Posts filed under ‘Christian Theology’

Christian Living as “Salt and Light”

salt-and-light2

This was originally published at The Biblical Recorder.

As citizens of the Kingdom of God, Christians are expected to live according to high moral standards. However, when we reflect on the ethic that Jesus calls for in the Sermon on the Mount, it can be easy to fall into despair. Who among us can perfectly uphold these holy virtues? If we are honest, all of us fall short more than we’d like to admit.

The Good News of the gospel is that Jesus came to fulfill the totality of the law. In other words, where the Israelites failed, where we fail, Christ has perfectly lived according to every “iota and dot” of God’s perfect law.

Though our righteousness has not exceeded the Scribes and the Pharisees, His has. And it is through Him that we are able to enter the Kingdom of heaven by grace alone, through faith alone.

But do not be mistaken! Christ still calls His disciples to not only teach His commands, but also live according to His commands.

Jesus illustrates this point by using the examples of salt and light. Like salt, Christians are to preserve what is good, and season our lives for the good of the world. As a light to the world, God’s people are called to illuminate the world through good works that bring glory to Him.

This is a call for believers to live a life of worship in response to God’s saving grace.

The law is for our good because it shapes our life of worship to be offered as a sacrifice of praise. Christ did not abolish the law, He fulfilled it. He also empowers us to live out the law through His Spirit. Oh what amazing grace!

We live in a broken world where all that is good is being corroded away by sin. In His power, we are the salt that preserves God’s good presence to those around us.

We live in a dark world where the shadows of sin creep into every area of society. By His power, our lives illuminate the darkness, pointing others to find their way to the light of Jesus Christ.

May 24, 2016 at 7:15 am Leave a comment

Christian Character in the Sermon on the Mount

Sermon on the Mount

This was originally posted at The Biblical Recorder.

Throughout the ages the Church has utilized Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to frame the Christian life. More specifically, one of the essential passages that the ancient Fathers of the church used to catechize new believers was the “beatitudes,” which are short statements that summarized the essence of that sermon. These statements are labeled the “beatitudes” from the Latin word beatus, which means “blessed or happy.” In other words, it is a state of living that is not marked by temporary and circumstantial happiness, but a deep joy that is rooted in one’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

  • The poor in Spirit are blessed because they recognize their neediness for grace from God.

  • Those who mourn their sin, also recognize the comfort they find in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

  • The meek are blessed because they do not feel the need to assert themselves over others to get what they want, but find rest in God’s providential sovereignty over all events on earth.

  • Those who long for righteousness, find satisfaction in the deep wells of gospel empowered and Spirit reliant living.

  • The merciful are blessed, because they, after receiving mercy from God, can offer mercy to others freely.

  • The pure in heart are those who have seen God in Christ, and have received His righteousness as a gift in faith.

  • Those who make peace, (or seek the well-being of those around them) receive the blessing of giving the lost a picture of what is to come.

  • Even those who are wrongly treated and reviled are counted among the blessed, because their reward in the world to come is certainly worth the trials here.

This is a life lived in the power of the Spirit and in response to God’s blessing. We are doubly blessed because we experience God’s blessing in obedience (Luke 11:28; 1 Peter 3:9; James 1:22; Revelation 22:7). But even more so, obedience itself is a blessing! Which one of us would be able to live this way in our own power?

May 20, 2016 at 7:15 am Leave a comment

The Bible Studies for Life “Disciple Thru” Event

discipleshipthru_logo

This past week I have the privilege of participating in the The Bible Studies for LifeDisciple Thru” online event. The event consisted of several video teachings from pastors and church leaders. For a limited time, you can still watch the videos.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the event.

Eric Mason

  • In the Christian life, comprehensive discipleship is a core necessity. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • When you teach the core of the Christian faith, you cannot assume anything. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Discipleship involves core training both theologically and practically. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We must preach the gospel robustly, but with accessibility and simplicity. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Jesus in not an option in discipleship, He is the core of discipleship. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to minister to people who are dealing with affliction, namely, the poor, the widows, the orphans. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • All things were made for Christ; therefore everything must be subdued and developed to help the needy. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to disciple from the block to the boardroom. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to preach the whole gospel to the whole person so that we can have whole people in the body of Christ. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We must develop principled pathways based on propositional truth to show how doctrine works out in every area of life. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to made disciples who make disciples. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • God is unique and set apart, therefore God’s people are to be unique and set part as distinct in the world. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • As disciples we have been made holy by God, and yet we pursue holiness to reflect the image of God in this world. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • As God blesses you with resources, utilize those resources to bless those who God has placed in your path. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • How you treat others is just as much a discipleship issue as it is a sociological issue. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Mission and discipleship are coupled in how we civically engage the sojourner among us. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • The truth of God’s word demands that we treat others with mercy and justice. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We gather the people of God to disciple them and scatter them into the world to be disciple makers. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Discipleship should take place in our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces. @pastoremase #BSFL16

