"One Anothers" Not in the New Testament

We started a new sermon series today in which we'll be taking a look at a number of the "one anothers" found in the New Testament. As I was doing some reading and research in anticipation of the new series, I ran across the following list of "one anothers" not found in the Bible by Ray Ortlund:

Sanctify one another, humble one another, scrutinize one another, pressure one another, embarrass one another, corner one another, interrupt one another, defeat one another, sacrifice one another, shame one another, judge one another, run one another’s lives, confess one another’s sins, intensify one another’s sufferings, point out one another’s failings . . . .

The Churchgoing Evangelical Vote Split

Justin Taylor via Twitter:

Super-Abounding Grace

Sinclair Ferguson in his book, Man Overboard: The Story of Jonah:

We would be foolish to think that anything God ever says or does means that we can treat sin lightly. But, when his children return to him in true evangelical repentance, accepting his chastisements and humbling themeselves before him, they should hang on firmly to the knowledge that God is able to make his name a praise among the nations even on the shoulders of his children's failures and sins. Nothing will stop him. If need be he will use the devil himself (as indeed he ultimately will) to bring glory to his name, and to fit his own people for their temporary and eternal destinies.

The principle by which God works is that where sin abounds grace super-abounds (Rom. 5:20). It is this super-abundance of grace and wisdom in God which can make our experiences, even in rebellion against him, serviceable in his hands to equip us for the future.

As Far as the East Is from the West

I made reference to Psalm 103:12 in my Good Friday sermon last night:

as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

I also included some of Charles Spurgeon's reflections upon this same verse from The Treasury of David. The quote is so good that I had to post it here, too:

O glorious verse, no word even upon the inspired page can excel it! Sin is removed from us by a miracle of love! What a load to move, and yet is it removed so far that the distance is incalculable. Fly as far as the wing of imagination can bear you, and if you journey through space eastward, you are further from the west at every beat of your wing. If sin be removed so far, then we may be sure that the scent, the trace, the very memory of it must be entirely gone. If this be the distance of its removal, there is no shade of fear of its ever being brought back again; even Satan himself could not achieve such a task. Our sins are gone, Jesus has borne them away. Far as the place of sunrise is removed from yonder west, where the sun sinks when his day’s journey is done, so far were our sins carried by our scapegoat nineteen centuries ago, and now if they be sought for, they shall not be found, yea, they shall not be, saith the Lord. Come, my soul, awaken thyself thoroughly and glorify the Lord for this richest of blessings. Hallelujah. The Lord alone could remove sin at all, and he has done it in a godlike fashion, making a final sweep of all our transgressions.

Jerry Bridges on Propitiation and Expiation

I'm studying the topic of expiation in anticipation of Good Friday and I recently ran across this clear and helpful quote in The Gospel for Real Life by the late Jerry Bridges:

Propitiation, as we saw in Chapter 5, addresses the wrath of God. It is the work of Christ saving us from God’s wrath by absorbing it in His own person as our substitute. Expiation which basically means “removal,” accompanies propitiation and speaks of the work of Christ in removing or putting away our sin. Such is the symbolism of the two goats used on the Day of Atonement. The first goat represented Christ’s work of propitiation as it was killed and its blood sprinkled on the mercy seat. The second goat represented Christ’s work of expiation in removing or blotting out the sins that were against us. The object of propitiation is the wrath of God. The object of expiation is the sin, which must be removed from His presence.

Bridges finishes the chapter in this way:

The work of Christ in finished. Nothing more remains to be done. God's wrath has been propitiated. Our sins have been removed. The question is, will we appreciate it, not only for our initial moment of salvation, but for our day-to-day acceptance with God? It is only as we do the latter that we will truly begin to appreciate the glory of the cross and the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Amen.

My Not-Quite-Ideal Launch Week

2 Pillars Church–Northeast launches this Sunday. Here's a brief summary of what launch week has looked like so far:

  • Monday–Thursday: I was sick for the first four days of the week. I can't remember the last time I was sick and out of commission for this long.
  • Friday (Today): Fever free, I finally got to the office this morning to spend some uninterrupted time working on my sermon for Sunday when...the sewer in our building backed up. A few hours later, the water has been shop vac'd from the carpets, box fans are in place, and I'm sitting at my desk once again.

