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

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

Longing for Heaven, Longing for God

The deep longings we experience now will be met then, fully and finally, not simply in heaven itself, but in God himself.

Have you ever heard it said of some Christians, “They are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good”? Well, I think that that comment couldn’t be more wrong. Those who are heavenly minded are of great earthly good, because they are like a refreshing spring in the valley of sorrow. Such people remind us that... Continue Reading

The Piety of Dort

The Canons of Dort show consistently, painstakingly, and persuasively that the doctrines of the Reformed faith promote rather than hinder authentic Christian piety.

The elect believer responds to Christ’s costly and efficacious atonement with Christ-centered doxology and heartfelt worship, adoring the Bridegroom as an unworthy bride. This precious doctrine of limited atonement or particular redemption comforts the members of the living, invisible church by reassuring them that Christ has purchased His bride with His very own blood.   ... Continue Reading

How to Do Everything to the Glory of God

Use your freedom to pursue the ultimate spiritual good of your neighbor.

To Paul, this was true Christian freedom: to do whatever it takes to love one’s neighbor for the sake of Jesus. This is what Paul had in mind when he wrote, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). We glorify God when, out... Continue Reading

Five Main Points of Doctrine

The Canons of Dort, affirmed five main points of doctrine in response to the errors of the Arminians.

This article will follow the sequence of the canons. Though it is often forgotten, this sequence was already established by the time the Synod of Dort convened in 1618. Before the meeting of the synod, the Arminians had presented their teaching in the form of five opinions. The five points of the Canons of Dort... Continue Reading

Canons Of Dort (16): Scripture Teaches Both Definite Atonement And The Free Offer Of The Gospel

The Reformed confession may be wrong but it cannot be called rationalist.

Arminius and the Remonstrants, though they protested that they were merely following Scripture (as someone, somewhere said, “all heretics quote Scripture”) were, in the judgment of the Reformed churches, guilty of subtly placing reason above Scripture. It is not that there is no place for reason in Reformed theology. None of the magisterial Protestants (least of all... Continue Reading

[Danger!] 5 Signs You’re Legalistic (and Probably Miserable)

It sucks the life out of you, drains your joy, and makes your relationship with God an absolute nightmare. And more than anything else, it’s displeasing to God.

While you may know the technical, dictionary definition, I’m beginning to learn that legalism (and being legalistic) is much slimier and more slippery. It shows up in odd places, unexpected and unwelcome. It slides into the nooks and crannies of my heart. It’s an expert con man, pretending to be my friend and convincing me to... Continue Reading