In the church, we care for souls. But what is it that we are doing in that work? It is our conviction that we are helping one another die well–with dignity and hope. That may sound like a strange thing to say, but we are convinced it’s biblical. In this life, we are weak and frail. We experience suffering and pain. Yet, Christ is our hope. And he has secured for us a life that is beyond this one.
Semper Reformanda: The guys discuss a theology of the cross versus a theology of glory. And, we consider the point of our sanctification.
Episode: Take Up Your Cross
Giveaway: “Recovering Eden” by Zack Eswine
FREE EBOOK: Theocast.org/primer
Justin Perdue: Hi, this is Justin. Today on Theocast, we’re going to be talking about what we are trying to do in the church when we care for people’s souls. A lot of things are said about these things, but it’s our position here that really what we’re effectively doing is helping people die well—helping people die with dignity and with hope, and that hope being in the Lord Jesus Christ. A lot of the things that are said about sanctification, even growth in the Christian life, give us the wrong idea. So we want to try to define some terms and define things appropriately today, as well as think well about our weakness and our frailty in this life, and the hope that Christ has given us in the life that is to come ,and to think well together about the faithfulness of God in the midst of our suffering and pain. We hope that this conversation is encouraging for you.
And then over in the SR podcast today, we’re going to get into some theology of the cross and theology of glory conversations. We hope that you enjoy that conversation as well.
We’re going to be effectively talking today about the care of souls and what it is that we’re doing in caring for souls in the church. The title of the episode is Dying With Dignity, which really is borrowed from something that John said on a podcast a few months ago about what we’re doing in the church as we watch over and care for people, which is this: we are helping people die with dignity and hope, and effectively we’re helping people die well, trusting in the Lord Jesus, knowing that deliverance has been accepted for them and that our final deliverance is coming because of Christ. And so this is a conversation in some ways about suffering, in some ways about sanctification, and trying to talk about it in a way that’s honest that squares with our experience. Because a lot of times, at least this is my take and I know you agree, that the way that growth and sanctification and even healing—to use some of that therapeutic language—is talked about. I think it gives us the wrong idea of what it’s going to be like.
This conversation today is, we hope, a kind of a reset. And I personally think it’s encouraging. We do not mean in saying this, in anything we’re about to say, we do not mean to sound fatalistic as though life is gonna be terrible and Jesus is going to come back. That’s not what we’re saying. We’re trying to biblically take a balanced posture on what it is the Lord is doing in our lives and what we can expect this life to look like between now and when we die, or between now and when Christ returns.
Jon Moffitt: That’s right. When we use the word dignity, one of the things that came to mind when I first started to give this theology to our church—I was trying to describe to our church. What are we doing every week? What are we trying to accomplish? I always want to be careful not to tear the churches down, but a lot of what I was seeing presented by other churches has given such a bad taste in my mouth, because if that’s the end goal—which is big buildings, big programs, big livestream…
Justin Perdue: Everything bigger and better and higher.
Jon Moffitt: This is probably not what they’re doing, but again, my own impression: it sounds like we’re drowning out people’s problems. It’s like, “Come be a part of this movement and you can forget about your problems.” That kind of system just chews people up. All of a sudden they look around to the people to the left and the right who are clean and who are all well put together.
My kids and I just watched this movie called The Mitchells Vs. The Machines. In the movie is this dysfunctional family. They’re comparing themselves to their neighbors who are all fit, who have perfect skin tone, and they all do yoga. It’s just funny. Their vacations are perfect. That’s how it can feel—you show up to church and it’s like the Instagram family. That’s exactly what it was. At the end of the movie, her neighbor says, “Hey, I just wanted to tell you I am so impressed with you. I’m now going to follow you.”
But the point of it is that you look around with the people next to you and you think, “Their lives are all put together and mine’s not. I’m in a disarray. I have all the problems and I can’t get myself together.” And you see people flailing about to try and preserve their health, to preserve their looks, to preserve their money, to preserve their status and fame.
I was having this discussion with someone yesterday at lunch about this person who just retired from baseball. What do they do with their life now? They’re 40; their lives are half over and what used to bring them excitement, joy, and hope is gone, and you see often people start flailing about. This is where drugs come in. This is where all kinds of sexual deviancies come in.
Justin Perdue: The proverbial midlife crisis.
