Our Words Will Be Thunder When Our Life Is Like Lightning


This was originally posted at For The Church, a great resource for pastors and Christians from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

The Bishop Basil of Caesarea is well known in church history for being one of the most influential theologians of the early church.  Basil was a stout theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early church. At the same time, Basil was also known for his care of the hurting and neglected. It was once said of Basil that “his words were like thunder because his life was like lightning.” This is powerful imagery for pastoral ministry, imagery that connects our pastoral calling with our Christian character.

When one examines the character qualifications for pastors in the New Testament, especially in the Pastoral Epistles, it becomes clear that there is a standard for spiritual and moral maturity (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9). In short, pastoral character is vital for faithful ministry. Don Carson has said on many occasions that what is most remarkable about the qualifications for a pastor is that they are so unremarkable. In other words, the quality of character called for in pastors can be found mandated for all Christians in other parts of God’s word.

So, while the pastor is not expected to be the ideal of perfection, pastors are to be mature exemplars of the character demanded of all Christians. One way to think of it is that pastors lead with a limp. While not perfect, pastors are to set an example in Christian character (1 Peter 5:3). This has several implications for pastoral character, and for the development of Christian character within the congregation.

First, as pastors, we must apply God’s word to our own lives as we call the congregation to do the same. The unique element found in the qualifications for pastors, other than being a recent convert, is that a pastor is to be set apart for the teaching of the word. As we know, the teaching of the whole counsel of God includes how to live a God honoring life (1 Timothy 4:16). Pastors must submit their lives to the word they proclaim. For example, it is hard for us to call the church to care for the hurting and neglected, unless we too are committed to the same.

Second, pastors are to lead in repentance. Philosopher Charles Taylor has described our secular age as “the age of authenticity”. Taylor’s analysis is helpful in showing us that confession of weakness and repentance can actually help to endear us to our people. Our people need to see that the character in the Christian life isn’t marked by the sinless life; it’s marked by the repentant life (1 John 1:9). Christ is the only sinless shepherd. We cannot call people to repentance when we are not repenting ourselves. In many ways, the bedrock of pastoral character is a willingness to repent (Ephesians 2:8).

Third, pastors are to commit themselves to the community of faith in which they serve. The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone, even for pastors (Hebrews 10:25). The church community is the primary context where Christians are called to work out the application of God’s word. Moreover, the church community is the place where your need for the gospel is powerfully revealed. This is why it is important for the pastors to be deeply invested in the community of the church (Ephesians 4:11-16). God uses those around us to reveal our sin and encourage us to godliness.

I think all of us want churches full of people with honorable Christian character. This starts with the hard work of developing character within our own lives. Too often pastors want the rain of God’s blessing in their ministry without passing through both thunder and lightning. Pastor, we are expected to lead the congregation not just with the words of our lips, but by the fruit in our life. Our words will be thunder when our life is like lightning.

May 16, 2015 at 7:05 am Leave a comment

300 Gospel-centered Quotes from #TGP15


On Monday (May 11th, 2015) The Gospel Project hosted a free online event titled Gospel. Life. Ministry. You can watch the videos from the event for one more week here.


I collected around 300 quotes from the speakers and have included their twitter handle. Enjoy!

DERWIN GRAY – The Gospel and Religion

  • Good advice is what humans need to do to fix their lives, but good news is an announcement of what Jesus has done to rescue us. @DerwinLGray
  • The church is to represent the future in the present world as His resurrection life is in us. @DerwinLGray
  • The gospel is about what Christ has done for us, what He is doing in us, and what He wants to do through us. @DerwinLGray
  • Performanced-based religion always ends in either pride or despair because it’s all about you. @DerwinLGray
  • Every act of Christ’s obedience was a declaration of love for us. He did what we could not do. @DerwinLGray
  • Jesus is not a life coach. Jesus is life. @DerwinLGray
  • Jesus isn’t a blessing ATM. Jesus is God. Jesus is King. @DerwinLGray
  • The more we dwell on the good news of the gospel, the more we are conformed to Christ’s image. @DerwinLGray
  • There are a lot of people who love the Bible but don’t know the God of the Bible. @DerwinLGray

