My post of notes from CJ Mahaney’s sermon at T4G the other day received multiple comments with links to blogs attacking Mahaney and his use of church discipline in Sovereign Grace churches. I am aware of the situation and have read the main accusations. Everything I have read is groundless, slanderous, and does not accord with the truth of the gospel.
The administration of a church is a difficult task, and elders are to be held in high regard for their service to the Lord. The internet is not the place to take accusations against an elder. I am not claiming that Mahaney is without fault. I have no first hand knowledge of the situation. I am only saying that this blog is not the place to make accusations. Your comments will be deleted, so please do not waste your time or mine. Thank you.
John Piper: Glory, Majesty, Dominion, and Authority Keep Us Safe for Everlasting Joy. Reflections on God’s Keeping Power through 32 Years of Ministry. Jude 1:24–25
The following are my notes from John Piper’s T4G sermon. The audio is online here.
1) The amazement that we are still Christians
2) An analysis of how that came about
24 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, 25 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. (Jude 24-25)
60 years as a Christian, 32 years of pastoral ministry, 44 years of marriage, in last year as a pastor
Why be amazed?
Journal from 1986 – Loathing a building program and all the things that come with it. No vision for the future. Feeling empty. Not seeing how he can find the inspiration to cast the vision. Discouraged. Blank. Opponents on every hand. Blind to the future of the church. A prayer for mercy.
Doxologies begin with the actions of God and then comment on His attributes to account for these actions.
Action: keeps you from stumbling, presents you blameless with great joy.
Attributes: eternal glory, majesty, dominion, authority
Do you have any idea how much it took to keep you alive to this moment? Do you know the degree that it took? No! We have no terms of measuring such things. How do you quantify the creation of a spirit and living being and then sustaining it? Is it pounds of pressure? How do you measure it? Be amazed! God creates spiritual life when we are dead!
Christ is the animating principle of our creation and spiritual life. We are not autonomous beings. Jude is clearly amazed at this. God does it all with a word!
The measurement of what it took is the difference between us and God. Infinite.
The measurement is glory, majesty, dominion, and authority! Stunning!
How that happens
Jude begins and ends with a strong assurance that God is our keeper. He is able does not just mean that He may do it. It means he is mighty to do it! God calls those He wants and keeps those He calls! God is faithful! There is an absolute certainty between being called and being kept (Romans 8)!
Jude wanted to celebrate salvation, but must warn against false teaching and teachers. They are professing Christians but don’t believe (v 5). They are not called and therefore not kept. They are using the grace of God to get what they want (sensuality).
What should we do?
For ourselves (vv 20-21)
For others (vv 22-23)
Keep yourselves in the love of God. Work hard! Work out your salvation, knowing that God is at work in you. Keep yourselves in the love of God, because God keeps you in the love of God. By means of faith, prayer, and waiting, we keep ourselves in the love of God. Trust God, pray, and continue to trust that He will answer!
The very things I d to keep myself in the love of God are the things God is doing by His Spirit to keep us! There is a way to do effort by faith. Why will you wake up a Christian tomorrow? Because He is powerful to keep you! God is fulfilling the new covenant (Jer 32:40-41) in the blood of Jesus. It comes through the blood of Jesus! We come through Jesus Christ.
Jesus has bought you with his blood. God is keeping you. Therefore, keep yourselves in the love of God.
These are my notes for Matt Chandler’s sermon at T4G. You can listen to the audio here (probably later this afternoon).
Places where hope is found for the man of God:
1) The first fruits of hope – a rescue is coming! The promise of the OT (Gen 3 and beyond).
2) Jesus came!
3) Jesus called! It pleased God to reveal Jesus Christ to you!
4) Future hope. There will be a day we are no longer looking forward to this day!
“Hope without a time of fulfillment is a delusion.” -Graeme Goldsworthy
People blinded by sin think we are absurd. The message will always reek of death to some if you will preach it fully.
The crown jewel of the new creation is the bride of Christ! Pastors wash and guard the bride.
There is no time set for worship, no need for a Temple. God is there!
