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Archive for May, 2012

At a recent pastor’s conference I attended one of the questions was “In light of  how quickly homosexuality and so-called same-sex marriage is being legalized and legitimized  in our culture, how are you preparing your church to respond to this issue?”  There was a very interesting back and forth between the speakers and all of the points were very helpful.

Kevin DeYoung was not among the speakers but perhaps he heard about the question.  Even if he didn’t he answers that question well in this post where he talks about how we need to understand who we are talking to when we engage people on this issue.

He writes:

  • If we are speaking to cultural elites who despise us and our beliefs, we want to be bold and courageous.
  • If we are speaking to strugglers who fight against same sex attraction, we want to be patient and sympathetic.
  • If we are speaking to sufferers who have been mistreated by the church, we want to be apologetic and humble.
  • If we are speaking to shaky Christians who seem ready to compromise the faith for society’s approval, we want to be persuasive and persistent.
  • If we are speaking to liberal Christians who have deviated from the truth once delivered for the saints, we want to be serious and hortatory.
  • If we are speaking to gays and lesbians who live as the Scriptures would not have them live, we want to be winsome and straightforward.
  • If we are speaking to beligerent Christians who hate or fear homosexuals, we want to be upset and disappointed.

And he then provides ten commitments that we must make to each other, to our friends, and to our opponents on this issue which are as follows:

1. We will preach through the Bible consecutively and expositionally that we might teach the whole counsel of God (even the unpopular parts) and to avoid riding hobby horses (even popular ones).

2. We will tell the truth about all sins, including homosexuality, but especially the sins most prevalent in our communities.

3. We will guard the truth of God’s word, protect God’s people from error, and confront the world when it tries to press us into its mold.

4. We will call all people to faith in Christ as the only way to the Father and the only way to have eternal life.

5. We will tell all people about the good news of the gospel, that Jesus died in our place and rose again so that we might be set free from the curse of the law and be saved from the wrath of God.

6. We will treat all Christians as new creations in Christ, reminding each other that our true identity is not based on sexuality or self-expression but on our union with Christ.

7. We will extend God’s forgiveness to all those who come in brokenhearted repentance, everyone from homosexual sinners to heterosexual sinners, from the proud to the greedy, from the people pleaser to the self-righteous.

8. We will ask for forgiveness when we are rude, thoughtless, or joke inappropriately about homosexuals.

9. We will strive to be a community that welcomes all those who hate their sin and struggle against it, even when that struggle involves failures and setbacks.

10. We will seek to love all  in our midst, regardless of their particular vices or virtues, by preaching the Bible, recognizing evidences of God’s grace, pointing out behaviors that dishonor the Lord, taking church membership seriously, exercising church discipline, announcing the free offer of the gospel, striving for holiness together, and exulting in Christ above all things.

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Adrian expands on these six things that Christians and Muslims differ on.  Click here for much more explanation and documentation.

  1. Whether or not Jesus should be worshipped
  2. Whether Jesus should be described as the “Son of God”
  3. Whether or not Jesus actually died
  4. Whether Jesus was substituted for us on the cross or another man was substituted for him.
  5. Who Jesus promised as His replacement
  6. How can people be saved

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The war on girls is raging in many societies.  Eric Metaxas explains what the truth is–including how there are 160 million “missing” women in Asia–that’s “missing” as in “never being born.

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An 8-part series by Robert Jones

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One new discovery of the glory of Christ’s face, will do more toward scattering clouds of darkness in one minute, than examining old experience, by the best marks that can be given, through a whole year.

— Jonathan Edwards, quoted by Jared C. Wilson inGospel Wakefulness(Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2011), 79

HT: FI

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Terry Enns writes “The audio from the recent “Pure Life Conference” hosted by Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth has been posted.

This conference was designed to help men address sexual temptation and sin with biblical purity.  Our own associate pastor, Keith Palmer taught the third session in this one-day seminar.  The topics included:

  • “The Peril of Sexual Lust”
  • “Understanding the Heart of Sexual Lust”
  • “Practical Strategies for Battling Sexual Lust”

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Having just preached through 1 Peter 1:6-9 on the purposes of trials and afflictions I found this to be an excellent reminder. We are not “removed from the arena of pain” but we are “upheld in the arena of pain.”

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From Facets of Grace (click to enlarge)

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Remember this!

As we get older physically, sometimes one of the first things to go is our short-term memory and then even our long-term memory.  None of us want this to happen physically. But there’s something worse than losing your physical memory–it’s losing your spiritual memory.  So repeatedly in Scripture we see exhortations to remember!  One pastor has compiled these five things that God wants us never to forget:

Remember the day of your deliverance. Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the LORD brought you out from this place” (Ex 13:3). “But thanks be to God that 1though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Rom 6:17-18).

Remember God as the source of all good things, especially when you experience the abundance of His blessings. “Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become 1proud and you will forget the LORD your God” (Deut 8:10-14). “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

Remember the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Cor 11:26).

Remember fellow believers, in prayer, before the throne of God. “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all” (Phil 1:3-4).

Remember God’s calling and choosing you by His grace. “Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me” (2 Pet 1:12-14).

Paul Tautages

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“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

He who would keep his heart pure and holy must plant a sentinel at every avenue by which sin may find access there, guarding against none more than the “little” sins, as they are called. The man of God has his eyes to keep, and so Job said, “I have made a covenant with mine eyes”—, and his tongue, and hence the exhortation, “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile”; —his ears as well, and hence the warning, “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err”; —his feet, and hence David says, “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy word.” And since there is no gate of the five senses by which the enemy may not come in like a flood, unless the Spirit Lift up a standard against him, we have need to guard every port, and write over every portal, “Here there entereth nothing to hurt or to defile.”

~ Thomas Guthrie

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