Mark Driscoll Once Again

So I have been lazy the past three weeks since Easter in regards to blogging. It is for Good reason. School is winding down to a close, with lots of Hebrew and lots of Papers. Plus three creekings. Many good times.

Here is something to savor your taste buds:


Live from Airdrie

From Steven Steele reporting from Airdrie RPCS. Andrew Quigley preaching..

“We need a generation of preachers who will no longer look upon the church as a group of volunteers, some of whom are more committed than others. We need a generation of ministers who will go out and proclaim the Word of God with the authority of Haggai, and say to men and women “If you profess to be a believer in Jesus Christ, then, within the norms of life, I’m going to call you to be that. I’m not going to allow you to drift, I’m not going to allow you to go off and do your own thing. Why? Because it’s neither in your interests nor God’s interests to do so.” It’s no interest of the leader in the church to allow the people of God to drift into a situation where they’re spending all their time labouring and not getting the return or the harvest they should do because they’re walking in disobedience.”


Principles on battling sin

1. Not aimed at the external improvement of a personal; if this is done there can yet remain abominable sin

2.) Crucify the Flesh - You must starve the sin at it's roots as Crucifixion suffocates your breath

3.) Consider the enemy general's tactics (this is the one that I liked the best, and take it a different direction that Mr. Matthess did.)

Sin is an enemy, and Satan wants your head on a platter with your soul as seasoning on top. How often do you and I forget this? Every time we purposefully sin and grow lax in our walk with God, is my reply.

If you attacked your enemy tonight what strategy would you use? It is a no-brainer that surprise is useful, that you would exploit the known weaknesses of your opponent. You attack where he does not expect it (mis application of your time; where your guard is down, etc). This could happen in a number of ways. We need the Spirit's discernment to enlighten us in our defenses against Satan's wiles.

4.) Persevere in the Battle
Sometimes God allows us to be effected by the consequences of our sin to keep us humble
5.) fight sin from Scripture, define according to the Word of God
Hating Sin and Loving God are not the same thing. You could be a great giant for political activism for the eradication of abortion or sex trafficking but that does not equate to loving God.

6.) look for Scripture that helps you deal with Struggles


Matthew 27:32-44

The Crucifixion
As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.


a tightened noose

Romans 8:11-14.
Do you live the Christian life? That God's ways are your ways? IN the words of the Psalmist, "your testimony I will declare." Do you and I live by and in the Spirit? The vigor of our spiritual vitality depends on our mortification of the deeds of the flesh. (Owen) Mortification is this: keeping your sin nature under the tightened noose.

Evangelicals today sacrifice the gospel with new and innovative techniques to mortify the flesh. I am thinking of one such approach as advocated in "Every Man's Battle." The method that the authors propose is that if you would "bounce your eyes" or look away from a woman or man then you defeat sin. Other Christians have proposed asceticism, trusting in yourself, and legalism (trusting in yourself and not Christ.)

When we pick up the sword and shield we must be sure not to use them in a wrong way. It is important to rely on Christ in the way that He said. God has not appointed other means to combat the flesh. (again indulgences and asceticism.)

Mortification is not:
--Conviction without a Solution - the Gospel is sufficient for the Believer's battle vs. sin. Christ freed, Christ defeated, Christ abides within us. It is all about Christ.
--Conviction without Action - Mortification of the sin brings conviction and repentance.
-- Conviction but selective in mortifying. As Augustine prayed, "Make me pure but not yet." True Mortification is total.
-- measured by temperment
-- diverted (think of Simon trying to buy the Holy Spirit)

Principles of Mortification:
-- Continually at way with sin
-- Entirely the work of the Holy Spirit
-- Habitual weakening of sin

do you want to be filled with Grace? Do you want to feast upon the given means? Prayer, Preaching, Singing, the sacraments? Do you realize that the Fruit of the Spirit are killers of Sin? love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control?

As Christ proclaimed, "Come all who are tired and heavy laden, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


We become what we take pleasure in- John Piper

If you delight in the glory of Christ. You will become like Him. If you delight in dirty jokes, humor of this world, lusts of the eyes, flesh, and material things, you become a material person.

Is this not true? While this fact may go unnoticed by many day in and day out, is this not the story of their lives? Everyone becomes what they crave most. If it is food, they become a glutton, if it is drugs, they become an addict. If it is Christ, then that person becomes like Christ.

How are we to take delight in God? God wants us to take great pleasure in Him. Think of God and all that He has done for you and His creation. Think of the Exodus, Preservation of the Remnant, but most importantly think about the Cross. Ruminate the person and work of Christ. His sinless nature, justification, love for the Father, love for His people.

While this may seem easy to do, it is hard. Our hardened hearts need to be softened by the fire of the Holy Spirit; the callous needs peeled back.

Ponder a prayer that Tim Keller offers,

"Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but, through you, I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment and offering forgiveness. I turn from my sin and receive you as Savior. Amen."


