Quotes

Jesus left the comforts of heaven and came into our universe, our pasture, to smell like sheep! Jesus sweated like we do. He walked our pathways, braved our wolves, faced our temptations, and shared our struggles. The Holy One of Israel came in Jesus Christ to be our good shepherd.

Jesus left the comforts of heaven and came into our [...]

By |2019-09-12T15:04:50-04:00September 12th, 2019|Comments Off on Jesus left the comforts of heaven and came into our universe, our pasture, to smell like sheep! Jesus sweated like we do. He walked our pathways, braved our wolves, faced our temptations, and shared our struggles. The Holy One of Israel came in Jesus Christ to be our good shepherd.

Friends, if we cannot, or maybe I should say desire not, to do as Jesus says in Scripture; we short-circuit the whole process by failing to show Christ to the world, by failing to acknowledge Him as our Lord and frankly by showing less reverence and faith than the demons. Will we submit to His authority in all things, despite the personal cost, to reveal to this world that Jesus is truly Lord? The Kingdom will come for all to see and acknowledge, but it has begun and is shown to all by Him ruling in the hearts of His children.

Friends, if we cannot, or maybe I should say desire [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:33:52-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Friends, if we cannot, or maybe I should say desire not, to do as Jesus says in Scripture; we short-circuit the whole process by failing to show Christ to the world, by failing to acknowledge Him as our Lord and frankly by showing less reverence and faith than the demons. Will we submit to His authority in all things, despite the personal cost, to reveal to this world that Jesus is truly Lord? The Kingdom will come for all to see and acknowledge, but it has begun and is shown to all by Him ruling in the hearts of His children.

If Jesus needed prayer and the Holy Spirit to empower Him during temptation (Lk. 3:21-22; 4:1), what does it say about our abilities to be successful in the spiritual fight if we fail to have either?

If Jesus needed prayer and the Holy Spirit to empower [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:27:23-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on If Jesus needed prayer and the Holy Spirit to empower Him during temptation (Lk. 3:21-22; 4:1), what does it say about our abilities to be successful in the spiritual fight if we fail to have either?

It is so diabolical! So many people, so often in my own life, convinced they are right when there are so grossly deceived. I see people falling for Satan’s lies hook, line and sinker! Somehow they believe that they will be happier if they disobey God as if Satan really has our best interest in mind. He comes as an evil foe with malicious suggestions and at times an angel of light speaking the Word of God. He works through our desires and human weakness and doubts. Yet remember this, he is always lying, always seeking to destroy and always opposed to God.

It is so diabolical! So many people, so often in [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:25:14-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on It is so diabolical! So many people, so often in my own life, convinced they are right when there are so grossly deceived. I see people falling for Satan’s lies hook, line and sinker! Somehow they believe that they will be happier if they disobey God as if Satan really has our best interest in mind. He comes as an evil foe with malicious suggestions and at times an angel of light speaking the Word of God. He works through our desires and human weakness and doubts. Yet remember this, he is always lying, always seeking to destroy and always opposed to God.

The devil may be fawning and wily to break one’s commitment to God, or he may be hostile and deadly. He appeals to the innate selfishness of humans to get us to disobey God: “You desire things, you deserve them, and you will get them.” The word that we can gain anything we want in life – wealth, health, the perfect mate, business success, respect from others – is irresistible to those who are obsessed with themselves. The devil can quote Scripture and tell lies about God so that evil masquerades as something good. He can get persons to believe that their personal interests are indistinguishable from God’s interests. When we do not get what we want, the devil uses a snake-headed bitterness that rears up from the caverns of the heart to destroy others and ourselves. Satan also tries to lead us to mistrust God and so to put God to the test.

The devil may be fawning and wily to break one's [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:22:49-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on The devil may be fawning and wily to break one’s commitment to God, or he may be hostile and deadly. He appeals to the innate selfishness of humans to get us to disobey God: “You desire things, you deserve them, and you will get them.” The word that we can gain anything we want in life – wealth, health, the perfect mate, business success, respect from others – is irresistible to those who are obsessed with themselves. The devil can quote Scripture and tell lies about God so that evil masquerades as something good. He can get persons to believe that their personal interests are indistinguishable from God’s interests. When we do not get what we want, the devil uses a snake-headed bitterness that rears up from the caverns of the heart to destroy others and ourselves. Satan also tries to lead us to mistrust God and so to put God to the test.

Prophets…declare what God will do and what God requires. They speak the truth that people often do not want to hear. This rubs against the grain of a culture that treats religion as a consumer item. Those who adjust the Word of God to meet market trends, assuming the consumer is always right, are simply peddlers (2 Cor. 2:17). Those who come to religion assuming that the chief goal of God is to glorify humankind and asking, “What will it all get me?” receive only spiritual chaff.

