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Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

‘Jesus Christ our Lord, moved by a love that was determined to do everything necessary to save us, endured and exhausted the destructive divine judgment for which we were otherwise inescapably destined, and so won us forgiveness, adoption and glory. To affirm penal substitution is to say that believers are in debt to Christ specifically for this, and that this is the mainspring of all their joy, peace and praise both now and for eternity.’

J.I. Packer from In My Place Condemned He Stood

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It’s one thing to confess that I’m a sinner. It’s another bag of marbles to own up to the fact that certain sins show up in my world more often than others. So while no one is completely immune to anxiety (which needs to properly be labeled as sin and not excused as the way God made me), I’m not particularly vexed by it. I have my moments – in fact, I’m pretty sure I had my first panic attack last week – but that temptation is not an overwhelming struggle for me.

But I have areas of life where there are more moments of failure than I’d like to admit. And while I’d like to hide behind words like struggle and weakness, what I’m talking about here are those parts of life that feel dead because there’s been too much damage caused by guilt and shame. The places and moments when I’m more blind towards and belligerent against the God whom I still believe I love. Yet here are the symptoms and the scars of my spiritual disfigurement – and on some days it simply doesn’t look like anything is about to change. I don’t think I’m going to get better. I’ve given up hope that this pattern or that problem is going to be part of my past and never show up in the present ever again.

That’s why Romans 4:17 is my life this morning and is giving me enough grace and guts to write this down and toss it out there in the hope that you’re going to read this and know you’re not alone. You’re not the person God wants you to be – and yet still he loves you and reminds you that he is a God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

Now here’s the kicker – this is not an explicit promise that God is going to make me a better person but a reminder that God still loves me even if I never get better. What keeps me alive to God is this: He creates everything I need and gives it to me as a gift. And what I need when struggle and weakness becomes failure is to hear God tell me that he loved me while I was failing. This is what I need God to create – not simply obedience and victory over my sin and sinfulness but the faith to believe that my life with him exists and thrives because Jesus was delivered up for my trespasses and raised for my justification (Romans 4:25).

God does not expose my failure to make me push harder to be better but to press into Jesus more deeply.

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We’re in the middle of a three week discussion about Jesus as Prophet, Priest, and King.Mark Driscoll helps us understand how the prophet, priest, and king motif works with leadership. Very much worth your time – you’ll get some clarity about how the elders and staff operate.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Hey everyone. I wanted to give you all a heads up on some great resources. Many of our great friends in Acts 29  have contributed to this blog post about worship and arts in the local church. 

This is really a great resource for many reasons but especially since in a couple of weeks we are going to start a series on worship. I figured I would pass this blog post on for all the over achievers out there . I am really excited about spending some time in reading and listening to a lot of this. 

hope you enjoy. 

Worship Resources

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I thought this post by Tim Chester, author of Total Church (which you absolutely should buy and read right now), was particularly helpful during our Broken – Why We Need The Cross series leading up to Easter:

The great Reformer Martin Luther spoke of theologies of glory and a theology of the cross. Theologies of glory look for the revelation of God in his mighty works: creation, miracles, spiritual experiences. But this kind of knowledge, said Luther, only puffs people up. Instead God has chosen to reveal himself supremely in the cross. And that means revelation is only discernible by faith. Only by faith do we see in the weakness, foolishness, and shame of the cross the power, wisdom, and victory of God. Theologies of glory lead to pride. The theology of the cross leads to humility—or, in Luther’s language, humiliation.

Now apply the same idea to our churches. Churches of glory will put their confidence in mighty works: stage performances, big budgets, large numbers, powerful arguments, charismatic preachers. A church of the cross will be characterized by power in weakness, wisdom in foolishness, victory in shame. Its confidence will be in the sovereignty of God, the presence of his Spirit, and the power of his Word. Jesus said the kingdom of God has been given to “my little flock.” Most of the time it will be under the radar. But, like yeast in dough, it will grow unseen to fill the earth.

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