June 22, 2011 by C.J. Mahaney
Categories: Conferences | Sermons
I appreciated and benefitted from all the messages at the Next 2011 conference in Orlando. I would encourage you to set aside some time to listen to all of the messages (you’ll find the main sessions here and the breakout sessions here). But if listening to all these messages is not possible, I would particularly commend Kevin DeYoung’s message, “Who Am I? Humanity in the Eyes of the World and the Christian.”
Kevin structured his message to answer five important questions about ourselves:
- Are we here by chance or by design?
- Are we free to create ourselves or to reflect God's image?
- Are we basically good or fundamentally flawed?
- Are we ethically excusable or morally culpable?
- Are we destined for a happy heaven or a blessed extinction, or are we on the way to heaven or hell?
Kevin summarized his conclusions to these questions like this:
Here are two views of the human person:
According to the world we are here by chance, free to create our own self, basically good, ethically excusable, and destined for a happy heaven or a blessed extinction.
According to God we are here by design, created to reflect God’s image, fundamentally flawed, morally culpable, and destined to worship God in heaven or face his wrath in hell.
You can listen to the whole message here.
Over the next couple of days on the blog I plan to post a few choice excerpts from Kevin’s message.
May 3, 2011 by Tony Reinke
Categories: Sermons | Videos
Three of C.J.’s recent sermons have been added to our online video archive. Here are the details and links:
When Someone Doubts
March 20, 2011
Covenant Fellowship Church; Glen Mills, PA
Keep Yourself in the Love of God
September 12, 2010
Bethlehem Baptist Church; Minneapolis, MN
God's Preserving Grace: A Magnificent Doxology
January 30, 2011
Covenant Fellowship Church; Glen Mills, PA
At the NEXT conference
in Baltimore this weekend, C.J. preached from Philippians 2:12-13. You can download the message—“Sanctification”—as an mp3 here
During his message C.J. shared the following quote from John Murray, a fitting summary of the passage and the message:
God’s working in us is not suspended because we work,
nor our working suspended because God works.
Neither is the relation strictly one of co-operation
as if God did his part and we did ours
so that the conjunction or coordination of both
produced the required result.
God works in us and we also work.
But the relation is that
because God works
All working out of salvation on our part
is the effect of God’s working in us,
not the willing to the exclusion of the doing
and not the doing to the exclusion of the willing,
but both the willing and the doing....
The more persistently active we are in working,
the more persuaded we may be
that all the energizing grace and power is of God.
[source: Redemption Accomplished and Applied
(Eerdmans, 1955), pp. 148-149. Line breaks added.]
During the second T4G panel discussion Mark Dever and Al Mohler discussed evangelism, preaching, and the hesitancy among some Christians to speak openly on tough subjects like God’s judgment. The conversation moves from evangelism to a discussion of how expositional preaching helps steady the preacher against the temptation to avoid tough topics. Here’s a transcript of the brief exchange.
Mark Dever: In the name of evangelism there are brothers and sisters that we know and love who are attempting to make the gospel something that is more immediately appealing than we are convinced it is in Scripture. So, for instance, you will have people who do not want to talk about hell. They believe in hell as much as you or I do, but they would say that it is counterproductive in our context today. What do we say to folks like that?
Al Mohler: I would say that we can’t accept that logic. Now at the same time we understand how you can be absolutely unbalanced in talking about hell. There are some people, very rare these days, but more commonly in days past, where they would simply celebrate the joy of preaching hell. And their only message was a “hellfire and brimstone” message. There can be an imbalance there.
That is where expository preaching that is verse-by-verse and text-by-text and chapter-by-chapter and book-by-book doesn’t allow you to ride a hobbyhorse. It doesn’t allow you to enter into that imbalance. It takes you on to the next truth, which you then have to prepare yourself to teach and to preach.
I don’t think we are very good, arbitrarily, at setting a sense of balance for ourselves. But you ask a great question. What happens when there is an issue and you recoil from it? I honestly think that means—
MD: And in your own mind you’re recoiling from it because you really mean to be helpful.
AM: Yeah, you could even say it is a well-intended recoil because you love your people and you are trying to reach them for the gospel…
There is a sense in which I think that that means you have got to prepare your heart, and perhaps your message, with a whole new sense of brokenhearted determination to present this text in the larger context of the gospel, the great narrative of Scripture, and God’s purpose to bring glory to himself by the salvation of people through the blood of his Son…
But if, indeed, we recoil and say, “I don’t believe people can handle this,” then we are violating what we say about Scripture. If we are really saying that lost people can’t handle this text and come savingly to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and be drawn even by this text in Scripture, then we are violating what we say we believe about Scripture.
The entire conversation can be downloaded here.
Photo source: Southern Seminary Communications
April 29, 2010 by Tony Reinke
Categories: Conferences | Sermons | Videos
Did Paul preach the gospel of Jesus?
Dr. John Piper sought to answer this question during his general session at the recent T4G conference.
At one point Piper connected the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9–14 to Paul’s testimony in Philippians 3:4–9. Piper says, “When we listen to Paul in Philippians 3:4–9 we are tempted to think he was the Pharisee in Jesus’s parable in Luke 18:9–14.”
Read them for yourself:
Jesus (Luke 18:9–12):
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’
Paul (Philippians 3:4–6):
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
Jesus (Luke 18:13–14):
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Paul (Philippians 3:7–9):
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.
Paul preached the gospel of Jesus because it was the gospel of Jesus that had forever changed his life.