Prophets…declare what God will do and what God requires. They [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:19:02-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Prophets…declare what God will do and what God requires. They speak the truth that people often do not want to hear. This rubs against the grain of a culture that treats religion as a consumer item. Those who adjust the Word of God to meet market trends, assuming the consumer is always right, are simply peddlers (2 Cor. 2:17). Those who come to religion assuming that the chief goal of God is to glorify humankind and asking, “What will it all get me?” receive only spiritual chaff.

God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:14:48-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

The doctrine of the Trinity, simply put, is that God is absolutely and eternally one essence subsisting three distinct and ordered persons without division and without replication of the essence.

The doctrine of the Trinity, simply put, is that God [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:12:30-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on The doctrine of the Trinity, simply put, is that God is absolutely and eternally one essence subsisting three distinct and ordered persons without division and without replication of the essence.

The Trinity is a mystery in two senses. It is a mystery in the biblical sense in that it is a truth that was hidden until revealed. But it is also a mystery in that, in its essence, it is suprarational, ultimately beyond human comprehension. It is only partly intelligible to man, because God has revealed it in Scripture and in Jesus Christ. But it has no analogy in human experience, and its core elements (three coequal persons, each possessing the complete, simple divine essence, and each eternally relating to the other two without ontological subordination) transcend man’ s reason.

The Trinity is a mystery in two senses. It is [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:11:10-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on The Trinity is a mystery in two senses. It is a mystery in the biblical sense in that it is a truth that was hidden until revealed. But it is also a mystery in that, in its essence, it is suprarational, ultimately beyond human comprehension. It is only partly intelligible to man, because God has revealed it in Scripture and in Jesus Christ. But it has no analogy in human experience, and its core elements (three coequal persons, each possessing the complete, simple divine essence, and each eternally relating to the other two without ontological subordination) transcend man’ s reason.

No illustration can fully communicate the Trinity, because the Trinity is God and always transcends the created order in essence, persons, and relationships. But as long as teachers make clear that every analogy will be to some extent inadequate, it may still be profitable to use these improper illustrations to explain why and how they fall short as adequate representations of the Trinity. By understanding that the Trinity is not like the three states of H20 (ice, water, vapor), the student learns to reject modalism. By learning that the Trinity is not like the three leaves of a single clover, he eschews partialism. By grasping that the Trinity is not like the light and heat emanating from the sun, he disclaims Arianism.

No illustration can fully communicate the Trinity, because the Trinity [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:09:13-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on No illustration can fully communicate the Trinity, because the Trinity is God and always transcends the created order in essence, persons, and relationships. But as long as teachers make clear that every analogy will be to some extent inadequate, it may still be profitable to use these improper illustrations to explain why and how they fall short as adequate representations of the Trinity. By understanding that the Trinity is not like the three states of H20 (ice, water, vapor), the student learns to reject modalism. By learning that the Trinity is not like the three leaves of a single clover, he eschews partialism. By grasping that the Trinity is not like the light and heat emanating from the sun, he disclaims Arianism.

God’s essence is identical to His perfections. There is no essential distinction between God’s essence and His perfections, and there is no essential difference between God’s perfections to one another. Each perfection characterizes God’s complete essence simply and eternally. That is to say, God is what He has. He does not merely possess love, justice, and goodness; He is love and justice, eternally, fully, and completely. God is eternally all-powerful, all-holy, and all-loving.

God's essence is identical to His perfections. There is no [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:06:15-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on God’s essence is identical to His perfections. There is no essential distinction between God’s essence and His perfections, and there is no essential difference between God’s perfections to one another. Each perfection characterizes God’s complete essence simply and eternally. That is to say, God is what He has. He does not merely possess love, justice, and goodness; He is love and justice, eternally, fully, and completely. God is eternally all-powerful, all-holy, and all-loving.

“In the beginning, God (Gen. 1:1). The Bible does not begin with a rationalistic argument for the existence of God but rather assumes that He exists, that He existed before the beginning of all things outside Himself, and that there is only one God… Proof for God existence must come, first and foremost, from God’s testimony about Himself.

“In the beginning, God (Gen. 1:1). The Bible does not [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:04:10-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on “In the beginning, God (Gen. 1:1). The Bible does not begin with a rationalistic argument for the existence of God but rather assumes that He exists, that He existed before the beginning of all things outside Himself, and that there is only one God… Proof for God existence must come, first and foremost, from God’s testimony about Himself.

God is not comprehensively or exhaustively knowable to humans in any aspect of His being or actions. Humans are limited to time and space and in Adam are corrupted by indwelling sin… [God] has not revealed to us all that He is or all that He knows… God’s thinking transcends man’s intellectual capacity, process and output.

God is not comprehensively or exhaustively knowable to humans in [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:02:15-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on God is not comprehensively or exhaustively knowable to humans in any aspect of His being or actions. Humans are limited to time and space and in Adam are corrupted by indwelling sin… [God] has not revealed to us all that He is or all that He knows… God’s thinking transcends man’s intellectual capacity, process and output.

