Tag Archives: Gospel

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Believers, Not Unbelievers

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Believers, Not Unbelievers

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul makes the specific argument that in corporate worship, the gift of prophecy is to be desired over the gift of tongues. But in the course of making that argument, Paul reveals core principles about the nature and purpose of corporate worship that apply for all churches to this day. Last… Continue Reading

The Gospel Changes Culture

The Gospel Changes Culture

New Testament authors identify people groups (ethnicities, tribes, nations, etc.) as those of common ancestral heritage who share common culture flowing from common values. They do not think about “culture” as such; rather, they think about behavior, and they believe that the gospel changes behavior—it changes a person’s culture. Since culture is a component of… Continue Reading

On the relationship of faith and works

On the relationship of faith and works

I still confess the doctrine of justification by faith alone. The Scriptures teach repeatedly that no man is or can be saved by his works. This matter is central in importance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul teaches that the Gospel is that Christ died for our sins and rose again in accordance with… Continue Reading

This is the Truth Sent from Above

This is the Truth Sent from Above

The carol “This is the Truth Sent from Above” is a traditional carol whose text originates from words that first appeared in the 19th century. It is regrettable that many choirs leave many of the verses out (although it is impractical to sing all 16 verses that have been discovered). Still, the carol needs several stanzas… Continue Reading

Gospel impact and the world’s approval

Gospel impact and the world’s approval

Christians today seem to assume that the best way to have the greatest gospel impact in the world is to gain the world’s approval and acceptance first. If we can just earn their respect, perhaps they will give us a better hearing. There is certainly some truth to this: our behavior before the unbelieving world should… Continue Reading

I Don’t Understand

I Don’t Understand

Organizations often choose names that advertise their purpose or emphasis. The Federal Aviation Administration regulates aviation. The American Automobile Association helps drivers of automobiles. Alcoholics Anonymous is devoted to alcoholics—and anonymity. Names correlate with purposes. Consequently, when an organization calls itself The Gospel Coalition, one assumes that it focuses on the gospel. One supposes that… Continue Reading

How to Pray for Yourself and Others to Give the Gospel

How to Pray for Yourself and Others to Give the Gospel

Paul asked for prayer multiple times in multiple letters. Here are two passages that act as examples to instruct us how to pray for ourselves and others to give the gospel. Ephesians 6:18–20 Pray for the words to say when giving the gospel. Paul encouraged the Ephesians to persevere by “making supplication for all the… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 13)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 13)

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 I have been arguing that Paul’s method of ministry deliberately avoided attempts to be (what we would call) relevant. Paul not only says that he himself avoided relevant methods, but compels his successors to do the same. His manner of ministry… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 12)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 12)

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 The first three chapters of 1 Corinthians debunks the importance of the modern crutch of “relevance.” Throughout this series, I have been arguing that Paul deliberately eschewed artificial props to make the gospel more attractive to unbelievers. Instead, he preached Christ and… Continue Reading

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 10)

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 10)

This entry is part 10 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 I return this week to the series I abruptly left unfinished about a year ago. According to 1 Corinthians 1-3, the means that God wants to use to save sinners is the gospel, the preaching of “Christ crucified.” The unsaved of this world do… Continue Reading

The mission of God and the mission of the church

The mission of God and the mission of the church

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Worship and the Missio Dei You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I argued that a biblical understanding of both worship and evangelism will understand evangelism to be subservient to worship; the gospel creates worshipers. This is essentially God’s mission, and it should significantly influence our understanding and practice of worship and evangelism in the church. Today, we explore another significant point regarding the relationship… Continue Reading

The building blocks of worship

The building blocks of worship

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series The Building Blocks of Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Synthesizing an essential definition of worship is a perennial problem. Many have tried, several have given us very helpful definitions, yet few are fully satisfactory. Part of the problem is trying to develop an understanding of worship that encompasses the essence of worship regardless of religion but that also incorporates a particularly biblical/Christian flavor as well. One… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 6)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 6)

This entry is part 6 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 This series has been looking at the connection of Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 1-3 and the contemporary church’s dependence on relevance for evangelism. In the last post, I argued from 1 Cor 1:30-31 that God deliberately made the gospel message impossible for natural men to accept in… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 5)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 5)

This entry is part 5 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 This series is applying the words of Paul in the early chapters of 1 Corinthians to ministry in the 21st century. In part 1, we looked especially at Paul’s argument in 1 Cor 1:17, that when men rest on a particular manner of ministry other than the proclamation of… Continue Reading

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 3)

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 3)

This entry is part 3 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 In part 1, we looked at Paul’s ministry model in 1 Corinthains 1:10-17. Paul took deliberate steps to preach the gospel in such a way that minimized himself and emphasized Christ and his redeeming work. Part 2‘s post showed why Paul went about ministry in this way. The message of redemption… Continue Reading

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 2)

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 2)

This entry is part 2 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 In emphasizing the unity of the church in 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, Paul asks the church pointedly: “is Christ divided?” (v 13). With their divisions, the Corinthian church was pulling away from Christ, the one who unites his church. This led Paul to explain that in his own ministry he took pains to emphasize… Continue Reading

A History of Psalm 130 in Music: Part 1

A History of Psalm 130 in Music: Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series A History of Psalm 130 in Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Sometimes we really don’t appreciate the continuity of the Christian tradition, especially in that there is, by and large, an approach to the music of worship that can be traced back to ancient Israel itself and its psalmody. Over the next several weeks, I want to trace how a particular psalm, Psalm 130, has been… Continue Reading