Living Resurrection

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The resurrection of Christ is not just something to believe in; it’s something to be lived. Christ is not a dead teacher. If he was a dead teacher, then being a Christian would just be to believe what he said. Since he’s a risen Lord, he comes and interpenetrates our lives with a new order of being.

- Tim Keller

Words found in Tim Keller’s 1993 Sermon, “Forgiveness”

Rescued from God’s Wrath

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The gospel is good news announcing that we have been rescued or saved. And what are we rescued from? What peril are we saved from? A look at the gospel words in the New Testament shows that we are rescued from the ‘coming wrath’ at the end of history (1Thess 1:10). But this wrath is not an impersonal force – it is God’s wrath. We are out of fellowship with God; our relationship with him is broken.

In perhaps the most thoroughgoing exposition of the gospel in the Bible, Paul identifies God’s wrath as the great problem of the human condition (Rom 1:18–32). Here we see that the wrath of God has many ramifications. The background text is Genesis 3:17-19, in which God’s curse lies on the entire created order because of human sin. Because we are alienated from God, we are psychologically alienated within ourselves – we experience shame and fear (Gen 3:10). Because we are alienated from God, we are also socially alienated from one another (v. 7 describes how Adam and Eve must put on clothing, and v. 16 speaks of alienation between the genders; also notice the blame shifting in their dialogue with God in vv. 11-13). Because we are alienated from God, we are also physically alienated from nature itself. We now experience sorrow, painful toil, physical degeneration, and death (vv. 16-19). In fact, the ground itself is ‘cursed’ (v. 17; see Rom 8:18–25).

Since the garden, we live in a world filled with suffering, disease, poverty, racism, natural disasters, war, aging, and death – and it all stems from the wrath and curse of God on the world. The world is out of joint, and we need to be rescued. But the root of our problem is not these ‘horizontal’ relationships, though they are often the most obvious; it is our ‘vertical’ relationship with God. All human problems are ultimately symptoms, and our separation from God is the cause. The reason for all the misery – all the effects of the curse – is that we are not reconciled to God. We see this in such texts as Romans 5:8 and 2 Corinthians 5:20. Therefore, the first and primary focus of any real rescue of the human race – the main thing that will save us – is to have our relationship with God put right again.

- Tim Keller

 

Huge List of Gospel Kindle Deals

Here is the Giant List of Great Kindle Deals from the past week.
*These deals could end at any time.

The Message of the New Testament by Mark Dever – $0.99
Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood
by Ware, Piper, Doriani, Jones, and Heimbach – $1.99
Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints
by Piper, Taylor, Bridges, Alcorn, Roseveare, and MacArthur – $3.99
From the Library of A.W. Tozer$2.99
The Faithful Preacher by Thabiti Anyabwile - $3.99
A Passion for Faithfulness by J.I. Packer – $3.99
God’s Not Dead by Rice Broocks – $4.99
GOSPEL & Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear – $2.99
The Lion & The Lamb by Andreas Kostenberger – $0.99
Truth Matters by Andreas Kostenberger – $4.99
Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow by R.C. Sproul – $4.09
Gray Matters by Brett McCracken – $1.99
Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology
by Dever, Duncan, Piper, Sproul, Mohler, & more – $3.99
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper – $2.99
The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCully – $2.99
Crazy Stories, Sane God by John Alan Turner – $2.99
Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church by Matt Chandler – $2.99
Exalting Jesus in Matthew by David Platt – $2.99
Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax – $2.99
Life Change: Finding a New Way to Hope, Think, and Live by Jordan Easley – $2.99
Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole by Eric Mason – $2.99
The Sending Church by Pat Hood – $2.99
The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken – $2.99
Young, Restless, Reformed by Collin Hansen – $2.99
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones – $3.99
Women’s Ministry in the Local Church by Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt – $3.49
How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart – $3.99
How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart – $3.99
How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Mark Strauss – $3.99
How to Read the Bible Through the Jesus Lens by Michael Williams – $3.99
Journey Into God’s Word by Duvall and Hays – $3.99
Zondervan Dictionary of Bible and Theology Words$3.79
Holy Bible NIV$3.79
NIV Bible Study Commentary by John Sailhamer – $3.99
NIV Stewardship Study Bible$4.27
The New Matthew Henry Commentary - $4.99
Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary$5.99
Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy and End Times$5.99
Zondervan Dictionary of Biblical Imagery - $5.99
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 1$6.99 (regular price $45)
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 2$5.98
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 3 - $6.99
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 4$6.99
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 5$6.99
Matthew Henry, Day by Day$2.99
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence – $0.99
Christless Christianity by Michael Horton – $3.99
Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur - $0.99
Alone with God by John MacArthur – $0.99
Adoniram Judson by Jason Duesing – $0.99
Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor by D.A. Carson – $3.99
The Beginners Bible$3.99
Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuart Scott & Heath Lambert – $6.59
The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes – $0.99
Free Indeed by Dr. Richard Ganz – $1.99
Preaching and Teaching from the OT by Walter Kaiser – $3.99
How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp – $3.74
He Gave Us a Valley by Helen Roseveare – $3.99
Supernatural Living for Natural People by Ray Ortlund – $3.99
Captivated by Thabiti Anyabwile – $5.99
If God Made the Universe, Who Made God?:
130 Arguments for Christian Faith - $2.99
Rich Mullins: A Devotional Biography$1.99
Original Jesus by Carl Laferton - $2.99
J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels$1.75
When Sinners Say “I Do” by Dave Harvey - $1.99
Red Like Blood: Confrontations with Grace by Joe Coffey – $1.99 
Love or Die by Alexander Strauch – $3.99
Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds – $3.28
Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns
by D.A. Carson – $5.98
The Essential Works of Jonathan Edwards
- $1.99
Confessions – Penguin Classics Edition
by Augustine – $3.49
Untamable God by Stephen Altrogge – $2.99
A Book of Prayers by Stephen Magee – $0.99
Singing the Songs of Jesus by Michael Lefebvre – $2.99
The Space Trilogy – Omnibus Edition: 75th Anniversary - $19.99

