More Numerous than the Stars – Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler preaches from Exodus, after a short introductory video, the preaching starts at about the 5th minute.

Reclame

I Believe in the Holy Spirit – Matt Chandler [The Village Church: The Apostles’ Creed (Part 9)]

October 25, 2015 The Village Church

The Apostles’ Creed (Part 9)

When it comes to the Holy Spirit, people tend to think wrongly about who He is and what He does. People tend to equate the Holy Spirit to emotionalism and spontaneity. They remove the Holy Spirit often times from all beauty of the biblical text that informs us of what He does and they make Him singular in that what He does is He brings these weird gifts that nobody understands, but that we all should want. I am not saying that the Holy Spirit doesn’t bring those gifts. What I am saying is that to reduce Him to that is to rob us  from the essence and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit’s role could be best understood as ransoming us from the type of spiritual orphans that we are and bringing us into a home where there is deep and abiding optimism that transcends our circumstances. That’s what the Holy Spirit of God does and so when we’re gonna talk about ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit, we’re gonna get that much more robust than the bringer of the sign gifts.

We are going to look at Jesus’s teaching on the Holy Spirit in John 14:18-29-

John 14:18-29New International Version (NIV)

18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.

The Apostles’ Creed (Part 9) – I Believe in the Holy Spirit from The Village Church on Vimeo.

Sola Fide (Protestant Reformation) – Matt Chandler

We are saved through faith alone. Sola 13 Conference Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…

VIDEO by Theology, Philosophy and Science

How far is too far? Matt Chandler

VIDEO by Wretched

Matt Chandler – Liberty University Convocation

VIDEO by Liberty University

Matt Chandler: The’ “incessant need” that some Christians have “to be seen as cool and relevant must die.”

Pastor Matt Chandler of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, delivered a tough message from the pulpit last Sunday, proclaiming that the’ “incessant need” that some Christians have “to be seen as cool and relevant must die.”

“That’s not who we are,” he said, speaking to his fellow believers. “The marginalization that occurs because we love Christ shouldn’t be run from. We don’t live for this life alone.”

Chandler went on to say that Christians should be “counter culture to this culture” and that there’s a danger in trying to make Jesus look “cool.”

“You’re never going to make Jesus so cool that everybody thinks he’s cool. Once you do that he’s not Christ anymore,” he said. “He’s some figment of your imagination.”

Watch Chandler’s brief, yet pointed, comments below:

(VIA)

Matt Chandler – Passion 2015 Houston

Matt Chandler – Passion 2015 Houston

VIDEO by Церква Еммануїл

Matt Chandler – The Sanctity of Human Life

Matt ChandlerMATT CHANDLER: THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
It has been popularly quoted that, „the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Science is rapidly proving that abortion is the most horrendous act in this century. Millions and millions of innocent babies are being murdered daily around the world under the approval of their governments that have been put in place to protect them. As from 26:55, Pastor Matt Chandler rightly explains the irrationality of the so-called pro-choice movement and how self-centered and deprave we humans have become.

As evil as abortion is, it is not out of the boundaries of the forgiveness of God in Christ Jesus. The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is more than enough to wash away every sin.
After listing a bunch of sins, which makes all of us humans to see our sinfulness and how far we have fallen short from the glory and righteousness of God, God, through the apostle Paul, gave us the beautiful verse in 1 Corinthians 6:11. Therefore we Christians who have been washed should be the salt and light to a dark world. Not just by shaking our fist at the world but actively engaging the culture with Christ-like behavior for the benefit of the unborn and also to bring hope to the millions of women who are being pushed by their coward husbands into the abortion clinics as well as the women who are so self-consumed that they will murder.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our only hope and no Christian is without sin but in Jesus Christ, we can be transformed through Repentance, trusting and putting our faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. We can be sanctified in Christ and Christ will tell us, just like He said through Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:11 that „And such were some of you…”

Please, lets all help join in prayers for the beautiful lives of the unborn.

VIDEO by Doulos Iesou Christou

John Piper, D A Carson, David Platt, Matt Chandler, messages from the CROSS Conference Dec 26-30, 2013

John Piper Cross ConferenceQuotes are from DesiringGod.org and VIDEOS and descriptions are from the Cross Conference website – http://crosscon.com Photos are from the videos.

John Piper

The Chief End of Missions: The Supremacy of God
in the Joy of All Peoples (Main Session I)

“The chief end of missions is the supremacy of God in the joy of all peoples.” These two ends are of an identical essence, totally and completely inseparable, for the only gladness that lasts is a gladness in the glory of God. This reality frees us from choosing either the glory of God or compassion for the lost as the primary desire for missions.

Some quotes from John Piper at the Cross Conference:

  • “There are a thousand needs in the world, and none of them compares to the global need for the gospel.”
  • “I am not a missionary, but I have wanted my life to count for the unreached peoples of the world.”
  • “God aims to look valuable in the world, and that happens when we treasure him above all else.”
  • “If you remove enjoyment of God from faith in God, it ceases to be faith.”
  • “We will not let you choose between being a lover of God and his sovereignty and being a lover of lost people.”
  • “One day America and all its presidents will be a footnote in history, but the kingdom of Jesus will never end.”
  • “God is on the move to rescue people from misery to everlasting happiness, which can only be found in him.”
  • “If you don’t know God as beautiful and satisfying, you don’t know him.”
  • “Jesus came at Christmas to bring glory to God and satisfaction to sinners everywhere.”

