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WE HAVE EXPERIENCED THE POWER OF GOD

glorious-sunset

This week we come to the end of this path, but I think you will find every path, including the one we turn to next week, deals in some way with the power of the Gospel to overcome the

main thing that is wrong with us: idolatry.

Often the most powerful lesson is the review lesson. Let’s stop and reflect, summarize and see what we’ve learned, and let it grow stronger in our hearts. We also have much for which to

give thanks. We have experienced God’s power, and to consider how we can continue to do so, for He is as faithful as the seasons, as faithful as the sunrise.

When we start a new path next week, as Midday Connection airs ten episodes of The God of All Comfort,  you will find it related to what we have been doing, for The God of All Comfort is all

about experiencing the power of God in the midst of pain, a time when we are particularly vulnerable to running back to our idols. I have done The God of All Comfort on this Bible study

blog before, but I will keep it fresh, as fresh as the morning, for His mercies are new every morning. Even if you don’t have a Moody Station in your city, you can listen online.

I want to thank each of you for participating on this blog, and I pray you will continue on this next path, for you would be wonderful mentors and you are now my friends, and I do not want

to lose you! You are, indeed, an unusual group of women. My web manager told me to keep these blogs very short and simple, and I didn’t — yet here you are, hungering after God, doing

the study diligently, listening to the sermons, and suggesting songs, sermons, and readings of your own. I thank God upon every remembrance of you.


Anne, of our faithful bloggers,  has given me permission to share her picture with her oldest son, Al.  I wanted you to see her and her warmth. I feel she has been a mentor on this blog and

her encouragement and contemplative thoughts a gift from God. It seemed appropriate to feature her this week, though in a little different way that I’ve been doing. Anne exemplifies the

depth of the women on this blog. She is continually contemplating the gospel, using her gift of discernment, sharing songs that draw her closer, and living it out. I also see her heart of

compassion. One of the aspects of true worship is caring for the poor, letting justice roll down — every time the prophets rebuke the false worship of God’s people, they call for social justice!

(See for example, Isaiah 58) I see this true worship in Anne. I remember when she got in her car to go out and try to help the people in the SE who had had their lives turned up-side-down

by tornadoes. She went and she listened to their grief, being the heart and ears  of Jesus. Anne lives it, and I want to encourage you to take her thoughts to heart. Anne is married with two

sons — this is her oldest son in the picture with her.

imag0105Anne wrote this encouraging comment to affirm you and me!

The women on your blog are a group of more than exceptional women and that is largely because of what

you teach. God is doing a great work here.

Indeed, He is! He is using you as well. So many of you, for example, have been reading Tozer’s The Pursuit of

God, and so I pulled mine out and started reading it again. This is how the power of God works  through the

body of Christ, spreading like the sunrise to bring warmth and light across the world.  Tozer writes something

that reminds me of you. He is writing about how some believers seem to find God in a way others do not.



the-pursuit-of-god2

I venture to say that the one vital quality they had in common was spiritual receptivity. Something in them was open

to heaven; something which urged them Godward. …I shall say simply that they had spiritual awareness and they

went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differed from the average person in that

when they felt the inward longing they did something about it. They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response.

This my sisters, is what I see in you, and for which I thank God.

ICE-BREAKER:

Share one time in this study when God spoke to you through His Word, His people, or His Spirit and you responded and experienced His power.


Now let’s review. Tim Keller talks about three ways to approach life. Probably the best scriptural illustration is the story of the prodigal sons.


IR-RELIGION (Like the younger son who rebelled against his father in Luke 15)

RELIGION (Like the older son who “slaved all these years” and expected a pay-off)

THE GOSPEL: (Like the younger son when he repented and returned to his father’s arms)

Tertullian, from the 2nd century, put the above three ways in a word picture. (More about this in the article Elizabeth suggested below.) He said the gospel is

continually being crucified between two thieves: antinominism (against the law) and morality (religion.)  Isn’t it interesting that we have the same problem

today? Take,for example, three different approaches to helping a man caught in the vice of internet porn:

Ir-religion or antinomism: Leave him alone. Don’t judge. This may be a good release for him.

Religion or morality: Beat on him, reminding him of the true effects of disobeying the law: demeaning women, destroying relationships,

developing addictions. Tell him to just say no.

The Gospel: There is power in the gospel because it works on our hearts. Sexual immorality is wrong — in fact it is so bad Christ had to die for

him to rescue him from hell. Yet Christ loved him so much that he did go to the cross for him. Therefore he can trust Christ to fill the vacuum in

his heart each time he is tempted to run to internet porn.

As we said in the beginning, the gospel is not a quick fix, but it is the only effective solution. We worshipped our way into idolatry, so we must

worship our way out, by beholding the beauty of Christ and by beholding the complex multi-faceted gospel.  Let me ask you some questions that

will require contemplation — but I know this group is up to it!

I’ve given an example of the three approaches that could be used with someone in the vice of internet porn. Now I’d like you to show how these

three approaches might work with someone in a different sin. Choose between gluttony, unforgiveness, or a sin that trips you up.


1. What sin are you choosing, and what would be the approach of ir-religion or antinomisim to it?

2. What would be the approach of religion or morality to it?

3. How might you use the truth of the gospel to melt your heart toward this sin?

I love the example Keller gives of Paul confronting Peter about his racism. Remember when Peter was refusing to eat with the Gentiles? Keller

says that Paul neither overlooks this sin (The approach of ir-religion of antinomisim) nor does he use the law by saying, “Don’t be a racist.”

While it is true that Christians should not be racists, Paul chooses instead to work on Peter’s heart. He says, “Peter, you are not walking in line

with the gospel.” What does that mean?

4. How might contemplating the gospel and what Christ did for Peter at the cross, help to work on his heart and melt his idol and his sin of

racism? (I know this is challenging — but I also know you are amazing.)

5. I hope you will begin to see in the Scripture how often the writers point to using the gospel to overcome sin or to live as Christ called us to live. See, for

example, if you can find it in the following. What are we being called to do in each example, and how is the gospel used to give us the power to do it?

A. Romans 12:1 What are we being called to and what phrase illuminates the gospel motivation?

B. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20   What are we being called to and what phrase illuminates the gospel motivation?

C. Ephesians 4:32  What are we being called to and what phrase illuminates the gospel motivation?

D. Ephesians 5:2  What are we being called to and what phrase illuminates the gospel motivation?

E. Ephesians 5:25 What are husbands called to and what phrase illuminates the gospel motivation?

F. Because we’ve had discussion about submitting to husbands I thought it might be illuminating to see the gospel motivation for this as well.

