What Does “World” Mean in John 3:16?
No matter how wonderful the world may appear, it is not worthy of God’s redeeming love.
The world represents sinful humanity and is not worthy of God’s saving love. Apart from the love of God, the world stands under God’s condemnation. But in Christ, believers experience God’s surprising, redeeming, and never-ending love. One of the most surprising twists of John 3:16 is that we are told God loves the world.... Continue Reading
Comfort During Hard Times
“Precious…” is the result of the Holy Spirit teaching the psalmist – filling him with hope - as the singer meditated on his own death.
When we examine the Hebrew word translated “precious,” we find that it used 35 times in the Old Testament. It can be translated as: costly, precious, matchless, splendid. Twenty times it describes costly stones – rare jewels. The anonymous psalmist wants us to know that, despite appearances, the deaths of those who belong to God... Continue Reading
Why Did Jesus Compare God’s Kingdom to a Mustard Seed and Leaven?
In our lives and in these times, the growth of the kingdom can be hard to trace, detect, or measure.
A mustard seed and a pinch of yeast—no one would expect the kingdom out of these. No one notices a mustard plant growing; we cannot see yeast at work. This is the paradox of Christ’s kingdom, and it is both wisdom and comfort for our faith, brothers and sisters. When the Lord ushered his... Continue Reading
Dull Hearts, Loving Thy Neighbor, and the PCA
Abandoning sound exegesis of Scripture to accommodate worldly wisdom is not loving our neighbors.
The problem is that today, in 2020, many in the church are perceiving white racism and white privilege (and other faults) where there is none, while their hearts are dulled to the suffering brought about by the assault of Marxist, i.e., godless, ideology on our world. This includes American federal, state, and local governments that... Continue Reading
The Captive Mind and America’s Resegregation
Idol smashing and cancel culture are part of a broad ideological project to dominate society.
Today’s elites as a rule do not believe they have any obligation to serve the public, only to rule it, and so they express little or no disapproval of college students toppling statues on federal land or looters raiding supermarkets. To criticize them would open elites to the charges of “populism” and “racism.” Czesław... Continue Reading
What is Truth?
When Jesus said that He came to bear witness to the truth, what did He mean?
What is truth? Jesus Christ came to this world and was completely victorious over our enemy and the power of death. No matter how much our enemy wants us to remain in the dark about these truths, no matter how persuasive he is, no matter how bad we feel while being oppressed, no matter what... Continue Reading
Preacher, the Time is at Hand
It is time for you to preach like you have never preached before.
How we need preaching, and how we need it now! When Paul asked, “And how will they hear without a preacher?”, he was not simply speaking of one believer sharing with another or a member evangelizing his neighbor, as important as those tasks are. Rather, when he raised that question in Romans 10 he was... Continue Reading
4 Reasons We Need a Biblical View of Humanity
We base our view of human nature—our anthropology—on our doctrine of Christ because he is the perfect representative of humanity.
If Jesus claims to be the divine made human and to teach the very words of God himself, then his trustworthiness would evaporate if we were to discover his entire view of human nature to be radically wrong. He would be offering a cure for an imaginary disease and would lose all credibility. Human... Continue Reading
PCA Minister Jean Jacob Paul: One of the 21st Century’s Newest Martyrs
Jean Jacob Paul was Presbyterian Church in America pastor and member of Northwest Georgia Presbytery.
Pastor Paul moved to Haiti, at the urging of God through the means of recurrent dreams, early in this century and began a ministry to orphaned children and the planting of churches across the nation. Beginning in 2013, Jean established a Reformed Bible college in Haiti, training young pastors and theological students in God’s Word.... Continue Reading
The Theological Problem With Tim Keller’s So-Called Social Justice
By calling charity “justice” and claiming that it is deserved, the implication is that God’s grace in the gospel is deserved.
