Category: Gospel Transformation

But-centered Worship

by Rick Pidcock

When was the last time somebody gave you a short, shallow, non-genuine complement, and then followed up with the word “BUT” and an entire tirade of negative statements about you?  When was the last time you did this to somebody else?

Or perhaps you’ve experienced a more positive side of those “BUT” statements.  Have you ever gone to a Christian brother or sister and said, “I know that we’ve had our differences, BUT…” or to somebody that has hurt you and said, “What you said or did really hurt me, BUT I want you to know that…”?

The fact is that we all do this alot.  So I’d like to share how statements such as these, no matter how good or bad they may be, can ultimately point us to the greater “BUT” statements of the gospel.

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Legalism Video

We all battle with some form of legalism no matter where we are.  While many of us do not rely on works to save us, we functionally live as if our works is what God sees when He looks at us, rather than the righteousness of Christ.  So, in order to be safe, we place our trust in our adherence to a set of rules, rather than walking by faith in Christ.

Check out this great video by Derek Webb about how a legalistic approach to life blinds us to the glory of God and limits our enjoyment of Him.  And as the song ends, when God gives you a greater view of and enjoyment of Him and His gifts, do not be afraid.

Who Is Your Lord?

by Rick Pidcock

Some of you older folks might remember the skit, “The Devil Made Me Do It!”  For the rest of us, the skit’s main character would do something that they shouldn’t.  And their excuse was, “The devil made me do it!”

Of course, most of the time when pastors bring this illustration up, they say, “Nobody makes you do anything.  You choose to do it.”  And while their hearts may be right in pointing us towards being responsible for our actions, I think they miss the boat a little bit.

In her book entitled, Out Of the Saltshaker, Rebecca Pippert says,

“Whatever controls us is our lord. The person who seeks power is controlled by power. The person who seeks acceptance is controlled by the people he or she wants to please. We do not control ourselves. We are controlled by the lord of our lives.”

This quote goes to the heart of living out the gospel in light of the “Blame Game.”  In reality, none of us have the freedom to serve ourselves.  Instead, we serve either God or some other master.

So when somebody tells you, “So and So made me do it!”  Don’t reply back by saying, “No they didn’t.  Stop serving yourself!”  Instead, try to get them to see what idol is controling them.  Then point them to the gospel and call them to repentant faith.

If repentant faith in Christ is the only way to grow (Col. 2:6-7), then why would we approach this situation in any other way?

The New Sermon Page

by Rick Pidcock

Living Worship began last March for the purpose of magnifying the supremacy of God in response to the gospel.  In this first year, we have explored the gospel through theological articles, movie and CD reviews, real life stories, videos, and other various methods.

Something that I have been wanting to add for a long time is a Sermon Page.  And it is really exciting to open the new calendar year with this new feature.  The Sermon Page is filled with links to more gospel-driven sermons than you could ever have time to listen to.  Some of the men you may have heard of.  Others are not quite as familiar.  But what makes this feature unique is not the popularity of the pastors, but the centrality of the gospel in each sermon. (more…)

John Piper Is Bad

by Rick Pidcock

Edit: The video in this article has been deleted.  For a detailed explanation, please read my article, “Living Worship On My Blog.” 

Edit: I just found John Piper’s personal reaction to the video in question.  For those of you who were offended by it, I have been told that part of your reasoning was that it disrespected a godly man and did nothing to point us to the gospel.  Because most of you still have not contacted me personally, I cannot interact with you personally about it.  However, I would like to post John Piper’s personal reaction from his own website to the video here.  Just so you know, they do play an audio clip of the video in this mp3 file.

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Since we have had a few recent articles on sin, I thought you would all enjoy this video called, “John Piper Is Bad.”

Even though this video is humorous, it is a healthy reminder that none of us are righteous in and of ourselves.  We are all basically bad.  But God chooses to declare us righteous by the merits of Christ.  During this week of thanksgiving, let’s remember what we should ultimately be thankful for–the gospel of Christ that declares sinners righteous.

Gospel-centered View of Sin

by Rick Pidcock

I’m sure that most of you have heard  by now about the recent moral failures of Ted Haggard, the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals.  There has been much written about this.  So I will not try to say what others have already said. 

Bob Kauflin has some excellent gospel-centered thoughts on what he has learned from Ted Haggard’s sin.  So I would encourage each of you to read Bob’s thoughts over at Worship Matters in his article written on November 7, 2006 entitled “What Ted Haggard Has Taught Me About Sin.” 

For some reason, it is not allowing me to put a permalink to the article.  So you will need to scroll down once you have gotten to his site in order to find it.

In summary, Bob makes the following points. (more…)

The Irresistible Gospel And Missions

by Rick Pidcock 

When I was in third grade, my dream was to one day become a missionary to India.  Unfortunately, however, my intentions had nothing to do with the supremacy of God or the Great Commission.  Instead, I thought, “Since India is called India, it must have Indians living in it.  And if there are Indians, then there most certainly must be cowboys.  So if I become a missionary to India, then I will be able to play Cowboys and Indians all the time!” 

Of course, over the years God began to show me that missions was about something much more than playing “Cowboys and Indians.”  And as I began to grow more in my knowledge of the gospel, I began to see some comforting truths that I hope will bring some encouragement to you as we all are called to be missionaries to our communities.  (more…)