Union with Christ: A Neglected Truth

Very often our union with Christ exerts a profound but unexamined influence.

A brief survey of the New Testament will quickly reveal the importance of the idea of union with Christ. This idea is given special emphasis in the writings of Paul, as one finds the Apostle describing virtually every aspect of Christian privilege and experience as “in Christ” or “in Him.”   I was born and... Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know about the “Jezebel Spirit”

Although the first Jezebel had been dead for over 1,000 years, her spirit had, as it were, found new life in this woman of Thyatira.

“But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.”   Is there any such... Continue Reading

A Pastor, His Dying Wife, and Their Church—A Group Text

"Would you know what I am doing? I see God; I see Him as He is; not as through a glass darkly, but face to face."

I belong to a What’sApp messaging group with scores (or more) of Brad and Megan’s family, friends, and fellow church members. Brad offers updates, which alternate between the grieving and the inspiring. His friends offer encouragements and prayers. On Wednesday morning—five days after normal ended—Brad shared the following (lightly edited, including removing children and church’s... Continue Reading

Is Saving the Earth More Important than Saving Souls? (The 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity #10).

We finally come to the tenth and last “commandment” of progressive Christianity and this one is a classic: “Life in This World is More Important than the Afterlife.”

It’s hard to imagine a statement that better captures the ethos of progressive Christianity than this one.  It marks a profound pivot away from matters eternal and toward matters earthly.  Let’s not worry ourselves about what happens after death, we are told, because no one knows anyway.  All that matters is helping the poor, feeding... Continue Reading

Beyond the Numbers Game

Would it feel worth it if only a handful of people responded?

There is a truth that every person in ministry must eventually confront: God may only give you a small audience. He may only grant you a few supporters. He may only bless you with a small team, a short reach, a limited influence. The question for us back then was how would we respond?   “If... Continue Reading

Why Pray for the Media?

Two people who were not seeking the limelight spoke an oft-derided message through the media to the applause of almost everyone.

Both of these figures, on public platforms, testified clearly and boldly to the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. The media honored them greatly. Denhollander and Trent spoke the good news of the gospel to huge numbers of people. Christians too often bemoan that they are shouted out of the public square, but that has... Continue Reading

An Unexpected Friendship

"P.S. Be sure to say your prayers. I do every day."

“Wow, I still can’t believe it. Imagine, of the millions of children that Compassion is sponsoring, I was chosen by the president of America to be his sponsored child from many miles away. He became my sponsor when I was 7 years old and he went by the name of George Walker. Looking back, now... Continue Reading

Holding on to Hope

Even though many of their contemporaries and others who had gone before them lost their appetite for God’s Word, Simeon and Anna clung to it in faith.

There had been four centuries of divine silence in Israel. The God who had progressively revealed his plan and purpose in redemption through the pages of Holy Scripture, had added nothing to his revealed word throughout this time. Even though it was a period marked with major national and international crises that affected God’s people... Continue Reading

Top 10 Stories on The Aquila Report In Each of the Last 10 Years

The Aquila Report presents the top10 articles run for each year of its service.

The Aquila Report is celebrating its 10th anniversary of providing news and information for the Reformed and Evangelical family of churches. We thought it would be interesting to see what the top articles were for each of the years; they are list below. The board and staff of The Aquila Report enjoys offering this news... Continue Reading

Come Away and Rest

The Sabbath rest was a creation command and gift and the Ten Commandments are the moral law for all humanity.

Every seven days Adam and Eve would stop their pleasant work of tending the garden and studying the animal and plant life, to spend the day in meditation on the works and the word of Almighty God. Perhaps, especially on this day, they would commune with their Creator as he walked with them in the... Continue Reading

Dutch Pastors Face Possible Criminal Investigation For Signing The Nashville Statement

Last month, over 250 Dutch pastors and church leaders went public with their endorsement of the Nashville Statement; the statement has been met with fierce opposition in the Netherlands.