Unbelievers do not need more evidence, whether logical or empirical [that God exists]; rather, they need new eyes to properly evaluate the sufficient evidence they already have. They need to experience the miracle of regeneration, in which God quickens the unbelieving heart by shining into it the light of the knowledge of His glory.

Unbelievers do not need more evidence, whether logical or empirical [...]

By |2019-08-30T16:00:18-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Unbelievers do not need more evidence, whether logical or empirical [that God exists]; rather, they need new eyes to properly evaluate the sufficient evidence they already have. They need to experience the miracle of regeneration, in which God quickens the unbelieving heart by shining into it the light of the knowledge of His glory.

God exists. He exists as He is revealed by the Bible. The reason one must believe that He exists is because He said that He exists. His existence must not be accepted on the basis of human reason, because that is limited to time and space and has been corrupted by indwelling sin. God has sufficiently revealed Himself in the Bible, but He has not revealed Himself exhaustively. Man can know only what God has revealed in Scripture about His nature and works. But that is sufficient for people to know Him in a personal, saving relationship.

God exists. He exists as He is revealed by the [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:58:10-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on God exists. He exists as He is revealed by the Bible. The reason one must believe that He exists is because He said that He exists. His existence must not be accepted on the basis of human reason, because that is limited to time and space and has been corrupted by indwelling sin. God has sufficiently revealed Himself in the Bible, but He has not revealed Himself exhaustively. Man can know only what God has revealed in Scripture about His nature and works. But that is sufficient for people to know Him in a personal, saving relationship.

Since [the] perfections characterize God, they cannot be discovered and defined by man, especially in his depravity, for man by himself cannot know God completely. Rather, God must reveal Himself for man to assuredly know anything about God, including His perfections. God has revealed Himself in nature, but humanity corrupts that knowledge. Only the Bible gives accurate information about God and His perfections. Even this information is not exhaustive, but it is true because it is written in the inspired text.

Since [the] perfections characterize God, they cannot be discovered and [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:54:51-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Since [the] perfections characterize God, they cannot be discovered and defined by man, especially in his depravity, for man by himself cannot know God completely. Rather, God must reveal Himself for man to assuredly know anything about God, including His perfections. God has revealed Himself in nature, but humanity corrupts that knowledge. Only the Bible gives accurate information about God and His perfections. Even this information is not exhaustive, but it is true because it is written in the inspired text.

People are free to act within the confines of their nature. Since all men are fallen in Adam, their nature is corrupted by sin, and they are therefore not free to choose righteousness. Nevertheless, they still freely make their moral choices according to their thinking and desires. Those choices arise from a fallen human nature, which is fundamentally opposed to obeying God.

People are free to act within the confines of their [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:50:49-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on People are free to act within the confines of their nature. Since all men are fallen in Adam, their nature is corrupted by sin, and they are therefore not free to choose righteousness. Nevertheless, they still freely make their moral choices according to their thinking and desires. Those choices arise from a fallen human nature, which is fundamentally opposed to obeying God.

It must be admitted that sin is a part of God’s eternal plan, for He works all things according the counsel of his will (Eph. 1:11)… While God ordains the evil choices of free moral agents, He does not thereby incur blame or wickedness, because He does not directly or efficiently cause any evil. He brings about the evil actions of man through secondary causation according to their own wicked desires. God is absolutely sovereign, and man is entirely responsible for his actions.

It must be admitted that sin is a part of [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:51:24-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on It must be admitted that sin is a part of God’s eternal plan, for He works all things according the counsel of his will (Eph. 1:11)… While God ordains the evil choices of free moral agents, He does not thereby incur blame or wickedness, because He does not directly or efficiently cause any evil. He brings about the evil actions of man through secondary causation according to their own wicked desires. God is absolutely sovereign, and man is entirely responsible for his actions.

Creation was complete and immediate by the fiat (decree) of the personal, omniscient, omnipotent designer in six literal days. a. The primary use of the Hebrew word yom (“day”) is of a literal twenty four hour day, used in this way over 1,900 times out of more than 2,200 Old Testament occurrences. b. The Hebrew word yom refers to a literal twenty-four-hour day when qualified by a cardinal or ordinal number, as in Genesis 1. There the ordinal numbers are also accompanied by the article, which means literal days are definitely in view. c. “Evening” and “morning” normally define a twenty-four- hour day. d. The order of creation’s six days followed by one day of rest is the basis for the Sabbath law (Ex. 31:15—17).

