Archive for March, 2011

Mar 22

Sermon Follow-up: “Prepare for Battle”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “Prepare for Battle,” Carlos Griego preached from Ephesians 6:10-20, where Paul issues his familiar exhortation for believers to “put on the whole armor of God” (6:11). But it is significant that this is not how Paul begins this section on spiritual warfare. He begins with the command for believers to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (6:10).

In his sermon, Carlos quoted from a helpful article on Ephesians 6 by Sam Storms to draw out the importance this initial command:

The simple exhortation “Be strong!” is both dangerous and useless. Self-reliance in spiritual warfare is suicidal. Believers do not strengthen themselves. Our strength must come from an external source, namely, the Lord. The strength of an earthly general is in his troops. But in the Christian life, the strength of the troops is in their general.

By way of reminder, you can search DSC’s sermon database by topic at the Messages portion of the site. In addition to Carlos’ sermon from Sunday, several other messages are available there on the topic of spiritual warfare.

The simple exhortation “Be strong!” is both dangerous and useless. Self-reliance in spiritual warfare
is suicidal. Believers do not strengthen themselves. Our strength must come from an external source,
namely, the Lord. The strength of an earthly general is in his troops. But in the Christian life, the strength
of the troops is in their general (Sam

Mar 17

Sermon Follow-up: “The Christian’s New Clothes”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “The Christian’s New Clothes,” Ryan preached from Colossians 3:10-16 where Paul tells us what believers are to “put on” (3:12). The language of “put on” and “put off” calls to mind the imagery of clothing. Christians are to wear the new clothes of new life in Christ. These new clothes are “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (3:12) As we put these things on, we do so, “bearing with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgiving each other” (3:13). Above all, we are to “put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (3:14).

Those new clothes have a lot to do with relationships. In fact, those new clothes have everything to do with relationships.

As those who are God’s “chosen ones, holy and beloved,” we are to love one another. And that love is not a matter of mere good thoughts or good intentions towards people. Christian love, which is the capstone of Paul’s list, is defined by this list. It is patient. It is kind. It forgives.

Growing in this love is our glorious occupation as believers.

As you depend upon God’s Spirit for the grace to do so, here are some resources for your help and encouragement:



We would also commend one final resource, a sermon by John Piper, “I Act the Miracle.” This is an exposition of Romans 8:13, where Paul writes, “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Piper summarized his sermon in this short article.
Love Walked Among Us: Learning To Love Like Jesusf

Mar 15

Praying and Giving for Japan

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

What’s happening in Japan is a reminder to all of us that the present order is out of order. The new creation has dawned in Christ, but creation still groans for the completion of God’s work. Until that time, we pray to our Creator-God, who made this world and is sovereign over it. We pray to Him for the physical rescue, recovery, and comfort of many hurting people. And we pray for the spiritual rescue of many through the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Christ, God entered this very world, with all of its trouble. He knows suffering and He has known it for our sake. John Piper gives us an example of how to pray in a time like this: “We cry for mercy for Japan. Mercy, Father. Not for what they or we deserve. But mercy…May every heart-breaking loss—millions upon millions of losses—be healed by the wounded hands of the risen Christ.”

And as we pray, we also move. We move to help the way that is best from the place we are at: by giving to those who can best leverage our resources for the good of Japan and the glory of God.

As is the case with most disasters around the world, we do not have direct partners on the ground in Japan, but we have friends who do.  We have decided as a church to funnel any giving to Japan for disaster relief through the following organizations. If you would like to give through DSC to these organizations, please use a missions envelope and designate “Japan Relief.”  Or, if you’d prefer, you can give to these organizations directly online at the links below.

CRASH (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support, and Hope)

CRASH Japan, working closely with JEMA (the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Association), has a large network of experienced volunteers who know the culture and language. CRASH Japan’s 24-hour fundraising goal is $100,000. In the last few years, CRASH leaders have coordinated relief efforts in China, Haiti, Indonesia, New Zealand, and other major disaster areas.

On Monday, March 14th, CRASH sent four survey teams to the Tohoku region by train, car, and motorcycle as early as 12:00 am to assess the damage, find staging grounds, and make contact with local communities to prioritize their needs. Additional survey teams will be sent out later in the week.

CRASH Japan is using funds to purchase vital equipment, such as satellite phones, printers, computers, and wireless routers. This equipment will be used to facilitate communication between the Tokyo command center and cities where infrastructure has been weakened or destroyed. According to Intel Coordinator David Sedlacek, satellite phones are the most crucial tool in making contact with disaster areas and isolating relief needs.

A vast majority of Japan identifies religiously as either Buddhist or Shinto, or both. Only 1.5% of Japan’s population identifies as Christian, but churches all over the country have volunteered their resources in a coordinated effort with CRASH to offer aid to those who are suffering.

According to JEMA President Dale Little, “CRASH is the second-to-none relief network in Japan. No other agency is able to assess the needs on the ground like CRASH, and then take steps toward meeting those needs. The effectiveness of CRASH includes linking closely with local churches in Japan.”

Click Here to Give!

Churches Helping Churches

Churches Helping Churches is a global partnership of church communities who seek to rebuild other churches in the wake of a catastrophic natural disaster.

