God Wills for His People to be Christlike
We must cooperate with our Lord in His character rebuilding within our hearts.
Our union with Christ makes us partakers of His death, first, so that our guilt is gone and second, that our former life in bondage to sin is gone replaced by our new life of fellowship with Him that began at our new birth. We are also resurrected with Christ. That means that we have... Continue Reading
The Peculiar Idol of Personal Opinion
It’s a time to quietly examine ourselves, to carefully consider the word of God, to refuse to build our thoughts and feelings into cheap idols to bow down to, remembering that God’s thoughts are so much higher.
We’ve learned to love the sound of our own voice and to love the feel of our personal feelings and to enjoy the thrill of putting ourselves on display on social media (whether we have anything godly or good to contribute or not). I know I’m being hard on us. But these are times that... Continue Reading
Are We There Yet?
Let us live, confident that one day we shall be wayfaring strangers no more.
Yes, it will take your whole life to get to heaven, and yes, your life may last longer than most, and yes, the Christian life will be a challenging journey from start to finish. But it’s worth it. Not only will heaven itself vastly outweigh the difficulties you knew in getting there, but the life you... Continue Reading
The Sweet Summons of Repentance
As much as the call to repent opposes sinfulness, it also promotes holiness.
As a loyal husband, God leverages His influence to plead with his wife. He names her sins, but also offers an opportunity to forsake them. The same One who disciplines His beloved speaks kindly to her with words of renewal and restoration (2:14ff.). The call to repent is a compassionate plea to return to the... Continue Reading
Then Comes the End
Even death will be extinguished so we have nothing to fear.
The conflicts of our day are not the time for Christians to be afraid. We must be willing to put ourselves in danger. Speaking the truth of Christ and biblical standards, especially when it comes to sexuality, will cause you problems. You will subject yourself to cancel culture. Your social media accounts could be censored... Continue Reading
The Danger of an Open Bible
Let's examine our own Bible reading and study for doubt, division and dissection.
Some try to delude themselves into thinking they can read the Bible without any framework…which is a lot like me driving without my glasses on. Our goal isn’t to read the Bible without a rubric, but to get the right one in our minds and hearts. The question isn’t whether to have a framework or... Continue Reading
Unsound Teaching Produces Unsound Churches
We must be striving for ongoing reformation as we seek to honor God through biblically informed worship and a lifestyle that is consistent with a pursuit of holiness.
The unadulterated Word of God is what the local church needs. Anything else will not fulfill the people and will lead to unrest, lawless behavior, and ultimately will be so dull that it will not penetrate the hearts of people and will be incapable of saving the soul (James 1:21; 1 Tim. 1:10; 2 Tim.... Continue Reading
The Fullness of Joy
There is a fullness that awaits us as the fruit of the Spirit is nurtured by the true vine.
The joy that Jesus wants to see in us is His joy. Earlier, Jesus spoke to His disciples about peace, saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27). Where does the Christian’s peace come from? It comes from Him;... Continue Reading
The Skill of Living in the Future
The basic idea is to slow down and be thoughtful. Our hurried lifestyle works against this critical life skill.
With humility in hand, we imagine the future. The following questions help you do this. What are you doing that you want to remain private? Forecast into the future and imagine your life when the private becomes public, because it will become public. What have you learned from the funerals of the wise and funerals of the... Continue Reading
Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Isolation and the Church
The loss of community and the sense of isolation have been my normal off and on for months and years at a time for nearly two decades.
Part of the way we are instructed to love one another in the Epistles is to weep with those who weep and to bear one another’s burdens, actions that Jesus demonstrated for us during His earthly ministry. How are you loving fellow believers in this time of coronavirus isolation? How are you loving those who... Continue Reading
Lead Me to the Rock
When David prays, “lead me to the rock,” he not only knows that God is the only rock, but he recognizes his own inability.
Family is certainly a means of God’s grace, but eventually even family can let us down. The government and politicians can do a lot of good, but they are terrible rocks. Success might seem to provide protection for a time, but it will eventually move on to someone else. No, the only one who is immovable,... Continue Reading
Pastors, Covid, and Criticism
These are difficult days for everyone. Your fuse may be shorter than normal, your perspective skewed by weeks or months of enforced isolation – and so might your pastor’s. If you love them, support them.
Lockdown has removed this sense of intimacy and security for your pastor, so that his preaching has not been just to members, but in a marketplace. Most Christians will have (or ought to have) stuck with their own online ministry, but in the back of his mind and the depths of his heart there lurks... Continue Reading
What Sin Will Never Quench
Why we trust in broken cisterns.
The core evil of the original sin was believing the forbidden knowledge of good and evil would yield more satisfaction than God. The core evil of ancient Israel was believing idols would yield more protection and prosperity than God. The core evil in all our sins is believing some broken cistern will give us greater... Continue Reading
Jesus in the Gospel of John – the Lamb of God
As the true Lamb of God Jesus took on full and real humanity and died in our place to take away our sin and take on the punishment we deserve.
A sacrificed lamb referred to the provision of God for escaping His wrath. But those lambs were placeholders. They could not take away the sin of human beings. They were animals. They pointed to the day that God would provide the true Lamb who was able to take away sin by His death. That’s the... Continue Reading
Basil of Caesarea: He Need Only Live the Gospel
One of the fascinating features of the life of Basil is that we get to see a concrete example of what can happen to a man and to a community when the commandments of the gospel are kept.
Basil’s personal devotion to living a life according to the Scriptures, to living a monastic life, informed not only his handling of doctrinal division, but also his engagement with the wider culture as well as the Christians in his own congregation. One very obvious point here is that Basil’s dedication to Scripture was one of... Continue Reading
When Everything Falls Apart
If we are going to honestly face up to our suffering, we need to take care not to minimize it.