New & Notable Book Releases
Romans 1-7 For You by Tim Keller - $17.93 Hardcover, $9.99 Kindle
Romans 1-7 For You Study Guide by Tim Keller – $8.09 Paperback
Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great
by David Robertson – $11.23 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle
Exploring Grace Together
by Jessica Thompson – $8.13 Paperback, $7.19 Kindle
The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables
by Jared Wilson – $11.09 Paperback, $9.59 Kindle
Joy for the World by Greg Forster. Foreword by Tim Keller -
$14.05 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle
What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman – $17.48 Hardcover, $9.99 Kindle
Truth Matters by Andreas Kostenberger & Darrell Bock & Josh Chatraw -
$8.99 Hardcover, $8.54 Kindle
The Final Days of Jesus by Justin Taylor and Andreas Kostenberger -
$13.55 Paperback, $7.99 Kindle


Sacrifice

In the Old Testament, the sacrifice was an animal. Whenever an animal was slain, everybody laid hands on the animal, and that way the sins were passed to the animal, and then the animal was slain. It was very clear to everybody in the Old Testament time that the animal was being slain in their place as the atonement, as the way of paying the price necessary for ‘at-one-ment.’

The poor Old Testament people wondered, ‘Why in the world is this ram, is this dead lamb, is this dead bullock, how in the world is this being our sacrifice? How is this being our substitute?’ Of course the New Testament answer is it was just a picture of the real substitute, who is Jesus Christ. Jesus was the sacrifice. This is very basic. You will not understand the love of God unless you see that what he did was to be a substitutionary sacrifice.

There are many, many churches that hate the idea of a God who needs payment. They hate the idea of Jesus Christ having to come and take the wrath of God, to be an atoning sacrifice. My friends, suppose you deny the idea that you’re so wicked that Jesus Christ had to come and pay the atoning sacrifice to reconcile us. If you deny that, you have evacuated the cross of all of its eternal and endless profundities. You have made it something senseless…

Unless you believe you are lost unless Jesus died for you, unless you believe you’re a sinner, unless you believe you would be lost except Jesus died for you, the cross makes no sense. You have evacuated it of all meaning and you cannot understand the love. The love of Jesus Christ dying for us is the thing that’s supposed to move us to walk in love. What else would move you to walk in love? It was a sacrifice.

- Tim Keller

 Words found in Tim Keller’s 1991 Sermon, “The Sweetness of the Cross”

Good News, Not Good Advice

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The gospel is good news, not good advice. The gospel is not primarily a way of life. It is not something we do, but something that has been done for us and something that we must respond to. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament — the Septuagint — the word euangelizo (proclaim good news) occurs twenty-three times. As we see in Psalm 40: 9 (ESV) — ‘I have told the glad news of [your] deliverance in the great congregation’ — the term is generally used to declare the news of something that has happened to rescue and deliver people from peril. In the New Testament, the word group euangelion (good news), euangelizo (proclaim good news), and euangelistes (one who proclaims good news) occurs at least 133 times.

D. A. Carson draws this conclusion from a thorough study of gospel words: Because the gospel is news, good news… it is to be announced; that is what one does with news. The essential heraldic element in preaching is bound up with the fact that the core message is not a code of ethics to be debated, still less a list of aphorisms to be admired and pondered, and certainly not a systematic theology to be outlined and schematized. Though it properly grounds ethics, aphorisms, and systematics, it is none of these three: it is news, good news, and therefore must be publicly announced.

- Tim Keller


Community in the Presence of God

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Community exists to the degree people are saying to one another, ‘What’s mine is yours.’ We’re not just talking about money at all. As a matter of fact, you can have communism without any community at all, right?

You can have a forced redistribution of wealth without any community. Community has to do first of all with what is in the heart. For example, in the church if somebody comes to me and says, ‘Do you know what? I don’t like the way in which you are treating your children.’ What if I say, ‘That’s none of your business?’ I have no concept then of community, no concept of what the Bible says the church is. I’m a radical, American individualist, but I have no idea about this, because you see, my sins are your business.

