Peace as a Fruit of the Spirit
The world desperately desires and speaks longingly of peace, but it can only be found in the God of peace.
God’s providential care frees us from the stress and burdens of life. As His adopted children, we are not left as orphans but are instead entrusted to His care in all things. He is the sovereign God over the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, neither of which fall victim to... Continue Reading
Wickedness and Self-Deception
Our wickedness distorts.
The Bible talks a lot about evidence and self-deception. My favorite passage to go to is Matt 12:38-40. The Pharisees and Scribes ask Jesus for a sign. But here is the kicker: Jesus had been doing signs, in fact, the Pharisees had previously conspired against Jesus because he healed a man on the Sabbath. (Matt... Continue Reading
Reformed by the Word: One Church’s Journey
Keep the focus on Christ. Keep pointing them to Christ. And keep close to Christ yourself.
Like shaping your soul, the work of shaping a church takes years of persistence. You can’t do it in a five-year pastorate. It takes a commitment to stay in place, to love your people, to persist when it’s painful, to preach the Word with patience, and not give up in the face of opposition. ... Continue Reading
Have No Fear of Terror
We are actually commanded to be bold and stand firm against all who oppose God’s truth.
If we will walk in obedience to the Lord, by faith and not by sight, He will sustain us and keep us from being afraid of sudden terror. The enemy may indeed raise up his servants to attack the Lord’s Truth, saying all kinds of evil about us and attacking us in ways that no... Continue Reading
The Voice of Freedom
We must discern true Freedom from the Lie.
Your glorified Savior is meek and mild with his lambs, and his voice is one of tender freedom—freedom from the would-be oppressors. The spirit of this world, your flesh, and the devilish hoard want only to￼ enslave and control you. They do not have your freedom and best interest at heart. Yet they will disguise... Continue Reading
The Emotional Life of an Apostle
Men who are frail and who fail, are fallible and fragile; but are those ‘clay pots’ that become instruments for God’s glory.
If we look at Paul for example – the one apostle we are allowed to get to know more intimately than any of his fellow-apostles – we are struck most forcibly by the way he copes under duress. Whether it be through Luke’s biographical glimpses given in the book of Acts, or through Paul’s own... Continue Reading
The Untimely Church
We need to set the church back two thousand years to effectively meet the challenges of this year and impact the coming years.
We will live as sinners, saved by grace yet “growing in grace” until Christ returns to consummate His grace. At that moment, we will be delivered into the unalterable glory of the perfections of Christ and, together, we will be with Christ forever. Therefore, the church and believers must neither dismiss the past nor live... Continue Reading
Hope in the Face of Hostility
The Puritan Hope is a wonderful reminder that God has an inexorable plan to glorify his Son.
In 1812, Henry Martyn died in Asia Minor aged just thirty-one. By then he had accomplished significant work as a pioneer Bible translator in both India and Persia (now Iran). When a Muslim leader asked him why Christianity was so weak in the world, Martin responded confidently that God’s purposes had not yet been fulfilled.... Continue Reading
The Resurrection: Motivation for Holiness
The spiritual power of the resurrection of Christ is at work in every believer.
Any believer knows that once saved he must grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. What is more, that growth only comes by the Spirit’s ongoing revelatory work in us. Paul is praying for that work. What is more, we see what Paul is praying for in these verses. His desire is for these... Continue Reading
Entrusting Ourselves to the God of the Living
The lineage of mankind focuses on God’s work in history, not ours.
When we accept the invitation to unite our lives with the life of Christ, our individual stories get stitched into the tapestry of a much bigger story belonging to the One who was before Abraham. Our story is no longer limited to our lives or our families because our story is more ancient and new... Continue Reading
Seasickness, and the Glorious Certitude of God
Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed. Case closed.
Jeremiah, the doomsdayer of his day, felt the flux around him. In a context of sloshy-morality and iffy-commitment, he was the bearer of the promise of God’s judgment. And the people hated him for it. The waves came up and down around him and he, too, was no doubt seasick from the motion. But he... Continue Reading
George Herbert – Pastor and Poet
The honesty in Herbert’s poetry, its familiarity with the human heart, and the way it speaks directly to it are some of the traits that have made it unique and enduring.
Herbert’s poetry is varied in both subjects and style. For example, while “Church Monuments” encourages the reader to reflect on the reality of death, other poems celebrate the joys of life. In “The Flower,” the poet expresses his surprise when the Lord suddenly lifts his spirits after a season of darkness. “Who would have thought... Continue Reading
Discourse with the Foolish
Jesus loves His Word and He loves His people and He loves the lost. So must we.
When the fool comes as a skeptic with his questions, answer him from the truth of God’s Word, not from his faulty and irrational worldview. As you answer intentionally, seek both to dismantle his argument and to win his heart. I’m sure you have heard the attractive statement that I once made with unfeigned confidence—“Don’t... Continue Reading
If God Approves, Let Men Condemn
Lessons from Spurgeon on controversy.
Fierce loves fixed on unworthy objects mold Christians into cowards. If we have begun to love the music of our own name, manage our brand, or consider our popularity as necessary to the advancement of Christ’s kingdom, we have begun building our own kingdoms. May we say with Spurgeon, “I count my own character, popularity,... Continue Reading
Surprises of Old Testament Use of Old Testament: Part 5
If love thy neighbor offers a summation of the whole law, it also comes out of exegetical advances of revelation within Torah.
What should not be missed is that love thy neighbor starts with Yahweh’s redemption of Israel. The motive for loving the outsiders does not begin with humanistic impulse. It begins with Yahweh’s redemption of Israel (Lev 19:34). Redemption motivates love of the other. Love of the other necessitates love of neighbor. This post... Continue Reading
4 Ways Incense is a Picture of Prayer in the Bible
May my prayer be set before you like incense. – Psalm 141:2
Though we have no merit of our own, God still embraces us with love because of the merit of Jesus and His righteousness. For our prayers to be as incense, we need to be aware of the great heights they are reaching as we commune with the exalted Christ. This goes hand in hand with... Continue Reading
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