Recovering the Priority of Personal Holiness

Many ministers are often nowadays more concerned with visual growth and success than with cultivating personal purity.

Let’s not forget the exchange, in the nineteenth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, between Jesus and the rich young ruler when Jesus told the man the realities of true discipleship. As the rich man realized that personal sacrifice is required to live in God’s kingdom, he walked away. What did Jesus do? He did not do... Continue Reading

Following a Faithful Minister, Part 1

Attempting to be your predecessor will only lead to frustration and failure.

You are called and equipped to fulfill the role using your God-given abilities in a unique way that will cause you to depend upon Him. Don’t let the temptation to be more like your predecessor creep in when you hear the accolades heaped upon that person by others. It’s okay that you are different from... Continue Reading

Why We Need a Children’s Book About Death

When it comes to sad things in life, we tend to wrap up their hearts in cotton wool and lock them away.

The preacher of Ecclesiastes tells us: “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart” (7:2). The living should take this to heart—which includes children, not just adults. Often, when we go to... Continue Reading

Seven Prayers for Those You Love

One of the best ways to stoke the fires of our big prayers for others is to praise God for what we see him doing in and through them.

Because Paul wrote to churches, almost all of the prayers we have in his letters are for believers. We can be sure he prayed persistently and passionately, with many tears, for the lost (Romans 9:2–3; Philippians 3:18–19). But most of what we know about Paul’s prayer life centers on what he prayed for his brothers... Continue Reading

A Few Thoughts and Advice on Vows

The confessional teaching on vows is an important part of Christian doctrine, worship, and practice.

God loves a willing people, and we should serve him with a free spirit; and vows (which are as shackles) are not to be used but in some cases of some necessity, when otherwise we cannot hold ourselves to some particulars in the worship of God, or in our daily life: and this opinion is... Continue Reading

William Carey and the Spark of Modern Missions

May God raise up a new generation of missionaries in the line of William Carey.

William Carey, at the age of 33, was commissioned as one of the society’s first missionaries. On June 13, 1793, Carey and his young family left the shores of Great Britain to embark on the five-month trip to India. He would never see his homeland again. Carey’s commitment to the centrality of the word of God... Continue Reading

A Charge Against God’s Word Is a Charge Against His Character

Do we really believe God has spoken to us through His Word?

Because Satan’s true aim was even more sinister than leveling a charge at the word of God. Behind the simple question the fork-tongued liar was leveling charges against the character and nature of God. What came off like a question was really an accusation. The charge against God’s Word was really a charge against God’s character.... Continue Reading

Your Pastor Needs You

Your pastor recognizes his responsibility before God on His behalf.

When you pray, you pray about you, your family, your concerns, and those in your church and life for which you are concerned. At the end of the day, you are spiritually responsible for a limited group. When your pastor prays, he has all the same concerns as you in terms of normal life. However,... Continue Reading

Theological Education and the Christian Life

Theological education contains an inherent warning to the Christian.

The connection between theological education and the Christian life is essential. We must love God in order to know God and we must know God in order to love God. Hovey’s warning that the failure to comprehend the ways of God will test our faith should not be lost. The difficulty of theology and the... Continue Reading

PCA Minister Walter Kim Elected as Next President of National Association of Evangelicals

The NAE Board of Directors today elected Walter Kim as its president, effective January 1, 2020.

President-elect Walter Kim currently serves as pastor for leadership at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, and will continue in this role as he leads the NAE. He ministered for 15 years at Boston’s historic Park Street Church, a congregation that played a key role in the NAE’s founding.   The National Association of Evangelicals... Continue Reading

The Old Testament Law and Women

God’s laws express His values. They define the moral character of a just and righteous society.

Once we Western interpreters recognize the influence our individualistic bent has on how we read biblical law, we can discover the moral values it expresses. Unimpeded by our biases, we can recognize Old Testament law’s humanistic quality. Or, as one scholar described of Deuteronomy, its “progressive and protective attitude to the legal status of women.”[5]... Continue Reading

What Is the Gospel of John about?

What we have in the Gospel of John is eyewitness testimony.

The Gospel book splits into two halves. Chapters 1–11 narrate seven miracles of Jesus that John calls “signs.” Each sign signifies that Jesus does the works of the Father so that readers might identify the Son with the Father (John 10:37–38).   The Gospel of John aims to persuade readers that “Jesus is the Christ,... Continue Reading

Entrust Yourself to God at Night

God sustains you by your sleep.

David’s childlike trust in God as his protector led him to earnest prayer: “I cried aloud to the Lord” (v. 4). And God answered. He provided sleep for the rehabilitation of David’s weary mind and body. God will do this for you, too. If you follow David’s example of earnestness in prayer, his testi­mony can... Continue Reading

After the Love is Gone

Spending your life with another fallen human being will require more than emotional love.

The love that God demands of husbands and wives is a love that goes far beyond mere emotions and feelings. It is a love that willingly takes up its cross and carries it—as Jesus did—even unto death (Philippians 2:8). That kind of selfless and sacrificial love is beyond the capability of any man or woman... Continue Reading

Luke’s Secondary Audience

Luke is deeply concerned with salvation.

Luke constantly appeals to the Jews—perhaps even the same Jews who now accuse Paul before Caesar—to find the very hope they seek (Acts 26:6-7). But to find it, they must stop doing what they are doing (Luke 3:7-8) and receive cleansing on the inside from the mighty one (Luke 3:15-16).    Upon analyzing Luke’s treatment... Continue Reading

The Sacrificing Church

When the church evangelizes people and the Spirit brings souls into the kingdom, God receives that as harvest offerings.

Trusting Christ as the Rock of our salvation, the Living Stone as Peter calls Him, we also become living stones fitted together in His holy temple as we abide in union with Him. As the Father sacrificed Christ for us, we are in turn to offer sacrifices to Him in thanksgiving. God’s Word often describes... Continue Reading

What Came Before God?