Straddling two worlds is a miserable view of heaven. Sell out! It is this view of heaven that led Paul to call his afflictions light and momentary. Go all in. Quit hedging your bets! Believe fully in your hope so much that of you are wrong you should be greatly pitied! Find hope.
There is a finish line when the hard things will be remembered no more.
Ligon Duncan: The Underestimated God: God’s Ruthless, Compassionate Grace in the Pursuit of His Own Glory and His Ministers’ Joy. 1 Kings 19
Ligon Duncan just gave a great sermon on discouragement in ministry, focusing on the life of Elijah. I highly recommend listening. You can find audio from T4G here.
1) Local ministry and mission are totally necessary. Yet,
2) Global missions is tragically neglected.
In northern Yemen there are 20-30 Christians. They are lost and have no access to the gospel. They are born, live, and die without ever hearing the gospel. 2 billion people. 6,000 people groups.
3) Pastors have the privilege and responsibility to lead the way in global missions. Rock solid confidence in the sovereignty of God drives this.
The scroll contains God’s sovereign decrees. There is not a speck of dust on the planet that exists apart from God’s sovereignty. The hearts of rulers are in God’s hands. American Christian, you don’t have rights. God alone has rights. He will save and condemn.
1) God involves us in His mission, not because He needs us, but because He loves us. All of our churches and associations could die, but God would still bring Himself glory.
2) The state of man before God apart from Christ is utterly hopeless. Apart from Christ man is enslaved to sin and the devil. Man is under the wrath of God.
3) The lamb of God has not only endured death in our place. He has conquered death.
4) The atonement of Christ is graciously, gloriously, and globally particular (Rev 5:9). Jesus died to purchase men and women from every people group. We are to make disciples among every people group. If we believe this, we will reach every tribe and people group. Guilt does not drive passion for unreached people groups. Glory does!
Four applications for pastors:
1) Let us lead our churches to pray confidently. God’s sovereignty necessitates prayer! God has sovereignty ordained the prayers of His people to bring about the coming of the kingdom! Tell them to pray Matthew 24:14. Show them how to use Operation World and assure them that their prayers are piling up at the altar of God.
2) let us lead our churches to give sacrificially. Christians give an average of 2.5%. The churches regularly give about 2% to world missions. Psalm 67 is the answer. God has blessed us so that He might be worshiped in all the world!
3) Let us lead our churches to go to unreached peoples. Send out on short and medium trips, as well as career missionaries.
4) Let us lead our churches to die willingly for the sake of all peoples. Unreached people’s are unreached because they are hard to reach, and many don’t want to be reached. God has willed the gospel to spread through suffering. Suffering is never out of the hand of God.
Let’s not stop until the slaughtered lamb of God receives the full reward of his suffering!
These are some notes from the breakout session with Darrin Patrick and Dave Harvey on church planting.
“The reason why the gospel is quarantined from parts of our cities is that it is quarantined from parts of our hearts.” -Darrin Patrick
How to spot a church planter (Dave Harvey)
“A gifted guy in the wrong role serves neither the church nor the mission.”
1) Looking for a pastor – connect this role to people. Men need to be equipped not just for the launch, but for the ministry. This would be like equipping a man for the honeymoon but not the marriage!
Is he fit to preach? This is the one thing not required of deacons or the average church member. This is about communicating sound doctrine. He must be an expositor. This gifting should draw people in to him and the Savior. Does his preaching turn people toward the gospel?
2) Is he fit for the lost? Can he do the work of an evangelist? He needs to be in and among the lost. Does he look beyond the walls of the church? It takes work. Do the work of an evangelist. He must be called to the lost.
3) Is he fitted for leadership? Is there a grace upon his life that manifests itself in a diligent concern for the lost? Are people drawn to him? Do they talk about his impact? Can he delegate to others? Can he transfer faith and confidence in God?
Look for a series on church planting coming soon.
Follow me on Twitter (@AndrewNordine) to see live updates from T4G. I’ll be blogging some notes, but you can stay up to date on Twitter.