Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Law is Good

First Timothy 1:8 - Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully.

Matthew Henry:

The Jews used it unlawfully, as an engine to divide the church, a cover to the malicious opposition they made to the gospel of Christ; they set it up for justification, and so used it unlawfully. We must not therefore think to set it aside, but use it lawfully, for the restraint of sin. The abuse which some have made of the law does not take away the use of it; but, when a divine appointment has been abused, call it back to its right use and take away the abuses, for the law is still very useful as a rule of life; though we are not under it as under a covenant of works, yet it is good to teach us what is sin and what is duty. It is not made for a righteous man, that is, it is not made for those who observe it; for, if we could keep the law, righteousness would be by the law (Gal. 3:21): but it is made for wicked persons, to restrain them, to check them, and to put a stop to vice and profaneness. It is the grace of God that changes men’s hearts; but the terrors of the law may be of use to tie their hands and restrain their tongues. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This is Your Cup

C.J. Mahaney writes:
As we watch Jesus pray in agony in Gethsemane, He has every right to turn His tearful eyes toward you and me and shout, "This is your cup. You're responsible for this. It's your sin! You drink it." This cup should rightfully be thrust into my hand and yours. 
Instead, Jesus freely takes it that from the cross He can look down at you and me, whisper our names, and say, "I drain this cup for you--for you who have lived in defiance of Me, who have hated Me, who have opposed Me. I drink it all...for you."

Monday, August 15, 2011

God Opens Doors

I have prayed much lately for opportunities to share the gospel here SWFL. I want to share the gospel. I'm burdened to share the gospel. However, I often times find it difficult for some reason (and I've prayed and sought to overcome this too). Today God opened a door for me that I wasn't expecting. While I sat at Starbucks there were three men sitting beside me. I've seen them several times in the past, and have had brief conversations with them.

On the other side of these men were a couple college age girls. I have also hoped to reach and minister to some of the students at Edison College, so I was hoping for a chance to talk with them. Before I could, however, one of the girls got up to leave. I noticed in her hand a Bible and a book by A.W. Tozer. I hoped to speak with her friend who was still here and find out if they were burdened for the students at Edison, how we could reach them, etc. Before I could speak with her one of the men started having a conversation with her. She was in the process of leaving so I never had the chance.

Once she left the man turned to his friends and said that she was studying to be a nurse, and that she wanted to be a missionary when she was finished. I was reading, but since they were so close I could hear the conversation. Then God completely surprised me. One of the men said, "I just can't see how anyone would want to be a missionary." Then one of the men, Frank, turned to me and said, "I'm sure this guy could help us understand why someone would want to be a missionary." Then he turned and asked me specifically.

My response was pretty simple. The reason is because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I told them that I believe that Jesus died for sinners and that only those who trust in Christ alone will be saved. I also told them that missionaries see the need to take this good news to those who've never heard so that they may respond in faith in Christ. In that moment, without really thinking about it, I had the chance to briefly explain the gospel to three men who were listening intently to what I had to say.

I am now praying that I have more opportunities in the future. I am also praying that God would take the small seed planted and cause it to grow. Only His Spirit can awaken a heart to believe, so that is my prayer. Would you pray for Frank and Bob with me?

Sunday Sermons

Here are Sunday's Sermons:

AM - The Gospel and the Head of the Church - Ephesians 1:22-23

PM - Jesus Rejected - Luke 9:51-56

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jesus Actually Accomplished Redemption

I am presently reading Michael Horton's The Gospel Commission: Recovering God's Strategy for Making Disciples. Though I am not far into this book, I find great sentences, paragraphs, and even pages that I'd love to quote! This particular paragraph contains a glorious truth!
Given the fact that we--and those to whom we are sent--are "dead in the trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1), we do not have the authority or power to save ourselves or even to respond in faith apart from God's gracious liberation (Eph. 2:5, 8-9). The Great Commission would be a futile task if the ultimate power and authority lay in our hands or in the hands of those to whom we bring the gospel. Jesus Christ did not make it possible for us to be saved. He did not begin a work of redemption. He did not do "his part" so that we could do ours. Rather, Jesus Christ has accomplished everything. He has assumed our flesh. He has fulfilled all righteousness in our place and has borne the judgment for every one of our sins as our substitute. And he has been raised as the firstfruits of a whole harvest, the beginning of the resurrection from the dead. There is no more redeeming work to be done!
To this I say, Amen!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sunday Sermon

This past Sunday AM I continued preaching through our series on the gospel. If you're interested, you can listen to the sermon here:

The Gospel and Glorification