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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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In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life [Kindle Edition]

In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life [Kindle Edition] – free

Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson

Noted theologian, pastor, and educator Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson explores aspects of the person and work of Jesus in his latest book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life. This collection of articles, published earlier in Tabletalk magazine and Eternity Magazine, is designed to help believers gain a better understanding of their Savior and the Christian faith, and to live out that faith in their day-to-day lives. In fifty short chapters arranged in six sections, Dr. Ferguson shows that Christ, who is fully God, took on humanity that He might be the Great High Priest of His people as well as the once-for-all sacrifice; that He now ministers to His people through His Spirit, crowning them with great and precious blessings; and that believers are called to duty, from cultivating contentment to mortifying sin. In Christ Alone is packed full of nuggets of Scriptural truth that will spark and fan the flames of the believer s love for the Savior who is so beautiful in His person and so faithful in His work on behalf of His beloved sheep.


{Now there is also Kindle for the web which means you can buy books and read them when online but it doesn’t require downloading the Kindle for PC program.  This is a good option if you use multiple computers or your computer is full. :) The free kindle books are available a short time, they are done sorta like a sale and end quickly so you can’t wait a couple of days to “purchase” the free book. If you don’t actually have a kindle you can get the Kindle for PC which will allow you to read kindle books for free. There are also kindle versions for a blackberry and for an iPhone.}



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Paul’s Gospel !?!

Is Paul’s “gospel” a different gospel?

Did he change God’s Word to fit his gospel?

Why Paul’s writings are accepted by the church?

Paul’s writing and teachings are typically accepted by the church today.  However, there are often groups that attempt to undermine Paul’s teachings by saying that they are different or contradictory to Jesus’ teachings.  I have actually heard women say Paul hated women because they feel Paul placed women lower than men and confined them to silence and the home without allowing for their gifts.  There is a new grouping called The New Perspective on Paul by NT Wright.  John Piper actually wrote a book refuting that position.  There are groups that say only the words of Christ are gospel (Red Letter Christians).  I can’t keep up with all the various teachings that denigrate Paul to being unimportant or to have taught a different gospel than Jesus did.  Some even call Christianity “Pauline Christianity”.

Satan wants to continually undermine God’s Word.  He won’t come right out and say it is all false, but Satan, as since the beginning with Eve, just questions little bits and pieces until he leaves God’s Word full of holes like Swiss cheese.

The Early Church accepted Paul’s writing because the original Apostles accepted Paul’s writings. 

The first time we meet Paul (Saul) in Scripture is here.

Acts 7:58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. ESV

Acts 8:1-3

1 And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

2 Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him.

3 But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. ESV

By this point every single Apostle, believer and disciple knew who Paul was just as every German Jew knew Hitler.  Paul was so feared that when he converted he still was rejected for fear of him being a spy.

Paul was so gung-ho about persecution that he sought letters to allow him to enter other synagogues instead of just the Jerusalem Synagogues.  He wanted to eradicate all believers in Jesus.

But after the journey on the road to Damascus, Paul is forever changed and transformed.

We in Scripture are given little information about the entourage traveling with Paul at that time.  But several men were traveling with him, remember he was going to round up believers and kill or torture them.  That would require many men.

Acts 9:7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. ESV

Don’t you know these men reported this and talked of it to many?

Acts 9:8-9

8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.  ESV

Then even after Ananis was told by God to talk to Paul he hesitated.  Why? Because everyone knew Paul and his reputation.  But look at what God told Ananis:

Acts 9:15-16

15 “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.

16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” ESV

That in itself is enough for us to trust what Paul says and has written.  Notice also this information is from Ananis and is recorded in Acts by Luke.  This isn’t Paul saying this.  But is that not exactly what Paul did.  God’s Word will be fulfilled exactly as He said, always.

Then next the turnaround in Paul was so distinct that everyone was amazed.

Acts 9:19-22

19 For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.

20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”

21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?”