Other John Piper quotes from the breakout sessions:

  • “You ought to marry someone who’s willing to go anywhere for God. If they’re not, they’re out.”
  • “You don’t need to see the fruit of your life for there to be real, lasting, exponential fruit.’
  • “Don’t let your personality keep you from missions. God gave it to you and has a place for you to use it for his glory.”
  • “The Great Commission will not get done if we’re not ready to risk our lives and the lives of our family.”
  • “God doesn’t waste anything for those who are yielded to him.”
  • “Bitterness about your parents’ brokenness will kill you. Be the grace-filled end of generational sin in your family.”
  • “Do not be more devoted to your own brain than you are to the Bible.”
  • “God is not worn out running the galaxy. He’s not taxed at all guiding every dust particle all the time.”
  • “All your money is God’s, not just 10%.”
  • “I challenge everyone who hasn’t yet to memorize Romans 8 in 2014. It is useful for everything everywhere all the time.”

D A Carson

“The Church as the Means and the Goal of Missions”

D A CarsonD.A. Carson preaches on the social dimensions of both sin and the gospel. Sin doesn’t just send you to Hell, and the gospel doesn’t just save your soul. Each has necessary social, personal, and horizontal ramifications, culminating in the existence of and a commitment to the church, the bride of Christ, for it is in the church where the love of God is made known and reflected to the nations.

  • “Sin corrupts even our good deeds. We injure our shoulder trying to pat ourselves on the back.”
  • “The gospel overturns everything sin does.”
  • “The greatest aphrodisiac in marriage is kindness.”
  • “Tragically, we buy the lie that the gospel is only for the unconverted.”
  • “The very love of God is fleshed out in our local churches.”

David Platt

Mobilizing God’s Army for the Great Commission

David PlattTo close CROSS 2013, David Platt delivers a clarion call to all Christians, imploring them to consider what their obedience to the Great Commission looks like. For many, it will be as stateside senders; for some, it will be as lifelong goers; for others, it will be as offerings poured out en route to give the gospel to yet-to-be-reached peoples. In every scenario — in going and sending and even in dying — God is achieving His incontrovertible purpose: the supremacy of the glory of God in the Christ-exalting joy of all peoples.

Some quotes from David Platt at the Cross Conference:

  • “I’m asking every single person listening to this message to lay a blank check before God, open to go wherever he leads.”
  • “Ask, could my gifts, education, career, or experience be used to spread the gospel where it’s needed most?”
  • “What if the word of God was enough to inspire passionate worship among his people?”
  • “Saved people this side of heaven owe the gospel to lost people this side of hell.”
  • “There are no innocent unreached people in the world. Their knowledge of God is only enough to damn them to hell.”
  • “Our God is worthy of the worship of 6,000 more people groups.”
  • “If you can trust God to save you for eternity, you can trust him to lead you for a lifetime.”
  • “Do not underestimate what God can do when the church is sending and workers are going to people who need the gospel.”

Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler

The Life Worth Living for Christ
Is a Life Worth Losing

Matt Chandler unpacks the life of the apostle Paul as proof positive that there’s no such thing as a person beyond God’s saving mercy. In fact, his post-conversion commitment to evangelism and, even more, his Christ-exalting fearlessness in the midst suffering depicts the truth of his words in Philippians 1:21: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” May the same be said of all God’s people, that a better day is coming where we will receive our reward and see — finally — our treasured King face to face.

Some quotes from Matt Chandler at the Cross Conference

  • “When we join God in his plan for his global glory, we get to be a part of the cosmic take-your-kid-to-work day.”
  • “There isn’t a violent soul on the planet that God might not save and transform for himself.”
  • “Every missionary I know is extraordinarily ordinary. Everything they do, they do by the grace of God.”
  • “When God saves you, he doesn’t do it because you gave him permission. He did it because he’s God.”
  • “Comfort is the god of our generation, so suffering is seen as a problem to be solved, and not a providence from God.”
  • “Why do we try so hard to make Jesus cool?! He doesn’t need a makeover.”
  • “When we see the bankruptcy, slavery, and vanity of everything else, we can finally say, ‘To die is gain.’”
  • “Nobody dies early.”
  • “In 10,000 years you will not regret anything you didn’t have or do in this life.”
  • “Until Christ is our treasure, any other motivation we have to suffer for him is a fool’s errand.”

You can watch the other messages here – http://crosscon.com/

The Cross Conference is a new Missions Conference for Students. You can find out more about them here – http://crosscon.com/about/

Photo credit theGospelCoalition.org

Matt Chandler – What I wish I had known

ChandlerMatt Chandler via churchleaders.com

When is it good to see spiritual immaturity in your church?

Matt Chandler shares how he learned to appreciate God’s work in a growing church, as well as what he wishes he had known about asking for help, laughter and discipleship.

What I wish I’d known about the church.