A lost job, a temporary illness, or a financial crisis can be softened by a kind reminder that it truly could be much worse. But such brotherly bromides are wholly insufficient comfort for the truly tragic events of life. And their impotence to soothe is exposed when you try to apply them to the victim... Continue Reading
Scripture, Culture, and Convictions
No matter what cultural issues may arise, Christians must commit themselves wholly to God as He reveals Himself in His word.
Scripture is its own interpreter and the divinely inspired interpreter of life in this fallen world. In our day, predetermined cultural conclusions about any given ethical matter in society are formed in academia and popularized through the medium of television and the internet. In fact, they are not merely popularized. They are packaged in manipulating... Continue Reading
America Is in the Grips of a Fundamentalist Revival
But it’s not Christian.
Yes, secular religion is breaking out across the land. That’s old news. Here’s what’s new—it’s growing so very dark. We don’t need to repeat all the recent excesses of cancel culture to know that many anti-racist progressives are in the midst of a hunt for ideological heretics, and even the oldest sins can’t be forgiven.... Continue Reading
Follow the Way You Want To Be Followed
There is a call on those who lead to first master the art of following.
The fact is, we train our followers by the way we follow. We teach them how they ought to follow us by the way we follow others. I am reminded of the words of Jesus who warned, “With the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” It’s a proverb that can be... Continue Reading
Beauty and Motivation
The will chooses what it loves.
Jonathan Edwards tackled the questions of motive, desire, and freedom in his work The Freedom of the Will. There Edwards argued that the strongest inclination is the choice one makes, and that choice is the same as the will. There is no neutral “deciding faculty” within us, independent of beauty. Whatever the mind perceives as the... Continue Reading
What Is God Up To?
The Temptation to Overinterpret Suffering
This pandemic is the first time that many of us have reckoned with a particular trouble that affects nearly everyone, and it has caused us to think more about God’s ways. Though the answers across the body of Christ will have different emphases, there are at least three matters on which we can have broad... Continue Reading
Why Read Early Christian Authors?
Examining the Modern Life with Help from the Past
Consider…the challenge, one of the greatest of today, posed by Islam’s attack on the Trinity and the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Broadly speaking, Evangelicals are woefully inadequate in their ability to respond to such an attack for they rarely ever hear sermons on the Trinity and the Incarnation. Here, the Fathers can help... Continue Reading
Why Did Satan Target Eve?
How Man and Woman Fell Out of Order
Does God’s original order stand after the entrance of sin into the world? And more to the point, might how sin entered the world give us reason for upholding God’s original order still today? For centuries, 1 Timothy 2:12 was not controversial. Now, in some circles, it has become one of the most debated... Continue Reading
An Important Win for Religious Liberty: Espinoza v. Montana
The opinion effectively ends the ability of state governments to discriminate against religious education under what are commonly referred to as “Blaine Amendments.”
The Supreme Court now finds in a 5-4 decision—with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority opinion along with Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh—that the Montana Supreme Court’s invalidation of the Montana scholarship tax credit/scholarship program was unconstitutional. When first instituted, the legislation allowed parents to use scholarship grants for tuition payments to religious... Continue Reading
Here’s The Dilemma Humanism Can’t Solve But Christianity Can
The Humanist savior is mankind, while the Christian savior is Jesus Christ.
There is another answer, the one provided by Jesus Christ. But secularists/humanists are increasingly not merely rejecting the answer provided by Jesus Christ, they are becoming more intolerant and impatient with it, as seen in radical leftist Shaun King’s declaration this week that “all murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European... Continue Reading
Bringing Down Churchill
Churchill’s statue in London’s Parliamentary Square was defaced by a protestor who spray-painted “was a racist” across its base.
While recognizing his flaws, we should, however, evaluate Churchill’s historical context and scrutinize his arguments. And we should remember that without Churchill, Britain might have capitulated to the Nazis as France did and that world history would be radically different. In leading Britain during World War II, Churchill acted with consummate courage and arguably had... Continue Reading
Your Culture and Your Preaching – Part 2
Five categories of cultural influence on our public speaking.
Do we tend to take the stance of the celebrity expert, or the authoritarian scholar, or use the indirect authority of gentle encouragement? It is not just whether we speak with authority or not, but how that authority is wielded. This is about whether we are more direct or indirect, instructive or suggestive, bold or... Continue Reading
The Evangelical Church’s Confused Witness on Race: Part 3
The apparent obsession of many of the leaders in the SBC and the PCA with white racism is rooted in white guilt.
Racism will be with us until Christ consummates His marriage with His Bride, the church. But God’s wisdom shows us that the best way to help blacks and other minorities is not through welfare, affirmative action, or confessing our racism—unless, of course, we really are racist In Part 2 of this series, we presented the... Continue Reading
What are the Differences Between Covenantal and Dispensational Theologies?
Reformed Theology was a refreshingly different perspective than what I had grown up with (and not quite so scary!).
We all struggle to understand the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, and the host of questions that come along with it: How do we know which OT laws carry over and which do not? What is the relationship between the church and Israel? Should we interpret prophecy literally or symbolically, or a mix?... Continue Reading
Balance: More Than Just Merely a Goal or Good Idea
As a follower of Christ, you are to walk worthy or in equilibrium with the call of God.
When you consider all three senses of the Gospel, you begin to understand the call. Paul commands all believers to live consistent with the calling – or the Gospel. As believers, we are saved from sin and toward a new life of good works in Christ, become part of God’s one family, and receive the... Continue Reading