Jon Moffitt: Right. And the church should be able to step in and say, All of this is of no value to our life—our health, our wealth, our fame—it will not transfer to the real world, to our new world, to our new home. So when we say die with dignity, what we mean is you don’t see someone grasping ridiculously to things that absolutely will perish. You’re not taking them to the grave with you. What allows you to do this is your hope. If your hope is not in what this world provides, but in what is to come, which is what Christ provides, then you have that. How do you do that though? It’s easy to say, “I want to die with dignity.” But the question then becomes this: how is that accomplished? Is it accomplished alone? We’re going to talk about that in today’s podcast.
Justin Perdue: There’s language that’s used in the church in various streams. For example, in the Calvinistic evangelical stream of things, you often hear language about growth or language about maturation in the faith, or even language of strength or getting stronger as a Christian. We’ve released an episode called Strong Disciples Only. We talked about some of that stuff and how disciples are often weak and afraid and things of that nature. But I think that language of growth and maturation and strength can be misleading because we tend to then think that as I grow, as I mature, as I get stronger, then my spiritual muscles and my spiritual capacity for work is just greater.
I’m a fitness guy, and the way we define fitness is the ability to do work over a domain of time. As your fitness increases, so does your capacity to do things. Things that once were hard are now much easier. I can do more work over a period of time or I can bear more load or whatever it is. I think we think like that in the Christian life. That sometimes can be unhelpful because it’s not always going to look like that. “Now that I’ve grown and now that I’m stronger, I can do a lot more and handle a lot more than I could five years ago or 10 years ago.” Maybe. But it depends on how you define that. Or another kind of language that’s used a lot in the church—and this is not necessarily all bad, but it can be if left unchecked and undefined—is the therapeutic language of healing, where people will talk about all the things that have happened to them, or even the things that have been brought upon their lives by their own sin and they are pursuing healing from those things.
When some people use the word “healing”, what they mean is—in their own minds—is they’re going to get to a place tomorrow or a year or 10 years from now. Eventually when they have healed from this, when they look back on that thing or that experience, or that season of their life, it will no longer hurt or it will no longer affect them like it does today. To that I would like to say that I trust that over time, time alone will do some work—God, by His Spirit, will give you wisdom and perspective on your pain. Amen. Yet I trust that there will be things that we look back on for the entirety of our days on earth. And we look back and we say that still was hurtful, that still is painful, it’s still hard to think about that. It’s still hard for me to think about the death of my loved one. I still remember and I still grieve because that’s how God made us. We’re not made to forget pain and we’re not made to forget sin. This is why we constantly are having to look outside of ourselves and outside of our experience to find hope.
We need to be able to talk in these terms to help each other really live life in this fallen world.
Jon Moffitt: That’s right. We like to poke fun at the prosperity gospel—it’s an easy target. I think we equate prosperity gospel with money.
Justin Perdue: But there’s a different kind of prosperity theology.
Jon Moffitt: That’s right. This can be seen in conservative churches as well. God is going to prosper… let’s change the word because “prosper” has such dirty taste in our mouth. I like the words “heal”, “progress”, “bless”, “strengthen”, or “provide”. God will provide for your needs, your job, your health, or whatever it is, because X, Y, Z is done. And what you hear is your faith, your actions, your discipline, your dedication, your faithfulness, steadiness, etc., is related to your health, your job, your anxiety—whatever you want to put in there. This is a great example of dying without dignity. Enough failure in these prosperities will create absolute disparity because you can only take so many failures. There’s only so much time that eventually you realize, “I am a failure at this game. I can not accomplish this. It cannot be done.” Not only that, to Justin’s point, to the person who has had a minimal failure, they feel as if they can recover. But to the person who’s had an epic failure—and I don’t mean failure like it’s their fault, but something like their spouse died, their child died, they were hurt, they were molested—
Justin Perdue: An epic loss or just an epic, absolute heartbreak. Like life failed them. Like something was done to them that they will never be able to move on from.
Jon Moffitt: Right. I said this in my sermon a couple of weeks ago. When I said that what the resurrection restores for us—in final restoration—is the loss of what we feel now. But you cannot have the restoration of death now. Unfortunately, in our church, we’ve suffered a lot of loss this year—children and parents and spouses. It’s been a difficult year. As a church grows you’re going to experience more and more suffering. Do I walk up to those parents and offer them some kind of solution to restore that pain? It cannot be restored. It’s a scar that will remain until we reach glory when all will be restored. So you don’t offer someone restoration; you offer them hope, which then creates a place of dignity where they can look around and go, “Okay, I can suffer now with some dignity, where I’m not going to look foolish trying to grasp onto something that just isn’t going to work.”
