The idea that the holy God of the universe, the only one who has the absolute right to condemn us and dismiss us, declares his approval over us because of Jesus’ taking our sin and shame is so wonderful, so hope-giving, so steadying.
Greedy, lustful, predatory businessmen gain our support because "that's just the way the world works." "You've got to pick your poison." "The world isn't black and white." "What other choice do we have than picking the lesser of two evils?" Well, for starters, there is the way of Jesus.
For our joy, Jesus always shoots us straight.
If we simply want more people or better people, a set of programs and events might accomplish that. But if we want Christ-exalting, Christ-loving, Christ-following people, we have to get more personal and go deeper.
Here's one personal test I subject my own reading of the Gospels to (which actually works quite well when reading any Scripture): Is it freaking me out?
The Bible says at least as much -- if not more -- about speaking the truth in love, not tearing down, and letting our speech be gracious as it does "letting people have it."
FTC.co asks Jared C. Wilson, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Spurgeon College and Author in Residence at MBTS, "What advice would you give to new writers?"
FTC.co asks Jared C. Wilson, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Author-in-Residence at Spurgeon College/MBTS, "What is the first step for a church in moving from the attractional paradigm to a gospel-centered model of ministry?"
FTC.co asks Jared C. Wilson, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Spurgeon College and Writer-in-Residence at Midwestern Seminary, what advice he would give a new pastor who already wants to quit.
Here's an older post of mine written during my former pastorate. I hope you will find it helpful… jcw
So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.—1 Thessalonians 2:8
Well, I'm starting this post at 4:57 P.M. ET. I don't know…
If your church orients its weekend gathering around reaching seekers, it's quite possible you've adopted some working assumptions and programmatic arrangements that actually turn the biblical shape of evangelism and mission upside down.
How can we work toward our leaders’ joy and not their anxiety? It’s no advantage to us to be a nagging pain to our pastors.
Don't make your pastor groan.
If you talk a big game about the gospel, but don't live like it's true, the people in your life will begin to suspect you don't actually believe it. Worse yet, they may begin to disbelieve it themselves.
If nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, what then?
A toast toward the pastor embracing a Christward self-disregard and a godly un-self-conciousness.
Just like our brother Jesus, Anne faced death with a natural amount of fear and a Spiritual amount of faith in the Father who loves her, cares for her, and secures her. Like Jesus, she had abandoned herself to the sovereign grace of God.
Yesterday morning I undertook the difficult task of resigning the pastorate of Middletown Springs Community Church. The last five years have been a tremendous joy to me and my family, and making that announcement was one of the most difficult things I've ever done.
I shared with my congregation that the sense of discontent I'd been feeling for more than a year had become gradually clearer and…
It is better to die before you die.
On the spirit of charity in the work of receiving criticism and dishing it out.
I fear we vastly underestimate the spiritual damage inflicted on our churches by "How To" sermons without an explicit gospel connection.
Four steps to making a trainwreck of your life. And how to get back on track.
There is a subtle kind of pride that has the appearance of celebrating grace. But its aim is self-oriented.
We may not be able to keep our pastor from falling, but we can invest in his personal, marital, and ministerial health in such a way that the temptations are lessened.
Salvation is for us, of course—God doesn't need it—but it's not mainly about us. It is mainly about God. How so?
Turning to the deep well of Ephesians 2, we read:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—- by grace you…
Salvation is for us but ultimately about God.
Proverbs 29:18 is not about "casting vision."
The parables Jesus tells in the four Gospels are peculiar kinds of stories that too many readers read very wrongly.
Were it not for God, we would be falling from grace every waking second.
One of the most vivid illustrations and daily reminders of God's grace in my life is my daughter Grace.
We need pastors who have had the swagger gospeled out of them.
Christianity grows best under hardship.
How do we become holy without becoming 'holier than thou'?
I'll tell you why I hope Bigfoot exists -- and why, in a way, I hope he is never discovered . . .
I have been laid hold of. I've been apprehended. I was writing my own life story, and it was a tragedy despite my own best efforts. But my life story got hijacked by the good news.
There is one thing that the churches experiencing historic revival have in common: they seemed overrun with the sense of the glory of God.
A gospel-centered church is okay with its own decreasing -- in reputation, in acclaim, in legacy, even in (gasp!) numbers, but especially in self-regard -- so long as it serves the increasing of the sense of the glory of God.
The healing of the deaf and the mute is just the beginning.
I want to finish strong. Don't you?
I’m not talking about having a bad day. I’m talking more about having a bad life.
The church with the snot-nosed kids and the cantankerous old folks and the arrogant hipsters and the out-of-touch Baby Boomers and the overweight “praise team” and the pastor with his short-sleeved button-up shirt tucked into his high-waisted Dockers? Well, that’s the kind of place where grace can really show off.
Like the apostle Paul, it is every minister's business to glory in his infirmities. The world says, "Pshaw! upon your oratory; it is rough, and rude, and eccentric." Yet, 'tis even so, but we are content, for God blesses it. Then so much the better that it has infirmities in it; for now shall it be plainly seen that it is not of man or by man, but the…
God looks at the available selection, sees that I have no evident talent or ability and that in fact I give all indications of being a liability to the team, not an asset, and says, "I'll take him."
Jesus is sweating blood while the disciples are sawing logs.
The first thing you see may be the breaker box. Or boxes of church maintenance supplies. I’m always struck by the snow shovel leaning against the wall.
"[G]entleness is essential to Christian living. It is not an add-on. It is… one of the few indisputable evidences of the Holy Spirit alive and well within someone. Gentleness is not just for some Christians, those wired in a certain way. It cannot merely be an inherent character trait, a result of personality or genetic predisposition, because it is listed as part of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians…
The gospel is itself a feast.
The tyranny of hyper-spirituality our church culture had foisted on us set us up for disappointment because it held up religious experiences as the means of God’s grace, rather than the finished work of the cross.
Managing editor Jared Wilson explains the vision of For The Church as a place to help contribute to the burgeoning "writing culture" developing in the gospel-centered movement.