Religion vs. the Gospel

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15 If you hang around Christians long enough, you might hear a phrase like this, “We don’t have religion, we have the gospel.” This statement (or some iteration of it) is often repeated by the church, but what does it really mean? Why do we insist that Christianity is not just a religion? Pastor Tim Keller put together a chart that sheds light on the differences between religion and the … [Read more...]

Discipleship

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”– Matthew 28:19–20 “But, everything we do is discipleship.” I’ll never forget these words of a dear elderly brother when I tried explaining to him the need for intentional, reproducible discipleship at my first church in Athens, GA. His sentiments … [Read more...]

The Gift of Christ

“and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, ‘Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.’”– Romans 15:20-21 The Apostle Paul spoke clearly about the mission on which God had set him, to “preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named.” Churches often make a grave mistake in ignoring Paul’s heart here. “Church … [Read more...]

Make Thanking an Action

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17 This past week we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday and now we can finally start looking forward to the Christmas season(!)— but our thankfulness should never stop. While we Christians know we should always have a thankful spirit, we may not realize that in the Bible thankfulness is accompanied by action. In other words, we don’t … [Read more...]

This is Halloween…

“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.” – Romans 13:5–6 Should Christians celebrate Halloween? My answer to that questions is usually a good, solid, “That depends.” … [Read more...]