4 Steps to Spiritual Renewal – Tim Keller

wca speakerHere are my notes from session 3 of the Leadership Summit. Tim Keller was the speaker.

You can learn more about Tim’s church Redeemer here.

It was a great session, except it ended like a sales pitch for his new book, but great content, regardless.

  • Lack of spiritual vitality is still the problem
  • I’m going to give a diagnosis of the spiritual deadness that is out there & a prescription
  • Prodigal means, “reckless, wayward”
  • We need an extravagantly loving God who can deal with our reckless sin
  • The parables in Luke 15 are for the religious leaders
  • The point of the parable is to address us in the church, the pharisees
  • The main point of the parable shows that both younger brothers and older brothers are alienated from the Father (God), they are both lost so that the Father has to come out and invite the sons in
  • Neither sons really love the Father
  • They both miss the Father’s heart
  • They love the Father’s thing but not the Father
  • There are 2 ways to be your own Savior and Lord:  be very bad and immoral, the other, be very good and religious
  • The elder brother says, “because of this, God has to_____”
  • The elder brother sees God as a helper, not a Savior and Lord
  • At the end of the parable, the older brother is lost because of his goodness and the younger brother is saved because of the Father’s goodness
  • Religion operates on the principle “I obey, therefore, I am accepted” the gospel says “I am accepted based on what Jesus did, therefore I obey”
  • Elder brothers obey God to get things
  • Elder brothers because they are trying to make God through their obedience and their own goodness believe they are getting leverage over God
  • Elder brothers are insecure because they aren’t sure if they are being good enough
  • Even in the face of the gospel, we go back to religion, to being an elder brother
  • Elder brothers get incredibly angry when their lives don’t go well
  • How you respond to criticism?
  • Elder brothers get either devastated or respond with a vicious defensive attack
  • When criticism comes, the foundation of your life is in question
  • Their prayers are petitionary prayers
  • Elder brothers never enjoy God
  • You can’t be angry at someone and unforgiving unless you think you are better than someone
  • What separates us from God is we don’t see our need for God
  • We think we are doing God a favor by following him
  • We need to see what it cost to bring the younger brother (and me) home
  • There is no way to bring the younger brother back in without an expense to the older brother
  • Spiritual renewal is not a formula
  • The gospel is not religion or irreligion, it is something else
  • The gospel needs to be distinguished from moralism
  • 4 things to do for spiritual renewal
  • The leader has to work this into their own heart
  • Romans 1:16
  • “Don’t give into the ministry to save your soul”
  • It needs to be gospel centered
  • The reason we don’t give our money like we should isn’t because we aren’t obeying, to the degree that you see you have riches in Christ, you will stop seeing money as a spiritual god and you will see it as money
  • The reason you are stingy is because you don’t believe the gospel
  • Don’t preach without taking people to the cross
  • Get a group of leaders together and go through something like The prodigal God and take them through step 1
  • Work it into your congregation
  • When you are renewed, you will start to have gracious disagreements

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