Humiliation & Exaltation: Christ’s Ascension

Here are four key reasons that the ascension of Christ is essential to our understanding of the gospel.

Hopefully this short introduction to the ascension makes you think about the work of Christ and the effectiveness of his humiliation and exaltation. We need to always remember that the work he does he does for us. Next time you pray towards heaven, remember that you know your prayers are going up to heaven and... Continue Reading

What is the Chief End of Scripture?

From God’s standpoint, everything is for His glory; from the standpoint of the experience of redemption in the soul of the believer, it is for our salvation and joy.

Among the most well-known and beloved theological formulations in all of church history are the opening words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” The ultimate goal of man’s life in this created world–considered from the divine and human side–can be summarized by these two... Continue Reading

Context Matters: Always Prepared to Make a Defense

“…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…”

The sentence begins with: “Have no fear of them, nor be troubled…” (1 Pet 3:14b). And the sentence ends with, “…yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Pet 3:15b-16).   Perhaps... Continue Reading

The LGBT Movement’s Dangerous Hypocrisy on Conversion Therapy

The Utah law adds conversion therapy to a list of practices considered to be “unprofessional conduct” for state-licensed mental health therapists.

Is sexual orientation fixed or fluid? For LGBT activists, the answer depends on what position most benefits their cause. When it comes to conversion therapy to change sexual orientation, the LGBT lobby claims that homosexuality is immutable and cannot be changed. Yet in other contexts they claim that sexual orientation is fluid, especially in adolescence.... Continue Reading

Manhood Ceremony for a Boy Becoming a Man

For Christians, this can be a wonderful opportunity to stimulate a young man or woman toward Christian maturity.

“Coming of age” ceremonies are not unique in the history of humankind, of course. Various communities around the world and throughout time have marked the transition of a child into an adult with rituals and ceremonies, possibly the most well-known of these being the Bar Mitzvah in Jewish communities. Historically, age thirteen is when a... Continue Reading

The Glory of the Cross

Given the centrality of Christ’s cross, it is vital that we think about it correctly.

We must never forget that it was never enough for Christ to be merely with us in his incarnation. To redeem us, and to undo the damage of the first man, Christ must also act for us in his life, death, and resurrection. Apart from his work, we have no redemption, no justification before God, and ultimately no hope... Continue Reading

The Dark Road From Abortion to Infanticide in American Law

This essay attempts a review of the legislative, judicial, political, and social developments of recent years in regard to abortion.

In Roe, the Supreme Court spoke of “potential life” and said that it need not decide the supposedly “difficult question of when life begins.” Even though Justice Blackmun for the Court did not know, the science of embryology knew the answer to the question then and now: “the sex of the new individual . . .... Continue Reading

Can Sickness Be Better Than Health?

The American prosperity “gospel” perpetuates lies, equating health and material blessings with our faithfulness and God’s favor, and sickness with a lack of faith.

I wondered why God wouldn’t respond to my earnest pleas, suspicious that he had cursed me, rather than blessed me. My sole focus was getting relief, so I was puzzled by verses like these: “Count it all joy my brothers when you meet with trials of various kinds” (James 1:2) and “It was good for... Continue Reading

Our Family Story

“It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others.”

In one of his many books, Spurgeon made a comment well worth hearing. It comes from the preface to his book on commentaries. He had written this book to convince pastors of the need to use commentaries and to engage in deep study for their sermon preparation. Spurgeon well knew the value of reading for... Continue Reading

LGBTQ-Incompatible Means Gracious Separation is the Church’s Best Option

When denominations attempt to minimize the differences over same-sex partnerships and attempt to stay unified, the result is vicious division. Case in point is the United Methodist Church.

The beliefs and values of each side render the other side under severe condemnation. This is not simply theoretical. LGBTQ inclusion has led to splits in three major denominations already: The Anglican Church in North America formed Dec. 3, 2008, splitting from The Episcopal Church (U.S.A.). The North American Lutheran Church organized Aug. 27, 2010,... Continue Reading

What Do Hitmen and Porn Watchers Have in Common?