PAUL TRIPP – The Gospel and the Heart

  • My deepest problems exist inside of me, not outside of me. @PaulTripp
  • If you are able to convince yourself that your biggest problems are outside of you and not inside of you, you are no longer interested in God’s grace. @PaulTripp
  • The gospel rescues me from me. @PaulTripp
  • There is a spiritual connection between what’s in our hearts to what comes out in our behavior. @PaulTripp
  • What we value most will control our hearts. What controls our hearts controls our behavior. @PaulTripp
  • If I watched the last six weeks of your life, what would I say that you truly value? @PaulTripp
  • We need to be rescued from ourselves. The mess inside of us is connected to the mess outside of us. @PaulTripp
  • We cannot ask the law to do in peoples lives what only grace can do. @PaulTripp
  • If the law were able to deliver us from sin, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to come. @PaulTripp
  • We don’t believe in a system of redemption. We believe in a Redeemer. His name is Jesus. @PaulTripp

TREVIN WAX – The Gospel and Repentance

  • Repentance is central to the Christian life. @TrevinWax
  • As Christians, we must believe that all of life is repentance. @TrevinWax
  • Repentance and faith must be together for genuine Christianity. @TrevinWax
  • We must have repentant faith and faithful repentance. @TrevinWax
  • There is no Christian life apart from repentance. @TrevinWax
  • Repentance is controversial because it presupposes that there is something wrong with us. @TrevinWax
  • The world’s way of dealing with sin is redefinition. God’s way of dealing with sin is redemption. @TrevinWax
  • When we downplay repentance in the church, we create religious people who are on the way to hell. @TrevinWax
  • The beauty of repentance is that it gives us an authenticity about who we are and who we are before God. @TrevinWax
  • The closer you get to Jesus, the more you realize how much you need to repent. @TrevinWax
  • You don’t repent less as you grow in holiness, you repent more! @TrevinWax
  • The victorious Christian life isn’t the sinless life; it’s the repentant life. @TrevinWax
  • We cannot call people to repentance when we are not repenting ourselves. @TrevinWax

JD GREEAR – The Gospel and Family Discipleship

  • Good parenting techniques are awesome, but God is the only One who can shape and change our kids’ hearts. @JDGreear
  • When we externally conform our kids’ hearts to the laws of God without heart change, they’ll either break spiritually or become hypocrites. @JDGreear
  • We must depend on God’s Spirit to conform our kids to the gospel. @JDGreear
  • The gospel changes the affections of the heart. @JDGreear
  • By learning of God’s deep love for us, a deep love for God is produced in us. @JDGreear
  • Children are given to us to shape for the mission of God. @JDGreear
  • We need to release our children to serve on mission with God—either across the street or across the world. @JDGreear
  • We are to shape our children as arrows, pull them back on the bowstring of faith, and launch them into the world for the kingdom of God. @JDGreear
  • There are two gardens that God grows a child in: the home and the church. @JDGreear
  • When you grasp the gospel in parenting, you can rest and say, God…I’ve done what You asked me to do, I now leave it to You. @JDGreear
  • When it comes to parenting, we need to trust in God’s mercy and not our ability. @JDGreear

GLORIA FURMAN – The Gospel and Motherhood

  • The gospel transforms motherhood as we are transformed by God’s Word. @gloriafurman
  • Motherhood was God’s idea to glorify Himself. @gloriafurman
  • If motherhood is about us, it ends with us. If motherhood is about God, it ends in worship. @gloriafurman
  • Motherhood is an act of worship because we are utterly dependant on God. @gloriafurman
  • Our source of hope as mothers is found in the promises of Christ. @gloriafurman
  • As mothers, we need to treasure Christ when our hands are full. @gloriafurman
  • Our hope as mothers is not found in development milestones but in a person—Jesus. @gloriafurman
  • Our children are precious gifts made in the image of God. @gloriafurman

