When we stop seeking perfection, and start seeking the Perfect One.
My To-do list never emptied. I felt like I was swimming against a relentless tide—sometimes lying awake, almost panicked, thinking, “I can’t afford to be awake, I need to sleep so I can get up and get things done”. Then one day I heard a preacher say, “Only God gets his to-do list done”—and the lights... Continue Reading
Here’s Another Reminder to Be Gracious During 2020
The Bible is full of commands for Christians to treat each other well. Jesus says, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:35).
The deity of Christ, the Bible being the word of God, the bodily resurrection of Christ, salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and the physical return of Jesus. These, if you will, constitute mere Christianity, and Christians should unify around these core teachings. When it comes to non-essentials, however, like the method of baptism, the... Continue Reading
God is Faithful to His Promises (and Threats)
We must be saved from God, but it is also God who does the saving.
It is the Lord himself, who grants mercy. God is righteous, just, and must punish sin. He will not deny himself, but he has made a way to satisfy the wrath of those who will put their trust in him. On the cross, we see the wrath of God propitiated for those who will come... Continue Reading
Here is the only solid ground on which to build lasting contentment: I may be an imperfect soul enduring an imperfect life, but I have been loved by a perfect Savior.
For those with ears to hear, Paul offers a different vision of contentment: “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.... Continue Reading
The Local Church Was Made To Serve The Christian, Not The Christian The Local Church
How will we mark our measure our commitment to God’s good gift of local church fellowship? The point is not so much what we do, but why we do it.
There is nothing wrong with a church offering many different activities and programs and studies. Each of them can be a tremendous blessing and a part of a well-balanced spiritual diet. Each of them can provide an opportunity to serve and to be served, to deploy our gifts for the good of others and to... Continue Reading
In many ways, all of our churches should be messy. We should expect nothing else when a group of sinners in need of God’s grace get together.
Whilst the sin that leads to church discipline (and, how we do that is another post for another day – but we don’t eject people from the church at the first sign of trouble) isn’t a cause for celebration, the fact that it has to be used again speaks to the fact that we are,... Continue Reading
Why the Church Needs Gentle Shepherds
In the midst of the cultural upheaval that 2020 brought with it, more than ever we need shepherds who are gentle.
In 1 Timothy 3:3, Paul writes that the elder must be “gentle.” Paul isn’t looking for men who act gentle in one or two arenas of life, or who do something gentle several times a month to save face. The roots of gentleness grow deep in his soul. To exhibit this quality, a man must... Continue Reading
Becoming a Man with C.S. Lewis
Lessons from his teenage wanderings.
One of the primary tasks of middle adolescence is to learn to be appropriately independent. It is a necessary step toward growing up and being on one’s own, in the way God intends. In some families, however, adolescents learn in a stormy way, accompanied by all manner of rebellion against parental authority. They need not,... Continue Reading
The Difference Between Faith and Presumption
Refocus your faith not on the results but on the One behind them. And then, even if He does not, we stand even still.
“Even. If. He. Does. Not.” Remember this phrase? Three exiled Hebrews said it a long time ago. They spoke these words to an angry potentate in the most dire of circumstances. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood before the gigantic golden statue the king of the foreign land had erected in his own honor. The law... Continue Reading
What Could Make You Sell Everything You Own?
The Gospel writers tell us that this man had many possessions. But really we can see that his many possessions had him. They had him in their grip. They had his heart in their vise.
Imagine the conflict in the young man’s soul as he made the long walk home. But as sad as he was on that day as he walked away from Jesus, imagine the sadness he experienced when he finally did have to let go of everything, leave it all behind, as he entered not into eternal... Continue Reading
Living for Him Who Died for Us (Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf)
"He launched a worldwide missionary movement that set the stage for … the ‘great century’ of missions that would follow.”