Creation was complete and immediate by the fiat (decree) of [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:44:37-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Creation was complete and immediate by the fiat (decree) of the personal, omniscient, omnipotent designer in six literal days. a. The primary use of the Hebrew word yom (“day”) is of a literal twenty four hour day, used in this way over 1,900 times out of more than 2,200 Old Testament occurrences. b. The Hebrew word yom refers to a literal twenty-four-hour day when qualified by a cardinal or ordinal number, as in Genesis 1. There the ordinal numbers are also accompanied by the article, which means literal days are definitely in view. c. “Evening” and “morning” normally define a twenty-four- hour day. d. The order of creation’s six days followed by one day of rest is the basis for the Sabbath law (Ex. 31:15—17).

A miracle from God may be defined as follows: an observable phenomenon delivered powerfully by God directly or through an authorized agent (dynamis), whose extraordinary character captures the immediate attention of the viewer (teras), points to something beyond the phenomenon (semeion), and is a distinctive work whose source can be attributed to no one else but God (ergon).

A miracle from God may be defined as follows: an [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:41:47-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on A miracle from God may be defined as follows: an observable phenomenon delivered powerfully by God directly or through an authorized agent (dynamis), whose extraordinary character captures the immediate attention of the viewer (teras), points to something beyond the phenomenon (semeion), and is a distinctive work whose source can be attributed to no one else but God (ergon).

Miracles, according to the biblical definition, preclude the necessity of secondary means and are not limited by the laws of nature. They involve God’s supernatural intervention. Jesus’s miracles were never limited; they were never doubted; they were performed in public; they were abundant and instant. Anything that would claim the title miracle today should also possess those qualities. Unfortunately, the contemporary church tends to trivialize the idea of miracles by labeling anything out of the ordinary as miraculous.

Miracles, according to the biblical definition, preclude the necessity of [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:38:48-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Miracles, according to the biblical definition, preclude the necessity of secondary means and are not limited by the laws of nature. They involve God’s supernatural intervention. Jesus’s miracles were never limited; they were never doubted; they were performed in public; they were abundant and instant. Anything that would claim the title miracle today should also possess those qualities. Unfortunately, the contemporary church tends to trivialize the idea of miracles by labeling anything out of the ordinary as miraculous.

God’s concurrence in all events does not implicate Him in sin. Men sin according to God’s predetermination in His decree but by secondary causes, so God does not directly and effectively cause the acts of sin.

God's concurrence in all events does not implicate Him in [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:51:57-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on God’s concurrence in all events does not implicate Him in sin. Men sin according to God’s predetermination in His decree but by secondary causes, so God does not directly and effectively cause the acts of sin.

While first-century witnesses to Christ’s authentic miracles walked away from them and from Him (John 9:13—22), twenty-first-century Christians seem to be curiously drawn to experiences that are not even worthy to be compared with Christ’s miracles.

While first-century witnesses to Christ's authentic miracles walked away from [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:30:54-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on While first-century witnesses to Christ’s authentic miracles walked away from them and from Him (John 9:13—22), twenty-first-century Christians seem to be curiously drawn to experiences that are not even worthy to be compared with Christ’s miracles.

When we truly come to Christ, our thirst is quenched by the fountain of life and our hunger is filled with the bread of heaven. We discover that Jesus is the supreme source of satisfaction, and we want nothing apart from Him. We realize that He is better than all the pleasures, pursuits, plaudits, and possessions of this world combined. As we trust in Christ, He transforms our tastes in such a way that we begin to love the things of God that we once hated, and we begin to hate the things of this world that we once loved.

When we truly come to Christ, our thirst is quenched [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:22:03-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on When we truly come to Christ, our thirst is quenched by the fountain of life and our hunger is filled with the bread of heaven. We discover that Jesus is the supreme source of satisfaction, and we want nothing apart from Him. We realize that He is better than all the pleasures, pursuits, plaudits, and possessions of this world combined. As we trust in Christ, He transforms our tastes in such a way that we begin to love the things of God that we once hated, and we begin to hate the things of this world that we once loved.

It is impossible to separate faith in Christ from feelings for Christ…Faith fuels feeling. True intellectual knowledge of God naturally and necessarily involves deep emotional desire for God.

It is impossible to separate faith in Christ from feelings [...]

By |2019-08-30T15:18:46-04:00August 30th, 2019|Comments Off on It is impossible to separate faith in Christ from feelings for Christ…Faith fuels feeling. True intellectual knowledge of God naturally and necessarily involves deep emotional desire for God.

God’s…promises are not simply random good intentions. Rather, God’s promises together point to and delineate a divine plan for history – a plan to rescue a people for the praise of His glory, and to effect that rescue, that salvation, through a judgment that God Himself would bear on our behalf. In other words, history is not cyclical, a “mere repetition” of archetypal patterns. Rather, history is heading somewhere. It’s linear. It’s developing and progressing toward an end that God has already prepared.

God's…promises are not simply random good intentions. Rather, God's promises [...]