Anyone involved in the commissioning, planning, or execution of a crime can suffer its penalties.

If you want to benefit from a crime, you risk facing the full consequences of that crime. The man who commits acts of rape against a girl deserves to face justice. It’s for good reason that Michael Pratt is facing a long list of serious charges. But what about the people who watched that video? What about... Continue Reading

Acts 29 CEO Removed Amid ‘Accusations of Abusive Leadership’

Steve Timmis was acclaimed for his model of close church community. But former members claim that inside The Crowded House, he resorted to bullying and control.

“People were and are afraid of Steve Timmis,” said Andy Stovell, a former elder who led alongside him for 14 years at The Crowded House in Sheffield. Fifteen people who served under Timmis described to Christianity Today a pattern of spiritual abuse through bullying and intimidation, overbearing demands in the name of mission and discipline, rejection of... Continue Reading

What Is the Meaning of Marriage?

From the beginning, marriage always signified God’s union with humanity in Christ.

When God created humans in his image, he joined male to female together through marriage. The joining of the sexes carries symbolic meaning that reveals a deep mystery embedded in creation. Paul explains, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Eph 5:32).    In Scripture marriage... Continue Reading

Context Matters: The Weaker Vessel

It behooves husbands to ensure they understand what is expected of them.

The first observation we ought to make regarding the command to husbands in 1 Peter 3:7 is the first word, “likewise.” We must ask a critical interpretive question: “Likewise to what?” That is, what is this command to husbands like? How is this command similar to that which came before?   Though it may be unpopular to... Continue Reading

Humans Are Still Evolving

Is the mechanism that leads a bacteria to develop resistance the same mechanism that can create a bacteria in the first place or evolve it into a fish?

The problem with most popular articles on evolution is that the authors equivocate on the definition of evolution. They fail to draw a distinction between these different definitions. The result? Any empirical evidence of change over time or microevolution is assumed to demonstrate that macroevolution is true. The average reader thinks, If bacterial resistance to antibiotics is an... Continue Reading

What Exactly Is the Nature of True and Saving Faith?

We can become frustrated when our faith doesn’t seem to produce the result we desire.

When we begin to sense our weakness and the weakness of our faith, we must listen to the words of Christ, “If you have faith as a mustard seed…” Sinclair Ferguson sums all of this up when he writes, “The weakest faith gets the same strong Christ as the strongest faith.”   In his autobiography, Grace... Continue Reading

The Parable of the Seed Growing

We just need to scatter the seed. The rest is God’s work.

The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear” (vv. 27–28). Note first that growth happens “automatically.” When good seed falls on prepared ground, it will sprout and grow. The power for that growth lies in the seed itself. It’s the powerful Word that will accomplish... Continue Reading

Context Mattered to Jesus, Part 2

Is the Lord among us or not? (Exodus 17:7)

With numerous and precious promises, God told Israel that he remembered his covenant and would be their people (Ex 6:2–8). He traveled with them as a pillar of cloud and fire; they knew his awesome and mighty presence with them (Ex 13:21–22). And yet, the people doubted their God.   After Jesus was baptized by John,... Continue Reading

The Curtain, His Flesh

Easter was never to be a once in a year celebration, and we are to remember the death of the Saviour in every prayer we engage in.

When Christians pray, they are not to forget the wounding and agony of Christ. The rent curtain tells Christ’s offering of himself as we engage in prayer,  to remind us that Christ procured this right only by his own suffering. So we have seen that both the role of the Spirit, as the replacement Comforter,... Continue Reading

The Gods of the Prosperity Gospel

Unmasking American Idols in Africa

A Christ-centered interpretation will make it plain that the Bible is not first and foremost about us but Christ. If the Scriptures are about him (John 5:39; Luke 24:44), he must be central in our Bible meditation, preaching, and teaching. This Christ-centered approach will make it plain that the gospel is not about health, wealth,... Continue Reading

Lord’s Day Meditation: “Underneath Are the Everlasting Arms” by C.H. Spurgeon

All through life, and at its close, we shall be upheld by the “everlasting arms”

The Christian may be sinking under trouble from within through fierce conflict, but even then he cannot be brought so low as to be beyond the reach of the “everlasting arms”–they are underneath him; and, while thus sustained, all Satan’s efforts to harm him avail nothing. This assurance of support is a comfort to any weary... Continue Reading

Why You Should Build Meals Into Your Church

Food offers everyone an opportunity to serve and be served.