In 1719-1720 Zinzendorf had his Wanderjahr, a year of traveling abroad to complete his education. While at the magnificent art gallery in Dusseldorf he viewed many masterpieces. The painting that impacted him the most was of the thorn-crowned Christ after he had been flogged by Pontius Pilate. Beneath it was the Latin inscription: “This I... Continue Reading
John Did Not Go Quietly Into Exile (Rev 1:9-11)
John had continued to worship and serve Christ Jesus and to bear witness to the gospel of salvation.
Though we share a transformed identity with the Apostle John, he also underlines how he differs from us. King Jesus, John tells us, had transformed him into a prophet with a special commission to write a book to us his siblings and partners. John rehearsed the particulars of his transformation for us (Rev 1:10-11). He had... Continue Reading
The Value of Reading
Life is too short to read everything, and most of what has been written is not worth reading anyway. One must be selective.
Great books are our teachers, and good books are our companions. Poor books are obstacles we meet along the way. If you are a Christian, there is one book you will love, even if you do not love any other. That, of course, is the Bible. But if you know the value of reading, there... Continue Reading
The King Who Rode on a Donkey
Not only does Jesus fulfill what the prophet Zechariah foresaw, but He also fulfills the blessing of the patriarch Jacob on His Son Judah.
Now, one would think that a conquering king being welcomed into a city would be riding in on some majestic war horse, or a mighty golden chariot, or something like that. But that is not how Jesus rides into Jerusalem. Jesus rides in on a donkey. Now why would Jesus do that? Doesn’t He want... Continue Reading
Trusting When God’s Plan Seems Doomed to Fail
The Lord has told us that His power is most on display in our weakness.
God calls us to step out in faith and trust him when he asks us to do something that shouldn’t work. I’ve found that it can be difficult for my stubborn heart to believe God is going to work through such impossible situations. However, if you serve in leadership, then convincing yourself is only half... Continue Reading
Judge Refuses to Hold John MacArthur in Contempt without Trial
Jenna Ellis: "It’s tyranny to even suggest that a government action cannot be challenged and must be obeyed without question."
“This ruling prevents Los Angeles County’s attempted rush to judgment in its continued prosecution of Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church for courageously exercising their First Amendment rights,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Charles LiMandri. Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church avoided being held in contempt of court Thursday when a... Continue Reading
The Most Important Church Father You’ve Never Heard Of
Three ecumenical councils viewed Cyril of Alexandria's teaching as the most accurate expression of the Christology found in the Scriptures.
Those seeking the biblical and theological tools to combat the contemporary restatement of ancient heresies and contemporary denials of orthodoxy would do well to revisit the works of Cyril of Alexandria. Many evangelical Christians have heard of Athanasius, Augustine, Irenaeus, perhaps even Tertullian or John Chrysostom. Cyril of Alexandria (A.D. 376–444), on the other... Continue Reading
Delighting in God Through Diversity
The diversity of mankind is a feature of God’s creation, not a flaw. Though our differences have been and continue to be the occasion of division, discord, and the devaluing of life, God did not design the world this way. God created differences to reflect and highlight his brilliance and glory. Some time ago,... Continue Reading
Pruning for Fruitfulness
We rest in Christ through relying on the Spirit.
Often when we think of discipline we think of punishment. However, in view is the whole of the training matrix involved in our spiritual growth. It involves teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness toward conformity to the image of Christ. Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.... Continue Reading
Why Black Lives Matter and Christianity Are Totally Incompatible
BLM offers no answers, no hope, and no real instrument for change.
Falling in line with pop-culture, I know I have seen many Christians announce their support for BLM. While I will not support their endorsement, I somewhat understand it. They see half-truth, racial injustices on the news coupled with an outcry of a mistreated people, and long for justice. They want equality and fairness; I do... Continue Reading
Context Matters: The Cattle on a Thousand Hills
This assertion’s plain purpose is to shake up complacent religious people by reminding them they’ll never be able to bribe their God. He cannot be bought with their religious ritual.
