J.S. Park


Posts tagged with "Gospel"

How the Weapon of Grace Conquered Goliath
J.S. Park

Hello beloved friends!

This is the second part of a sermon series called “The Life of King David: From Stone-Slinger to Royal Sinner.”

The message is titled: How the Weapon of Grace Conquered Goliath.

It’s about how brute human strength is overcome by the heart-ripping power of grace.

Stream above or download here!


Some things I talk about are: Why everyone loves the underdog, Ip Man multi-punches Goliath, your natural instinctual reaction when someone slaps you in the face, the way we assume the life of a homeless guy, and the Real Giant in this story (it’s not Goliath).

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

Jesus Drops the Mic on Religion
J.S. Park


Hello beloved friends!

This is the fourth part of a sermon series called “The Book of Mark: The Cosmic Journey of the World in the Story of Jesus.”

The message is titled: Jesus Drops the Mic on Religion

It’s about how being a good person is NOT the same as being a Christian, and why that’s good news for all of us.

Stream above or download directly here!


The Scripture is Mark 7:1-23. Some things I talk about are: That one time my mama whipped me for redecorating everything with gray paint, the forbidden ice cream in the freezer, the crushing moral paradigm of Good Advice, and when you tell cancer patients to just “think positive.”

To stream other podcasts, click here.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

Aug 8

"The worst tool for evangelism" by Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff on using shame in evangelism.  Absolutely right on. 


“If you’re 99% saved, then you’re 100% lost!” Church sign I just drove by. I guess they didn’t have the letters for “Visitors keep out.”

What does “100% saved” mean? Who is measuring that? The pastor of that church? The elders? Is there a chart? What is the 1% that makes all the difference? What do you do with the guy in Mark 9 who asks Jesus to heal his child “if you can?”

Jesus replies, “If you can? Everything is possible for one who believes.”

To which the father says, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Jesus, sensing that the father was only 78% saved says, “Can’t do it. Disciples, get my boat! It’s time to bounce.”

Or he heals him and moves on. One of those two things happened.

Have you ever met someone who said, “I became a Christian when a friend of mine shamed me badly. They shamed me into the arms of Christ.”

I haven’t, but I have heard this story countless times:

“A neighbor loved me when I was so unlovable to them. Their love made no sense. Finally I had to ask them, ‘Why are you so different? Why are you so kind to me? That’s when they told me about this guy, Jesus Christ.’”

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Aug 8

Question: I Can’t Just “Love You The Way You Are” — Right?

Anonymous asked:

"We are not loving people when we’re telling them that God accepts them as they are without repentance, because we’re lying to them." What does that mean exactly?

I see you quoted a famous theologian (whose name I left out), and I see what he’s saying.  He is being very careful to convey a Holy God who does not tolerate sin, who must uphold justice, and who requires broken on-your-knees repentance.  Or — he is just trying not to upset the doctrine-police.

I might have said something like this a few years ago.  It’s a very aggressive, preach-to-the-choir, sounds-good-on-paper slogan.  I get it: our sin is bad.  God hates sin.  Okay, check.  Am I done being doctrinally sound for the sake of avoiding the heresy label?  Should I be so afraid of Neo-Reformed bloggers that I must blindly agree with all similar statements? 

And really, this is only one quote that I could be taking out of context, so it’s only a small fraction of this theologian’s thoughts.  But by itself, it portrays such a measly, puny God.  I do know guys who preach like this without a single ounce of Christlike love in their heart for people.

My friend, the truth is: God does love you and accepts you and desires to be with you exactly as you are.  Yeah, I know.  Scary, right?  Nervous?  Do I sound antinomian?  Maybe you’re waiting for But even though He loves you  … 

The problem we have with God’s grace is that it’s all grace.  That makes us uncomfortable, and I understand that.  Our hearts are naturally built on legalism.  Everyone feels like they should do something to get something, so we contort God’s grace into a manageable legalistic machine filled with daily QT routines and spiritual progress charts and how-to-avoid-sin and religious busy-ness.  Nothing is inherently wrong with these things until they forfeit God Himself.

God’s love is NOT dependent on how you perform or even how you repent.  Changing your behavior doesn’t get God and we don’t get God by changing our behavior.  His love for you is constant.  One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 31:3 — I have loved you with an everlasting love.  As in eternally.  Forever.  Always been the same. 

SO: Once you really encounter the love of God, it’s impossible to stay the same.  The Gospel — Jesus’ perfect life on earth, undeserved death on the cross, and his resurrection from the grave — always tenderizes us into the people we were created to be.  His love explodes our hearts.

