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Category Archives: Patrick Abendroth

Good Friday and Finishing Well

Today is Good Friday. For some it represents one of the most horrific acts of humanity ever. The killing of the Son of God. For others it represents a celebration because in the death of Jesus Man Running Reaching Finish LineChrist, the Son of God, the many sins of many were atoned for. Paid in full. I tend toward this representation with a slight acknowledgement toward the former. God took the most horrific act of humanity ever, and accomplished the eternal redemption of humanity through the death of the Son on the cross. Can I hear an AMEN!!

All this writing of death and redemption allows me to segue into the real topic of this post. “Finishing Well” is the title of a one day seminar presented by Omaha Bible Church and senior pastor Patrick Abendroth. The seminar was created to instruct the attenders and audio listeners (that’s me) on how to finish out your days on this earth well. Our days are indeed numbered, and by the grace of God you may be allowed enough time to plan for and accomplish this task of finishing well.

Here are the two audio links:

Part 1 – Certainities you need to know in order to finish well.

Part 2 – Actions you need to take in order to finish well.

 

Below is a link to the notes I took while listening.

Finishing Well Notes

I will also post an update to this blog below with some of the planning tools mentioned in the seminar.

Update: Below is a personal profile document for you to use to plan your last days.

Personal Profile

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

The Church’s Two Gospels

Now before I get some flack from my few readers let me explain the title. The title stems from the two major points in a recent sermon from Omaha Bible Church senior pastor Patrick Abendroth. The points made should also be the two main priorities of the church. The two points are related and sequential. You cannot have the one without the two. These two gospels are found in the book of Ephesians chapters 2 and 4, and these are the texts where the sermon was anchored. Let me try to explain further.

The Gospel of Salvation

The book of Ephesians addresses two gospels. The gospel of salvation and the gospel of sanctification. The gospel of salvation most assuredly comes first so it is handled first. This is the gospel many of us know about. This gospel tells us who we are or were before a holy and righteous God. As the apostle Paul explains in his letter to the Ephesians:

Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV

Paul is addressing believers here. He is reminding them of who they once were. We were once condemned before a holy God for our rebellion towards him. Basically the walking dead. But then comes the gospel part or good news. Again, as mentioned in an earlier post, I love the “But God”.

Ephesians 2:4-10 ESV

This is the Gospel of Salvation. God did it all. Even though we were dead in our trespasses, and rebellious to God (Romans 1) He had mercy on us and raised us up through his son. God makes us alive. We are no longer the walking dead. We are walking alive in Christ. This salvation is all of God’s grace. Without it we remain the walking dead in our sins.

The Gospel of Sanctification

This gospel is also written about in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Our chapter 4. These verses encourage the believer to get out of their spiritual “pampers” and grow up. Paul encourage us to grow in Christian maturity. We are to walk in a manner worthy of our calling writes Paul:

Ephesians 4:1-16 ESV

We are urged to get out of our spiritual diapers. We used to walk being led around by our noses, following the course of the this world. Now, believers are to walk in our freedom found in Christ. Part of growing up is using humility, gentleness, and patience toward one another. Paul is teaching us how to walk and behave as one body in Christ. We are held together into one body with Christ as the head. We were all given gifts in order to build up the body of Christ. We are to be equipped, get along, get out of our spiritual diapers,  for when each part of the body is working properly it makes the whole body grow. Church growth means maturity, not numbers.

Lest we forget the primary focus of the church. We as believers are members of this church. We should never forget the condition we were in prior to God’s grace and merciful intervention. We should be striving daily to grow as into mature believers. These passages in Ephesians 2 and 4 emphasize this quite well.

What’s the Point Anyway?

 

Decisions, Decisions.

I will definitely admit I am far from being in a position to be asked to participate in any forum where I would be speaking in front of hundreds of people. I am truly not trying to be critical of those who are and the choices they make. I am just trying to think through these things as I listen to some of my favorite speakers and some of the forums they are invited to. Today’s case in point, Michael Horton speaking in at forum in Saddleback Church on June 10th as part of the “12 Cities 12 Conversations” project hosted by the Lausanne Movement.

Earlier this week after watching the recorded web cast of the panel discussion I posed a question, via email, to many of my church leadership friends regarding Horton participating in this panel discussion at Saddleback Church. I received many responses, from simply “dumb” to a short rebuttal in the use of the phrase “reformed infatuation” from a popular blogger brother. But included in this blogger’s response was a point made to him by Mark Dever a few years ago. The point being that if anyone opened their platform or pulpit to him (Mark Dever) he would gladly take the opportunity to present the true gospel. In some cases it may be the only time they audience would hear it.

After watching the panel discussion, I now know why Horton was there. I have included the link below and in the body of this post. If you haven’t seen it please notice the term “gospel” thrown around quite a bit, Horton addresses this later. But the term is used in such a way as to infer that the gospel is the same as the second greatest commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself. This is the law, but it is NOT the gospel. This would fall in line with some points made by my senior pastor in a recent sermon found here.

If you watch the video of the panel discussion, the real discussion doesn’t really get cranked up until about 16 minutes in, so you may want to push the feed forward and bypass all the posturing and introductions. Around the 45 minute mark Horton brings up the term “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism”, this term is mentioned many times in his book “Christless Christianity“. (Catch Kay Warren chanting Burger King after Horton finishes speaking as if saying have it your way) But my favorite part of the discussion is when Michael Horton addresses the question “How do we make sure that the proclamation of Jesus doesn’t get lost among the feeding of the hungry and the care for the widows and orphans?”. This comes right at the tail end of the first video (there are two parts), which is around the 60 minute mark.  Horton zooms right in on what the gospel is. Very cool. Glory to God.

