Resources by Erik Raymond

Erik Raymond, a Regular Contributor to For The Church, is the preaching pastor at Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Nebraska, a church he helped plant in 2011. He and his wife have been married for over 20 years and have 6 kids. He is the author of Gospel-Shaped Outreach and also blogs at The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter at @erikraymond.
Oct 12

Why Churches Should Have Meaningful Membership by Erik Raymond

Meaningful membership attends our gospel witness. Membership communicates the people and the message of the gospel to a watching world. 

Aug 18

When The Chariot of Guilt Rolls In To Town by Erik Raymond

It is deadly to wallow in guilt. It saps joy as it eclipses Christ.

Oct 27, 2016

When Sin Keeps You From Prayer by Erik Raymond

Recognizing the influence of sin compels us to keep praying - keeping short accounts with God while fighting through seasons of guilt.

Sep 1

What Does It Mean To Be The Apple Of God's Eye? by Erik Raymond

We are children of God adopted and cherished in Jesus Christ. 

Feb 11, 2016

We Were Made to Marvel by Erik Raymond

We were created to have our hearts drawn after beauty through our senses.

Sep 15, 2016

We Hold Precious Words Close by Erik Raymond

The Christian has the perfect words of God - they are scented with heaven, preserved for us, and even addressed to us. Sadly many of us have gotten over it.

Aug 17, 2015

The Priest Has A Billion Jacobs Engraved On His Breastplate by Erik Raymond

Not only did Jesus endure such injustice from sinners but he did it for sinners.

Mar 3

The Necessity of Prayer in Sermon Prep by Erik Raymond

We will be as prayerful as we are cognizant of our own weakness.

Dec 14, 2014

The Dumbest Thing I Ever Said by Erik Raymond

What is the dumbest thing you have ever said? You probably don't want to repeat it. Since, I think it is edifying, I'll reset my moment. I was a new Christian and was talking to my wife one Sunday afternoon when I dropped this gem on her: “Christianity is so easy. I don't see what the big deal is.” But, I wasn't finished “I read my Bible, pray and talk…

Sep 16, 2015

The 60 Second Gospel by Erik Raymond

If you cannot explain the gospel in this period of time, then you probably don’t understand it.

Nov 13, 2014

Simplified Evangelism by Erik Raymond

“It's not that complicated.” How many times have you said this to someone? How many times has someone said it to you? If we're honesttoo many to count (on both accounts). Our ability to overthink and over-complicate our tasks is like spam for our productivity. Consider how free you feel when a task is simplified, steps are outlined, and a plan is in place.

Let's remember that our…

Oct 14, 2015

Simple, Practical Ways to Improve Your Preaching by Erik Raymond

These are things you can do right away and they will bring immediate impact. As I look back on sermons that have seemed to have the most traction, they have most often been the ones when I have faithfully unfolded the passage, gotten out of the way, and let these 5 friends loose.

Jun 20

Running to the Pantry of Good Works by Erik Raymond

The tendency we have to rely on ourselves for our own justification is gospel-muting. It’s Jesus-eclipsing. It’s legalism.

Jan 1, 2016

Remember the Tragedies and the Triumphs of the Gospel by Erik Raymond

Paul is reminding Timothy not only of the reality of the situation on the ground but also of the importance of tending to his own soul.

May 1, 2015

Reclaiming the Heaven of Heaven by Erik Raymond

Join me as I try to think about heaven more often, even dwelling upon the reality of it, the ceaseless praise that is going on right now to the blessed Savior for his wrath drinking death upon the wood of Calvary.

Jun 29, 2015

Preachers Must Sweat Out The Text by Erik Raymond

Why do some guys walk to the pulpit and from first word to last seems to be clicking, dripping with passion, demonstrable brokenness, and a visible burden for their people to ‘get it’? While others are able to deliver a biblically faithful message but seem to lack that extra ‘something’ that makes a good sermon different?

May 10

Preachers: God Will Make the Dents by Erik Raymond

We are to make indentions, impressions, dents, whatever, upon the mind and heart by preaching the Word of God. 

Apr 21

Our Minds Are Like Baking Stone by Erik Raymond

Throughout our days, we are to retain the flavor of who God is, what he has done, and what he has promised.

Mar 29

No Spin on Sin by Erik Raymond

The Holy Spirit progressively conforms Christians into the image of Christ. 

May 31

Learning Contentment Through Repetition by Erik Raymond

Often adversity is a tool of the Lord to remove the things that impede our contentment. 

Aug 1

Just Say No!

A Key To Learning Contentment

Most people say they'd be happy if they could just have more. But God often makes us content not by giving us more stuff or relationships, but by giving us more humility and trust.

Sep 28, 2016

If We Are So Burdened Then Why Aren't The Prayer Meetings Full? by Erik Raymond

Why it is so hard for Christians to talk to God but so easy for us to discuss our complaints with others? 

Nov 16, 2015

How You Know You're Susceptible to the Prosperity Gospel by Erik Raymond

Here are a few ways that you can tell that you are nibbling at the hook of the prosperity gospel, without, perhaps, even knowing it . . .

Oct 28, 2015

How To Marvel At Your Wife's Creativity by Erik Raymond

Over the last several years I have watched my wife prepare for birthday parties, holiday seasons, or other special events. She, like many women, gives considerable time and attention to the details. This is what women do. Men on the other hand, we think function. We reuse our forks, wipe our chin on our sleeves, and pass on the straws. We skim past the details without noticing.