I often tell my church people who are struggling, “God loves you, and He’s going to keep loving you to a better place.”  Repentance itself could only ever be possible when we recognize the magnitude of God’s love for us through His Son Jesus.  It’s never the other way around, or else it’s not repentance.

So please hear, my dear friend, that God loves you no matter what.  His love preempted your rejection, failure, and contempt.  His love embraces your future disobedience, too.  Look no further than the Bible “heroes” and you’ll see it.  Nothing you do can change God’s heart towards you.  He is not going to time-warp His Son off the cross.  His love is the battering ram on your sin.  It’s that very unchanging heart of God which will lead you to a changed heart.  And as tough as it is, it’s also the same way we are called to love each other.  No one is the exception with God; no one can be the exception with us, either.

 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

— John 13:34-35

True change is always motivated by the Good News. No one can follow the imperatives of God apart from getting totally exploded by the cross of Christ and what he did. When we obey God, we’re not merely following a rule-maker but also pleasing the heart of a perfectly good father. So when you break His commands, you’re also hurting the heart of a graciously good dad.

Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger.

- C.S. Lewis

Porn Addiction, Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough

Full post here.

I call myself a recovering porn addict, but I’m much more than that.

When we identify ourselves by what we are not, we hardly know where we are going. When you finally quit porn and you’re cheering your new journey and sharing with people who are rooting for you, then when you fall again it can be even more devastating than before.

I thought I had this, you might say. And it’s back to binging, self-loathing, and might-as-well resignation to your addiction.

What happens to so many Christians is not a spiritual downfall to lukewarmness, but an incomplete picture of God’s Epic Story.

We are saved by His Grace — but that’s not the end. We are saved from something towards something better.

And if you want even half a chance of defeating porn — of sin and Satan and the grave itself — you’ll need to know not only what you’re called from, but what you’re called to.

So then, three things you must know in destroying your porn addiction once and for all.

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God Is In Your Face: Sermon Series Through The Book of Genesis

The seven part series on the Book of Genesis is now completely posted on the podcast!

God Is In Your Face: The Metanarrative Story of God and His creation Man.
An expository series through the Book of Genesis. Featuring God, Adam and Eve, Noah, Jacob, Esau, Joseph, and Jesus.

Continue Reading for List of Sermon Podcasts

Dec 7

Gospel Idolatry

Do you idolize the gospel?

The crucifixion has become a concept. That’s nothing new, except for all the marketing. With the recent trend of “Gospel Centrality” by the Reformed Calvinist crowd, who proudly wave the flag of finally understanding the Gospel, I’m both excited and concerned. I’m excited for a return back to the roots of the Bible — that the whole thing really is about Jesus — but much less excited about the elitist nightmare of Reformed teaching that creates ivory towers of superiority. “I got it and you don’t,” shouts the gospel-informed upper class. It is an incipient form of anti-Pharisaical religion masquerading as brand name faith. Suddenly there is a second-rate citizen of the church that apparently doesn’t get it anymore, and those who get it, instead of sharing, are angry and snarling.

Several books have been released just in the last year that capture this bandwagon phenomenon, including Jesus + Nothing = Everything, Gospel Wakefulness, King’s Cross, and simply just Gospel. They are quite excellent reads. The Gospel Coalition blog has expounded endlessly on gospel-centeredness, and have done it well. Tim Keller does a great job of seeding the gospel into Old Testament passages. An entire conference was devoted to this neat trick. And apparently, without the gospel, you got it all wrong man.

The idea is this: the work of Jesus gives you all the acceptance, validation, and approval you need so that sanctification is merely resting deeper in the gospel. The work of Jesus detaches you from seeking lesser treasures. The work of Jesus eats away at worldliness and idolatry and morbid introspection. The work of Jesus gives freedom to lose, freedom for joy, freedom from self.

We see the problem. The work of Jesus. Gospel Centrality often leaves out Jesus himself.

In many of the writings about the gospel trend (yes, it’s a trend), there is a deafening void around the person of Jesus. Nothing about his compassion, fellowship, friendship, healing, ministry, speaking, or anything else that would clearly define him as a living God-man among us. There is no weeping Jesus, the one who came for Mary and Martha and Lazarus his friends, not the one who ate fish with his unbelieving disciples, not the man who slept on a boat while a storm raged around him.