ERIC MASON – The Gospel and Fatherhood

  • Fatherlessness is in jeopardy throughout our culture. The church needs to engage this issue. @pastoremase
  • We need men who reflect God’s design for fatherhood. @pastoremase
  • Men, Jesus came to restore us to a new humanity, or a “newmanity.” @pastoremase
  • When God redeems a man, the gospel permeates every area of his life—especially fatherhood. @pastoremase
  • As men, we need to grow in our understanding of what it means to grow as a gospel-centered father. @pastoremase
  • Every area of our lives needs to be permeated by God’s Word. @pastoremase
  • Fathers, love in response to the sacrificial love of Christ for you. @pastoremase
  • The church is the place where manhood is clear. @pastoremase
  • We need to intentionally focus on biblical manhood in our culture. @pastoremase
  • The gospel permeates and transforms manhood and fatherhood. @pastoremase

BEN TRUEBLOOD – The Gospel and Student Ministry

  • Student pastors, you are called to be the watchman over the students God has entrusted to you. @bentrueblood
  • We are charged to sound the alarm of God’s salvation as the watchmen over our students! @bentrueblood
  • Jesus is pointed to from cover to cover. He is throughout the Bible. @bentrueblood
  • We need to consistently call our students to respond to the gospel. @bentrueblood
  • Our role is to blast the trumpet of the gospel to students at every opportunity. @bentrueblood
  • The gospel is not just for our salvation moment but for our entire life. @bentrueblood
  • We can’t pay Jesus back for the free message of grace. @bentrueblood
  • The gospel is not about us trying; its about us dying. @bentrueblood
  • We live life in light of who God has declared us to be in Jesus. @bentrueblood
  • If we just focus on behavior, we give our students a yoke of burden that will crush them. @bentrueblood
  • Students can’t will themselves to live for Jesus. @bentrueblood
  • We need to point students to Jesus, not to a list of do’s and don’ts. @bentrueblood

JANA MAGRUDER – The Gospel and Kids Ministry

  • If the gospel is not at the center of your kids ministry, you could be missing the whole point. @jana_magruder
  • The gospel is not an attachment to the end of a lesson. The gospel is central to every lesson. @jana_magruder
  • Teaching partial biblical truth is dangerous. @jana_magruder
  • Kids can understand biblical truth when we teach them the whole story. @jana_magruder
  • We need to teach kids that the Bible is a story about God, not a story about us. @jana_magruder
  • The story of the Bible is not about what kids should or should not do; it is a story about what God has done and is doing. @jana_magruder
  • The Bible is about God and His plan to redeem us. @jana_magruder
  • We must teach kids the whole story of redemption from beginning to end. @jana_magruder
  • Trust God to give kids the faith to understand the Bible. @jana_magruder
  • Teach the Bible to kids well, but trust in God to transform their little hearts. @jana_magruder

ERIC GEIGER – The Gospel and Groups

  • The gospel should have massive impact on our group ministry. @ericgeiger
  • The good news of Jesus must be applied to our groups. @ericgeiger
  • If there is not a deep connection between the gospel and groups, our people will form community on something other than the gospel. @ericgeiger
  • Community is only as strong as the foundation it is built upon. @ericgeiger
  • We need our groups built around something eternal, namely, Jesus Christ. @ericgeiger
  • People mature when the truth of the gospel is applied to their hearts, while they are in a receptive posture, from leaders they love and trust. @ericgeiger
  • The Bible calls us to gather regularly, to encourage one another regularly. @ericgeiger
  • Those who are in a small group confess sin, give, and share the gospel more regularly than others. @ericgeiger
  • Feed your people the truth. The content of our groups needs to point to Jesus. @ericgeiger
  • We will not see transformation happen when our groups are shallow. @ericgeiger
  • When people are in community, the posture of their heart is more receptive to the gospel. @ericgeiger
  • We need to launch groups to connect the unconnected. @ericgeiger
  • Leaders, develop other leaders. There is no such thing as an omni-competent leader. @ericgeiger
  • Groups can make a significant impact as the gospel is applied to people’s hearts while they are in community. @ericgeiger