1) In my studyguide on 1 Peter I show how the key passage is 1 Peter 2:21-25. Look at this and find the gospel in it.

2) Then, throughout this letter, Peter keeps saying “In the same way,” applying the gospel to citizens submitting to government, slaves to masters, and

then in 1 Peter 3, to both wives and then to husbands. Look for the phrases “likewise,” or “in the same way” and find the gospel admonition to first

wives married to men who do not obey the Word, and then to husbands, who might be tempted to take advantage of the vulnerable position of their

wives’ submission.


6. Listen to one or both of the following Keller messages and comment:

First Message:

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/true-older-brother

Second Message:

      http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sites/sermons2.redeemer.com/files/sermons/RPC-How_The_Gospel_Changes_Us.mp3

7. We have learned that the Gospel is multi-faceted. Can you explain the following?

A. Why is the gospel good news instead of good advice?

B. The gospel is “sonship.” What does this mean, and what does this mean to you?

C. The gospel has a power the law lacks. Why?

8. Elizabeth suggested this article and it is a great summary. Read it, underline it, and then share a few key points.

http://download.redeemer.com/pdf/learn/resources/Centrality_of_the_Gospel-Keller.pdf


9. I’d like you to mediate on the words to When I Survey The Wondrous Cross. Sing them. Find your favorite u-tube version. Explain how you see the power of the Gospel in this song.

10. What would you like to share with the group on something you learned that I haven’t mentioned?

11. Please bless Anne, our blogger of the week!

Thanks to all of you who submitted pictures and stories. We’ll do this again, probably in the fall, to meet new regulars!


Please pray as we begin our new path next week, that God will bring who He wants, and will quicken us all!


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220 comments

  1. F. Because we’ve had discussion about submitting to husbands I thought it might be illuminating to see the gospel motivation for this as well.

    1) In my study guide on 1 Peter I show how the key passage is 1 Peter 2:21-25. Look at this and find the gospel in it.

    Jesus bore our sins in his body on the cross so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. We had gone astray but now we have returned to God.

    2) Then, throughout this letter, Peter keeps saying “In the same way,” applying the gospel to citizens submitting to government, slaves to masters, and then in 1 Peter 3, to both wives and then to husbands. Look for the phrases “likewise,” or “in the same way” and find the gospel admonition to first wives married to men who do not obey the Word, and then to husbands, who might be tempted to take advantage of the vulnerable position of their wives’ submission.

    Wives who have husbands who don’t obey the word are to submit to them, this submission isn’t what we might think. It looks like how this passage describes it “In the same way” Jesus submitted. It is how wives behave toward their husbands-seeking to do them good, not harm. Adorning themselves from the inside out-the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit-this doesn’t mean ‘not talking’ but a woman who trusts in the Lord-who is gentle and forgiving toward her husband. Who controls her tongue and doesn’t go off about every mistake he makes, and isn’t conniving, controlling or unforgiving toward her husband. Husbands are to be considerate as they live with their wives respecting this vulnerable position- I think perhaps to treat her like a precious, breakable piece of china. They are not to take advantage of her and treat her as a door mat for she is vulnerable and tender as she sacrifices herself in this way.

    1. I agree with Dee, Rebecca – your answer was excellent. I learned alot from you this morning and am exhorted by you in my role as a wife.

    2. Rebecca, this is a beautiful description of wife, and husband transformed by the gospel. Love it!

  2. Loved this: “As Anne said, this is like the Hope Diamond — and it is good to look at what others have seen.”

    I am definitely going to look into that study.

    Is this the study? http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Transformation-Neil-H-Williams/dp/B003K95FKI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308828539&sr=8-1

      1. Yes, that’s the same. Mine is the old cover, I did the study 6 years ago–but my husband just finished a group and their book was the cover Rebecca showed. I want to add the Sonship study is also excellent! I did that one 15 years ago (feeling old!) but it was also really good. I know I’m not the best endorsement by my example and how slow I’ve been to “get it”! but…GT really is an amazing study and a great compliment to Dee’s.

        1. Elizabeth and Dee, O.k. got it..I just looked it up via the link Dee gave. I am currently in a summer study with some gals, and my husband and I are in a Gospel Group study with couples once a week right now. I am going to get GT study and pray about doing it with a gal, or maybe two or three gals perhaps some time in the Fall. From what I have read it is better to do it in a smaller group setting.

        2. Rebecca–this grid from the Harvest site gives a great comparison of all their studies–target audience, time required, etc…it may be helpful: http://www.whmbookstore.com/images/GRN-Course-Comparison_08.pdf

  3. 5.

    A. Romans 12:1 says we are to present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice to God. The gospel motivation is the mercy of God toward us.

    B. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 tells us to flee immorality. The gospel motivation is that Jesus bought us with the price of His own life; we are not our own; therefore glorify God with your body.

    C. Ephesians 4:32 says we are called to be kind and tenderhearted and to forgive each other, and the gospel motivation is we have been forgiven by God through Christ.

    D. Ephesians 5:2 says we are to walk in love just as Christ loved us; the gospel motivation is to look at how Jesus gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God.

    E. Ephesias 5:25 says husbands are called to love their wives just as Christ loved His church; the gospel motivation is the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us out of His great love.

    F. Because we’ve had discussion about submitting to husbands, I thought it might be illuminating to see the gospel motivation for this as well.

    1) In my studyguide on 1 Peter I show how the key passage is 1 Peter 2:21-25. Look at this and find the gospel in it.

    Christ suffered for you; He Himself bore our sins in His body on the Cross; by His wounds you were healed.

    2) Then, throughout this letter, Peter keeps saying, “In the same way”, applying the gospel to citizens submitting to government, slaves to masters, and then in 1 Peter 3, to both wives and husbands. Look for the phrases “likewise” or “in the same way” and find the gospel admonition to first, wives married to men who do not obey the Word, and then to husbands, who might be tempted to take advantage of the vulnerable position of their wives’ submission.

    The gospel admonition to a wife is to “in the same way” (and I refer back to 2:21 where it says Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps) “be submissive to your husband”.
    I learn that as Jesus submitted Himself to His Father and also submitted Himself into the hands of the Jews who wanted to kill him, He did not sin, He did not lie, He did not revile them in return, He did not threaten them, but entrusted Himself to the Father.
    The gospel admonition to a husband is to “likewise” live with your wife in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, and to grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life.

