Tag Archives: Romans 5

What Jesus Wanted You to Know

PasserottoOne of the tasks of a preacher is to say old things in new ways. And you know why – because it’s a bit like singing old songs. We all appreciate the classics, and they can still move us, but you have to admit that it’s pretty easy to put your mind on auto-pilot when you sing Amazing Grace. Hence the repeated Scriptural admonition to “sing a new song to the Lord.” (Psalms 33, 40, 96, 98, 144, 149)

Likewise, while we may appreciate it when we hear from the pulpit, “God loves you,” nevertheless, a good preacher will find a new way to say it or plan on being tuned out.

Now…Jesus was more than just a good preacher, and He found very fresh ways to say the old truths. Take for instance, how He put that particular old truth of God’s love in Luke 12:

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 (ESV)

“Do you see those birds flying around everywhere? God knows every single one intimately, and if He knows them, surely He knows and loves you far more.”

It is indeed an old truth told in a fresh way, but here’s what I find especially wonderful: Jesus wanted you to know it. These verses are an example of the Son of God tenderly communicating His Father’s love to you and me. How wondrous that God not only loves me, but that He also sent His Son to tell me so.

Oh…and even better than telling – He sent Jesus to demonstrate it too:

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (ESV)


For Friday, July 17th: Luke 13

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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Pastoring a “Feel Good” Church

Romans 64 [widescreen]One of the things that I find fascinating in my role as a Pastor at Edgewood is to occasionally find out what people out there are saying about our church. The truth is that I really don’t know what people outside of Edgewood are thinking and saying, probably because I’m just naturally insulated.  People outside of Edgewood just aren’t going to walk up to me and tell me what they’re thinking.

But occasionally a comment or two from the world outside of Edgewood filters to me, and recently I was I was chatting with someone new to our fellowship after a service, and he told me about a recent encounter he had with people from his old church.  When he told them that he was attending Edgewood, they said, “Really?  Isn’t that a “feel good” church?”  This wasn’t the first time I had heard this one, but what does it mean?  Certainly not a church where Chuck Mangione is playing his famous jazz classic all the time: “Feels so Good.”

No, it’s something other than that…I don’t know how many people say that about Edgewood, but at least a few I suppose, enough that I have heard it more than once through the years from different people who as far as I know are not connected with one another.

I’m guessing the idea could be that we’re all about entertainment, maybe because we have contemporary music, or screens, or we laugh and smile and actually enjoy coming to church. More likely I’m guessing that the comment comes from what people think our message is.  More likely I’m guessing that a few people put us down as a “feel-good” church because we talk a lot about the gospel here. They wouldn’t put it like that, but that’s probably what it is.

You see, if any message were ever a feel good message, the gospel is.  After all, think about what Paul said in Romans 5:20

…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, Romans 5:20 (ESV)

Now if you attend Edgewood and love our church and it discourages you to hear that some people would call us a “feel good” church, don’t let it get you down. They said the same thing about Paul’s message, and I love the quote from the great preacher Martyn Lloyd Jones who said that this is the mark of accurate gospel communication:

“There is no better test as to whether a man is preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it doesn’t matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching.  If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel.”

Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Romans, Exposition of Chapter 6, The New Man

Now it is in Romans 6 that Paul begins to clarify what exactly he means by what he has said in Romans 5 about sin increasing and grace abounding.  And he begins by asking, “Doesn’t this “feel good” message just lead to sin?”…

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:1-4 (ESV)

The reason the “feel good” message doesn’t lead to more and more sin is that something else wonderful happens to us when we come to Christ: we are placed in union with Jesus. Romans chapters 1 – 5 is about how we are saved through union with Christ.  Romans 6 is about how we live holy lives through union with Christ. And it happens this way – when you are united with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection, you receive power…power to live for God, power to live a holy and righteous and joyous life, and all in all power to walk…in newness of life.


For Monday, March 30: Romans 7


Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


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