To accurately picture God’s graciousness to us in the gospel through our giving, the one thing we must never do is claim that the recipient of the gift deserves it; that we are committing an act of justice to them in our giving. For the sake of the integrity of the gospel, gospel giving must... Continue Reading
Against Every Accusation
What to Say When Satan Whispers
At our right hand is our accuser, but at God’s right hand is our Advocate. And for every argument the devil speaks against us, Jesus speaks a greater one. He not only died to remove our sins, and he not only rose with his finished work in hand — glorious events of the ancient past... Continue Reading
‘Every Knee Shall Bow’
“I believe I can’t kneel before anything but God, Jesus Christ. I chose not to kneel. I feel if I did kneel I’d be a hypocrite. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.”
This is a small thing, maybe, but it’s an example of media ignorance about religion, bordering on bigotry. Bigotry, in the sense that a journalist for a national publication is holding a Christian player up as a bad example, while making no effort to understand why a believing Christian might be uncomfortable kneeling for anything... Continue Reading
Solidarity In Repentance
It is not the confession of sin that is wrong but the sitting in judgment over our forefathers’ sins rather than standing in solidarity with them confessing our sin.
We who believe in Jesus Christ, need to use this time in history not to attack other believers, dead or alive, but to proclaim our solidarity with fellow believers which include men like Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel (Hebrews 11), men of faith, who committed grievous sins. We cannot be one... Continue Reading
Reflections on Job
God permitted his servant to be placed in the crucible so that the true character of his piety might be revealed.
In various different ways piety can lead to suffering. And because of that we can find ourselves facing a particular temptation — the temptation to not aim high; to not aspire after and seek after and labour in prayer after the kind of piety we see in a man like Job; to settle for much... Continue Reading
There is no Such Thing as Private (or Online) Communion
"The physical act of gathering is essential, not incidental, to the ordinance."
A number of people physically meeting at church whilst another group of people stay home and live streaming. Most the people who are staying home want to meet with us but they aren’t able due to age, illness or some other impediment to their coming. Given that we are having communion for those people who... Continue Reading
The Mission Field I Never Expected
I could imagine telling the breathless BBC correspondent, “but curing Ebola was worth it.” Somehow, raising children with special needs doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
And there are days, even now, when it is tempting to blow my own trumpet, whether by looking for recognition in the wrong places or by belittling the parenting trials that the people around me face. In a room full of women bemoaning the fact their children won’t try broccoli, it can be tempting to... Continue Reading
Jesus in the Gospel of John – the Resurrection and the Life
This 7-part series explores John’s Gospel descriptors of Jesus as the Word, the Lamb of God, the Bread of life, the Light of the world, the good Shepherd, the Resurrection and the Life, and the true Vine.
With everyone staring death in the face and smitten with grief, Jesus turns their eyes to Him and declares Himself to be death’s remedy. To validate His claim, almost as an object lesson, Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead, calling him by name to come to Him. With that call Jesus gave Lazarus the... Continue Reading
The State of Innocence
The image of God gives us a dignity that the animals do not have because we are a reflection of God.
We are uniquely made in God’s creation. We are able to have a personal relationship with God through communication and fellowship with Him. We are created to worship Him and to find our highest purpose in living our lives for His glory. It is important to understand that the world as it was first... Continue Reading
The Rationale for Wrath
Can you say that it is unjust for God to be angry with you?
Are you sure God loves everybody? John the Baptist didn’t think so. He said, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (Jn. 3:36). Why is God justified in having wrath toward you if... Continue Reading
5 Important Things We Can Learn about Repentance from Psalm 51
David felt the pain of his sins against Uriah and Bathsheba.
Psalm 51 is a psalm of repentance and one from which we can learn and even use to model our own confessions. When we feel the pain of conviction—a crushing weight that feels like broken bones—we can run to our Father and cry out to him in repentance. I broke my arm two years... Continue Reading
Word and Deed: The Church’s Mission
Just as loving words are to be found on the lips of God’s people, so too are loving deeds to be found in their hands.
