We’ve been back for a couple of days now and I thought I’d briefly check-in to say “hello” and share a few highlights from our vacation. As I considered the overall blessing of our time away, I think the greatest gift is that we sat under pure Gospel preaching for practically our whole vacation! The Gospel truly is the “power of God” and it is so clear to me that we Christians need to hear it every single day. The Gospel is NOT a one-time event. The Gospel is our salvation and it is how we will overcome.
The True Church Conference consisted of an impressive line-up of some tried and tested men of God. It included Jeff Noblit, Senior Pastor/Teacher of Grace Life Church who preached two messages on Striving to Avoid Extra Biblical Excess in the Local Church. Jeff shared some of the hard learned lessons that he and the church at Grace Life experienced over the years. Having lived through three church splits, Jeff spoke with authority and humility on the only Absolute that matters: Christ and the Gospel. Everything else is secondary. Dr. Bruce Ware, Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, preached two messages called Gospel 101: God’s Gift of the Gospel and, Our Need for the Gospel. Bruce drove home this point: Christ has died and been raised for our sins. This is the Gospel! Don’t add to this! Steve Lawson, Senior Pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile Alabama spoke on The Gospel in The Old Testament and Gospel-Centered Preaching. One of the most striking things that Steve said is that we “stand on the shoulders of the prophets” when we proclaim the Gospel. You may not see the Gospel in every text in the OT but every text will take you back there! Evangelist David Miller absolutely captivated me when he recited Isaiah 53 in entirety from memory and preached twice on The Doctrine of Substitution and Satisfaction without a single sermon note! We will never, says David Miller, apprehend the mercy of God until we apprehend His wrath.
I bless God for these preachers — and the countless others, who boldly and solemnly proclaim the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. I thank God for preachers who neither add nor detract but who are passionately committed — not to entertainment, man-centered pragmatism, or worldly approaches, but to the sound doctrine that must drive the preaching of the Gospel! It is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Obviously, this little post does absolutely no justice to the thunder and lightning that roared from the pulpit at Grace Life! All I can say is that this is the kind of preaching the world needs. By exalting the place of sound doctrine in the life of the local church, each speaker brought home over and over this one prevailing truth: All methodology in the church must flow from sound doctrine — from the preaching to all of the inner workings of the local church. Truth. Truth. Truth.
We broke bread with Jon and Lisa Cardwell, not once, not twice, but three times! Our visit with Jon & Lisa made our Alabama trip complete! Jon’s expository preaching in Genesis was passionate and full of truth. Our brother heralded the Gospel loud and clear! We also tasted and saw for ourselves that Jon Cardwell is indeed a BBQ ribs connoisseur! Nothing better than good preaching, sweet fellowship, and good food! Saying goodbye did not come easy! : (
This upcoming Saturday, Steven and I will be hosting the Seniors Breakfast at our church. We so love our senior brothers and sisters. Simply put, they need us and we need them. Additionally, next Saturday is our Women’s Bible Study in which we will be discussing Total Depravity. So, once again, my on-line activity will be a little light but I love you all and am with you in spirit!
Love and blessings!
Below are a few pictures from our trip!