I am grateful for these men and their courageous stand for biblical teaching. Pray for these pastors. They did not anticipate this kind of opposition to what is essentially a confessional statement. But now they are being called to stand in the face of severe headwinds from the wider culture. They are also facing a... Continue Reading

5 Ways the Gospel Can Rescue Your Marriage

The good news for marriage is the good news for all of life: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Human marriage can be a beautiful gift. But Paul talks about marriage in the context of Christ’s gift to the church to teach us that the best human marriages are but shadows of the glorious marriage between Christ and believers (Eph. 5:32–33). In the gospel, Christ gives himself as the new life we need. He... Continue Reading

Can We Trust the New Testament?

As Christians we believe that the original words of the New Testament writers were inspired by God.

In the ancient world, there were (obviously) no laptop computers, spell checks, printing presses, or other modern conveniences to help produce books. If one wanted to write a book, one did it by hand. And if one wanted to see that book “published” and distributed throughout a broad geographical region, copies of that book would... Continue Reading

Idols of a Mother’s Heart

Our identity and meaning aren't meant to be found in motherhood, or fatherhood, but in Christ who has redeemed us.

Unlike so many of the books on parenting that I’ve read, Christina’s book isn’t about smacking you on the head with what you’re doing wrong. Her approach isn’t like Bob Newhart’s counseling skit. She doesn’t simply tell you to “Stop it!” From beginning to end, Christina’s message is gospel-centered and full of grace for us... Continue Reading

The Era of the Angry Black Christian

In 2008, black liberation theologian Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright pronounced the anathematic “God damn America!” upon this nation because of its history of slavery.

Reconciliation that results in fruit that is in keeping with a repentant heart does not happen in a vacuum (Matt. 3:8). It is only as you and I are brought into right relationship with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ that we are reconciled to one another (2 Cor. 5:18-19). Only as our... Continue Reading

Hell: Who Goes There?

The sinner is sent to hell because of the guilt of their sin.

The sin of an individual leaves them as guilty and condemned before God. The fair and just punishment of any offense against the holiness of the eternal God is sentencing the sinner to hell. The Bible says, “[for] all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).   Who Goes to... Continue Reading

Walking in Wisdom toward Outsiders

Christians need wisdom to interact with folks who are indifferent to, uncomfortable with, or hostile to our faith.

First-century Christians seemed “strange” to their pleasure-pursuing contemporaries (1 Peter 4:3–4). They trusted in a cross-centered message that looked feeble to some and foolish to others (1 Cor. 1:18–25). How, then, should they and we live among those who do not share our faith?   Christians often wrestle with how to balance grace and truth in our... Continue Reading

He Sought to Kill Sin with a Pen

John Owen (1616–1683)

He went to hear a famous minister at Aldermanbury Chapel in London. A substitute preacher entered the pulpit. Owen’s companion was all for heading off to another church. But the preacher (whose identity has been lost in the mists of history) preached on Matthew 8:26: “Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith?” It... Continue Reading

Dear Christian, Love Where You Live

I want to encourage you no matter where you live (and for no matter how long you’re there) to do this one thing.

Jesus Christ calls us as his followers to love our neighbors. The people he had in mind weren’t those who shared our view of the family, sexual ethics, religion, or the economy. Our neighbors include the very people who sometimes get on our nerves. Jesus even took it a step further when he said that... Continue Reading

God’s Ambassadors: Advice for Preachers

Preachers are not mere professionals, paid to study topics and prepare sermons.

Unsurprisingly, the assembly speaks to preachers in such as way as to remind them that both in his motivations and in his concerns the preacher is a pastor. The preacher is to address the people in such a way that they sense his “loving affection” and his “godly zeale & hearty desyre, to doe them... Continue Reading

Befriending Our Trials

We naturally think of our trials as our enemies, cruel opposers of our good and thieves of our daily happiness.