Justin Perdue: And I can suffer knowing that I do have an unshakable eternal hope, and that unshakable, eternal hope may or may not change how I feel about this thing right now.
As I was listening to you talk a minute ago, you were talking about how prosperity gospel, prosperity theology stuff, is often easy for us to spot, but there are different kinds of it that exist in the church. I think what we’re talking about today, whether we use the therapeutic language of healing or whether we use the more Calvinistic evangelical language of growth, maturation, and the like—I’m not saying it has to because if it’s done well, it’s fine—but I think it can quickly become a kind of easy listening prosperity theology, where we’re told that if we pursue things the right way in terms of our healing, or if we do things the right way in terms of our pursuit of godliness, then we will experience certain levels of healing or growth that will make our life better now. Maybe our lives will be better now—and I trust there will be ways that our lives are better but we don’t really realize.
This brings me to a few thoughts. I’m very tempted to talk about a theology of glory versus a theology of the cross. I trust maybe we’ll get there and maybe we’ll talk about that in SR. It could be a good conversation.
Let’s just talk for a minute about how sanctification even works in this life. Laying cards out on the table, Jon and I believe that sanctification is monergistic—and by that, we mean that God is the one who does it. Justification—our being absolved of guilt, forgiven of sins, and declared righteous—is monergistic; there’s one worker and that’s God. And then even in our sanctification, we participate because we’ve now been given life, but God is the one who effectively does it. He accomplishes our sanctification and conforms us into the image of His Son.
I think it becomes very obvious that sanctification is monergistic when we talk about it honestly. Because how does it so often occur in our lives and in our experience? I would suggest that we are most sanctified by things that we would never have foreseen, that we would never have planned for ourselves, that we would never have signed up for, and that frankly—in our lives as they exist today—we don’t like. This, to me, makes it very clear that God is the author and God is the one who accomplishes that sanctifying work in us. We encounter trials of various kinds. Again, we don’t pray for trials, we don’t foresee or anticipate them. We’re not God; we don’t see them coming. If we could change it, we would. But He ordains trials so that, like James 1:2-3, we’re told to count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Or you have Romans 5 where Paul begins that chapter by saying, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s a big deal.
But then verse two, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace into which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. So there’s that hope piece. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” So we can rejoice in suffering, we can count it joy when we encounter trials of various kinds, because we know that God is working steadfastness in us. That is a miracle that only God can accomplish. Because logically speaking, at a human level, the kinds of suffering that we’re talking about—we’re not talking about some adversity and you need to push through it to make you stronger stuff. This isn’t that “climb the mountain and be a conqueror” trash. We’re talking about real hardship and calamity and suffering.
The human response to that is that if there is a God, I hate Him. We’re just going to be driven more deeply into our selfishness and our sin. Not, “Oh, this is going to produce hope and steadfastness and character in me.” That is the work of God almighty—and He does it this way. I think this is helpful for us to realize that this kind of sanctifying work is of the Lord, and we often do not see it as it’s happening. We’re terrible evaluators of our own growth. We need other Christians around us to help us see it. I think we can only see it individually as we pan out from our lives and we realize that we are different than we were 10 years ago, and we were different than we were 15 years ago. God has worked some stuff in me and praise be to His name.
Jon Moffitt: And different in that you trust Him more.
Justin Perdue: Exactly. It’s a perspective change. What is wisdom? It’s effectively God’s perspective that we now have to a greater degree: we actually have a better perspective on our past and we trust the Lord through it. We more readily acknowledged that the secret things belong to Him and I don’t fully understand.
Jon Moffitt: What you’re describing is what I see all the time: it’s a camouflage prosperity gospel. It’s been rebranded. Satan is the father of all lies; he doesn’t need you to deny the gospel or deny God or even important theology, he just needs you to get discouraged to get you off your faith. And on your faithfulness, he’s just going to change something slightly. A great example of what you’re talking about here—and I would even say Paul himself is debunking this camouflage prosperity gospel—in 2 Corinthians 12, he says, “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'”
Now our situations probably will be very different from Paul. We’re not dealing with the issue of conceitedness, but if you compare this with James and Romans, the idea is that often, God will allow things to be in our lives so that our weakness drives us to our knees. Another way of saying this is that our weakness drives us to the point where we don’t have strength and our strength has to come from something else. And that’s when he says God’s grace is sufficient, for His power is made perfect in weakness.
