This was far to wonderful not to share. John Piper preaches on Jusifiacation by faith.
This was far to wonderful not to share. John Piper preaches on Jusifiacation by faith.
Christianity is Christ.
Christianity is not:
. Going to church
. Living by the Golden Rule
. Doing acts of kindness
. Being a member of a certain church
. Being right about certain Bible doctrines
. Doing certain things on Sunday
. Living a life of piety and self denial
Christianity is Christ.
When a person becomes a Christian:
1. His sins are forgiven
2. He is given eternal life
3. He becomes God’s child both by birth and adoption
4. He becomes an heir of God’s bounty
5. He is declared not guilty of sin
6. He is declared just
7. He is declared righteous
8. He is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit
9. He is sealed by the Holy Spirit
10. He is gifted by the Holy Spirit
11. He is promised resurrection
12. He will never perish
13. He will never die
14. He is in Christ
15. Christ is in Him
16. He is hidden with Christ in God
17. He is held in God’s hand
18. Christ will never leave him or forsake him
19. He has access to God in prayer
20. He is a priest
21. He is a partaker of God’s nature
22. He is seated with Christ in the heavens
23. He has been chosen by God
24. He has been elected
25. He has been predestined to be a son
26. He has been called
27. He has been glorified
28. He has been washed
29. He has been cleansed
30. He has redeemed
31. He has been added to the body of Christ
32. He has overcome the evil one
33. He has been counted worthy
34. His eyes have been opened
35. He has a new ability to love unconditionally
36. He can say no to sin
37. He is at rest
38. The ordinances of the law are no longer against him
39. He is free
40. He is not condemned
41. He will never be condemned
42. He is not appointed to wrath
43. He will be rewarded
44. He has treasure reserved in heaven
45. He is kept by the power of God
46. He cannot be separated from God
47. He has the Son of God
48. He has the Father
49. He has joy
50. He has peace with God
51. He has the peace of God
52. He is one with God
53. He is loved by the Father just as He loves Jesus.
54. He has been born again
55. He is a new creation
56. He has God’s law written on his heart
57. He died with Christ
58. He was raised with Christ
59. Christ is his life
60. He is in the kingdom of light
61. He has been granted repentance
62. He has been given faith
63. He has been given precious promises
64. He is an ambassador of Christ
65. He is an alien on eath
66. He is a citizen of heaven
67. He is a lover of good
68. He hates sin
69. He loves his brother
70. He hears the apostolic teaching
71. He abides in Christ
72. He stands in grace
73. The Holy Spirit assures him he is safe
74. Christ is his life
75. He does sin as a lifestyle
76. He has Christ as an advocate for him in heaven when he does sin
77. He walks in the light
78. He knows the voice of Jesus
79. He follows Him
80. He will not follow another.
81. He has victory over death, hell, and the grave
82. He is being made like Jesus
83. He is created for good works
84. His greatest good is to glorify God
There is more but these quickly come to mind. Not one of them is man’s own doing. Everyone of them is true and relevant and experiential because of the person, work, and resurrection life of Jesus Christ. The only basis, the only ground upon which our salvation rests is Christ.
When a sinner changes his mind about the course of his life and puts his whole trust in Jesus He does not give that person anything apart from Himself. You see, what a lost sinner needs is life, he is spiritually dead. He needs righteousness for he is unrighteous. He needs redemption, for he is a slave to sin. He needs light because he is in darkness. He needs bread from heaven because he is starving. He needs the water of life for he is thirsty. He needs to be set free because he is under control of the evil one.
Christ can give nothing more than Himself. He Himself supplies every need. He is life, He is the light of the world, He is righteousness, He is our peace, He is our assurance, He is our joy, He is our glory, He is our hope, He is the author of our faith, He is the rock upon which we stand.
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME.” Religion will leave you wanting. Church membership and attendance will leave you lacking. Acts of kindness, giving to the poor, and even martyrdom will leave you dead in your sins. Only our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ is able and willing to give you life, forgiveness, righteousness, and peace.
We are only accepted by God “in the beloved“, we are only chosen “in Him“. The mystery of God that was hidden in ages past is this, “Christ in you, the hope of glory“. That’s it, Christianity is Christ and can be nothing less, and nothing more is possible.
“Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life”(1 John 5:10-12 ESV)
It is hard to imagine how anyone could misunderstand this clear message from God’s word. Sadly, many just don’t seem to get it. Like the legalists Paul addressed long ago in his letter to the churches of Galatia who insisted that Christians be circumcised, many today insist on adding to what Christ accomplished over 2000 years ago and what God planned in eternity past.
Many preach a salvation that is “God’s part and your part”. Your part is to repent (change your mind) and believe on Jesus Christ. If you have Him (A very big “IF”) what more can you possibly imagine you need? There is nothing on earth or in heaven that is a substitute or a supplement for what Christ has accomplished on behalf of sinners. Trust Him alone, He will not always wait.
By grace are you saved.
I just read a post at http://keithbrenton.blogspot.com/ that prompted this post. You should visit Keith’s blog and read some of his stuff, especially the latest post. He poses the question “Is an imperative always a command?” He then takes a look at Acts 2:38. His take is interesting to say the least. All of his posts are excellent reading.