God’s glory is displayed when the good news of His salvation is proclaimed and the good works of His people are carried out. Though they must never be confused with each other, ministries of both word and deed are essential to the ongoing work of God’s kingdom. Jesus announced the purpose of His incarnational... Continue Reading
What do we Fight in the Fight of Faith?
True Christianity is a struggle, a fight, and a warfare.
The principal fight of the Christian is with the world, the flesh, and the devil. These are his never-dying foes. These are the three chief enemies against whom he must wage war. Unless he gets the victory over these three, all other victories are useless and vain. The true Christian is called to be... Continue Reading
Polite Villains of the Universe
False teachers play the fiddles and songs the culture is already humming.
Nice blasphemy, spoken between stories of one’s family, is more popular and better received by some professed Christians than plainly spoken Christian truth about sin and unbelief. For some reason I always assumed false teaching would be unsophisticated, even crude. This speaker’s message, however, sounded like a skillfully painted sunny day at the ocean.... Continue Reading
The attractional church problem is nothing new, and neither is the solution.
We fool ourselves if we think the schism between ecclesiological models is somehow a uniquely modern dilemma.
the faithful preacher’s fight manifests in the temptation to add a dash of the sensational in his presentation of the gospel. To compromise his commitment to proclaiming Christ crucified by making it more fashionable. To jettison his engagement with the Infinite by settling on entertaining and enticing his congregants. In The Gospel-Driven Church, and... Continue Reading
From the Head to the Heart: The Motivation Behind Obedience
The doing of the Word completes the hearing of the Word.
In order to be faithful doers of the Word, we need to think more deeply about the biblical nature of ethical instruction and how to cross the bridge from hearing to doing. Recognizing the bridge that connects our listening and acting will help those of us who read the Bible daily, listen to sermons weekly... Continue Reading
Why Did Jesus Use Animal Metaphors to Prepare His Disciples for the Mission of God?
Jesus spent much time reading the book of nature.
Jesus could point to a simple flower in order to explain to his disciples the mystery of God’s providential care and provision for them (Luke 12:27). Some of Christ’s most impactful illustrations came from the agrarian culture in which he lived and traveled. He expended prolonged periods of mental energy meditating on the birds of... Continue Reading
“Ill-Advised Zeal for Righteousness”: Calvin and That Awfully Divisive Person in Your Church
The most effective way to discourage your pastor is to be a source of discord in your church.
Here, he makes a remarkably helpful distinction. The schismatic wants the church to be entirely perfect, and its failure to be perfect means it is no true bride. Calvin takes a more measured, and quite frankly more beautiful, approach. He says that “it is also no less true that the Lord is daily at work... Continue Reading
Vanguard Presbytery’s First Convocation
Vanguard Presbytery held its first Convocation on July 30, 2020 in Nashville, TN
There were 94 people present for the Convocation with over 350 others watching the live stream. The actual numbers of how many people watched cannot be determined. One minister who was present placed the link to the Convocation on his church website. Within a day or so, 1400 people had gone to the link to... Continue Reading
Preaching the TONE of the Text
The preacher must be careful not to abandon the truth in the journey from text to sermon.
Every text has a central truth. And every text has a natural tone. To discover the truth of the text is to discover the tone of the text. Some passages teach doctrine. Others offer comfort. There are passages that state commands. Still others give issue warnings. Some passages encourage the weary soldier to fight on,... Continue Reading
Exodus Old and New
Reading one of Morales's books on Scripture is like going on a walk with a friend down a forest path that you've travelled many times and having that friend more than once point to something and say, "Did you ever notice this?"
My friend, Michael Morales, has published a new book titledExodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption. I have been eagerly awaiting this one for some time, and I was not disappointed. The exodus event is the paradigmatic redemptive event in the Old Testament, shaping the way the biblical authors talk about redemption throughout... Continue Reading