By |2019-07-25T12:12:40-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on God’s…promises are not simply random good intentions. Rather, God’s promises together point to and delineate a divine plan for history – a plan to rescue a people for the praise of His glory, and to effect that rescue, that salvation, through a judgment that God Himself would bear on our behalf. In other words, history is not cyclical, a “mere repetition” of archetypal patterns. Rather, history is heading somewhere. It’s linear. It’s developing and progressing toward an end that God has already prepared.

As readers of words, and particularly as readers of God’s Word, our obligation – and privilege – is to read in such a way as to recover and understand the meaning the Author wanted to communicate.

As readers of words, and particularly as readers of God’s [...]

By |2019-07-25T12:09:18-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on As readers of words, and particularly as readers of God’s Word, our obligation – and privilege – is to read in such a way as to recover and understand the meaning the Author wanted to communicate.

Covenants are not merely contracts or promises. Rather, covenants are relationships under authority, with both obligations and rewards. The terms and benefits of the relationship are spelled out, and so are the consequences if the relationship is broken. But what is perhaps most significant about biblical covenants is that when God enters into a covenant, He must condescend to initiate it, He sets the terms, He provides the benefits, and He executes the judgment when the covenant is broken.

Covenants are not merely contracts or promises. Rather, covenants are [...]

By |2019-07-25T12:05:47-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Covenants are not merely contracts or promises. Rather, covenants are relationships under authority, with both obligations and rewards. The terms and benefits of the relationship are spelled out, and so are the consequences if the relationship is broken. But what is perhaps most significant about biblical covenants is that when God enters into a covenant, He must condescend to initiate it, He sets the terms, He provides the benefits, and He executes the judgment when the covenant is broken.

A life of resolve comes with a price tag. You will be tested by the lure of the world. But you must turn a deaf ear to the crowd and live instead for the approbation of Christ. There will always be a cross before a crown, sacrifice before success, and reproach before a reward. The call of discipleship will cost you popularity, possessions, and position. But God will use your commitment. The grace of God will be multiplied in you if you cultivate a fixed resolution to live for the glory of God.

A life of resolve comes with a price tag. You [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:59:02-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on A life of resolve comes with a price tag. You will be tested by the lure of the world. But you must turn a deaf ear to the crowd and live instead for the approbation of Christ. There will always be a cross before a crown, sacrifice before success, and reproach before a reward. The call of discipleship will cost you popularity, possessions, and position. But God will use your commitment. The grace of God will be multiplied in you if you cultivate a fixed resolution to live for the glory of God.

Although [Jonathan] Edwards had fought earlier against the biblical doctrine of divine sovereignty – a truth he once called a “horrible doctrine” – through personal study, he had become convinced that God irresistibly orders salvation of His chosen people, and he soon arose to be a guardian of this sacred truth.

Although [Jonathan] Edwards had fought earlier against the biblical doctrine [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:53:47-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Although [Jonathan] Edwards had fought earlier against the biblical doctrine of divine sovereignty – a truth he once called a “horrible doctrine” – through personal study, he had become convinced that God irresistibly orders salvation of His chosen people, and he soon arose to be a guardian of this sacred truth.

Dull. I find, by experience, that, let me make Resolutions, and do what I will, with never so many inventions, it is all nothing, and to no purpose at all, without the Spirit of God; for if the Spirit of God should be as much withdrawn from me always, as for the week past, notwithstanding all I do, I should not grow, but should languish, and miserably fade away. I perceive, if God should withdraw his Spirit a little more, I should not hesitate to break my Resolutions, and should soon arrive at my old state. There is no dependence on myself.

Dull. I find, by experience, that, let me make Resolutions, [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:46:55-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Dull. I find, by experience, that, let me make Resolutions, and do what I will, with never so many inventions, it is all nothing, and to no purpose at all, without the Spirit of God; for if the Spirit of God should be as much withdrawn from me always, as for the week past, notwithstanding all I do, I should not grow, but should languish, and miserably fade away. I perceive, if God should withdraw his Spirit a little more, I should not hesitate to break my Resolutions, and should soon arrive at my old state. There is no dependence on myself.

Our most merciful Father…sent His only Son into the world, and laid upon Him all the sins of all men, saying, Be Thou Peter that denier; Paul that persecutor, blasphemer and cruel oppressor; David that adulterer; that sinner which did eat the apple in Paradise; that thief which hanged upon the cross; and briefly be Thou the person which hath committed the sins of all men; see therefore that Thou pay and satisfy for them [all].

Our most merciful Father…sent His only Son into the world, [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:43:43-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Our most merciful Father…sent His only Son into the world, and laid upon Him all the sins of all men, saying, Be Thou Peter that denier; Paul that persecutor, blasphemer and cruel oppressor; David that adulterer; that sinner which did eat the apple in Paradise; that thief which hanged upon the cross; and briefly be Thou the person which hath committed the sins of all men; see therefore that Thou pay and satisfy for them [all].