RAY ORTLUND – The Gospel and Revival

  • The gospel is God’s power generator in this world to create a new community. @rayortlund
  • Only God can bring us back into God’s good graces through the work of Christ on the cross. @rayortlund
  • Only God can impart new life to spiritually dead people through the agency of the Holy Spirit. @rayortlund
  • The gospel is all about what God alone can do in power to make people new. @rayortlund
  • The primary impediment to biblical revival is our pride, self-assurance, and the thought that “we can build the church!” @rayortlund
  • We cannot do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh. It must be done in the power of the Spirit. @rayortlund
  • We need to fail so badly, so painfully, so frequently that we depend on God alone. We need to hurl ourselves at Him for His grace. @rayortlund
  • We don’t cause revival. Revival is a gift from above. @rayortlund
  • We need to surprise people with how honest we are about our sin and struggles. @rayortlund

JOHN PIPER – The Gospel and the Glory of God

  • The holiness of God is His intrinsic, infinite, transcendent purity and worth. @johnpiper
  • When God goes public with His holiness, that radiance is His glory. @johnpiper
  • The glory of God is God going public with His holiness. @johnpiper
  • The glory of God is the public radiance of His infinite beauty and worth. @johnpiper
  • God does everything for His glory—for people to see and enjoy. @johnpiper
  • God does everything for His glory, not because He is an egomaniac but because He’s doing it for our joy! @johnpiper
  • God’s seeking to be glorified is virtually the same as Him seeking to satisfy me. @johnpiper
  • God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him. @johnpiper
  • I was made to enjoy the glory of God. @johnpiper
  • On the cross, God displays His glory and is glorified by purchasing our ability to enjoy His glory. @johnpiper
  • We have to slay the false promises of pleasure from sin with a greater pleasure, namely, the superior pleasure of knowing and loving God. @johnpiper

DAVID PLATT – The Gospel to the Nations

  • It is the pastor’s responsibility to fan a flame for God’s global glory in the local church. @plattdavid
  • We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to move. @plattdavid
  • There are 6,000+ unreached people groups, and billions of people in the world who have no access to the gospel. @plattdavid
  • There are no unreached people in your office or neighborhood—because God has placed you there. @plattdavid
  • Unreached people are born, live, and die without ever hearing the good news. This must change. @plattdavid
  • Mission is the heartbeat behind all of Scripture. @plattdavid
  • Mission is in the Word, and the Word calls us to mission in the world. @plattdavid
  • As we pray for the world, God will give us His heart for the world. @plattdavid
  • How can you free up your church’s resources in order to give more to missions? @plattdavid
  • Wise short-term missions should fuel long-term disciple-making. @plattdavid
  • Is there anyone among your church right now that God is raising up to send to the nations? @plattdavid
  • With a steady diet of the Word and a steady exposure to the world, God will call people to mission. @plattdavid

TONY EVANS – The Gospel of the Kingdom and the Christian Life

  • God is glorified through the expansion of His kingdom. @drtonyevans
  • God has empowered us to be His kingdom representatives in history. @drtonyevans
  • The kingdom agenda is the comprehensive rule of God over every area of life. @drtonyevans
  • When God rules all of life, all of life becomes ordered. @drtonyevans
  • We are called to be full-time followers of Christ, not part-time visitors to His kingdom. @drtonyevans
  • Our lives are to be oriented and re-oriented to God’s kingdom. @drtonyevans
  • We are called to expand the kingdom of God to all of our lives, and throughout the world. @drtonyevans
  • The church is called to equip one another to make kingdom impact in the world. @drtonyevans
  • Many of our problems are related to seeking the culture rather than the kingdom. @drtonyevans
  • As Christians, we need to be committed to the King and His kingdom. @drtonyevans