Food can act as a real draw for people. Even more so when the food acts a catalyst for the kind of Christian community that ought to be appealing to people. In the early church, as people saw the Christian community, they found it attractive. Food can have that same community building, evangelistic pull today.... Continue Reading

Amen — ‘A Sound Like Thunder’

The characteristic response to the gracious Amen of heaven is the glad and adoring Amen of the church.

The God of Scripture is the faithful God. He comes to his people in grace and makes his promises with an abundant liberality. Nor does he leave any room for doubt. He means what he says and will perform every word. Christ is his pledge and the Son’s ‘Amen’ is the declaration of the Father’s... Continue Reading

Anne du Bourg – A Conflicted Martyr

He persevered in his faith in spite of these hesitancies and vacillations is a greater testimony to the faithfulness of God.

On December 23, du Bourg was sentenced to be hanged and then burned. The execution took place the same afternoon. From the scaffold, he proclaimed to the crowds, “My friends, I am not here as a thief or a murderer, but for the gospel.”[2] He was 38 years old. His last words were a prayer:... Continue Reading

Bryan Chapell Nominated to Serve as the Next PCA Stated Clerk

If his nomination is approved by the PCA General Assembly, Chapell would become the denomination’s fourth stated clerk.

“Bryan is a respected pastor and experienced leader within the denomination,” said Ruling Elder Danny McDaniel, chairman of the Administrative Committee and the Search Committee. “When we looked at the qualifications required by the Rules of Assembly Operation 3-5, it became obvious to each of us that Bryan was more than well-qualified for the office.”... Continue Reading

Guarding Our Eyes

May God grant that we shall be numbered among those who believe the seriousness of the issues involved in “guarding our eyes.”

In Matthew 18:7–9, we are informed that we must be willing to deal with those occasions to sin as though we were excising the offending member, be it our hands, our eyes, or our feet. The options before us are clear: Get rid of the offending member or be damned. Conquer the sin at any cost.... Continue Reading

What to Do With Your Heart?

Guard your heart. And then incline it. Lean it toward God.

As we learn to speak to Him in every moment of every day, we are only leaning into the fellowship that He wants to have with us.  As we set apart time to really pour out our hearts to Him, we open ourselves up to all that He has for us. Just like giving thanks,... Continue Reading

Humiliation & Exaltation: Christ’s Burial

This part of Jesus’ humiliation is to our extreme comfort and relief as believers.

In order to grasp the full significance of Jesus’ burial, we must consider its fearfulness. It is certainly a morbid exercise to contemplate my own body lying lifeless, shut up in a coffin, and covered with dirt—or, in the custom of Jesus’ day, wrapped tight in linens and laid sidewise in a stone slab cut... Continue Reading

Gracious Gospel Repentance

True repentance involves a turning away from sin and to God.

Any true repentance will only ever be borne in our lives when we come to see that Christ was crucified for sinners and that He freely receives and welcomes sinners. A sight of God’s great mercy in Christ fuels saving repentance. It sees, as Richard Sibbes so eloquently put it, that “there is more mercy... Continue Reading

Suffering: God’s Mysterious Means for Spreading the Gospel

Are you ready to endure fiery trials or will you avoid them at all costs?

As western society moves further away from Biblical standards, we who are devoted to Jesus will become more obvious. We will be an increasingly bright light in an increasingly dark world. This is good news, really, because the hope of the gospel and the glory of God will be revealed. Where is your hope? Is it... Continue Reading