The Bondage of the Will, the Sovereignty of Grace, and the Glory of God

This is the sixth post in a series with my notes from the Together for the Gospel Conference (#T4G2016) that was held from April 12-14 in Louisville, KY. To see my other notes from the sermons at T4G, click here

Speaker: John Piper                                  Key text: Various

Listen to the full sermon: Audio || Video 

Are humans so sinful that God’s sovereign grace needs to create and decisively full and produce all inclinations to believe in and obey God? At the heart of Martin Luther’s theology was the idea that humans are dependent on God to rescue them from the bondage of the will. If free will truly exists, then it makes it incredibly difficult to understand how much credit for salvation goes to God and how much should go to us. Election gives God all the credit for faith. “The failure to see the depth of sin and the bondage of the will, left unchecked, becomes an assault on God’s sovereign grace.” -Martin Luther. Any exaltation of the “goodness” of self or the will negates the need for God’s decisive transforming grace. Luther doesn’t mean that the human will is inactive in salvation and obedience, but where the will is involved, God is actively creating the desire. “The gospel takes all the credit and glory from man and ascribes it to God, the One who created everything from nothing.” -Martin Luther.

Five Ways the Bible Describes the Bondage of the Will:  Read more of this post

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Motivations for Discipleship

White Arrow On Blue Ground

This blog post was adapted from a sermon that I gave at the Harvard Avenue Student Ministry‘s Disciple Now event on Friday, October 25, 2013.

Key Text: Colossians 3:1-13

Each follower of Christ, no matter how young or old, needs to take up his cross daily and pursue Jesus. Most Christians know that they need discipleship, but how do we get motivated to be and make disciples?

Apathy is a growing problem in America. The combination of economic and societal changes with an increased “busyness” has left many without the drive necessary to pursue bigger and better things. In 2011, the motivational market hit $11 billion in revenue. The average motivational speaker gets paid $4000-5000 per speaking event, with some commanding fees in excess of $100,000 per engagement.

Christians aren’t immune to apathy. In fact, one of the largest problems in the church today is biblical illiteracy stemming from believers not reading Scripture for themselves. Even fewer share the gospel or form discipleship relationships with other believers.

Motivations for Discipleship

To overcome this tendency towards apathy, here are 6 motivations for discipleship from Colossians 3:1-13:  Read more of this post

Why I Don’t Talk About Politics

American Flag

Another Election Day has come and gone.

At around 11:15pm last night, everyone began to update their Facebook statuses and send out tweets expressing their feelings about the election results. Some were happy and some were disappointed. Some made it sound like the world has never been better, others made it sound like the sun wouldn’t come up today.

I choose to refrain from posting my political views on my social networks. Do I love America? You bet. Do I have my personal views of how politics should work? Yes. Do I vote? Of course. Do I educate myself on the candidates and issues? Every voter should. Do I have certain issues that I believe are important and that I am vocal about? Most definitely (though they are moral issues and not political ones).

Why do I choose not to talk about politics in public or social media settings? Here are a few reasons:  Read more of this post

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