I wish I had understood that if our church is seeing people come to know Christ consistently, we will always look a bit immature and messy around our fringes.

I would often lose heart in my first few years at what I believed was a lack of holiness in some of our members. My eyes would skip right over those who had been significantly transformed and the maturing center of our membership, and would fixate on the baby Christians struggling with their flesh.

I would often lose heart in my first few years at what I believed was a lack of holiness.

I think the burden is a good one.

I want every one of our members to grow into maturity more quickly than they seem to, but the Lord has taught me to shepherd people, call them to repentance and let Matthew 18:12­–14 play out.

What I wish I’d known about asking for help.

When I became a pastor, I didn’t realize how often I would have to ask for help.

I was used to being the smartest guy in the room, and then God dropped me in a place that was well beyond me. It was painfully awesome.

When I became a pastor, I didn’t realize how often I would have to ask for help.

When I started as a pastor, there was a staff of three and a church of 168. I didn’t know how or whom to hire next, or anything about constitutions and by-laws. I had never been a part of a church discipline issue, and I didn’t know how to find and train elders or how to prepare to preach that many weekends for an indefinite period of time.

I could go on and on. God was faithful to send me wise men to help me through.

What I wish I’d known about laughter.

I wish I had known how re-energizing it is to eat and laugh with good friends and peers.

I had read a lot of books and articles on longevity in ministry and was trying to manage energy, sleep, diet and stress well, but having friends over, enjoying good conversation and laughing always seems to refill my cup.

I wish I had known how re-energizing it is to eat and laugh with good friends and peers.

What I wish I’d known about discipleship.

It may sound strange, but I wish I had remembered that although I was working to make disciples, I was still a disciple myself.

I needed mentors and others to speak into my life, hold me accountable and be willing to say things that are hard for me to hear.

We don’t always need to agree

See ENTIRE MESSAGE here – Matt Chandler – Hebrews 12 at the
Exponential Conference 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETNMg1…

 

Matt Chandler – The Gospel in 2 minutes

Matt Chandler breaks down the Gospel for us in a new and refreshing way. VIDEO by Radicals4J Photo credit thegospelcoalition.org

The Gospel is

… that there is this infinite, almighty, all-knowing, all-powerfull Creator God who created all things for His glory.

… and you and I have belittled that, belittled His name, belittled His glory.

Everyone of us have at one time or another, actually currently believe that our way is better is better than God’s.

We fail to acknowledge, giving glory for the gifts He’s given us. We question His rule and His authority, while at the same time doing that with the brain He gave us and holds together… and the lungs and the air that He gave us to breathe with.

This is the great blasphemy of the universe.

So, we’ve all belittled God, and God being JUST, RIGHT, and HOLY, is NOT going to allow the belittlement of His name. God then, not being able to spare wrath, sends CHRIST in the flesh and crushes Him. And in so doing, pours out His wrath against the children of God, onto the SON, killing Him. Then GOD raises Him from the dead, and that same power that raised God from the dead is now at WORK in those who BELIEVE.

THIS IS THE GOSPEL:

That you and I have right standing before God, not by our efforts, not by our works, not by our skill, not by whether or not we do this or don’t do that. We are justified before God by the cross of Christ alone.

Your lust? You’re not gonna be able to fix it. Your bitterness? You’re not gonna be able to fix it. Your rage, anger, those deviances that have been following you around? You don’t possess the power of life & death. You can’t resurrect anything! Christ can. That’s the good news. So, we don’t celebrate us… that’s why we continually celebrate Him…

…we boast in the cross, and the cross alone!

 

Matt Chandler – Stability amid difficulty

Matt and Lauren Chandler discuss what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown, and how they prioritize their time. With Mark Mellinger. (VIA theGospelCoaltion.org):

ChandlerOn Thanksgiving morning 2009, Matt Chandler got out of bed, poured his coffee, fed his daughter, and collapsed. Doctors would discover a malignant brain tumor, launching a scary season of suffering for him and his wife, Lauren. The couple recently sat down with Mark Mellinger to discuss what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown, and how they prioritize their time.

„God has grown in my heart a gratitude I’d never really experienced before,” Lauren shares. Rather than producing resentment, suffering has deepened her gratefulness for each day with Matt. Most of all, though, it’s made her thankful the Lord would „love me enough to understand suffering personally—and that he lovingly appointed me to go through a season where I didn’t have anything but him.”

That initial period of agonizing uncertainty and intensive treatment, Matt recalls, shifted his grasp of God’s sovereign goodness from the intellect to experience. „Now with a great deal of confidence,” he says, „I can talk about ‘the peace that passes all understanding.'”

In terms of their marriage, the cancer battle has forcefully „dialed us in to the here and now,” Matt explains. „It’s strengthened what I thought was strong already.” It’s also provided a unique platform, he says, for Lauren to serve with countercultural, gospel-reflecting love. „There’s nothing sexy about going through cancer treatments,” he admits. „The way Lauren has cared for me during the worst times demonstrates a love of the will rarely esteemed in our culture today.”

Given the preciousness of time, Mellinger also asks the Chandlers how they seek to manage their busy schedules. More specifically, how does Matt decide to what to say yesand to what to say no?