22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. ESV

Imagine along the lines of Hitler changing and becoming a Jew, not just a Jew in name only but out “Jewing” Jews. 

The change in Paul was so profound that he was within a few days in risk of being killed by the Jews he had previously been working for.

Upon escaping Damascus and going to Jerusalem the disciples there would have nothing to do with him for fear of him.  However, Barnabas took Paul to the disciples and vouched for him and his faith.

Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.   ESV

But even in Jerusalem, Paul’s life was in danger and the disciples sent him to safety.

Paul spent many years in Tarsus but after Barnabas came to get Paul and brought him to Antioch, then the church there began to grow by leaps and bounds, so much so, that prophets came from Jerusalem to be a part of the church in Antioch.

Set apart as a Missionary

The church in Antioch was praying and fasting and the Lord told them that they should set apart Barnabas and Paul for missionaries.

Acts 13:2-3

2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. ESV

We read about Paul performing miracles.

Acts 13:8-12

8 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him

10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?

11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand.

12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.   ESV

Acts 14:3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. ESV

Acts 14:8-10

8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked.

9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 

10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. ESV

Paul and Barnabus would not allow others to worship them, but pointed all to Christ.

Acts 14:11-15

11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”

12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.

13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds.

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out,

15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. ESV

After being stone Paul rose up and went back into that very same city preaching the gospel.

Acts 14:19-20

19  But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.

20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. ESV

Even the demons knew who Paul was.

Acts 16:17-18 (ESV)
17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”
18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

 Many of the church and the disciples were given visions about the impending death of Paul.

Acts 21:4 And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. ESV

Acts 21:10-14

10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.

11 And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'”

12 When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

14 And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”  ESV

James, Peter and John accepted Paul as being sent to the Gentiles.

Galatians 2:7-9

7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised

8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles),

9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. ESV

Peter accepted the Word of God as revealed through Paul calling it Scriptures.

2 Peter 3:15-16

15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,

16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. ESV

Calling writings Scripture is accepting the fact that they are God Breathed.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

So we can see that Paul’s writings were called Scripture by the Disciples and that Paul was preaching the Gospel of Christ, not Paul’s Gospel!

Acts 20:24-27

24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.

26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you,

27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.  ESV

Galatians 1:6-12

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—

7  not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 

12  For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. ESV

So can we trust Paul’s word? 

Definitely you can, unless you are then also going to throw out the other disciple’s writings or maybe the Prophets.

It is a very dangerous thing to throw out the writings of Paul.

It is also very dangerous to say that Paul contradicts the Lord’s Word.

Paul’s writings are just as valid Scripture as any other writings in the Bible.

So if there seems to be a contradiction we must study the issue better and ask God for the wisdom to reconcile all of Scripture with itself, not our feeble opinions.



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Have You Been Adopted?

Those of us whom Christ has called rarely think about the fact that we are adopted.  We were the slaves and sons of the Father of Lies, Satan, yet Christ came to adopt us so that now we are sons and heirs with Him to our Father.

Ephesians 1:3-6
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
5  he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
ESV

Galatians 4:4-7
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
5  to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God
ESV

Albert Mohler wrote this moving piece comparing our adoption in Christ to adoption in Haiti.

Adopted for Life . . . and in Death

Arno was inseparable from Mr. Penguin. The little Haitian boy was almost three years old, and the plush penguin with the word “love” inscribed upon it was his most treasured object. The orphan and his penguin were always seen together.

The boy had been given the penguin just after his birth. A Dutch couple was in the process of adopting him almost from the start of his life — they had been matched to him when he was only two months old. The penguin represented a promise.

The process of adoption took two years — the length of time considered adequate to determine that no living relatives might claim him. According to official estimates, there were over 50,000 parentless orphans in Haiti before the earthquake came and orphaned many thousands more. … Continue


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John MacArthur in the Washington Post

The Washington Post has a guest article by John MacArthur. What I find so sad is the comments, not just the ones from nonbelievers, but those who claim to be Christians. Seems they only read certain portions of Scripture.

