Discipleship is essentially following Christ for the purpose of maturing in Christ-likeness. Disciples rediscover and then faithfully live in light of their identity in Christ. Or to say it differently, discipleship is the process whereby we’re remade and we regain who we were created to be as image-bearers of God by being transformed into the image of Christ.
If believers have a new identity in Christ why don’t we live it out? Obviously layers of answers could be offered here related to doctrines of sin, sanctification, and glorification so let me narrow the question. What are a few identity issues that keep Christians from understanding and living out the reality of who we are as a new creation in Christ?
Continue reading Three Identity Struggles
This Sunday at College Park Church we’ll start a new sermon series on 1 Peter. During LIVE16 many of you studied the Sunday text in advance and shared how valuable that was for you. By thinking about the Scripture beforehand you were better prepared to hear, process, understand, and apply what was preached on Sunday. While our small groups are now being encouraged to use the 1 Peter Study Guide, which is designed for groups to discuss and apply the text after the sermon, I’d encourage you to continue reading, praying over, and meditating on the passage on your own or as a family beforehand. For that reason, I’ll attempt to provide each week a blog post that can act as a starter for getting into the text.
Continue reading Looking ahead to 1 Peter 1:1-2
Imputation. Not a word you use very often I would guess. Don’t give in to the temptation to skip over words you don’t know instead of learning words that open up new worlds. Imputation is one of those words. It’s important not just because it will impress everyone at the Scrabble table, but imputation is the only hope a Christian has for grace and salvation. Now, and when it’s our turn to be judged by the just and holy God, you better have a perfect, impeccable righteousness that will result in a verdict of “justified,” or “accepted.” God will welcome with a warm embrace all those with such a righteousness to live with him on a restored earth forever.
Continue reading Imputation
(This post is a communion meditation shared at my own local church.)
The Lord’s Supper deals in the realm of symbols and signs. Signs and symbols are visible, tangible representations pointing us to something behind the symbol. The thing itself is a signpost reminding us of something bigger and grander than the symbol. Let me give a couple examples.
Continue reading Communion Meditation: Signs & Symbols
(This is a mediation shared with my local church to prepare our hearts for communion. I hope the gospel of grace in Jesus encourages you.)
We often call this time together “communion.” Do you ever ask yourself why we use that word? If you look up definitions for the word “communion,” it means to be united, to be one, to share intimacy together or to participate in something together. The word likely combines two Latin phrases: com, meaning “with,” and unus, which means “oneness” or “unity.” The Latin-speaking Catholic church referred to this as communion because it was with oneness or unity.
Continue reading Communion Meditation: Contention or Communion
(This is a communion meditation shared at my local church. I hope it can encourage your heart with the gospel of grace in Jesus.)
When we think about Communion we often talk about who Jesus is and what he has done for us individually. In light of today’s message, we should also think about the corporate dimension we celebrate in communion. What promises does God make to us as a body when we eat and drink? What are we saying and acknowledging to one another when we partake?
Continue reading Communion Meditation: A Shared Table
It’s good to regularly set our mind on who Jesus is, who Jesus is for us, who we are in him, and what we have in him. For those whose life and identity has been united to Jesus by faith in him, here’s the tip of the iceberg of some things we’ve received in him from Romans 1-8.
Continue reading Romans 1-8: What We Have in Christ
(This is a meditation used at my local church to prepare our hearts for communion. I hope it encourages you with the good news of grace in Jesus.)
This morning, I want to remind us Jesus gave us the Lord’s Supper so we might feed on and be refreshed by him.
Continue reading Communion Meditation: Focusing on God’s Grace Rather Than Our Guilt
Everyday Church is a great-read, both on what it looks like to live as a community feeding one another with the gospel and building “mission” into the normal day-to-day experiences in life, rather than it being an extra add-on we do. Here are a couple helpful quotes on what it means to be an intentional community.
Continue reading Everyday Church
This is a great “practical” quote from NT Wright, who’s not always known for such things. This comes from his commentary on Col. 3:5ff.
Continue reading NT Wright gets practical