After the post “The hardest truth to get across” a student posted this question: “How, practically, does one illustrate to another the depths and disgustingness of sin without making the other person close up to anything else you have to share with them?”

Here was my response:

I got a one initial thought before I’ll list a couple practicals. The natural reaction of someone hearing the indictment of sin is to close up and want to say, “im not that bad…” So although it takes discernment, winsomeness, and love to illustrate the vileness of humanities sin, it ultimately takes a supernatural work of the Spirit to feel the weight of sin and feel conviction ( John 16:8-9).
Some practicals:
1.) Because the Spirit alone convicts sin, pray that the Spirit would convict the individual to see their sin and trust in Christ.
2.) The primary means the Spirit uses to convict sin is the hearing or preaching of the word/gospel. (see 1 Thess 1:5 or Rom 10:16-17). If you can show them in the Bible the holiness of God and the reality of human sin, that seems to bear much fruit. Some passages that have been convicting for me are Gen 6:5, Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3. with that, never end with sin, always show the hope they have in the Godman, Jesus Christ. Show them in scripture that their sin is so serious that God himself was the only one that could atone for it.
3.) Fight to see your own sin. I think that the more you can see personal sin the more you’ll be able to show others their sin. When a guy sees that your admitting guilt to sin and are grieved for your own sin, he may be more likely to see his own. When your having a conversation with a guy you can say, “here is how I am a sinner and need Jesus.”
4.) lastly, get specific about sin. telling someone they are a sinner and have fallen short may not mean anything to them. But if you can show them specific shortcomings and why it offends God, the sin can become more real to them. For example CJ Mahaney described the sin of pride as contending for the supremacy of God. So instead of saying “you’ve got the sin of pride,” you say something like, “you are prideful and that means that you are making yourself your own savior and God.”

So again, there is some offensiveness to telling someone they are a guilty sinner that is worthy of punishment, some people may not receive that news the greatest. But we have more than bad news, we have the message of hope that Christ came into the world to save sinners. Mark Driscoll says, “Tragically, if we lose the offense of the cross, we also lose the attraction of the cross so that no one is compelled to look at Jesus.”

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The Hardest Truth To Get Across

Posted: December 6, 2010 in Sin

Here is one of my blog post’s from the Campus Outreach Blog:

Truth: Romans 3:23– for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The hardest truth to get across to people is that they are sinful at their core and that their sin is horribly offensive to God. D.A. Carson says this in his book Scandalous, “The hardest truth to get across to them is not the existence of God, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, Jesus’ substitutionary atonement, or Jesus’ resurrection… No, the hardest truth to get across to this generation is what the Bible says about sin… It is so hard to get across how ugly sin is to God.”

This is one of the main objectives in ministry. Show people their sin from the bible and pray that the Spirit would convict them of their depravity. Why? Because this is how God has ordered salvation. They only way that anyone has ever put their faith in Christ and treasured him is when they feel the offensiveness of their sin towards God and the utter helplessness of their current condition. The people who come to Christ are the people who are broken over sin and see that they can’t live up to God’s perfect standard. They not only say, “I need Christ,” they say, “Christ is all I have!” If you don’t see your unrighteousness you won’t ever embrace Christ’s righteousness on your behalf.

This post is a reminder to others and to myself to continue laboring to see your own sin and help others see theirs. It is the hardest truth to preach to others and to self but it is the pathway to joy in Christ. The good news is so sweet when the bad news is proclaimed correctly. As D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “You must be made miserable before you can know true Christian joy.”

Repentance Laments Over Heart Sins

Posted: April 29, 2010 in Sin

“The true mourner weeps for the stirrings of pride and lust. He grieves for the “root of bitterness” even though it never blossoms into overt act. A wicked man may be troubled for scandalous sins; a real convert laments heart sins.”

-Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance

Cool Article by Chuck Colson on how basketball was created to advance the gospel:

“It was the basketball game for the ages. On Monday night, the Duke University Blue Devils survived a desperate, last-second shot by the underdog Butler University Bulldogs to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship.

It was a great game-a classic “David and Goliath” matchup, given that Duke has appeared in eight championship games under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and that Butler had never even made it to the Final Four.

You may hear folks talking about the game for some time. When you do, you can add to the conversation by revealing an interesting fact: Basketball was invented more than 100 years ago by a Christian theologian as an evangelical outreach tool.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, one of our Centurions, John Murray, recalled the story of the game’s founding. The inventor of basketball, James Naismith, became convinced that he stood a better chance of exemplifying the Christian life through sports rather than through preaching. So he took a job as a physical education instructor at the YMCA’s International Training School for Christian Workers in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith’s vision was “to win men for the Master through the gym.”

In 1891, Naismith set out to invent a new indoor game that students could play during winter. He spent weeks testing various games, including versions of soccer, football, and lacrosse, to no avail. “Finally,” Murray writes, “Naismith decided to draw from all of these sports: with a ball that could be easily handled, play that involved running and passing with no tackling, and a goal at each end of the floor.” In short, he came up with basketball.

From the beginning, Naismith and his athletic director, Luther Gulick, held the players to a high standard. As Gulick wrote in 1897, “The game must be kept clean.” A Christian college cannot tolerate “not merely ungentlemanly treatment of guests, but slugging and that which violates the elementary principles of morals.” He recommended that a coach should “excuse for the rest of the year any player who is not clean in his play.”

Basketball served as an important evangelical tool during the next 50 years, Murray noted. In 1941, Naismith wrote that “whenever I witness games in a church league, I feel that my vision, almost half a century ago, of the time when the Christian people would recognize the true value of athletics, has become a reality.”

In the last 100 years, we’ve seen no shortage of Christian athletes who use their skill, self-discipline, and sportsmanship as a witness to Christ-from Olympic runner Eric Liddel in the 1920s, to football player Tim Tebow in our own generation.

In fact, so many athletes give the glory to God after a game that sportswriters sometimes get irritated with them. To which I respond: Which would you prefer-players known for their faith and good sportsmanship, or players who are arrested for assault or drug use?

If you have a young basketball fan in your family, tell him or her the story of how basketball was invented. And pray for Christian players who can use the public’s love of sports the way Naismith envisioned when he invented basketball-as a witnessing tool to “win men for the Master through the gym.”

-Chuck Colson, An Evangelistic Slame Dunk: The Roots of Basketball

Kept Low For Your Own Safety

Posted: April 7, 2010 in Quotes

“God blesses us all up to the full measure and extremity of what it is safe for him to do. If you do not get a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one. If our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in his holy war, you would pilfer the crown for yourself, and meeting with a fresh enemy you would fall a victim; so that you are kept low for your own safety.

When a man is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with our fellow men. True humility is a flower which will adorn any garden.”

– Charles Spurgeon, Morning & Evening, April 5

(HT: First Importance )

Take Heed

Posted: March 7, 2010 in Quotes

“Take heed that you are found resting all your weight on Christ’s substitution for you on the cross, and His atoning blood, or it will be better if you had never been born.”

– J.C. Ryle

(HT: Of First Importance)

You Can Add Nothing to Jesus

Posted: March 3, 2010 in Gospel, Quotes

Jesus + Nothing = Salvation.  The Ambassador expresses this creatively:

“Its good news for you, no more partition
You’re free to drink from what’s the no more boss missin
Livin water, you give the order, I’ll start mixin
Wait! There’s nothin to mix there’s one ingredient
It’s Jesus and nothin additional for us to medium
.”

-The Ambassador, Talk A Lot, from the Album The Chop Chop.