James is not preaching an empty grin-and-bear-it, mind-over-matter attitude towards our trials and afflictions. We should embrace them joyfully, like reuniting with long-awaited friends. And the reason we can is because they are all there ultimately because it is in the good wisdom of our God to providentially have them there. Why?   Count it all... Continue Reading

You Can’t Preach Christ Without Preaching Depravity

If we are to understand the magnitude of God’s grace, we need to understand the totality of our depravity.

Preach Christ or go home, Spurgeon says. And for what was Christ crucified? Why did his pure blood flow down the plank of a criminal’s cross? Because of sin. Because of our depravity. Therefore, to ignore the depth of our darkness changes the story—it weakens it.   Depravity isn’t exactly en vogue these days. You... Continue Reading

10 Exciting Discoveries in Biblical Archaeology in 2018

Previously archaeological teams stopped digging under certain sites in Iraq, such as the traditional tomb of Jonah the prophet, for fear of destroying them.

Once the Iraqi army rooted out ISIS earlier this year, archaeologists began checking the historic sites to see how much damage had been done. They made some startling discoveries. Tunnels dug by the terrorist group revealed a previously untouched Assyrian palace in the ancient city of Nineveh and several inscriptions that corroborate biblical accounts.   This past year... Continue Reading

Tempted From Without, Yet Without Sin

Fallenness is inherently a moral quality.

For humans to be born “fallen” is for them to be born in iniquity and conceived in sin, to stand as the inheritor of original sin, means that by nature we are “altogether averse from that [spiritual] good, and dead in sin” (WCF 9.3). It means that we are born with an “original corruption, whereby... Continue Reading

Cultivating Self-Control

Lack of self-control leads to ineffectiveness and lack of fruitfulness.

To be enslaved to our desires does not befit one who is called to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:16). Therefore, in the Spirit’s power, we work to mortify the weeds of the flesh so that we may flourish in the fruit of righteousness (Rom. 8:13; Phil. 1:11). The fight for self-control is suffused with... Continue Reading

Learn to Love All That’s Good

The good news of the gospel is that a good God sent his good Son to make us good once again.

Having opened his letter to the Philippians with a prayer for discernment, Paul now closes it with practical advice. Do you want to be able to approve what’s excellent? Seek whatever is true. Do you want to be able to navigate the world with wisdom? Seek whatever is honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. Do... Continue Reading

Comforting Quotes for Those Who Are Suffering

The most impactful book I read last year was A Book of Comfort for Those in Sickness.

“You see what he is. All his nature, all his sayings, all his doings argue comfort. Not comfort for the impenitent and the independent, and for those who think they have no need; but for all who wish to be humble, and in want, and to be supplied from a source outside themselves.”   Without... Continue Reading

5 Ways to Prioritize the Word in Worship

Handle the Word of God faithfully so you may be a worker approved by God (2 Timothy 2:15).

God created by His Word. He sustains all things by His Word. He’s given us His Living Word, Jesus, and now, He’s given us the written Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Therefore, whenever we hear the Bible, we’re to receive it as the very words of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Remind the church of these glorious truths.... Continue Reading

Ego is the Enemy

We publish books and articles to help make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus—not ourselves or anyone else.

Here at GCD give thanks to God for his kindness to us. As we abide in him, he makes us prosper and bear fruit. He graciously gives us the bandwidth to write and communicate the goodness of his mercy and grace. Before 2018 draws to a close, we want to take a look back at... Continue Reading

Giving Up Our Rights

Paul’s main method of evangelistic ministry was focused upon giving up his rights.

Evangelistic ministry always costs somebody something, but Paul made sure it didn’t cost his hearers. He preached for free. He loved the reward of costly preaching and was able to win more Jews, Gentiles, and weak believers because of it (9:19-23). This ministerial strategy is consistent with the incarnation and life of Christ.    Consider the... Continue Reading