Archive for the ‘Platt Excerpts’ Category
Posted on October 23rd, 2014 by Jonathan
Can we know God? The reality is, God is incomprehensible. Psalm 145:3 says, “His greatness no one can fathom.”… We can never fully understand any single thing about God. We can know something about God’s love, power, wisdom and the other attributes… But we can never know His love, power, wisdom or other attributes exhaustively. This is key for us to understand. We can know something about Him, but we can’t know Him exhaustively.
Now some of you are thinking, “What about 1 Corinthians 13:12?” It says, “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully.” Well what Paul is saying is, there’s coming a day where our knowledge is going to be more complete, but he’s not saying there’s going to be a day when we are going to be omniscient. Paul doesn’t say in 1 Corinthians 13:12 that one day we’ll know all things. We have this idea sometimes. We think, and we even say, when we get to heaven we’ll know everything. I hate to break it to you, but when you go to heaven you’re not going to be God. It’s not going to happen. It’s not the purpose. You’re not going to know all things. His omniscience is an attribute unique to Him alone. So we can’t know God exhaustively.
The reason is twofold. Number one, our sinfulness, and number two, His greatness. We can’t know God fully because of both our sinfulness and His greatness. We’ll unpack both of those. Because of our sin we are hindered from glimpsing the fullness of God. We know that. Every single one of us has sin in our lives that keeps us from knowing God as completely as we could. But even when all sin will be removed from us, we will still be finite and God will still be infinite. Even when we get to heaven we won’t be infinite like God. We won’t be God. That means that for all of eternity we will increase in our knowledge of Him.
I want you to think about this with me. God is infinite in His love and His power and His wisdom… But if that’s true, and we are always going to be finite – not infinite – then the reality is, we will be learning more, and more, and more about His love, and His power, and His wisdom, and all that He is for all of eternity.
We can respond to this in two ways. If, in pride, we want to be equal to God in knowledge, this will depress us. Some people think, “I’m never going to get there? Never going to understand it all? I mean you think after a cool 400 billion years I might be closer.” But the reality is, no, we will not be any closer.
However, if in humility we want to live to adore and worship God, this will delight us. I want you to let this picture soak in, that for all of eternity, day after day after day, we will never tire of learning more and more and more and more about the love, the grace, the mercy, and the power of God. And this is huge. Sometimes when people think about heaven, they say, “If heaven is going to be perfect won’t it be perfectly boring?” And some of you have thought that. We think, “That’s a long time – eternity. I mean, don’t you get tired of that?” The reality is, because of who we are going to see in God tonight, we’re going to realize that you cannot get enough of this God, and for all of eternity, we will learn more and more and more. We can know God.
Posted on October 22nd, 2014 by David Burnette
David Platt encourages you to consider how you might be involved in reaching those who have never heard the gospel, whether that’s by going or giving. Reaching the unreached is at the heart of the mission of the IMB.
Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks and months as we highlight a number of practical and creative ways you can participate in giving. Your giving will go directly to help support IMB workers who are taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. You can give by going here.
Posted on October 9th, 2014 by Jonathan
In Scripture, the church is described as a body, a family, and a bride. Naturally, these may be some of the first images that come to mind. But have you ever thought of the church as an army? Here are two words of encouragement from David Platt to a church at war . . .
I want to leave us tonight with two simple, significant words of encouragement. Number one, know this: We are never alone in this war. Now, obviously, we know that, based on what we’ve already seen in 1 Timothy 6. We know that God is with us. We know that He is with us and for us, but I want you to see this even in a bit different way. When Paul says in verse 21, “Grace be with you,” what’s interesting is–and you might circle it and put a note in your Bible, this is important–when he says, “Grace be with you,” that word “you” is not a singular “you.” The word “you” is plural. You might even have a note in your Bible that sends you to the bottom. The Greek for “you” is plural, which is interesting. Kind of weird.
When Paul started this letter, he said, “To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” He has written this letter to Timothy, but he gets to the end, and he says, “Grace be with you.” It’s not “You, Timothy . . . grace be with you.” It’s “You, church at Ephesus, along with Timothy . . . grace be with you.” So, when I say to us, “We’re never alone in this war,” obviously, I mean that God is with us. But also, as you fight this fight of faith, not only is God with you, but the people of God are with you. You are not alone in this war . . .
You, together, fight this fight of faith with grace amidst all of you. One of the ways we experience God’s grace is through one another. This kind of battle is not intended to be played out with a bunch of anonymous church attenders or church hoppers. This battle is intended to be played out with brothers and sisters who are on the front lines together, with locked arms, saying, “We have a mission to accomplish that we’re running after together.” So, we’re not alone in this war.