Matt and Lauren Chandler on Stability amid Difficulty from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Other videos of Matt Chandler:

Matt Chandler – Advance ’13 Conference Message – How Both Faithful & Effective Churches Assume the Gospel

Chandler Advance '13

Matt Chandler speaks to Pastors and leaders at the Advance 13 Conference. Here’s a paragraph from his message:

You see how it fits together, as he (Paul) begins to rebuke them for their immaturity, and how they’re viewing personalities and what he’s trying to teach them here is: There’s a way to build on the foundation that was laid, and the way to build on that is with complete doctrine, with an understanding of who God is, that transforms the life and makes us more and more, and more like Christ. So, here you can have possibly faithful and possibly fruitful … but, I don’t think you can have unfaithful, but fruitful. Where it’s unfaithful, it’s not fruitful. It’s apples stapled to a tree.

……

So much where I landed theologically, that right now I believe is right and good before the Lord, and before God, I believe I could give a resounding defense biblically for almost everywhere I land in regards to doctrine  and what I believe about soteriology and ecclesiology, and all the ‘ologies’. In the end, they were all processes, which means I didn’t get there overnight. Over a period of time, as people lovingly just kind of handed me a book, or opened up the word of God for me, or sent me home to look at a passage, allowed me to wrestle- it was all a process and praise God that He did not put in my life or protected me from so many that I see today: the demand that others join them today, what took them years to arrive upon. We are not to be men and women who are unnecessarily harsh.

from Advance 13 Conference – http://www.advance13.com/
SEE NOTES from ENTIRE MESSAGE below the VIDEO.

How Both Faithful & Effective Churches Assume the Gospel

Notes from message (headings added by me to facilitate easier reading)

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? Forwhen one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

  1. All ministers, regardless of gifting or placement and assignment are first and foremost servants of God– Paul and Apollos were each given a place by God, and what we can infer from the text, you’ve got men who are given different abilities, asked to do different things by God. So, here’s what I have in common with any heralder of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We’re placed in different locations, I’ve been placed in Dallas, Texas by God, for the glory of God, and you’re from all over and you’ve been placed where you’ve been placed, and you’ve probably got different giftings of where we excel and where we don’t, and what I know about all of us is what we all have in common is this: We are all servants of the most high God! And that we are to regard ourselves as such… I look for a brother who knows he’s the servant, not the master. I get nervous when a guy operates in such a way that he puts out the vibe that God should be grateful that God grabbed him. There’s something about guys who lie low and exult Christ. I try desperately to be one of those men. We are all but servants. There aren’t positional servants in the kingdom. We are all with the gifts He has given us, with the assignments He has given us, faithfully serving God (from C.S. Lewis).
  2. All ministers are tools in the hands of God. What I know about preaching and teaching is that I can study and prep, and  wordsmith and worry, and stand up and proclaim and ultimately I can motivate, but only God can transform. I learned early on that I can say, „We need to do this guys. Here’s what the word says, let’s go.” And people would go out into the foyer and they’d sign up , and then 8 weeks later there would be like 10% of the people still left, involved.  I can motivate, but I cannot transform hearts. Only God can transform hearts. We are all but tools in the hands of God. Here’s why that’s important. You and I, brothers and sister, we are simply tools in the Father’s hands, we’re instruments in His hands. So, in the same way that a saw cannot receive the glory for the way the carpenter used it, so the minister does not deserve the credit for how God ultimately used him. I marvel at how God uses men and of how God uses any of us. I mean, that we would be conduits through which the power of God moves, that should blow your mind. Marvel at God’s use of a man and the God in him. We’re all but tools in God’s hands. 
  3. All ministers are fellow workers with one another, given assignments by God that are distinct, for the purposes of God. We all serve the same purpose. He calls us fellow workersWe’ve got a hard time with that in modern day evangelicalism, a lot of us. That we are fellow workers with one another, all working towards the same goal, all moving in the same direction. I wanna constantly lay before the Village Church (Matt’s church), and I wanna lay it before you: When it’s all said and done there’s one name that’s gonna be praised. Just one. I don’t get my day in glory, my reward is to be in the presence of my King with my crowns cast down, only looking up when he allows me. (22:00)

What is that purpose?

Ephesians 4:11-12 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, theevangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ’ Now we’re turning our attention away from the man and we’re turning it towards the church. In this next section of Scripture we’re going to talk about faithfulness vs. fruitfulness.

(A) Laying a foundation – Look at 1 Corinthians 3 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid afoundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

Where does ministry begin? It is laid on the foundation of Christ Jesus. So, all ministry that is faithful and eventually will be fruitful finds its roots in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And where there is ministry built on something other than that, you’re not dealing with Christian ministry. So, any conversation about fruitfulness is null and void because masses of people coming together to do good, under the banner of „church”, that have not been built on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not fruitful ministry at all, because it fails to be ministry at all. The only foundation that can be laid is the foundation of Jesus Christ, based on the life, death, and resurrection or you cease to be a Christian ministry and you become the rotary club.

