Think You Know The Gospel?

Krin Baer
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Think You Know The Gospel? | March 14th, 2013

Think You Know The Gospel?

C.S. LewisRecently I was on mission to an English university. Throughout the week we filled the campus with great zeal to share the gospel with any and every person we encountered. We stood in the freezing rain handing out flyers. We engaged students in dialogue after evangelistic talks. And we asked people to take a survey that would map their worldview.

One of my favorite questions to ask students was, What do you think the message of Christianity is?  I was surprised at the range of answers I received. However, even more surprising were the people who claimed to be Christians yet could not state or explain the good news.

I remember very clearly hearing John Piper say that we never, never, never outgrow our need for the gospel. No doubt Piper is correct. But how can we continually reflect on the good news and remind ourselves of its majesty and beauty if we can’t even articulate it?

I met several people on the campus that day who told me, It doesn’t matter which God you believe in, as long as it brings peace to your life. Really?

C.S. Lewis wrote two sentences to put that idea to bed: [Read more...]

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Blessed Comma, Part Two

Bob Bevington
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Blessed Comma, Part Two | February 26th, 2013

Blessed Comma, Part Two

 

Tiny But Huge!

Tiny But Huge!

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

There’s a mega-blessed comma hanging from the right side of God. Among other things it means the next three sentences must be read S-L-O-W-L-Y.

Don’t worry if you are baffled by them. If you’re not, you’re reading too fast. These words perplex mind and heart for a good reason—the meaning of the entire message of the Bible is packed into them. They reveal the solution to the dilemma we all face as sinners who have disregarded and disdained the glory of God. We are . . .

. . . justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:24-26 ESV)

I sat and stared at those sentences. Questions came. And then answers. Before I knew it something better than gold started falling out in chunks. Take enough time and it will happen for you too: [Read more...]

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The Blessed Comma

Bob Bevington
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The Blessed Comma | February 12th, 2013

The Blessed Comma

Tiny But Huge!

Tiny But Huge!

There’s a comma hanging from the right side of God. Do you see it?

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23 is one of the most familiar verses in the Bible and it’s bad news. I’ve read it countless times. But somehow until this morning I missed the comma. It’s tiny, but ever so significant. It means the sentence is not over. It connects us to the rest of the story. Here it is:

and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

Yeah. It’s a mouthful. So I began to break it down. And I was overwhelmed by the good news that flowed out of the bad news: [Read more...]

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The Gospel According to Santa Claus . . .

Bob Bevington
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The Gospel According to Santa Claus . . . | December 20th, 2012

The Gospel According to Santa Claus . . .

. . . is no gospel at all. John Piper explains why in this 2-minute video which also points to some really good news:

What do you think? Is “You better get your act together” good news or not?

If the Santa myth was real, how good would his gifts be compared to the real point of Christmas: the gift of God-in-the-Flesh slain for sinners?

One last question, the key question for today: [Read more...]

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Christmas: What Really Happened?

Bob Bevington
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Christmas: What Really Happened? | December 18th, 2012

Christmas: What Really Happened?

I just ordered a cool little book with an irresistible title, Christmas Uncut: What Really Happened and Why It Really Matters

My favorite blog, The Gospel Coalition Voices, says it presents “the heart of the gospel message from the Christmas narratives” and suggests it’s a great way to share the real meaning of Christmas.

Read an excerpt about Mary and Joseph HERE.

Don’t watch this short video unless you, too, want to risk spending $3.99 on a really cool book:

Get copies to read and give away here—for the next week, you can get it at 25 percent discount ($3) by entering “tgcdeal” at checkout. Amazon Prime has it, [Read more...]

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My Life-Changing Road Trip, ACT THREE

Bob Bevington
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My Life-Changing Road Trip, ACT THREE | November 8th, 2012

My Life-Changing Road Trip, ACT THREE

ACT THREE: The Afterglow

It was a brisk, sunny, Maryland afternoon and all three of us secretly wished we lived there.

With the uncertainties of childbirth behind us, we began retracing our 6-hour trek from the previous day. Grace concentrated on her homework in the backseat–there’d be no classic rock jam session this time. So Rita and I chatted.

But Rita and I have never won any awards for small talk. So before we knew it, the conversation headed toward the serious. As we crossed the border into Pennsylvania the clouds began to gather in earnest.