The second word of encouragement is . . . the outcome of this spiritual war is irreversible. I.e., the battle and the war have already been won . . . Christ has taken the penalty of sin upon Himself, and He has risen from the grave. He has conquered sin and death, and He has conquered Satan. Satan is a defeated foe, and he will be destroyed. Will be. Guaranteed. So . . . as as we fight this good fight of faith, we’re not trying to win. I quoted 1 John 4:4 earlier: “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” This transforms our perspective on our battles, right?
Think about it this way. The morning of April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee meets with General Ulysses S. Grant to sign an agreement marking the end of the U.S. Civil War. The war was over, peace accomplished. But interestingly, just south of where we sit tonight, from Montgomery to Mobile, the battle was still raging. Even though the Civil War was technically over, the battle at Fort Blakeley still took place. Fighting just as real, guns and bayonets just as devastating, and death just as brutal. The war had been decided, but the fighting was still going on. It wouldn’t be until days later when full and final peace would reach all throughout the land.
This is not a perfect picture, but follow with me here. I think it captures a bit of the fight of faith that we find ourselves in. The victory has been accomplished. Satan has been defeated. What continues to be at stake, though, is the lives of those who are still fighting. And just as peace had yet to be fully enforced in Lower Alabama, Jesus’ victory has yet to be completely enforced in this world. The day is coming–it’s going to come–when He will come and force His victory finally and completely. Evil will be totally abolished. But now, we find ourselves in the midst of a fight of faith. I want you to hear this and let this soak in. This, I pray, will transform your perspective on the battles you’re walking through right now. We do not fight this war for victory; we fight this war from victory. That changes everything. He has conquered sin and death and the grave. He has conquered Satan.
You are battling a defeated foe this week. So, flee evil that pulls you away from God. Pursue goodness that pulls you toward God. Experience the life that has been bought for you. He’s called your name. You’ve confessed your faith. Live in light of His presence, in view of His faithfulness to you, in awe of His greatness. Guard this gospel as you give your life on the frontlines of a mission to make His glory known to the ends of the earth. That’s a good fight worth fighting.
The above excerpt is from a sermon David Platt preached on October 23, 2011, called, “The Church at War” (1 Timothy 6:11-21).
Posted on October 6th, 2014 by Jonathan
From the 2012 Multiply Gathering in San Francisco. View the whole Gathering HERE.
Posted on September 25th, 2014 by Jonathan
To acquaint (or re-acquaint) yourself with David Platt’s teaching on missions, here is a collection of videos in which he talks about different aspects of it. While these videos do not offer a comprehensive theology of missions, we hope they will compel you to go to God in his Word and to the lost in the world.
Posted on September 23rd, 2014 by David Burnette
What does the life of a godly church leader look like?
That’s an extremely important question that churches and individual Christians need to be able to answer. Church leadership is vital to the overall health of a local church. In addition to being able to teach the Word of God–a massive responsibility in itself–a church leader (an elder or pastor) must also model the character of Christ with his life. Based on 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4, the following questions provide a good starting point for identifying godly leaders in the church. These lists are taken from David Platt’s commentary on 1 Timothy 3:1-13 (Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in 1 & Timothy and Titus, 57-58).
In His Personal Life
- Is he self-controlled?
- Is he wise?
- Is he peaceable?
- Is he gentle?
- Is he a sacrificial giver?
- Is he humble?
- Is he patient?
- Is he honest?
- Is he disciplined?
In His Family Life
- Is he the elder in his home?
- If he’s single, is he self-controlled?
- If he’s married, is he completely committed to his wife?
- If he has children, do they honor him?
In His Social/Business Life
- Is he kind?
- Is he hospitable?
- Is he a friend of strangers?
- Does he show favoritism?
- Does he have a blameless reputation (not perfect but above reproach)?
In His Spiritual Life
- Is he making disciples of all nations?
- Does he love the Word?
- Is he a man of prayer?
- Is he holy?
- Is he gracious?
No man will fulfill these qualifications perfectly, but on the whole, these are qualities that ought to mark the life of a church leader. Who in your church comes to mind as you read this list?
Posted on September 1st, 2014 by Jonathan
In Ephesians, Paul tells us that “even when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:5). Going from death to life is at the core of every conversion story, and in the sense that there is certainly no such thing as a boring resurrection, no one has a boring testimony. Still, some transformations are more dramatic than others. And while it can easily seem that God’s grace is more profound in the saving of a Paul-former-Saul than it is in the saving of a scripturally-reared-Timothy (2 Tim 3:15), this is not the case. Boring testimonies are boring because God’s graciously made them that way (so they aren’t really boring at all).