But no matter what I am thrilled that The Washington Post would have such an article.

Read the Gospels: JC is not PC by John MacArthur

Let’s be brutally honest: most of Jesus’ teaching is completely out of sync with the mores that dominate our culture.

I’m talking, of course, about the Jesus we encounter in Scripture, not the always-gentle, never-stern, über-lenient coloring-book character who exists only in the popular imagination. The real Jesus was no domesticated clergyman with a starched collar and genteel manners; he was a bold, uncompromising Prophet who regularly challenged the canons of political correctness.

HT: Strengthened By Grace



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Time Is Urgent

There are several warnings in the Bible to take seriously the urgency of the gospel and the shortness of time. None of us know how long we have or how long those we meet may have. Just yesterday reading in our little county newspaper, I happened to notice that there were two 22 year olds and a 21 year old all listed as having died in the last couple of days. That was very unusual for so many so young. Why those young people died I do not know? But I do know that everyone that knew them are getting a fresh sense of how short the time is.

Ephesians 5:15-17

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
ESV

Colossians 4:5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. ESV

Psalms 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. ESV

The story of Lazarus and The Rich Man illustrates the urgency of the gospel and the punishment of judgment. Luke 16:19 – 31. Notice now that The Rich Man sees the importance of the gospel and wants to warn others.

Luke 16:27-28

27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—
28 for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
ESV

Luke 12:4-5

4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.
5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him
! ESV

The Holy Spirit will convict another of their sins and separation from God. Yet, we are to be obedient.

John 16:7-11

7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;
11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
ESV

Our obedience requires us to be urgent in sharing the gospel message.

If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon.

If we take the punishment of sin seriously then we will warn others seriously. If you see a neighbor’s house on fire, you do not wait until a convenient time to go warn them! You warn them with urgency.

There is a price we must pay for not warning others of the judgment to come.

Ezekiel 3:18-19

18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
ESV

If the truth were told, often our failure to share the gospel is not for love for our neighbor and the fear of offending them, but it is for a greater love for ourselves and the fear of our being rejected.

When we let our love for the Lord be our guide then we will share the gospel with any and everyone just as He commands.

How seriously do you take the gospel? Is it a matter of life and death?



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For The Sake Of The Lord’s Name

Why share the gospel? For the sake of the unbelieving? Or For Christ’s Sake?

Philippians 2:8-11
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
ESV

For Christ’s sake because unbelievers are profaning the Lord’s name.

Isaiah 48:11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. ESV

Ezekiel 20:9 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, … ESV

Ezekiel 20:14 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations,… ESV

Ezekiel 20:22 But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, ESV

Ezekiel 36:22-23
22 … It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes
. ESV

Romans 1:5-6
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
ESV

The NIV gives an easier understood reading of Romans 1:5.

Romans 1:5 Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. NIV

3 John 5-8
5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are,
6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.
7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles.
8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
ESV

If we are sharing the gospel just for the sake of the unbeliever then we run the risk of defaming and profaning the Lord’s name. We are doing the right thing with the wrong motive.

If we are witnessing and sharing the gospel to others for the sake of the Lord’s name then it behooves us to be sure to be witnessing in a manner that does not profane His name and that it is in obedience to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16-17
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him
. ESV


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Are You Fishing or Just Calling Yourself a Fisherman?

PARABLE OF THE FISHLESS FISHERMAN from Apprising Ministries

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16)

But Can One Truly Be A Fisherman, If He Never Goes Fishing And Catches Fish?

Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry. Year after year these who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing.

Continually they searched for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and to promote fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing. These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called “Fishing Headquarters.” The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish.

One thing they didn’t do, however; they didn’t fish. They organized a board to send out fishermen to where there were many fish. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in far-away streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived.


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