Go back to the episode about strong disciples only. The New Testament just cuts that thing off at the knees and says, no, it’s not about strength; it’s about God’s faith and our faith in God’s strength.
Justin Perdue: Amen, brother. If there’s anybody’s strength that we need to worry about, it’s God’s.
Jon Moffitt: If you feel like this is off, if you’re hearing sermons, or you’re reading books, or your brain has been trained to think that a strong Christian looks like this, but a weak Christian looks like that, a strong Christian is one who has strongly put their faith in Christ and his sufficiency. Their hope is not in their ability to do something, but in God’s ability to do something for them.
To be clear on all of this, often I’m convinced that people want to hear what they want to hear and they don’t actually hear what we’re saying. It sounds like you guys are just giving up and just letting God do something and you’re not being held responsible for yourselves.
Justin Perdue: And that’s not what we’re saying at all. To some people listening to this, I trust that some of this might sound like blasphemy, that we are somehow short-selling the Holy Spirit and you guys need to be encouraging people towards a victorious and triumphant Christian life. We’ve been delivered from the dominion of sin and you need to be encouraging people towards growth and maturation. I’m not discouraging growth and maturation; I’m just saying, let’s talk about it accurately. And like you just said, actual maturation and real strength is knowing that you don’t have it and that God is faithful and strong. In your weakness, His grace is sufficient and His power is displayed.
The 1689 London Baptist Confession, chapter five, paragraph five on Divine Providence talks about these very things—how God, in His perfect and wise and holy providence, uses suffering and pain and even our own sin for His good and holy purposes in our lives. And what are those? The ones that are outlined in the confession include us being humbled, so that we might know more and more how much we need Christ and how dependent upon God we are. That’s huge. God uses suffering and pain to continue to drive us to Jesus and to continue to remind us of our weakness.
Jon Moffitt: Chapter 17 on sanctification, point one: “Even though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet these things will never be able to move the elect from the foundation and rock to which they are anchored by faith. The felt side of the light and the love of God may be clouded and obscured from them for a time through their own unbelief and the temptations of Satan. Yet God is still the same; they will certainly be kept by the power of God for salvation, where they will enjoy their purchased possession. For they are engraved on the palms of his hand, and their names have been written in the book of life for all of eternity.” The point of it is—and this is Paul in 2 Corinthians—that when you get tossed about, and at times your vision is cloudy, your foundation is in his hands. It’s engraved there. In other words, you belong to him.
In point 3, it says this: “They may fall into grievous sins and continue in them for a time, due to the temptation of Satan and the world, the strength of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation.” Means of grace is so important. “In so doing, they incur God’s displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit; their graces and comforts become impaired; their hearts are hardened and their conscience wounded; they hurt and scandalize others and bring temporary judgments of themselves. Nevertheless, they will renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.” We believe this to be true. I often think people linger in sin longer because they’re waiting for that moment of freedom but no, it’s just a lifelong struggle and we rest in Christ.
Justin Perdue: I agree wholeheartedly. That was a great interjection with chapter 17. Just finishing chapter five, paragraph five, and then I want to mention something from 2 Corinthians as well: so God uses pain and suffering and even our own sin to discipline us; He’s a loving Father who disciplines His children—Hebrews 12. But He’s humbling us, He’s teaching us how much we need Him, how dependent we are upon Christ, and He’s also teaching us in such a way that we might—down the road, when we encounter things that are similar—we may have a different perspective than we had this time. So God’s doing all those good things through our pain and even our own sin.
But think about these words from 2 Corinthians at the beginning of the letter. This is from chapter one, verses eight and nine. Paul says this: “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” Amen. That’s what we’re saying: God will use suffering and trial to the point where in our experience—listen to the words of the apostle—we despaired of life itself. We feel like we’ve received the sentence of death. We are perishing and sometimes I wish I just would, because it’s so hard. But what is God doing? He is teaching us to rely not on ourselves, but on Him and upon Jesus who has provided us with atonement for sin and righteousness, and who has secured our resurrection.
Jon Moffitt: Amen. To make a little bit of a shift and change here, this hopefully is an encouragement to the one who might be realizing they find themselves duped by a different form of prosperity gospel. They’re not the failure; this life is the failure. We live in a cursed world; our heart and our bodies have been cursed. And there can be a form of victory as long as we don’t have to live in the bondage of sin. It doesn’t mean our struggle with sin is ever going away, but we don’t need to be in bondage to it, as according to Paul. We do not do that, but you can not, should not, and do not do this on your own. Many people have also fallen into this prosperity gospel: you can succeed in the Christian life by yourself. You put in the work and God blesses you. And this is so far from the truth.