Chris Brown

  • Isn’t it frustrating when people’s actions do not line up with what they verbally “amen” in our churches? @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • The gap between what people say and what they do comes down to a lack of margin. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Where there is no margin, there is no ministry. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Too many of our people are intentioned for ministry, but they are not positioned for ministry. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • We are called to disciple people, even in their finances. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Regardless of salary, 70% of Americans live paycheck to pay check. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • 18% of Americans live worse than paycheck to pay check. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • The reality is, 78% of American Christians live broke or worse. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Over 1/3 of American adults are in the debt collection process. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, we are called to model biblical stewardship to our people. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • We are called to manage God’s resources, His way, for His glory. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • We need to understand the difference between the worlds way of handling money, and God’s way of handling money. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, we are called to teach God’s way of handling money. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • The world handles money with entitlement. God’s people should handle money with gratitude and contentment. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • When it comes to our resources, we need to believe that ALL things belong to God. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • God owns all things. We are simply managers and stewards. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • As managers and stewards, we are called to be faithful with what God has given us. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • So many people in our churches are aiming at nothing, and hitting it every time. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Did you know that it is possible to give cheerfully! @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Those who can be entrusted with little can be trusted with much. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • When it comes to stewardship, we have to tell people to, and teach them how. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • When our belief changes, it leads to a different set of actions, that lead to a different set of results. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • As Christians, we don’t worship the provision, we worship the provider. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16

Matt Capps

  • No matter how many precautions we take, or how much we prepare, hardship comes to each and everyone of us. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Hardship is no respecter of persons. Are you prepared? @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • At any point in our lives, we are coming out of hardship, facing hardship, or preparing to enter into hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • We have been sold the lie that if God really loves us, our life will be easy – full of health, wealth, and prosperity. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The secular view of hardship is that it is meaningless, an interruption to the victorious Christian life. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Facing hardship is not a matter of if, but when. As the Apostle Peter wrote, “When you suffer.” @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The sad reality is that many saints are ill prepared to face hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • As Christians we have a deep and robust biblical grounding to persevere through whatever they may face in this life. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • We need to learn how to disciple one another to prepare for, and persevere through hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Christians should not see hardship as meaningless, but meaningful. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Christians should not see hardships as being an interruption, but an opportunity. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • God can and will work all things for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • In hardship, we must be ok with no explanation, with the truth that “the secret things belong to the Lord our God.” @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Our initial prayer in hardship should be, “God, how can I use this hardship for your glory.” @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The opportunity for Christians is to glorify God in the midst of – despite of – the hardships we face. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The victorious Christian life is not free from hardship; our victory in Christ is shown in our perseverance through hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • One of the most powerful apologetics for the Christian faith, is an unshakable trust in God’s providential hand. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Sure, our hardship will drive us to our knees. But it will drive us to our knees in prayer. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Sometimes it takes hardship to bring you to the place where we see that Jesus is all you need. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Every hardship we face in the Christian life will only enhance our eternal delight in the life to come. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Christian, there is coming a day where mourning, crying, and pain will be no more. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • One day, we will look back and see that hardship showed us that God’s steadfast love is better than life. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • If you are ever facing hardship and you wonder if God loves you, look to the cross. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • If you are ever facing hardship and you wonder if God will deliver you through it, look to the resurrection. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • If you are ever facing hardship and you wonder if anything can stop the pain and darkness, look to the ascension. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • In the family of God we are able to care, and be cared for, to love and be loved, to encourage and be encouraged. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The people of God, filled with the Spirit of God, armed with the word of God, can accomplish the mission of God. @mattcapps #BSFL16

Jackie Bledsoe

  • In our culture the basic foundations of marriage are confusion to people. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • In our culture, marriage is often devalued or treated as a joke. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • If God is the author of marriage, how does our view of marriage reveal our view of God? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Regardless of the state of marriage in our country, we can hope in Christ. There is no confusion in Christ. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Christians, we have the perfect opportunity to point people to Jesus through our marriages. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • We want hearts and minds pointed towards Jesus because of how we relate to one another in marriage. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • We are called to bring God honor and glory through our marriage relationships. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Today in our churches, marriage is vastly underserved. It is not easy to find marriage ministries. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Church leader, are you modeling what God wants to do through marriage in your own? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • What good has God done in your marriage? How you share that good news with others? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Married people, what couples in your church can you invest in and pour in to? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Model your marriage. Teach on marriage. Equip them for marriage. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Through healthy marriage, we can show people who God is and His love for us in Jesus. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • We need to reclaim marriage according to God’s original intent. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16