  4. Rebecca, I keep re-reading your answer to #2; I worked last night so my brain isn’t up to speed this morning – I can’t get a grasp on it but you have stated it clearly!
    For the husband’s part, I’m thinking how Jesus, though fully God and fully man, allowed Himself to be the weaker vessel, vulnerable, though fully a co-heir with the Father as the One who “was with God and was God”. And the Father granted honor and glory to His Son. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit model perfectly for us what relationship should look like, unmarred and without sin, with no such thing as a “me first” attitude; each seeks only to glorify the others. I hope I’m making some sense!

    1. Susan, Yes, you are making sense! I can’t see close up very well even with bi-focals so when you wrote ‘unmarred’, I thought you said, “unmarried”.. That really threw me off. haha! But once I corrected that I got it. 😉

      Here is a thought I had that your insightful post fired up..Perfect when you stated that the relationships among Jesus, The Holy Spirit, and God, or we could say “The three person’d God” was the perfect example of not having a ‘me’ first mentality and also that they glorify one another. How Jesus yielded to God is a huge example of how God wants us to yield to Him-Jesus did not run anywhere for comfort or satisfaction-He ran to God. His satisfaction and fulfillment was found in God. Satan tempted him with idolatry and he responded by running to God-yielding Himself to God. We have the power of the Holy Spirit who enables us to Yield to God, and what motivates us to yield is reflecting on the Gospel and what comes out of our yielding is that God is glorified. The power of the Gospel flowing out of us! Oh my, Susan, you have encouraged me deeply this morning.

      To extend it a bit I was thinking that only then can we really be this woman in the passage-adorned with inner beauty, where the Gospel Power flows out of our lives and onto others impacting them for Christ. There will be no denying His power as this kind of inner beauty this passage talks about is not found in the world. I mean, real forgiveness, and self-sacrifice by not controlling or trying to manipulate others but rather leaving them in the hands of God. We can’t do that unless we are yielded to Him. O.K. i will stop.

  5. 4. I’ve been thinking about Peter’s contemplation and as he remembers what Jesus did for him on the cross. I’m sure Peter goes back to the years before the cross and remembers how Jesus responded to the cries of the Gentiles who crossed his path. The centurion who recognized Jesus had authority over sickness. The Syro-Phonenican woman who asked Jesus to heal her daughter and when he put her off she persisted in faith. I wish I could have seen Peter’s face that day he and the disciples returned from getting lunch and found Jesus actually conversing with that Samaritan woman. I wonder if those scenes came to mind as he penned his epistle. If Jesus treated Gentiles with respect how can I not treat those who are not the same as me with respect?

  6. I am very much under attack. I can’t explain but I need warfare prayer. I am so sorry to distract

    1. oh Anne, I am praying! Would you believe I just logged on here to post almost identical words? I just told my husband the only explanation I can give for what is going on with me today is that I am under a spiritual attack–after having felt closer to the Lord than ever. I didn’t mean to give my story–but please know I am praying with you and for you Anne

      1. Anne and Elizabeth, will do.

        Lord Jesus you are the king of kings and the Lord of Lords and we praise your Holy name. We come to you now asking for your protection and for you to rescue Anne and rescue Elizabeth Lord. Lord you know what Satan is up to and yet you are more powerful..greater are you that is in us than he that is in the world. Lord we embrace this truth and ask that you will deliver Anne and Elizabeth tonight and kick Satan to the curb. So we run to you and give this fight to you. In Jesus precious and Holy name..amen

        1. I feel badly that I even added on to Anne’s request–I need to learn to just listen and not always share, even out of empathy at times!
          Anne, I am really praying–that He would protect you, comfort you, and remind you of His Love, and truth.

        2. Not at all Elizabeth. This is what we are about. While I hate your suffering it is comforting to know I am not alone. I guess it is the knowing that we are doing what the enemy hates.

    2. Thank you both so much! Elizabeth I will also pray for you. As you both prayed I happened on these words from A Holy Experience and clung to them. This is the path we are on.

      Because the knowing Him on paper needs to lead to knowing Him in person.

      Because one is only onto superficiality.

      And the other alone onto salvation.

      He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…”

      ~ Psalm 46:10

    3. Praying for you, Anne and Elizabeth

  7. Cyndi–praying for you too this week, hope things are going better.

    1. thanks so much! it has been a very hard week and we have been under attack big time. i will share more in a latter post put really appriciate your prayers!

  8. Anne and Elizabeth, I am thankful you BOTH shared and we are lifting you up.

  9. Comment on the sermons:
    The second sermon helped me right where I was yesterday b/c I have struggled some lately and began to feel a bit discouraged until Dr. Keller said, “The actual way the heart works isn’t immediately changed.” I realized that I am in a process of bringing my thinking in line with the gospel. It is a process I will continue to work on the rest of my life. I wrote this in my notes: I NEED TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL HABITUALLY AND AT A DEEPER LEVEL AND UNTIL I DO THIS, I AM NOT GOING TO MAKE PROGRESS.
    I have found many key things to living since I began and instead of hoping I can get it all right I need to take God at His word that He who began this good work will be faithful to complete it.
    The Treatise of Martin Luther that Dr. Keller described was eye opening.
    I could easily grasp that we lie either to keep others from being hurt (I do this) or to keep ourselves from being hurt. And, it’s all based in a need for human approval but if we utterly believe the gospel then it doesn’t matter what others believe and we’re okay b/c of what Jesus thinks and Jesus accepts me!
    I was thankful when he explained how to get the motivation to make these deep changes in my life. 1. Only the gospel gives the power to admit what’s wrong with me. The foundation of my self image must be that God loves me. 2. The gospel gives the power to understand what’s wrong with me. Moralistic approach looks at behavior, the relativistic approach looks at the emotions but the gospel approach makes me look underneath and ask what’s acting as my savior?
    The essential dynamic for releasing real change in my life is the gospel of repentance.
    The gospel is the opposite of what I previously understood. I am accepted, therefore I obey.

  10. 7. A. Why is the gospel good news instead of good advice?
    The Gospel isn’t a list of do’s and don’t’s as if what I do or don’t do will either get me into a relationship and in good graces with God or out of a relationship and condemned by God. Rather it is the good news that by Jesus death and resurrection I am born again. I didn’t have to do anything. He did it all. I now have a relationship with God because of Jesus death on the cross. I am not under the law anymore and won’t be condemned by my failures. I am 100% accepted and loved by God. I don’t want to ‘do or don’t do’ in order to obtain anything from Him for He has given me Himself so I have it all in abundancy. I desire to obey Him and abide in Him because He has given me this deep longing and love for Him and when I reflect on the Cross it only humbles me more. It is HE who gave me this longing and desire for Him in the first place and by nothing I have done or by no merit of my own! That is good news!!