The web cast panel discussion at Saddleback Church (again the real discussion doesn’t get going until about 16 to 20 minutes in)

Patrick Abendroth on “The Dechristianization of Christianity

The gospel in about a minute by John Piper.

I would encourage any and all comments on this discussion in particular on the subject of decisions to participate in these venues. Did Horton get his point across or was he marginalized? If you are a preacher given the opportunity to speak at a venue, like say the Crystal Cathedral, would you use it to preach the gospel?

 

Sin still dwells in me.

I am still thinking through this morning’s sermon from Pastor Pat. He preached through Romans 7:13-25. This used to Sin-Killsbe a confusing text for me until I understood that humans do not really do anything good or righteous. Even those folks who might call themselves “Christian”, think they are good now, but that is such a false assumption on their part. As the Apostle Paul states in the Romans 7, he does the very things that he desires not to do, and hates those things, and yet still does them. He has the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out.

Now, come on, this is the Apostle Paul writing here. Surely if anyone had the ability to do good, it was him right? Not so, says the Apostle himself. For he states in verse 23 of chapter 7 that there is a war going on between the law of his mind (doing good) and the law of sin within his body. In the next verse he even refers to himself as a wretched man. Even as a follower of Christ.

He then poses the question that I did not totally grasp until later in life because I thought that since I became a Christian, I should now be doing righteous things. The question is this:

Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Or, who can save this wretched man that I am. The answer comes on the heels of the question in the form of gratitiude.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

It is only through the finished work of Christ, his life, his death, and resurrection that good things happen through man. Try as he might, he cannot do the good on his own. It is work of the spirit of Christ in him. As Christians we should never, ever boast about the good that happens through us. It is only Christ Jesus doing that good through us. We have no righteousness of our own.

If you’d like to listen to the enlightening sermon online go here. If you’d like to download it and listen to it later go here.

Soli Deo Gloria!

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2009 in Apostle Paul, Patrick Abendroth, Romans, sin

 

Assuming the gospel

The above title was point number one in a series of sermons titled “The Death of a Church” delivered by our senior abandonedchurch_in_a_smalltown_11pastor Patrick Abendroth beginning two Sunday’s ago. What is meant by assuming the gospel is to assume the conversion of an individual. It is also to assume the flock, congregation, or church leadership can articulate the gospel of Jesus Christ. And also the assumption that the local church is standing firm in the faith, and striving together. This assumption of the gospel is one of several signs of a dying church mentioned in the sermon series.

Is the conversion of an individual down played? Does the church even discuss conversion? Jesus makes it very clear in Matthew 18:3. In the context of the disciples questioning Jesus about who the greatest in His kingdom. Jesus states:

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)

Is conversion taken for granted? Is the assumption that salvation is passed down from previous generations? Whenever I think of this assumption, I think of a song I heard many years ago. The song was recorded by artist Nicole C. Mullen called “Granny’s Angel” which basically warns folks that you can’t get to heaven on Granny’s conversion. No one has ever been or will ever be born a Christian. No one automatically becomes a Christian at a certain age or after some series of classes are completed. One of the signs of a dying church is the assumption of the pastor, leadership, and congregation that those folks who attend and are involved in ministry are believers.

Which brings us to point number two in the signs. I will only briefly mention this one as I may blog about in more detail at a later date. Point number two is gospel ignorance. Do you know the gospel? Can you articulate the gospel? Pastor Mark Dever of Capital Hill Baptist Church and founder of 9Marks Ministry says that every believer should be able to articulate the gospel in one minute or less. The apostle Paul tells the Corinthian church in 1 Cor. 15:1-4 to hold fast to the gospel he preached to them.

1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

We also should hold fast to this same gospel. If you can’t think of how to articulate it now, it can all be summed up in three words. God saves sinners! We can surely elaborate on that.

The Death of a Church

 

Geeks and Romans

I don’t usually blog about work but I wanted to write about something God has orchestrated in my professional life. I work as a technical consultant for a local consulting firm here in Omaha. Just a couple of months ago I was doing a gig for one of our clients who is located in the heart of of downtown Omaha. I was traveling over an hour each way to do this gig. I also found myself doing basically the same kind of analyst work I’ve been doing for the past several years which is fine, but the travel each day was a killer. To shorten a somewhat long story I would just like to say that God ended that contract. He has also put me onto a project with some other consultants in our firm. I am only traveling half the distance for work and I am working with a dear friend who is a Christ follower, and with some other folks who have professional skills I dearly want to learn. The project will last a couple of years and I will be getting some wonderful hands on experience using development tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2005 Database, and C# (Sharp).Net. Included with these tools I will be learning about Reporting Services in the .Net framework, LINQ which stands for Language Integrated Query which is used to easily hook queried data from a database into your code, and AJAX which is a group of interrelated techniques used for creating interactive web applications. With these techniques you can retrieve data from the web server in the background without interfering with the behavior of the existing web page. Needless to say I am extremely excited. I am giving all the glory to God. Ok, enough of the geeks stuff, now for some Romans.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

The substitutionary death of Jesus Christ

 

Sunday morning Senior Pastor Patrick Abendroth delivered a profound sermon on the importance of the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We were continuing in our verse by verse study of Matthew. Just how important is the substititionary death of Christ? We started by looking at 1 Corinthians 1:18:

The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are persishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.

So how important is it to you? Is it the power of God, or is it just foolishness and unimportant? The perfect lamb of God met the righteouness of God at the moment in time. Pat went on preach about the two cries of Jesus on the cross that say it all about everything. The cries are found in Matthew 27:45-50. Please listen to the incredible sermon linked below and see if it isn’t just astounding to you as well.

Forsaken By God