3:13: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.

Regeneration by Holy Spirit – 1 Cor. 12:13: For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.

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Just How Sovereign IS God?!

Let’s start with a quote from RC Sproul: “There are no maverick molecules in the universe. …If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”

And from the long-suffering hero of the faith Job:

“He stretches out the north over the empty place, and He hung the earth on nothing. He binds up the waters in His thick clouds; and the cloud is not torn under them. He covers the face of His throne, spreading His cloud on it. He has described a circle on the surface of the waters to the boundary of light with darkness. The pillars of the heavens tremble and are astonished at His rebuke. He quiets the sea with His power, and by His understanding He shatters the proud. By His Spirit the heavens were beautiful; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent. Lo, these are the edges of His ways; but what a whisper of a word we hear of Him! And the thunder of His power who can understand? – Job 26:7-14

Whew! THAT’S how Sovereign God is!

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Starting Your Day with the Puritans

There is some exciting theology coming out of those people with the buckled shoes!

Lord, what we know not, teach us*; what we have not, give us**; and what we are not, make us***; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
* All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Tim. 3:16
** Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ. Eph 1:3
*** So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor. 5:17

Apply yourself earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

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Are We There Yet?!

Are we there yetNot only a pertinent question for a road trip, but a powerful question in dealing with our spiritual journey in Christ. The short answer to this ubiquitous interrogative: Yes AND No!

Here is some God-breathed insight from Hebrews 10:14: “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.”

Let’s unpack the truths in this verse:

He has perfected. From the Greek verb τελειόω  teleio, meaning to complete, carry to completion. A perfect passive tense, indicated that Christ accomplished at a specific time in the past, with the results remaining. By the way, the author emphasizes this fact with the words “forever,” or “continuously.” Therefore the first answer to the question is YES, WE ARE THERE (in Christ). 

Second, we read of those who are sanctified. The Greek word here ἁγιάζω  hagiadzo, is the word from which we get “saints,” or “those set apart.” Interestingly, this verb is a present passive participle, and should be considered as “the ones who are being sanctified.” Taking this back to our question, the answer is NO, WE ARE NOT THERE YET.

So, in Christ we have arrived (Positional Truth), while at the same time we are in the process of becoming what He is making us. This reminds me of 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

Ever wonder how He does this? He told us in His prayer to His Father: “Sanctify them through Your truth. Your Word is truth.” (John 17:17)




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The Prodigal Son in 5 Words…

I was introduced to this 3 point outline for Christ’s powerful parable from Luke 15:11-32 by Ravi Zacharias, who spoke of the best sermon he had ever heard on this extraordinary example of our Father’s love:

SICK OF HOME…“There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.” (vs. 11,12)

HOMESICK “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.” (v. 17-20a)

HOME“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (vs. rembrant-prodigal-son-detail20b).” And as the father spoke to his disgruntled brother:  “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” (v.s 31,32).


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This Little Light of Yours…

C.H. Spurgeon, on the ministry of Andrew to Simon Peter in John 1:42:

this-little-light-of-mine-800x531-640x424” If you could blot out from the Christian church all the minor stars, and leave nothing but those of the first magnitude, the darkness of this poor world would be increased sevenfold…If thou art but as a glowworm’s lamp, hide not thy light, for there is an eye predestinated to see by thy light, a heart ordained to find comfort by thy faint gleam. Shine thou, and the Lord accept thee.”

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. – Matt. 5:16

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