Centrality of the Gospel

Because I am on break this week I have the joy and honor of devoting more time than I usually do to listening to sermons and studying more Hebrew :-) The latter is for a test next week and the former for my own spiritual life.

Yesterday I was listening to the sermons/lectures given at the Desiring God Conference from last fall, I had two friends spend their honeymoon there and heard a great deal about it from them, but I finally decided to take a listen to what was said in her entirety. As I listened to Keller's talk and excerpts from Driscoll, who I am still listening to, I was reminded of the fact that the gospel is the main thing. This is why I exist and this is what needs preached. I heard this amazing message from CJ Mahaney's Living the Cross Centered Life, but I have not yet sat down and thought out the logical consequences of that. As Driscoll preached, it is a must for churches to stand on the gospel and make it known that is why that body of believers exists.

Josh Harris takes this further and applies this to our educational and political ideology. Do we want to be known as Homeschoolers or do we want to be known as Republicans over our Christian identity? Political parties are not bad in and of themselves but if they take precedent over our identity in Christ. Here is only one aspect of that logical consequence I mentioned earlier.

Here is Harris:

I know it is easy for reformed churches to stand on a particular issue. Someplaces that is necessary to be counter cultural. At Meadville this Summer I learned the impact of having Session Controlled Communion can have in an area where Communion is a light and pithy thing in liberal churches. (Welcome to Meadville- liberal churches at every corner.) Do we want to be known as psalm-singers? Do we want to be known as political activists? Private Schooling? Creationism? While these are all good things - should not the Gospel be the center of our lives privately and ecclesiastically?
[HT Josh Harris]


A Single Mindedness

Owen once remarked that it is the duty of every believer to kill their sin. Piper also adds that it is the duty of Christians to delight fully in God and this can only be done by killing sin. It is easy to slip into a daily routine where I go with the flow. I am passive and not active, not challenging what lies ahead. Consequently that can and does lead to sin. It is so easy to forget that Christians, little-Christs, are called to have a single mindedness - Where minds are focused on Christ. Everything we say or do is to complement our God's Glory saturated lifestyle. Is it not easy to forget this? You know it is true.

The Holy Spirit convicted me, as if I was hit by a Spiritual 2x4. You and I forget what it means to bear the name of Jesus. It is easy to wallow in our sins, to cry out to God yet later turning to our sins. Which only hardens our hearts more. But bearing the marks of Christ within us there is hope. God gives us power to say no to sin, this power is life. We are renewed from our old selves. And now the tables are turned. Old Robbie is dead and Christ lives. Do not despair if you wallow in your sin. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for the weary and heavy laden - it is for all men who want to cast off their struggle with sin.

If you do currently struggle with sin, look to Christ. Forget the methodology that Contemporary Evangelicalism offers you. Take one moment at a time and allow yourself to focus on the Cross, praying that your hardened heart, God will peel away like layers of an onion. Focus on Christ's Glory. (This is the only way to overcome temptation.)

My King

A portion of a Duguid sermon on the first Palm Sunday. I found it off the web awhile back, and thought it fitting to hear God's word tonight before bed. I have the mp3 and can email it to you if you wish. Just let me know. (You will love it) - Excuse the poor Grammar I typed fast as I listened.

"Merely to be lukewarm about Jesus is to commit cosmic treason against the one who will reign forever. It is a dangerous business. But we who are Christians welcome Jesus not because we have to, but because we delight. We want to. For we know the cost of his kingship.

His humility went much further than riding a donkey, we know of a King who took off his own garments so he could wash his disciples' feet. For the sake of the people carrying a cross on ripped shoulders, and a King who collapsed under that cross, a King whose hands were pierced, a brow crowed with thorns. And a King crying out, "Why have you forsaken me?!"

We know a righteous one who was treated as if He were tainted by all manner of sins under the curse of God. We know that he was not able to save himself. And we know why this King did all these things. It was for my deeds! for my thoughts! my King suffered to save me!!! To remake me into His image!!! He was treated as the sinner, that I may be righteous, this was the only way to be saved.

We bow down in worship, not because we have to, but because He is worthy. A King whose throne is the cross, whose crown is thorns, a gentle, loving king. There is no other savior who can deliver you from yourself, your self-centeredness. Is this the one who you delight in and love to serve? Who else has cared for you? Who deserves your praise and adoration?
Do you recognize his kingship? Everyone will bow, not just those who follow Him..."


Light of Life Internship

Friday night, as I assisted Jen packing up her stuff for break, I received a phone call from the Light of Life Rescue Mission located in the Northside of Pittsburgh. Brenda, the director of volunteers, offered me a position working with the Samaritan Ministries Program. A little brief introduction to this ministry is found here. Light of Life is arguably one of the most successful missions in Pittsburgh that helps the homeless get back on their own feet, and many churches in the Iron City area respect the work that they do. One of my jobs would be to help these men and women become a part of the visible body of Christ.