All in Sermon series
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The Apostle Paul was clear in 2 Corinthians 7: 10 that godly sorrow produces repentance. This means that where there is no sorrow, repentance is suspect. But where does this godly sorrow come from? What does it look like? And how can we pursue it?
The best way to understand godly sorrow is to see it in action. In Luke 7:36-50 we find one of the clearest examples in all of Scripture.
This is adapted from my latest sermon entitled: “A Change of Mind: Three Keys to Facing My Sin." You can listen to the full sermon audio here.
Most people would rather do anything other than face their sin.
The problem is, facing sin is the first step to repenting of it. The puritan Thomas Watson wrote, "Before a man can come to Christ, He must first come to himself...Sin must first be seen before it can be wept for."
In 2 Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan confronts the concealed sin of King David. David was guilty of a body of sin that would make the most hardened of sinners blush. There is much in the example of David that should not be replicated, but there is one thing that should - he finally faced his sin when Nathan called him on it. After nine months of hiding his sin, David finally admits in v.12,
In this simple sentence we learn so much about repentance, specifically three keys to facing our sin...
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We’ve all experienced times of confusion - times when we thought we understood something we in reality did not. The problem with confusion is that it has consequences. Some confusion, in fact, can have life-long, fatal, even eternal consequences. Repentance is one of those issues.
From beginning to end, the Bible heralds genuine repentance as foundational to both salvation and spiritual growth. The truth is, there is no salvation or spiritual growth apart from repentance.
But even though it’s one of the most talked-about issues in our faith, repentance is also one of the most misunderstood. As a result, much of what we deem repentance may not be. So, we need to be crystal clear about what it is and what it isn’t.
Here’s the question:
The Old Testament book of Ruth is all about life, loss and the loving providence of God. It’s the story of two women, Naomi and Ruth, surrounded by loss and disappointment, and the one true God who is always at work in the ups and downs of their lives.
I taught through this powerful short story at Redemption this fall (Click for sermon summaries - Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four). In each chapter I found myself walking away with the same three realities rattling around in my heart and I wanted to share them here…
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In this series, we’ve already dismantled a defective view of God’s will and defined God’s will for our lives. As a result, we know what His will is NOT and also what it is; now we turn to the challenge of learning how to allow God’s Word to guide us as we make decisions that are sure to honor and bring glory to Him.
(To listen to the full sermon audio, click here.)
Many Christians have been taught that God’s will is individual and specific, like a bull’s eye that we are to aim for. According to this traditional view, if we can just discover where the center of His will is and put ourselves there, we can be confident of God’s favor and trust that He is controlling every detail.
Some of us are happy with this way of looking at God’s will.
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Few things are more confusing for Christians than trying to understand God’s will for our lives. We keep trying – and failing – to hit the “bull’s eye” we think of as being the center of His will. Why is that? Can we actually know what God's will is or are we looking for something that doesn’t exist (at least not the way we think about it)?
What if our entire understanding of God’s will is defective?
For full sermon audio, listen here: http://rdmp.tn/DG5
Have you ever looked at a situation in your own life – or the state of the world in general – and wondered, “Is God truly in control of all this? Does He have power over all things, all people, in all places, at all times? Is God really sovereign?”
The Bible's answer to these questions is an overwhelming and emphatic, “Yes”:
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Is God good?
This question about God’s character and capability plagues more people than any other. Almost daily we hear someone asking the question, “How could a good God allow such suffering in this world?” Perhaps we have asked it ourselves. How indeed?
We live in a world that is filled with physical, mental, emotional, political, and relational suffering. If we’re honest, we’ve all wondered how God could be good and yet allow these things to happen. Why does He not intervene?
(For full sermon audio, listen here...)
Many of us don’t pray or we feel very insecure when we do, because we’re uncertain HOW to pray. Prayer is not about getting what we want, forcing God’s hand, or fulfilling a religious obligation. It’s about relating with God.
If anyone is going to teach you how to pray, wouldn’t you want it to be Jesus? The good news is He has done exactly that in Matthew 6:5-15.
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, it’s important to note He advised them to “Pray then like this” (v.9) He didn’t say “pray this specific prayer” or “pray these exact words”. While we shouldn't pray this prayer mindlessly, Jesus did provide us with five signs, or categories to guide our prayer life:
Imagine you walked into church one Sunday and everywhere you looked were zombies. Not real zombies, of course. Because of course, there aren’t real zombies, or are there? Anyways...
Imagine you walked into a worship service one Sunday and everywhere you looked were zombies.
"Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary."
You've most likely heard some version of this quote, often attributed (incorrectly) to St. Francis of Assisi. The problem with this quote -- other than the fact that St. Francis never said it -- is that it forces an unnecessary, unhelpful, and unbiblical dichotomy between displaying the Gospel with one's life and declaring the Gospel with one's mouth.
While I wholeheartedly agree that Christians should live exemplary lives that display the work of the Gospel, the Bible doesn't hold this up as the definition of evangelism. Until you open your mouth and actually tell someone the good news about Jesus, you have not done the full work of Biblical evangelism.