Archive for the Clarus 14 Category

Mar 15

Session 3 Recap: Phillips, “Contentment Found: Jesus Saves and Satisfies”

2014 | by Tim Bradley | Category: Clarus 14

Editor’s Note: Tim Bradley is Pastor for Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Rick Phillips’ message from Saturday morning at Clarus, March 15, “Contentment Found: Jesus Saves and Satisfies,” from John 4:10-15.


Pastor Rick Phillips began his message in giving the account of the Spanish explorer Ponce de León and his quest for the fountain of youth. De León could have saved much time and effort by simply opening the Bible.

Pastor Phillips’ primary text from John 4 focused on the interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well and their discussion of living water.  This well-known account from the gospel of John shows that there is a fountain of satisfaction and eternal life, but it is not found in the well itself; it is found in the man who sat on the well – the Lord Jesus.  Jesus reveals himself to the Samaritan woman as the fountain of living water, and that this fountain is available to all who will come and drink.

The Gospel Offer in Jesus’ Offer of Living Water

Pastor Phillips explained that Jesus summarizes the gospel in two simple points as he makes this offer of living water to the woman.

1) Jesus says to her, “If you knew the gift of God…” He says to her that she needs to know the gift of God, which is life! Eternal life!  Jesus focuses her on truth that God is the giver of life, and that he offers life as a gift.

2) Jesus also explains the simple gospel as Himself.  He says to her, “If you knew who it is who says to you…”  Jesus tells her that she needs to know him, and that he himself is the giver of this living water.

Jesus offers her life in himself and says, “If you would ask, I would give it to you!”

A Revealing Response to His Offer

Like many through the ages, this Samaritan woman was spiritually unable to see and understand.  She was thinking only in physical terms.  “[Jesus] was speaking of salvation, and she was thinking plumbing” – believing that Jesus lacked the ability to give her what she needed. And unfortunately many of us think similar thoughts about him today.

But Jesus tells this woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will thirst again.”  Pastor Phillips said, “Thirst is one of the strongest cravings we have, and thirst will torment you until you are satisfied.”  Jesus wanted this woman to know that our souls thirst for the living water that only He provides, and our souls will never be satisfied until they are content in Him.

Three Things Surrounding Jesus’ Offer

1) A Condition – “Whoever drinks.”  The condition of receiving and being satisfied by this living water is faith, but this faith is more than just receiving; it is also yielding.  It is trusting in Jesus as savior and lord. It is coming to him on his terms.

2) A Consequence – “Whoever drinks” will be satisfied and have this life.  This does not mean a trouble-free life, but contentment in our souls.

3) A Change – The result of drinking is being born again to new life.  It is real life in Jesus and real satisfaction!

Pastor Phillips concluded by saying that for those who have not tasted this life-giving water, they simply need to hear from Christians who Jesus is!  He also said of those who have tasted this living water, but are still discontent may be so because (1) they are too close to the world – seeking satisfaction again in things that don’t satisfy; (2) they may be stopping up the flow of the Holy Spirit because of besetting sin rather than fighting sin daily in the grace of Christ; and (3) they may be neglecting God’s Word.  Oh, that we would tell others of this Savior and his life-giving water, and that we ourselves would be satisfied only in Him!

Mar 15

Session 2 Recap: Anyabwile, “Contentment Consummated: The New Heaven and New Earth”

2014 | by Scott Pilgreen | Category: Clarus 14

Editor’s Note: Scott Pilgreen is a lay leader and biblical counselor at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Thabiti Anyabwile’s message from Friday evening at Clarus, March 14, “Contentment Consummated: The New Heaven and New Earth,” from Revelation 21:1-22:6.


Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile led us in singing a rousing rendition of The Jefferson’s theme song. If you’re not familiar with this 70’s sitcom, the premise was all about ‘moving on up’ in the world. For the Jeffersons, that meant living in luxury and achieving the American dream. And yet, George Jefferson was always agitated, angry, discontent. George was never content even though he had his ‘piece of the pie’. He had everything, but it amounted to nothing. We can relate.

Pastor Thabiti masterfully taught us that discontentment is always, at least in part, a function of shortsightedness. Discontentment is also a failure to lift our gaze from this world and to fix our eyes on the world to come. Pastor Thabiti then showed us five things from Revelation 21:1 – 22:6 that are true of the world to come.

1) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s Promises. (Rev. 21:1-5)
Just as a bride and groom look forward to their wedding day as a day when they will be joined for the rest of their lives, we look forward to our eternal union with God in Christ. One day, we will be joined with Christ and God the Father will officiate the ceremony. All of our struggles throughout history, from Genesis 3 to Revelation 21, will be wiped away. The old things have passed away, and behold the new has come!

2) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s People. (Rev. 21:6-14)
In this section of Scripture, John was invited to see the bride, and he saw her in her perfection because of Christ’s work. Heaven will be full of God’s people, and what joy to be known, loved and received by God as our Father! If you are in Christ, you will not miss out on heaven and you will not lose heaven. God sends his invitation to come!

3) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s Glory. (Rev. 21:15-21)
In this passage, we see that we will, in fact, share in God’s glory. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 1:6 that God began a good work in us and will complete it. How does he do this? Remember the marriage relationship in Ephesians 5. Jesus is taking His bride and loving her sacrificially – he is washing her with the Word, so that he can present her as holy and without blemish. How kind of the Lord to place is beauty on his people!

4) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s Presence. (Rev. 21:22-27)
In heaven, there is no need for the sun because there is no darkness. God’s glory shines bright and chases the darkness away forever. In heaven, God’s children will always be in his presence and in the Lamb. Those struggling with doubt, assurance of salvation, or discontentment in this life will never struggle again because of God’s presence. How wonderful it will be to never again have a heart that faints before God.

5) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s Pleasure. (Rev. 22:1-5)
Heaven is a place that is full of pleasure in God. What is the pleasure that we will experience in God? We will see His face (Revelation 22:4)! Moses longed to see God’s face but couldn’t without being consumed. Psalm 17 tells us that David also longed to see God’s face. These men were not looking for fame or success or any other worldly thing, but their deepest desire was to behold the face of God. The pleasure of heaven will be to see the face of God forever. Look to Christ and His coming!


Mar 15

Session 1 Recap: Phillips, “Contentment Lost: Sin and Restlessness”

2014 | by Michael Kelshaw | Category: Clarus 14

Editor’s Note: Michael Kelshaw is the Head Minister at Trinity at the Marketplace in Albuquerque NM. He is a member of the Albuquerque Chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This post is a summary of Rick Phillips’ message from Friday evening at Clarus, March 14, “Contentment Lost: Sin and Restlessness,” from Genesis 3.


Pastor Rick Phillips introduced the conference by unpacking the problem that we are really dealing with in an exposition of Genesis 3.

Pastor Phillips began by defining true contentment as being self-satisfied. In this sense contentment is only true of God, who is completely satisfied in himself. In being completely self-satisfied, God may take his contentment and give it to us, and that means that contentment is delighting in God despite all of our circumstances.

In Genesis 3, we see one of Satan’s greatest strategies for his assault on God and God’s creation is to breathe discontentment into Eve (vv. 1-6). Satan wants to lead Eve away from God’s blessing by deceiving her into forgetting the glory and goodness of God. He ultimately wants Adam and Eve to choose the gifts over the Giver. Pastor Phillips explained that “discontentment flourishes where there is confusion about God and ignorance of God.” In other words, discontentment is the questioning of the goodness of God and comes when we want God’s gifts and not God himself.

What makes this so difficult is that sin is deceitful. Satan didn’t come at Eve with a gentlemanly, frontal attack but with a flanking attack of deception. It is the nature of Satan and of sin to deceive. Not only that, but the human heart is deceitful as well, and therefore the source of our discontentment is very often from within. Sin says that it will be better, that it will make me happier, or that it will satisfy me. But these are all lies. Because of the deceitfulness of sin and our hearts, our desires are no longer trustworthy.

When contentment is lost, the results are a loss of communion with God and a loss of communion with others. Adam and Eve hid themselves in shame, blamed others, and were cursed with lives of struggle and pain. Pastor Phillips showed how grasping for satisfaction in a world of sin can never give us the satisfaction that we actually desire because without God man cannot be content.

We were made by God and for God to know God. Therefore, we can only be wholly content when we are in right relationship and communion with him. God has sent his Son to be the victor over Satan and sin. When I surrender all to Jesus, I get everything in him. On the cross Jesus paid the price for my sin and has clothed me in his righteousness. When I surrender myself to him, I have everything in him, and therefore I have everything I need. I have true contentment and am supremely satisfied in him because only he is completely satisfying.

Mar 14

Clarus ’14 Photo Roundup, Friday, March 14

2014 | by Ben Moore | Category: Clarus 14

DSC_0208DSC_5804DSC_5831 DSC_5878DSC_0054 DSC_5845 DSC_9998DSC_5882 DSC_5894 DSC_0097Conference Photography by Benjamin Moore Photography. Contact Ben at

Mar 14

Welcome to Clarus ’14!

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 14


Be content with what you have, for he has said,
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

– Hebrews 13:5

Today begins the first day of our annual theology conference weekend, called, Clarus, hosted by Desert Springs Church in partnership with TGC Albuquerque.

Our theme is, “Wrestling with Contentment,” based on verses like the one above. As we gather this weekend, we gather in order that we might more faithfully wrestle with contentment together as seek that contentment in Jesus Christ. Click here for a refresh on this year’s theme and an introduction to this year’s speakers, Thabiti Anyabwile and Rick Phillips, then click here for some encouragement for the weekend ahead from several of our area Gospel Coalition pastors.

For a rundown of the conference schedule Click here. And if you have any questions throughout the conference, look for conference staff with Desert Springs Church name badges and let us know how we can help.

In addition to being joined by our speakers, we will also be joined by a number of fine publishers, schools, and ministries in the Books and Resources Room:




If you haven’t heard, the conference is sold out. If you missed out on the chance to register, look out for blog summaries here at this blog throughout the conference, and for audio and video available in the week or so following at the TGC Albuquerque Media page.

Finally, if you use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, please use the hashtag #clarus14 when posting quotes, comments, or photos. Follow us on Twitter at @TGCAlbuquerque, on Instagram at @TGCABQ, and at our TGC Albuquerque Facebook Page.

Welcome, and enjoy the conference!