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Archive for March, 2012

Giveaway: Jesus + Nothing = Everything and Surprised by Grace

This past year, Tullian has challenged and encouraged thousands of readers with his new book Jesus + Nothing = Everything. We’d like to give away a copy of Jesus + Nothing = Everything plus a signed copy of his previous book Surprised by Grace to 7  winners. Here are a few things you can do for a chance to win:

  • Tag yourself in the photo of the book cover from Crossway’s Facebook wall.
  • Write a post on the Crossway Facebook wall sharing why you really liked the book (if  you’ve already read it) or why you would like a copy.
  • Share this excerpt (link) by posting it on your wall and mentioning @Crossway in the post.
  • Tweet one of the sharable quotes below and add #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • Tweet why you want to win a copy and add #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR

Sharable Quotes/Phrases:

  • “The power of the gospel is just as necessary and relevant after you become a Christian as it is before.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “Typically, it’s not that Christians seek to blatantly replace the gospel. What we try to do is add to it.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “Legalism happens when what we need to do, not what Jesus has already done, becomes the end game.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “Our performancism leads to pride when we succeed & despair when we fail, but ultimately it leads to slavery.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “We know God hates bad works; we’re not nearly so convinced that he also hates self-righteous “good” works.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “Self-righteousness can lead only to the robbery of freedom.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “Disobedience happens not when we think too much of grace, but when we think too little of it.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “We’re always to soak first in what God has already done before we set out to do.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “Only the gospel can free us from the enslaving pressure to defend ourselves.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “Our ultimate problem is not indifference to God, but idolatry.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “Christian growth doesn’t happen by first behaving better, but by believing better.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “We’re liberated by the recognition that God loves us in order to make us lovely, not because we are lovely.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “What licentious people need is a greater understanding of grace, not a governor on grace.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “We need to make it clear that Jesus came first not to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “The primary goal of the gospel is to bring about mortal resurrection, not moral reformation.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • “The gospel of amazing grace gets us in, keeps us in, and will eventually get us to the finish line.” #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • Preoccupation with our effort instead of with God’s effort for us makes us self-centered and introspective. #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR
  • Because our self-imposed rules make us feel safe and self-pleased, they become a counterfeit God. #jpne http://cway.to/GTqKuR

March 30, 2012 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 8:44 am | (3) Comments »

Struggling with All His Energy

by Elyse Fitzpatrick (original post here)

Colossians 1:28-29: Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with his energy that he powerfully works within me.

These verses are the perfect job description for a parent. Today as you interact with your children proclaim Him. Talk about Jesus, his incarnation, sinless life, substitutionary death, resurrection, ascension and intercession. Share these beautiful truths with them now, share how these change their day.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will give you words to say that your little ones will understand. Pray that you yourself will see how He intersects with every area of your life. Speak of a Rescuer that has come to save them.

Warn them and teach them. When your child is having a meltdown in Wal-Mart ask for help to see how Jesus life changes this moment for you and for your child. Paul says this is why he toils, he toils to present them mature in Christ. I know that when I am warning and teaching according to the strength I feel, I either give up and pretend I don’t see what my kids are doing,  or I get angry and hope that my wrath will be an instrument of change in their lives. When I am trying to present them mature in my own strength I feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

I love the end of these verses. Listen to where Paul puts the emphasis, “struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and I think of all I have to do today, and think of trying to deal with my children, I just want to give up. I feel tired and sick of working with them, and the thought of having to answer one more question or break up one more fight, or trying to find my daughter who is strangely quiet, makes me want to hide in my bed and pretend like I am sick. But then I read these verses and I am reminded. I am reminded that the work to be done in my children’s lives is to do be done by Him. I don’t have to have the perfect answers, or be the perfect peace maker, I can rest and trust in His work on my behalf and for my children. He is powerfully at work within me. The Creator of the universe. The One who calls each star out by name. The One who knows if a hair falls from my head. This One, is powerfully at work in me. Because of this truth, I can rest while I toil. I can work with my children knowing that I am not the one that it all depends on. I can rest in His work in their lives, while I attempt to help them see Jesus in all of life.

What freedom, what joy! I can go forward today with full confidence that he will have his way in my life and in my children’s life. We can rest in his power together. I don’t have to change their hearts, I can trust in Him to work through me in their lives. When I don’t see the changes happen in their lives that I think need to happen, I can rest in His work. So today I can struggle with His energy. I am sure later this very day, I will forget this and go back to struggling in my own strength, and when I do I can remember the gospel. I can remember that I am hidden in Christ and I can once again rest in the arms of my loving, powerful Father at work within me.