The Bible says, ‘… confess your sins to one another …’ ‘Bear one another’s burdens …’ That means we don’t just share our bucks, though we do. We share our joys. We share our mistakes. We share our sorrows. Now this can be done in a very icky way, and you can very artificially press this kind of community on people. It grows, and it has to grow in an organic, natural way, but I tell you, we in America are absolutely against this. In his book, Habits of the Heart, Robert Bellah says the one thing Americans hold dear is the idea I am not accountable to anybody but myself for the meeting of my own needs.

That, my friends, is worldliness. I know many churches have said what worldliness means is, ‘We don’t smoke, and we don’t chew, and we don’t go with girls who do.’ That’s worldliness. My friends, that’s not worldliness. Worldliness is saying, ‘I don’t want to be accountable to anybody.’ The only thing that can really create community is the presence of God. I saw The Abyss the other night. It was pretty good. I’m just a frustrated film critic, so I won’t say anything about the movie.

That movie is a typical adventure movie in that you have a bunch of people who, for one reason or another, don’t like each other, but because they go through the same incredible experience that sets them apart from everybody else in the world, by the end they are lifelong pals. It’s like The Dirty Dozen. They all hated each other, but then they got on this great mission in the end. It had male bonding stuff. Oh, how great it is. Any two people, no matter how different they are in every other way, who through Jesus Christ have experienced the presence of God, there is community there.

The relationship between two Christians outweighs any other relationship you have on the basis of your race, on the basis of your gender, or on the basis of your social status. You are a Christian first and you’re white second. You’re a Christian first and you’re black second. You’re a Christian first and you’re wealthy or poor second. You’re a Christian first and you’re an American second. Do you see what I’m saying? Community can only be based on the presence of God.

 - Tim Keller

Words found in Tim Keller’s 1989 Sermon, “Signs of the King”

How to Love the Law

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Without the gospel, we may obey the law, but we will learn to hate it. We will use it, but we will not truly love it. Only if we obey the law because we are saved, rather than to be saved, will we do so ‘for God’ (Galatians 2:19). Once we understand salvation-by-promise, we do not obey God any longer for our sake, by using the law-salvation-system to get things from God. Rather, we now obey God for His sake, using the law’s content to please and delight our Father.

- Tim Keller

The Ultimate Springtime

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If you’re a person who wants to do mission in the world, you’re going to find you’re always frustrated because people don’t listen to you. You try to work against poverty, and after a lifetime of it, it doesn’t seem to be any better. Mission can be pretty doggone frustrating. However, at the very end here it says, ‘Then, the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us.’

What is then? ‘… may all the peoples praise you.’ Most commentators believe (I’m almost certain they’re right), the word then is looking way into the future. It’s saying we actually don’t build great community. We don’t share the truth well. We don’t do justice, but a time is coming when the land will yield its harvest.

It’s talking about the new heavens and the new earth. It’s talking about the ultimate springtime, after which there will be no more winter, the ultimate harvest, after which there will be no lands lying fallow. It’s looking forward to the time in which God ultimately blesses us, renews the new heavens and new earth, and all the peoples of the world begin to praise him. It’s looking to the very end.

I had a great experience this last June when I was doing one of the little courses we teach in the summer. I had a chance to read Tolkien’s essay on why fairy tales still move people. Modern critics hate the fact that so many of the biggest movies and biggest selling books are still about dragons, knights, witches, and stuff like that. They say, ‘Come on. Let’s get realistic.’

Tolkien has this great essay on why we will never stop reading, watching, or writing fairy tales. In a book about Tolkien’s essay, the writer basically says, ‘Tolkien says fairy tales move us in a way realistic fiction does not. Even the best realistic fiction is moving, but fairy tales move us in a way that realistic fiction cannot. Why? Because fairy tales speak to several deep human longings that we are almost ashamed to admit, and that we never can discard.’

The writer continues, ‘We long to survey the depths of time and space. We long to get outside of time altogether and escape death. We long to hold communion with other living things like angels. We long to find a love that perfectly heals, and from which we can never part, and we long to triumph over evil, finally and totally.’

He concludes, ‘When you are in the middle of a great fairy tale, the fairy tale lets you live, even briefly, with the dream that love without parting, escape from death, triumph over evil, are real and realizable. That’s why the stories stir us so deeply, and why we will go on reading and writing them no matter what the critics say.’

The gospel’s message is that through Jesus Christ, every single one of these things the fairy tales talk about is true and will come to pass. We will hang out with angels. We will fly. We will have loves from which we’re never parted. We will see an absolute triumph over evil. There is a beauty who will kiss you in all your beastliness, and transform you. There is a Prince who will save us forever. Let that be your consolation in mission. Let’s pray.

Our Father, we thank you that every single week when we worship, after we’ve heard the gospel, our names are written in heaven, someday there will be a new heaven and new earth, everything sad will become untrue, and all of our deepest human longings will come to pass. In the knowledge of that, we can go forth into the world to serve as those who love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, out of thankfulness.

We pray that you would send us out today knowing what we’re going to do and sensing your love on our heart. And we pray that you would make us, as a church, a church for this city. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

- Tim Keller 

Words found in Tim Keller’s 2008 Sermon, “Thanks Be to God!” (Psalm 67)