In the video below, David Platt describes the amazing grace of such a testimony as he gives glory to God for a family and church that led him to Christ as a child.
Posted on August 28th, 2014 by David Burnette
Precept Ministries International just posted an article titled “Marks of a Disciple” based on a sermon by David Platt. You can get the full article here. Here’s an excerpt that includes 5 questions to act on as you think about how to grow as a disciple of Christ:
From the very beginning, Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Every follower should be a fisher . . . not fishing for men all over the lake, but spreading the gospel all over the world. At the end of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples” (Matt 28:19). Then in Acts 1:8 he tells them that they will receive power from the Holy Spirit, not just so that they can go to Bible studies and worship and be a kind person, but so that they would be witnesses—to testify about him “to the end of the earth.”
God has not saved you to dwell in a Christian bubble; God has saved you to spread the Christian gospel, both in the city where you live and to the ends of the earth. This is what we were created for, what we’ve been commissioned to do as a church. This is what we’re compelled to do as Christians, to be disciples who make disciples so that the grace and love of God are spread all over the world through us!
Some Questions to Act On
Let me ask you a question: How are you making disciples? You may be tempted to think, “I don’t know if I can really make disciples.” If that’s you, then I want to let you in on a secret: you can’t. But that’s the whole point. God has put His Holy Spirit in you, and He has equipped you and empowered you to do that which you could never do on your own. That’s the whole point of Christianity. God has not saved you to sit on the sidelines and to do what you’re capable of doing. He has saved you to live on the front lines and experience what He alone is capable of doing.
One of the ways we can grow as disciple-makers is by being intentional and consistent in how we pursue God and walk in obedience to his mission. The five questions below are designed to help you in that process. I want to challenge you to think about the following questions and spend some time answering them. Be specific in your answers.
To grow as a disciple maker in the coming days . . .
1. How will I fill my mind with truth?
How can you be intentional to read God’s Word? The life of the disciple is the life of a learner; we want to learn from Christ and we want His Word to fill our minds. This includes memorizing God’s Word and learning from others. And remember, the goal in filling our mind with truth is not just to gain information, but to experience transformation. We want to hear the truth of God’s Word, and at the same time we want to apply and experience the truth of God’s Word.
2. How will I fuel my affections for God?
Even as I’m encouraging you to ask these questions, I realize that if we’re not careful, even Bible reading (or other spiritual disciplines) can become mechanical and monotonous, which is not the point. Our goal is not just to know God; our goal is to love God. So what can you do to fuel affection, to stoke the fires of passion for God?
Worship is one of the avenues for fueling our affections for God. As a follower of Christ, I hope that you are a member of a local church body and that you are committed to prioritize weekly worship with your church—more than weekend sports or other weekend activities that would keep you from worship.
Prayer is monumental in fueling our affections for God. Designate a time and a place when you go into your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. This one practice alone will utterly revolutionize your life.
Fasting is another way to fuel our affection for God. Commit to setting aside a meal once a week or once every few weeks, or maybe more as time progresses. When you fast, pray something like this: “More than I want food, I just want to feast on God in prayer and in His Word. More than food to satisfy my hunger, I want to be satisfied with Christ.”
Our giving can also fuel our affections for God. You might think, “What does giving have to do with affection for God?” According to Jesus, giving has everything to do with affection for God. Matthew 6:21 tells us that, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Instead of tithing being the ceiling of your giving, why not make tithing the floor of your giving, and give generously and sacrificially to His glory?
3. How will I share God’s love as a witness in the world?
Who has God put in your life (in your sphere of influence) who does not know Christ? Write down the names of three, five, or maybe even ten people you know who don’t know Christ. Pray for them this year, and work by God’s grace to see them come to Christ. What is going to be your plan for sharing Christ with them? Think of ways you can specifically and deliberately create opportunities to share the gospel with those people. It could be through an invitation to breakfast, lunch, dinner, or coffee. Is there some other activity or avenue you could explore, whether that’s something as involved as spending a day or weekend with them, or something as simple as writing a letter to them?
4. How will I spread God’s glory among all peoples?
We have been commanded to make disciples of all nations, and that is not just a command for extraordinary missionaries; that is a command for ordinary disciples. So how is your life going to play a part in the spread of God’s glory to the ends of the earth? Consider these three ways:
Pray: One of the ways we can spread God’s glory among all peoples is to pray. You and I have the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing around the world from our knees. You might use a resource like Operation World (OperationWorld.org) to pray for the nations of the world.
Give: We can also be a part of what God is doing through our giving. Though we may not always feel like it, we are the richest people to ever walk planet earth. How can we sacrifice to give to the needs of the world?
