John Chester

About John Chester

John serves the saints of Piedmont Bible Church, a Grace Advance church plant in Haymarket Virginia, as their shepherd, a position he has held since 2012 and hopes to serve in the rest of his life. Prior to being called to ministry John worked as a lacrosse coach, a pizza maker, a writer, a marketing executive, and just about everything in between. John is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary and The Grace Advance Academy. He hails from The City of Champions, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and is unbelievably blessed to be married to his wife Cassandra.

Five Life-Shaping Books

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Last week one of my fellow PS23 contributors sent me one of those annoying Facebook challenges, in this case it was to post a picture of a book that influenced my life, with no explanation, for 5 days.  And while, as a rule, I find things like this annoying, and ignore them, in this case I was intrigued to think through the five books that impacted my life.  I’m a book guy, I always have been (even as a hard partying unbeliever and even as a child) so it was an interesting exercise to think through the 5 books that really affected my life.… Continue reading

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Reprise: Why I’m Apolitical

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After a very surreal week where I learned a new appreciation of the bravery of and God’s grace to Christians, especially pastor’s wives, in places where the church is persecuted I can think of no better post to share than one I wrote the day before the last presidential election, that was published the day after the last presidential election. And I would add, if you are not praying in accordance with 1 Timothy 2:1-2, now is the time to start.

Voting is over. The polls are closed, most of the votes counted, and Lord willing the president elect clearly identified, and our path forward as a nation made clear.… Continue reading

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Understanding And Applying The Kenosis

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Theology is life, or so it says on the t-shirts. But the real truth is that theology must impact life, any theology, no matter how orthodox, that doesn’t shape the way life is lived is worthless. R.C. Sproul put it this way in his helpful basic systematic theology, Everyone’s A Theologian:

The purpose of theology is not to tickle our intellects, but to instruct us in the ways of God, so that we can grow up into maturity and fullness of obedience to Him. That is why we engage in theology.[1]

Perhaps no passage in the New Testament  has so tickled intellects and been the subject of more idol theological curiosity than Philippians 2:5-8, often called the Kenosis of Christ.Continue reading

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Why I Present The Gospel

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Every time I preach I make sure to include one thing, an express presentation of the gospel. When I say I include an express presentation of the gospel what I mean is that I succinctly describe the incarnation, perfect life, sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ, and the implications of His birth, life, death and resurrection for both believers and unbelievers (often quoting Rom 10:9). I often use the exact same (or at least very similar) words. No one has ever complained to me, and even if they did, I wouldn’t change what I do. That every sermon contains a succinct presentation of the gospel is a nonnegotiable for me.Continue reading

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When Preaching Wears a Mask

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It seems strange to say it out loud (or type it out anyway), but expository preaching is all the rage these days. This is a great thing. God’s people need to hear His Word preached. Despite what some may say they are hungry for it. Just this past Sunday a millennial who looked about as millennial as a millennial could look, the exact kind of person who many would say “are over” preaching, told me how relieved he was when the phrase expository preaching was uttered by the man doing announcements at the beginning of the service. But this is where things can get a bit hinky, just because a preacher describes himself as an expositor, doesn’t mean he is, and just because a sermon is labeled as expository doesn’t mean it is.… Continue reading

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