Day 23: Christmas: A Mission to the Nations

[Through Jesus we have received] grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5-6) The first Christmas was a mission trip. The mission trip of all mission trips. Jesus left the comforts of his home in heaven to come here, a foreign land. Why did he come? It was for nothing less than to inherit the nations as his own possession, drawing all men to himself. In the opening words of his great letter to the Romans, … Continue reading Day 23: Christmas: A Mission to the Nations

What Are You All About?

What are you all about? If you are a church leader, what is your church all about? If you had to give a one-word answer, what would you say? As Paul begins his letter to the Romans, he writes that he has been called to be an apostle, “set apart for the gospel of God” (Rom. 1:1). In other words, all of Paul’s life and ministry revolves around the gospel. That’s Paul’s “what-am-I-all-about-in-a-nutshell” word (see Rom. 1:16-17, too). To Paul, the gospel isn’t simply some piece of “helpful” information he throws to people on his missionary journeys, as if it’s … Continue reading What Are You All About?

What About Those Who Have Never Heard?

Christians have asked this question centuries. Even in today’s globalized, social-media-driven world, Christians are still asking it. In question 60 of the Westminster Larger Catechism, the question is posed: “Can they who have never heard the gospel, and so know not Jesus Christ, nor believe in him, be saved by their living according to the light of nature?” Here is its answer: They who, having never heard the gospel, know not Jesus Christ, and believe not in him, cannot be saved, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, or the laws of that … Continue reading What About Those Who Have Never Heard?

My Top 10 Posts of 2011

Top ten lists. That is what the last week of December is for, right? I should probably get in on the action before it’s too late. Without further adieu, here are the top ten posts from this small corner of the blogosphere. Thank you all for reading. I am truly humbled. 10. Your Words Have the Power of Life and Death 9. The Result of a Depraved Mind: Practicing and Approving of Evil Deeds 8. Gospel-Centered Devotions 7. I Want to Love Jesus, Not Just Know Stuff About Him 6. Long Snapping Amazement 5. Happy Anniversary to My Wife 4. … Continue reading My Top 10 Posts of 2011

Christian and Unbaptized? Unthinkable.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:3) How could someone, Paul argues, who has died with Christ through the public display of baptism (the external display of an internal reality; the symbolic representation of our death and resurrection with Christ) still continue to obey sin as a master?  Baptism is a display of what Paul spoke of in 2:29, “But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter.”  Baptism is an outward act … Continue reading Christian and Unbaptized? Unthinkable.