Jeremiah Johnston

  • There are two errors for Christians when it comes to the paranormal: fascination and ignoring it. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Our culture is fascinated with the paranormal world. Leader, can you answer questions related to it? @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • There were both miracles and exorcisms in the ministry of Jesus. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • In the ministry of Christ, we see God invading the kingdom of Satan. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • In the New Testament, Jesus’s name was so powerful that even paranormal priests recognized him. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The paranormal is attractive and is normal in our society. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The more education one has, the more likely that person is to believe in the demonic and paranormal world. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • 71% of American’s believe they have had a paranormal experience. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Only 28% of our young people say they have believed anything at church to help them with the paranormal around them. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • As soon as you open the door to demonic activity it becomes really hard to shut it. It is a slippery slope. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The false gospel of a paranormal world is that life has no meaning. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Fascination with the paranormal will bring you into bondage and greater confusion. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Did you know that there are more than 300 psychics that are ordained as “Christian” ministers? @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The demonic world preys on hurting people. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Only Jesus Christ can set me free. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Only in Jesus Christ can we find the true purpose for our lives. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • There is power and authority in the name of Jesus Christ. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Unbelief fears Satan as a lion. Belief tramples Satan as a worm. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • We need the light of Jesus Christ to shine in the darkness of our world. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • When it comes to the paranormal, lets recognize it and know how to respond to it. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16

Eric Geiger

  • How do you disciples someone through success? @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Just as God uses trials and pain to sanctify us, He can also use success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Most of the people we lead are not going through deep pain, but seasons of success. How will you disciple them through it? @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • We need to remind each other that God is in control and gives authority and success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • In seasons of success, we need to remind one another that it is a gift of God. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • If someone is experiencing success, it is only because God has chosen to bless them with success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • The gospel tells us that all good things are because of God, not us. We do not bring anything to the table. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • The Christian faith is something we receive; it is not something we achieve. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • We need to remind one another that God is better than our seasons of success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God gives success. But God is better than success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God is more satisfying than the promotion. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God is better than the great business deal. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God is more liberating than anything this world offers. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Success pales in comparison to the greatness of God. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Sanctification through poverty: identity in the struggle. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Sanctification through prosperity: identify in the gifts. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • We find our satisfaction not in the gifts of God, but in God himself. @ericgeiger #BSFL16

Jesse Campbell

  • When we minister to people through tragedy we must teach that God is ultimately sovereign. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God always has purpose in tragedy. God can take it and write a story of healing and redemption. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • Tragedy often shows that our faith refined by fire may be proven genuine. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • We must call people to respond in tragedy like Job. Though God may slay me, I will hope in Him. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • Even when Satan attacks, our faith in God can remain in tact. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • Do we consider it pure joy when our faith is tested? @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • When we bring about our own tragedy, we must confess that it is against God alone that we have sinned. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • The central truth is that God redeems tragedy. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God can work all things, even tragedy, for the good of His purpose. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • A moment in God’s presence will alleviate all the pain we have experienced in tragedy. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God can build a beautiful testimony through our tragedies. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God can take anything in our lives and use it to prepare us to minister to others. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16

Tony Merida

  • Most of our favorite meal times are with others. This is a great ministry opportunity. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The reason we long for meals with friends is that we were made for these. We are headed to Marriage Supper of the Lamb. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • All of history is moving to a time when Christians will dine with the King. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • One of the ways we can minister to people is to practice hospitality. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Practicing hospitality is not about being nice, its about putting on display the kingdom of God. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The whole story of the Bible can be told through a meal. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • God provides in the garden, God provides for Abraham, God provides during the exodus, God provides in the Promised Land. God is the ultimate host. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Meals are central, this is why Jesus came eating and drinking. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • In the gospel of Luke, Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Jesus never started a school or a program, he just ate with people. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Ministry through hospitality is something every Christian can do. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • We can strategically use every meal to put Jesus’ revolutionary Kingdom on display. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The act of hospitality puts on display the gospel that we believe. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The proper response to grace is always grace. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The more we internalize the gospel of grace, the more we should demonstrate it to others. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Jesus brought us in and has shown us grace, we should do the same for others. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Effective ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • How can we use our homes as a way to show mercy, communicate the gospel, and build community. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Lives are often changed by asking simple questions like “would you like to come over and eat”? @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Think of your home as a great means of ministry. @tonymerida #BSFL16

