Saturday, August 30, 2008

Best Gospel Posts of the Week

Below are the best posts I came across this past week, August 23-29, that deal with the gospel message.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Best "Living the Gospel" Posts of the Week

Here are the best articles and blog posts on living out the gospel that I found during August 21-27.

What Worship Is

Alan Knox - Here I Am to Worship
"To me, the key seems to be recognizing that worship is not about activity - whether individual or corporate. Instead, worship is a life lived in obedience to God. We can sing about loving God forever, but if we are not demonstrating that love through our lives then we are not worshiping. We can give every penny, but if that giving is not in response to the love of God and the love of others, then our giving is worthless, not worship. We can listen to Bible sermons, preaching Bible sermons, or read the Bible on our own, but without a life that demonstrates dependence on God and obedience to Him, then we are not worshiping. We cannot worship God without obeying what he has revealed to us. We cannot obey on our own what God has revealed to us. We are completely dependent upon God (the grace that he provides through his Spirit) to be able to worship God. Worship is not as much about doing things for God (an audience of one?) as it is about being in God, abiding in Christ, walking in the Spirit.

from His blog The Assembling of the Church

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Basic Definitions of the Gospel

Below are some more basic definitions of the gospel that I have come across on the internet. What do you think about them? Is there anything you would add or subtract or say in a different way?

In a basic definition of the gospel I think the focus should be on Jesus and should include at least 2-4:
  1. Jesus as God- His nature and character and role as creator
  2. Why we need Jesus- sin, judgment and hell
  3. What Jesus did for us- sinless life, cross, death and resurrection
  4. How we receive Jesus- faith and repentance
  5. Jesus' coming Kingdom- to be with Jesus in His kingdom forever in glory
What would you include in a outline of a basic definition of the gospel? Here is a blog post that talks about different summaries of the gospel, A Multifaceted Gospel.

Andrew Errington

The gospel is the message that God, in his love, has acted to redeem the world by sending his own Son to become a human being, live a wonderful, obedient life, take upon himself the judgment of God on sin in his death, and rise bodily from the dead, ascending to glory at the right hand of God, so that all who turn to him in repentance and faith receive forgiveness of sins and life by being united to him through his Spirit: in Jesus Christ there is salvation.

David Platt
The just and gracious God of the universe looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to bear His wrath against sin on the cross and to show His power over sin in the resurrection so that all who have faith in Him will be reconciled to God forever.

John Piper
The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. The essence of faith is being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus.

You can see an updated list of all the basic definitions I have posted so far here on Google Docs.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gospel Quote - The Gospel from Three Perspectives

Tim Keller
"I think it is important to see that the gospel itself (just like the Triune God) should be understood through three perspectives as well. Each perspective is true in that it eventually comprises the whole, but each approach begins with a particular ‘door’ or aspect.

The ‘normative’ aspect, I’ll call “the gospel of Christ”, stresses the objective, historic work of Christ that Jesus really came in time-space and history to accomplish [salvation] for us. It will talk much more about the real, historicity of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection…This view thinks that the problem addressed by Paul in Galatians was a doctrinal heresy.

The ‘existential’ (experiential) aspect, I’ll call “the gospel of sonship”, stresses our new identity in Christ as adopted children…It will talk much of the power of the spirit to renew broken hearts…This view thinks that the problem addressed by Paul in Galatians was a pastoral one of Christians falling back into legalism.

The ‘situational’ aspect, I’ll call “the gospel of the kingdom”, stresses the reversal of values in the new creation. It will talk about healed community, cultural transformation, ministries of deed and justice…This view thinks that the problem addressed by Paul in Galatians was the lack of ‘table fellowship’ between Jew and Gentile."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Best Gospel Posts of the Week

Here are the best posts that I have come across this past week, August 16-22, that discuss the gospel message.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Best "Living the Gospel" Posts of the Week

Here are the best posts I have come across this week, August 14-20, that deal with living out the gospel.

