Monday, January 17, 2011
Question: If Southwood is so ‘grace-oriented’ and you (Jean) always say it’s ‘okay that we’re NOT okay’ then how come people get ‘disciplined’ by the church for not living as ‘holy’ as others think they should? I think it’s hypocrisy. Ya’ll say you believe in grace, so how can you still ‘judge’ people and tell them that the way they are living is wrong?
Answer: First things first- we do believe in grace and you might find this confusing, but it is precisely BECAUSE OF that understanding of grace that we believe in church discipline. Scripture tells us that ‘God kindness was meant to lead us to repentance’ (Romans 2:4) and that ‘God disciplines those whom He loves’ (Proverbs 3:12). These two passages are very instructive for us.
First, we learn the reason for Grace i.e. God’s patience, forbearance and kindness in Romans 2:4 is that they are all meant to ‘lead us’ to repentance. God’s kindness is not shown to his…
Monday, January 24, 2011
What hope do I have of overcoming sin (strongholds - habitual, not sinning altogether) if all I ever am encouraged about from the pulpit is that I am a broken wagon wheel?
Essentially, the question behind your question is this: “When do I get BETTER?” I would answer simply this way: if by ‘better’ you mean ‘less dependent on Christ’ and ‘living a life of progressive sanctification’ whereby you are emerging from the rubble of your former self like a Phoenix from the ashes of “you” then the answer is NEVER. If by ‘better’ you mean broken, humble, gentle, repentant and awe-struck over grace, then the answer is: you will be ‘better’ as often as you are willing to say, “nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling.”
Your distaste for hearing that you are a ‘broken wagon wheel’ is simply because of your faulty pre-supposition that you are engaged in progressive…
Monday, February 14, 2011
I was intrigued and excited by the “trailer” for Galatians on Sunday! However, I was wondering, when could we have the same expositional teaching through one of the Gospels? Galatians is going to be so fruitful, I’m sure, and I just thirst for such a systematic, steady flow of Jesus! Please?!
Answer: Good news, Galatians is actually all about Jesus! (I’m sure you knew that, but I say it that way to make a point!) The entirety of the book is about the imputed righteousness of Jesus, his work, his perfect life, his atoning death and the implications of all that for real people like you and me. The Gospels are what is called, “historical narrative” where you get the ‘Jesus stories’ i.e. blind man, walking on water, etc. We will have expository preaching on historical narrative over the course of my time at Southwood, but it’s fair to say that we won’t be launching into any of the Gospel…
Monday, February 21, 2011
Should the Gospel be confusing? When we come to the (Lord’s) table should we not know what we are doing? The Gospel is a mystery that was hidden for ages, but now revealed – it is Christ in us the hope of glory (Col 1:27).
There is none righteous.
All have sinned.
All fall short.
We were under a curse and the judgment of God.
Christ redeemed us from the judgment due us (Galatians).
We were delivered out of the domain of darkness (Col1:13 ) and transferred into kingdom of God’s Son.
Eternal life is a free gift received by faith in Christ.
Christ is our righteousness.
The Holy Spirit is the deposit and seal of what is to come.
We are made new in Christ for good works (Eph 2:10).
We are to put on the new self, created in the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:14).
As those who have believed in God we are to be careful…
Monday, March 07, 2011
(This question was submitted via Knots last evening and was inspired by yesterday’s sermon which can be found here)
I chose to go to Sunday School Class this morning after the first service. I briefly considered sitting and drinking coffee and waving, but I would have missed out, not on grace, but on the class and it seemed like a profitable way to spend my time. But I wondered, not in an effort to be witty, but in an effort to understand what you are saying: would you be willing to decide at 8:25 a.m. to go and sit on the couch and drink coffee, leaving the pulpit empty, and a few hundred people scratching their heads and looking at each other?
What would be the thoughts that would contribute to your decision either to go and preach, or go and sip coffee on the couch? By the way, if you are going to sip coffee on the couch next week, please let me know, and I will…
Monday, July 04, 2011
I receive lots of email. Most of the ‘concerned’ email revolves around fears that somehow the preaching and teaching of grace will make us LAZY in our Christian lives. Frankly, I had never come across the question from a person who identified themselves as having struggled this way. I got that question from a person struggling in that specific way last week. Fair warning, the answer is detailed and longer than normal, but worth reading! It’s a PDF download. What is posted here is just an intro to the full article. Enjoy and P.S. If you missed Sunday’s message: “Divide, Conquer and remembering the fine print of grace” you should download and listen to it first. It is amazing how God times these thing to go together!