Jonathan Falwell

  • We need to recognize the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • The purpose of discipleship is to become more like Christ. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • Discipleship requires us to take deliberate steps. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • In the midst of life changing moments we need to stay firm in becoming like Christ. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • Do not let the winds of change and uncertainty stop us in our faith walk. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need our roots so deep in the faith that we stand strong in the winds of life. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need to be firmly rooted, established, and locked in the faith to stand strong in hard situations. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a diligent and deliberate plan to remain rooted in the faith. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a powerful prayer plan to stand strong in life change. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a deliberate Bible study plan to plant our roots deep in the midst of life change. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • When we pick up God’s word, He speaks to us and to our life situation. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a deliberate plan of dependence on God to remain firm during life change. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need to be in God’s word to remain completely dependent on Him. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a deliberate plan of multiplication to help others remain strong during life transition. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16

Derwin Gray

  • To be a disciple means that you are a part of a story much larger than you. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • The greater story of discipleship informs and transforms how we live. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • We need to think of discipleship in the context of being God’s people, students of Jesus. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Making disciples of all nations means making disciples of all people across the sea and across the street. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Love God. Love Self. Love Neighbor. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • In the New Testament, multi-ethnic church was not just a model of doing church, it was the church. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • The essence of discipleship is about becoming mature in Christ. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • If you want to grow as a disciple you need to be involved in cross-cultural ministry. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • In others differences, we find ourselves, and others find themselves. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • A big part of discipleship is the art of listening to someone else’s story. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Understating someone else’s story allows you to walk in their shoes. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Until you have walked in someone else’s shoes, do not criticize them. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Learn others story, hear what God has done in them. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Proximity evolves into intimacy. It is hard to hate people up close. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • It is easy to hate others from a distance. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Jesus meets us at different stages of life to conform us to his image through the holy spirit to present us mature. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • God’s goal in discipleship is not information, but transformation. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16

Thom Rainer

  • We need to disciple our children with intentionality. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Every night, we should read God’s word to our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Every night, we should pray with our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Even when our children are teenagers, we should continue to disciple our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • We should intentionally teach our children spiritual disciplines and the basics of the faith. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Some of our best times involved our children asking us spontaneous questions about the Bible. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, our children need to see us share our faith. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, take your children with you when you visit people. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, model servant leadership and acts of kindness to your children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • We should disciple our children in formal and informal contexts. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Even on vacation, as you walk the beach, talk about the greatness of God’s creation. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Share with and teach your children the beauty of God’s creation. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Be transparent and authentic with your children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Pastors, what your children see in the pulpit needs to be what they see during the week. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Even in our humor, we can show our children the joy of our faith. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Laughter and joy is an important part of cultivating discipleship in your family. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Joy should shape your home as a safe spiritual haven. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Through our joy we can show our children that God is a loving Father. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Our children should see that we love our spouses. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • One of the greatest things that gives our children security is to see that we love our spouses. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • We will not do everything right, but God will use us to disciple our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • The greatest opportunity we have is to disciple our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16

Trillia Newbell

  • Men and women are created in the image of God, created equal but different. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Because of sin, women are often objectified in sexuality. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Understanding the fall gives us a foundation for how it affects us. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Did you know that women ages 16-19 years old have the highest rate of sexual victimization? @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Sadly, sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • 1 out of every 6 women in the US have been raped or assaulted at some point in their lives. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Have you considered that your churches are full of people that have been assaulted sexually? @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Sexual victims need to be freed from their disgrace by the power of the gospel. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • When it comes to sexual assault, leaders must be prepared to care for victims through Caesar and the Church. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Our people are inundated with sexually explicit material. Are you prepared to minister to your people in this area? @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Sex was created by God and intended to be enjoyed in the context of marriage. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Because of sin, sex is distorted, twisted, abused and neglected. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • The Bible is clear. Christians are called to abstain from sexual immorality. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • God has called us to purity and holiness! @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Our sin not only affects ourselves, but it also affects others. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Whoever engages in sexual sin, sins against a holy and just God. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We are called to exercise control over our minds and our bodies. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We are called to think on things that are true, honorable, and pure. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • In our sex crazed society, we have to push against the culture and take captive of our own thoughts. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Do not buy the lie that you must be sexual to attract the opposite sex. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We fight against sin because God is worth fighting for. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We are created to bring God glory! @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • In our fight against sexual sin, we need to preach the gospel to ourselves and fix our eyes on Christ. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • As God’s children, we trust that saying no to sexual sin is the best that He has for us. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We pursue righteousness and fight sin because of our love for Jesus Christ, and we are His beloved. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Remember there are people around you that are suffering at the hands of others, and are struggling with their own sin. @trillianewbell #BSFL16

May 6, 2016 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

Is Sunday School Still An Effective Ministry?