Historical Meaning of "Gospel"

Below is an excerpt from theoBlogian's blog post Progress on the Gospel that gives an understanding of how the Greek word for "gospel" was used at the time Jesus and the Apostles were alive. Sure makes sense in light of Mark 1:14-15 in which Jesus equated the gospel with believing that the kingdom of God was at hand. Here are the verses:
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”. (NKJV)
From theoBlogian:
The word “gospel” has always meant “good news.” Today, even in secular conversation, gospel is synonymous with “truth” and “good news.” However, in the first century its connotations were hardly salvific and yet oddly religious. In those days, when a new Caesar or ruler came to power, he would send his proclaimers throughout the region to “preach the gospel.” Their gospel was: “a king sits on the throne.” Or “a new king is in power.” The gospel was also preached when reigning kings conquered regions and brought foreign lands under their rule. Sometimes the messengers preceded elaborate parades and rituals. For the native Roman, the smell of the sacrifices and incense that accompanied the loud proclamation was a sweet smell. For those who were conquered, the incense held only the smell of death and destruction.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Great Worship Video

This video was shown at the opening of the Worship God conference.

Basic Definitions of the Gospel

Below are some more basic definitions of the gospel that I have come across on the internet. What do you think of them? If someone were to ask you what the gospel is and you only had a moment or two to give them an answer what would you say?

Some believe this is not good to do as they think it distorts or makes too simplistic, that which is, in fact, very detailed and deep. I disagree, Jesus summed up the law well with a very simple sentence, do to others what you would have them do to you. Having that basic definition helps not only to understand the law as you look at the details but also serves as a guide on how to apply it.

Coming up with your own excellent basic definition of the gospel is not easy to do, it takes a lot of work. It takes serious, prayerful study and meditation of all that the Bible says about it before you can even begin to get to the point of being able to communicate it in your own words.

Since God has created us to be different and since we are brought up in different cultures, have different life experiences and learn about God and the Bible in different kinds of churches we will see the gospel from slightly different angles even when we are doing our best to understand truth as it is and not as we want it to be. We also all have biases, blind spots and wrong understanding that we aren't even aware of. That is why we need each other, the whole body of Christ through the ages, in order to truly know the gospel it all of it's glorious details.

When we earnestly and humbly seek to really understand the gospel God will give us understanding and when we humbly work together our understanding will grow even more. To His glory and praise.

Tim Keller
Through the person and work of Jesus Christ, God fully accomplishes salvation for us, rescuing us from judgment for sin into fellowship with him, and then restores the creation in which we can enjoy our new life together with him forever.

Tracy Johnson
The good news, the gospel, is that Jesus has exchanged our sinfulness and our shame for His righteousness. Faith in Him and His power to do this for us both provides eternal life for us and gives us the pathway to life in the here and now...right here and right now. That is good news.

Michael Gunn
The Gospel is God’s “Good News” of His in-breaking into human culture in order to justify and save His people (Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ), and establish His kingdom/Lordship (Through the establishment of His Church) to the glory of His name.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Best "Living the Gospel" Posts of the Week

Here are the best blog posts I have come across this past week, August 7-13, concerning how we live out the gospel.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Calvary Chapel Bucuresti Worship

Here is some of the worship from last Sunday's service. If you go to
Vimeo you can download the video in the lower right
corner of the page.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Basic Definitions of the Gospel

Here are some basic definitions of the gospel that I have come across on the internet.

Robert Webber - Ancient Future Worship
The incredible and radical story of God is that he loves the world so much that he enters into the suffering of the world so that through his death, sin is defeated, death is overcome, hell is conquered. And in his resurrection, life, the true life of the Spirit is recovered and man and the world is made new.

Scot McKnight
Jesus Creed
It is the work of the trinitarian God (Father, Son, Spirit), in the context of a community, to restore cracked Eikons to union with God and communion with others, for the good of others and the world.

Alan Higgins - Real Christianity
It simply is this. We are all sinners and have broken God’s laws and as a result the wrath of God abides on us. God must punish sin because he is holy and he SHOULD punish us all and throw us ALL into the lake of fire but Christ showed his love to us by taking the punishment on the cross that should have been ours, and dying on the cross provided a way out for us so that we can receive the forgiveness of sins and be made righteous. Simply said, we broke the law, but Jesus paid the fine. Unless a person repents and puts their trust in Christ ALONE, they will incur God’s punishment and his wrath.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Masculine and Feminine Spiritual Battle

I came across an article the other day about the consequences of radical feminism in Denmark and thought it was real interesting. You can read it here. It isn't a Christian article but I have read several articles on the web where Christians are discussing the same issue but from a Christian perspective. It is about all the confusion about what it means to be a man or a woman. You know it is getting bad when secular people start realizing there is something wrong with their "enlightenment".

We know that Satan is doing his best to destroy the works of God including that God created us male and female. I think this issue is something we will need to deal with so I would encourage you to study, think and pray about it. The issues are not all the same here in Romania but there are issues non the less that need to be dealt with.