ED STETZER – The Gospel and Missional Living

  • We are called to join Jesus on His mission to glorify God. @EdStetzer
  • The mission is rooted in God’s desire for His glory. God is a missional God. @EdStetzer
  • God is glorified by making Himself known. @EdStetzer
  • God sends the Son into this broken world to establish His kingdom. @EdStetzer
  • Jesus saves by defeating sin and death, forgiving and redeeming His people. @EdStetzer
  • Jesus came and served the broken and hurting. @EdStetzer
  • We are called to share the love of Jesus to a lost world and to show the love of Jesus to a hurting world. @EdStetzer
  • Jesus came to save and to serve. Jesus was sent and sends. @EdStetzer
  • The church is called to gospel proclamation and gospel demonstration. @EdStetzer
  • God sends His Spirit to empower the church for mission. @EdStetzer
  • God sends the Spirit to gather and scatter the church to live on mission. @EdStetzer
  • We are called to share the love of Jesus and show the love to the world. @EdStetzer
  • We are kingdom ambassadors sent into the world to declare the good news! @EdStetzer
  • The gates of hell will not hold back the advance of the gospel when the church is on mission with God. @EdStetzer
  • The church is redeemed for God’s glory; God is glorified when the church is on mission. @EdStetzer
  • The mission will be completed for God’s glory, and all things will be restored for God’s glory. @EdStetzer

RANDY ALCORN – The Gospel and Future Hope

  • Our glorification will ultimately be in resurrected bodies on the new earth. @randyalcorn
  • The new earth is our final destination, where we will be with the eternal King of kings. @randyalcorn
  • In the new earth, we will be with Jesus, we will serve Him, and we will worship Him. @randyalcorn
  • The redemptive work of Christ is far more expansive than we imagine it. @randyalcorn
  • Jesus is going to redeem and renew all things. @randyalcorn
  • The glory of God is manifested in all of creation. @randyalcorn
  • This is not the only time we will live on this earth. The new earth will be another chance to live life to the fullest. @randyalcorn
  • We will dwell in the new earth as embodied persons, enjoying the experiences of new life to the fullest. @randyalcorn
  • Jesus not only saves our souls, He will save our bodies as well as the entirety of good creation. @randyalcorn
  • We are to look for a new heaven and earth in which righteousness reigns. @randyalcorn
  • We are called to be so heavenly minded that we can be of earthly good. @randyalcorn
  • An eternal perspective is our reference point for all of our life. @randyalcorn

DA HORTON – The Gospel and Cultural Engagement

  • When it comes to cultural engagement, the Bible needs to be our final authority. @da_horton
  • We need a biblical filter that lets us know what we can leverage in culture for God’s glory and what we need to leave alone. @da_horton
  • 3 ways to engage culture: isolation, accommodation, intersection. @da_horton
  • If we isolate ourselves from culture, we are dealing with our sin in a very surface way. @da_horton
  • We cannot disciple sinners to be competent followers of Christ; we need the gospel to transform their hearts. @da_horton
  • Asking people ‘How can I pray for you?’ is a very simple way to be missional in day-to-day life. @da_horton
  • Scripture must shape our worldview, not culture. @da_horton
  • As we intersect with culture, we need to make sure we do not dive in and sink. @da_horton
  • We need to inject biblical truths into cultural situations. @da_horton
  • We can speak to a social issue, advance justice, and at the same time, point to God. @da_horton
  • We need to relate heavenly truths to the heart language of the people who are not living holy lives. @da_horton

TRILLIA NEWBELL – The Gospel and Race

  • We should have a childlike delight in the God-given diversity of humanity. @trillianewbell
  • Jesus Christ died on a cross for every tribe, tongue, and nation. @trillianewbell
  • The gospel reconciles us first to God and then to one another. @trillianewbell
  • God did not have to send His son to die in our place, but He did! @trillianewbell
  • The gospel is a race transcending gospel. It is the good news for all people. @trillianewbell
  • The church should mirror the diversity that we see in Revelation, where every tribe and tongue worships before the throne. @trillianewbell
  • How can we reflect God’s delight in diversity if we are not communicating with those who are not like us? @trillianewbell
  • We are more the same than we are different. We are one in Christ. @trillianewbell
  • The diversity of our churches displays that the gospel is race transcending. @trillianewbell