You can't make this stuff up! I'm beginning to wonder if this is all part of some church planter hazing ritual I wasn't told about.

I know God is up to something here, though I'm not entirely sure what it is. At the very least, I suspect it includes teaching me lessons about my sinful desire for control and how critical it is that I trust Him as we launch this 2 Pillars Northeast.

Now, back to that sermon.

10:15 AM

We nailed down a start time for 2 Pillars Church–Northeast worship gatherings:

We recently announced our public launch date, but left you hanging regarding the exact time of our Sunday gatherings. Well, we've finally arrived at a start time: 10:15AM.

Conveniently, we're starting fifteen minutes later than our sending church. Do you think I'll have time to grab a few pointers from Todd's sermon before I preach each week? 

 

2 Pillars Church–Northeast Public Launch

Last week was an exciting one for 2 Pillars Church–Northeast. We launched a new website and announced the date of our upcoming public launch.

From my post on the 2PCNE blog:

We are thrilled to announce that 2 Pillars Church–Northeast will hold its first-ever public worship service on Sunday, February 28. The gathering will be held at the Joyo Theatre in Havelock which will serve as our new home on Sunday mornings.

What an incredible announcement! We've been praying for this church plant, talking about this church plant, dreaming about this church plant, and planning for this church plant for years. And now, here we are.

Do you live in the Lincoln area? If so, I'd love for you to mark the date on your calendar and join us.

Tech Growth in Lincoln

Bloomberg featured Lincoln today as an emerging tech hub in the midwest. Strong salaries, low cost of living, and reasonable real estate prices are major contributors to the growth:

High prices on the West Coast are making it easier for the fresh crop of computer-science graduates and other techies to choose heartland hubs that are growing, in part, because putting down roots there doesn’t require a small fortune.

You don't have to search long to find evidence of serious growth in Lincoln.

The tech echo-boom is already starting to hipsterize Nebraska’s capital city. The downtown now has three sushi restaurants, a speakeasy serving $12 cocktails and dozens of startups filling once-abandoned warehouses. New workers are pushing up real estate values. Home prices are up almost 14 percent since 2012 and apartment rents have risen 38 percent.

It's an exciting time to call Lincoln home—even if you don't care for sushi.

Eating Spicy Food Linked to a Longer Life

Nicholas Bakalar:

After controlling for family medical history, age, education, diabetes, smoking and many other variables, the researchers found that compared with eating hot food, mainly chili peppers, less than once a week, having it once or twice a week resulted in a 10 percent reduced overall risk for death. Consuming spicy food six to seven times a week reduced the risk by 14 percent.

This is great news! I'm eating buffalo wings this week to celebrate.

(HT: David Chartier[1])

Todd, you came back!

Todd Bumgarner, lead pastor of 2 Pillars Church, on his return from sabbatical:

But do you want to know how the overwhelming majority of people have responded? They’ve said, “We didn’t think you would come back.” I’ve had—no exaggeration—over 15 people say something like that.

Fortunately, Todd did come back. But, as he explains, it isn't always a bad thing if a pastor doesn't return to "ministry as usual" following his sabbatical:

Pastoral sabbaticals (whether the pastor is paid or unpaid) are a regular, normal, and healthy thing for healthy churches.

And even when a pastor comes back from a sabbatical and quits… that’s still healthy because the sabbatical revealed the fact that that pastor wasn’t healthy. Something was off. Whether it was his health, his pace, his marriage, his walk with God, or his calling—something was off. And the healthiest thing for that pastor could be, to step back (and possibly down) in order to address that lack of health.

Glad to see you back in the saddle after a restful season away, Todd. Welcome back.

Obstructions

John Stott on the closing verses of 2 Timothy:

Paul is fully alert to the difficulties, however, both internal and external. Timothy himself is inexperienced, infirm and shy. The world’s opposition is strong and subtle. And behind these things stands the devil, bent on ‘taking men alive’ and keeping them prisoner. For the devil hates the gospel and uses all his strength and cunning to obstruct its progress, now by perverting it in the mouths of those who preach it, now by frightening them into silence through persecution or ridicule, now by persuading them to advance beyond it into some fancy novelty, now by making them so busy with defending the gospel that they have no time to proclaim it.



¯\_(ツ)_/¯ © 2016 Adam Stahr