Not all sins are created equal. This is the point that Paul is trying to make irrefutably clear in chapters 5 and 6 of his letter to the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 5,6). It is true, all sin is rebellion against a good, perfect, holy, and blameless God, either by commission (actively participating) or omission (passively participating). And in this sense, sin is unswervingly the … [Read more...] about Sex and the People of God
The Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, is not an impersonal force. He is God, and He is very personal. He cannot be controlled by special spells, charms, or actions. He comes with a presence and a power undeniably unique to himself, but his attributes and qualities, the things that make him God, do not end with mere authority and muscle. If they did, however, worship … [Read more...] about The Holy Spirit Is Not Just Muscle
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is being trampled violently underfoot in pulpits all across America. It is being spat on in “Christian” counseling sessions and mocked by contemporary Christian music — song after song. More still, those who have been entrusted with the task of shepherding souls have so denigrated the grace of God and so watered down (or nuanced to the point of … [Read more...] about Inviting Revival
Interesting fact; you didn't save you. If you’re a Christian, that is, if you've been purchased by the blood of Jesus for his glory - then you are a recipient of life-giving grace. Plain and simple. You didn't decide one day to wrap your arms around a soft and winsome philosopher who promised you a pleasant stay in the afterlife. You were lovingly (and violently) … [Read more...] about You Didn’t Save You!
As followers of Christ and members of his church, we must affirm that there is, in fact, a real and present enemy at work souring God’s beautiful song of salvation. This enemy, though restrained, runs rampant in pulpits across America and beyond - singing a song of its own, threatening all who lend an ear to its sweet and savory tune. This cover song of sorts is what Bonhoeffer … [Read more...] about Cheap Grace: Bonhoeffer and The Cost of Discipleship
The Gospel of Mark is all about Jesus, the Son of God (Mk. 1:1). This specific gospel account is told very rapidly and is filled to the brim with Jesus’ teachings, miracles, exorcisms, and healings. In other words, Mark’s gospel is all about Jesus and his very public ministry. The story goes like this: God put on flesh and came on a rescue mission to reconcile the world to … [Read more...] about What Conflict?
First Peter relies heavily on the Old Testament, and 1 Peter 2 has clear references to Exodus 19. Discerning how Peter uses Exodus 19 opens up new meaning for both texts. In this essay, we demonstrate that Peter uses Exodus 19 to establish an eschatological continuity between the Israelites at Mount Sinai and the first-century Christians in Asia Minor, specifically that the … [Read more...] about Identity and Mission in 1 Peter 2
We all live in a world marked by pain, hardship, and trials. That means that we all, to some degree, understand what it means to suffer. Sometimes we suffer unjustly. That is, sometimes we experience heartache and loss at the hands of careless and sinful people. But other times we suffer justly because we are careless and sinful people. When Paul penned his letter to … [Read more...] about Philippians: Progress and Joy
We don’t read the Bible, we don’t ponder and pour over the word of God to fill our minds with stuff (information). We dig through the caverns of scripture to enable transformation. We mine passionately every passage we find ourselves in because we desire life; not because we desire bigger brains. This truth pulsated from the very core of who the Apostle Paul was. Over and over … [Read more...] about The Crutch of the Cross
“What sin, if left unchecked, would undo you? What could potentially disqualify you from ministry and kill your future church plant?… Name that sin and talk about it with a brother sitting next to you”. Who did this pastor think he was? What kind of question was that? “Nothing,” I thought as I glanced around the room, “nothing could stop me from doing what God had called me to … [Read more...] about Healthy Leaders Need Other Healthy Leaders
There once was a guitar. This guitar was brand new; it had a maple neck, a spruce top, and no imperfections. It had one purpose, one reason for existing. That reason was to hit me dead in the center of my chest. Its mission was to bury its now broken body directly into the center of my heart. It was delivered in such a way to shout at my soul. It had one message to breathe into … [Read more...] about Toilet Water, Booze, and Jesus
Without a robust understanding of God’s sovereignty, leaders cannot confidently go where God has called them to go. They cannot (and will not) face the sin that perverts and destroys their lives – and the lives of their people. If we do not understand that God lovingly holds all things in his hand, leaders are attempting to survive high-risk missions without firearms. They are … [Read more...] about Healthy Leaders Need a Radical Trust in the Sovereignty of God
The reality is this: broken and sinful people (that is — all people) severely need the gospel. It is the difference between life and death. Either people are left dead in their sins or they are, by God’s grace, made alive in Jesus. Either their desires end them or Jesus performs a heart transplant. Either people perish or they bear fruit. This means that leaders called by God … [Read more...] about Healthy Leaders Need a Heart-Shattering and Sober Understanding of Sin