Three Brief Reflections on Reformation Day

Today is an important day. It’s Reformation Day, the day that sparked the Protestant Reformation in Europe. In fact, it’s the 500th anniversary of the day, October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg church, challenging several unbiblical doctrines and practices of the established Roman Catholic church in Europe. The core issue of the Reformation, of course, was justification: how are people declared righteous before a perfect God? Luther argued it was by faith in Christ, as the Scriptures reveal, not our own works. The church needed this correction. We need to … Continue reading Three Brief Reflections on Reformation Day

Three Brief Reflections on Reformation Day

Today is an important day. It’s Reformation Day, the day that sparked the Protestant Reformation in Europe. In fact, it’s the 500th anniversary of the day, October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg church, challenging several unbiblical doctrines and practices of the established Roman Catholic church in Europe. The core issue of the Reformation, of course, was justification: how are people declared righteous before a perfect God? Luther argued it was by faith in Christ, as the Scriptures reveal, not our own works. The church needed this correction. We need to … Continue reading Three Brief Reflections on Reformation Day

Bo Pelini, Self-Deception, and the Gospel

  In a closed-door meeting just a few days after he was fired as head coach at Nebraska, Bo Pelini addressed the Husker players. On Thursday the Omaha World Herald released an audio recording of that meeting. (Warning: the audio on this link contains extreme profanity.) Pelini spoke with the team for about 30 minutes and insulted Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst several times. Pelini did not speak well of the university, the administration, or the leadership culture in the athletic department. If you know anything about Nebraska football and Bo Pelini (and I don’t expect readers of this blog to know anything), you quickly realized that this … Continue reading Bo Pelini, Self-Deception, and the Gospel

Does Our Effort Nullify God’s Grace?

There has been quite a bit of debate lately, particularly in Reformed Evangelical circles, about the relationship between God’s grace and our effort in sanctification. A while back, there was quite the conversation on The Gospel Coalition blogs about this relationship. I’ll spare you the details, but check out the roundup of the debates if you have time. God demands that we pursue holiness after being saved. We are not saved to “let go and let God.” Rather, by grace we strive to flee from sin and strive to pursue holiness. This past month, my morning devotions in 1 Timothy have made this clear. In chapter 1, … Continue reading Does Our Effort Nullify God’s Grace?

Why is it important to understand the difference between justification and sanctification?

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;  blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” (Romans 4:5-8) Justification involves God forgiving sin. Some would argue that it does not, but without the forgiveness of sin, we cannot be made right with God. In Paul’s magnificent treatment of this … Continue reading Why is it important to understand the difference between justification and sanctification?

Sermon 11: Connecting the Dots Between Justification and Sanctification

Connecting the Dots Between Justification and Sanctification Series: Redemption Pastor Tim Wiebe Romans 6:1-23 The more we appreciate justification, the greater desire we will have to live a godly life. Justification unites us to God.  Christ’s death has purchased this, and somehow we have mysteriously died with Christ. We died with Christ.  If we have died with him, we have been purchased by him and now have the ability to live a new life.  Because we are justified by God, we can live a holy life.  We do not live a holy life in order to be justified by God. … Continue reading Sermon 11: Connecting the Dots Between Justification and Sanctification