Embracing God’s Rest

Entering God’s Rest isn’t a historical survey of Sabbath interpretation.

Ceremonial laws were given to Old Testament Israel as a system of types and shadows pointing to New Testament fulfillment (Acts 10; Heb. 10:1–10). Judicial laws supported the theocracy of the Old Testament that expired with the Israelite state (Ex. 21:1–23:19). Moral laws were rooted in creation, summarized in the Ten Commandments, and continue as... Continue Reading

Where Did Family Come From?

God created people and God created family.

The mission God assigned to human beings could not be accomplished by male alone. Just as God’s image was only fully displayed in male and female, God’s will could only be fully completed by male and female. Moses, who wrote Genesis, left us a little editorial note here to explain what happened when the two came... Continue Reading

The Crucial Difference Between Law and Gospel for the Christian Life

Salvation comes not by doing certain things but by hearing certain things and embracing them by faith.

In Romans 3:21-26, Paul announces that law-logic can only announce the righteousness that God is and which therefore condemns us who have failed to conform to it. Then we arrive at chapter 4. The question that throws law and promise into a sharp contrast is this: How does one obtain the inheritance of the heavenly... Continue Reading

Tried with Fire: Suffering and Glory

God rules over our afflictions. He permits them for good reason. He is doing something with them.

During the present, God uses sufferings to conform us to the image of His Son (Rom 8:29). In anticipation of the future, God uses sufferings to prepare us for glory; indeed, He uses present sufferings to increase future glory. This exchange of suffering for glory is near the heart of Paul’s perspective on afflictions during... Continue Reading

Inexpressible Joy

Our joy can be inexpressible even as the tears of our grief flow.

While we do not see Jesus right now, we will see him in that day of his revelation. Right now, we do not see him, but we believe in him. Perhaps, Peter has in mind here the words of Jesus in John 20:29 “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  ... Continue Reading

How Expository Preaching Should Engage Cultural Concerns (Part II)

The ultimate point of every sermon is Christ’s saving work, and the most profound points of application for pressing cultural concerns are found in him.

Remember, the ultimate points of application are found in Christ. Run to Christ at the end of the text and as the solution to crisis and need. As you run to Christ, you can point out the many signs of fallenness and the need for the gospel. After all, so many of our pressing cultural... Continue Reading

God Raised Jesus for You

If God has promised these blessings to His people by means of the covenant He made with David, then He has promised to them through Jesus, the Davidic King.

The child who would sit on David’s throne would eliminate gloom, anguish, and darkness and give light, joy, and peace instead (Isa 9:1–7). The shoot from the stump of Jesse would judge the poor with perfect righteousness, treat the meek with equity, and rid His enemies with a word (Isa 11:1–4). The chosen Servant would... Continue Reading

How to Get Our Sanctification Unstuck

You cannot hope to begin the doing of sanctification until you’ve first grasped the knowing.

When it comes to sanctification, it is not possible to just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. While your effort is surely necessary, and is commanded in dozens of places in the New Testament, those efforts must necessarily fail if conducted apart from a total dependence upon the work of the Lord within us. The necessary... Continue Reading

Belief in a Savior that Leads to a Battle Against Sin

We are to “consider ourselves” dead to sin (with Christ!) and alive to God (in Christ!) – that is we are to count it as a fact.

When I feel the weariness of life and my failures, my eyes are on myself – apart from my union with Jesus. Instead, Paul would have me fix my eyes on Jesus and remember that I’m united with him until I believe it deep in my soul again. You see, we are not merely finite people... Continue Reading

The Unlikely Ways of God

The power of God can inhabit smallness just as easy as vastness.

We have a God who not simply is stronger than everything else, but delights to use weakness so that we can see his strength, so that His awesomeness is on display, not ours. Yet we get discouraged when we feel weak, or feel the weakness of our congregation, or the church. It should sadden us... Continue Reading