Thursday, May 19, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
“Only a fraction of the present body of professing Christians are solidly appropriating the justifying work of Christ in their lives. . . . In their day-to-day existence they rely on their sanctification for justification. . . . Few know enough to start each day with a thoroughgoing stand upon Luther’s platform: you are accepted, looking outward in faith and claiming the wholly alien righteousness of Christ as the only ground for acceptance, relaxing in that quality of trust which will produce increasing sanctification as faith is active in love and gratitude.
In order for a pure and lasting work of spiritual renewal to take place within the church, multitudes within it must be led to build their lives on this foundation. This means that they must be conducted into the light of a full conscious awareness of God’s holiness, the depth of their sin and the sufficiency of the atoning work of Christ for their acceptance with God, not just at the outset of their Christian lives but in every succeeding day.”
4) Often our confidence in the reliability of Scripture is eroded by doubt. Can you remember a class, a conversation, or simply a moment in life when this doubt seemed especially acute? How did you respond? What helped you the most? Which of Peter's responses resonates: the Bible as observed events, confirmed experiences, or inspired Word?-Richard F. Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life (Downers Grove, 1979), pages 101-102, italics his.
- Some of us need to reconsider our doubts about the Word of God
- Some of us need to read the Word of God
- Some of us need to relish the Word of God
Footnotes:Which of these three challenges do you most need to hear? What are you going to do about it?
- The opening illustration about the shoebox full of letters might be interesting "warm-up" conversation for the group. This image has always been a powerful one for me since I heard Ryan Adams' poignant but sad song "Houses on the Hill." You can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/
- Richard Bauckman's book helped me consider the importance of eyewitness accounts to the Scriptures
- Here's the book: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-
Eyewitnesses-Gospels- Eyewitness-Testimony/dp/ 0802831621.
- Here's an article about the book: http://www.
- Richard Lovelace's challenging gem "Dynamics of Spiritual Life" spearheads my realization of the importance of the gospel, the gospel, the gospel...I'm only 100 or pages into it but it's been very helpful: http://www.amazon.
com/Dynamics-Spiritual-Life- Richard-Lovelace/dp/087784626X .
- For those who struggle to maintain consistent Bible reading, this might help: http://www.
ransomfellowship.org/ articledetail.asp?AID=378&B= Margie%20Haack&TID=5.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
As I was looking over this passage, I was struck by Peter's words that those who do not live lives that are maturing, they have forgotten the gospel. Thus, the implication for God's people is that we must be diligent to remember the gospel and the implications of the gospel. These implications included (1) remembering who we are - those called by God and those made clean by God - and (2) remembering how we are to live - lives that are increasing and lives that are dependent.
Below are some questions for reflection and discussion:
- In the discussion of remembering who we are, it was said that we have been called and that we have been cleansed. What are the ideas that compete with the truth that God has called us his own and that before him we are clean? Is it easy for you to cling to these competing ideas? Why?
- During the sermon, there was a quote referenced by another pastor: “many think of sanctification as not sinning for the longest amount of time possible.” Is this the primary way you approach your maturing in Christ?
- Vv. 5-8 describe different qualities that Peter expects Christians to grow in. How do you see your maturing in these areas as a way to choke out existing sin? Is it easier for you to focus on the qualities to be rid of than the qualities to grow in? Where do you see the need for maturing in your life? How can you seek to grow in these areas?