Justin, you and I often get criticized because people will say, “You guys are deemphasizing Bible reading; you’re deemphasizing spiritual disciplines. Basically, you are telling people that you are deemphasizing the necessity of sanctification.” To respond to that, we are not deemphasizing sanctification. I want every single one of my congregants to be the exact image of what Paul describes in Ephesians 4: in perfect harmony in the fullness and wisdom and knowledge of Christ. I want every single one of my congregants to be there, and myself included, I want nothing to be in their way. I don’t want anything to hinder them because that’s where they’re going to find the most hope, the most joy, the most peace, the most ability to long suffer. And so why would I want to remove something out of their pathway to help them in that sanctification process? It’s just that we have been so trained to individualize, white knuckle, pull yourself up by the bootstrap sanctification process—and it’s just not the case.
The purpose of the church—and I think you can talk about discipleship, evangelism, or the means of grace in this phrase—is to help people die with dignity and hope. The only way you can die with dignity and hope is that, first of all, your hope has to be outside of this world and outside of yourself. The way in which you find yourself on death’s door, and you’re not at that place where you’re flailing about trying to hold on to everything, it’s because your brothers and sisters around you are holding you up. They’re speaking Christ to you.
We quote this almost every podcast, but I can’t help not to. This is Hebrews 3: “Consider how to build one another up daily so that you aren’t hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves as such as you are. When the body functions properly, it builds itself up in love.” This is what I love to say to someone who’s walked in—and I’ve had to say this a lot lately with so many people coming into the church—they walk in and their lives are messed up. They’ve made massive mistakes, they’ve done things that they regret, and they often feel like they’re damaged goods and there’s really nothing for them in the church other than show, tithe, then leave. Because how can God use such damaged goods? Here’s what’s great about the gospel: that you don’t need a degree, you don’t need a lot of money, you don’t need a different past in order to love, care, and support other brothers and sisters in Christ to give them exactly what they need to rest and find hope in Christ. As a matter of fact, you can be one of the most effective Christians on the planet by simply learning to love, care, be patient, carry burdens, and allow people to have hope and be there when they die so they die with dignity.
I ask them if they think they could do something like that, and the look on their face comes alive. They had nothing in the sense that they are not going to write books, or lead worship, or all this kind of stuff that they think Christianity is about. No, real Christianity is about holding the hand of a dear saint who has no hope and giving them hope.
Justin Perdue: Real Christianity is trusting Christ, loving your brothers and sisters, pursuing righteousness, fleeing from Satan—that’s what we’re doing together. The reason why we discourage people from pursuing sin—there are a number of reasons. It dishonors the Lord, it’s terrible for their lives, it wrecks this because it actually robs people of dignity. It absolutely just ruins lives: it ruins marriages and everything else.
Because we love people, because we’ve been born again, we desire to honor God with our lives. We’ve become obedient from the heart (Romans 6:17). We encourage one another to continue to trust Christ and to continue to pursue righteousness. That’s what it looks like to die well with hope and dignity. I’m hoping in Jesus, I’m trusting that he has me, that he’s provided me with everything that I ever need. I was talking about this yesterday with one of the guys who’s on staff with me and a member of our church. I am struck more and more all the time, especially in light of difficult circumstances that I find myself in or difficult circumstances that I am just very much aware of in our own congregation. There is just heartbreaking stuff going on all the time. Granted, I know that Christ is my righteousness in my best moments. I don’t dispute that for a second. But then in my lowest and weakest moments, I am really just driven to rock bottom. What do I have here? What do we have here? When I’m hurting, when I’m discouraged, when I’m tired, when there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of hopeful stuff going on in my life, what do we have? I’ve got Christ. What do I even mean by that? I believe there is a God, I believe He’s holy, and I believe I’m not. I believe the Scripture is true and that Christ is coming back and he’s going to judge all men. And what do I have on that day if this is where it’s all going? I’m going to bank on the fact that, as I have understood Christ and the gospel, and as Christians have understood Christ in the gospel for 2000 years, that Jesus is gentle and gracious and faithful and compassionate toward those who trust in him. I am going to trust him that he’s done everything for me that he has promised, and that he looks upon me with favor because I know I’m weak and I know.