The truth that “he owns the cattle on a thousand hills” was not penned to grant us assurance that our kind Father can take care of us. No, this assertion’s plain purpose is to shake up complacent religious people by reminding them they’ll never be able to bribe their God. He cannot be bought with... Continue Reading
Biblical Theology According to the Apostles
The retellings of Israel’s story in the NT should influence the way we read the OT.
While we cannot say that the writers of the NT were always operating with the story of Israel explicitly in view, the assumptions that these stories reveal are invariably connected to their other uses of Scripture and should therefore influence our overall understanding of the use of the OT in the NT. I have... Continue Reading
Learning from the Life and Death of Stephen
This is the way all of us want to live and die.
We want to live full of faith and the Holy Spirit. We want to live boldly, preaching the gospel; and then we want to die in confidence that when we take our last breath here, our next breath will be taken in his presence. Stephen’s Boldness The Bible is very honest about people. With... Continue Reading
John Kyle, PCA Minister and Former Coordinator of Mission to the World, Called Home to Glory
John Emery Kyle, 94, of Monroe, NC, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, September 24, 2020.
In 1972 they returned to the United States and in 1973 John became the first coordinator of Mission to the World with the newly formed Presbyterian Church in America; 1973-1977 and 1988-1994. In 1979 John and Lois moved to Madison, Wisconsin where he served as a Vice President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and as the... Continue Reading
A Lament for Blasphemy
Instead of focusing solely on the person of Christ, however, “O Sacred Neck” weaves in images of George Floyd, together with calls to “break down prison doors.”
The result is blasphemy on a grand scale. Note that blasphemy is the specific, not emotional, charge of insulting God. “O Sacred Neck” insults the Lord by depicting Jesus as a drug-abusing George Floyd, and it does so on a large scale by inviting many singers to join in such worship. The Porter’s Gate... Continue Reading
The Responsibility of Ruling Elders to Attend the Courts of the Church
Encouraging PCA ruling elder to be “more” engaged in Presbytery and General Assembly
To function effectively a Presbyterian church (at local, presbytery, and General Assembly levels) needs not just elders, (presbyters) participating — it needs elders of both types (teaching and ruling, pastors and lay) in numbers sufficient to represent and serve the churches. A Presbyterian church is incomplete with only one type of elder. There ought to... Continue Reading
God Is Infinite and Personal
To have an adequate answer of a personal beginning, we need two things. We need a personal-infinite God (or an infinite-personal God), and we need a personal unity and diversity in God.
There is no other sufficient philosophical answer than the one I have outlined. You can search through university philosophy, underground philosophy, filling station philosophy—it does not matter—there is no other sufficient philosophical answer to existence, to Being, than the one I have outlined. There is only one philosophy, one religion, that fills this need in... Continue Reading
Blackness Has Become A Commodity
Blackness was once considered a curse, now it’s considered a commodity.
That toxic opportunism of performing blackness wouldn’t exist if our culture hadn’t created a philosophy that considers perceived oppression as more advantageous than privilege. Blackness has become a commodity because critical race theory and intersectionality demonize whiteness while deifying blackness. Critical race theory has convinced many people—including black people—to find their identity in perceived oppression.... Continue Reading
Give Yourself to Find Yourself
Throughout his ministry Stott championed the importance of social involvement among evangelicals, but never as a replacement for evangelism.
“I do not regret this emphasis [on social justice] at all, except that there appeared to be no comparable compassion for the spiritual hunger of the unevangelized millions, no comparable call to go to them with the Bread of Life. . . . How can we seriously maintain that political and economic liberation is just... Continue Reading
The Fruit of Faith
Salvation may not be achieved “by” works, but it certainly bears the fruit “of” works in the lives of those whom God saves.
So, what does this life of repentance look like? Over against the ideas of Roman Catholic renewal advocates, the Reformers refused to see Jesus as merely an ethical paradigm for Christianity. Rather, they insisted on the spiritual union of believers with the crucified and risen Christ as the guiding impulse of faith. God’s Word... Continue Reading