If there ever was absolutely nothing, then nothing could possibly be now, because you cannot get something out of nothing.

God alone is from everlasting to everlasting and possesses the attribute of eternality. That majestic aspect of God’s nature so far transcends anything that we have ever conceived of in this world that it alone should be enough to move our souls to praise and adore Him.   People may argue that if every effect... Continue Reading

Speech: Thoughts About Religious Liberty in America by William P. Barr

Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks to the Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame on October 11, 2019

No society can exist without some means for restraining individual rapacity. But, if you rely on the coercive power of government to impose restraints, this will inevitably lead to a government that is too controlling, and you will end up with no liberty, just tyranny. On the other hand, unless you have some effective restraint,... Continue Reading

What Is A Biblical Theology Of Sexuality? Part 2

For both Jesus and Paul, sexual immorality, along with other vices like greed and malicious thoughts, has the power to ‘defile’ and prevent our inheritance of the kingdom of God.

Paul’s explanation of his understanding of the gospels to Christians in Rome starts by demonstrating (in chapter 1) how Gentiles are captive to sin and, in parallel, how God’s people the Jews are also mired in sin—so that he can conclude that ‘all [i.e. both Jew and Gentile] have sinned and fallen short of the... Continue Reading

Whatever My Lot

Embracing the Day God Has Made

Scripture teaches us to cultivate joy in the midst of sorrow through the daily habit of looking for God’s good gifts (Ecclesiastes 2:24–26). Each day, our heavenly Father gives comfort for today’s sorrows and blessings for today’s joys. Happiness in him comes one day at a time.   Nine years ago this month, my dad... Continue Reading

It’s All About the Conscience

Our task as spiritual physicians is to treat bad consciences, continually delivering the healing balm of the living word of God and his life-giving sacraments.

Our goal is not to build people up to utilize their own inner resources or become better spiritual athletes. The cure of souls is instead geared to address spiritual dysfunction and disease, restoring health and life to souls burdened by guilt and torn by shame.   I’ve made it no secret that Harold Senkbeil’s The... Continue Reading

Dort: Reformational Rebar for Revival

Calvinism Should Cultivate Piety in the Christian Life

When we teach the doctrines of grace, we must aim for the head and the heart. Mind-only discussions of the doctrines from Dort will fall short of promoting a piety that is well-pleasing in the sight of God our Savior. Heart-applications and affections-aimed teachings of TULIP will shame us into humble and holy disciples of... Continue Reading

Sent Into Orbit

God has given us every reason to have high expectations for marriage.

How can it be that something most of us once thought of as permanent (“till death do us part”) has become so fragile? Why have our expectations been so radically lowered that we’re scared, when we meet someone we haven’t seen for 10 years, to ask how the family is doing?   I’ve been watching,... Continue Reading

Grace and Peace: How These Two Terms Summarize Christianity

Paul’s “grace and peace” greeting is full of theological brilliance.

God’s shalom is one of the main themes of the Old Testament. The Israelites were redeemed as God’s people through God’s covenant, receiving God’s hesed (covenantal love), so that they could be a holy nation and worship God, all so that there might experience and share God’s shalom—an everything-as-it-should-be peace.   The apostle Paul begins... Continue Reading

Unconditional Election

Why Some Believe and Others Remain in Their Sin

To appreciate the Canons’ teaching on unconditional election, it is important to remember that they were articulated in a specific historical context. The Synod of Dort was convened to address the controversy that broke out in the Reformed churches of the Netherlands in response to the teaching of James Arminius (1560-1609) and his followers, the... Continue Reading

Did We in Our Own Strength Confide? Martin Luther & Our Everlasting Hope

The real meaning of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” is reserved for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Luther’s hymn rings true. Christ arms his servants with spiritual armor, the power of the gospel to save, the authority of the Word of God, and his unflagging promise to build his church. His servants join the battle, but Christ secures the victory. May we find hope not in a hymn, but in Christ’s strength,... Continue Reading

Straining Gnats on American Slavery

A response to “Black and White Christians: A Higher Calling to Truth About Our Multiracial History of Slavery.”

There is no escaping the reality that in America, slavery was a one-sided affair. To suggest that blacks themselves had a culpable hand in the institutions that maintained their oppression in this country under slavery, black codes, Jim Crow, “separate but equal,” and much more, is to participate in that same line of oppression in... Continue Reading

Man Up, Men!

Deeply disheartened by the online antics of some Christian men, brothers who have reacted reprehensibly to recent books by sisters in Christ.

These brothers have reacted reprehensibly to recent books by sisters in Christ who have the courage to raise questions about the biblical integrity of particular conceptions of manhood and womanhood popular and popularized among conservative evangelicals in general and the Reformed community specifically.  And yes, it takes courage to raise such questions publicly.   I... Continue Reading

Dear Aunt Tracy: The Great End Time Debate Clarified for Busy Homemakers and Teens

Questions and answers about the millennium and about how to interpret OT prophecies of the coming Kingdom of God.

The question of the millennium is like the tip of an iceberg: All sorts of interesting materials lie hidden beneath the surface. This becomes especially clear when we take a quick look at the three main views of the end times popular among Christians today: Historic Premillennialism, Dispensational Premillennialism, and Amillennialism.   Actually, Aunt Tracy... Continue Reading

“Knee”hemiah

A church moves forward on its knees.

“Remember me, O my God, for good” (Neh. 13:31). This prayer is reminiscent of the psalm of Moses to “establish the work of our hands” (Ps. 90:17). Nehemiah shows us two things for the work God has given His church. One, he shows us pervasive prayer as the animating feature of kingdom building. Two, he... Continue Reading