Did I mention Rita has had a tough year?

“How bad was it?” I asked, immediately wishing I hadn’t.

“Worse than stage-four breast cancer and necrotic bowel obstruction combined, and I should know.”

Rita always had a way with words—and she was just getting started. I can’t discuss the specifics, but trust me, you don’t want to know. [Read more...]

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Too Much of a Good Thing

Bob Bevington
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Too Much of a Good Thing | October 25th, 2012

Too Much of a Good Thing

I’m sick of football. Shocking, isn’t it? But let me explain.

Ever since high school graduation, I’ve followed one team: The Buckeyes of THE Ohio State University. If that were the still the case I’d be holding back a grin all the live-long day. But . . .

Enter my ten-year-old son, Michael, quarterback for his 4th grade youth football team. He wakes up, rubs his eyes, and checks three football websites before breakfast. He wins daily Super Bowls on Xbox Madden-13 and makes shrewd trades for his fantasy team. He commandeers the remote and it’s Sports Center and Sports Nation and The B1G Ten Network. On Sunday afternoons there are six NFL games on the screen at the same time—and he’s watching them all simultaneously. I don’t think this kid has ever seen a cartoon.

Anyway, back in July when the football pre-season workouts began, I volunteered to be an assistant coach for Michael’s team. These guys take their football seriously. We’ve had practices or games every day of every week except for Sundays and a few Fridays. I’m not complaining. I love the kids, the coaches, and being out on the field blowing my whistle. But between the Madden, NFL Sunday ticket, youth football, and of course, my beloved Buckeyes, all the highlight plays have started to look the same.

It’s too much of a good thing. And I’m getting a little bit bored with it. But it got me thinking . . .

There’s one good thing I will never get tired of. One thing I can never get enough of. It’s the story of the unique and most amazing Person—fully God and fully man—who emptied Himself so that I might become full. The story climaxes on a bloody cross where He was slain so that I might live. And why? It’s because of the real, lasting, indomitable love and justice of the Triune God.

If, like me, your connection with the fallen human race is painfully evident, and your desperate need for THE Savior is obvious, the idea of getting too much of THE cross will never cross your mind.

On the sidelines and on the field our cheer of deepest gratitude, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” will last longer than the live-long day. Longer then all the seasons, all the trophies and rings and medals.

Don’t settle for anything less. If you do, you’ll eventually get sick and tired of it and say, “Enough!”

PS:   Just now I asked Michael if he was getting a little bit bored with all the football stuff. He looked at me like I was out of my mind, and quietly replied, “Not really.” Oh well. Go Buckeyes.

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The Gospel According to Victim #6

Bob Bevington
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The Gospel According to Victim #6 | October 16th, 2012

The Gospel According to Victim #6

Jerry Sandusky

The sentencing of former Penn State football coach and convicted child sex abuser, Jerry Sandusky, has something profound to teach us about the Gospel.

“Just when I thought I was beginning to understand grace. . .” That was one reader’s comment to this recent post from my favorite blog, The Gospel Coalition Voices.

This took me 15 seconds to read. But I rejoiced over it for hours. Here’s an excerpt:

This is a horrific and heartbreaking story. We can sympathize with the anger expressed by Victim No. 9′s mother, who told Sandusky, “Whatever comes to you I hope it is tenfold for what you did to my son and others.”

Startling, therefore, were the words of Victim No. 6. Looking into his abuser’s face, the victim reportedly said: “If you seek forgiveness, Jesus will forgive you. There’s not any other way. Please repent, or there is a bigger judgment to come.”

Saul of Tarsus was a news headline sort of sinner, too. As he later reflected:

Formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent . . . The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:13, 15-16

The astonishing news of Christianity is that God’s eternal Son didn’t launch a rescue mission for mild sinners. He came for the sick—for blasphemers, persecutors, insolent opponents. Yes, even for child sex abusers.

The world won’t forgive you, Jerry, but Jesus will. Turn to him in trust. Calvary’s repentant thief bears loud witness that it’s not too late.

The gospel of the bloody cross declares that you can sit in a cold prison cell freer than ever before.

 ”The gospel of the bloody cross.” I love it. Do you?

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