CTT | Repentance and Joyfulness

The past couple of weeks have been rough in social media. Some heartbreaking news, some vitriolic ad hominem attacks, and a great deal of saber rattling… but through it all there were moments of genuine iron sharpening iron, where faithful stewards of God’s Word sought to cut through the hyperbole, through the rhetoric, isolating the Truth of the matter from the hurt, enmity, and vengeance. I don’t care to delve back into the who ordeal today, but if you’d like to know to what I’m referring, read here.

In the interest of focusing on what the Word of God teaches us concerning repentance, I thought today we’d take a look at this week’s edition of Grappling with the Text at WEtv.

Grappling: The Cheerful Heart of Proverbs

 

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Psalm 32:1-5 (ESV) | Blessed Are the Forgiven
A Maskil of David.
32 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Proverbs 15:13-15 (ESV)
13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil,
but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.

Proverbs 12:25 (ESV) Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.

Such a wonderful lesson taught here, and notice how Rev Bryan Wolfmueller covered both Law and Gospel? Excellent.

In closing, let us look at the following passage toward the end of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Philippians 4:4-9 (ESV)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

The Lord is at hand, do not be anxious, confess your sins to the LORD in prayer and know that He has forgiven you because of Jesus Christ our Savior.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Some are still gathering stones…

I see a lot of folks doing the Throw-back Thursday (TBT) thing and I just never felt like anything we did here warranted a TBT. Well, today I guess is a good time to bring up an older post that relates to something that has popped up again in social media. I’m so disgusted by it, and this time around it seems worse since I’m not even in any of the Reformed groups I was in the last go-round… no… this time I’m seeing the vitriol in Lutheran circles. The TBT subject for today is the expressed lack of satisfaction in the penance of Tullian Tchvidjian, and the willingness of some to condemn his pastor with him.

TBT: He’s Moving, Cast Another Stone (September 3, 2015)

Mostly what I see happening right now is folks pushing their own agendas by borrowing from the name of Tullian Tchvidjian while blasting his current Pastor, Kevin Labby, for mentioning the same name in a favorable light. Nothing that has been written thus far regarding Tullian has expressed any deeper thought than “I don’t think we should hear about him at all, he hasn’t truly repented because no one could this quickly”. Some posts go the extra sanctimonious route of I’m super offended on behalf of his victims at his old church because he hasn’t paid enough penance. If you don’t fall in line with those looking to stone Tchvidjian and Libby, then you are immediately labeled a “Gospel Reductionist”.

The latest article that got under my skin was from the good folks at ChurchWatchCentral. I like their work. They do good work. Tullian has nothing to do with Hillsong. He has nothing to do with Driscoll. This is a hit piece.

Here’s what we know:

Pastor Libby has been publicly encouraging Tullian
Liberate Network is being brought back online
Tullian has been sharing the Gospel and Speaking in public

I’ll get worried when there’s talk of restoring Tullian to the Office of Pastor. Until then, I pray he has truly repented and I trust that he’s being restored Biblically in his local church. Notice that none of the hit pieces on Tullian actually have substantive penitential standards… they are placing themselves over Tullian and Libby as judges. I’d rather not go there until I can see a clear violation of Scripture.

2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (ESV) | Forgive the Sinner

5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

If people within his new congregation or his old one have an issue with forgiving Tullian, that’s between them, God, and Tullian. As for those who are as disconnected from the local church body as I am… I encourage you to exercise forgiveness and pray for his full restoration (not necessarily to the Office of Pastor, but surely able to share the Gospel as a layman). If you cannot do that, that’s between you and God… Tullian doesn’t owe you anything.

If there is unrepentant sin, it needs to be called out and the Law needs to be preached fully… and then we need to preach the Gospel with equal force and conviction. It is God who saves, God who grants faith, God who grants repentance, and God who forgives and restores according to His Will and His Grace, and for His Glory.

Romans 16:24-27 (ESV) | Doxology

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

CTT | Government Elections

29 February 2014.

I’ll be brief today. As Christians, we are citizens of two completely different kingdoms… the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom(s) of this world. Our citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven is by God’s Grace, through Faith in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) | By Grace Through Faith

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand,that we should walk in them.

Romans 8:14-17 (ESV)

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Now, though we have been adopted as sons and daughters of the Most High God, while we continue in this life walking this cursed earth, we are subject to the Authorities set in place by God.