TRIP LEE – The Gospel and Life Ambition

  • God has expectations for us. God’s expectations for us are rooted in why He created us. @TripLee
  • God created us to bring praise, honor, and glory to Him! @TripLee
  • Our expectations for life should be shaped by Scripture. @TripLee
  • Scripture reorients our expectations for life. @TripLee
  • When it comes to directing your ambitions, think about your gifting, desires, and opportunity. @TripLee
  • Dream big for God’s glory, not for your glory. @TripLee
  • Our ambition can’t be about people seeing us; it needs to be about people seeing Jesus more clearly. @TripLee
  • What are you shooting for? What is your goal? Life is much more than getting through the day. @TripLee
  • Work to the glory of God. Love others for the glory of God. @TripLee
  • In the mundane routines of life, we need a bigger vision for God’s glory! @TripLee

JEN WILKIN – The Gospel and Women’s Ministry

  • Women’s ministry is vital to the mission of the church. @jenniferwilkin
  • The teaching burden of raising disciples falls to men and women. @jenniferwilkin
  • There is something that women bring to other women that is unique when it comes to discipleship. @jenniferwilkin
  • There is something unique that happens when women gather with other women for the study of God’s Word. @jenniferwilkin
  • Women’s ministry facilitates gatherings where women can just be women. @jenniferwilkin
  • Women’s gatherings allow women to build synergy and shared interest in the insights of life. @jenniferwilkin
  • Women’s ministry can help facilitate the input of women into the direction of the church. @jenniferwilkin
  • We need to leverage the gifts and insights of women so that men and women can serve side by side in the mission of the church. @jenniferwilkin
  • Women’s ministry is not about creating events that generate a certain emotion. Women are craving a deeper ministry. @jenniferwilkin
  • Women are not a nice but unnecessary addition to the church. Women are essential to the mission of the church. @jenniferwilkin
  • The Great Commission happens as women contribute in meaningful ways, which they were created for. @jenniferwilkin

DHATI LEWIS – The Gospel and Discipleship

  • Discipleship involves our capacity to lovingly embody the person and work of Jesus and transfer that to His followers. @dhati
  • Jesus was the only person ever to walk the earth who had all the gifts of the Spirit. @dhati
  • In order to see the fullness of the gifts of the Spirit, we need the entire church. @dhati
  • It takes a church to raise a Christian. @dhati
  • We proclaim Christ in order to bring people into maturity. @dhati
  • Discipleship is not a “me” responsibility; it’s a “we” responsibility. @dhati
  • My fear is that we have reduced discipleship to mentorship. We don’t need people to look like us; they need to look like Jesus. @dhati
  • As the church, we need to mobilize the entire body for discipleship. @dhati
  • Discipleship is not a ministry of your church; it is the ministry of your church. @dhati
  • We need to ask every person in our church, How are you making disciples? @dhati
  • We need to establish a culture of discipleship in the local church by unleashing an army of people intentionally making disciples. @dhati

JEFF VANDERSTELT – The Gospel and Community

  • In order to really understand the gospel, we need to be in a community where we can see the impact of the gospel. @JeffVanderstelt
  • The community that believes the gospel and lives in light of that gospel is one of the most powerful apologetics. @JeffVanderstelt
  • In the gospel we are reconciled with God and work out that reconciliation with other people. @JeffVanderstelt
  • The gospel is good news that actually changes things. @JeffVanderstelt
  • The community that believes the gospel gets to show the impact of the gospel to the world around them. @JeffVanderstelt
  • The community is the place where your need for the gospel is powerfully revealed. @JeffVanderstelt
  • Whatever God does to us, He intends to do through us. @JeffVanderstelt
  • The community not only reveals our need for the gospel, it is also through community that we express how the gospel changes us. @JeffVanderstelt
  • As Christians, we have become a new person and part of a new community. @JeffVanderstelt
  • The gospel imperative of loving others cannot happen in isolation. @JeffVanderstelt
  • The gospel indicatives (who God is, what He has done) lead to the gospel imperatives (how we love one another). @JeffVanderstelt
  • Jesus came to serve us so that we could become the servants of God. @JeffVanderstelt
  • Jesus serves us; now we serve others as an act of worship to Him. @JeffVanderstelt
  • Jesus laid down His life for us. We are to lay down our lives to serve others. @JeffVanderstelt
  • We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead to enable us to live a new life. @JeffVanderstelt
  • My need for the Holy Spirit is most revealed when I am on mission serving others. @JeffVanderstelt
  • Being on mission leads us to the end of ourselves so that we begin to walk in the power of the Spirit. @JeffVanderstelt
  • God wants His people to live as a community on mission in all of life in such a way that they need the power of the Spirit. @JeffVanderstelt

