John Piper on the Gospel and Sanctification (Part 2)

Jonathan Parnell

Theology Refresh is a new podcast for pastors hosted by David Mathis, executive assistant to John Piper. The aim of the podcast is to sharpen and refresh spiritual leaders on key aspects of theology that are useful for everyday Christian ministry.

This 20-minute episode is the second part of a two-part discussion with John Piper on the gospel and sanctification, including the practical dynamics of how faith in the gospel relates to faith in God's future... Continue Reading

The Sufficiency of Jesus in Shameful Memories

John Knight
The Sufficiency of Jesus in Shameful Memories

I was returning to the place of my greatest single offense against God.

In 1995, in the Intensive Care Unit of Children’s Hospital, I took a look at my 3-month-old son and concluded that God was strong, cruel, capricious, wicked.

God has rescued me from those thoughts back when I didn't really know him. But last week, I was walking down the same hall in the same hospital knowing I would see my now 16-year-old son hooked up to monitors and probes.

And I was... Continue Reading

Our Local Church and God's Global Purpose

Louie Giglio
Our Local Church and God's Global Purpose

Given we are very much an embryonic community at Passion City Church, we're not in a position to say too much about “what we do” or “how we do it” when it comes to missions and the local church. So I thought I would just suggest the path we are seeking and let time unfold how well we do.

To do this, I’d love to simply come around the purpose statements that define who we are as Passion City Church. As the pastor of a new church plant, it was important to me (and our... Continue Reading

Getting the Accent Right: "Not of . . . But Sent Into"

David Mathis
Getting the Accent Right: "Not of . . . But Sent Into"

In. . . but not of” — are you familiar with this popular phrase? It captures a truth about Jesus’ followers. We are “in” this world, but not “of” it.

In. . . but not of.” Yes, yes, of course.

But might this pithy slogan give the wrong impression about our (co)mission in this world as Christians? You see, the motto seems to give the drift, We are in this world, alas, but we need to make sure that we’re not of it. In this scheme, the starting place is our... Continue Reading

Are You Frustrated with Your Local Church?

Jonathan Parnell
Are You Frustrated with Your Local Church?

By grace, Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all... Continue Reading

Minimizing Views of God Don't Advance the Mission

John Piper

What Is the Basis of Risk?

Risk is “an action that exposes you to the possibility of loss or injury.” (“Risk Is Right” in Don’t Waste Your Life, 79). “Possibility” is a key word. If you know what you will suffer, it’s called sacrifice, not risk. God requires both from us. God demands a life of intentional sacrifice (Philippians 2:4-8), and he demands risk for the gospel — in smaller ways of dying daily (1 Corinthians 15:31), and possibly in the bigger way of... Continue Reading

The Church Has a 'Go and Tell' Mission

Jonathan Parnell
The Church Has a 'Go and Tell' Mission

Pastor John from 1988:

From the first coming of Christ to the second coming of Christ the strategy of our mission is incarnation. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He left one place and went to another place. He gave up the glories and comforts of his heavenly home in order to go where the people were and tell them about the Father. And he said, "As the Father has sent me so send I you."

Bethlehem's mission in Minneapolis must never be mainly a come and... Continue Reading

When God's Will Isn't Clear

Jon Bloom
When God's Will Isn't Clear

Most of the decisions you will make today aren’t explicitly addressed in the Bible. Questions like, should I eat out today? What should I wear? Should I respond to this instance of my child’s sin with correction or forbearance? Should I shop today or tomorrow? Should I check my email again?

The Bible doesn’t even give specific guidance on huge, life-shaping decisions like should I marry this person? Should I give more or save for retirement? Should we adopt a child? Should I... Continue Reading

Come Be a Nobody for Christ

Michael Oh
Come Be a Nobody for Christ

Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ. — Francis Xavier

Many people leave college with the goal to “be somebody.” And this usually means getting a good job, making good money, buying a nice house, driving a nice car, attaining some important position, and helping your kids to do the same.

For the Christian, “being somebody” usually means all of that and faithfully going to church on Sundays and Bible study during the... Continue Reading

Motherhood Is Application

Rachel Jankovic
Motherhood Is Application

If I had to pick one word to describe motherhood, I think that word would be “transforming.”

The days of a busy mother are made up of millions of transformations. Dirty children become clean, the hungry child fed, the tired child sleeping. Almost every task a mother performs in the course of a normal day could be considered a transformation. Disorder to order, dirty clothes to clean, unhappy children to peaceful, empty fridge to full. Every day we fight against disorder, filth,... Continue Reading