The Value of Scripture

The value of Scripture in the life of the believer lies in its source and its function.

When Paul wrote that Scripture is God-breathed, the idea was not one of inspiration but of expiration; that is, the Bible was breathed out by God. The whole point here is that the Bible comes from God. It is His Word and carries with it His authority. Paul wanted Timothy to understand the source of... Continue Reading

Forgiveness’s Dirty Little Secret

The concept of cleansing captures the experience of forgiveness in purification from the defilement of sin and stain of guilt.

It is in this sense that when we confess our sin, we do not receive forgiveness so much as we realize it. Jesus paid it all; all to Him we owe. From that realization, the wonder of grace dawns anew in our hearts. We are humbled before such amazing love. And, purposing to new obedience, we beseech our God... Continue Reading

Old and New Testament Sacraments

Why has the change to New Testament sacraments resulted in a seemingly opposite scope for circumcision giving way to baptism, and Passover giving way to the Lord’s Supper?

There might be some fruitful ground here for answering both the Baptists and the Federal Vision folks, who both have the same error in treating the NT sacraments as working the same way. Indeed, as a friend of mine once said, the problem of the FV’ers in their sacramental theology is not that they have over-reacted to Baptistic theology in every respect, but that they have not thrown off the problems of Baptistic thinking enough. It must be born in mind that most FV’ers were Baptists before they became FV.

Sinful Anger: Its Cause and Cure

Jonathan Edwards set out four things that believers are to remember in order to watch against sinful anger

Very often those that are most ready to be angry with others, and to carry their resentments highest for their faults, are equally or still more guilty of the same faults. And so those that are most apt to be angry with others for speaking evil of them, are often most frequent in speaking evil of others, and even in their anger to vilify and abuse them.

A Day in God’s House in the 1850s

The following is a lively description of a typical Lord’s Day in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Indiana in the 1850s.

The religious exercises in the “meeting- house” were named from their principal part, “preaching”. That is the meaning of the noun which I am not able to find in the dictionary; but it was so used among us in my boyhood. My mother might have said to us, “It is time to get ready to go to “preaching”; and one of the boys might have asked her, “What shirt am I to wear to “preaching” today?” or after our return one might have said, “There were a good many at preaching.” Whether all the people there used the word so, or not, I cannot tell; but such was the meaning the word conveyed to my mind. My recollection is confirmed by finding the word so employed in the earlier part of my diary. “Preaching” included all the public services on an ordinary Sabbath.

The Advent Season: Not Just Christmas

Why do you think so many Advent hymns sung at "Christmas" extol both Advents of Christ?

In a word, let's return to the historic objective of using the Advent season to affirm both the victory of Christ in His 1st Advent and our longing for the consummation of His victory in the 2nd Advent. In so doing we would not only minister to a heart-felt need in the lives of God's people we would also more effectively disciple God's people and more effectively proclaim the Gospel of Hope to the world.

Hate What God Hates

We begin today with God’s hatred of idolatry.

Why does God hate idolatry? God hates idolatry because it is libelous, because it makes false statements about his nature and character. Idolatry proclaims things to be true of God that are actually false. It inevitably recreates God in the image of man, diminishing him, emptying him of his holiness, of his transcendence. Tozer says it well: “A god begotten in the shadows of a fallen heart will quite naturally be no true likeness of the true God.” This idol may be one we can see and touch, a piece of stone or a stump of wood.

His Name is Jesus

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

“Jesus is the Friend of sinners (Mt. 11:19).  Jesus is our brother (Heb. 2:11).  Jesus is our Advocate (I Jn.2:1).  Jesus is the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11). Jesus is our Counselor (Is.9:6).  Jesus is full of love (I Jn. 4:19),  mercy and compassion (Mt. 20:30-34).”   Jesus’ name is Holy and Awesome (Ps. 111:9).  Jesus’ name... Continue Reading

Irresistible Grace: The Lord Opened Her Heart

What good news that God can and does bring dead sinners to life, opening our hearts to pay attention and believe in the good news of Jesus Christ

All the women heard Paul speak about the Gospel. And yet only one of them ended up believing and getting baptized. What accounted for the difference? That stunning phrase in verse 14, “the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”   The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ given... Continue Reading

Five Myths About the Ancient Heresy of Gnosticism

Gnosticism was a heretical version of Christianity that burst on the scene primarily in the second century and gave the orthodox Christians a run for their money

“Time and again we are told that Gnostics were just as widespread as orthodox Christians, and that their books were just as popular too (if not more so).  The reason they did not prevail in the end is because they were oppressed and forcibly stamped out by the orthodox party who had gained power through... Continue Reading