Gospel

An Invitation to Join Our Company of Real, Great Sinners

BY MARTIN LUTHER & BRANDON HANSON

I heartily sympathize with you and earnestly pray our Lord Jesus Christ to strengthen you and give you a cheerful heart. I should like to know, and am making diligent inquiries to find out, what your trouble may be or what has caused your breakdown.

An Invitation to Join Our Company of Real, Great Sinners

The Shape of Gospel Astonishment

BY JARED C WILSON

Sigh. I would love to enjoy fellowship with God, to receive his blessing and his righteousness. But I don’t have clean hands and a pure heart, and I have often lifted up my soul to falsehood and have sworn deceitfully. If that’s the standard for acceptance unto God’s favor, I can only hang my head in shame and sorrow.

The Shape of Gospel Astonishment

The Gospel According To Noah

BY CHAD BIRD

Many children’s Bible Story books put it this way: “People everywhere were bad, but Noah was good.” But Noah was “good” not because he wasn’t “bad,” but because he believed in the good One whom his father had mistaken him for—the promised seed.

The Gospel According To Noah

The Divine Drama

BY PAUL DUNK

If I don't preach Christ, then there's really no reason anyone should roll out of bed on Sunday to hear anything I have to say. Everything about "church," apart from Jesus, can be found elsewhere. Music that gives you the feels? Make a playlist. Kids programs? Get out and explore your city

The Divine Drama

Easter Revival Burnout

BY MARIAH COWARD

Every year they began the revival with the Easter service. Often with the: “I'm-not-going-to-tell-you-once-a-year-church-goers-the-Gospel-because-you-don't-come-often-enough-to-deserve-to-hear-it-and-instead-I'll-tell-you-how-worldly-you-are” sermon.

Easter Revival Burnout

When The Old Adam Goes Church Shopping

BY DONAVON RILEY

If I’m going to join your church, there’s some things I’ll need to know first. I need to know whether you practice a Christianity that’s primarily a to-do list. Do you emphasize the Christian and his performance? After all, if I don’t do the right thing and avoid the wrong things how will I know what God thinks of me?

When The Old Adam Goes Church Shopping

Stop Conflating Caesar With Jesus

BY BRANDON HANSON

Appealing to our religion to push our political and social sensibilities is not what Jesus died for. And when we make it about that, it becomes more exclusive than the very inclusive Gospel. It sets up dividing lines that God never put there; boundaries that He sent His Son to break, walls that were torn down in the death of Christ.

Stop Conflating Caesar With Jesus

What Is Lacking In The Suffering Of Christ?

BY DANIEL EMERY PRICE

Did the Apostle Paul just say that “he fills up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ?" That seems a little at odds with Jesus statement "It is finished." Perhaps salvation isn't complete? Jesus suffered a lot, but maybe a little more suffering is required from each of us?

What Is Lacking In The Suffering Of Christ?

Behold Your King

BY MARTIN LUTHER

This Gospel pre-figures Christ coming with grace, and none may receive or accept save he who believes him to be the man, and has the mind, as this Gospel portrays in Christ. Nothing but the mercy, tenderness and kindness of Christ are here shown, and he who so receives and believes on him is saved.

Behold Your King

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

BY KATHY STRAUCH

He was a beggar on the streets. And, he was as good as dead if he didn't receive a blessing. The words, "you're cursed" haunted his mind. He was cursed and it was his own fault. He took what wasn't his to take; he stole from the dead and, in doing so, he became eerily acquainted with the dead. 

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

Of Works And Grace

BY MARTIN LUTHER

“Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven." These words show and contain in brief what the kingdom of Christ is, namely, this sweet voice, these motherly and fatherly words penetrating our inmost soul: "Thy sins are forgiven." In no other sense are we to view the kingdom of Christ

Of Works And Grace

How Luther Pointed Me to Christ in the Old Testament

BY DONAVON RILEY

Jesus is the Word of God. God’s Word—on two legs. I’d read it in the first chapter of John’s Gospel many, many times. God’s Word was born, suffered, bled, and died for the sins of the whole world. It was all there in the Gospels. It was testified to in the New Testament Epistles.

How Luther Pointed Me to Christ in the Old Testament

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

I have been very busy lately, trying to understand things.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a deeper understanding of spiritual truth, but I have found that there is a pit on that path into which one can fall, and right now I feel like I’m sitting in that pit, too tired to climb back out.

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

I May Not Be A Smart Man, But I Know What The Gospel Is

BY TATE BARBER

I am not a good Lutheran. I have only been around reformation theology for a few years. I have trouble articulating why my son was baptized in a Lutheran church. I am terrible at exegesis. I fumble through discussions about the third use of the law, trying my hardest not to sound like an antinomian.

I May Not Be A Smart Man, But I Know What The Gospel Is

NOT The Gospel

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

There was a TV show back in the ‘90s called “Dinosaurs” that I used to sneak into the living room at night to watch. The reason I had to sneak-watch this show was that my loving and protective parents had a problem with the Baby in the show who was very disrespectful (albeit hilarious).

NOT The Gospel

Why Confess Sin?

BY DONAVON RILEY

Why confess sin? Is it so we can get rewarded by God? A little extra grace or material good for our troubles, maybe. Maybe, if we make a good confession, we can earn forgiveness? But, how much sin must we confess before we get what's coming to us?

Why Confess Sin?

Grace Abounding

BY GERHARD FORDE

The law does not end sin, does not make new beings, it only makes matters worse. Where the old continuity is maintained, sin does not end. No matter how much religious pressure is applied, sin only grows. But, Paul has the audacity to say where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more.

Grace Abounding

The Breath of Forgiveness

BY KATHY STRAUCH

Jesus' disciples locked the doors to their own prison. Fear, grief, and shame haunted the dark cold room in which they sat. Their beloved Lord, teacher, and friend had been crucified. Jesus had breathed His last. The One whose creative breath breathed into the lifeless clay bringing Adam to life had stopped breathing. 

The Breath of Forgiveness

The New World

BY DONAVON RILEY

In elementary school, children are taught that America was a destination for Christians in search of religious freedom. But that’s not the truth. Not the whole truth anyway. The historic facts are a little less adventurous, a little less heroic. Many Christians came to the “New World” because they’d been declared heretics back home.

The New World

My Deepest Awareness

BY BRENNAN MANNING

When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games.

My Deepest Awareness

Love Is The Law's Interpreter

BY MARTIN LUTHER

Faith is here set forth in that this man, sick with the dropsy, looks to Christ and firmly believes he will help him. This faith he had as the result of his previous acquaintance with Jesus. He knows him as a kind, friendly and sympathetic man who always helps everyone and lets none go away uncomforted.

Love Is The Law's Interpreter

Chasing Broken Christians

BY DOMINICK SANTORE

Do we only want to be around people who want to be around us? We certainly like people who agree with us, and we love people who buy the same books, or saw the same movies as us. We want to be around people who are like ourselves. It's just more comfortable.

Chasing Broken Christians