Romans 13:1-7 (ESV) | Submission to the Authorities

13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Here in the United States, we live (for now) under a Federal Government that has clearly defined limits and guaranteed protections of rights endowed to us by our Creator. Part of this government system is the opportunity to elect our Representatives. This is both a blessing and a responsibility. We really don’t get to choose who will run, nor do we really choose who will “win” the nomination. We get to provide input via voting. We should do so in our service to our neighbor. An unbiblical work isn’t ever a good work. Speculative ventures, or supporting a candidate for reasons that are unbiblical don’t qualify as a good work. Ultimately, God is in control and His Will shall be done. I’m not writing to place the weight of the US Government on your shoulders… that’s not your weight to bear. It isn’t mine, either.

I’m writing today, to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to love your neighbor in executing your vocation as US Citizen in a God-Honoring way, so that your conscience may be clear. Don’t venture in speculation, for you have no way of knowing how a candidate “might” perform after you’ve cast your vote. It’s completely outside of your control. All you can do is cast your vote in support of the individual you consider to be the best for the job. And then, that’s it. It’s up to God and His plan.

The US may not survive much longer, but cast your vote faithfully. We may all lose our “political freedoms”, but cast your vote honorably. Our hope is not set on this life, we are not laying up treasures for ourselves in this world; rather, we are to lay up treasures in Heaven.

Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV) | Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

No matter how you cast your vote, know that we dare not place our hope in anything other than Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 1:3-21 (ESV) | Born Again to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,things into which angels long to look.

Called to Be Holy

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Do not be anxious for what tomorrow will bring. I say this as a word of encouragement that I myself struggle with… for which I am also in need of Grace.

Jude 24-25 (ESV) Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Amen, indeed.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Friday Sermon | Question Evolution Day

frisermonFebruary 12, 2016.

Today is the 5th Annual Question Evolution Day.

Question Evolution Day has several purposes. One is very basic, to support people who want to say, “I don’t believe in evolution, here are my reasons…” A second is to show people that there is indeed scientific evidence refuting evolution and supporting creation. Third, we hope to prompt people to consider evidence against evolution and supporting creation that they may have not known about before. Another purpose of QED is to equip Christians with resources so they can confidently stand up for the faith. Not only do we question the pronouncements of evolutionists, but again, we want them to honestly examine the evidence against evolution and supporting creation, and to question evolution themselves.

Here is a statement I believe most people can agree with:
We should have the intellectual, academic and professional freedoms, and freedom of speech, to express our views, without retaliation, suppression or repression. In our assessment of the scientific evidence, we see that it does not support evolution. Instead, the most logical conclusion is that there is a Creator.

In honor of QED 2016, we will be sharing a couple of podcasts discussing evolution from a Christian worldview. For Christians, there is absolutely no room for entertaining evolution in any way. There are many mainstream “Christian” celebrities who have capitulated to the false god of evolution, so we need to do our best to present what Scripture teaches.

Issues, Etc Podcasts on Evolution:

Intelligent Design (Duration: 28:30)
Dr. Jonathan Witt of the Acton Institute

“Intelligent Design Uncensored” by Dr. Jonathan Witt and Dr. William Dembski

Creation, Part 3: Creation and the New Testament (Duration: 40:30)
Dr. Joel Heck of Concordia University-Texas

“In the Beginning God: Creation from God’s Perspective” by Joel Heck

Alleged “Proofs” for Evolution (Duration: 26:30)
Pastor Joshua Schneider of Emmanuel Lutheran-Kahului, HI

 

John 1:1-18 (ESV) | The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

CTT | Addressing the Sin of Abortion

To deny that Abortion is murder is to suppress the Truth of God’s Word. We expect such fruit from unbelievers born dead in their sins and trespasses. The struggle comes when we discover professing believers struggling against this truth. Abortion isn’t merely a way of erasing a mistake; it is stacking on the sin of murder on top of whatever sins led to the unwanted pregnancy. As Christians, we should really stop using “mistake” to describe sin. The Sermon on the Mount doesn’t leave room for “oopsies”.

There’s more to Abortion than Murder

There are several para-church groups fighting to end Abortion in the US and to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding. The courts are in Planned Parenthood’s pockets, the Politicians, the Media, Hollywood,… the false god of this world has re-created child sacrifice and sold it to this nation under several misnomers such as: reproductive health; women’s rights; choice. There are various street ministries who picket/demonstrate outside of Abortion centers pleading with pregnant women not to commit murder, not to sacrifice the innocent child on the altar of selfishness. But there is more to Abortion than the sin of murder. Many of those mothers, boyfriends, parents, friends are themselves dead in their sins and trespasses.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV) | By Grace Through Faith

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Let’s pause our reading in Ephesians, to expand on what we once were as dead men/women in the trespasses and sins… before the Grace of God regenerated us to new life. The best place to do that is in Romans 1… I humbly ask that as you read “they” in the following verses, understand that we were once included in this group… and have only been saved by the Grace of God.