Dear Pastor Larroux,
Is there such thing as going “too far” with grace? What I mean is this: I am fully aware of my sin and brokenness. I know…
Monday, July 11, 2011
I get lots of questions about the Gospel. Most of them are not as ‘form’ oriented (i.e. content) as they are ‘function’ (i.e. how does the Gospel work?). Most of the inquiries revolve around grace and the ability of a philosophical system that demands faith INSTEAD OF works to ACTUALLY result in the mortification of sin. Just such a question was posed last week about an ongoing struggle with pornography. Below is an exerpt of the PDF paper “How does the Gospel work?” The particular sin addressed in the paper is ‘lying’ but you can make the connection to your particular poison. Grappling through these issues IS the hard work of sanctification and mortification. You should know that it is HARDER to rest, by faith in Christ, and have that change you than to avail yourself of a hundred sin-stifling strategies! John Calvin said, “He who makes the worship of God consist in faith and repentance, BY NO MEANS LOOSENS THE REINS OF DISCIPLINE,…
Friday, November 11, 2011
QUESTION: You seem to make light or down-play the importance of the traditional disciplines of the Faith in stating what we should not do. Or you make the assumption that prior to doing those disciplines (the ten steps in your article) the hypothetical sinner has not done what you desire him to do: see that he has been saved by Grace, and then as a result of that works out his salvation through the traditional disciplines of our Faith.
I guess I’m just trying to understand where you think those disciplines fit into our Christian Life. I’m confused since the majority of the time you mention studying the word, memorizing scripture, prayer, etc. it is in the context of a bad thing: doing those to solely in an attempt make us acceptable to God. Undoubtedly there are those that do, but many more who do them for the right reasons. I know you can’t mean that those disciplines are unimportant since scripture unambiguously teaches us that we are…
Jesus+Nothing = Everything
“Jesus + Nothing = Everything will remind you of the ancient yet ever-fresh truth that everything we need is found in the perfections of Christ—not in ourselves, not in our reputation, our relationships or wealth or accomplishments—in Christ alone. If you’ve never rested in the finished work of Christ this book is for you. If you’ve rested in it for decades like I have, this book is for you, too. Why? Because we forget; And, although we love Jesus, we’re blind to the ways in which his work connects to our daily lives and we wonder why joy and zeal are foreign concepts to us.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick
A Scandalous Freedom
Get ready to be bothered by the Gospel. Steve Brown teaches grace in a way that gets under your skin—- Reading Brown is like having a gospel hair in your mouth of your conscience. The more it bothers you the more beautiful the pearl produced will be
The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification
From the publisher: “It is a deep and rich biblical study of sanctification - how Christians grow in holiness and become more like Jesus. In a day when Christians are very prone to pursue self-help methods to grow in obedience to Christ, Walter Marshall lays out the biblical way of growth: obedience comes as Christians live by grace, in union with Christ, by faith.” This book influenced me PROFOUNDLY on the topic of sanctification. The Modern-English re-write makes this a TOP PICK for 2011!
12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me)
I ‘accidentally’ picked up this book simply for the title alone. I grew to hate it quickly. It hit a little ‘too close to home.’ Fischer’s book plunges the scalpel of self-awareness and need for deep repentance deep into the hard hearts of Pharisees like ME!
- Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Ricky Jones is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a trophy of grace. If you want to listen to bold preaching by a man who knows his sin, knows his weaknesses and trusts only Jesus to take what he says and use it to God’s glory then you are heading in the right direction. The preaching is bold, the preacher is humble and you will be blessed.
- Key Life Ministries
Steve Brown is not the most subtle guy you will ever meet. If I were to write an S.A.T. question about Steve this is how it would go: Steve Brown is to legalism what a child hopped-up on cake and ice cream is to an pinata! I love this guy. Check out his website and fair warning: you are not heading to a ‘SAFE’ little Christian site!
- Coral Ridge Presbyterian
As one comment on iTunes said: “Tullian preaches the Gospel in an unadulterated and undomesitcated way…The way it should be preached!”
- Mockingbird Blog
Mockingbird is a ministry that seeks to connect the Christian faith with the realities of everyday life in as fresh and down-to-earth a way possible.
- White Horse Inn
White Horse Inn is a multimedia catalyst for reformation. We believe that each generation must rediscover and apply the gospel to their own time. We long to see a second reformation take hold of our churches and return them to the God-honoring, Christ-centered, Spirit-wrought places of worship they should be.
- On Earth as it is in Heaven
William Graham Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) is a Florida native, the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and a grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham.
Smith is the founding Pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN, avid writer, prolific blogger and tweeter. His nuggets of Gospel wisdom are seasoned by years of service to the Bride. He is gentle and very purposed in his every comment.