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Together for the Gospel Reflections

April 26, 2016 | by: Mike Law | 0 Comments

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Reflections

Dear Brothers and Sister,
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a pastor’s conference entitled “Together for the Gospel.” Over 10,000 people were there, and my dad was there with me. It was an encouraging time. We listened to 10 hour-long talks, and attended 2 additional breakout sessions. I took notes, by hand, and had about a full page of notes for each talk.
Below I’ve pulled out the things that stood out most to me in the midst of the talks. They are listed in no particular order (they’re not even in the order that I heard them in the conference). I hope that these brief snapshots will give you a sense of what I was hearing throughout the course of the week, more than that I hope that something strikes a chord and is helpful to your soul.
You’re welcome to listen to any and all of the talks online at www.t4g.org. You’re also welcome to ask me any questions you might have about the conference or guess which one was my favorite talk (and it is not necessarily the one that has the most notes below).
Thank you for giving me the time and the resources to attend the conference and to be built up in the faith, it was helpful to my soul. And thank you to the many of you who prayed for my wife and kids while I was away, I really appreciate it. I remain grateful to serve Christ with each and every one of you at ABC.

Warmly in Christ,
Mike

2016 T4G Reflections

Mark Dever, “Endurance Needed: Strength for a Slow Reformation and the Dangerous Allure of Speed”
• Pastoring is like parenting, it is urgent work, but it is a slow work.
• Preaching through the Bible is a slow, but sure way of gospel expansion.
• On the importance of knowing your members – not how many there are, but how they are.
• Pastor, you need to remember that God has responsibilities that you don’t have.

Mark Dever & Jonathan Leeman, “Don’t be a 9Marxist”
• Be willing to say “I don’t know.”
• Cultivate a willingness to be corrected.
• Rely on the power of the Word and the Spirit to change minds and hearts.
• Christ died to purchase his sheep, they must be treated with special care.
• A deep sense of conviction, need for confession, and comfort from Christ.

Ligon Duncan, “Why the Reformation is Not Over”
• The reformers were right about the necessity of reformation and their prescriptions for reformation are more relevant and needed than ever.
• Our worship needs to be ordered by the Bible and filled with the Bible.
• The ordinances/means of grace do not give us something in addition to Christ, they are designed to help us get Christ better.
• The claim of the Roman Pontiff (the Pope) is the single greatest obstacle to the unity of the Church.

Albert Mohler, “We Have Only One Priest: The Reformation as a Revolution in Ministry”
• A pastor’s job description is simply to make the Word of God fully known.
o Other careers/jobs can say “This is done,” but a pastor’s job is never done.
• The gospel is the message which when heard and believed saves.

C.J. Mahaney, “Sustained in Suffering by the Saga of Job”
• It is possible to preach an exegetically sound sermon that lacks a pastoral pulse. Suffering is sermon preparation.
• There is no such thing as a quick fix for a suffering soul.
• We do not look for the purpose of suffering in the cause, but in its goal.
• The possibility of adding to a person’s suffering is sobering.
• Teach those you love to be comfortable with mystery in God’s dealings.
• Job is not about suffering, it is about God.
• What Job finally saw clearly was that he did not see clearly.

John Piper, “The Bondage of the Will, the Sovereignty of Grace, and the Glory of God”
• The bondage of legal guilt and condemnation (Romans 3:9-10)
• The bondage of love for the darkness (John 3:19-20)
o The bondage of the natural (unregenerate) human heart is that light is hated and darkness is loved [God must work!].
• The bondage of hatred to the supremacy of God (Romans 8:6-8)
o Apart from the work of the Spirit we cannot submit to a divine law whose first commandment is to love the God we hate.
• The bondage of spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1-10)
• The bondage of blindness to the glory of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
o Our only hope is for God to deliver us from our blindness and bondage
• The Glory of God’s sovereign omnipotent grace is to overcome our bondage and blindness (2 Corinthians 4:6)
o Fallen man cannot create his own holy choices.
o Every inclination to obedience God must decisively fulfill (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
o Our working does not add to God’s working, it was produced by God’s working. Our working is God’s working!

Thabiti Anyabwile, “The Reformation Began with Paul: Justification the Same Yesterday, Today & Forevermore”
• We are reformed because reformed is a suitable nickname for the teaching of Scripture
• The doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone is not a reformation doctrine, as though it originated with the Protestant Reformation. It is a biblical doctrine.
• Not every Jesus is a saving Jesus. Only the Jesus of Scripture is a saving Jesus.
• Common things are not always beautiful things. Our sin is common, but it is grotesque.
• Righteousness before God comes from God and it is for God.

David Platt, “Martyrdom and Mission: Why Reformers Died In Their Day, How We Must Live In Ours”
• The church has been complicit in cultural Christianity.
• The reformers believed that their depravity was deserving of damnation.
• Salvation all by mercy and not by our merit is worth our lives.
• When you know the depth of God’s love for sinners you lose your life for them.
• Stop sending missionaries who don’t love God’s Word and do not have theological precision.
• Let’s live, lead, and long for the day when the Reformation will be consummation.

Matt Chandler, “God’s Glory as the Base of our Courage”
• Romans 11:36, “Oh the depth,” Thin pictures of God will not sustain a fearful people. Preach the depth of God.
• We get a new body and new heavens and earth, but most of all we get God (he is my inheritance).
• The depth and the riches of God strengthens and emboldens us, leading us to say, “What can man do to me?”
• The Cross reminds us that God is for us.
• Every kingdom will be judged, by our Warrior God. Only one will remain – the kingdom of God.

Kevin DeYoung, “Can We Be Glorified Without Being Sanctified? Good Works, Good News, and Christian...”
• Without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12)
• The abandonment of definitions and precision is the gateway to liberalism.
• Ryle, “Even if you could enter heaven without holiness, what would you do there?”
• If you are not concerned about holiness, you are not concerned about the Great Commission.
• God causes us to persevere by several means

Kevin DeYoung, “Drawing Boundaries in an Inclusive Age” [Breakout Session]
• If defining our faith is difficult, defining our fences is even more difficult.
• Pastoral work is to preach to the people, pray for the people, be with the people, and be patient.

John MacArthur, “Christ’s Call to Reformation”
• Heaven does not remove the earthly responsibility of the church/the people of God to repent.
• How does the drift begin? By leaving your first love.
• Flavel, “You heart has sunk deeper into the world.”
• Reformation begins with repentance.
• We cannot love him fully unless we know him fully – so we must preach him fully.

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