The stakes in the current conflict over sex are more critical, more central, and more essential than in any controversy the church has ever known. This is a momentous statement, but I make it soberly, without exaggeration. Conflict over sex these days is not just challenging tradition, orthodoxy, and respect for authority in areas such as ordination, marriage, and gender roles. And it does not just affect critically important decisions like the sanctity of human life, the authority and trustworthiness of Scripture, the Trinity and the incarnation of Christ. Rather, war over sex among Christians is now raging over absolutely essential matters of faith without which no one can be a Christian in the first place – matters such as sin, salvation, the gospel and the identity of God Himself.

The stakes in the current conflict over sex are more [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:40:30-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on The stakes in the current conflict over sex are more critical, more central, and more essential than in any controversy the church has ever known. This is a momentous statement, but I make it soberly, without exaggeration. Conflict over sex these days is not just challenging tradition, orthodoxy, and respect for authority in areas such as ordination, marriage, and gender roles. And it does not just affect critically important decisions like the sanctity of human life, the authority and trustworthiness of Scripture, the Trinity and the incarnation of Christ. Rather, war over sex among Christians is now raging over absolutely essential matters of faith without which no one can be a Christian in the first place – matters such as sin, salvation, the gospel and the identity of God Himself.

The Bible is clear and consistent, affirming with one voice from cover to cover that homosexual activity is sexual immorality before God… If someone wants to advocate for homosexual activity, he or she must maintain that the Bible is irrelevant to modern humanity, inconsistent with our experiences, and thus insufficient as a source of truth and guidance for our lives – that the Bible is not only deficient; it is downright dangerous.

The Bible is clear and consistent, affirming with one voice [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:36:34-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on The Bible is clear and consistent, affirming with one voice from cover to cover that homosexual activity is sexual immorality before God… If someone wants to advocate for homosexual activity, he or she must maintain that the Bible is irrelevant to modern humanity, inconsistent with our experiences, and thus insufficient as a source of truth and guidance for our lives – that the Bible is not only deficient; it is downright dangerous.

We’ve already seen how sin began when God’s command was reduced to a question [Gen. 3:1]. At that moment the most deadly spiritual force was covertly smuggled into the world: the assumption that God’s Word is subject to human judgment.

We’ve already seen how sin began when God’s command was [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:34:33-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on We’ve already seen how sin began when God’s command was reduced to a question [Gen. 3:1]. At that moment the most deadly spiritual force was covertly smuggled into the world: the assumption that God’s Word is subject to human judgment.

Every single one of us has a heart that tends toward sexual sin. These tendencies produce different temptations in each of our lives. Some of us experience sexual desire for the same sex, and others of us are prone to fulfill [unbiblical] sexual desire with the opposite sex. Even the ways we want to fulfill those sexual desires vary among us. Without question, part of the mystery of this fallen world includes why certain people have certain desires while other people have other desires. We do not always choose our temptations. But we do choose our reactions to those temptations.

Every single one of us has a heart that tends [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:31:22-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Every single one of us has a heart that tends toward sexual sin. These tendencies produce different temptations in each of our lives. Some of us experience sexual desire for the same sex, and others of us are prone to fulfill [unbiblical] sexual desire with the opposite sex. Even the ways we want to fulfill those sexual desires vary among us. Without question, part of the mystery of this fallen world includes why certain people have certain desires while other people have other desires. We do not always choose our temptations. But we do choose our reactions to those temptations.

Ethnic identity is a morally neutral attribute. Black or white is not an issue of right or wrong, and any attempt to say otherwise should be opposed. However, sexual activity is a morally chosen behavior. To be sure, similar to how we have different skin colors, we may possess different dispositions toward certain sexual behaviors. But where our ethnic makeup is not determined by a moral choice or contrary to a moral command, our sexual behavior is a moral decision, and just because we are inclined to certain behaviors does not make such behaviors right.

Ethnic identity is a morally neutral attribute. Black or white [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:26:12-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Ethnic identity is a morally neutral attribute. Black or white is not an issue of right or wrong, and any attempt to say otherwise should be opposed. However, sexual activity is a morally chosen behavior. To be sure, similar to how we have different skin colors, we may possess different dispositions toward certain sexual behaviors. But where our ethnic makeup is not determined by a moral choice or contrary to a moral command, our sexual behavior is a moral decision, and just because we are inclined to certain behaviors does not make such behaviors right.

There is a foundation for all of God’s commands – His good character. For example: Why do we tell the truth? Because Jesus is the truth (Jn. 14:6) and Satan is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). Why is marriage between one man and one woman? Because God created marriage to reflect and promote His marriage between Christ and His bride (the church) – (Eph. 5:32). The Christian life is not about keeping “outdated and arbitrary rules” (as portrayed by society). It’s not about “following my religion.” It’s about following a Person. We follow that Person by acting like Him. The commands in the Bible tell us how to act like God, as opposed to acting like those who oppose Him.