    B. The gospel is “sonship.” What does this mean, and what does this mean to you?

    God made a way for me to be adopted into His family via wrapping himself in flesh and coming down to die for me. So that I can be His daughter-and He drew me into a relationship with Him. I took notes on what Keller said about Sonship and I can’t find them. I remember he said something like when God sees us, he sees us living the cross and resurrection with jesus..Something like that. I am terrible at re-stating, but the bottom line is that He sees me in Jesus’ righteous robes and loves me just as much. To Him I am just as special to Him as Jesus. Does anyone have that exact quote? I would LOVE to hear it again and write it down. I guess that really humbles me because I don’t deserve it. I did nothing to deserve it. I don’t know why he loves me but he does and I am thrilled.

    C. The gospel has a power the law lacks. Why?

    The law only changes behavior and takes us in our pride further away from God. It is a system of doing and don’t doing constantly-the Law can’t save us-can’t transform us into the image of Christ. It can’t bring us into an intimate relationship with God. The Gospel is the power of God given freely to us through Jesus death buriel and resurrection bringing those who accept it into a relationship with God.

    1. Rebecca, this is a very good point about how the law can lead to pride and move us farther from God.

    2. Oh and forgot to add on C that the Gospel also goes beyond coming into a relationship with God but it also transforms us daily.

  11. Anne,
    I have read and re-read what Dee wrote about you several times this week and am now ready to “bless you”!
    First, the photo of you and your son is precious and I definitely see the resemblance between the two of you! You are a woman of great depth and contemplation, Anne, as Dee described. I remember you from ‘way back’ when I started to blog here when we went through the God of All Comfort. You have been faithful to stay the course. You remind me of Mary, the mother of Jesus, when the Bible talks about how things would happen concerning Jesus, and she was taking it all in, and she treasured those experiences in her heart. She, too, was contemplative and observant. I see how you, in your personal experiences with the Lord, treasure your relationship with Him and want to know Him deeply and to create stones of remembrance to treasure always. You have a tender mother’s heart toward your sons and, like the woman in Proverbs 31, “her children rise up and bless her”. You have cultivated a close relationship with your sons.
    I’m so glad to know you through this blog; you always encourage us with your thoughtful posts and beautiful prayers that you write. You are a woman following hard after Jesus!
    Love to you this morning, Anne!

    (I just read that you are feeling under attack – I will pray for you, too)

    1. Susan, you bless me greatly this morning. Thank you for your love and your friendship.

    2. So true about, Anne…thank you, Susan

      1. Susan, I just read this..Wow, very true what you wrote about Anne. Thanks for writing this. I totally agree with you.

  12. Listening to the second Keller sermon now. This is GREAT so far. Loved this:

    I must beat the old principle out of my heart into the Gospel principle every day.

    Stagnation in my life as a believer is a failure to beat the Gospel in my head every day.

    The prevailing wellspring of my life needs to be that the Gospel not only saves me but then every part of my heart and mind has to be transformed bit by bit by more deeply believing in, reflecting on, rejoicing in and applying the Gospel.

  13. I was also going through a hard time the past several days. I got my feelings bruised by my dearest and closest friend, although I know she didn’t mean to hurt me. So I was feeling very lonely and upset and a couple days ago I thought that perhaps I’ve lost this friendship. I had a wide range of emotions from being angry to feeling like I was in a pit of despair and depression to trying to bring to mind all the things I’ve learned from Keller’s sermons on idolatry; even considering was I guilty of some of the traits of relational idolatry? I finally got to the place where I considered, ok, even if I am left with no one; could I say that Jesus is enough for me? I got to that place, although very shakily, I must say, because I didn’t really want to consider that option, but tried to rest there. That evening, my friend called me and we worked through it.
    Rebecca, your post from yesterday also encouraged me as you described how Jesus ran to no one but His Father! “Jesus did not run anywhere for comfort or satisfaction – He ran to God!”

  14. Dee, I will pray for the upcoming study as you ask.

    This morning I was comforted in the word. Things are still very much in turmoil here between my husband and I. We still need much prayer.

    1. Anne, you bet-we will pray for you sister.

      Lord, after coming off of hearing Keller talk about adoring you..I want to start there Lord..Oh God help us all as we go through these storms with our husbands to fall on our knees in adoration toward you. Lord we ask that Anne would focus on the power of the Gospel today. Help her to see You in the midst today. Lord comfort her and strengthen her in You. Lord we thank you that She is already running to you for you are the word. Lord speak to her and quicken her husband’s heart today. Oh Lord we praise you and when we think about your vulnerability toward us in forgiving us and how you didn’t just love us, but you sacrificially loved us with a depth so deep that you lowered yourself and emptied yourself for us. YOU, the God of the universe made yourself vulnerable..What depth, what love. We ask that the power of the Gospel permeate Anne and her husband today.

      Lord, I also pray that you would go ahead of the God of all comfort study and quicken and bring in those women you want to speak to and illuminate the Gospel to. The broken ones who don’t know you and the broken ones who do know you. Lord keep the ones here that you desire to keep here, may they have a strong desire to stay. Lord help us here to be listening to your quickening as we ask women to come and then trust you to work in their hearts to help them to be steadfast and stick with it. Lord we thank you that by your mercy we are even here.

      1. Amen! Good prayer. Thanks Rebecca!

      2. Rebecca, I’m praying along with you in your prayer for the next study and for anyone everyone here being attacked by the enemy. And for all of us that are married…for our marriages.

      3. Amen. I am excited to see all the new things God will show me the second time around in the God of All Comfort study. Besides, I don’t want to lose all the wonderful friendships I have gained. Thank you for accepting me so easily and graciously into this lovely group of sisters who yearn for more of God. What a merciful God, that I am here too.

    2. Anne, I am praying for you, I don’t know what is going on but I know how deeply it hurts when the one person that knows you better then anyone is not happy with you and the emotional intimacy is no longer comforting but feels very volnerable and scary…It is so hard. hugs my friend

      1. Cyndi, thanks! You put it into words better than I can. You have a gift sister.

    3. Anne, I will be praying for you and your husband.

  15. I LOVE THE SECOND SERMON! I am going to listen to it again tomorrow a.m. The boys are interrupting me so I am missing some of it, but wow..it is good. Especially on suffering.

