The 5 Best Sentences You’ll Ever Read

OK – – 7 Best Sentences You’ll Ever Read (I added two more after I wrote the title…)

  1. You were bought with a price. ~
  2. For you were called to freedom, brothers. ~
  3. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. ~
  4. God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~
  5. Salvation belongs to the LORD; Your blessing be on all Your people! ~
  6. Abound in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. ~
  7. In God’s unique Son, by faith, we are no longer slaves, but adopted sons—and amazingly, heirs with Jesus of all he inherits. ~–7 (via Ian McConnell)

What sentences are the best you’ve ever read?

20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (ESV)

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (ESV)

36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (ESV)

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)

Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people! Selah (ESV)

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (ESV)

4:1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, (ESV)

What Gospel-Centered Preaching Is and Does

Tim Keller writes,

“Christ-centered preaching converts doctrinal lectures or little how-to talks into true sermons.”

“The gospel brings news primarily, rather than instruction.”

Keller explains,

“In we learn that every single part of the Bible is really about Jesus. The Christ-centric preaching approach sees the whole Bible as essentially one big story with a central plot: God restores the world lost in Eden by intervening in history to call out and form a new humanity. This intervention climaxes in Jesus Christ, who accomplishes salvation for us what we could not accomplish for ourselves. While only a minority of Biblical passages actually give the whole storyline, every Biblical text must be placed in the whole storyline to be understood. In other words, every text must be asked “What does this tell me about the salvation we have in Christ?” in order to be understood.

This understanding of preaching, then, turns all preaching into narrative preaching, even if it is an exposition of Deuteronomy, Proverbs or James. Every sermon is a story in which the plot of the human dilemma thickens, and the hero that comes to the rescue is Jesus. Christ-centric preaching converts doctrinal lectures or little how-to talks into narrative preaching, but it is still careful, close Biblical exposition of texts.

The “informational” view of preaching conceives of preaching as changing people’s lives after the sermon. They listen to the sermon, take notes, and then apply the Biblical principles during the week. But this assumes that our main problem is a lack of compliance to Biblical principles, when (as we saw above) all our problems are actually due to a lack of joy and belief in the gospel. Our real problem is that Jesus’ salvation is not as real to our hearts as the significance and security our idols promise us. If that’s our real problem, then the purpose of preaching is to make Christ so real to the heart that in the sermon people have an experience of his grace, and the false saviors that drive us lose their power and grip on us on the spot. That’s the “experiential” view of preaching.”

Objection to Gospel-Centered Preaching

One objection to Christ-Centered preaching was expressed like this:

“While I would never want to take any emphasis away from the gospel, I would ask why those who have accepted the gospel need to be continually reminded of what took place?

If we assume for a minute that the gospel message is synonymous with telling how one can join a club (again, just assumption for a minute for understanding purposes). It would be as if you continually, week after week, twice a week, told the members of that club what must take place for them to join the club.

That sounds somewhat silly.

Likewise, we have already believed the good news. The good news that Jesus did come. While it is still good news, and while we should always rejoice in hearing that Jesus did come and die for our sins, we cannot forbid ourselves from learning other truths presented within the Word.

The Scripture speaks of the gospel, yes, but it does not only speak of the gospel. And while the gospel message may be the pivotal point and the climactic reason for all that is, this doesn’t mean that the gospel is all that there is”

Answering the Objection

I also can understand being a skeptic of Gospel-Centered Preaching. To reference the “joining the club” analogy, I must say that to equate the Gospel as merely an entrance to the Christian life is a misunderstanding of the real ramifications of what the Gospel truly is.

Scripture is like a great movie. Not every scene contains the main character, yet each scene pertains to the main character and would not make much sense without reference to the main character.

Think of Lord of the Rings. In the Two Towers, Gandalf told Aragorn to hold on and keep fighting. As far as Gandalf was concerned, the battle was already won. As soon as Gandalf showed up in the wee hours of the morning, all hope was instantly restored in those who were fighting. Even though Gandalf was not in much of the scenes at this point, it makes little sense for them to fight a seemingly losing battle without connecting what they are doing (fighting a good fight) to the one who has won the battle for them.

Likewise, even though Jesus is not specifically mentioned or even referenced in various passages, it makes little sense to preach to people “Do not lie,” and leave it at that. Yes, we should not lie, and it is good and right to tell the truth, just as it was good and right for Aragorn (and his allies) to fight for their lives and for that which is good, however, we must reference our doing (do not lie, love your neighbor, etc…) to Christ and His finished work. In the words of Paul, “It is Christ formed within us.”

Why shouldn’t we lie? Because it is wrong to lie? Yes, but a more profound reason is that as we partake of the nature of God (without becoming God, mind you – ), the natural result is that we will want to tell the truth simply because of the Spirit of Christ Who lives within us. Because of the Spirit of Christ living in us, we partake of the nature of God which by necessity precedes the law – the law is the natural expression of the nature of God. To merely preach and teach our duty alone and it only being right to do because God desires us to do so seems to miss the point of our doing completely. We are to do these commands and follow these statutes because Christ Who is the exact imprint of the nature of God () of which we partake has 1) already finished the full requirement of the whole law (fulfilling our duty) 2) exhorts us to do them in reflection and admiration for what He (Christ) has done for us and in our place.

So why must we make the Gospel central in our preaching? Because Jesus and His finished work is the means by which we partake of God’s nature. Without making the Gospel the central reference point in our thinking and doing, we cease to preach a Christian message. The Christian message is Christ has fulfilled the whole law for us and in our place and it, that is, the gospel, is then what motivates us to do His will.

24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God. (ESV)

by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (ESV)

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (ESV)

Reasons Why I Would Reject Christianity

I would reject the Christian faith for the following reasons:

1. The resurrection was found falsified or a lie beyond a shadow of a doubt ().
2. There was a compelling reason for me to reject Christianity and look to another religion– vis-a-vis something better than Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

We hold tight to the cross of Christ and His resurrection because, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” ().

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (ESV)

19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (ESV)

Jesus: Prophet, Priest, and King in His Resurrection

John Stott once wrote, “The resurrection is God’s decisive demonstration that he had not died in vain.”

Do you know what makes Christianity unique? The resurrection of Jesus.

Do you know what sets Christianity apart from all other religions? The resurrection of Jesus.

‎”The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s public signature that all that Christ taught was true!” ~Mark Dever

Jesus the Great Prophet

Jesus was a great prophet, yet he was unlike any other prophet of God. He not only proclaimed the very words of God, He was the very Word of God made flesh (). He was God’s Word Incarnate. He came to do the will of the Father (), to reveal the Father (), and to speak the things of the Father (). See also, , .

Jesus the Great High Priest

Jesus was not only the greatest Prophet of God, He was also the Great High Priest of God. “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek” (). Jesus who is the True Priest offered himself as a sacrifice (; ). “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation” (). As a priest, Jesus is our mediator between God and ourselves ().

Jesus the King

“A king is someone who has authority to rule and reign over a group of people. Jesus is just such a king. He is called the King of the Jews by the Magi (), and Jesus accepts that title in , “Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say.’” speaks of Jesus and says, “Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey.” Remember, Jesus is King in that he rules and judges. “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war,” (). The armies follow him ().

The phrase, “Kingdom of God,” occurs 66 times in the NASB, most of them in the synoptic gospels. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel,” (). Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” (). Is there a kingdom of God without a King? No. Jesus is that king: “‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say,'” (). See CARM.

The resurrection is God’s stamp of approval of Jesus’ finished work as the Great Prophet, Priest and King.

As Paul proclaims in , “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (ff).

This is our hope.

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!!

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (ESV)

42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (ESV)

27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (ESV)

28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.

John 12:49

49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. (ESV)

33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ (ESV)

57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” (ESV)

So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,

“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,

“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. (ESV)

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (ESV)

26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

Hebrews 10:12

12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, (ESV)

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) (ESV)

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (ESV)

saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (ESV)

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” (ESV)

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” (ESV)

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. (ESV)

14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. (ESV)

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, (ESV)

10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
(ESV)

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” (ESV)

10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (ESV)

13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. (ESV)