There is a foundation for all of God’s commands – [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:23:10-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on There is a foundation for all of God’s commands – His good character. For example: Why do we tell the truth? Because Jesus is the truth (Jn. 14:6) and Satan is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). Why is marriage between one man and one woman? Because God created marriage to reflect and promote His marriage between Christ and His bride (the church) – (Eph. 5:32). The Christian life is not about keeping “outdated and arbitrary rules” (as portrayed by society). It’s not about “following my religion.” It’s about following a Person. We follow that Person by acting like Him. The commands in the Bible tell us how to act like God, as opposed to acting like those who oppose Him.

Of course all good parenting must point out error. We know the Law is a tutor (Gal. 3:24) and children with soft hearts will experience guilt. They will want the guilt removed. The solution to that must not be achieved in parental or self-inflicted punishment. The solution is to flee to Christ for grace and mercy.

Of course all good parenting must point out error. We [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:21:07-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Of course all good parenting must point out error. We know the Law is a tutor (Gal. 3:24) and children with soft hearts will experience guilt. They will want the guilt removed. The solution to that must not be achieved in parental or self-inflicted punishment. The solution is to flee to Christ for grace and mercy.

The best family devotionals are when dad leads, but has the least amount to say, gets everyone involved, engages hearts, encourages interaction and processes life with the family using the Word of God. Even the Puritans would say to keep our family devotionals “Sweet, savory and short!” Don’t bore and exasperate your children with the Bible and then expect them to love God’s Word. A wise parent knows the right time and right length to teach the Bible – formally or informally (Dt. 6:6-7). And he or she also knows how to listen during those times more than they speak.

The best family devotionals are when dad leads, but has [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:18:59-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on The best family devotionals are when dad leads, but has the least amount to say, gets everyone involved, engages hearts, encourages interaction and processes life with the family using the Word of God. Even the Puritans would say to keep our family devotionals “Sweet, savory and short!” Don’t bore and exasperate your children with the Bible and then expect them to love God’s Word. A wise parent knows the right time and right length to teach the Bible – formally or informally (Dt. 6:6-7). And he or she also knows how to listen during those times more than they speak.

Jesus clashed most with religious people, specifically the Pharisees. There was always storm when they were together. Religious people preach salvation by works. Jesus preached salvation by grace. Religious people are into the outward appearance. Jesus is into the heart. Religious people sent Jesus to the cross for their egos – pride. Jesus went to the cross for our salvation – humility.

Jesus clashed most with religious people, specifically the Pharisees. There [...]

By |2019-07-25T11:16:59-04:00July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Jesus clashed most with religious people, specifically the Pharisees. There was always storm when they were together. Religious people preach salvation by works. Jesus preached salvation by grace. Religious people are into the outward appearance. Jesus is into the heart. Religious people sent Jesus to the cross for their egos – pride. Jesus went to the cross for our salvation – humility.

Our public assemblies were then beautiful; the congregation was alive in God’s service, everyone earnestly intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth; the assembly in general were, from time to time, in tears while the Word was preached; some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors.

Our public assemblies were then beautiful; the congregation was alive [...]

By |2019-06-20T15:44:38-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Our public assemblies were then beautiful; the congregation was alive in God’s service, everyone earnestly intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth; the assembly in general were, from time to time, in tears while the Word was preached; some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors.

Sex is good, but sex is not God. It will not ultimately fulfill. Like anything else that becomes an idol, it will always take more than it gives while diverting the human heart away from the only One who is able to give supreme joy.

Sex is good, but sex is not God. It will [...]

By |2019-06-20T15:33:59-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Sex is good, but sex is not God. It will not ultimately fulfill. Like anything else that becomes an idol, it will always take more than it gives while diverting the human heart away from the only One who is able to give supreme joy.

Even Christians who refuse to indulge personally in sinful sexual activity often watch movies and shows, read books and articles, and visit Internet sites that highlight, display, promote, or make light of sexual immorality. It’s as if we’ve said to the world, “We’re not going to do what you do, but we will gladly entertain ourselves by watching you.” It’s sick, isn’t it, this tendency that brings delight to us when we observe others in sexual sin?

Even Christians who refuse to indulge personally in sinful sexual [...]

By |2019-06-20T15:31:08-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Even Christians who refuse to indulge personally in sinful sexual activity often watch movies and shows, read books and articles, and visit Internet sites that highlight, display, promote, or make light of sexual immorality. It’s as if we’ve said to the world, “We’re not going to do what you do, but we will gladly entertain ourselves by watching you.” It’s sick, isn’t it, this tendency that brings delight to us when we observe others in sexual sin?

The two theologies thus conceive the plan of salvation in quite different terms. One makes salvation depend on the work of God, the other on a work of man; one regards faith as part of God’s gift of salvation, the other as man’s own contribution to salvation; one gives all the glory of saving believers to God, the other divides the praise between God, who, so to speak, built the machinery of salvation, and man, who by believing operated it.