LOUIE GIGLIO – The Gospel and Worship

  • Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to who God is and what He has done, expressed in and by what we say and how we live. @louiegiglio
  • Worship is all of life lived for the glory of God in response to the grace of God. @louiegiglio
  • Worship happens when God’s people respond to the greatness of God! @louiegiglio
  • Worship is bigger than the songs we sing on Sunday; it’s a way of life. @louiegiglio
  • The gospel is the essential hinge to our worship. @louiegiglio
  • Where there is no gospel, there is no worship. @louiegiglio
  • Jesus came to earth not to make bad people good people but to make dead people alive. @louiegiglio
  • We were dead. But now, because of God’s grace, we are forever alive! This is where worship begins. @louiegiglio
  • Worship doesn’t start with singing. Singing starts with seeing. Until our eyes are opened to see the beauty of the gospel, there will be no song in the church. @louiegiglio
  • I don’t serve God because I should or ought but because I may serve God. It is a privilege. @louiegiglio
  • I couldn’t worship because I was dead. But now I am alive. I have God’s breath, and that allows me to worship. @louiegiglio
  • God breathes life into us, and when we exhale in worship, we say, Thank You, God! @louiegiglio
  • The gospel gets deep down inside of us and carries us upward in worship. @louiegiglio
  • If we want people to worship, we have to continue to show them the beauty of the gospel. @louiegiglio

THABITI ANYABWILE – The Gospel and Church Leadership Development

  • Leaders are a blessing, a gift to the church. We must receive them with gladness and recognize them when they exist. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • In a sense, the entire lifeline of a church depends upon faithful leadership. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • We need leaders who are saturated in the gospel! @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • We need leaders who are biblical theologians, who understand how the Bible fits together as a whole. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • Almost every heresy of our day is an error in biblical theology. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • Having leaders who know the Bible protects the church by guarding doctrine. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • A leader should be a biblical evangelist, committed to that good news for themselves and for making that good news known to others. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • A good leader is a humble follower of Jesus. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • With all the authority in heaven and earth, Jesus uses His authority for the good of sinners. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • As leaders, we live in love and live in service. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • A leader embraces good discipline. @ThabitiAnyabwil
  • A good leader submits himself to God’s Word and receives correction from others. @ThabitiAnyabwil

MATT CHANDLER – The Gospel-Centered Church

  • Most churches consider themselves to be gospel-centered; however, many churches walk in a type of moralism that is counter-gospel. @MattChandler74
  • A gospel-centered church consistently reminds their people of the gospel. @MattChandler74
  • A gospel-centered church consistently reminds their people of who they were before they heard the gospel. @MattChandler74
  • A gospel-centered church consistently celebrates the present power of the gospel for daily life. @MattChandler74
  • Are you, in your philosophy and practice, reminding people of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? @MattChandler74
  • Is there a disjoint in your doctrinal statements and what you actually do in your church? @MattChandler74
  • What do the words of the songs you sing in worship reinforce and teach? @MattChandler74
  • Do your sermons consistently point to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? @MattChandler74
  • If you are not reminding people of who they were before they were saved, you will establish an us vs. them mentality. @MattChandler74
  • Are the people in your church on mission? @MattChandler74
  • Is there an us vs. them mentality in your church? @MattChandler74
  • Are the people in your church afraid of sinners or do they sinfully judge sinners? @MattChandler74
  • The gospel is the very fuel by which our lives are lived and our obedience is driven.
  • The gospel brings forth our fruitfulness. @MattChandler74
  • Does part of your discipleship process teach people to preach the gospel to themselves? @MattChandler74
  • Is there an acknowledgment of struggle and weakness? A freedom to repent? @MattChandler74
  • Confession and repentance is an ongoing ethic in the Christian life. @MattChandler74
  • Our weakness reveals the strength of Christ. @MattChandler74
  • Our theology drives our philosophy of ministry, which drives our practice. @MattChandler74

May 15, 2015 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

3 Deadly Turns From The Gospel

CCEGalatiansThis post is excerpted and adapted from the Christ-centered Exposition Commentary on Galatians (1:6-7). You can get the whole set in WordSearch right now for $69.95. Here are three important truths accompany a person’s tragic turn from the gospel, by Tony Merida.

