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Question and Answer Session – 2011 True Church Conference

Question and Answer Session

Bruce Ware – BW

David Miller – DM

Steve Lawson – SL

Jeff Noblit – JN


Q: How can we avoid a religion of dead works?

BW: We get to the point of dead works when there is a heaviness in doctrine without a heart embrace of the gospel. We also need to ignore wanting to be liked. We need to be offensive when we need to be offensive. Our approval is from God alone.

DM: When the preacher of the church diverts the attention away from the gospel to other things.

SL: We must keep the main thing the main thing. Keep the peripheral issues suppressed. We must cease reliance on pragmatic things and depend on the power of God. This was the problem with the church in Ephesus. See Edwards “Religious Affections” on this topic.

JN: A doctrinally sound and spirit-lead pulpit is necessary. There must also be church discipline. Doctrine must be taken seriously by the congregation.


Q: Can a church’s methodology undermine its sound theology?

SL: This can happen in evangelism, giving a false assurance of salvation. Using manipulative evangelism. The methodology cannot be man-centered. Doctrine and methodology should be guided by godly men. Strong preaching makes for soft hearts. Soft preaching makes for hard hearts.

BW: Training for a theological and biblical mind and heart need to be promoted in the church. Not just keeping people entertained and out of trouble. The whole of the program in the church needs to be focused in this. Equip the people to have the mind of Christ.

JN: What helps the most is preaching. More than classes. More than seminars. We need to know the answer to the question “How?”


Q: How do I learn to preach the gospel – be a gospel centered preacher?

SL: It is more caught than taught. Sit under strong gospel preachers. The text must be king. Don’t bring truths to the text, take truths from the text.

BW: Don Carson’s approach to historical-redemptive progression of revelation.

JN: The text has a limited fulfillment and an ultimate fulfillment.


Q: Who should we be listening to as an example?

SL: Jesus Christ. Adrian Rogers because of his bold authority. John MacArthur because of his Bible exposition. S. Lewis Johnson because of his expository style. Gary Thomas because he is articulate. John Piper because of his fervency, zeal and God-centeredness. But we must be careful trying to emulate anyone. We must be ourselves. Read Spurgeon. Read Whitfield.

BW: Brian Borgman because of his careful exegesis. Lee Tankersly because of his application.


Q: Excesses we look back on and cringe.

SL: Trying to have too many cross-references and losing sight of the text. Spurgeon said that the whole Bible called out to him every week “Preach me! Preach me!” Not having application for our doctrine.

DM: Not persevering with the text until your own heart has been affected. How should we expect others to repent unless we have done so ourselves?

BW: Balance – we need to be full of grace and truth. Truth without grace leads to harshness.

 


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Bruce Ware – “The Gospel 101 – God’s Gift of the Gospel” – 2011 True Church Conference

Message 3 – Bruce Ware – “The Gospel 101 – God’s Gift of the Gospel”

What is the gift of the gospel? There is a narrow and a broad understanding of the gospel. The narrow understanding is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His work to pay for our sins. The broad understanding is how the gospel is lived out. It is the application of the gospel. Living lives to the glory of God and the furtherance of His kingdom.

The text for Ware’s second message is 1 Corinthians 15:1-8.  Look at the structure of this message: 1) Christ died for our sins and was buried. And Paul points to the Biblical support and empirical support for this claim. 2) Christ was raised on the third day and appeared. Once again, Paul points out Biblical support and empirical support for this claim. These two claims are absolutely essential to the Christian faith – rooted and based on history, and also rooted and based in theology. Christ died – historical accuracy – for our sins – theological truth. To the physical eye all three being crucified looked the same, but to the spiritual eye the One in the middle was supremely different than the other two.

Christ died “for” our sins. The Greek word “huper” has a strong and a weak meaning. Either for the benefit or as a substitution. Did Christ die to provide us a benefit? Yes, but it is much more than that. Christ died as a substitute for us. This is seen in John 10:15. Penal substitution is central to the work of the cross.

Christ was raised on the third day. 1 Corinthians 15 is about the resurrection. Look at the theology of the resurrection. If Christ has not been raised we are still in our sins. What does the resurrection of Christ have to do with efficacy of the atonement of our sins? Sin is a two-fold program. It is a penalty we cannot pay and a power we cannot overcome. The penalty of sin is death. The power of sin ultimately is the power of death. Christ died for the penalty of sin on the cross. But he must rise from the dead to show that the penalty of sin is set aside. And then the resurrection demonstrates that Christ also has the power over sin.

What is the relationship between the payment for the penalty and the conquering of sin’s power? Is there a relationship between these two? We love to preach the power over sin, but not the penal substitution for sin. Heresies arising from the misuse of the love of God cause some to disown the need for the penal substitution. We love the Christ victorious over sin, but disdain a wrathful God who demands that the penalty be paid.



