Category Archives: God

God is angry about sin because…

In the Old Testament we see a God who is angry about sin.  This is offensive to our sensibilities.  How dare God infringe upon our freedom by being angry about something!  How dare He get in our way!  But God is angry about sin not because He is a grumpy killjoy but because He is eternally committed to His own holiness and the good of those He loves.

Think about it.  If God were not angry with sin then He would not be holy.  Would an unholy God be worth worshiping and following?  We should be glad about it!  In addition, God’s anger over sin is a function of His love for us.  He wants us to truly live, and sin keeps us from it!  If anything, God is angry because He cares.  This is not foreign to ordinary life.  I keep my son Henry from running out into the street because I don’t want him to get hit by a car.  I might even deal harshly with him if he persists.  No one in their right mind would say that I was being unloving.  In fact, just the opposite is true.

Yet this is the very thing many people complain about when it comes to God.  We tend to get it all backwards.  We see sin as freedom and God’s law as too restrictive…not life giving but life taking.  God tells us what to do because He is insecure and somehow needs us (see Clash of the Titans).  Of course this is no surprise.  The human spiritual taste bud has been tainted to the extent that we enjoy the wrong things.  In fact, we enjoy them so much that we follow them right to the grave.  We sin because we love ruling over self, and we hate being ruled by God…a God that we attempt to placate by running and hiding under the false pretenses of man-made religion.  These religious charades allow us to maintain control over our own lives while giving the illusion of actual commitment to God.

When we talk about the Gospel in many of our circles, we don’t deal with this reality.  Jesus died to get us out of hell (many say), but not to give us the new taste buds that steer us away from it.  We’ve been taught to hate the otherworldly consequences of sin, but not the soul sucking reality of it in the here and now.  Christianity becomes only about life after death with not much to offer today.  This goes a long way towards explaining the weakness of the church in the West.  We don’t preach or believe in a robust Gospel.  A Gospel that makes us alive spiritually, where we are really “born again.”  A Gospel that de-fanged both Satan and sin at Calvary.  A Gospel that renews our taste buds daily and empowers us with the very presence of God the Holy Spirit.

May we continue preach and believe in a robust Gospel every day of our lives, from start to finish.  It is then and only then that the Holy Spirit will pierce our idolatrous hearts and set them to beating for Him.

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God’s Pursuit of Us

“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
– Genesis 3:15

God has always pursued us. Right after our first parents blew it, he was there promising to crush Satan by crushing his own Son.

God has always pursued us. Right after our first parents blew it, he was there promising to crush Satan by crushing his own Son. -Gen 3:15

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The Condemning Power of the Law

God’s Law is much more capable of condemning a sinner than we sinners are capable of condemning ourselves. If we saw ourselves in light of His perfect standard, we would cease all religious hostilities against God and commend ourselves to His mercy alone, a mercy so graciously provided in the cross of Christ

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Jacob the Scoundrel

In reading about Jacob and the way he secured his brother’s blessing, the Gospel is shining through powerfully.  People often get sidetracked with this story as to why God didn’t step in and do something.  Afterall, it was HIS nation that was being built wasn’t it?  Why was God obligated to honor a blessing that appears to have been secured through lying and deceit, through the help of an equally lying and deceitful mother?  The answer?  God wasn’t obligated to do anything.  He didn’t do it because He had to, but because He wanted to.  In a word, GRACE!  Jacob, like his father Isaac, and grandfather Abraham before him, is a trophy of God’s grace, not his own goodness.  Maybe this story doesn’t sit well with us because it encroaches in on our native self righteousness.  Maybe we think we are “innocent” like Esau.  But we are Jacob, and the Gospel comes to us as deceitful scoundrels, where we end up, by a crazy twist of God’s amazing grace, covered in the righteousness of His blessing.

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Our Job

It is the job of the church to show how great God is. This is why we exist. We are not a religious club that tells people how to look, talk, think, and feel. We are not here to argue about when Jesus is coming back. We are not a political party. We are a group of former rebels who after years of fighting against Him, have come to worship the one true King. And as worshippers our only job is to hold high His banner. We sing of God’s greatness because He has changed our hearts; he has lifted the veil of blindness from our eyes, a veil that has kept us from seeing His true worth. And we have seen that His truth is not simply something that changes our eternal destiny, but redefines all of life from the inside out. And this song we sing, we invite the world to sing with us. This is our mission. To sing, and get others to sing with us, “HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!”

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Our Heart for Denton

Below is some stuff from the prospectus I’m working on for C3Denton.  This (I think) captures our heart, and hopefully God’s, for Denton.

Our Heart

It is heartbreaking that the one whom the Bible describes as the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16b) is anything but that in the hearts and minds of so many.  Heather and I have been captured by the love of Christ and have come to understand, in some small measure, just how great He is.  We have been called out and purchased for the purpose of making His name famous.  This has led us to start Christ Community Church of Denton, where we long to make known the greatness of God to the heart of Denton.

The Greatness of God

The Greatness of God is displayed in various ways, but none more potent than in the local church, where legions of former rebels come together for the purpose of worshipping the one thing they have in common, Jesus as Savior through His glorious and life giving Gospel.  As converted rebels, their hearts of stone are replaced with a heart of flesh, that is, hearts that truly love and worship God, however imperfectly they do it.  This worship shows God to be truly worthy, and the church reflects His greatness in its corporate life.  Through this the light further penetrates the darkness, people are saved and changed, and God is glorified.  It is our firm conviction that the world needs more churches where the power of the Gospel is a reality in the lives of the people.  We also believe that this is the case for Denton, TX.

The Heart of Denton

Denton is full of great churches, but full of even more people who will not set foot in them.  No where is this more of a reality than among what we will call the “downtown” culture, which consists of a vibrant arts community, independent small business owners, and skeptical professionals.  These folks live and operate in and around the downtown area, and therefore truly constitute the heart of Denton.  Many of them are very unlikely to go to church for various reasons, i.e., bad experiences, didn’t grow up in church, don’t fit in, etc.  At the same time these people tend to have large circles of influence in their own communities.  If we could win them to Christ, the impact could be great, far beyond the Denton city limits!  In addition, we want to see multiple communities of Christ spring forth around the city.  It will take a continual penetration of the Gospel to keep reaching Denton!

Take up and read!

The purpose of this document is to share our heart for the Gospel in Denton with you, so that as the Lord leads you down His Kingdom road, you may be educated enough to prayerfully consider partnering with us in some fashion.  In the pages that follow you will find in more detail what we are doing, as well as what it will take to pull it off.  We assure you that anything God wants to do is way beyond our own ability to make it happen, both materially and spiritually.  Therefore please seriously pray about how He might be calling you to join the work.

Sincerely

Ross and Heather Appleton

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Gentle

God was not gentle with His own Son so that He could be gentle with us.

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