When you turn from the gospel, you turn from God Himself

Paul says that the Galatians are turning away from “Him,” not merely from a set of principles. When you turn from the gospel, you are turning from the God of all grace. You are turning from the Christ “who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age”. Paul says he is amazed that the Galatians are turning from their Redeemer, the fountain of all grace. When you turn from the gospel, you turn from God Himself. Disbelieving the gospel is no small error. If you miss Christ, you will lose everything.

When you turn from the gospel, you turn from the grace of Christ

“The grace of Christ” is a synonym for the gospel (cf. 5:4). Remember, the Judaizers believed salvation was Jesus + circumcision and the requirements of the OT law. But salvation is not Jesus + anything. Why? Because salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. Notice how the words “called” and “grace” are together in Galatians 1:6 and in verse 15. The Galatians were called by grace, and they were called into the realm of grace. This type of call denotes God’s sovereign action and believers’ experience. When God calls you to Christ, you sense His power. You sense God dealing with you. Just as He called Abraham, Moses, and Paul, He calls sinners to Himself today. He calls us not because of any good in us but because of His grace.

When you turn from the gospel, you have nowhere else to go

Paul tells the Galatians that they are “turning to a different gospel,” but adds, “not that there is another gospel”. In other words, Paul says the false teachers’ message is no gospel at all. There is only one gospel. In all likelihood the false teachers were saying that their gospel was not different from what Paul taught. But Paul says, “Yes, it is.” There is nothing else like the gospel of Christ. Unfortunately, false teachers have been using the same “Oh, we believe in Jesus, too” line for centuries. But when you go deeper into the teachings of any cult, you realize that it presents a [another] gospel (cf. 2 Cor 11:3-4).

The point is that there is no other way to be right with God, to experience forgiveness of sin, apart from the gospel of Christ Jesus (see John 14:6-7). It is difficult for people to embrace the exclusiveness of the gospel when they swim in a sea of religious pluralism and philosophical relativism. We often hear, “All religions are equally valid, and there is no one truth.” But finding right relationship with God is not like selecting a deodorant. You may choose any of a number of antiperspirants to keep you fresh, but that is not the case when it comes to securing eternal life. Only one path to God will do: Jesus. He has no equal. He is not one among many religious leaders. He is the one and only Messiah.

May 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

Tim Keller on “Preaching to the Heart”

This is the workshop that Tim Keller led at The Gospel Coalition National Conference in Orlando, 2015.

May 5, 2015 at 7:05 am Leave a comment

Abraham: A Story of God’s Provision

We are blessed by God to be a blessing to others.

April 28, 2015 at 7:05 am Leave a comment

Free Online Event: Gospel. Life. Ministry

Over the past few months, Andrew Hudson and I have traveled extensively in order to capture 24 teaching videos from some of the most respected pastors and church leaders of our generation. It has been a great joy to work on this project because we know that this free event is for the encouragement and enrichment of the Church.

On May 11th, set aside some time in order to take part in this free online event sponsored by The Gospel Project. Check out the list of speakers, their topics, and sign up at: live.gospelproject.com

April 24, 2015 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

It is possible to know Bible stories, and miss the Bible story.

There are great stories in the Bible…but it is possible to know Bible stories, yet miss the Bible story.” – Ed Clowney

April 6, 2015 at 9:35 am Leave a comment

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Rex Kwon Do. #murica The welcome committee. Meet one of the librarian robots at the NC State library. All of those metal boxes are stacked full of books.

You tell the computer what book you want and the robot retrieves it.


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