…Our efforts are intended to provide spiritual support and development aid to the pastors and their churches who are often the de facto leaders in these affected communities, as a complement to the initial waves of humanitarian aid that pour into a country in the wake of a disaster.

Click Here to Give!

As we run from the trouble of this present age, may we flee to Christ for hope in the age to come. Through these organizations, we pray that God will comfort the broken, heal the hurting, and open eyes to see His love and grace in Jesus Christ.

Mar 11

Video: Clarus ’11 – “Scripture: God Speaks”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 11

We’re looking forward to hearing from speakers, G.K. Beale and Carl Trueman at Clarus ’11 from April 29-May 1. This video will introduce you to Clarus, this year’s theme and these able speakers.

More information and for tickets, visit the Clarus site.

Mar 10

John Owen on Putting Sin to Death

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Quote

In the course of Sunday’s sermon, Dying to Live, Ryan quoted several main points from John Owen’s The Mortification of Sin to explain what Paul meant when he wrote, “put to death…what is earthly in you” (Colossians 3:5). If you’d like to read about John Owen and his importance, read Ryan’s helpful article, “Getting to Know Owen,” recently published at The Gospel Coalition’s Blog.

Below are some helpful quotes from The Mortification of Sin, with page numbers from Sin and Temptation, a compilation of three of Owen’s works on the subject edited by Justin Taylor and Kelly Kapic.

  • I hope I may own in sincerity that my heart’s desire unto God, and the chief design of my life in the station wherein the good providence of God has placed me, are that mortification and universal holiness may be promoted in my own and in the hearts and ways of others, to the glory of God; that so the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be adorned in all things. (42, Preface)
  • Mortification from a self-strength, carried on by ways of self-invention, unto the end of a self-righteousness, is the soul and substance of all false religion in the world. (47)
  • Sin does not only still abide in us, but is still acting, still laboring to bring forth the deeds of the flesh. When sin lets us alone we may let sin alone; but as sin is never less quiet than when it seems to be most quiet, and its waters are for the most part deep when they are still, so ought our contrivances against it to be vigorous at all times and in all conditions, even where there is least suspicion. (51)
  • If sin be subtle, watchful, strong, and always at work in the business of killing our souls, and we be slothful, negligent, foolish, in proceeding to the ruin thereof, can we expect a comfortable event? There is not a day but sin foils or is foiled, prevails or is prevailed on; and it will be so while we live in this world. (52)
  • Sin aims always at the utmost; every time it rises up to tempt or entice, might it have its own course, it would go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could; every covetous desire would be oppression, every thought of unbelief would be atheism, might it grow to its head. (53)
  • Such outside endeavors, such bodily exercises, such self-performances, such merely legal duties, without the least mention of Christ or his Spirit, are varnished over with swelling words of vanity, for the only means and expedients for the mortification of sin, as discover a deep-rooted unacquaintedness with the power of God and mystery of the gospel. (59)
  • Because those things that are appointed of God as means are not used by them in their due place and order—such as are praying, fasting, watching, meditation, and the like. These have their use in the business at hand; but whereas they are all to be looked on as streams, they look on them as the fountain. (59)
  • He brings the cross of Christ into the heart of a sinner by faith, and gives us communion with Christ in his death and fellowship in his sufferings.(61)
  • There is no man that truly sets himself to mortify any sin, but he aims at, intends, desires its utter destruction, that it should leave neither root nor fruit in the heart or life. He would so kill it that it should never move nor stir anymore, cry or call, seduce or tempt, to eternity. Its not-being is the thing aimed at. Now, though doubtless there may, by the Spirit and grace of Christ, a wonderful success and eminency of victory against any sin be attained, so that a man may have almost constant triumph over it, yet an utter killing and destruction of it, that it should not be, is not in this life to be expected. (69, 70)
  • Let not such persons try their mortification by such things as their natural temper gives no life or vigor to. Let them bring themselves to self-denial, unbelief, envy, or some such spiritual sin, and they will have a better view of themselves. (70)
  • He that changes pride for worldliness, sensuality for Pharisaism, vanity in himself to the con- tempt of others, let him not think that he has mortified the sin that he seems to have left. He has changed his master, but is a servant still. (71)
  • Suffer not your heart one moment to be contented with your present frame and condition. (106)
  • It is impossible to fix bounds to sin. It is like water in a channel—if it once break out, it will have its course. (110)
  • Labor with this also to take down the pride of your heart. What do you know of God? How little a portion is it! How immense is he in his nature! Can you look without terror into the abyss of eternity? You cannot bear the rays of his glorious being. (111)
  • Whoever speaks peace to himself upon any one account, and at the same time has another evil of no less importance lying upon his spirit, about which he has had no dealing with God, that man cries “Peace” when there is none. (125)
  • Consider his mercifulness, tenderness, and kindness, as he is our great High Priest at the right hand of God. Assuredly he pities you in your distress; says he, “As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you” (Isa. 66:13). (134)
  • …act faith peculiarly upon the death, blood, and cross of Christ; that is, on Christ as crucified and slain… He died to destroy the works of the devil [1 John 3:8]. Whatever came upon our natures by his first temptation, whatever receives strength in our persons by his daily suggestions, Christ died to destroy it all. (136)