The Blog

Showing items filed under “Ryan Ross”

Book of the Month: Divided by Faith by Michael Emerson

main image

Our book of the month for the CHBC Library is Divided by Faith by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith. In this book, Michael Emerson and Christian Smith discuss sociological findings about race and the church.

It is widely known that Sunday mornings are the most segregated time of the week in most churches and that racial issues are currently a hot topic in both the church and the media. This book goes a long way in telling us why racial issues are so prevalent today, and it helps us understand why both sides of the debate seem to be talking past each other and not understanding each other.

It is critical to the task of racial reconciliation and understanding that we read perspectives that challenge us and stretch our thinking, and this book will do just that.

This book comes highly recommended by Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan. In fact, Mark Dever has written a very helpful book review that you can read.

We believe that this book should be one of the first books you read on this important issue, and that it could be paradigm-shifting in your life.

This book is available in the CHBC Library, which is open on Sunday mornings after the worship service.


Posted by Ryan Ross with

Everyday Gospel - Redemption

main image

A few weeks ago, we introduced a blog series that we are calling Everyday Gospel. And our goal was to help you begin to apply the gospel to every aspect of your life, because we know how difficult it can be to see how the truths of the gospel apply to your marriage, family, work, and hobbies. To continue our series this week, we want to look at the gospel truth of redemption.

The word redemption comes from the marketplace, and it means to buy back or purchase something and set it free. Biblically, the word gets it meaning from the story of the Exodus. The exodus is God’s picture of redemption and what it means to be redeemed. There we see the Israelites being delivered and set free from slavery into the freedom of a relationship with God, a relationship where he has purchased us and owns us.

But this redemption from slavery to Egypt was also a picture of something greater to come. As the pages of the Bible roll forward, we begin to see promises that a new exodus is one day going to happen. And finally, this new exodus does happen in an even greater way in Jesus.

The new exodus he brings redeems us not just from slavery to Egypt, but slavery to sin, death, and the Devil! The redemption that Jesus accomplishes for us brings us from spiritual death to spiritual life, and promises us the freedom of living forever with him in a new creation. We are no longer slaves to sin, and have the power and freedom to live as children of God.

Practically, the doctrine of redemption preaches to us that there is no sin in your life with more power than the cross of Jesus Christ. There is no sin he can’t rescue and restore you from. There is no area of your life too far gone for him, no area of sin in your life that he can’t change, and the promise of redemption is that one day he is going to heal it all! One day we will no longer struggle with sin.

On top of this, the truth of redemption shows us that we have not gone too far for God to use us. The Bible is filled with stories that show God using messed-up, broken people to accomplish his purposes. Whether you have divorce, addiction, abuse, or horrific sin in your past, redemption means that it doesn’t have to be end of God’s story in your life.

God is powerful enough to redeem and restore and transform the worst of situations, and it is a testament to the power of the gospel to see men and women who previously lived a life of incredible brokenness and sin be transformed into people that love Jesus and walk faithfully with him!

Russell Moore puts it so helpfully:

“The next Billy Graham might be drunk right now. The next Jonathan Edwards might be the man driving in front of you with the Darwin Fish bumper decal. The next Charles Wesley might currently be a misogynistic, profanity-spewing hip-hop artist. The next Charles Spurgeon might be managing an abortion clinic today. The next Mother Teresa might be a heroin-addicted porn star this week. The next Augustine of Hippo might be a sexually promiscuous cult member right now, just like, come to think of it, the first Augustine of Hippo was.

But the Spirit of God can turn all that around. And seems to delight to do so. The new birth doesn’t just transform lives, creating repentance and faith; it also provides new leadership to the church, and fulfills Jesus’ promise to gift his church with everything needed for her onward march through space and time (Eph. 4:8-16). After all, while Phillip was leading the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ, Saul of Tarsus was still a murderer. And that happens over and over again, as God raises up leaders who seem to come out of nowhere, with shady pasts and uncertain futures. And none of us would be here, apart from them.”


This is the hope that the gospel truth of redemption gives us!

Posted by Ryan Ross with


Redirect /library