Tag Archives: learning

What’s So Amazing about Grace? — A Free Sermon Outline! (Part 2)

I wrote the little booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better a while back to help preachers (like me) not continue to make the same mistakes we often make. This is available on Amazon and is guaranteed to improve your preaching or I will preach your next sermon for you (just kidding).

In these posts I want to give away some of my favorite sermon outlines — with just a dose of explanation along the way. So, let’s continue with a sermon I wrote on God’s amazing grace.

What’s So Amazing about Grace?
(a study of Titus 2:11-15).

We’ve seen that —

I. God’s Grace Is a Salvation-Bringing Grace (v. 11)

Let’s notice secondly that —

II.  God’s Grace is a Teaching Grace (v. 12)

I never thought I’d be a teacher, but the Lord had other plans.  I could have been a much better student in high school than I was, but, by His grace, I’ve served for a bunch of years teaching undergrad and seminary students the Word of God.

We all need to be taught.  And, thank God, His grace is a teaching grace!   Verse 12 tells us that this grace “teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”  Please notice that there is both a negative as well as a positive side to God’s teaching grace.  We need to deny ungodliness and worldly passions.  The world sees Christians as being primarily negative, don’t you think?

But we also need to be taught the positives of living a yes-kind of life!  That affirmation lifestyle focuses on self-control, uprightness, and godliness, which the world desperately needs to see lived out!

Notice also that this kind of affirmative living is to take place, not in heaven, but “in this present age.”  The expression is really “in the now world.”  Right now.  Where you live.   Right now you and I are to be living out the grace of God in positive, attractive ways.

Are you letting the grace of God teach you?

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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in Titus 2


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The Christian Life — Are Your Tastes Being Formed?

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Posted by on March 6, 2018 in christian life


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Time for a Great Cartoon: Reading and Vocabulary!

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How’s your vocabulary? My sister-in-law created a Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 4.48.27 PMnew word: insinuendo! (a combination of insinuation and innuendo).  I like the idea of creating your own words.

What words would you like to create?


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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in vocabulary


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Time for a Great Cartoon: Learning on Purpose!

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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in learning


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Time for a Great Quote: Flannery O’Connor on Our Tastes Being Formed

Mary Flannery O’Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American writer and essayist.
“The high school English teacher will be Screenshot 2016-02-10 05.46.59 fulfilling his responsibility if he furnishes the student a guided opportunity, through the best writing of the past, to come, in time, to an understanding of the best writing of the present. He will teach literature, not social studies or little lessons in democracy or the customs of many lands.

“And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.”

(from Flannery O’Connor’s “Total Effect and the Eighth Grade,” published in The Georgia Bulletin in 1963, reprinted in Mystery and Manners)

Are you allowing God the Holy Spirit to form your tastes?


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Posted by on March 25, 2016 in learning


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Time for a Great Cartoon! (learning)

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The American humorist Will Rogers once said, “Everything is ignorant — only in different subjects.” You would expect an educator to say this, but I am appalled at how little many Christians know of their faith. It’s one of the reasons I love to teach the doctrines of the Christian faith. When we know what we believe, we can enjoy God and His will for us.

I love the quote that says, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for Screenshot 2015-11-27 10.17.25curiosity.” Most of us need to pray that God the Holy Spirit would make us curious for the truths of God — and then dig in for ourselves!


Posted by on January 13, 2016 in learning


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Time for a Great Cartoon! (learning)

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Can we talk? For some of us, studying/learning does not come naturally. We look for any excuse we can find to let others do our thinking for us. We might resent anything that seems like homework — and to take notes in church?! (It wouldn’t even occur to us).

But what if we looked at the local church, not as a social club for saints, but as an Screenshot 2015-12-06 05.28.24educational environment for redeemed sinners who have a lot to learn? Here are five suggestions I have to encourage and produce learning-committed believers:
1. Encourage discussion of sermons and Sunday school lessons.
2. Take notes during your pastor’s messages — and even ask him questions (polite ones!) after the service.
3. Have your spiritual leaders (= “elders”) read and report on important books for the congregation to also read (or stay away from!).
4. Occasionally, have a debate on a controversial topic on which Christians are divided. We once had a debate in our Bible college on Calvinism versus Arminianism. I would recommend that the strongest Calvinist in your church ought to defend the Arminian side and the most ardent Arminian defend the Calvinist side! That way it is not a debate of personalities, but of issues. Other matters that could be debated would be: divorce, spiritual gifts, just war vs. pacifism, immigration, gay marriage, etc.
5. Grow in your own ability to think through the implications of the Christian faith. I have my students read what I call “books that boil your blood before you get past the preface.” This is not for new believers, but for those who have been saved for a while.  Have them read books that raise questions for which we Christians must have answers!

Your thoughts?

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Posted by on December 12, 2015 in learning


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