    1. I’m getting back out my notes–I may need it a 3rd time! I thought it was so good too–funny how looking at my notes today I see different things than when I first listened Sunday. I don’t remember what all I posted earlier on it–but I liked this too: when bad things happen, without the gospel we are either “mad at Thee (relativist) or I hate me (moralist)…but the gospel humbles us out of being mad at God. Jesus was perfect and if I was being punished for my sins, I’d be gone!”
      I thought about that a lot yesterday!

      He also said conviction of sin in a gospel way draws you to God, not away from Him. I felt that yesterday as I struggled with my own sin. I felt so icky dirty but not like I wanted to hide…I wanted to be near Him, rest in Him. I kept playing the “Give Me Jesus” utube song I posted earlier by Fernando Ortega. I can’t hear that and not be broken to tears, and brought to my knees.

      Thank you all for your prayers, very much felt. Still praying for you too Anne.

      1. Elizabeth, You so clearly stated what i wanted to say. Praise be to GOD!!

        here it is:
        “He also said conviction of sin in a gospel way draws you to God, not away from Him.” -This has been a huge transformation for me.

        “I felt that yesterday as I struggled with my own sin. I felt so icky dirty but not like I wanted to hide…I wanted to be near Him, rest in Him.” -YES.. This is what has been going on in my heart for quite some time now-since our study, I had a hard time expressing it, but you did so well!

        Oh yes, I loved it also when Keller said this: “Jesus was perfect and if I was being punished for my sins, I’d be gone!”

  16. Ladies, I don’t know what is going on but I want to share this “Aslan on the move” with you.

    God is drawing out of me more passion for Him by looking into the Gospel. It is like things are going on inside and I can’t tell you step by step how He is doing it because HE is doing it-and He is doing much in my heart. It was like I was looking through a glass dimly, but He has made it more see-through. My stagnation is gone. I don’t feel condemned anymore when I sin, rather I am drawn to repent and not hold back because I am ‘hand over mouth’ inside and in love with how I see Him-His majesty, His power, His Holiness and yet God who is holy and perfect was willing to get in the middle of our mess and be vulnerable to persecution..He amazes me.

    In particular I have noticed my need for other’s approval is really waning almost to a point where it is gone. Also I am so free to love others and accept others as they are. I have especially noticed this with my husband. I am more receiving of his love toward me and see it as a gift from God.

    It amazes me how i didn’t have to dig in my heart and take one issue at a time and ‘give it to God’, or ‘put it at the throne.’ I often hear people say that, but what is so freeing is that God takes care of all of that peripheral stuff when our eyes are set on Him and the Gospel-He roots it out and He deals with it. I don’t even know what needs to be rooted out most of the time until His word reveals it.

    I apologize if this is scattered. My boys all continue to interrupt by getting into arguments with one another. So I must go, but I just want to share my joy with you all and give God the glory. 🙂

    1. Rebecca, not so scattered I think. My understanding of what you said is that you did not do it at all but that God, as you focus your eyes on the gospel is taking care of your idols. This is Aslan on the move for sure and very encouraging.

    2. Rebecca, I have been thinking all day about what you said here. It is awesome. You really have encouraged me with this new freedom.

      1. Me too, Anne. it’s like I mentioned earlier, I don’t have to worry about getting it all right just trust God to do it. In His timing He works patiently on each area that needs attention. So happy for this report, Rebecca!

  17. Just finished listening to first sermon – was beginning to feel draining of hope that I have characteristics of the elder brother too – but encouraged when Keller said that true Christians can have “elder brother-ishness” and gives the solution to it!

  18. I am not suprised that as I got back on this blog I see many others who are experiencing attack. I beg for your prayers as I believe my husband is on the edge of healing. the sermon about the older brother really hit home for him and he is seeing where his anger and self-rightousness is coming from. this is the first time that he has seen and admited that he needs healing, please pray.
    I watched a movie called the kings speech and It was as if God told me, leave his healing to another man, you just believe in him and love him but stop trying to heal him. Im trying, but OH how hard it is. Paul is the most “moral” man I know, he takes great pride in that and expects a LOT of me. He saw this today and that is ASLAN on the move, but the enemy hates this, he knows that when paul is healed and can FEEL Gods power in his life instead of doing it all on his own that he will be a force to reacon with! I meen think about it, this man adopted two special needs children because the Bible told him to, thats all, no feelings, no emotianal desire to do so, just because the Bible says to care for the widow and the orphan. I could never had been that obedient. His heart is so hurt, his childhood so messed up, please pray for his healing so that he can be happy, not for me, but for him….
    I LOVED all the teachings, have listened as I worked around the house all week over and over again thank you Dee for sharing them. it has helped me so much to understand what olderbrotherishness is, it has given me much more compassion for Paul. I get the anger now, I understand where he is coming from and that has really helped. don’t worry I did not TELL him he was an older brother, he saw it right away in himself.
    all my answers are the same as Elizabeths so due to lack of time I will just say dito to Elizabeth, never met anyone but my best friend michelle who thought so much like me:)
    you are all an amazing group of woman and I call myself blessed to be a part of such an honest group of woman. i have read all your comments and they have all helped me grow.
    Joyce, I will post that song:) its called blessings by laura story

    1. Praying for you tonight, Cyndi.

  19. http://youtu.be/4mmgV6mPvb0
    blessings by laura story, my favorite song played at my friends 10month olds funeral.

  20. http://youtu.be/tDiTuSLSJB8
    the story behind the song

    1. Cyndi, I LOVE Laura Story. Her lyrics are always really good as well. Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. my Keller notes
    if you believe that because you have worked so hard to serve God your life should be great you are going to be very angry, at yourself or just mad, there is an undercurrent of anger. duty without beauty. WOW he nails it here, I am in awe of how well he puts this into words. the mozart story is so good. the Joy is in GOD himself, not in what HE gives us!!!!! AMEN older brothers find God usefull, gospel believing Christians find God beautiful, they obey just to get God!!!!

  22. Dee, is the 2nd sermon available for itunes? I would like to put it on an ipod.

  23. The email about the summer study was good and very easy to forward.

    1. Yes, it was! It was great!

  24. Dee, Wow..LOVE the way the blog looks now. I love the short entries so that you can click on to read more. That way when someone comes to your site, they can scroll down and see all of them. It also makes it easy to be on the right study when we come to it. Thanks!

      1. That is precious, what a blessing!

  25. 8. Elizabeth suggested this article and it is a great summary. Read it, underline it, and then share a few key points.

