I’m a big fan of serious study of the Bible. That often involves learning languages, delving into the historical background of the text, and studying what church teachers in history have said about the subject. But it usually starts with reading slowly and asking a series of basic questions. Nothing has reinforced this for me as much as my small group study this year at church.
At our very last study a couple of weeks ago, we were wrapping up our study in the letter of Paul to Titus when we came to this stunning little passage:
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in…
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Excellent application of God’s sovereignty to evangelism.
Let me tell you why I don’t do evangelism.
I used to think it was because I was afraid of what people would think. But I don’t think it’s that. I don’t generally worry what people think of me. The people on my street already think I’m weird! It’s not because I can’t be bothered. I’m happy to work hard for Christ in other ways. It’s not because I don’t know what to say. I have a strong conviction that the Holy Spirit can speak through me – however fumbling my words.
No, the reason I don’t tell my neighbours about Jesus is this: I think it’ll be a waste of time. I assume people won’t be interested. It’ll just be a bit embarrassing for both of us – and then we’ll quickly change the subject.
In the opening verses of Titus Paul describes what drives his ministry. He’s wanting…
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A Christian cannot dwell too much on the mercy of God. God is infinite and as such, so is his mercy. We cannot come to an end of it. God is good and his goodness towards sinners in our misery, weakness, and rebellion takes the form of mercy. Mercy that forgives. Mercy that blesses. Mercy that treats us gently. Mercy that covers all–yes, even that unspeakable shame you dare not mention to the closest friend. Mercy that gives new life to sinners who have thrown theirs away, pursuing it in a million different broken cisterns instead of drawing from the freely-proffered fountain of life. The good news of the gospel is that the Triune God has shown us mercy in Christ. It doesn’t get more basic than that.
And yet, all too often in the practical Christian life, we don’t give it more than a passing thought. This might strike…
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