Daily Keller

~ Wisdom from Tim Keller 365 Days a Year

Daily Keller

The Primacy of the Gospel

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Tim Keller

So what does it mean to be committed to the primacy of the gospel? It means first that the gospel must be proclaimed. Many today denigrate the importance of this. Instead, they say, the only true apologetic is a loving community; people cannot be reasoned into the kingdom, they can only be loved. ‘Preach the gospel. Use words if necessary.’ But while Christian community is indeed a crucial and powerful witness to the truth of the gospel, it cannot replace preaching and proclamation. Nevertheless, the primacy of the gospel also means that it is the basis and mainspring for Christian practice, individually and corporately, inside the church and outside. Gospel ministry is not only proclaiming it to people so that they will embrace and believe it; it is also teaching and shepherding believers with it so that it shapes the entirety of their lives, so that they can ‘live it out.’ And one of the most prominent areas that the gospel effects is our relationship to the poor.

– Tim Keller

The Privilege of Prayer

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Tim Keller

The Bible says because Jesus is your High Priest, because he stands before the Father, because God sees him when he deals with you, you can always draw near. Your privilege of prayer is one of those gift certificates. It has nothing to do with what kind of a week you’ve had.

– Tim Keller

What is Hell?

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Tim Keller

What is hell, then? It is God actively giving us up to what we have freely chosen-to go our own way, be our own “the master of our fate, the captain of our soul,” to get away from him and his control. It is God banishing us to regions we have desperately tried to get into all our lives. J.I.Packer writes: ‘Scripture sees hell as self-chosen . . . Hell appears as God’s gesture of respect for human choice. All receive what they actually chose, either to be with God forever, worshiping him, or without God forever, worshiping themselves.’ (J.I.Packer, Concise Theology p.262-263.) If the thing you most want is to worship God in the beauty of his holiness, then that is what you will get (Ps 96:9-13.) If the thing you most want is to be your own master, then the holiness of God will become an agony, and the presence of God a terror you will flee forever (Rev 6:16; cf. Is 6:1-6.)

– Tim Keller

Gospel Obedience

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Tim Keller

The Bible’s purpose is not so much to show you how to live a good life. The Bible’s purpose is to show you how God’s grace breaks into your life against your will and saves you from the sin and brokenness otherwise you would never be able to overcome… religion is ‘if you obey, then you will be accepted’. But the Gospel is, ‘if you are absolutely accepted, and sure you’re accepted, only then will you ever begin to obey’. Those are two utterly different things. Every page of the Bible shows the difference.

– Tim Keller

Keller’s Prayer of Belief

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Tim Keller

Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but, through you, I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment and offering forgiveness. I turn from my sin and receive you as Savior. Amen

– Tim Keller

The Reason for Evil

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Tim Keller

Christians believe that in Jesus, God’s son, divinity became vulnerable to and involved in — suffering and death! He didn’t come as a general or emperor. He came as a carpenter. He was born in a manger, no room in the inn.

But it is on the Cross that we see the ultimate wonder. On the cross we sufferers finally see, to our shock that God now knows too what it is to lose a loved one in an unjust attack. And so you see what this means? John Stott puts it this way. John Stott wrote: ‘I could never myself believe in God if it were not for the Cross. In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?’ Do you see what this means? Yes, we don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, but we know what the reason isn’t, what it can’t be. It can’t be that he doesn’t love us! It can’t be that he doesn’t care. God so loved us and hates suffering that he was willing to come down and get involved in it.

– Tim Keller

Who Can Tell Us?

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Tim Keller

Do we think somehow we have arrived today, that the popular opinions and values of our time are not going to look just as ridiculous in 100 years or so to other people? Who can tell us what is right, what is noble, and what is good? The answer is nobody, unless there is somebody outside of us and above us and outside of time who can come and tell us what is good and noble and true.

– Tim Keller

*Words found in Tim Keller’s sermon, “Overflowing Joy” — 1990.

Christianity is Joyful News

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Tim Keller

A gospel is an announcement of something that has happened in history, something that’s been done for you that changes your status forever. Right there you can see the difference between Christianity and all other religions, including no religion. The essence of other religions is advice; Christianity is essentially news. Other religions say, ‘This is what you have to do in order to connect to God forever; this is how you have to live in order to earn you way to God.’ But the gospel says, ‘This is what has been done in history. This is how Jesus lived and died to earn the way to God for you.’ Christianity is completely different. It’s joyful news.

– Tim Keller

The Importance of Church

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Tim Keller

I realize that so many people’s main problem with Christianity has far more to do with the church than with Jesus. They don’t want to be told that to become a Christian and live a Christian life they need to find a church they can thrive in. They’ve had too many bad experiences with churches. I fully understand. I will grant that, on the whole, churchgoers may be weaker psychologically and morally than non-churchgoers. That should be no more surprising than the fact that people sitting in a doctor’s office are on the whole sicker than those who are not there. Churches rightly draw a higher proportion of needy people. They also have a great number of people whose lives have been completely turned around and filled by the joy of Christ.

– Tim Keller

Humilty

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Tim Keller

Christian humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less, as C. S. Lewis so memorably said. It is to be no longer always noticing yourself and how you are doing and how you are being treated. It is ‘blessed self-forgetfulness.’
Humility is a byproduct of belief in the gospel of Christ. In the gospel, we have a confidence not based in our performance but in the love of God in Christ (Rom. 3:22-24). This frees us from having to always be looking at ourselves. Our sin was so great, nothing less than the death of Jesus could save us. He had to die for us. But his love for us was so great, Jesus was glad to die for us.

– Tim Keller