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The Importance Of The Christian’s Secret Life (via Derek Thomas)

Derek Thomas on the mark of Christian authenticity: our secret life.
For those whose calling involves public expressions of the Christian life, the challenge is to live as a disciple of Jesus when people can’t see us.
From the article:

Six times in the Sermon on the Mount, alluding to three distinct exercises, Jesus employs the term secret:

  • Give “in secret…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matt. 6:4).
  • Pray “in secret…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (v. 6).
  • Fast “in secret…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (v. 18).

The Sermon on the Mount is addressing the issue of authenticity. Just how genuine is our relationship with the Lord Jesus? It is altogether possible to practice an outward display of piety—to “talk the talk”—without demonstrating any inner reality of godliness. This is true of every professing Christian, and it is especially true of those engaged in Christian ministry.

Read the whole post at Ligonier Blog.


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The Redemptive And Restorative Experience Of Being Part Of The Church (via Derek Thomas)

While no family is without some level of disfunction, those whose experience of family has left them hurt and alienated can experience what family is truly meant to be as part of the church.
It’s one of the reasons I look forward to gathering with Christians week by week:
From Derek Thomas:

…the church is an assembly called together into a homogenous, integrated unity. Several perspectives reinforce this in the New Testament. The church comprises the “family of God.” Each member of the church has become an “adopted son” (huiothesia; Rom. 8:15; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). Now we are “members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19), in which Jesus Christ is our elder brother. Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers (Heb. 2:11). We come to God in prayer, saying, “Our Father” (Matt. 6:9). To those whose experience of family is dysfunctional in this world, the experience of belonging to a community of brothers and sisters is redemptive and restorative, particularly when they experience the loving concern (fellowship [koinōnia]) of “those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).

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God-Breathed Scripture Demands Expository Preaching (via Derek Thomas)

God-breathed Scripture demands the preacher to proclaim what the text says, not use the text to illustrate their thoughts and theme.
From Derek Thomas:

Paul was concerned for purity and honesty in handling the Scriptures.
He charged young Timothy again to present himself to God “as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). The word that is translated in many versions as “to handle” or “to divide” actually means “to cut” (orthotomeo). Timothy was to drive a straight path through the Word of God and not deviate to the left or to the right. He was to “preach the word,” meaning not only that he was to preach from the Bible, but that he was to expound the particular passage he was preaching on because Scripture, as Paul reminds Timothy, is “breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16).
Expository preaching is a necessary corollary of the doctrine of the God-breathed nature of Scripture. The idea is not so much that God breathed into the Scriptures, but that the Scriptures are the product of His breathing out. Independent of what we may feel about the Bible as we read it, Scripture maintains a “breath of God” quality. Thus, the preacher is to make God’s Word known and make it understandable. He is to limit himself to it without adding or subtracting. As Alec Motyer has written: “An expository ministry is the proper response to a God-breathed Scripture. Central to it all is that concern which the word ‘exposition’ itself enshrines: a display of what is there.”

Read the whole post here.