Romans 1:18-32 (ESV) | God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

This is the unbeliever, and such were each of us… Like the rest of mankind… 

Ephesians 2:4-10 (ESV)

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Who judges the sin of the unbeliever? God. They stand condemned in their unbelief… they are by nature children of wrath. We do all that we can to end legalized abortion and to save every human life we can… and there is more to the problem of Abortion than trying to stop the murders.

The lost need to hear the Word of God preached

I pray that the government returns to the proper understanding that abortion, in all cases, is murder and that there is no justifiable reason for killing an unborn baby. None. But the legalization of the murder is only a symptom of the problem. The problem is sin. All of the illegal murders that happen, still happen, despite their being illegal. Murder is against the Law of God. But that Law is incapable of granting the ability to do what the Law demands. Having the Law doesn’t make a person righteous, it exposes the unrighteousness in the one breaking the Law. As Jesus pointed out, the Law of Murder is broken in our hearts before it has been committed by our hands. None can stand innocent (Righteous) before this Law except for Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God. Let’s look at how Paul expands on this thought in Romans 10… but he’s not just referring to the Law against Murder, but all of the Law.

Romans 10:5-17 (ESV) | The Message of Salvation to All

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

The Christian needs to hear the Word of God preached, also

With the rise of “missional” church movement, and the notion that good works are the means of evangelism comes a dreadful ignorance regarding the need to preach the Gospel both to unbelievers and to believers. We preach the Gospel to “them”… “those people” who are wicked, lost, depraved, and slaves to darkness. Once they’ve made a confession of faith in Christ and been baptized into the local church… we quickly “put them to work” outside of the church to them, those people who are wicked, lost, depraved, and slaves to darkness… so that they can live out the Gospel. What of the sin that still remains in their flesh? Is there not forgiveness for the sin they commit? Do they not still stumble? Will they not still fall? In some cases, their sins are lorded over them as a sign of doubt to the authenticity of their faith, their sanctification is called into question… they are beaten down by the Law… because, after all, they already heard the Gospel and were already made new creatures, right? No. Let’s look to Galatians 3.

Galatians 3:1-14 (ESV)

By Faith, or by Works of the Law?

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written,“Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

In this life, we’ll not ever graduate from the Gospel. Our Sanctification will not be complete in this life. Why are we talking about this and how does it relate to Abortion? The death of Abortion is the wages of the sins that precede it. The hard truth is that there are believers falling to temptations of the flesh, or being made victims of the sins of others, and in their shame they are turning to murder to hide their sin.

King David killed a man to hide his sexual sin. There are believers today still resorting to murder to hide their sin… society is different, but the victims of these murders are no less innocent than Uriah. And these murders are no less guilty of sin than was King David. Repentance and forgiveness was available to King David… and it is no less available to everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord.

 

Closing Thoughts

I’m grateful for the faithful Brethren who faithfully preach the Word of God outside abortion clinics. My wife and I work closely with a para-church Adoption agency. But there is more to the problem of Abortion than its murderous conclusion, the heart of the matter is sin. The sin of adultery, the sin of murder, the sin of covetousness, the sin of idolatry. Christians are committing these sins… daily… and they need repentance as much as the unbelievers. We need to hear the Gospel of Grace flowing from the pulpits… in equal measure with the full-power preaching of the Law. I’m not lobbying for lawlessness… on the contrary, we need to hear the law, unsoftened, unmitigated, and unwavering… but the Law does not grant the obedience it requires… we need to hear of God’s unmitigated Grace in Christ’s finished work on the Cross.

Pastors, if I may, I’d like to draw your attention to a truth that is not often discussed in the open. In your congregation:

  • there are folks addicted to pornography
  • there are youth engaging in sexual immorality
  • there are married men taking advantage of lonely women
  • there are married women seducing foolish men
  • there are unwanted pregnancies being hidden and aborted in secret

They need repentance and the forgiveness of sin. It isn’t enough to simply rebuke the sin and wonder why some stop attending. Preach both Law and Gospel… allow God the Holy Spirit to do the rest. We need elders and deacons who hold each other accountable to the LORD. We all need God’s Grace on a daily basis.

Galatians 6:1-10 (ESV) | Bear One Another’s Burdens

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

The body of Christ needs to be a place where we gather together to receive the Grace of God for the forgiveness of sin. We are to forgive our neighbors as we have been forgiven by God. The Church of Jesus Christ is a place for believers to find Rest in Christ Jesus.