“If we have died to sin, then why do we keep sinning?”

That is a good question.

That is the most recent post over at Tim Challies blog, ‘Informing the Reforming’ 

http://www.challies.com/reading-classics-together/if-we-have-died-to-sin-why-do-we-still-sin

I think the book of Romans answers the question quite well. Start with chapter 6.

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

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‘A Church for Enemies’

_John 15

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

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The sign that stood in front of a church building carried the name of the congregation and this slogan: ‘A Church for Families‘. I took it to mean that families are welcome there. That appeared to be the target market, as we say. But are families more welcome than say, the elderly or single people? Or maybe the slogan was referring to a kind of familial closeness that exists there. That might be OK but if a certain level of intimacy is expected of church members, what about those for whom familial intimacy and affection are problematic for a host of understandable reasons? 

Close, interpersonal relationships are among the highest values in any society. Human affection is capable of monumental things, to be sure. Direct affection can be powerful and the basis for real friendship, care, even a certain degree of healing. At the same time being a ‘family church’ may mean nothing more than a bunch of friendly folks have settled on a comfortable status quo and are happy to leave it at that. Human affection is a lousy basis for Christian community. In fact, it is no basis at all.

Let me suggest an alternative slogan. How about this;  ‘A Church for Enemies‘.  ‘Gasp!  You can’t be serious!’ Well, actually I’m not and neither are you…when it comes to loving enemies that is. And neither are churches whose deepest roots are family values and deep, human intimacy and relationships. That’s why it’s such an awesome slogan. It points beyond us to a love greater and more enduring than ours. It points to the love of Jesus who gave His life on the cross for people who through their sinfulness reveal themselves to be enemies of innocence, righteousness and holiness, unworthy of being a part of God’s family, people who apart from Him are do nothings – people like you and me.

 

“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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From Pastor Mark Anderson’s Daily Devotional blog site

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“Jesus didn’t come to make your life more comfortable.”

Not primarily.

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The Lord does comfort us in the battles of life, but He has bigger fish to fry as His primary mission.

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Listen to Pastor Mark’s sermon for Sunday, August 16th,  2012:

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click here > Jesus didn’t come to make your life more comfortable

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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And thanks to flickr and davewebster14, for the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Properly distinguishing God’s law from God’s gospel to avoid confusion in the Christian faith.

I found many things in this class that were helpful to me in being able to properly distinguish the law from the gospel.

And it quite often isn’t all that easy to do. But listen in and see if there’s something in here for you:

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Listen to >      R&G – complete class

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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And thanks to flickr and Original Sin, for the photo.

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“Prostitutes will enter the Kingdom of Heaven before preachers will”

What?

Jesus spoke to Nicodemus and laid some heavy ideas on him. Actually these “new” ideas weren’t heavy at all, but they were light…and freeing. But they were radically different and frightening to people stuck in the self-justification/sanctification, living by the law (for righteousness) game.

The sanctification of the righteous, the religion project, the improving yourself in the eyes of God project are all things that work against what Jesus brought to this world, and to you, via His cross and resurrection.

Give this one 10 minutes of your time. It may be the most productive 10 minutes you’ve spent in a long time.

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click> Jesus speaks to Nicodemus

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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And thanks to flickr and IPS Inter Press Service, for the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The ascendant, self-loving sinner, and his/her worthiness to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion

Self-centeredness is a big problem in the church.  

What should you do about it?

What has God done about it?

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Listen to > Worthiness to receive the Sacrament of the Altar

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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And thank you to flickr and hoyasmeg, for the photo. 

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Gerhard Forde on “the will of man”.

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“If you begin with the assumption of freedom, the preoccupation is always how to keep freedom in check, how to bind; But if you begin with the assumption of bondage, the preoccupation is always how to set out the word that frees.”
                      

              – Gerhard Forde. 

               The Captivation of the Will. p.21

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