Feb 25, 2016

How to Give Your Pastor Sermon Feedback (and How Not To) by Erik Raymond

We spend hours each week reading, meditating on, and praying through our text. We have a few days to become intimately acquainted with it. We strive to learn all of its nuances, textures, hues, and beauty. And then after we preach, we usually don't hear much from anybody about any of it.

Jul 14, 2016

How Exaggeration Can Undermine Your Joy in the Gospel by Erik Raymond

In our over exagerrated world, the good news tends to not be that amazing. We autocorrect this by letting a couple of pounds of air out of the tires of the gospel. Though we are prone to diminishing the spectacular, the fact remains, God shows grace to unworthy people.

Aug 31, 2015

How Do You Know If You're Discontent? by Erik Raymond

If we are grumbling then we can be sure that we are not content. We are essentially saying that God is getting it wrong.

Oct 26

He Buried 200 Church Members by Erik Raymond

Pastors must believe and preach Jesus’s powerful death-defeating, wrath-guzzling triumph!

Mar 18, 2016

Having Trouble in Ministry? Just Face It. Literally. by Erik Raymond

Let us learn from Moses while we cling to and follow Christ our righteousness, knowing that it is his glory, not our own that we pursue and love. It is in this pursuit that we’ll find ourselves getting more face time on the ground rather than counting our wounds in the mirror.

Nov 19, 2014

Having Trouble in Ministry? Just Face It by Erik Raymond

It is a fact of life along with taxes, mismatched socks, traffic when you are in a hurry, that in this world we are going to have trouble.

In fact Jesus, who himself encountered more trouble in this world then all of us combined, said, “…in this world you will have tribulation…” (John 16.33). Furthermore, for believers who have been saved by divine grace, given a new nature…

Nov 3

Free to Love by Erik Raymond

The type of love we have in the gospel is total acceptance in light of full disclosure. 

Apr 26, 2015

Four Evangelism Myths by Erik Raymond

In order to combat this we need to speak truth to our hearts. We need to remind ourselves of the truth of Scripture. This is no less important in the area of evangelism. We need to debunk the myths that are too easily believed and cling instead to what God has said and done.

Apr 7, 2016

Fighting Lust With Lust

A Framework for Purity

How do we fight lust? We fight lust with lust.

Oct 12, 2016

Driving from Duty to Delight by Erik Raymond

When the duties are ordained means by God, they are blessings filled with the seeds of your delight. 

Jan 8, 2016

Do You Trust Yourself Too Much? by Erik Raymond

No matter how well we do in the day to day tasks, if our minds are our ultimate governors then we are nothing more than fools.

Oct 29, 2014

Do You Think Some People Are Unsavable? by Erik Raymond

Go ahead and think about the person whom you think is the most unlikely to become a Christian. Now, ask yourself why you think this. Odds are you are looking at the way they order their life and in particular their blatant distaste and disregard for God. But you need to correct this thinking. It's unbiblical to look at what you have to work with and think, “I could see…

Apr 5

Do You Invite Critique of Your Sermons? by Erik Raymond

As pastors, should care more about getting the Bible right than simply feeling like we’re right. 

Jun 19, 2015

Do You Have A Dysfunctional Relationship With God? by Erik Raymond

Like a regular relationship, we have to see the warning signs here in our spiritual relationship. If we find ourselves intentionally avoiding or carelessly neglecting communion with God then we are on a troubling trajectory.

Apr 22, 2015

Don't Let the Gospel Flag Touch the Ground by Erik Raymond

I find it ironic and troubling that so many who wave the gospel-centered flag too often carelessly let it touch the ground in their writing, tweets, and conversations. Far from being semantics, this issue communicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the gospel and its implications for holiness.

Aug 3, 2016

Don't Just Pray About It by Erik Raymond

May we have those childlike reflexes that so characterize the children of God. Let us pray, wait, and watch.

May 19, 2016

Don't Be Embarrassed by Your Ordinary Church by Erik Raymond

Here is the bottom-line reality: the church is the most important organization on the planet. Its importance and inherent value is not dependent upon size but substance.

Aug 23, 2016

Does Your Pastor Love You? by Erik Raymond

How can you tell how much a pastor loves Christ and his people? It is by his preaching. Doctrinal preaching feeds and protects the sheep.

Sep 15

Becoming More Impressed With Christ by Erik Raymond

Jesus Christ has it all together as he goes to die for people who can’t ever seem to get it right.

Feb 24

Are You Suffocating Your Creativity? by Erik Raymond

If we allow ourselves to be diverted and distracted all of the time we will scarcely enjoy the deeply meaningful seasons of discovery that come from thoughtful reflection.

Sep 27

Are You Always the Hero of Your Stories? by Erik Raymond

Making yourself the hero all the time is like playing dress-up.

Jan 6

Are You Allergic to God's Judgment? by Erik Raymond

Declawing the Bible of its warnings against and judgments upon sin is not good for the church.

Jun 24, 2016

An Unimaginative Tool for Church Growth by Erik Raymond

Sometimes as evangelicals we can be our own worst enemy.

May 4, 2016

A Gentle Political Recalibration by Erik Raymond

Without minimizing the importance of the election or impugning anyone who is a political junkie, I want to offer a gentile reminder for Christians who might be getting a little too wrapped up in the election.