Resources to follow up ChurchLIFE 101: A Culture of Transformation

For anyone wanting to review the sermon (there was a LOT of content), you can find the podcast on GBC’s website–click here and then on the podcast link, or go to the link for sermon outlines.

So many things had to be left out, and so I would recommend for your own further study and consideration looking up the scripture references given and considering what they say about transformation.

I also found this very inspiring site containing testimonies of various individuals about how the gospel has transformed their lives.  The “I am Second” campaign has produced these videos, and they are excellent.

Individual and corporate transformation will not be easily established and maintained.  But it begins with each of us praying and asking, “What is one thing that is not right about my spiritual life that needs to change, and what can I do-beginning NOW-to change it?”

  I hope to share with you some of my personal answers as they become clearer in my mind.  Keep watching.

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Resources to follow up ChurchLIFE 101: A Culture of Repentance and Worship

After finishing my message on Sunday, I knew I had some work online ahead of me, to follow through on providing the resources I alluded to in the message.

First, the outline for the original sermon on the subject “When the Church Needs to Repent, delivered in January, 2006, can be found in the sermon outline archive at www.gracecedarville.org

Second, I recommended a great book by John Piper, entitled When I Don’t Desire God; How to Fight for Joy.  That book is available through Desiring God Ministries and is available for download here.

I also suggested that repentance and faith need to be seen as an inseparable pair when it comes to our salvation:  repentance being the sorrow for and turning from sin, and faith being the trust placed in Jesus Christ and his work on the cross.  The following is meant to help you clearly see the tie between the two:

Passages where repentance and faith occur in the same context:

  • Mark 1:15–“Repent and believe the gospel” (Jesus speaking).
  • Acts 20:21–Paul testifies “of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Hebrews 6:1–a foundation of “repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.”

Repentance in a context of leading to salvation:  Matthew 3:2, 11, 4:17; Mark 1:4, 6:12; Luke 3:3, 13:3, 5, 15:7, 10, 24:47; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 5:31, 8:22, 11:18, 17:30, 26:20, Romans 2:4, 2 Timothy 2:25, 2 Peter 3:9

Faith/Belief in a context of leading to salvation (partial list):  John 33:15, 16, 18, 36, 5:24, 6:40, 47, 11:25-26, 20:31; Acts 10:43, 13:39, 15:11, 16:31, 26:18; Romans 1:16-17, 3:22, 25-28, 4:5, 9, 11-13, 16, 22, 5:1-2, 9:30-32, 10:6, 8-10; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Galatians 2:16, 3:7-9, 11, 24-26, 5:6; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 3:9; 1 Peter 1:9

From these lists I  (and lots of others) draw the conclusion that repentance and faith are both present in biblical salvation, sometimes referred to together, sometimes referred to in terms of the beginning of the process (repentance) and sometimes in reference to the completion of the process (faith/belief).  I use the terms “beginning” and “completion” advisedly, since these two occur together and there is not a real separation in their actions.

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

An encouragement as GraceKids Wednesdays begins

I spoke at C.U. chapel last week on the importance of doctrine, and mentioned that into the 19th century, Baptists used catechisms to train their children–books with doctrinal questions and answers to memorize, along with scripture proofs.  The first was by Baptist pastor Benjamin Keach in 1677. Charles Spurgeon developed one that was very popular in the mid 1800s. It stemmed from the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689.

This concern that children know what they believe continues to shape us at Grace. It is why GraceKids is such an important part of our ministry. It is why we use a strong, doctrinally driven curriculum for our children’s classes on Sundays, and why we have invested heavily in the new Awana materials for GraceKids Wednesday programs.

These efforts, however, will only bear fruit if they are taken as tools by parents. Using time at home to review and discuss these materials is essential if your children are to gain the necessary foundations upon which to build an adult understanding of their faith. At Grace, our GraceKids staff is doing their part–we count on parents and others involved in children’s lives to do theirs, too!

And if you would like to go further with your children, I commend to you John Piper’s revision of Keach’s Catechism, available here. It can be purchased in print form from Desiring God Ministries’ website.

Published in: on September 6, 2009 at 7:02 pm  Comments (1)