Acts 2:38. Is there any church of Christ/Christian church member who has not heard scores of sermons on this foundational verse? Perhaps you can answer some questions.
Is it possible that many of us have put the gospel cart before the horse?
Over at http://www.kinneymabry.blogspot.com (Preacherman’s blog) he recently posted under this title ”
Several people left comments, some were pretty good, some were not. The common thread of thought coming from the commenters seemed to be “Today’s church must get our of our comfort zones, the confines of our comfy buildings, and actually impact the communities we are supposed to serve.” And I don’t disagree at all. I do believe the problems with many of our churches lie much deeper than how we choose to serve others or deliver our message. Yes, every congregation should be making a “salt and light” impact on their neighbors, there is no room for debate on this. And, we can all agree that we need to get our message out to the “unchurched” or “unsaved” (you choose the term..) and not expect them to come to us crying out “Sirs, what must we do?”.
I suggest that before we appoint another committee to study the matter of the most efficient way to minister that we set some things straight first.
1. The world needs Christ more than it needs the “Church”! I will not claim that my research is “scientific” but I have done some observation on purpose. After looking at sermon topics, Bible study titles, resources offered, etc. on both church websites and personal websites (including blogs), and reading the stories that get the most response from “brotherhood” publications, I have concluded that churches of Christ preach “Church” more than “Christ”. This is a trend that must be reversed.
2. Our churches must stop preaching a “gospel system” in favor of preaching a gracious Saviour. On many church websites you can find the “5 step plan of salvation”, but precious little about our Lord Jesus Christ. Not long ago I visited “Apologetics Press” and read item # 8 of the 9 items under the label “What we believe” and I was astonished to find this statement which I quote:
“Salvation is by means of obedience to the Gospel system, involving faith in God and Christ, repentance from sin, confession of faith, and immersion in water for remission of past sins, coupled with a life of growing consecration and dedication.” (emphasis mine)
Far too many of our churches have the same flawed theology. One only has to pause and think for a moment to realize that the “Gospel System” that is so important that some suggest we should surrender obedience to it, rather than to Jesus Christ himself, was invented in the early 1800’s. Peter, Paul and their contemporaries did not have a copy of the New Testament from which they could lift convenient passages to fit their view of how a sinner is saved. If any honest observer will read the Acts and the remainder of the New Testament they will find that the gospel message was about a Person, not about a Plan, it was centered on a Saviour, not a System.
3. Our worship must be centered upon a unique Person, not upon a uniform Pattern. Modern day Pharacees have disgraced and deluted true worship in Spirit and in Truth so that instead of being from the heart it is from the head, and instead of being a delight it has become a duty. What happens on Sunday morning in many of our congregations is predictable, and appears to be done by religeous robots, going through the motions, doing all the right things in an almost mechanical way.
I am sure some of you have heard about the man who said loudly “Praise the Lord” and “Amen” in response to the singing and the sermon. Some godly coC elders cornered the fellow after the invitation and inquired about his insulting outbursts. He replied “Well, I’ve got the Spirit and I’m happy in the Lord”. The good elder said in response, ” Will you didn’t get it here, so be quiet”. Could this story be true in your church?
4. We must become a people who find their identity in Christ and not in how we “do church”. When we can say honestly we are who we are because of what God has done in Christ on our behalf, rather than striving to become who we hope to be, we are only then ready to give our lost neighbor a valid message of the very good news about Jesus.
I believe with all my soul that the greatest need in our churches is teaching our people who they are in Christ, that they are complete in Him, have a living hope that cannot be taken away, and are hidden with Christ in God, not based on their performance but upon His.
One preacher asked a large Sunday school class are you “walking in the Spirit” and they to the last one had no idea what he was talking about. The Christian life is not about rules to follow but about righteousness by faith. It is not what have “I” done but about what “He” has done on my behalf. In view of what He has accomplished apart from my effort and yours, what is my response and yours in our day to day living before a watching world? To whom do we yield?
Paul was the most educated of all the apostles, he graduated from the best religeous schools, he had the right blood line, he had strictly followed the Law, he possessed knowledge and human wisdom beyond his fellows, but in view of all these facts Paul said “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8,9) Should we not be willing to put away our preferences, our human desires, our pride, perhaps some of our traditions, so that we “may gain Christ” too?
In my view, only after we have started to live out Romans chapter 12 are we credentialed to go out and change our world. Men and women are made fit for heaven one heart at a time by hearing the same message Phillip preached to the Ethopian eunich from the prophet Isiah, “Jesus” was the message. Our problem is we want to do the work of God using the resources and in the energy of human flesh. Perhaps it would be good for us to “go wait” in prayer to be endued with Power from on high so that our ministries and message might be confirmed in “the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost”, (I Cor 2:4,5) rather than depending on human wisdom.
We must be a people on mission with God in His ministry of Reconciliation. Our task is not to “correct” everyone else in the world who claims Christ as Lord, but to publish the very good news about Jesus both with our lips and our lives. We must make known the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life because He is the only way to the Father. Only when you and I personally know the Resurrection can we save men from death.
Our challenge in 2008 is to try to really “restore” the ancient church’s way of doing business. We are only kidding ourselves if we think that “we” alone are right and that everything “New Testament” runs down hill from Resortation churches.