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

Preaching for the Broken

The church is the cosmic stage for the drama of redemption! The import of this for the cluster of churches around Ephesus in Paul's day could not have been greater.

Every one of Paul’s letters is an exposition of the Gospel, but an exposition in light of the particular circumstances of the church to which it was addressed. So, as he begins to expound the Gospel to the group of churches around which this letter was probably circulated, he explodes with praise for what the... Continue Reading

Life of the Mind, 3

An empty mind is of no value to you, and can be simply a blank canvas for more sinful thoughts (consider Mt. 12:44).

No Christian is automatically given a mature, godly and productive thought life at their conversion. It’s a part of wisdom and maturity which must be gained by prayer and prayerful labor. So whenever wicked (impure, lazy, selfish, etc.) thoughts pop up, the first step is always repentance. Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount revealing... Continue Reading

Living In Far Away Problems

Instead of sharing in local news about the people around us, we’re filling our ears with headlines about strangers.

There’s no question that I know more about a bunch of famous people I’ve never met than I do about most of my neighbours. Does that seem odd? It should. In the history of the world, we are the anomaly. Our ancestors knew the people around them because they had no choice – there were... Continue Reading

The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard

This parable hits right at our hearts, at the twin issues of self-congratulation and envy.

This parable gives us a vision for God’s generous grace toward us and toward others. Life is found when we fix our eyes not horizontally on what others have but vertically on the generosity of the whole-earth landowner, King Jesus, who calls us friends and who gives wisely and generously.   Imaginary gardens with real... Continue Reading

Honey, We Molested The Kids!

Boy Scouts Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the Face of Thousands of Child Abuse Allegations

No parent is going to send their young sons camping alone in the woods with an openly gay man for the same reason they wouldn’t send their adolescent daughters to be alone in the woods with an openly heterosexual man. And now the BSA has been whiplashed into bankruptcy by liberals demanding, on one hand,... Continue Reading

Adulting, and Fifth Commandment Rule of Thumb

For both parent and child, the pursuit of maturity requires prayerful attention to one’s own duties and the other party’s honor.

As a young teenager, I knew my parents were my superiors. It was my duty to respect and obey them. Over time, God patiently taught me how to do that, even when I didn’t particularly like what I was being asked to do. When I started college, things got a bit more complicated.   A... Continue Reading

Ministering in Disgraceful Underhanded Ways

The SBC and other large Christian organizations are conforming to Identity world views.

If we live our lives in the center of God’s will for us then we will also not compromise with those who compromise His truth. We will not tolerate their lies about God’s truth as they try to minster in disgraceful, underhanded ways as they practice cunning, tampering with God’s Word for their own ends.... Continue Reading

The Collapse of the Secularization Hypothesis

As societies have grown more modern, they have not become less religious.

Scholars are not only casting doubt on the secularization hypothesis as it applies to global cultures; they are also finding that secularism itself, where it does occur, is not the extinction of religion.   Casting Doubt on an Assumed Trajectory It has long been assumed that the rise of modernity will be accompanied by the... Continue Reading

Humiliation & Exaltation: Christ’s Death

How could this be victory?

In moments of despair we might cry: “The whole WORLD is against me!” This overdramatization was no exaggeration for our Lord. Within one week, the Jews of the nations went from crying out for His Coronation (Mark 11:9) to demanding that a slayer be given them rather than the Savior (Matthew 27). They hated Him.... Continue Reading

Is Jesus the Angel of the Lord?

Scripture is much clearer on this matter than we sometimes think.

As Christians, we must confess that God has always been triune. The Son did not come into being at Matthew 1. He always existed in the form of God (Phil 2:6). And this ontological reality means that we must read Scripture (the Old Testament) as Christians to see the one God act according to his... Continue Reading

The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy and the Spirit of Schleiermacher

Beware of compromised apologetics.

Any time we find an attempt to recast our doctrine or practice in order to make us more attractive to the culture, it may be the spirit of Schleiermacher haunting us. In the early twentieth century that came in the form of anti-supernaturalism. But the spirit of Schleiermacher can haunt the halls and pulpits of... Continue Reading

Our Most Important Question: What to Do with our Kids?

Only life built on the Twoist truths of Scripture and the person of God, Creator and Redeemer, can survive, both in time and in eternity.

The culture is more sharply divided than ever over ultimate questions of human existence: the nature of human sexuality as binary or non-binary; marriage as exclusive to heterosexuality or open to any desired combination; the status of unborn children as human beings to be preserved at all cost or fetuses to be terminated on a... Continue Reading

What, Are You ESV Only?

Not all rhetorical arguments are respectable, and I think the question, “Are you KJV-only?” serves as a fine example of an intellectually irresponsible inquiry.

I have experimented with my retort, “Are you ESV-only?” only a couple times, and realized that it carries very little rhetorical force because there has never been a Ruckmanite movement in the ESV camp. There probably never will be, by the way, since the ESV has been marketed to academic-minded Christians.   Introduction “What, are... Continue Reading

Protestants To Take Catholic Communion At Calvin’s Cathedral In Geneva On Leap Year Day

In a first since the Reformation era, Protestants are set to receive communion during a Catholic mass at a historic Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, John Calvin's adopted home.

Emmanuel Fuchs, president of the Protestant Church in Geneva and a pastor in Saint-Pierre, added that the invitation indicates that “the climate in Geneva is extremely favorable and fruitful with the Roman Catholic Church. We have made notable progress in terms of ecumenism, especially with the Joint Declaration, signed in 2017, which recognizes our respective... Continue Reading

John Calvin: For a New Reformation (2019)

Calvin lived in constant fellowship with the Lord and submitted daily to his lordship.

Over the years, I have read dozens of books about the French Reformer, John Calvin. This book is among the best. Thomas and Tweeddale should be commended for assembling such a worthy team of writers who celebrate a man that continues to wield a mighty influence on individual lives and the church of Jesus Christ.... Continue Reading

A Closer Look At The “Abandonment Clause” In 1 Corinthians 7:15

Abandonment in certain clearly defined cases has the effect of dissolving the bond of marriage, but it must be understood as defined by Scripture.

When Jesus said there is only one lawful ground for divorce, Paul wasn’t suggesting otherwise.  What he was saying is that in certain clearly defined cases “abandonment” has the effect of dissolving the bond of marriage, bringing with it the liberty for the innocent party to remarry.  But what Paul meant by “abandonment” and what... Continue Reading