Sunday, October 08, 2006

Captivated by God through the Gospel

Tonight I decided to watch a video I recorded on my video camera from the US Staff Conference back in '05. It was from a great talk by John Piper called "Captivated by God through the Gospel"

He divided his talk into 5 sections, and so I will give these notes in the same fashion.

  1. What is the Gospel?
  • 2 Cor 4:3-7
  • What makes the gospel good news?
  • Justification by faith? Forgiveness of sins? Propitiation? Liberation from sin? Escape from hell? Entrance to heaven? Eternal life? Deliverance from pain?
  • These things are not the highest, final good. In fact they are useless, unless they give us the ultimate good.
  • The gospel is the glory of god in the face of Christ treasured and seen as all-satisfying increasingly forever
  • Justification by faith? So what! Unless it gives us the glory of God in the face of Christ!

  1. What is Lostness?
  • 2 Cor 4:4 - God of this world has blinded unbelievers
  • Lostness is then blindness to glory of God in face of Christ!
  • When we share the true gospel and people respond with blank faces, it is because they are blind to spiritual truth, not because there is something wrong with the message.

  1. What is Conversion?
  • 2 Cor 4:6 - God said let light shine out of darkness…to give light of glory of God in the face of Christ
  • Conversion is opening of eyes to see light of knowledge of glory of God in Christ
  • Conversion is a miracle!
  • God has to do for all of us what he did for Paul on the Damascus road. It does not have to be as dramatic, but it is just as miraculous!

  1. What is the Role of Humans in Conversion?
  • Acts 26:17
  • We are to open eyes!
  • God sends us to do what he alone can do!
  • God will not do it without us.
  • People get saved through the preaching of the gospel
  • This is why God uses CCC!
  • As long as we are faithful to preach the gospel, God will continue to use us
  • 1 Peter 4:11 - let the one who serves, serve in the strength that God supplies so that in all things God will get the glory

  1. What is the Role of Teaching in Conversion?
  • 2 Tim 2:24 - The Lords servant… should be able to teach, correcting with righteousness and God may grant repentance leading to knowledge of truth.
  • We keep teaching, and if the Lord wills, he will say into their life "let there be light" and they are broken and they are broken, and the light goes on and the devil flees!
What a great message! These 5 points are so key for all beleivers to understand! I will look forward to listening to the other message he gave, and giving the report!

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World

This afternoon I listened to the first talk from Desiring God's National Conference Above All Earthly Powers: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World. At one point I had hoped to go to this conference, but it just happened to fall on the same weekend as C4C's Summit retreat. But one of the great things about Desiring God is that they have so much free stuff. Fortunately for all who weren't able to attend the conference, the mp3's of the messages are available for free!

The first talk is by David Wells, who wrote the book Above all Earthly Powers which was the motivation behind this conference. He has an English accent (which is cool), but speaks really slowly (which makes him a little harder to follow.

This was a quality talk though. The central message was that Jesus is in a league of his own. There is no equal to him in all of history. He was fully God and Man. He atoned for sin. He lived a perfect life. No one can match him. These are things we need to hear more!

He then goes onto say that the book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers tempted to fade back into the woodwork. The message of Hebrews is the uniqueness of Christ, and so the author of Hebrews thought that speaking of Christ would be the best way to encourage believers in the face of trial.

Wells goes onto say that our culture is in a similar situation. We are not being persecuted like 1st century believers, but there are many things trying to pull us away from our faith., who did live blogging at this conference blogs Wells saying, "We are so distracted by so many things that it is hard for us to sustain a focus upon the supremacy of Christ in our world and our lives. This is why people come to church looking to have psychological needs met. But sermons only addressing these matters are exercises in futility if the supremacy and centrality of Christ has been lost. In an entirely different way, we in our churches seem to be shrinking back from Christ."

Wells then goes onto show from Hebrews how Christ is separate from everyone else in many ways. He then closes of the message with this key point: Christianity is only about this kind of Christ - Christ reigning supreme and unchallenged and unchallengeable over all of life's enemies. Any other Christ that we offer the world does them no favours. We need to offer the Christ of the Bible, who is above all earthly powers, or no Christ at all.
You can see Challies summary of this message here
You can listen to the mp3 of this talk here