I also love church planting, I give it a ton of my energy and time it. There’s something about robust, biblically saturated, Gospel passionate, Jesus centered churches, that the idea of those planting up and springing up in any place really stirs my affections for Jesus Christ. It churns in me a kind of excitement for the Lord’s ability to , and here’s what I know about most church plants: They’re small. But the laying of foundations is fruitful. So, if we follow the apostle Paul’s ministry and we watch him kind of establish these kind of bulkheads of Christian testimony throughout the ancient world, outside of Ephesus and maybe one other, you’re not talking about the megas. You’re just talking about a group of men and women, faithfully loving the Lord, faithfully living out the Gospel and this laying of the foundation is fruitful ministry.

B. Building upon the foundation – But, it doesn’t just stop there. At this point, if you’re laying a foundation on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you are actively involved in fruitful ministry. You can throw out all the top 100 growing list, you can throw out all that nonsense and you can just rest in the Bible’s weight, that says, „You’re being faithful.” You’re being faithful, regardless of numerics. This is faithful work. But, the laying of the foundation doesn’t just stop there, so let’s look at what’s next in verse 12: Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—Now, he just threw out a lot of ingredients. Now, he’s got the foundation laid- Church is planted on the foundation of the Gospel, Christ was preached. Christ’s life, His imputed righteousness. His death, His atoning death, His wrath absorbing death on the cross, and His resurrection- price paid in full. It’s preached- people respond. You’ve got now your foundation, now you’re off and running. That was all faithful and fruitful ministry. Now we’re building upon that foundation, and you’ve got several different materials listed here: gold, silver, and precious stones, and then you have your wood, hay, and straw.

I think the best way to understand gold, silver and precious stones is to understand the wood, hay, and straw. These words seem to imply erroneous or imperfect doctrines that won’t stand the test of time, and which tend to lead to evil practices. I am basing that out of Galatians 4:9, where it says, But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Galatians is one of those churches where a foundation was laid and they began to drift here into erroneous and imperfect doctrine, into a bit of foolishness. In fact, he repeatedly calls them that- who has bewitched you, fooled you- are you so foolish as to….? And he’s saying they went back to an imperfect doctrine, an incomplete doctrine that actually began to lead them into sinfulness and licentiousness, if not legalism altogether.

And again, in Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Again, you’ve got empty philosophy and vain deceit. So, you can build on the foundation of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.You can build with imperfect doctrines which lead people into licentiousness or legalism. Or you can build with what we see above in the gold, silver, and precious stones, you can preach the full counsel of God, where you’re reliant upon the holy spirit of God, and the word of God to transform and mold the hearts of our people towards holiness and towards Christlikeness. And so, here, you have in this second section, you now have the ability to be either possibly fruitful building upon that foundation, or possibly unfruitful, building upon that foundation. And yet, in the end, numerics don’t tell the story. Rather, maturity does.

You see how it fits together, as he begins to rebuke them for their immaturity, and how they’re viewing personalities and what he’s trying to teach them here is: There’s a way to build on the foundation that was laid, and the way to build on that is with complete doctrine, with an understanding of who God is, that transforms the life and makes us more and more, and more like Christ. So, here you can have possibly faithful and possibly fruitful … but, I don’t think you can have unfaithful, but fruitful. Where it’s unfaithful, it’s not fruitful. It’s apples stapled to a tree.

C. The day of the Lord is coming when what has been built will be revealed – Now look at verse 13. As a pastor, as a man of God, this has me throw myself on the grace of God and on His word, and allows me, if I’m gonna look foolish for planting my feet on the word of God, let me look foolish because of what this next verse says. 1 Corinthians 13:13 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. What this means is I am currently laboring at the Village Church. That is where God has planted me, that is where God has put me. So, I am building on a foundation that I did not lay, I did not plant that church, I was not the one who established it, Christ was clearly preached there early on, I got to come in and build upon that foundation. And I am trying, with all the grace of God to build with gold, silver and precious stones, and the day of the Lord is coming when what has been built will be revealed. Was it built by me, for me, about me? Or did I build with what is true, right, and good?

And since this day is coming, I tend to be able to once again, since I know I have co-laborers out there that I’m gonna disagree with philosophically, and at some level theologically, and I have this promise coming- that I’m gonna rest and just let the Lord judge my brothers, I do not feel the need to police evangelicalism. Now, do I feel a desperate need to protect the men and women that God has given me, to care over as an under-shepherd of Christ? Absolutely. But, am I out sniping evangelicalism? No. I have no need to. God will judge, God will burn it up. We’ll find out. He’s not like, „What am I gonna do about this guy? Will you start a blog for me? Hey, will you harass him via twitter? Take that you heretic.” You cannot believe that that’s what’s playing out in the heavenlies. That day will determine… In Dallas, we have several churches with which I would have strong differences with, in regards to theology, philosophy, and practice. All of them. I would just go crazy. Now, can I tell you what blows my mind? Three of the guys on my staff, I have already prepped my assistant for the emails that are coming. Three of my favorite guys on staff came to know Christ at that church. As a guy who wants to be extremely precise doctrinally that jacks with my head. I don’t like it. Now, how evil does that make me? I mean, doesn’t that make me the older brother in Luke 15?  It does not make me pure before the… „What, you saved this guy there? No sir!” Does that make me counseling God almighty? I’m gonna let God reveal, I’m gonna let God do His work. The day is coming, I just need to keep my hand to the plow and be faithful to my king. The day is coming… the day is coming.

