'gospel' Tagged Posts

'gospel' Tagged Posts

The Nearness of God

Psalm 73:28: “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” This verse works in two ways. On the one hand, if life is going poorly for you, you can read this verse and take comfort in the fact that the “nearness of God” is your ultimate good. Your bad circumstances are not your ultimate good. On the other hand, if life is going well for you, you…

Churches are Re-Opening…What Church Should I Join?

One thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught us is the importance of the local church. While you can “live stream” almost any church in the nation from the comfort of your living room, this is no substitute for being a member of a specific local church. Choosing a local church is an important decision. Thankfully, you are not the first person in history to have to make the decision. Throughout history, Christians have faced the decision of what church to…

Consider One Another

The New American Standard Bible, the version used to preach God’s word at Grace Community Bible Church, puts Hebrews 10:24 like this: “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Unfortunately, this way of translating Hebrews 10:24 does not entirely capture the original Greek wording. In the original Greek, the main verb is the word “consider,” not the word “stimulate,” which happens to be a noun. Since the main verb is “consider,” the immediate object of…

The Great Ejection: Praying for the Persecuted Church

In the United States of America, we have freedom of religion and worship. We often take these freedoms for granted and complain about government intervention in religious matters. Nevertheless, we have a measure of freedom. Compared to our brothers and sisters in persecuted countries, we have much to be thankful for. We also have much to be thankful for compared to our brothers and sisters in the persecuted past. On August 24, 1662, 357 years ago today, more than 2,000…

The Reformation of Marriage

In the grand scheme of things, we view the institution of marriage as a normal part of society. But this wasn’t always the case – especially if you were a monk. The fact is that in the sixteenth century, if you were a religious worker (e.g., pastor, monk, nun), you didn’t marry. Given that marriage was not proper for religious workers, when Martin Luther (a monk) married Katharina von Bora (a nun), he was ferociously ridiculed. In fact, Luther’s opponents…

What If the Resurrection Never Happened?

Easter has come and gone. So why post a blog about Easter? The simple reason is because the resurrection is not a holiday to celebrate once a year; the resurrection matters every day of the year. I know this because of what would be true about us if the resurrection never happened. If Christ were not raised, three devastating realities would be true about us: We would be liars. If Christ were not raised, “we are then found to be…

A Diet of Worms

On October 31, 2017 we celebrated the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 Theses to the Castle church door. If October 31 marks the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, another famous date made it official. That date was April 18, 1521 at the Diet of Worms. The Diet (=assembly or gathering) was called by Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire to convene in the German city of Worms (pronounced “Vorms”). The reason this Diet was called…

The Gospel in a Verse

The God-man priest propitiates the Father’s wrath for his people’s sins. That’s the summary of the gospel in one verse in Hebrews: “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (2:17). This verse unfolds with three attributes of Christ: the person of Christ; the office of Christ; the work of…

The Gospel is Not a Way of Life

The Gospel is Not a Way of Life A recent Star Tribune article sadly reported that many Minnesota “mainline” churches are losing membership and closing their doors. In so doing, “a way of life” comes to an end. The problem is that years ago these churches reduced the gospel merely to “a way of life.” The truth is that the Christian faith is a historical faith. Without the historical death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christianity does not exist. Pastor…

Why the Five Solas of the Reformation Still Matter

Today we celebrate Reformation Day.  This year marks the 500th anniversary. One reason we celebrate the Reformation is because the Reformation heralded “five solas:” sola scriptura (Scripture alone), sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone). These Latin words sound cool, but why are they so important? Essentially, we celebrate the five solas of the Reformation because each sola sums up one of the main doctrines involved in the…

Why Preach a Crucified Christ?

As we observe Good Friday, a good question to ask is why we preach and listen to sermons about a crucified Christ? For starters, we preach Christ crucified because this was the Apostle Paul’s model (1 Cor 1:23).  But why did Paul preach a crucified Christ? Surely Paul does not preach a crucified Christ solely because Christ was crucified.  Christ was crucified.  But why not preach a resurrected Christ?  The resurrection is absolutely essential for the gospel just as much as the crucifixion. Thankfully, we don’t have to speculate.  Paul tells us why he…