I recently sat down with The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina to talk about the role of Sunday School in church ministry. Here is one short video from our time together.

April 9, 2016 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Dr. Ken Coley on Transformational Teaching

Ken-Coley-Banner

We are excited to welcome Dr. Ken Coley for our next training event at Fairview Baptist Church!

I am encouraging all of our current teachers, leaders, and those considering serving in those capacities to attend. Also, if you are interested in learning how to better teach the Bible, please join us.

Participants will have the opportunity to interact with each other and the presenter, and numerous teaching techniques will be modeled during the seminar. We will also serve light foods during the event, so it is important that you sign up.

The content can be described as biblical, practical, and research based. Our presenter has been training teachers for over thirty-five years. Dr. Ken Coley (Ed.D., University of Maryland) is Professor of Christian Education at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Sign up here! 

April 4, 2016 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Cherished in God’s Eyes

IMG_2073What is man that you are mindful of him? – Psalm 8:4a

Genesis 1:26-31 informs us that God intimately created humans in His likeness. According to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary professor John Hammett, creation in the image of God is the basis for human dignity and that killing a human or to even curse one is an affront to and an attack upon the living God.

This is certainly true of babies, the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Indeed, all human beings are lovingly knitted together in their mother’s womb by God (Psalm 139). According to Psalm 8:5-8, humanity is set apart and crowned with authority over the earth and its creatures. What causes us to think we can use our God-given authority to usurp God and slaughter the helpless babies made in His image?

We should be thankful and tremble over the fact that God is mindful of all humans. The sovereign God of the universe has His loving eyes on every single one of us and always has even when we were “unformed substance.” God values and deeply cares for even the weakest among us.

As our culture sacrifices infants on the altar of personal convenience we must stand and declare, as Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission reminds us, “The image of God cannot be bartered away, at the abortion clinic counter or anywhere else.”

Let’s pray and work for an end to the injustice of abortion. Let’s pray and work for better solutions for women in crisis. But let’s pray for doctors like this as well. Even more, let’s move beyond standing outside abortion clinics with hateful picket signs, let us lovingly plead, “We will adopt these children, or we’ll stand beside you and help you raise those children.”

We must remember Roe v. Wade does not hold eternal jurisprudence in the Kingdom of God. With convictional kindness, we need to speak clearly of the judgment to come. But we also need to proclaim that the blood of Christ can provide mercy for those who repent.

This was originally published at The Biblical Recorder.

April 1, 2016 at 7:05 am Leave a comment

Do 20% of the people do 80% of the church work?

funny-lazy-people-24__605

This was originally published at The Biblical Recorder.

We have all heard of the economic law labeled the Pareto Principle. According to Vilfredo Pareto, for many events, roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. This principle has been applied to the fields of business, science, software and even criminology. In church life, it is usually said that 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work.

In other words, 80 percent of the congregation remains passive when it comes to living on mission for God.

While it may not be true of all congregations, I think it is safe to say that large portions of the body of Christ do treat church like consumers. For the 80 percent, as theologian David Wells has reminded us, the church is a place to come and receive religious services and goods. If their needs are not met, they begin church shopping.

However, in 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul is clear, the body does not consist of one member but of many. And the apostle Peter is even more explicit, “… As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10). This is how God designed the church. And God calls each and every individual to serve the body with the gifts they have been granted.

The simple truth of the matter is that Christ came to seek and save the lost so that the saved would serve one another and seek the lost. In fact, it is very clear from the New Testament that by the fruit of ones life, others can observe the genuineness of their salvation. Church consumers attend church to have their needs met.

True members of the church have been served to deeply by Christ, that their needs are abundantly met, and that flows over into their desire to meet others needs. The church body is just that, a body. And a body needs all of its parts functioning in order to be healthy. The question is, if you have been saved, are you being a good steward of God’s gracious gifts?

March 17, 2016 at 2:53 pm 1 comment

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