At the end of the day, that’s the comfort for me. It doesn’t necessarily make me feel better. I may still feel the exact same way about my circumstances or about the circumstances that others are going through, but we do believe that there is hope outside of this life, and there is objective hope in Christ and what he has accomplished that stands outside of how I feel, what I think, how I’m doing. I want to help my brothers and sisters continue to trust him, too. I want to help them flee from sin because it’ll ruin their lives. I want to sit and listen when they’re struggling and I want to hold people’s hands as they pass from this life to the next. That’s really what we’re doing. I agree so wholeheartedly.
And it sounds like a short sell to say that we’re helping people die with dignity and hope. Aren’t we doing more than that? At the end of the day, I think that is what we’re doing and we’re doing a heck of a lot by doing that.
Jon Moffitt: As cheesy as this is gonna sound, when we talk about being the hands and feet of Jesus, I see the church holding those dear precious people as they pass from here to there; they’re passing with the hope of Christ next to them, to the reality of Christ in front of them. I see that to be a very serious ministry. The way I look at pastoral ministry now and Theocast is that… I don’t want people to suffer needlessly and alone; I want them to walk away with the reality that there is more to this life than more money, more fame, more fitness, more family. All of those will fail and have failed, and it seems like we, as humans, are so stupid and Satan is so smart because the same thing that’s been tripping up people from day one is still tripping people up today. What got Adam in trouble? The want for more power. It is still getting people in trouble today.
Right. I have the joy of walking in—when someone is in the midst or has destroyed their life and they have no hope—to sit down and show them there’s nothing they can do to restore this, but that doesn’t mean your life is over because there’s so much you can do to help others. And there’s something you can do to have hope. That’s what we’re talking about.
I love the reality that every week, Justin and I get to preach on Sundays, do our ministry throughout the week, and hop on a podcast and know that people are going to hear the power of God and go, “Well, my life has purpose.” We were talking about this before the podcast. I’m overwhelmed that people say, “Theocast has forever changed my life.” No, the gospel has forever changed your life; we just happened to be how you heard it.
Justin Perdue: It’s like what Charles Spurgeon said about the Bible where people asked him if he felt the need to defend the Bible because of all the stuff going on in his day, slide into liberal theology, etc. He’s basically saying, and I paraphrase, “Defend the Bible? I’d sooner defend a lion. Because all I need to do is basically set the Bible loose and it will defend itself.” The same is true with this message. All Jon and I are aiming to do is set loose this message of the sufficiency of Christ, because Jesus will handle it. The spirit of Christ will handle the application of this thing. All we’re doing is trying to say stuff that not that many people have said on this continent, sadly, at least, especially not in our world, in a credobaptist world. We’re not saying anything new and I don’t think we’re uniquely special in any way, but we’re preaching a message that is incredible. Again, quoting ol’ Chuck Spurgeon, he said, “People may preach the gospel better than me, but they will never preach a better gospel
Jon Moffitt: This is the point of Semper Reformanda. We want to gather people together to learn how to do this: how to care for people, how to love on them, how to help them in our churches and in our community and in our families. One of the ways to do that is to understand this whole entire podcast has been really about the theology of cross versus the theology of glory, which we’re going to dive into deeper and explain to you how to use the two in encouragement, counseling, and pastoring in the church in the next conversation with Semper Reformanda.
But if you’d like to be a part of this community where we are helping more people find rest in Christ, helping them die with dignity and hope and supporting the churches, then join our ministry, Semper Reformanda, and you can download the app and listen to our private podcast feed, join the conversations, and join local groups where we meet locally and online to discuss this theology as we try and increase our awareness of Christ and decrease our trust in ourselves.
Justin Perdue: In transitioning over to the SR podcast, if you’ve ever thought that much of what you hear about in the church, even when it comes to your growth in the faith, and it seems earthbound, it seems to focus on this life and not the one to come, that’s very much related to this conversation that we’re about to have—theology of glory versus a theology of the cross. Because I agree that much of the talk that we hear about sanctification and growth and maturity and strength and all that has everything to do with our life now. And in reality, where people who are not hoping in anything for this life, we are living for the life to come that Christ is secured for us. So if you’re interested in listening in on that, Jon has already talked about Semper Reformanda and what it is. You can find any information that you want about this other podcast that we do, and the SR community that’s been created over on our website theocast.org.
So for those of you who are going to make your way over to the Semper Reformanda podcast, we’ll talk with you in just a second. And for those of you who may not, at least yet, be heading over to the SR podcast, we’re grateful for you. We’re glad you tuned into this episode. We hope you enjoyed the conversation and were encouraged by it.
We’ll talk with you again next week.