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Forgiveness must go before sanctification

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 12:02 PM

Forgiveness must go before sanctification: "

“A sense of having our sins forgiven is the mainspring and life-blood of love to Christ. The only way to make men holy is to teach and preach free and full forgiveness through Jesus Christ. The secret of being holy ourselves is to know and feel that Christ has pardoned our sins. Peace with God is the only root that will bear the fruit of holiness. Forgiveness must go before sanctification.”


—J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, on Luke 7:36-50.


(HT: Ray Ortlund)




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This Week with Henri Nouwen – Be Yourself

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 1:22 PM

This Week with Henri Nouwen – Be Yourself: "

“Often we want to be somewhere other than where we are, or even to be someone other than who we are. We tend to compare ourselves constantly with others and wonder why we are not as rich, as intelligent, as simple, as generous, or as saintly as they are. Such comparisons make us feel guilty, ashamed, or jealous. It is very important to realize that our vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. We are unique human beings, each with a call to realize in life what nobody else can, and to realize it in the concrete context of the here and now.


We will never find our vocations by trying to figure out whether we are better or worse than others. We are good enough to do what we are called to do. Be yourself!” - Henri Nouwen




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Stop Going to Church

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 10:04 PM

Stop Going to Church: "


What is the difference between going to church and being the church? In a recent blog post for Boundless Webzine called Stop Going to Church, Jonathan Dodson talks about how his life was radically changed when he stopped simply going to church. Comparing some of today’s churches to fortresses, shopping malls, and cemeteries, Dodson calls us to remember that the church is intended to be a family.


More on Jonathan Dodson and his ministry can be found at his blog, Creation Project.




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No such thing as performance-based Christianity

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 11:46 PM

No such thing as performance-based Christianity: "

“From start to finish, the whole Christian life is by grace through faith. A new life in Christ commences with faith, continues by faith, and will be completed through faith. To put this another way, the Gospel is for Christians just as much as it is for non-Christians.


We never advance beyond the good news of the cross and the empty tomb… Therefore, the Christian always looks back to the Gospel and never to the law as the basis for his righteousness before God… There is no such thing as performance-based Christianity… Justification is a doctrine for the whole Christian life from start to finish. It is not simply a doctrine for coming to Christ in the first place… Justification is a doctrine to live by each and every moment.”


- Philip Ryken, Commentary on Galatians, p90-92


(HT: John Fonville)




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Tim Chester on Community Decision Making

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 10:42 PM

Tim Chester on Community Decision Making: "“In our culture we expect to make our own decisions. But decision-making must have a communal dimension
First, we need the community to make good decisions. We need one another to help us see when our reasoning is corrupted by our sinful hearts.
Second, we should involve the Christian community in decision-making to the extent that our [...]"

How to Know You Won't Lay Down Your Life

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 11:22 AM

How to Know You Won't Lay Down Your Life: "Steve Timmis, co-author of Total Church (a book you should read), followed a rather convicting train of thought on Twitter this morning. Here is his succession of tweets:
* “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Jesus Christ

* If I’m not prepared to jeopardise a friendship so that I can tell others about Christ, I can be fairly certain I won’t give up my life.

* If I’m not prepared to miss out on promotion so I can stay & help plant churches, I can be fairly certain I won’t give up my life…

* If I’m not willing to pursue people who are different from me in order to bless them, I can be fairly certain I won’t give up my life…

* If I refuse to give up a holiday abroad so I can support someone in gospel ministry. I can be fairly confident I won’t give up my life…

* If I’m not prepared to give up my bed to go and serve someone, I can be fairly confident I won’t give up my life…

* Can’t ultimately be sure until I’m called on to do so. But there are indicators in what I am reluctant to give up…

* How can I be sure I would lay down my life for sake of Jesus & the gospel? Perhaps I’ll be like Peter in his bravado and subsequent denial?
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When You’re Least Aware (Again!)

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 11:21 AM

When You’re Least Aware (Again!): "

Someone sent me this quote from a book they’ve been reading that seemed to go along with my earlier posting about washing someone’s shoes and how it touched their life. I haven’t read the book and don’t know anything about the author, but I sure like this quote:


The moment you are aware of your holiness it goes sour and becomes self-righteousness. A good deed is never so good as when you have no consciousness that it is good—you are so much in love with the action that you are quite unself-conscious about your goodness and virtue. Your left hand has no idea that your right hand is doing something good or meritorious. You simply do it because it seems the natural, spontaneous thing to do. Spend some time in becoming aware of the fact that all the virtue that you can see in yourself is no virtue at all but something that you have cunningly cultivated and produced and forced on yourself. If it were real virtue you would have enjoyed it thoroughly and would feel so natural that it wouldn’t occur to you to think of it as a virtue. So the first quality of holiness is its unself-consciousness.


The second quality is its effortlessness. Effort can change a behavior, it cannot change you. Think of this: Effort can put food into your mouth, it cannot produce an appetite; it can keep you in bed, it cannot produce sleep; it can make you reveal a secret to another but it cannot produce trust; it can force you to pay a compliment, it cannot produce genuine admiration; effort can PERFORM acts of service, it is powerless to produce love or holiness. All you can achieve by your effort is REPRESSION, not genuine change and growth.


The Way to Love

~ Anthony De Mello

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Christ is Everything

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 10:29 PM

Christ is Everything: "

“When you put your trust in Christ, the overpowering attraction of the world is broken. You are a corpse to the world, and the world is a corpse to you. Or to put it positively, you are a ‘new creation’ (Galatians 6:15). The old you is dead. A new you is alive — the you of faith in Christ. And what marks this faith is that it treasures Christ above everything in the world. The power of the world to woo your love away is dead.


Being dead to the world means that every legitimate pleasure in the world becomes a blood-bought evidence of Christ’s love and an occasion of boasting in the cross. When our hearts run back along the beam of blessing to the source in the cross, then the worldliness of the blessing is dead, and Christ crucified is everything.”


- John Piper, The Passion of Jesus Christ (Wheaton, Ill.; Crossway Books, 2004), 85.




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LEGALISM

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 10:09 PM

"Legalistic remorse says, 'I broke God's rules,' while real repentance says, 'I broke God's heart.' Legalistic repentance takes sin to Mt. Sinai, gospel repentance to Mt. Calvary. Legalistic repentance is convicted by punishment, gospel repentance becomes convicted by mercy."
- Timothy Keller

Resolved

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 9:43 PM

Resolved: "

From Jonathan Edwards’s “Resolutions“:


Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.


Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.


1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.


To read Edwards’s other 69 resolutions, go here.


Happy New Year!


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