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“What does the gospel matter to my Christian life?” Or, in other words, “What do I do now? Do I still believe the gospel, or is the rest left up to me?” Everything, we are not saved by grace, by the work of Christ while we where still sinners, to them be left to earn our way, work to keep what Christ did for us.

Christ’s death was outside of me and for me. It is not primarily something that changes me. After one has been declared righteous by grace through faith, this grace will begin to change us (sanctification). God does all the work, the gospel applied to my life every day does the same work it did when I first heard it and excepted it. Accepted Christ, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Philippians 1:6

Any righteousness that we have, even in the Christian life, is a gift to us. It is not the result of our obedience, of our “victorious Christian living,” “living right”, or of our “letting go and letting God.” It’s Christ work alone and His righteousness alone.

Anybody who is in Christ is sanctified, because Christ’s holiness is imputed to the Christian believer, just as Jesus says in John 17:19, “For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” God sees the believer as holy.

In Romans 6 we read we are saved unto good works, not unto licentiousness. That takes away both the license to sin, continue in sin and believe we must do works to make ourselves acceptable to God. Good works are done out of thankfulness of heart by the believer who has been saved, not by one who is trying to be saved by following the law.

The only way out is an exposition of the Scriptures that has to do with law and gospel-an exposition of the Scriptures that places Christ at the center of the text for everybody, including the Christian. All of the Bible is about him. All of the Bible is even about him for the Christian!

This is the gospel message. It’s just as important for Christians to believe for their sanctification as it is for pagans to believe for their justification; for it is the same message, the same salvation, the same work of God. It’s just as important for the evangelical church today as it was for the reformers in the sixteenth century. Without this simple, but mind-boggling message, there is no hope, not for the sinner nor for the saint.

That truth grabbed hold me, God hit me like lightning with that statement. That I am preaching to myself daily.

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Acts 29 WE Boot Camp “For All Seasons“, Day 2, the finale day, once again was Mark Driscoll and Steve Timmis. Steve Timmis closed it out. Here are the bullet points from Timmis teaching. He hammered it, these are the points that spoke to me, hit me where it counts.

Once again God wrecks me, He has so wreck me for what everyone considers the normal life. I am wrecked, refreshed & restored,  all the stuff the gospel does to you!

It’s only the gospel that tells me who I am (identity), why I am (purpose), and what I am (function).

Love God and love people: “The gospel says whoever it’s about, it’s never about me!”

I can’t tell you ‘let’s go and plant’ but I can tell you who,why and what you are ‘in Christ’ so that succeed or fail you can glorify God. (more…)

weseasons

Acts 29 Western Europe Boot Camp called “For All Seasons” is taking place in Birmingham, England was today, and once again I got to precipitate via the web. Gather in the nuggets of wisdom from some top pastors – church planters. Mark Driscoll and Steve Timmis two men I highly respect.

So God continues His stream of messages on the same themes coming my way, with the third conference on church planting in a week. Still do not know what God is up to. Besides intensifying the passions in me, fanning the fire and zeal in me for preaching the gospel, church planting, feeding the hungry and going, going somewhere, anywhere over seas.

Here are the key points from today.

  • Jesus is coming back and it’s gonna be awesome! That’s basically our eschatology!” M Driscoll
  • “Without the Holy Spirit you ain’t gonna do jack, or if you do it’s gonna be evil!” Driscoll
  • “Church planting/evangelism/mission is not something we do for God. It’s something He does through us.” Driscoll
  • “You cannot be a church planter and a cessationist!” Driscoll
  • “Practice repentance, don’t just preach it.” M Driscoll
  • “Planting is about disciples not decisions. Not just people who vote for Jesus 1 day, but people who vote for Jesus every day!” (more…)

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I have a grape vine in my backyard that I planted about 6 years ago, it has never produced mature grapes yet, the last three years it started to get grapes, little ones. But they just died off, never becoming mature grapes. The vine its self got massive, stretching out all over the place. But no fruit. I pruned it back a little every year, mostly just where it was over growing.

So this winter out frustration on taking up some much space by the gate and walkway, and never producing grapes. I cut it back to a mere stump, two feet high at best. I friend told me he heard that was what I needed to do, so I did. Well spring has come and every things else has spring up, leafed out and is green. Even some wild vines in the back. But my grape vine, nothing, I was afraid I killed it, it looked like a dead stump. (more…)

Appropriately timed Michael Hyatt new blog post was “Find Your Passion in Three Steps” so in light of where my life is and all that God has been throwing my way, I did his 3 steps. Well the first one and then add two others I got from the two conference I partook in. And here is what I got.

Michaels first question was:

1. Where does need and joy collide? Theologian Frederick Buechner wrote this: “Vocation is where our greatest passion meets the world’s greatest need.” I would add to that: our ministry is the intersection of our passion and the world’s greatest need. One way to determine your passion, though, is discovering what you believe to be the world’s greatest need. The passion flows from that. For instance, I believe the world’s greatest need is to heal from the past to live freely today. My passion is to write in such a way that I can help people live free. (more…)

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I got to participate in the Closing the Gap Conference today via the webcast, this on the heals of the Exponential conference last Wed – Friday. On the same theme of church planting with missions mixed in with it. Got a lot out of it. God continued His theme with me preaching the gospel, Church planning, missions, going, not excepting the status quo anymore.

God threw gas on the fire and zeal He kindled in me with the Exponential stream of teaching. God is up to something, do not know what yet.

Here are my notes bullets:

  • You may be getting nervous because your status quo isn’t changing the way it needs to change.” Jim Haney.
  • There is a decline in evangelical growth in the world today.
  • 86% of Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus have no relationship with a Christian. (more…)

Notes from Neil Cole, the founder and executive director of Church Multiplication Associates, notes from his teaching at the  Exponential Conference 2011.

He states he finally found the secret of church multiplication. That it was right under his nose. The secret to multiplication is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Christ in each of us, is the power.

It isn’t a strategy, it is Christ in each of us.

Don’t plant churches, plant Jesus

church doesn’t really change lives. Jesus changes lives. We need to put our faith in that, instead of our organization, and institution.

Connect everyone to Christ, make everyone disciples. (more…)

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Here are some more highlight from the Exponential Conference 2011 the last day, I will be also post some more complete notes from the workshop, and more about what God is doing in me through what I picked up from this conference. This is more bullet points, one liners that grabbed the heart of the message, and me, being taught.

Friday 4-29-11

God has a mission for you, the question is will you accept it?

“it’s not just about believing the gospel, it’s about you applying the gospel to your life”

Discipleship needs to be at the heart of all we do – Jo Saxton

If you make disciples, you always get the church. If you build a church you will rarely get disciples

Discipleship was Jesus’ strategy to change the world

We need to make disciples who make disciples (more…)