We Believe The Story of the Apostles’ Creed
The precise origin of the Apostles’ Creed is shrouded in mystery.
Subscribing to and systematically teaching the Apostles’ Creed is rooted in historical precedent and has timeless spiritual benefit for Christians of all eras. The Creed has been and continues to be a helpful aid for worship and discipleship in providing Christians with the summations of the essential doctrines of the faith. The Creed has been... Continue Reading
And Do Not Bring Us Into Temptation
Be reflective, be self-aware, and then be intentional.
Proverbs 7 warns against falling into temptations. In this case the point is centred on lust and sexual desire. In v25 the writer of Proverbs says, ‘Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.’ And this is the case with temptation, we are not to let our hearts turn... Continue Reading
Ministry With, Not Merely To
The church ministers with, not merely to, people with developmental disabilities.
As a pastor, I’m blessed to minister with a number of friends with developmental disabilities. I’m grateful for parents and family members who help us understand how best to minister together. The Lord has raised up wonderful men and women who organize and oversee our congregation’s Friendship Bible Study each Tuesday evening which is uniquely... Continue Reading
More in Power
It is not only the angels of the army of the Lord that are with the Lord’s people but also the Lord God Himself
This Psalmist did not fear when an army encamped against Him or war rose against Him because the all powerful Lord of Sabaoth was with Him. When a thousand fall at his side and ten thousand at his right hand the Christian must not fear because the Lord is his refuge and the Lord is... Continue Reading
God is still sovereign. He can take down any country any time He is ready.
I have been witnessing some professing Christians over the last couple of years say and do some incredible things indicating that their hearts are not set on worshipping the one true God, but on some form of idolatry. Some have made an idol of the USA and our Constitutional Republic. Some have made an idol... Continue Reading
Be a Truth-Lover
Communication is never ethically neutral. Words do things.
At the core of Christianity are a book and a person. The book contains the words of God. The Person is the Word of God. Both define truth, exalting it as authoritative and precious. That means that Jesus-followers and Scripture-readers can’t just play games with words. Said better, they shouldn’t. They must not. I... Continue Reading
Growing in Maturity
Every Christian, regardless of age, experience or circumstance bears this responsibility to grow spiritually.
Because the Hebrews have not grown as they should have, they are not in a position to receive further instruction that would otherwise benefit them. However, the author of Hebrews does not let his readers off the hook because of their spiritual immaturity; rather, he points out their culpability and exhorts them to grow. The... Continue Reading
Is God Disciplining Me?
The discipline of the Lord isn’t evidence of His lack of love; it’s proof of it.
Christian, perhaps today you sense the disciplining hand of your Father upon you. It does not mean He has abandoned you or ceased to love you. Quite the contrary. It means you are His true child. Is God disciplining me? How do we answer that question? It can be really confusing. When things start... Continue Reading
No Fear for the New Year
No matter how uncertain the future might seem, as believers we are not pessimists.
2020 made it very clear that we are not in charge, that life is short, and that the things that really matter in life are neither temporal nor material. For the self-centered secular materialist, 2020 represented a vivid wake-up call to reality. Even for believers, the events of this past year remind us that God... Continue Reading
More in Number
Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.
Did you catch the number of those we join with in worship? “An innumerable company of angels.” Too many angels to count. The “general assembly of the church in heaven.” How many is that? Revelation 5:11 calls it ten thousand times ten thousand plus thousands of thousands. Revelation 7:9 speaks of their number as “a... Continue Reading
Pauline Fathme, Christian Rufo and the Early Missions to the Oromo
The news of Fathme’s baptism traveled fast, because she was the first known Oromo convert.
The missionaries Friedrich Spittler, Johann Ludwig Krapf, and Martin Flad were particularly interested in her story. Krapf and Flad had in fact traveled to Ethiopia and Splitter was at that time planning to send missionaries there. In his brief contacts with the Oromos, Kraft had become impressed by their intelligence and was convinced they would... Continue Reading
Towards a Jesus-Centered Apologetic (Part Two)
If Jesus can really change so many lives, we might consider his claim to be God in the flesh.
Immerse yourself in Scripture and develop a biblically informed muscle memory for recalling the life of Jesus and using his story to counter misconceptions about God. The more you are familiar with Scripture, the more you can reflexively respond when someone says God is like this or that, when you know good and well Jesus... Continue Reading
Some Trust in Numbers How Counting Can Ruin a Ministry
David's story is a warning to all of us who feel tempted to give numbers a louder voice than the Lord our God’s.
The Lord of the universe does not need large numbers to defeat large armies. He knows how to form a galaxy of stars from the offspring of one man (Genesis 15:5). He is able to grow a mustard seed into the largest of all trees (Matthew 13:31–32). He can even take one fallen grain of... Continue Reading
Knowing God’s Beauty Through Correspondent Love
The perception of God’s beauty is an experience known through participative love.
Correspondent love pursues the good of all that God is; it pursues the pleasure of God himself. Christians love God because of what God is for them, and because of what God is. They love his need-meeting ability, and they love his excellence. What can we conclude about God’s beauty and how to perceive... Continue Reading
Worldliness, however, is not something we do, but rather it is something we believe.
This domination of the world over man is seen today in every area of life. The popular phrase, “I am my own person,” is false and foolish, because every person is dominated by the world. For example, most people just “follow the trends,” the trends of dress, hair style, morality, and countless other things. Most... Continue Reading
Looking To God
The Lord rules this world.
This truth seems simplistic. God is in control. While we want more answers to questions about the hows and whys of God’s plan, this is enough to give us peace and strengthen our faith. This basic and simple truth of the Scripture puts us on solid ground so we can stand in a world turned... Continue Reading
Christian, Do You Love God’s Law?
