Welcome to Provocative Church

As you browse, read and share the many articles, our hope is that you may find this site an encouragement to your faith and Christian life.

Worship

We were created to worship. And we are to worship God with every aspect and area of our lives - presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

The Church

The bride of Christ can often times be difficult and messy - but it is Christ's beautiful mess - to which He is the head and chief cornerstone.

Ancient Future

Our faith comes out from a rich heritage and history. It was during the formative years of our faith that creeds, confessions, traditions, and liturgies were developed. These practices and traditions recaptured will not only anchor us but move us forward in our faith.

Freedom

There is freedom in the gospel as it proclaims that in Christ we are sons and daughters of the King. The importance is learning to preach those truths to our heart and life everyday.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Prophet, Priest And King


Christ’s offices render Him glorious in the believer’s eye, and dear to the believer’s deer. He is in office for us, for our salvation, peace, and satisfaction.

He is a Prophet, who, possessing all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, condescends to instruct the ignorant sons of men. He opens to our view, the mysteries of redeeming mercy, and reveals the glorious designs of sovereign grace. He teaches man his true condition, and discovers to him how God can be just, and the justifier of such a sinner as he feels himself to be.

He is a Priest, who has made an atonement for the guilty, by offering one sacrifice to God, and has entered to the holy place, ever living to make intercession for us. He reconciled us to God, by His expiating death, and saves us by His life of intercession. He presents our prayers, persons, and sacrifices to God; making them acceptable by the incense of His merits.

He is a King, who receives the returning rebel, and grants a pardon. He rules over His people by His love and His laws; and defends all who trust Him, from danger and death. He rules over mankind, and in the believer; and is King of kings, and Lord of lords.

As a Prophet He saves from ignorance and error; as a Priest He saves from guilt and condemnation; and as a King He saves from dangers and foes.

— James Smith from "The Glories of Christ"

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our Sinnership


"Our sinnership is that emptiness into which the Lord pours his mercy." - C.H. Spurgeon

(ht: Calvinistic Cartoons)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Surfing For God - FREE!

Get ebook FREE today!

  • 68 Million searches for pornography every day!
  • 70% of Christian men report viewing porn in the last year!

Perhaps you've heard and seen statistics like this. Yet too often the advice for men and women struggling with this addiction and false fantasy is just to have more willpower or just have MORE faith. But that advice misses the point!  It usually leaves the person frustrated and still struggling.

According to counselor and ministry leader Michael John Cusick, there is a better answer.  And that answer he explores in his book, Surfing for God.  In his book, Cusick shows how the pursuit of empty pleasure is really a search for our heart's deepest desire and the real key to resistance is discovering the joy we REALLY and TRULY want.  Cusick's book goes to the heart and soul level and is deeply rooted in helping us live in the light of the gospel and the cross.

I highly recommend this book!  This book has been helpful for me and I have and will continue to use this book in my ministry work with others.

For a limited time, Michael John Cusick and the publisher Thomas Nelson is offering 25,000 copies of the electronic version FREE.  Simply go HERE and download.  Get this book, read it and pass it on.

If you are looking for the paperback version, you can simply buy that HERE

Let Your Helplessness Lead You To The Throne Of Grace

Let a sense of your helplessness for the work of the Lord lead you to the throne of grace, to pray, and watch, and wait, for the strengthening and refreshing influences of the Spirit of grace. Here let your faith realize at one and the same view your utter insufficiency, and your complete All-sufficiency. Here behold Him, who is ever presenting Himself before God as our glorious Head, receiving in Himself, according to the good pleasure of the Father, the full supply for this and every successive moment of inexpressible need. Our work is not therefore left upon our own hands, or wrought out at our “own charges.” So long as “he has the residue of the Spirit,” “grace” will be found “sufficient;”-Divine “strength will be made perfect in weakness.” “Without Him we can do nothing;” “through Him, all things.” Even the “worm Jacob shall thresh the mountains,” when the Lord says, “Fear not, I will help you.”

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tim Keller On How To Treat Homosexuals


Tim Keller, well-known pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and author of a number of very thoughtful and gospel centered books, is here being interviewed at Columbia University on how Christians should treat homosexuals.


Your thoughts and comments?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Importance Of The Hidden Life With God


“Hiddenness is an essential quality of the spiritual life. Solitude, silence, ordinary tasks, being with people without great agendas, sleeping, eating, working, playing … all of that without being different from others, that is the life that Jesus lived and the life he asks us to live. It is in hiddenness that we, like Jesus, can increase “in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and with people” (Luke 2:51). It is in hiddenness that we can find a true intimacy with God and a true love for people.

Even during his active ministry, Jesus continued to return to hidden places to be alone with God. If we don’t have a hidden life with God, our public life for God cannot bear fruit.

 - Henri Nouwen


(ht: JR)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

When We Experience Spiritual Dryness


“Sometimes we experience a terrible dryness in our spiritual life. We feel no desire to pray, don’t experience God’s presence, get bored with worship services, and even think that everything we ever believed about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is little more than a childhood fairy tale. 
Then it is important to realize that most of these feelings and thoughts are just feelings and thoughts, and that the Spirit of God dwells beyond our feelings and thoughts. It is a great grace to be able to experience God’s presence in our feelings and thoughts, but when we don’t, it does not mean that God is absent. It often means that God is calling us to a greater faithfulness. It is precisely in times of spiritual dryness that we must hold on to our spiritual discipline so that we can grow into new intimacy with God.” 

- Henri Nouwen

(ht: JR)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Gospel And Other Relationships



To other races and cultures. The liberal (hedonist) approach is to relativize all cultures. (‘We can all get along because there is no truth.’) The conservatives (moralists) believe there is truth for evaluation of cultures, and so they choose some culture as superior and then they idolize it, feeling superior to others in the impulse of self-justifying pride. The gospel leads us to be, on the one hand, somewhat critical of all cultures, including our own (since there is truth), but on the other hand, we are morally superior to no one. After all, we are saved by grace alone. Christians will exhibit both moral conviction yet humility and cultural flexibility.

To non-Christians. The liberal/hedonist approach is to deny the legitimacy of evangelism altogether. The conservative/moralist person does believe in proselytizing, because ‘we are right and they are wrong.’ Such proselytizing is almost always offensive. But the gospel produces a constellation of traits in us.
  • We are compelled to share the gospel out of generosity and love, not guilt.
  • We are feed from fear of being ridiculed or hurt by others, since we already have the favor of God by grace.
  • There is humility in our dealings with others, because we know we are saved by grace alone, not because of our superior insight or character.
  • We are hopeful about anyone, even the ‘hard cases,’ because we were saved only because of grace, not because we were likely people to be Christians.
  • We are courteous and careful with people. We don’t have to push or coerce them, for it is only God’s grace that opens hearts, not our eloquence or persistence or even their openness.
All these traits not only create a winsome evangelist but an excellent neighbor in a multi-cultural society.

To human authority. Moralists will tend to obey human authorities (family, tribe, government, cultural customs) too much, since they rely so heavily on their self-image of being moral and decent. Hedonists will either obey human authority too much (since they have no higher authority by which they can judge their culture) or else too little (since they may only obey when they know they won’t get caught). That means either authoritarianism or anarchy. But the gospel gives you both a standard by which to oppose human authority (if it contradicts the gospel), and it gives you incentive to obey the civil authorities from the heart, even when you could get away with disobedience.

- Tim Keller