Instead there is a rabid fixation on the implications of the cross, which are uniquely critical to the Bible but still serve the ultimate point: intimacy with Jesus Christ. In gospel centrality we get intimacy with an enigmatic concept of man-centered freedom, which is still idolatry. It’s putting the concept of Jesus higher than Jesus. I can get acceptance and validation from a mosque, a synagogue, a temple, or the LGBT. What’s missing in this gospel movement is the one who made the gospel possible.

Do I misrepresent here? I’m not sure. The consequences are obvious. Camps are formed over correct doctrine, which has always happened, but now there is one more dividing line over the gospel-anchor. That divisive line is more abrasive than ever. The writings are dry, as if they outline Jesus’ job description but can never feel him as a flesh-and-blood person. You can tell by the way they call him “Christ” instead of Jesus, because saying Jesus doesn’t have the same weighty authority. I appreciate Mark Driscoll — the king of the Reformed movement — foremost because he describes Jesus as if he knew him. When Mark gets misty, I can see he actually gets it. Nothing elitist about it. The same for pastors like Francis Chan, Hershael York, Ravi Zacharias, Matt Chandler, David Platt, and the late Adrian Rogers, who despite their many differences are obviously in love with Jesus.

Much of the Reformed crowd never get even close to that sort of intimacy. Instead Jesus is painted as a mathematical formula to overcome anxiety-neurosis-neediness-desperation-selfishness. Gospel centrality has the undeniable and perhaps accidental effect of making Jesus a psychological tool.

If our theological trends do not bring us to a place where we can say, “I love you Jesus,” then it’s only half of a theology with a dull end. We’ve missed the point if we’ve missed both the work and person of Jesus. Saying, “Thank you for your love” is still the same as wanting God for His stuff. A golden calf in the shape of Jesus is still a golden calf.

Yet I do believe the Gospel-Centered movement is a wonderful thing. When it brings us to cry out, Abba Father, I love you and need you, then that’s surely enough. The Good News of Jesus, after all, is inextricably linked with his work on Calvary. I would only hope we do not form a dead-end doctrine disguised as the real thing, while altogether dismissing the risen savior. Trends pass; Jesus will not.

From my blog

(Opens in a new window)

Nov 4

In this performancism, we eventually figure out that being the star of our own show actually makes life a tragedy. When life is all about us — what we can do, how we perform — our world becomes small and smothering; we shrink. To have everything riding on ourselves leads to despair, not deliverance.

- Tullian Tchividjian, from Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Nov 1

Book Review: Gospel

By J.D. Greear

If you were to distill the most critical elements of the Bible into a razor-sharp work, you’d end up with J.D. Greear’s Gospel. Without venturing into Old Testament prophecy, metanarrative, the temple sacrifice system, the Mosaic Law, or even much of Jesus’ life story, author J.D. Greear presents the Good News of Jesus Christ for the back row churchgoer in the everyday walk with God. Where so many works like this come across as polished, academic, irrelevant minutiae, Greear brings it down to the dynamics of our relationship with Christ.

Much of Gospel is unoriginal, and J.D. Greear proudly claims so. Often written like a Greatest Hits Album from a cross-section of the best preachers today, Gospel works largely because of its sincerity and straightforward simplicity. It’s like a quadruple espresso shot of Bible truth aiming for the heart of the matter: namely, your heart. It will especially revive those who are frustrated or flailing in their Christian walk.

With endorsements by Tim Keller, Matt Chandler, David Platt, Albert Mohler, Daniel Akin, Johnny Hunt, and Steven Furtick, the book had a lot to live up to. And it does. It’s an instant classic, not because it has anything new to say, but because it says it so well. It’s almost like a contemporized work by John Stott or C.S. Lewis made for the modern Christian.

 J.D. Greear explodes with grace in the opening chapters that flips over common Christianity. You know: serve, change, serve, change — exhaustion. While hundreds of books have tackled legalism and its utter drainage, J.D. exposes the core of legalism and thrusts forth the gripping truth of the Gospel as the cure-all to spiritual sleepwalking.

Continue Reading at my blog

The poisonous danger in portraying all Bible narratives as Success Stories is the ridiculous standard shackled on earnest believers. It creates a moralism that appears attainable but is not even the point of real faith: we don’t aspire to religious values for a self-satisfied transcendence. Simply trying to be like David/ Moses/ Elijah/ Peter/ Paul/ Esther/ Mary removes the necessary provision of the atoning cross. Every Bible figure looks to the Messiah to do what they could not — to finish what they have all utterly failed to do.

When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it solves a great deal of anxiety.


- A. W. Tozer


David Jee [Eternity Bible College]

(via christisenough)