Month: November 2012

Book Review: The Kingdom of God from the Theology in Community Series

The Kingdom of God is the rule of a eternal sovereign God over all creatures and things (Psalm 103:19; Daniel 4:3). The Kingdom of God is also the designation for the sphere of salvation entered into at the new birth (John 3:5-7), and is synonymous with the Kingdom of Heaven.  The Kingdom of God embraces all created intelligence, both in heaven and earth that are willingly subject to the Lord and are in fellowship with Him. The Kingdom of God is, therefore, universal in that it includes created angels and men. It is eternal, as God is eternal, and it is spiritual—found within all born-again believers. We enter the Kingdom of God when we are born again, and we are then part of that Kingdom for eternity. It is a relationship “born of the spirit” (John 3:5), and we have confident assurance that it is so because the Spirit bears witness with our spirits (Romans 8:16).  God is sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient and the ruler over all of His creation. However, the designation “the Kingdom of God” encompasses that realm which is subject to God and will be for eternity. The rest of creation will be destroyed. Only that which is part of the “Kingdom of God” will remain. Today God mediates His Kingdom through believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit and obedient to the Word of God (1st Peter...

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Gospel-Centered Evangelism and Discipleship

Acts 1:8 holds to the settings of Acts 1:1-2:13 which opens up with explaining the Promise of the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit’s descent at Pentecost. The foundation for Acts is laid in the first eleven verses as Luke discusses the Kingdom of God and the Great Commission. The Commission of Jesus is set within the context of a question concerning when the kingdom of Israel will be restored (Acts 1:6). The question the Apostles asked was a routine one since Jesus has been resurrected. The Promise of the Spirit led them to think that the Messianic Era had dawned, and the final salvation of Israel was imminent. The reality is that the Apostles were still thinking of a political and military kingdom that would drive out the Roman armies and restore national sovereignty to Israel. Jesus corrects the Apostles, telling them in Acts 1:8 that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit, not to triumph over the Roman armies, but to spread the good news of the gospel throughout the world. In other words Jesus’ return is in God’s timing, and in the meantime there are key things believers are to do. The backdrop for Acts 1:8 is Luke 24:44-48, “4Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the...

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Profession without Prayer

J.C. Ryle, from A Call to Prayer: I do not deny that a person may pray without heart and without sincerity. I do not for a moment pretend to say that the mere fact of a people praying, proves everything about their soul. As in every other part of religion, so also in this — there may be deception and hypocrisy. But this I do say — that not praying is a clear proof that a person is not yet a true Christian. They cannot really feel their sins. They cannot love God. They cannot feel themselves a debtor to Christ. They cannot long after holiness. They cannot desire Heaven. They have yet to be born again. They have yet to be made a new creature. They may boast confidently of election, grace, faith, hope and knowledge, and deceive ignorant people. But you may rest assured it is all vain talk — if they do not...

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Book Review: Organic Outreach for Famlies

The traditional definition of marriage and family in our culture is under attack by those who wish to not only redefine what the family is but also what is socially and therefore culturally acceptable definition of the family. Into this fray many writers in the past year or two have written books on marriage to try and help Christians to think through what the Bible teaches about marriage and the family. Many of these books make helpful contributions but very few of them help us to think through what it means to be a family on mission and to reach our neighbors for Christ. Thankfully the Harneys have written a very helpful book to address this concern called Organic Outreach For Families Turning Your Home Into A Lighthouse. At the heart of the book is the “recognition that we can’t given what we don’t have. If we want our homes to be lighthouses of God’s grace, it begins with us, with our grasp of the gospel of God’s grace and our walk with the Lord. As we walk with Jesus, revel in his grace, long for him to be glorified, and delight in our friendship with the Savior, we naturally bring this good news to the most important people in our lives, our children” (27) The more I think about marriage and the family the more convinced I become...

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Book winners for Thanksgiving Book Extravaganza

First, I want to first thank Crossway, Christian Focus, Dutton Adult, Zondervan, New Growth Press and David Cook, for allowing me the opportunity to do this book giveaway.  Second, I want thank all of you who shared and commented on the book giveaway.  Thirdly, the winners of the book giveaway are Marguerite Harrell who won a copy of Pleasing God by R.C. Sproul, Chris Land won a copy of Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work, Michael Boling won a copy of Glorious Ruin, Kevin Fiske won a copy of Gospel Deeps, Jeremy Seifert won a copy of InDoctrination, Bill Chandler won a copy of Accidental Pharisees, Chad Carlson won a copy of Dangerous Calling, Paul Emery won a copy of Life in the Fairway, Evan Lee won a copy of Glorious Ruin, Mark Lamprecht won a copy of The Hole in Our Holiness, David Norman won a copy of Multiply Disciples Making Disciples, Paul Emery won a copy of Life in the Fairway, Chad Miller won a copy of The Work of Christ by R.C. Sproul, Jonathan Holmes won a copy of Sexual Sanity, Austin Nelson won a copy of Sexual Sanity, Elizabeth won a copy of Nothing Is Impossible with God, Jason Stonehouse won a copy of The Life of God in the Soul of the Church: The Root and Fruit of Spiritual Fellowship, Aaron...

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