Category: What is the Gospel?

Salvation Is Unflattering

As part of a Wednesday night summer series, our church has been studying some of the “salvation words” that are found in Scripture. As we’ve worked our way through concepts like substitution, reconciliation, and redemption a particular truth with which I have been impressed is this: salvation doesn’t make us look pretty. No matter what Scriptural terminology you use to describe what Jesus did for us on the cross, none of them put us in a flattering light. “Substitution” can be described as Jesus taking our place on the cross. Our sins were placed on Jesus when He was...

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Gluttony

The saying goes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and for me, this has proven to be true on more than one occasion. I love food. I love cooking food, creating dishes, and mimicking cooking techniques of some of my favorite celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Mario Batali. I enjoy the good pleasures a freshly prepared meal by my own hands brings. The Disney-Pixar movie “Ratatouille” is one of my favorites because it centers around cooking and the pleasures that come from it, both ethereal and physical. All this to be...

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Sloth and Diligence

When one thinks of the enduring legacy of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation, some things come to mind — things like justification by faith alone, in Christ alone, according to God’s Word alone, and for His glory alone. But there is another Reformation landmark that is often overlooked. It has been preserved in the catchphrase “the Protestant work ethic.” This expression has come to be associated with others like “an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.” But the reason this is called the Protestant work ethic is that one of the things articulated or re-established by the Reformers...

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Envy and Kindness

Take out a sheet of paper and number from one to seven. Now list the seven deadly sins in what you would say is their order of badness. Did you put envy last? Does it seem “less bad” to you than lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, and pride? If so, elevate it immediately to Deadly Sin number one. It has you fooled, which makes it the most dangerous sin in the bunch. It probably marketed itself to you as something good (a form of admiration), or something partially good (a synonym for jealousy), instead of something thoroughly bad (frustrated self-exaltation fueled...

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Lust and Chastity

Ours is a day where biblical sexuality is under assault. From attacks from homosexuality, pornography, transgenderism, and the list seems to go on and on, we have a big problem. While some of these problems are new, many of them are not. We can tend to think that the problems in our day are greater than in past times and that people haven’t wrestled with the problems in the present in the past. As Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes 1:9 there is nothing new under the sun. C.S. Lewis once described this attitude as “chronological snobbery.” Chronological snobbery is...

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