remorse or repentance?

Every once in a while, one of my children will misbehave. (Shocker.) Often when this happens, I will catch them. Frankly, my kids aren’t very bright about their misbehavior, having not yet learned the art of concealing their rebellion. (“No, dad, I didn’t eat the cake that was on the counter,” said my chocolate-mouthed progeny.) (more…)

why exposition?

Last Sunday at Capitol City, we began a series walking through the book of Titus. This follows a series over the summer in which we walked through the Psalms of Ascent. Beginning in January, we’ll spend almost 30 weeks in the book of 1 Samuel. Hopefully this is obvious: As a church, one of our primary commitments in preaching is to biblical exposition. That means that the normal pattern of our preaching and teaching involves walking methodically through whole books of the Bible, as opposed to preaching and teaching on selected topics or from selected texts.1

Why is biblical exposition important? Why have we made a commitment to it as a church? Here are four reasons why. (more…)

why titus?

The world offers us competing visions of “the good life.” Advertisers everywhere really want us to believe that if we buy their products then we’ll be enjoying the life we’ve always wanted. Snickers satisfies, or something like that. What’s more, we all drift through life with a vague notion of the “ideal me.” We think that there’s a future version of ourselves that will make us happy. So we pursue this ideal me – the physically fit me, or the well read me, or the materially wealthy me – with the belief that once we get there, then we’ll be happy. (more…)

a prayer for gospel clarity and gospel unity

Father God:

Few things are worth fighting for in life. In particular, few things are worth discord and ruffled feathers among your people. The clarity of the gospel, of course, is worth fighting for. Since it was worth the death of your Son to you, the gospel should be a precious treasure to us. When that treasure is contaminated or spoiled or corrupted in any way, we should fight to restore it to its brilliance and beauty. (more…)

“faith alone” is never alone

On Sunday morning at Capitol City, we unpacked the glorious doctrine of justification by faith alone. Many churches like ours will celebrate this truth explicitly at some point this year as we recognize the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

Justification by faith is the absolute heart of the gospel. No work of ours can ever make us right in God’s eyes. Only the perfect, finished work of Christ can. Nor can we add to Christ’s work. The gospel is not good news that says, “Now you must get to work.” It is good news that declares, “It is finished” (John 19:30). We can only accept Christ’s work for us – that’s where faith comes in. It is absolutely essential that we uphold and cherish the wonderful truth of justification by faith alone. (more…)

more than “just as if I never sinned”

On Sunday morning at Capitol City, we unpacked the wonderful doctrine of justification by faith alone. Justification by faith is the very heart of the Christian gospel – yet it is often widely misunderstood.

Much of that misunderstanding owes to an old play on words, often repeated, that suggests that justification means that God treats me “just as if I never sinned.” While justification does amount to our complete legal pardon before the judgment of God, while it does mean that God treats us (legally) as if we never sinned, that is only half of justification. (more…)

rush toward repentance

“Carson, you shouldn’t mess with the blinds when you are in bed,” I said to my four-year-old as I straightened the wildly askew blinds above his window.

Through his tears, he said, “I know, but I wanted to see outside.”

It was late, yet some of the neighborhood kids were playing in the yard outside his room. Always inquisitive, Carson wanted to see who was still awake at this late hour – and especially what game they were playing.

“I realize you wanted to see outside, Bud, but its late and you need to be asleep.”

The whole conversation started with his tearful admission to me that he had “broken” his window. Fortunately, tangled and twisted window blinds are easy enough to fix. My heart warmed to my little guy, clearly affected as he was by his misbehavior. Carson knows that he shouldn’t touch the blinds above his window, especially at night when he should be sleeping.

I pressed just a bit, wanting to clarify the rules. “I know you wanted to see outside, but remember that the blinds are fragile. When you are in bed, you need to sleep. And don’t touch the blinds, okay?” (more…)