Daily Bread and Daily Pardon

Only when we both know and feel the joy of sins forgiven will it be an instrument in God’s hands.

If we ourselves do not know the once-for-all pardon for sin and the acceptance we have with God on the basis of Christ’s judicial satisfaction and his righteousness imputed to us in salvation, then all the ‘bread’ in the world will be worthless to us. There is no life apart from God. Only in union... Continue Reading

Overcoming the Daily Pressure of Pastoral Anxiety

Only when we are weak can God show us just how strong He is.

A true pastor will know that he has been called to share the sufferings of Christ and the burdens of his flock, overwhelming though they may be. A true pastor will furthermore know that that very same Christ sits with the Father on a throne to dispense grace in the time of need. He has... Continue Reading

Whether I Sink Too Low or Soar Too High

I learned that day how pride is a devious and relentless foe.

Something happened as I walked down the steps and went backstage to take off my microphone. A sudden temptation loomed in my heart. Suddenly I found I wanted some outside reassurance. I wanted to hear the approval of other people. I wanted to know that others had been blessed by what I had said. And... Continue Reading

The Division of Old Testament Law

It seems clear from both testaments that there is a division among Old Testament laws.

We often hear that “the Law” is a unit, that all of it is moral, and that if any of it is abrogated, then all of it must be. While the issues involved in this dispute among sincere brothers in Christ certainly require more than a simple blog post, I offer the following short critique... Continue Reading

The Value of a Single Soul

If we have built a model for growth which demeans the need for believers to be treated as valued souls, then we are working against the grain of how God builds his kingdom.

Let the world have its ticker tape parades, its popularity contests, its straw poll politics and morals, it megastar and minor-soul ethic, and lets follow the heart of our God after the individual believer, and the path of our Saviour who drank the bitter cup that he might sup with individual believers gathered together in... Continue Reading

A Mantle of Love for the Weak

Puritan wisdom from Thomas Brooks', "The Unsearchable Riches of Christ."

Brooks’ section on “the duties of strong saints to the weak” is something every believer should commit to reading, digesting, and seeking to put into practice in all of our regular interactions with other believers. When he came to the ninth duty that God requires of spiritually strong believers in relation to spiritually weak believers,... Continue Reading

Yes, the Reformed Churches Do Baptize on the Basis of the Abrahamic Promise

Baptism is a sacrament, i.e., a sign of promised grace and a seal, a promise of saving grace to those who believe.

The Abrahamic covenant or promise is central to the Reformed understanding of the unity of the covenant of grace under the Old and New Testaments. We say that there is one covenant of grace with multiple outward administrations. The New Covenant did not first appear in history in the New Covenant. The Old Testament believers... Continue Reading

A Tribute to My Missionary Parents

They were God's holy fools, ordinary people who bore none of the marks of worldly significance.

What kind of people—often with multiple graduate degrees and significant opportunities for economic prosperity and security—uproot their lives, leave friends and family behind, and spend two, three, or four decades in remote jungle places where most of the people speak languages that had no dictionary and no grammar books?   I grew up in the... Continue Reading

We Will Sneer at Death

Death will be defeated, and everlasting Life is going to win.

When we trust in Jesus—when we believe that he is the resurrection and the life and when we repent of our sins and put our faith in him as our Savior and Lord—we are reconnected to the source of life. We are reunited to God, our Creator. So, even if this body of mine will... Continue Reading

Reverse Engineering the Logic of Scripture

Undertaken in a considered and textually respectful way, reverse engineering actually serves to preserve rather than pervert meaning.

Particularly in the New Testament epistles it is vitally important to remember that these were originally documents designed to be read, and also studied. This means that the line of logic would be preserved in the worship of the church precisely because they would often be conveyed in their entirety, with their holistic concerns being... Continue Reading