    I loved this right away: “We are not justified by the gospel and then sanctified by obedience, but the gospel is
    the way we grow (Gal.3:1-3) and are renewed (Col.1:6). It is the solution to each
    problem, the key to each closed door, the power through every barrier (Rom.1:16-17).”

    To me, this just means the gospel justifies AND as we grow the Gospel will sanctifies us. our desire for obedience comes out of that and our love for Jesus will grow and our desire to be obedient grows. That is what I am learning..May not have said it right though.

    Loved this too: “Richard Lovelace says that most people’s problems are just a failure to be oriented to
    the gospel–a failure to grasp and believe it through and through. Luther says, “The
    truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine….Most necessary is it
    that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads
    continually.”

    This is a confirmation as to what is happening in my life as I wrote above in my earlier posts of how God is freeing me. It is HIM, HIM HIM..NOT ME. I am just reflecting on the Gospel and hence it makes it easier to humble myself before my husband and others and he takes care of the issues as a result. Hard to explain. By humble myself, it means I know my position in Christ because of what He has done, not what I have done, and therefore I can really hold in high esteem others. It doesn’t mean I degrade myself. Just to clear that up. 🙂

    Oh and also the Gospel has freed me to trust God with my husband’s heart and anyone elses.

  26. 8. Continued:

    Loved this too: “The gospel is not easily comprehended. Paul says that the
    gospel only does its renewing work in us as we understand it in all its truth. All of us,
    to some degree live around the truth of the gospel but do not “get” it. So the key to
    continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of
    the gospel. A stage of renewal is always the discovery of a new implication or
    application of the gospel–seeing more of its truth. This is true for either an individual
    or a church.”

  27. In regards to elizabeth’s article….

    I trying to wrap my head around the whole idea of not being moralistic. I think I display most of the characteristics of this type of person. I have always thought you should strive to be the best you can be in life. Always try to ” do the right thing.” however , this article kind of blows that idea up, doesn’t it? So, if we are saved by grace, why bother being a good person? I suppose we could say that Jesus displayed all good therefore we should try to emulate that behavior, right? So, isn’t Jesus’ behavior in the Gospel technically moralistic too? He always did right AND accepted others also. That is what we should also do, correct? This is very confusing to me.

      1. Laura,

        I admire your honesty and agree that this is an important question to ask! I am not sure this will answer your question though. I am not good at this, but that is o.k. I am just going to tell you what God has done in my heart and maybe somehow it will help. 🙂

        I will have to say that before I came to know the Lord I was more in line with the irreligious person..I was not trying to live a good life or striving to be like Jesus, I was doing everything in my power to be rebellious and relativistic and be my own boss. It is the same though as a moralist as far as my attempt to be my own savior and be the boss of my life.

        Then I came to know the Lord. As a new believer I reflected on the Gospel every day for a long time, but after a while I forgot and found that I still rebelled from time to time because I forgot to look at the Gospel- forgot how depraved I am apart from Him, and forgot the depth of His sacrifice for me. I think I weaved in and out of being a moralist and irrelgious even as a believer but underneath it all was the longing the Lord gave me for Him, and underneath it all was a heart willing to be re-directed to Him..to be renewed, I just wasn’t aware that I forgot until I came here. But He gave that heart to me and He gave me the understanding of the Gospel in the first place, so when Dee began the process of beating it into our heads via Keller 😉 He opened my eyes to see I had forgotten my first love, and to turn and go back to the Gospel BECAUSE He has revealed the Gospel to me in the first place and desires to continue to reveal the deeper layers of it so that I can grow deeper in love with Him. Does that make sense?

        I have found that because of what Jesus did for me on the cross I don’t have to strive to be moralistic and I don’t have to wallow in a state of being irreligious. He freed me from all of that. I obey because the Gospel melts my heart and I can’t say no to Jesus.

        Oh, I have to add that I have learned that God doesn’t want our obedience, rather He wants us to love Him-obedience comes out of that..This shows in the prodigal son story as well as in the greatest command of all, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.”

        I hope I haven’t burdened you with so many words, but I will pray that God will open your eyes to understand, and I am so thankful for your heart and your inquisitive spirit-it is priceless!!

      2. Very interesting, Dee. I think I have always obeyed because I just did. I never have really thought about why I behaved. My parents were good people and they modeled good. I suppose in the back of my mind I would think, “I might not go to Heaven.” This sounds silly to me now! Of course I have sinful behavior, unfortunately, everyday! I do love Jesus and I strive to have good in my life because it is right. I’m not sure I am explaining myself well.

        I sometimes tell my wayward daughter (who doesn’t try to be good) that she better be careful or she might not get to Heaven. It’s kind of a joke between us though…..she will smile and say oh yes I will. Here’s the conflict for me; if you go out with the wrong people, smoke cigarettes underage, drink, etc. with no conscious in the back of your mind (God), then expect to get to Heaven…..why bother being a good person? Shouldn’t she at least try to be better behaved to please God? How do we explain this to our children who were raised in church but drifted far away? She needs some sort of tangible thing to remind her to behave.

        I guess I understand doing good pleases God. That’s good enough for me!

    1. Laura,

      I wanted to share that I think my post is way to wordy and long and can be confusing so I really encourage you to focus on what Dee said. After thinking about it some more. It is so simple. We have to ask ourselves ‘why’ we are moralistic people..and we find the bottom line is because we are seeking to find favor with God via obeying and doing things right.. The truth: Once we come into a relationship with Jesus, or ‘Get in’, we have God’s favor-100% favor. Whether we obey or not we can’t lose his favor. We can grieve him with our disobedience and with our moralistic tendencies, but we can’t lose our relationship or earn his favor by what we do or don’t do. As Dee said, the Gospel approach is that we have His favor so out of gratitude and love we obey.

