Christian Living


One cannot have a discussion about the gospel without discussing the relationship of the unbeliever to the gospel. The Bible is clear about the nature of mankind. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The reason for our sin is given as well, “And you (that’s me and you) were dead in our trespasses and sins…and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Ephesians 2:1,3). What relationship to the gospel can a bunch of corpses possibly have? The answer is found at the end of Peter’s Pentecost sermon. After Peter’s conclusion, the people cry out, “Brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). The answer 2000 years ago is the same answer today, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). The good news to the unbeliever is a command to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. It is a call for them to trust in the only one who can ever pay the penalty for their sins (except they pay it in hell for eternity). Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? If not, repent of your sins and trust in Christ. Place your affection and love in the Savior and not your transgressions.

One of the main problems in many churches today is that they are denying or distracting people from the gospel. Congregations today are about many things, but they’re not about the good news of Jesus Christ. They “do” lots of stuff and have lots of programs, but they do not proclaim the substitutionary atonement that Jesus made on Calvary’s Cross. The church in Corinth had succumbed to this very same problem. They had removed Christ from His proper place as the center of the church. This is why Paul tells them, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Everything we do must flow from the gospel. That means that everything we are as a church must flow from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that this will look different than most churches in our culture today. The gospel is the most valuable treasure that we possess. Why would we center on anything less?

What does the gospel look like in your everyday life? This is a question that I have been pondering the last few days after having a conversation with a Christian brother. What is your take on this? What does the gospel look like in your life? In other words, what radical things are happening/shaping every day you live because Jesus lived the sinless life that you could never live and then died as your substitute? I’m looking for lots of comments on this one so help me out!

A good resource for you if you’d like to read more would be The Gospel For Real Life by Jerry Bridges.

What will God use to measure whether or not Enjoying God Fellowship is a “successful church?” Will it be how big we get or how many baptisms we have? Is success to be found in the size of the building that we will eventually build (because you can’t be a church without a building evidently)? You could have all of that and be an utter failure in God’s eyes. To be honest, God could care less about all of those things if they define your existence as a church. “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies” (Amos 5:21). Isaiah writes, “And the Lord said, ‘Because this people draw near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me'” (Isaiah 29:13). In other words, it does not bring God any joy when His people only look good on the outside, in fact He hates it! It doesn’t take a work of God to draw a crowd or coreograph some elaborate “worship service.” These are not the things that God is after.

David penned Psalm 51 after being confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. Psalm 51 is the result of a man who sinned greatly against God and expereienced genuine repentance. As the Psalm is drawing to a close we read in verses 16 and 17, “For You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

Broken people are the evidence of God’s mighty hand. Broken hearts are by far a greater miracle than booming crowds. If Enjoying God Fellowship is going to be used by God to do great things, it will only happen if our hearts are broken.

Which is more important, that our faith is true or that our faith is real? The answer, of course, is YES!  Ed Stetzer has pointed out that past generations (modernity) were asking the question “Is it true?” while emerging post-moderns are asking “Is it real?” It would be a mistake to abandon truth for the sake of authenticity.  Living an “authentic lie” (sincerely having faith in something you aren’t sure is true) is the result of this kind of thinking. It is an oxymoron to say that we can have a real faith that isn’t based on truth. Our culture (and even church-goers) are tired of the disconnect they are getting in the pulpit and from those in the pews. They are sick of the “do as I say not as I do” approach to preaching. Preachers that pound the pulpit with their fists about certain sins and then “look the other way” when they actually have been committed are not only spineless, they are teaching the people to disconnect the church from “real life.” Our faith in Jesus Christ is not only true, it is real.  This is real life!

Jesus told his disciples, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Do you see truth and reality in the statement made by Jesus? The truth that we ARE His disciples. It’s also real: they will know this truth by our love for one another. What is it going to take to finish God’s mission on earth? What is it going to take to reach all peoples for Jesus Christ? It’s going to take followers of Christ who are committed to the truth and who live out the truth in reality.