gospel

Repentance and Faith

In his commentary on the book of Acts, Darrell Bock offers a helpful explanation of how repentance and faith in Jesus relate with one another:

Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin.
[...]
Repentance to God represents a change of direction in how one relates to God. It entails faith in Jesus, so that the turning results in one placing trust in what God did through Jesus as one embraces his person and work.

There is a good reminder here that repentance is ultimately about God and how we relate with God. Therefore, repentance isn't simply a turning from sin, but also a turning to Jesus, in faith. A 'gospel' that demands the former and disregards the latter is no gospel at all.

Why We Talk About Sin

The late John Stott in Confess Your Sins:

We are not in the least ashamed of the fact that we think and talk a lot about sin. We do so for the simple reason that we are realists. Sin is an ugly fact. It is to be neither ignored nor ridiculed, but honestly faced. Indeed, Christianity is the only religion in the world which takes sin seriously and offers a satisfactory remedy for it. And the way to enjoy this remedy is not to deny the disease, but to confess it.

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.

A Story of Redemption

Tim Burge, a member of the 2 Pillars Church community, shared a before-and-after snapshot of his new life in Christ on the 2PC blog today:

He willingly paid the horrible penalty necessary for humanity to be redeemed and reunited with Him in eternity, and in paying that price and rising again, He defeated the hold that sin and death had had over us. Despite my horrible brokenness (and my tendency to revert to seeing Him as a scowling, disappointed patrol cop), I know that He loves me perfectly and fully. It paints a sharp contrast for a journey I know I’ve only just begun.

Praise God.

Apologetics: Good but Not the Gospel

Mark Dever in a recent Gospel-Centered Discipleship post on 5 Things Mistaken for Evangelism:

By far the greatest danger in apologetics is being distracted from the main message. Evangelism is not defending the virgin birth or defending the historicity of the resurrection. Apologetics is defending the faith, answering the questions others have about Christianity. It is responding to the agenda that others set. Evangelism, however, is following Christ’s agenda, the news about him. Evangelism is the positive act of telling the good news about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation through him.

Apologetics is a good thing, but it isn’t the power of God:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 ESV)

Link List for September 28th, 2013

How Should a Suit Fit? Your Easy-to-Follow Visual Guide

If you're going to suite up, then make sure it fits correctly.

Marked 2 Launched

If you write using Markdown, then you should consider picking up Brett Terpstra's Marked 2. This latest release includes a number of improvements upon his original Marked app, including Scrivener support.

A Conflict of Christian Visions: Gen. 1-2 vs. Gen. 3 Christianity

Anthony Bradley challenges Christians to think about the nature of the gospel and our role in stewarding God’s desire for creation. Dr. Bradley:

In the end, the Gen 1 and 2 framework sees the missionary mandate and the commission to create and steward cultures that glorify God as a “both/and” while the Gen 3 framework tends to see the missionary disciple-making mandate exclusively as the Christian’s main concern. For Gen 3ers, the cultural emphasis is merely an implication or application of the gospel as opposed to the restoration of creation as something to which the gospel directly points.

Introducing Evernote for Salesforce

I'm really excited about this partnership.

A Beginner's Guide to Pinboard

Shawn Blanc offers some great tips for using Pinboard, which has been my preferred bookmarking service for some time now. The title of the post says "Beginners Guide," but there's some good stuff here for more advanced users as well.

The Scope and Subtlety of the Gospel

I'm currently reading Unbelievable Gospel: How to Share a Gospel Worth Believing by Jonathan Dodson in preparation for an upcoming Classroom Series session 2 Pillars Church is holding on Evangelism. In the opening chapter, Dodson observes the following about the gospel:

The gospel is both bigger and smaller than we think. Sometimes we can’t imagine the scope of the gospel, as news so good that it changes everything—society, culture, and creation. People really need to hear this. This vision of reality is better than anyone can imagine. The good news of the gospel is better than the best news people can conceive. Others times, we can’t imagine the subtlety of the gospel, that it brings us exactly what we need in Christ: acceptance, approval, forgiveness, newness, healing, worth, purpose, joy, hope, peace, and freedom, all in Jesus. The gospel is bigger and smaller than we think, as big as the cosmos and as small as you and me. It is the good and true news that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through his own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us!

This is the good news of the gospel. This is the message Christians are called to share. This is the message Christians get to share! It's implications are huge and cosmic on the one hand, subtle and deeply personal on the other.

I'm really looking forward to this upcoming installment of the Classroom Series. We'll be seeking to grow in our own understanding of this good news and our calling to proclaim it. We'll also spend time discussing the practical how–tos of evangelism. It's shaping up to be a great morning.

Join us on April 20 if you're in the Lincoln area.



© 2019 Adam Stahr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