Archive for September, 2013

One of the leading causes of my natural tendency to self-love is fear. I fear that if I do not love myself there would be no one left to love me quite so well as I do. An even more significant cause of self-love is a lack of persuasion that  there is someone out there who is worthy to be loved more than I. Arrogance lies beneath both of these causes: I love myself supremely because I am the most worthy person I know to be loved and also because I think I can do a better job at it than anyone else. Such arrogance makes me dangerous, yet it is deeply ingrained in my sinful flesh.

Thankfully, the gospel frees me from the shackles of self-love by addressing both of these causes. First, the gospel assures me that the love of God is superior to any love that I could ever give myself. “Greater love has no one than this,” says Jesus while speaking of His love. And the deeper I go into the gospel, the more I experience the truth of His claim and thereby know how His love for me surpasses even my own. His astonishing love for me renders self-absorption moot and frees me up to move on to causes and interests far greater than myself.

Second, the gospel reveals to me the breathtaking glory and loveliness of God, and in so doing, it lures my heart away from the love of self and leaves me enthralled by Him instead. The more I behold God’s glory in the gospel, the more lovely He appears to me. And the more lovely He appears, the more self fades into the background like a former love interest who can no longer compete for my affections.

(Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians, pp. 30-31)

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I had the privilege of preaching on 1 Peter 1:3-5 this morning. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: In the midst of trials, we can praise God because our salvation comes from Him, and our salvation is secure.

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Ladies and gentlemen: “Thankful” by Caedmon’s Call. I love this song! Enjoy

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I had the privilege of preaching on 1 Peter 1:1-2 this morning. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Our hope is based on our identity, and the basis of our identity in Christ is our election by God.

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For those of you who have a Kindle, or some other e-reader, Ligonier ministries has a great deal for you. As Tom Peterson (remember him?) would say, “Free is a very good price!” Anthony Carter’s book Blood Work: How the Blood of Christ Accomplishes our Salvation is available as a free download until the end of the month. Get it!

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on 1 Peter 1:1 (called “A Letter from Peter”). Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: In the face of persecution, suffering, and trials, God gives us grace for today and the hope of glory in the future.

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The God Who Knows All

O LORD, You have searched me and know me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot again it. (Psalm 139:1-6)

In beautiful and picturesque language, David praises God in this psalm for His omniscience. God knows all things past, present, and future. There is nothing He doesn’t know. What is hidden from human sight is known by God. He sees all and knows all, in other words.

All of God’s attributes give us comfort, convict us, challenge us, and cause us to praise Him.

God’s omniscience should comfort us. He knows all there is to know, so He’s not “in the dark” about anything. The Lord knows all the facts about every circumstance and situation. He knows what we’re going through. He knows what we’re thinking and feeling. He’s aware, in ways we can’t begin to  understand, of what are brothers and sisters in Christ in Syria are experiencing. We can never say “God doesn’t know.” He does! That He is “intimately acquainted” ought to give us great comfort.

God’s omniscience should convict us. God knows everything, which includes our sins whether they are in thought, word, deed, attitude, or motive. He knows when fallen short of His glorious perfection, even if no one else does. There isn’t anything, no matter how small, that can be hidden from God. He knows everything about me including my sin – I can’t hide it from Him.

God’s omniscience should challenge us. Although omniscience is not a communicable attribute of God (meaning that we can’t completely reflect it), w can imitate it to a certain extent. Because God knows all things, knowledge is possible and important. Being a ‘know-nothing” or ignorant is not bliss. We should strive to know all we can about as many subjects as we can because we reflect God’s character trait of omniscience when we do.

God’s omniscience should cause us to praise Him. Think about – God knows absolutely everything! Consider how much there is to know in the universe and we might just begin to have some idea of how infinite the One who knows it all is. The fact that God knows all things makes Him worthy of praise. “Oh, the depth of the riches both of  the wisdom and knowledge of God” (Rom. 11:33)!

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on Philippians 3:12-14. Here’s a summary of my sermon (called “Reaching Forward”) in one sentence: In order to work toward the goal God has given us as a church, we have to recognize we haven’t reached it yet, not live in the past, reach forward, and keep our eye on the goal.

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“Why don’t we all agree as Christians? We read the same Bible and have the same Holy Spirit, so why don’t we have the same opinions and views on things?”

I get that question a lot, especially when a discussion of doctrinal matters are involved. It’s an honest question. R. C. Sproul, Jr. has an honest answer. You can read it here.

Here’s a summary of his answer to the question of why do Christians disagree?

  1. Self interest leads us into error.
  2. Pride leads us into error.
  3. sloth leads us into error.
  4. Sloppy thinking leads us into error.
  5. Misplaced loyalty leads us into error.

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching a sermon called “Do You Understand?” about what God has called the church to do. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Our message is the gospel of Jesus Christ; our method is making disciples of all the nations; and our motivation is a love for God and others.

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