Now, when it comes to this idea of faithful vs. fruitful, here’s what’s really being asked. More so than ever before, everything’s in front of us. So from twitter to the amount of conferences, really, at any given time, anywhere in the world you can go to a conference on anything you want. It doesn’t even matter how niche you wanna be in theology and practice, you can find a conference there. And what we parade out in front of you more often than not is not a guy that pastors a church of 120, and say, „Look, this is what church looks like.” No, here’s what I’ve spoken at other large conferences, „Let me tell you why I’m here because we went from 160 to 10,000.” I’m not here because I was faithful, because if I would have done the same things and shrank us from 160 to 20, no one would tell me, „Hey Chandler, come teach us how to do that. Come teach us how to be faithful and kill a church.”

Don’t put numeric growth above robust truth 

So what we’re talking about here is numerics. And I think, unfortunately, it’s a caricaturization of two ends of a spectrum that’s unfair to both. And so, let me address the caricature like this: If we’re talking about fruitfulness being sheerly numerics, I cannot biblically define it like that. But, that’s the caricature. So, if we’re talking of simply churches that are based on numerics- let’s call that the fruitful stream- how do they assume the Gospel? I think they assume the Gospel in 2 ways: They put numeric growth above robust truth, in order to see converts. And so, they’re not gonna touch things that are divisive, they’re gonna leave big chunks of Scriptures alone, because those Scriptures will offend people. And so, it’s the belief that you can make Christ cool enough for everyone. And that ain’t happening. You cannot give Jesus such a makeover that everyone goes, „Love that dude.” It’s not ever going to… in fact, the more you try to do that, the more the authority, power, and work of Jesus Christ wanes and you see nothing but shriveled up former life. Jesus doesn’t need a makeover, He needs to be boldly proclaimed. And, you assume the Gospel when you think you have to give the Gospel help.

I also think that another place where this kind of fruitful stream assumes the Gospel is (when) they a lack a plan and process for discipleship. See, they answer the fundamental question wrong: What is the purpose of the church? The purpose of the church is converts. No! The purpose of the church is to make disciples, who have been taught to observe all that He commanded. We already read it. Why did He give teachers, why did He give prophets, and evangelists? Why were these things given in Ephesians 4? For the building up of the body into the fulness of Christ, for the works of the kingdom. That’s what we’re to be about- making disciples. And you assume the Gospel when all the Gospel is is a means of conversion and not a means of sanctification and maturity into the fulness of Christ. You load heavy burdens on people when the Gospel is what saves them, but it relies solely on them to sanctify themselves. Now, the Gospel saves and the Gospel sanctifies. And again, this is a characterization, but, way too many of the fruitful stream lacks any process for the evangelism, or shepherding, or care for its members, partners, whatever word we want to use there, in order to grow them into maturity. I had a friend of mine who went to such a church, and they had no pastoral care. They didn’t do funerals, they didn’t do weddings, there was no hospital visits. It was the weekend. This is no real processes for care, no real processes for discipleship and that’s one of the ways.

I’ll save most of my energy for the way the faithful stream assumes the Gospel. The truth is there isn’t a guy in ministry who doesn’t think he is faithful. It’s not like the fruitful guys are saying, „We’re gonna be unfaithful, to see our place grow.” I just don’t really believe that, there’s not a guy in ministry who doesn’t believe he is faithful. Now, in that faithful stream, which I would define as the caricature that all we’re interested in is doctrine and truth. We don’t really care about people, just give me my 5 points and get out of my face. And, if you don’t believe in definitive atonement, you’re probably not a believer. That’s the caricaturization. It’s only doctrine, that’s all it is. There’s no real love for people, it’s just cold, systematic, intellectual assent. That’s one caricaturization.

Lacking  Gospel ambition 

Now, here’s how I believe the faithful stream assumes the Gospel. Here’s something that bothers me. I’m just gonna be straight with you. I find that in many robust theological churches, that there seems to be a lack of Gospel ambition and that there’s a belief that their smallness somehow validates their faithfulness. „You know how faithful I am? We’re running at 80 (people). We were up to 90 and I’m not having it. So, I did 2 years on Leviticus and shrank us back down.” Now you can giggle, but that kind of trash happens all the time. It’s like being small is a trophy. This assumes the Gospel because it lacks the belief  in the Gospel’s ability to penetrate and draw among the masses faithful, obedient converts unto Christ, who grow and are discipled. It lacks even a belief for that. It doesn’t have a market for it. And I can tell you, as a guy whose church grew, had no intention of it growing, I wanted it to grow, had a desire for it to grow. Just unashamedly, I wanted God to save people. I wanted Him to rescue and I wanted Him to do it like I saw Him do it in Ephesus, where it so shook and rearranged the socio economic climate that people rioted. I want that, I still want it for Dallas. When I drive by our Walnut Hill campus and see all those strip clubs, I wonder, what would it be like for the Gospel to fall in such a way that they couldn’t make money anymore? What would it be like for the Gospel to fall in such a way that there weren’t money to be made in the adult bookstores? What would it be like? That’s what happened in Ephesus. I want that! And for guys who lack that Gospel ambition, there are a lot of us who are so theologically precise that can’t dream like that. Well, you know Matt, narrow is the path. Small is the gate. Well, oh yeah, absolutely. But, you can get in a very long single file, you all. And so, I think, brothers in the faithful tribe have a tendency to lack Gospel ambition.