Seems to me this should be a topic of high interest in men's and women's groups in churches.

Here are some resources and articles about being a godly/Biblical man:

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Free Online Books

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
- free PDF download of book from John Piper and others

Knighthood and Biblical Manhood - from Campus Crusade's "Leadership U'

The Marks of Manhood - 13 marks of Biblical manhood

The Next Christian Men's Movement - from Christianity Today

A Jesus for Real Men
- What the masculinity gets right and wrong

Christian Men Seeking Lost Masculinity

GodMen - a Christian men's movement - watch video

Desultory Thoughts on Masculinity

Profiling Christian Masculinity - very good, be sure to read it

The Masculinity Movement
- added August 19th

Shalom in the Home: Gospel-Centered Marriages - added September 3rd

Fight the Good Fight, Part 1
- added September 18th

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Darul Inchinarii

Darul Închinării from William Anderson on Vimeo.

This video has both English and Romanian text. It shows what worship of God is truly about, which is a great reminder for us that live in a consumer oriented and self-centered world.

You can download a 457 MB HD (1280x720) version on Vimeo, look towards the bottom right to find the download button. There is also a 27 MB mp4 version here.

Best Gospel Posts of the Week

Sorry but last Saturday I was busy so I didn't have time to share which blog posts I thought were the best of the week. So here are the last two weeks:

July 26-August 1
August 2-8

Friday, August 08, 2008

Please Pray for Our Outreach Concert Nov. 7th

We would really appreciate your prayers for an outreach concert we are planning for Friday, November 7th here in Bucuresti. This is not a concert for Christians but for the lost, especially the youth. We have a Romanian Christian band lined up called "Decean" who we think are a good fit for what we want to do.

Here are some specific things you can pray for this outreach:
  • For wisdom if we should have any other bands (maybe even a band from the States)
  • For finding a place to hold the concert in a good location where lots of university students live if possible
  • For wisdom in how to best promote and publicize the concert
  • For redoing our church's website and developing the gospel website more so we can publicize them at the concert
  • For wisdom on how best to do follow-up- maybe plan a special meeting a day or two later
  • For the finances to pay all the costs involved in doing the concert
Here is a link to a music video version of the song in the video above and here is a link to an English version of the song if you want to know what they are singing.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Spiritual Implications of Physical Fitness

This past school year that was very intense for me and I didn't have much time for anything else. Besides not exercising since I left Brasov at the beginning of December 2006 I haven't been eating very healthy as well. During the month of June I was trying to recover from everything but even though I was not very busy I seemed tired all the time. I decided during the second week of July to start lifting weights again and eating better. So far I have lost 5 kg/11 lbs of the 6.5 kg/14 lbs I put on since I moved to Bucuresti.

Since I started working out others in the church have expressed an interest in wanting to start lifting weights and losing weight so this past Saturday I did a fitness workshop with a focus on using dumbbells for the major muscle groups and 11 people showed up for it. Below is what I shared at the start of the workshop on the spiritual implications of fitness. If you have any other thoughts regarding this please add them in the comments. At the bottom you will see links to a few articles I have come across dealing with these issues and also a link to a 170 MB zip file with all the videos, handouts and extra stuff I
found on the web that I used in the workshop or made available to those that came to the workshop.

Biblical Considerations

Psalm 139:13-16
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Ezekiel 16:49-50
As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you and your daughters. 49 Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. 50 She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen. (NLT)

2 Corinthians 6:16
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

1 Timothy 4:8
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both.

Spiritual Implications

  • Our bodies were created by God, they are good. We are not to think that the body is bad, that type of thinking is Gnostic in nature and unbiblical
  • God ordained us to be stewards over all He created, even our bodies
  • Our fitness and health impacts us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually
  • Our fitness and health also impacts the quality of our service to God
  • While taking care of our bodies is a good thing, if we are not careful we can make it a god thing, a false savior, an idol that we put our trust and hope in instead of God or that we look to it to derive our worth rather than from God and the fact that we were created by Him in His image, that Jesus came and died on the cross for us and that the Father has adopted us into His family
Here are the links I mentioned above:

Best "Living the Gospel" Posts of the Week

Actually these are the best "Living the Gospel" posts that I have come across over the past 12 days. I was really busy last weekend so I didn't get around to posting anything. I also have decided to post the best "Understanding the Gospel" of the week on a different day rather than doing them together. So here is the list.