Elyse M. Fitzpatrick holds a masters in biblical counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. She is a member of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, is a retreat and conference speaker, and is the head of Women Helping Women Ministries. Fitzpatrick has authored nearly a dozen books, including Because He Loves Me, Comforts from the Cross, Counsel from the Cross, and Give Them Grace.

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March 29, 2012 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Children / Parenting,Life / Doctrine,Marriage & Family | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 8:00 am | 1 Comment »

Don’t Miss John Piper and Tim Keller on “Race & the Christian” Tonight at 7pm EST

Join John Piper and Tim Keller at 7:00pm (EST) tonight as they discuss the gospel and race. This event is happening live in New York City and will be moderated by Anthony Bradley.

Submit Questions for the Discussion

If you have any questions for John Piper or Tim Keller about the topic of race and the Christian, please email them to reaceandthechristian@redeemer.com. The Q&A will interact with some of your questions as well as those from the live audience.

This event is sponsored by Crossway and hosted by Redeemer’s Grace and Race Team.

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March 28, 2012 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Lindsay Tully @ 10:13 am | (2) Comments »

The Resurrection: This Changes Everything

Content modified from Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything by Adrian Warnock

Jesus’ resurrection does not only change us by saving our souls, making us holy, and filling us with power to live.

The fact that it changes our bodies to be immortal is still not the most glorious aspect of the story of salvation. Often the gospel is spoken of as being a great arc leading from the creation to the Fall to the Incarnation to the death of Jesus and then his resurrection and ascension. But that arc is not yet complete. Jesus will return, and when he does, the resurrection really will change everything. The Bible tells us, “He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21, NIV). Paul tells us that God has “a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Ephesians 1:9–10). There will be no more rebellion. Only then will this tiny rebellious corner of the universe we call earth resound with the praise of Jesus’ glory.

If this regeneration or resurrection of all things means anything, it means the reversal of the effects of death. Death entered the world through mankind: “Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). As a result of one man’s sin, the whole of creation was delivered up to bondage and decay. But all is not lost. This process has begun to be reversed as a result of the actions of one man, Jesus.

Christians have the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead living inside them.

One day that power will complete the work of saving us, but in the meantime the normal Christian life can be one in which we are very aware of the change that the resurrection brings. We are citizens of the age to come, living in a world that is dead to God. But we are not dead to him. We live to him. May God help us live in the light of that fact more each day. One day we will all see that, thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus, everything really has been changed. The whole creation will have been renewed, and we will be like him.

I can think of no better way to end than with Paul’s prayer that speaks of the work of the Spirit, of the hope Jesus’ resurrection has given us, the power of his resurrection and of the coming kingdom in which he rules. May God answer this prayer in our lives and so help us to truly believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ and live in light of the implications of that event.

The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory . . . give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:17–21)

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The Measure of God’s Love (Toward Those Worse Off Than Frogs)

Excerpt from Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper

The measure of God’s love for us is shown by two things. One is the degree of his sacrifice in saving us from the penalty of our sin. The other is the degree of unworthiness that we had when he saved us.

We can hear the measure of his sacrifice in the words, “He gave his only son” (John 3:16). We also hear it in the word Christ. This is a name based on the Greek title Christos, or “Anointed One,” or “Messiah.” It is a term of great dignity. The Messiah was to be the King of Israel. He would conquer the Romans and bring peace and security to Israel. Thus the person whom God sent to save sinners was his own divine Son, his only Son, and the Anointed King of Israel—indeed the king of the world (Isaiah 9:6-7).

When we add to this consideration the horrific death by crucifixion that Christ endured, it becomes clear that the sacrifice the Father and the Son made was indescribably great—even infinite, when you consider the distance between the divine and the human. But God chose to make this sacrifice to save us.

The measure of his love for us increases still more when we consider our unworthiness. “Perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7-8). We deserved divine punishment, not divine sacrifice.

I have heard it said, “God didn’t die for frogs. So he was responding to our value as humans.” This turns grace on its head. We are worse off than frogs. They have not sinned. They have not rebelled and treated God with the contempt of being inconsequential in their lives. God did not have to die for frogs. They aren’t bad enough. We are. Our debt is so great, only a divine sacrifice could pay it.

There is only one explanation for God’s sacrifice for us. It is not us. It is “the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). It is all free. It is not a response to our worth. It is the overflow of his infinite worth. In fact, that is what divine love is in the end: a passion to enthrall undeserving sinners, at great cost, with what will make us supremely happy forever, namely, his infinite beauty.

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March 27, 2012 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Life / Doctrine,Salvation,The Christian Life,The Gospel,Theology | Author: Lindsay Tully @ 9:14 am | 1 Comment »