Being unnecessarily harsh 

I think another one in the faithful tribe have a tendency (again this is all caricature) to be unnecessarily harsh. I don’t know where it came from, I tried to track it down, please hear me: There is a wrong way  to be right! There’s a way to be right and doctrinally accurate, that instead of drawing into the beauty of the truth we find in the Scripture, instead, is unnecessarily offensive. Now, the Bible, parts of the Bible, parts of God’s plan for human flourishing is going to offend secular sensibilities. That’s not what I’m talking about. We should never shy away form that type of offense. But, the kind of brazen- offend to offend sakeThat’s just immature, that’s just spiritual immaturity.  It’s not helpful, it’s not helpful in any way, and if you land in the reformed camp, how that can create such brazen violence and arrogance just blows my mind. If there ever should be a doctrine that lays us low is the doctrine that God saved us by His grace alone, through faith alone. If there ever would be one that would have us dealing gently with people, would it not be that when you see brothers, sisters, doctrine and the truth of Scriptures should always be handled with a scalpel and never like a club? Always like a scalpel and never like a club. So much where I landed theologically, that right now I believe is right and good before the Lord, and before God, I believe I could give a resounding defense biblically for almost everywhere I land in regards to doctrine  and what I believe about soteriology and ecclesiology, and all the ‘ologies’. In the end, they were all processes, which means I didn’t get there overnight. Over a period of time, as people lovingly just kind of handed me a book, or opened up the word of God for me, or sent me home to look at a passage, allowed me to wrestle- it was all a process and praise God that He did not put in my life or protected me from so many that I see today: the demand that others join them today, what took them years to arrive upon. We are not to be men and women who are unnecessarily harsh. May we be people of truth. Amen! May we be people of truth. But, there’s a way to do that that’s right, good, loving and compassionate, and there’s a way to do that that shows that you quite don’t understand the Gospel.

Evangelistic laziness

Another way I find the faithful ones assuming the Gospel is there seems to be evangelistic laziness. It’s almost like a functional determinism. That kind of caricature- Well, if God’s gonna save, God’s gonna save. Whatever. Again, it goes back to: Do you really believe that we can be as broken  and as goofy as we are, conduits through which the Holy Spirit of God works, to draw, rescue and save? See, the faithful crowd, I found, so often wants to argue about little niche corners of theology, that they’ve forgotten about the heralding of the Good News to those around them. See, more than I want to be about converting a guy to a particular doctrine that I believe, I want to see a guy come to know and love the Jesus that I so desperately know and love, and then let’s get to work. But, seriously, how many people that would be categorized in this faithful (group) are far more concerned about converting someone to a specific doctrinal persuasion, rather than they are  seeing people come to know and love Jesus Christ in any type of real way.

So whether it’s faithful or fruitful, our tendency is to assume the Gospel, that’s why Paul perpetually preaches the Gospel to people who already know the Gospel. That’s why almost all of Paul’s letters sans 2 Corinthians are going to address the Gospel, teach the Gospel once again to people who already know the Gospel. Have you ever marveled at the fact he is writing a letter to the churches at Ephesus and the first two chapters are nothing but the Gospel? And Romans is nothing but the Gospel. I mean, just writing the Gospel, the Gospel… Before we talk about marriage, before we talk about children, before we talk about church life let’s talk about what Christ has done for you. Because we all have a tendency to drift, we all have a tendency to assume instead of explicitly  make known the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here’s my appeal. I don’t know how many days you have, I don’t know how many days I have. I’ve pastored long enough to know some of us won’t be here next year. And so, my appeal brothers and sisters is with the days we have left, with the breath we have left, may we proclaim Him and be faithful. And with angst, and with gut wrenching prayer, and belief in the power of the Gospel, we expect and long to see fruit. Fruit in the depth of maturity and fruit in the salvation of those in our neighborhoods, in our cities, in our states, and to the ends of the earth. Be faithful, and pray to the God of heaven for more fruit than you can get your mind around. And let’s labor, and scratch, and work, and plead, and beg, and be bothered by it when we don’t see it.

Matt Chandler – The Message Acts 29 Boot Camp 2012

Matt Chandler address at an Acts 29 venue the day after he became President of Acts29, in place of Mark Driscoll, the former President of Acts29. In this message he discusses the fact that ‘God saves’.

Some brief highlights:

  • Unfortunately, for all of us in pastoral ministry, it’s not uncommon for us to fall into the rhythm of routine. And for all the majesty in the fact that God is taking dead people and making them alive, and using our fumbling and bumbling, and moronic brokenness to do that, ceases to leave us in tears and in awe. When all of a sudden the ministry is on our back, we fail and that’s when we shipwreck stuff. So, I want to get you to Romans 8 to get that weight off of you and get it on who it goes on to.
  • Romans 8 is a great chapter because there’s parts of the chapter that evangelicalism as a whole, loves verse 28, and they love 31 through 39, don’t they? The problem is both of those are held together by the verses they don’t like. And, I’m gonna spend my time on the verses they don’t like in the hopes that you can see how spectacular those verses actually are because here’s why I feel sad in my heart. Those verses that are so popular, get completely hollowed out by ignoring those verses in between.

Romans 8:28- And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. We love that one. Now look at where He goes next- For those whom He called He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that he might be the firstborn from  among the brothers. Now, that’s where things get problematic.

  • You use either one of those and some people can lose their minds – and I wanna be straight- from some historically valid reasons.So, let’s not gloss over the idiocy that has surrounded a lot of reformed theology. Listen, our creed is not TULIP. Our creed is Christ! So, you wanna start arguing definitive atonement as a „this means you’re in” and „if you’re not, you’re out„, I think you’ve made a fool of yourself. Now, do I think you’re a fool if you believe definitive, limited atonement? Not at all. Do I think that’s the litmus test of faithfulness? NO. And to make it so is a weird stance. „You can only be my brother if you’re here”. Four (point calvinist)? Then we can’t have fellowship, brother. I mean, that’s just crazy, just calm down man.
  • Cause here’s my opinion: What I’ve learned at The Village (Matt’s church) is that people constrained under the weight of legalism, when they hear about liberty, if they’re not careful, they’ll run 140 miles an hour right into license (to do). So what happens, when you haven’t heard a lot of transcendence, and all of a sudden you hear „This is how big HE is. This is how massive and mighty He is, then, all of a sudden you spring out of the gate and anyone who doesn’t see how you see is a fool and an idiot and doesn’t really believe fully in christianity- EVEN THOUGH YOU JUST FOUND OUT! All of a sudden, you’re waving a flag that you’ve just found and it hadn’t been waving at all and all of a sudden it’s all that matters and I’m just pleading with you: Calm down. Are we reformed in our soteriology? Yes, because the Bible is. But, is that the gate of brotherhood in regards to the kingdom? No. No. Do not hear me saying I don’t think it’s important. At the Village Church our people get told, „This is what we believe about how God saves”. You need to know that so I’m not preaching a sermon 4 months from now and you go, „What????”
  • Matt talks about Foreknowledge and predestination starting at minute 14

„The Message” :: Matt Chandler :: 2012 Dallas Boot Camp from Acts 29 Network on Vimeo.

Matt Chandler and the Charismatic Dimension

via ChristianLeaders.com

Matt Chandler discusses how his worldview was rocked during a ministry trip to India, as well as the practical applications of change. Here is Adrian Warnock with Matt Chandler:

NEXT Conference Orlando, Florida May 26-29, 2012

The Very Last Next

The final NEXT Conference, Hosted by Sovereign Grace Ministries is taking place  in Orlando, Florida May 26-29. You can buy session passes for the individual sessions onsite for $30.  We will be posting links to any audio/video as it becomes available.

You can listen to audio of NEXT Conference 2011 sessions here – http://www.thisisnext.org/resources/

You can see the Session Schedules here – http://www.thisisnext.org/schedule/

Featured session speakers:

  • C.J. Mahaney

“The Church and Disappointment”When Expectations Collide With Reality
C.J. Mahaney leads Sovereign Grace Ministries in their mission to establish and support local churches.

  • Matt Chandler

“The Church and Culture”Reaching Out Without Selling Out
Matt Chandler is a lead pastor of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, and is the author of The Explicit Gospel.

  • Kevin DeYoung

“The Church and Friendship”How Not to be a Stupid Friend“The Church and Holiness”Why Jesus Says We Need It and Why We Don’t Want To Talk About It
Kevin DeYoung pastors University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, and is the co-author of What is the Mission of the Church?

See the list of other speakers here – http://www.thisisnext.org/speakers/

Mark Driscoll interviews Matt Chandler

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington poses several questions to Matt Chandler, Pastor of the Village Church in the Dallas area in Texas and also the new president of ACTS29, an international church planting organization about his new book – The explicit Gospel and about the difficulty of preaching and leading a church.

Here’s a quote from Matt Chandler that is an accurate description of someone who „assumes” the Gospel:

„People in the heartland are very informed about what the Bible teaches on holiness and what a Christian’s life should look like, but without a love for Jesus and an understanding of his justifying and adopting work on the cross, [they] lack the ability to joyfully pursue God’s commanded holiness.

So they find themselves in a state of self-righteousness because they compare their strengths to other people’s weaknesses and feel better about themselves….  then they get so discouraged trying to be good enough for God that they eventually bail on the church and Jesus because they think they tried him, but never really did.

You can read the entire interview here at http://pastormark.tv/2012/05/22/a-q-a-with-matt-chandler-about-his-new-book

John Piper, Matt Chandler T4G – Audio sesions

As T4G is still uploading messages from the T4G 2012 conference here is audio for 2 sessions where video is not up yet:

John Piper – Glory, Majesty, Dominion, and Authority Keep Us Safe for Everlasting Joy

and

Matt Chandler – The Fulfillment of the Gospel

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