  28. Oh, sisters. I can hardly wait to blog this morning. I am at a Beth Moore event w/ my lovely d/i/l. Last evening the worship was so good. When they sang, “In the arms of Jesus are Ten thousand Charms” I feared I might do the ugly Lucille Ball cry, you know Wwwaaaaaaaaa. Anyway, as I crawled in bed I asked Jesus how He could stand me. You see the next piece of my puzzle is awakening. God is pulling back the curtain and allowing me to see my sin. The awful ugly motivations behind my thoughts and deeds. Funny thing to note, I don’t mind telling you how awful I am and may I add, on the world wide web! Really? 🙂 So, I begin recalling to God the ugly thoughts I had earlier about a woman’s hair do (bleck) and, get this one…how I sometimes sing loud in worship so others around me can be as blessed by my voice as I am! Bleck, bleck, bleck! and this is what Jesus does. Heehee I’m so excited to tell you all this…
    He draws me close, kisses my forehead and says shhhh. Jesus shusshed me, can you believe it? I am trying to tell Him how sorry I am and I see Him shake his head no. I understand immediately that no words are needed. As tears are streaming down my brand new Bed Bath and Beyond pillow, I ask Him why He quiets my repentance and He whispers “I see your sorrow, it’s written all over your heart.”
    A few weeks ago this new light would have sent this moral high minded Jesus girl into a frenzy of despairbut instead I am full of joy because as I see my putrid rags, Jesus bids me dive into his ocean of grace and I’m telling you sisters, The water is good. It’s deep and clear and safe.

      1. Thank you, Praise Him!

    1. Kim, oh my..tears came on and off as I read..God is so good..This clearly is Aslan on the move here! So excited to see, as Dee said, the Gospel transformation in your life!!

      1. Thanks, Rebecca, He is mighty to save me!

    2. Wow oh wow, Kim! Thank you for sharing this and for your blunt honesty because honestly, Kim, my mind and thoughtlife can be just like that, too – we all struggle if we’re honest about it. I can see why you were so excited to blog this ‘experience of Sonship’ where God made it real to you how He feels about you!

      1. And that, Susan, is exactly what I needed. I think I posted last week that I wasn’t sure of God’s love for me. I now feel SO loved by Him. Thank you!

  29. I have to just skim this morning. I am getting ready to go to the beach with a friend and her large family. I don’t know how much study time I will have. I have a copy of Cutting for Stone. I may just read it on the beach. But I may not be able to finish the last sermon this weekend.

    Kim, I just love what you have shared. Oh how blessed we are! Love and blessings to all of you!

    1. Yes indeed, blessed!

  30. I’ve had one of those ‘I do what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I want to do’ weeks. Being here at the end and reading of others who have been under attack lets me know I am in the right place. I’m learning that as I strive to draw closer to our Lord the enemy fights harder. There have been times I have almost walked away from here but down deep I know I can’t leave now. I’ve come too far to turn back. I have been praying for each of you all week.

    6. Sermon 1 The True Older Brother

    There is so much here so I am going to share what jumped out at me:

    …as a Gospel community we can’t snobbishly look down on the poor and broken in our midst because we know that, apart from Christ, we are equally poor and broken.

    Those who were suppose to be the mediators between God and his people are the ones who wondered why Jesus fratinized with those who are alienated from God.

    God is tender-hearted towards both sons.

    The rule keeper remains lost.

    Three ways know you are lost:
    1. Have an undercurrent of anger-life never goes the way you want it.
    2. Duty without beauty.
    3. Religious, class, cultural superiority.

    Speaking from experience it’s very hard to be around people who only want to hear one language spoken. I use to practice German and Spanish with a couple of former church members and one of our deacons informed me that I need to speak only English.

    I DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO JUDGE WHO IS AN ELDER BROTHER!

    Hear Jesus Christ pleading with His enemies, to the people who are going to kill him. He does not denounce them.

    Jesus is the ultimate insider-one of the Trinity-who was put outside so he can bring me inside.

    Be involved in lives of broken people.

    Don’t hobnob with your class of people at church.

    7. We have learned that the Gospel is multi-facted. Can you explain the following?

    A. Why is the gospel good news instead of good advice?

    The gospel is good news because we are saved by what Jesus has done. He did not come and just preach ‘die to your sins’. He lived out the words by dying for my sins. His resurrection proved he was the Son of God.

    B. The gospel is “sonship”. What does this mean, and what does this mean to you?

    Sonship is my Gospel identity. It’s not a reward I will receive later. I am a ‘son of God’ now. When God the Father looks at me he sees Jesus, not my sins. What Jesus has I have.

    C. The gospel has a power the law lacks. Why?

    The law only tells me how sinful I am. It lacks the love of the Gospel. God loved me so much he sent Jesus to die for my sins so I will never have to experience separation from the grace, love, and mercy of God.

    8. Elizabeth suggested this article and it is a great summary. Read it, underline it, and then share a few key points.

    THE CENTRALITY OF THE GOSPEL

    I underlined and higlighted quite a bit but will not attempt to share everything. I’ll just give a few points.

    …the Christian life is a process of renewing every dimension of our life–spiritual, psychological, corporate, social–by thinking, hoping, and living out the “lines” or ramifications of the gospel.

    …bringing the gospel truth to bear on every area of life is the way to be changed by the power of God.

    …after if has regenerated us, it is the instrument of all continual growth and spiritual progress after we are converted.

    …we never “get beyond the gospel” in our Christian life to something more “advanced”…..it is more like the “hub” in a “wheel” of truth.

    The irreligious person rejects Jesus entirely, but the religious person only uses Jesus as an example and helper and teacher–but not as a Savior.

    …irreligious people deny the depth of sin.

    So even religious people with “low self-esteem” are really in their funk because they will not see the depth of sin. They see it only as rules breaking, not as rebellion and self-salvation.

    To “get the gospel” is to turn from self-justification and rely on Jesus’ record for a relationship with God….But Christians also repent of their righteousness.

    We were seeking to be our own Saviors and therby keep control of our own life. When we trust in Christ as our Redeemer, we turn from trusting either self-determination or self-denial for our salvation…

    All problems, personal or social come from a failure to use the gospel in a radical way, to get “in line with the truth of the gospel”.

    9. I have been singing When I Survey The Wondrous Cross during my devotional time. The words that stand out to me are the second stanza:

    “Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ, my God;
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.”

    There are many things I am learning to let go of once and for all.

    11. BLESS ANNE!!!

    Anne, I wanted to bless you with a video of one of my favorite songs, but, alas, there is no video of it on youtube so I will bless you with the words. As I listened to this song the other day it reminded me of your heart-how you so desperately want to know our Lord. Much love to you my ‘BIG SIS IN CHRIST.’