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Bruce Ware – “The Gospel 101 – Our Need for the Gospel” – 2011 True Church Conference

Friday, February 18, 2011

Message 2 – Bruce Ware – “The Gospel 101 – Our Need for the Gospel”

Dr. Bruce Ware is a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The topic of his first message today is the gospel – the basics of the gospel, our need for the gospel, the basis of the gospel.

Why do we need the gospel? Because for many people grace is not amazing. We are concentrating on self, even in our churches. We sing a song entitled “Entitled Grace”. The gospel must be amazing.

What is the basis of the gospel? The gospel has three pillars, as a stool needs three legs. Then they must be joined together.


1) Humanity’s sinfulness. You cannot preach the Bible without preaching about sin.

a. sin is universal. Jews and Gentiles are sinful. All have turned aside. This is Paul’s message in Romans. When it is said that we fall short of the glory of God we should understand this to say that we fail to ascribe to God the glory due to Him and Him alone.

b. the penalty and power of sin. By sin we are found guilty. We have incurred the penalty of divine judgment and eternal condemnation. And the power of sins speaks of our abject slavery to sin. We are held captive by sin in life and are being lead to death if we are outside of Christ (see 2 Timothy 2:26).

c. the total inability of sinners to rescue themselves.  No flesh can be justified by the works of the law (see Galatians 2:21). No offering we can make can satisfy for the punishment of our sin (see Hebrews 10:4)

We rob our people of understanding when we don’t preach on sin. It is the greatest problem we have to deal with in our lives.


2) God’s holiness.  We must understand God’s holiness, righteousness, and justice. We must first understand that God is separated from us because He is holy. Righteousness is God’s holiness in action. It is God’s “right-ness” in what He speaks, what he does, what He thinks. He conforms perfectly to His holiness. And third God judges rightly because He is righteous.

a. God is the lawgiver. The One who sets the standards.

b. God is the judge. He hold’s his creatures accountable for their conformity to holy, moral standards (see Romans 2:6ff).

What is the relationship between our sin and God’s holiness?  God must judge our sin. Sin cannot be disregarded. God must deal with our sin to satisfy the full demand of justice. And this could be the end of the story. 2) Eternal death and condemnation is exactly what we deserve for our sins.


3. God’s mercy and grace.  Hopeless man is the target of God’s mercy (see Ephesians 2:1ff.) Grace is God’s kindness to those who are undeserving. A required gratuity is no gratuity at all (see Ephesians 2:8-9).

What is the relationship of God’s mercy and grace to our sinfulness? See Romans 9:15. It is God’s initiative to freely give mercy and grace to anyone He desires, and He did not have to do so. He has neither an external nor an internal obligation to show mercy and bestow grace.

But what is the relationship between the holiness of God and the mercy and grace of God. Grace and mercy cannot be shown in contradiction to the holiness of God. Therefore there was no compromise allowed in meting our mercy and grace at the expense of God’s holiness. God’s standard of holiness is not disregarded in any case. Therefore the cross – the cross fulfills the demands of God’s holiness and lets mercy and grace be shed on His people. And the ultimate aim of God’s mercy and grace is to produce holiness in His people – imputed holiness and experiential holiness.

God’s holiness, righteousness and justice are fully displayed at the cross. And God’s grace and mercy are likewise fully displayed at the cross.



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True Church Conference – Next Week

The True Church Conference is next week February 17-20, 2011, at Grace Life Church of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Jeff Noblit, Bruce Ware, Steve Lawson, and David Miller will be preaching. Cost per person is $125.

It isn’t too late to register for it.

My husband will be there and will probably be sending sending me notes like usual.

The theme of the 2011 True Church Conference is going to be The Gospel Centered Church: Striving to Avoid Extra-Biblical Excess in the Local Church.



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True Church Conference 2011 – Coming Up Soon

February is coming soon!  Still time to plan to go to the True Church Conference.

The theme of the 2011 True Church Conference is going to be The Gospel Centered Church: Striving to Avoid Extra-Biblical Excess in the Local Church.

The conference will be held from February 17-20, 2011, at Grace Life Church of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Jeff Noblit, Bruce Ware, Steve Lawson, and David Miller will be preaching.  Cost per person is $125.

For more information or to register, go to the conference website: truechurchconference.com



The theme of the 2011 True Church Conference is going to be The Gospel Centered Church: Striving to Avoid Extra-Biblical Excess in the Local Church.

The conference will be held from February 17-20, 2011, at Grace Life Church of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Jeff Noblit, Bruce Ware, Steve Lawson, and David Miller will be preaching.  Cost is $105 per person through December 31, and $125 after that.

For more information or to register, go to the conference website: truechurchconference.com

Share

True Church Conference 2011

The theme of the 2011 True Church Conference is going to be The Gospel Centered Church: Striving to Avoid Extra-Biblical Excess in the Local Church.

The conference will be held from February 17-20, 2011, at Grace Life Church of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Jeff Noblit, Bruce Ware, Steve Lawson, and David Miller will be preaching.  Cost is $105 per person through December 31, and $125 after that.

For more information or to register, go to the conference website: truechurchconference.com


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