Can We Be Glorified Without Being Sanctified? Good Works, Good News, and Christian Assurance

This is the fifth 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: Kevin DeYoung                                   Key text: 1 John

Listen to the full sermon: Audio || Video 

Good works, good news, and Christian assurance aren’t opposed to one another, but go together. Can we be glorified without being sanctified? No! If your life is habitually marked by sin, Christ calls you defiled and you are not on your way to heaven (Mark 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:17-21). We are in a dire situation if our life is marked by sin. Only those who conquer and overcome will escape the second death and eat from the tree of life (Revelation 2-3).

The authentic Christian life is filled with weakness, but not capitulation. Paul revels in his weakness, but never refer to is as a weakness or excuse to sin. To be a Christian, one who receives the reward, is to conquer and overcome sin. There is a close relationship in Scripture between sanctification and glorification (Romans 8:29-39; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 12:14). Without sanctification, we can have no confidence of our justification. Works are the fruit; not the root of salvation. One of the hallmarks of theological liberalism is to not be concerned about the meaning of words–favoring slogans over precision.

“Grace is glory begun as glory is grace consummated.” -Francis Turretin. Sanctification is the work of God to prepare us for the life and world to come. If we are to be glorified later, we will experience sanctification now.

Three Evidences We are on the Road to Eternal Life: Read more of this post

Advertisements

Five Surprising Motivations for Missions

This is the third post with my sermon notes from the Cross Conference (CrossCon) that was held from December 27-30, 2013, in Louisville, KY. To see my other sermon notes from CrossCon, click here

Speaker: Kevin DeYoung                                       Key text: Various

Far from being obstacles for mission, the five points of Calvinism are surprising motivators for missions. In fact, history shows that Calvinists are on the forefront of the modern missions movement. Many may ask why anyone would go if God has only called some to salvation; however, the Bible asks, “Why would anyone go unless God has certainly called some?”

Three Passages from John with Five Motivations for Missions

  1. John 3:1-8
    Knowledge of God isn’t enough (Nicodemus had plenty of knowledge), the Holy Spirit must invade and awaken a person’s heart to the truth of the gospel (aka regeneration). Our greatest danger is our own heart if we aren’t born again (Jeremiah 17:9). Christians don’t go into the world to make dead people look alive, but to call dead people to become alive. We have the impossible task of calling dead people to live. It is impossible for us, but it is entirely possible for God.
    There are no “anonymous Christians” (aka “inclusivism“- people of other faiths who are Christians, but don’t realize it). Those that are saved know they are saved. The Spirit works to throw a spotlight on the saving work of Christ. He longs to bring glory to a God that is known, seen, and worshiped.  Read more of this post

Jesus>Religion [Book Review]

Christianity in America has an image problem.

Unfortunately, when many people hear the word “Christian,” they often envision one of three types of person: 1) an angry legalist who holds signs, burns Qur’ans, and gives you a list of things you can and can’t do to be a “good Christian” [ie the Westboro cult] 2) a person who claims to be a Christian (or wears a cross around their neck) for the benefits, but who’s life is no different than any ordinary person who doesn’t follow Jesus [ie celebrities/artists/athletes] 3) an individual who’s theology is so watered-down that it sounds more like the phrases at the bottom of motivational posters than anything Jesus would say [ie Joel Osteen]. In our culture, it is these so-called “Christians” that get the loudest voice in the media because they are easy to refute/mock (for example, Joel Osteen makes the rounds on the talk and news shows, but you rarely see a true Christian intellectual like Al Mohler). As a result, those that are truly following Jesus must overcome these false perceptions as they seek to fulfill their mission: to make disciples of all nations through the power of the gospel.

Enter Jefferson Bethke. You may remember him from this: The above poem went viral and became a major topic of discussion on social media sites as well as in the blogosphere (including one of my blog posts). When a video goes viral it’s usually for one of three reasons: 1) it’s dumb, ridiculous, and makes us laugh 2) it inspires awe in the viewer 3) it strikes a chord with many in a society. Jefferson’s video falls into that third category. It brought out something that many Americans felt was important and wanted to discuss: Some have been hurt by false moralistic or legalistic religion. Others think the church is broken and beyond repair. Still others genuinely want to pursue Jesus Christ with everything they have.

I’ll admit: I had mixed feelings about the video when it came out. As Kevin DeYoung put it, “There is so much helpful in this poem mixed with so much unhelpful.” However, it is evident that Jefferson has matured a lot since posting the initial video (thanks to the discipleship of Christian leaders and his humility). In order to flesh out his views on Jesus, Christianity, and religion, Jefferson has written the book Jesus>Religion (which launches today). The book uses the contrast between Jesus and religion to accomplish the dual goal of addressing false perceptions of Christianity while presenting a true picture of what followers of Jesus look like.  Read more of this post

Work, Ministry, and the Gospel

“If there’s anything in life that we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel.  And I don’t mean passionate only about sharing it with others. I mean passionate about thinking about it, dwelling on it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world.  Only one thing can be of first importance to each of us.  And only the gospel ought to be.” -C.J. Mahaney

The False Dicotomy: Work vs Ministry

Too often, I’ve heard a Christian friend or adult say, “I have a normal job and I enjoy it, but ministry always comes second. I just wish I could have a ministry job where I can devote all my time to God and ministry.”

While this sounds spiritual, it leads to three common misconceptions of the relationship between the gospel and our work:  Read more of this post

Spirit-Powered, Gospel-Driven, Faith-Fueled Effort

This is the fifth post with my sermon notes from the Together for the Gospel Conference (T4G) that was held from April 10-12 in Louisville, KY. To see my other sermon notes from T4G, click here. More sermon notes to come.

Speaker: Kevin DeYoung                                           Key text: 1 Corinthians 15:10

Listen to the full sermon: Audio || Video

Christians are constantly striving for personal holiness. As Christians celebrate all that Christ has saved them from, they should also celebrate all that Christ has saved them to. Those most passionate about the gospel should also be the most passionate about personal holiness. Work is not only a response to the work of God, but a result of it.   Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: