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Gospel Category

January 31, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Who do you blame for your suffering?

Soon after the Holocaust, an East German pastor by the name of Guenter Rutenborn wrote a play called The Sign of Jonah, in his attempt to make sense of all the horror had transpired in his country. In his play, a group of German people attempt to come to terms with the atrocities that had been committed on their soil, asking who was to blame for the Holocaust. Some blamed Hitler. Others blamed the munitions manufacturers. Still more blamed the German people in their apathy. Finally, the people realized that above all the others, that God was to blame. After all, God had created this world. God had placed all of this power in such unworthy hands. And God had for some unknown reason allowed all of these tragedies to happen. As the group of people come to this conclusion, God’s punishment is considered, and this sentence is pronounced:...Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Gospel, Suffering

June 28, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Singing the gospel over you

There is a popular expression in evangelical circles called “preaching the gospel to yourself.” Essentially, this saying acknowledges that we often forget the truth of who God is and who we are in Christ and choose instead to live according to lies. We forget that our self-worth is not a matter of what we do or do not do, but is found in the reality that God loves us so much that His Son Jesus willingly gave His life to save us. We forget how loved we are, choosing instead to listen to the evaluations of other people. We beat ourselves up over our sins and shortcomings, forgetting that all of our sins were nailed to the cross when Jesus died, so that God sees us as perfect in Christ. We mistakenly think that we are independent creatures who can do whatever we please, forgetting that when Christ saved us, He called us to die to ourselves and to live for Him....Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Gospel, Music

March 8, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Weep for yourself

Twelve years ago, Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ hit movie theaters. Many movies have been made about the life and death of Jesus, but Passion undoubtedly contained the most intense and visceral depiction of Jesus’ suffering and death. Many moviegoers ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Easter, Gospel, Passion of the Christ

May 5, 2015 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The sure foundation of the gospel

Bright and early this morning, I was standing on one of the top rungs of my extension ladder, leaned up against a branch of a pine tree in my neighbor’s yard, trying to pull my cat out of the tree without losing my balance. We had heard Pumpkin’s cries throughout the night, but he was too high to reach without a ladder, and we dared not frighten our neighbors by bringing a ladder on to their property in the middle of the night. But once dawn broke, Michele and I were there with our ladder, and there I was, climbing through the pine tree to reach our cat. One ripped shirt and many scars later, I managed to unhinge our wide-eyed feline from the branch where he spent the night, and to bring him safely down to solid ground. This past month, I have been preaching through a sermon series that examines the implications of the gospel for various areas of our life. One of the repeated themes is that the gospel teaches us to find our identity and our self-worth in God’s great love for us instead of rooting it in anything else....Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Gospel, Identity

December 2, 2014 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Longing for home this Christmas

If you are have been around evangelical Christianity any length of time, or ever listened to Billy Graham, you are familiar with what has come to be known as ‘œThe Sinner‘s Prayer,‘ which goes something like this: ‘œDear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. In your name, Amen.‘ The prayer I uttered on the day I came to faith in Jesus in September 1994 was a little different. I remember kneeling by my bed in my dorm room at UConn and saying, ‘œGod, I know where I belong, and it‘s with you.‘ While that prayer was not a theological masterpiece, in that there was nothing in there about sin or repentance, the heart of the prayer reflected a young man who desired to come home to the place he knew he belonged ‘" a relationship with God. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15, I had turned from my self-centered way of living to come home to my Father....Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Christmas, Home

November 4, 2013 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Salvation in the earthquake

The following is reprinted from the February 2, 2010 Pulse. This Sunday, we will be sending a team of missionaries down to Haiti. Haiti, a country that was already impoverished, was made much more so by the January 2010 earthquake. The post below, written by Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recounted a story that took place in the Haitian earthquake. Arno was inseparable from Mr. Penguin. The little Haitian boy was almost three years old, and the plush penguin with the word ‘œlove‘ inscribed upon it was his most treasured object. The orphan and his penguin were always seen together....Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Haiti, Adoption

October 8, 2013 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

You are a new creation in Christ

This past Sunday, we were blessed as a church to experience the baptisms of six individuals who shared their testimonies of how God had brought them to faith in Jesus and then were plunged beneath the waters and raised back up. In Romans 6, Paul reminds us that our baptism is a visual reminder that we have died to our sin and have been raised to new life in Christ, that just as Jesus was buried and was raised from the dead, so we have become new creations in Christ. The old has gone, and the new has come. With that in mind, I invite you to meditate on the wonder of this new creation that Christ has called you to: ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Baptism, Salvation

March 26, 2013 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Amazing Grace

‘œYou see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!‘ (Romans 5:6-10)...Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Gospel, Grace