God’s law provides security and direction for the whole of life.
“You’ve got to love the law” has a double meaning. You’ve got to love it—it is a command. But at the same time, “you’ve got to love it” because it is so good. Of course it is. It is a gift from your heavenly Father. At a PGA Tour tournament in October 2015, Ben Crane disqualified... Continue Reading
The Ethics of the COVID Vaccine
Worries about the safety and the ethics of the various COVID-19 vaccines are understandable.
The unprecedented speed at which the various vaccines were developed, reducing a process that often takes years to mere months, is an extraordinary accomplishment. Still, it’s perfectly reasonable to wonder if ethical and safety corners were cut to bring the vaccine to market so fast. Recently, a Wisconsin pharmacist was arrested for attempting to... Continue Reading
Marvel over God’s forming you the way you would regard any work of engineering and art.
How awesome it is to look out and up to God’s majestically created world and universe for a transcendent feeling that speaks to our own smallness. But we are also to look down and within ourselves and even to our mother’s womb and feel so intimately and intricately significant. For God made us, and wonderfully.... Continue Reading
The Deadly Sins of Proverbs 6:16-19: The Twisted Heart
Remember the LORD’s response to wicked hearts: He hates them.
In the midst of the confusion and chaos, recognize that you don’t need to know everything that is going on in the culture, nor can you control it. Remember however, that God knows, sees, and hates all that is an affront to His holiness. I doubt that many readers will have any difficulty accepting... Continue Reading
To think that because we haven’t seen an event before that that event is without precedent is not only to be ignorant of history
There have been—and continue to be—much harder experiences for Christians than anything we’ve seen yet. Those Christians thought and wrote about their circumstances, and we should seek their wisdom. We don’t need to start from scratch on these topics. We’re just not that special. These are not unprecedented days. That’s important to say, because unprecedented has... Continue Reading
Spurgeon, Atonement, and Your Life in Christ
“Christ is our life.”
For Spurgeon, the atoning work of Jesus illuminated and enlivened his piety towards a faith marked by good works, and he emphasized the centrality of the cross in our union with Christ, union with one another, and our mission in this life. Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892), the famed “prince of preachers,” navigated his life... Continue Reading
When the Wicked Prosper: A Biblical Perspective
Live by faith, not by sight, as you experience the harsh realities of life in a fallen world.
I can’t think of a greater book to turn to in troubling times than I Peter. This epistle was written to encourage believers who are being persecuted for their faith. In this book, Peter exhorts suffering saints to passionately pursue a life of holiness in light of the hope that we have in Christ (I... Continue Reading
A study of the cross as used in crucifixion is a sobering exercise.
It is indeed significant that our English word excruciating comes from the Latin excruciatus, “out of the cross.” That, and much more, is what our Savior endured for all those of us who have and will believe the Gospel. 37 Ὁ φιλῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα ὑπὲρ ἐμὲ οὐκ ἔστιν μου ἄξιος, καὶ ὁ φιλῶν... Continue Reading
A Sincere and Pure Devotion to Christ: Why the Sufficiency of Scripture Means Rejecting Secular Sociology
The fusion of Christianity and sociology, of truth and error, has infiltrated the ministry of the Church.
Today, teachers of God’s Word regularly join biblical doctrine with unbiblical sociology. The chief example of this is the failed attempt to combine Critical Race Theory with the Bible. Yet, it’s not just conjoining two systems that is the issue. That is usually spotted and discarded from the start. The more pernicious practice takes place... Continue Reading
Americans Are Going Home. Maybe It Is Time To Think About About Planting Churches There Too?
There are early indications that Americans are leaving urban centers.
It seems obvious that, to plant churches in the Plains, that vast stretch of land from Canada to Mexico and between the Rockies and the Mississippi River, will take more time and proportionally more investment. The return on investment will be lower. It will not be sexy nor will there be thrilling reports. The church... Continue Reading
When Tragedy Strikes On Saturday
Some thoughts on current events influencing content, worship, and planned prayer.
In all of these times, and in all of these seasons, in all of these tragedies, God is at work. In the absence of tragedy, in the presence of tragedy, God is at work. In your planning, God is at work. In your preparation, God is at work. In your work, God is at work.... Continue Reading
The Precedent of a Persian King
We can all, like human princes, be pretentious in flaunting the assumed importance and extravagance of our own kingdom-building.
With the unnamed author of Esther, we laugh in line with heaven at the pretensions of human princes. There is beyond the facade and the farce another kind of kingdom. For that, we look not to the country between the Tigris and Euphrates, or even the land ensconced between the Atlantic and Pacific, but to... Continue Reading
Identity, Abortion, Deathwork (Trueman)
The fact that babies can be aborted and then disposed of like so much excrement is a telltale sign for Rieff that we live in a culture with no transcendent moral order.
Abortion, too, is a deathwork – not simply because it works the death of the unborn child but because it profanes that which the second world [i.e. a culture with a transcendent moral order] regarded as sacred: human life made in the image of God from the moment of conception. Carl Trueman’s new book, The... Continue Reading
World Bank Chief: COVID May Have Pushed 100M Into Extreme Poverty
World Bank Chief Economist Carmen Reinhart called the economic crisis a "pandemic depression."
The Washington-based development lender previously estimated that 60 million people would fall into extreme poverty because of COVID-19, but the new estimate puts the deterioration at 70 million to 100 million, and he said “that number could go higher” if the pandemic worsens or drags on. WASHINGTON – The coronavirus pandemic may have driven... Continue Reading