    A LOSS FOR WORDS
    SUNG BY CHARLES BILLINGSLEY

    I’ve prayed in the silence
    And felt Your presence near
    I’ve walked in the garden
    And found You waiting there
    I have stood with the masses
    To lift my hands in praise
    I’ve knelt there all alone and
    called Your name
    Yet today I’m just not sure
    Of what I should say

    Chorus

    I AM EMPTY
    YOU ARE HOLY
    COME AND FILL MY SOUL WITH WHO
    YOU ARE
    IN MY SILENCE
    YOU STILL HEAR ME
    IN THE QUIET OF THIS MOMENT
    I AM HEARD
    I’M OVERWHELMED
    AND AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

    I’ve cried in my weakness
    For strength to just believe
    I’ve searched for a reason
    That you would die for me
    How could the Lamb of Glory
    Choose to take my place
    And with open arms of love
    offer grace,
    Yet today I’m just not sure
    Of what I should say

    I AM EMPTY
    YOU ARE HOLY
    COME AND FILL MY SOUL WITH WHO
    YOU ARE
    IN MY SILENCE
    YOU STILL HEAR ME
    IN THE QUIET OF THIS MOMENT
    I AM HEARD
    I’M OVERWHELMED
    AND AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

    You are holy, you are worthy
    The blessed Son of God
    the morning star
    You are glorious
    You are marvelous
    But there’s so much more,
    to who You really are
    To who You really are

    I AM EMPTY
    YOU ARE HOLY
    COME AND FILL MY SOUL WITH WHO
    YOU ARE
    IN MY SILENCE
    YOU STILL HEAR ME
    IN THE QUIET OF THIS MOMENT
    I AM HEARD
    I’M OVERWHELMED
    AND AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

    1. Tammy,

      I’ve never heard the song but those lyrics are AMAZING.

      Thanks for sharing them. They’ve really touched me.

      Tracy

    2. Those are beautiful lyrics, Tammy!

  31. Chris S. how are you doing? How is Dominic? Renee we miss you, too

    1. I’ve been thinking about Renee, too, Joyce.

  32. 6. Listen to one or both of the following Keller messages and comment.

    First Message (The True Older Brother)

    These things stood out to me:

    Through this parable, Jesus is giving us a new category for spiritual lostness.

    Both sons wanted the father’s things but didn’t love the father.

    The Bible says you can either look to Jesus as Savior or something else.

    Being an “elder brother” is a more spiritually dangerous position to be in than being a younger brother.

    If you believe in your heart that because of your goodness and decency and hard work, God owes you a good life, you’ll spend your whole life angry, because life never goes the way you want it.

    Keller’s whole description of “duty without beauty” was awesome. Elder brothers find God “useful”, a means to an end; gospel believers find God to be an end in Himself.

    The quote from Richard Love…(unsure of spelling) “people who are no longer sure that God loves and accepts them in Jesus, apart from their present spiritual achievements, are subconsciously radically insecure persons. Their insecurity shows itself in pride, a fierce defensive assertion of their own righteousness, and defensive criticism of others. They come naturally to hate other cultural styles and other races in order to bolster their own security and discharge their suppressed anger.”

    All I can say to that is WOW – there’s enough meat in that one quote to think on for a very long time.
    I have to look at myself and to when I feel unsure of God’s unconditional love toward me because I am in Christ. It does lead to a deep feeling of insecurity and does result in the comparison game where I either look better than or worse than another. I wonder so often, WHY is it so hard to really, deep, deep down believe with every fiber of my being that God loves me unconditionally and not based on my behavior?

    7. We have learned that the gospel is multi-faceted. Can you explain the following?

    A. Why is the gospel good news instead of good advice?

    Other religions tell you to follow the advice, the teaching, of its founder. You may be saved by following the advice; it depends on how well you do.
    The gospel is good news in that it tells you you can be saved by Jesus – it is completely dependent on the “news” of what Jesus has done for you to be totally true and factual. You are saved by Jesus, not by trying to follow His teachings. So in Christianity, the trueness of historical events are vital; for example, Jesus must really have been raised from the dead, or our faith is in vain and we are lost in our sins.

    B. The gospel is “sonship”. What does this mean, and what does this mean to you?

    It means that we have a relationship with God; that He is our Father and we are His sons and daughters. It implies knowing God personally, experiencing His love for us and loving Him in return.
    For me, personally, I must think of the times when the Holy Spirit has, as Keller put it, “taken something that we know, intellectually, and makes it an experience”.
    I remember a time when I was in great turmoil and confusion and was reading through John’s Gospel. I’d read these words before, but every time Jesus said something, and prefaced it with “I tell you the truth”, it was like those words jumped off the page at me. I knew Jesus’ words were true, the Bible was true, but this was an instance when He seemed to be speaking directly to me, taking what I knew in my head to be true and making it personal.

    C. The gospel has a power the law lacks. Why?

    The law makes us know what sin is, and points out our failures. We can try to live by climbing up Mount Sinai each day, but that means we’re trying to work hard to save and justify ourselves, and we just can’t do it. The gospel has the power to transform us from the inside out, because it is living; the law is not. The deeper we peer into the gospel, and see and ponder what Jesus has done for us, the more we get lost in awe and wonder and love and that is the power that changes us.

    1. I missed the Richard Love quote, very good. Thanks for sharing it.

  33. First of all as we are nearing the end of the road in this study, I have to say this has been the most transforming study I have ever done. I see The Gospel all over scripture and to be honest it kind of makes it hard to do some of the questions in the studies I am doing because I am seeing so much now.

    9. I’d like you to mediate on the words to When I Survey The Wondrous Cross. Sing them. Find your favorite u-tube version. Explain how you see the power of the Gospel in this song.

    Here is a link of a video I found..It is my favorite so far. It brought me to worship: http://youtu.be/YZlpK2cfkA0

    To put it in a nutshell..The same God who created the scene in this video came and made himself vulnerable to die for us..The same God who made these mountains of majesty, made these birds to fly in order, had a thorny crown put on his head as men made fun of him-mocking the idea that he was the King of the Jews-and He is the one who created them, yet He was silent! This same God gave himself over to the hands of evil men to taunt him, ridicule him, whip him, spit on him, and yet He died for those men..And YET “Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small;Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.” What love-this is the power of the Gospel-The God who created the universe stooped down to love me and bring me to Himself. How can I NOT pour contempt on my pride. How can I run to anything else? They are worthless sticks in the ground, but Oh to run to the one who is Glorious!!

    Here are the words:

    When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.

    Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.

    See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

    His dying crimson, like a robe,
    Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
    Then I am dead to all the globe,
    And all the globe is dead to me.

    Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

    [Added by the compilers of Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern]

    To Christ, who won for sinners grace
    By bitter grief and anguish sore,
    Be praise from all the ransomed race
    Forever and forevermore.

    1. Excellent link! And pour contempt on all my pride… yes, now that I see my pride for what it is.