Piper’s entire T4G message—“Did Jesus Preach Paul’s Gospel?”—can be read, listened to, or viewed online here:
March 4, 2010 by Tony Reinke
Perhaps the most neglected book in the New Testament is the little book of Jude, a postcard really. Yet Bible scholar Tom Schreiner writes that “some of the most beautiful statements about God’s sustaining grace are found in Jude.”
Recently C.J. preached through Jude in a two-part message at Covenant Life Church. The audio is available here:
Jude: Called to Contend: A Postcard from the Past
Feb 14, 2010
Listen or download here
Feb 21, 2010
Listen or download here
February 9, 2010 by Tony Reinke
Categories: Sermons | Sleep
The topic of sleep is rarely far from the newsstands. Studies link sleep to everything from academic scores to obesity. A new line of sleep drinks features a shot of melatonin to help you fall asleep (think anti-energy drink). And of course the news is filled with reports of a major pop musician’s sleep problems and of his doctor, who is accused of inducing permanent and irreversible slumber.
Sleep is rarely far from conversation. Probably because sleep is never far removed from our lives.
Roughly speaking, most of us spend about 1/3 of our lives asleep (whereas mothers of small children spend about 1/8 of their lives asleep). The Bible says quite a bit on this topic, probably because sleep is both a good teacher and a revealer of the heart.
The Bible says:
Sleep is a daily gift from God (Psalm 127:1–2).
- Sleep reminds us daily of our need for God (Psalms 3:5, 4:8).
- Excessive sleep exposes sin and leads to poverty (Proverbs 6:9–11, 20:13).
- Sleep is sweet when we are walking in wisdom (Proverbs 3:19–24).
- Falling asleep provides an opportunity to examine our hearts before God (Psalm 4:4).
For more on these points, see C.J.'s sermon "Sanctifying the Ordinary: A Biblical Understanding of Sleep
June 19, 2009 by Tony Reinke
This weekend C.J. joined John Piper, John MacArthur, Rick Holland, and Steve Lawson at the Resolved 2009 conference in Palm Springs. About 4,000 young adults gathered for four days to hear ten messages. C.J. preached twice, and both messages are online and available to download.
Who’s Really at Work?
June 13, 2009
Resolved 2009; Palm Springs, CA
download MP3 (57.9MB)
The Troubled Soul
June 15, 2009
Resolved 2009; Palm Springs, CA
download MP3 (63.4MB)
Photo © 2009, Lukas VanDyke
Audio and PDFs from the 2009 Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastors Conference (April 6-8) are now available for download
Here is a list of the conference messages:
Seminars for Men
- The Pastor’s Charge, Part 1 (C.J. Mahaney)
- The Pastor’s Teaching (Jeff Purswell)
- The Pastor’s Mission (Dave Harvey)
- The Pastor’s Legacy (Jared Mellinger)
- The Pastor’s Charge, Part 2 (C.J. Mahaney)
Seminars for Women
- The Pastor and Christian Liberty (Craig Cabaniss)
- The Pastor and College Ministry: Compelling Reasons to Take the Gospel to the Campus (Bill Kittrell)
- The Pastor and His Community: How the Gospel Informs Our Mission beyond the Church (Mark Dever)
- The Pastor and His Older Children: The Possibilities and Perils of Parenting Teens (Bob Kauflin)
- The Pastor and Preaching: How to Start a Sermon, End a Sermon, and Prepare the Middle of a Sermon (Mike Bullmore)
- The Pastor and Small-Group Leaders (Jim Donohue)
- The Pastor and the Counseling Process (Andy Farmer)
- The Pastor and the Priority of Plurality (Dave Harvey)
- The Pastor and the Spirit: An Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12–14 (Jeff Purswell)
- The Pastor and Titus 2 (Aron Osborne)
- The Pastor and Youth Ministry: The Priority of Teaching for Parents and Teens (Steve Whitacre)
- The Pastor’s Wife and Culture: What Feminism Has Done to Femininity (Carolyn McCulley)
- The Pastor’s Wife and Ministry Opportunities: Five Great Deals She Won’t Want to Miss (Carolyn Mahaney)
Visit the Pastors Conference page
to download the audio recordings and all available PDFs.
February 5, 2009 by Tony Reinke
Categories: Sermons | Sports
Do the gospel and sports connect? If so, how does the gospel shape the way we play, view, and coach sports? These and other questions are answered by C.J. in his sermon “Don’t Waste Your Sports.”
This week Sovereign Grace Ministries released C.J.’s sermon on DVD. And we are giving away some copies.
Here is how to win.
As C.J. points out in his message, athletics provides us many opportunities to cultivate humility (often unexpectedly). Whether it’s having a jumpshot rejected, a big fat swing and a whiff at a waist-level fastball, or accidentally high-fiving someone in the face, few things in life provide more opportunities for humility than athletics.
And now is your opportunity to tell the world about your
embarrassing moment lesson in humility. For a free DVD, of course.
Here is the deal: Explain the most humbling moment from your life as an athlete, coach, or parent of an athlete. In 250 words (or less), write a narrative of the experience. Include your first name, last initial, and your hometown in an email and send it to blog AT sovgracemin DOT org.
No, you cannot share someone else’s story.
I’ll pass the entries along to C.J. The best and/or funniest stories will win a free copy of the DVD and the entry will be posted on the blog.
If your entry is chosen and posted on the blog, your first name, last initial, and hometown will appear along with it.
Please email your story by 12:00 noon (EST) on Wednesday, Feb. 11. Winners will be announced later that afternoon.
Please note that reference to the supremacy of the Duke Blue Devils, New York Yankees, or Dallas Cowboys will not help your chances.
For further details on the DVD, video excerpts, and free downloadable application questions, please visit our online store.