Sunday, June 23, 2013

Real Gospel Life ... comes out of death, and God says, "I will do it"

Audio: (44 sec.)

Real Gospel Life:

This is a story of genuine hope in the midst of genuine despair.  It's at that crossroads where the finality of death and the end of all our hopes and dreams and prospects, meets God's grace ... God's desire to bring life where there is no life.

That's the great paradigm of the Gospel.  Not some moralistic call to spruce yourself up, but it's a promise to a dying world:  I will bring life out of death.  I will do it, for your sake.  That's the Gospel.  For you!  Not, you do it.  God will do it.

--Pastor Mark Anderson

Audio: (< 2 min.)

Real Gospel Life:

That's what gripped Paul.  That's what changed him.  That's what transformed the early church.  That's what over the centuries has gripped people, in the power of the Holy Spirit ...

... is that God is not asking me to be something, He is giving me a life.  As a gift.  He's not calling me to be righteous.  He's declaring me to be righteous.  There is nothing for me to do, but to say with Paul, "I count everything else as lost, as worthless, in comparison to knowing "that", to knowing Him, to being known, by the God who brings life out of the dead ones." 

One of my professors once said to me (preaching professor), "Never forget when you stand on Sunday morning you're a dying man preaching to dying people.  Don't ever forget it.  Don't call them to some kind of moral project.  Don't you dare let them think that they have something to offer in comparison to the cross of Jesus Christ.  But take them to that cross, and there remind them of what He has done for them."  For that's the story.  Out of the death on the old wooden cross, came the life of the resurrection. From death to life, that's the christian paradigm. Not from vice to virtue.  It is to glory in the cross of Christ and what He has done for us, the grace He has given us, the forgiveness He has given us.

--Pastor Mark Anderson

To hear these quotes in more context, here is a 15 minute version of Pastor Mark's full sermon:
Audio: (15 min)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My hope is in a spring, not a watering trough

A watering trough needs to be filled with a pump or bucket brigade ...

... God is a mountain spring, not a watering trough ...

If you want to glorify the worth of a watering trough you work hard to keep it full and useful. But if you want to glorify the worth of a spring you do it by getting down on your hands and knees and drinking to your heart’s satisfaction, until you have the refreshment and strength to go back down in the valley and tell people what you’ve found.

My hope as a desperate sinner hangs on this truth: that God is the kind of God who will be pleased with the one thing I have to offer — my thirst. That is why the sovereign freedom and self-sufficiency of God are so precious: they are the foundation of our hope that God is delighted not by the resourcefulness of bucket brigades, but by the bending down of broken sinners to drink at the fountain of grace.

John Piper
from, The Pleasures of God, pages 196–197

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's because God sees the blood

Beloved, see, we are preserved in Christ Jesus! Did not God see the blood before you and I saw it, and was not that the reason why He spared our forfeited lives when, like barren fig trees, we brought forth no fruit for Him? When we saw the blood, let us remember it was not our seeing it which really saved us—one sight of it gave us peace, but it was God’s seeing it that saved us.

"When I see the blood I will pass over you."  (Exodus 12:13)

--Charles H. Spurgeon