WCF 29: The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s supper is a constant reminder of our separateness from the world and an implicit (and often explicit) exhortation for unbelievers to trust in Christ for their salvation

In the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), according to our standards (BCO 58-4), churches may practice either “close” or “closed” communion. At Providence Presbyterian Church, we practice “close” communion in our fencing of the table: we invite all those who are members in good standing of a Bible-believing, evangelical church to partake with us.  ... Continue Reading

The Tempted One

What does it mean to you that Jesus faced temptation?

“Each time Satan tempted Him, Jesus responded by countering Satan with God’s Word. Many of us in reading this passage might deduce that it teaches us to counter temptation with God’s Word. While it is true that we should defeat lies with the truth (Ephesians 6:16), there is more in this passage than simply copying... Continue Reading

Passing Down the Truth of God

We are supposed to take the truth that was handed to us by our ancestors in the Christian faith and run with it.

The Apostle Paul gave this charge to Timothy in his final epistle: “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). Paul was facing imminent martyrdom (4:6), and he was of course concerned with the question of... Continue Reading

The Cumulative Effect of Our Little Choices

Sometimes when a man commits adultery and abandons his family, it appears to have come “out of the clear blue sky.” It hasn’t.

A battering ram may hit a fortress gate a thousand times, and no one impact seems to have an effect, yet finally the gate caves in. Similarly, sinful actions don’t come out of nowhere—they’re the cumulative product of little moral compromises made over time, which ultimately result in ungodly behavior. On the other hand, it’s... Continue Reading

Are You Mature?

The answer to that question may be a little more nuanced than you think.

Growing up is a funny thing. Every time I think I have grown up, I realise there is more growing to do. That is the reality of Christian maturity. We are mature in Christ but there is always more maturing to do.  And who wouldn’t want to be more mature when it is all about... Continue Reading

What is the Difference Between Justification and Sanctification?

In short, justification means we are declared righteous, while sanctification means growing in righteousness.

Justification is a one-time event, and sanctification is a continual process. When we are justified, we are declared righteous positionally (that is, before God we are righteous). However, while we are positionally righteous, we are practically not perfectly righteous. While doubtless growing in grace, we are still, when compared to Christ, unrighteous. Sanctification then is... Continue Reading

Far, Near, and One

How should we, who once were once far off, but have now been brought near, relate to one another?

As we differ in the finer points of political ideology, theology proper, anthropology, soteriology, ecclesiology, sacramentology, and eschatology, etc…, let us keep in mind there are to “be no dividing walls of hostility.” Instead, there is to be “peace” for Christ intends us to be “one man.” He desires for us to act like “fellow members of the... Continue Reading

Cut Off Your Hand, Tear Out Your Eye

Jesus is calling us to personal holiness, however costly and painful, as His path for us “to enter life.”

The Lord is not telling us literally to maim ourselves. After all, the Apostle Paul condemned “asceticism and severity to the body” (Col. 2:23). But our Lord’s point is this: we must resolve that, whatever the personal cost, we will follow the upward call of God in Christ (Phil. 3:14). Yes, the Lord is working... Continue Reading

Only Half of Our Friends Actually Like Us

What matters more, how many people we can call a friend, or how many people can call us one?

I imagine friendship as a commodity has always been an issue, but it is so much more apparent with the advent of social media. One thing is for sure: high-quality friendships are a blessing. And they are something worth investing in. How would you define that? We learn a lot about friendship in Scripture.   ... Continue Reading

In Defense Of Religion

Is there any more abused and despised little word in the Christian vocabulary today than religion?

Just as it is a confession to say, “No creed but Christ” so anyone who gathers for worship, no matter how informal the service, no matter whether it is a service where one is allowed to carry a cup of coffee into the auditorium or not, whether one wears Hawaiian shirts or a suit and... Continue Reading