Go: In order to spread God’s glory among all peoples we need to go to the nations. Think through any and every way you might spend your life, lead your family, or leverage your work to go to the people groups of the world with the gospel. Our lives should be a blank check on the table . . . no strings attached.
5. One final question: How will I make disciple makers among a few people?
Jesus, more than anyone else who has ever lived, was most passionate about the Father’s glory among all nations, yet He poured His life into a few people. So how can you do the same thing?
As a disciple-maker, you want to spend your life multiplying the gospel in such a way that you help equip, empower, and embolden the people around you to start making disciples as well.
Posted on August 21st, 2014 by David Burnette
What does it mean to be part of an Unreached People Group (UPG)? How do unreached peoples stand before God? What is our obligation, as followers of Christ, to those who have no access to the gospel?
The following outline provides a good summary for these kinds of questions. The outline was taken from Pastor David Platt’s sermon titled “Our Obligation to the Unreached,” and is based on Paul’s teaching in Romans 1-3 about man’s inherent sinful condition. To access the sermon in its entirety, including the outline below, go here.
Who are the Unreached?
- A people group among whom there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to engage the people group with church planting.
- Technically speaking, the percentage of evangelical Christians in this people group is less than two percent.
How Many People Are Unreached?
- Over 6,500 people groups are unreached . . .
Including at least two billion individual people
- Over 3,000 are also unengaged (meaning there is currently no evangelical church planting strategy under way to reach that people group) . . .
Including around 200 million individual people
What Does It Mean To Be Unreached?
- Practically . . .
You do not currently have access to the gospel.
Unless something changes, you will likely be born, live, and die without ever hearing the gospel.
- Biblically . . .
You have knowledge of God.
You have rejected God.
You stand condemned before God.
You have never heard the good news about how you can be saved by God.
Why Must We Go To The Unreached?
- Because their knowledge of God is only enough to damn them to hell.
- Because the gospel of God is powerful enough to save them forever.
- Because the plan of God warrants the sacrifices of His people.
- Because the Son of God deserves the praise of all peoples.
To learn more about unreached peoples, visit Joshua Project.
Posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Jonathan
The room was packed full of people, and the preacher held the audience in the palm of his hand. “I would like everyone to bow your heads and close your eyes,” he said, and we all followed suit.
He then declared, “Tonight, I want to call you to put your faith in God. Tonight, I am urging you to begin a personal relationship with Jesus for the first time in your life. Let me be clear,” he said, “I’m not inviting you to join the church. I’m just inviting you to come to Christ.” As the preacher passionately pleaded for personal decisions, scores of people stood from their seats and walked down the aisles of the auditorium to make a commitment to Christ.
Yet there was a problem in all of this. These people had been deceived. They had been told that it is possible to make a commitment to Christ apart from a commitment to the church. The reality, however, is that it’s biblically impossible to follow Christ apart from joining his church. In fact, anyone who claims to be a Christian yet is not an active member of a church may not actually be a follower of Christ at all.
To some, maybe many, this may sound heretical. “Are you saying that joining the church makes someone a Christian?” you might ask. Absolutely not. Joining a church most certainly does not make someone a Christian.
At the same time, to identify your life with the person of Christ is to join your life with the people of Christ. To surrender your life to his commands is to commit your life to his church. It is biblically, spiritually, and practically impossible to be a disciple of Christ (and much less make disciples of Christ) apart from total devotion to a family of Christians.
But so many people think it is possible–and they try to live like it’s possible. It has even become a mark of spiritual maturity today for some professing Christians to not be active in a church. “I’m in love with Jesus,” people will say, “but I just can’t stand the church.”
Isn’t the church the bride of Christ? What if I said to you, “Man, I love you, but have I ever told you how much I can’t stand your wife?” Would you take that as a compliment?
Similarly, isn’t the church the body of Christ? What if my wife said to me, “David, I love you, but I can’t stand your body”? I can assure you that I wouldn’t take that as a compliment.
It’s impossible to follow Jesus fully without loving his bride selflessly, and it’s impossible to think we can enjoy Christ apart from his body. Jesus goes so far as to identify the church with himself when he asks Saul on the road to Damascus, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul hadn’t persecuted Christ himself, but he had persecuted Christians, so in essence Jesus was saying, “When you mess with them, you mess with me.”
To come to Christ is to become part of his church. Followers of Jesus have the privilege of being identified with his family. As we die to ourselves, we live for others, and everything Christ does in us begins to affect everyone Christ puts around us. Recognizing this reality and experiencing the relationship that God has designed for his people specifically in the church are essential to being a disciple and making disciples of all nations.
– The above excerpt can be found on pages 149-151 of Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live by David Platt.
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