The two theologies thus conceive the plan of salvation in [...]

By |2019-06-20T15:23:55-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on The two theologies thus conceive the plan of salvation in quite different terms. One makes salvation depend on the work of God, the other on a work of man; one regards faith as part of God’s gift of salvation, the other as man’s own contribution to salvation; one gives all the glory of saving believers to God, the other divides the praise between God, who, so to speak, built the machinery of salvation, and man, who by believing operated it.

Peacemaking suggestions when seeking conflict resolution with another: Pray before, during and after the time together (1 Thes. 5:17). Get together and talk about the matter face-to-face (i.e. not an email). Be sure to go to the individual in a loving and reasonable and gentle manner (1 Cor. 4:21; Eph. 4:2; 1 Tim. 6:11). Make sure your heart is right. Make sure you have removed the log from your own eye before you seek to remove the speck from your brother’s (Mt. 7:3-5). Go seeking to believe the best, hear the other side of the story (Pr. 18:17). Attack the problem not the person, value the relationship more than the issue. Deal with one problem at a time. Find common ground – I hope as Christians you both want God’s glory and unity – start there (1 Cor. 10:31)! Add how you may have contributed to the problem – people will always listen to how you might have wronged them (Pr. 28:13). Be prepared to extend and receive forgiveness if appropriate (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13). Seek to fully reconcile the relationship and put the matter behind you.  Remember, there is a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.

Peacemaking suggestions when seeking conflict resolution with another: Pray before, [...]

By |2019-06-20T15:04:49-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Peacemaking suggestions when seeking conflict resolution with another: Pray before, during and after the time together (1 Thes. 5:17). Get together and talk about the matter face-to-face (i.e. not an email). Be sure to go to the individual in a loving and reasonable and gentle manner (1 Cor. 4:21; Eph. 4:2; 1 Tim. 6:11). Make sure your heart is right. Make sure you have removed the log from your own eye before you seek to remove the speck from your brother’s (Mt. 7:3-5). Go seeking to believe the best, hear the other side of the story (Pr. 18:17). Attack the problem not the person, value the relationship more than the issue. Deal with one problem at a time. Find common ground – I hope as Christians you both want God’s glory and unity – start there (1 Cor. 10:31)! Add how you may have contributed to the problem – people will always listen to how you might have wronged them (Pr. 28:13). Be prepared to extend and receive forgiveness if appropriate (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13). Seek to fully reconcile the relationship and put the matter behind you.  Remember, there is a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.

Escape responses focus on “me” and make me a “peace-faker.” Attack responses focus on “you” and make me a “peace-breaker.” But peacemaking responses focus on “God” and make me a “peace-maker.”

Escape responses focus on “me” and make me a “peace-faker.” [...]

By |2019-06-20T14:58:43-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Escape responses focus on “me” and make me a “peace-faker.” Attack responses focus on “you” and make me a “peace-breaker.” But peacemaking responses focus on “God” and make me a “peace-maker.”

When we seek to run away from our conflicts through the escape tactics, we fail to trust God and prefer the other individual. These “natural” responses are unbiblical, unloving, unproductive and unacceptable.

When we seek to run away from our conflicts through [...]

By |2019-06-20T14:57:22-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on When we seek to run away from our conflicts through the escape tactics, we fail to trust God and prefer the other individual. These “natural” responses are unbiblical, unloving, unproductive and unacceptable.

Personal benefits when conflict with others is handled properly: It has increased my tenderness to the pain and affliction of others. It has broadened my outlook that life is not as black and white as I often think. It has helped me to listen better and understand good perspectives that might differ from mine. It has encouraged me to search the Scriptures and be able to better articulate my beliefs. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and increased my faith in God and in His Word. It has taught me to work harder to be a more effective communicator to express my feelings. It has helped me consider other people more important than myself. It has helped me understand that relationships are more important than the conflict and compromising (when biblically appropriate) is more important than being right. It has increased my love for unity. It has manifested the love and power and forgiveness of God both received and extended. It has taught me that my desires and plans do not lie at the center of the world. And in many cases, when resolved correctly, it has even strengthened the specific relationship.

Personal benefits when conflict with others is handled properly: It [...]

By |2019-06-20T14:55:18-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Personal benefits when conflict with others is handled properly: It has increased my tenderness to the pain and affliction of others. It has broadened my outlook that life is not as black and white as I often think. It has helped me to listen better and understand good perspectives that might differ from mine. It has encouraged me to search the Scriptures and be able to better articulate my beliefs. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and increased my faith in God and in His Word. It has taught me to work harder to be a more effective communicator to express my feelings. It has helped me consider other people more important than myself. It has helped me understand that relationships are more important than the conflict and compromising (when biblically appropriate) is more important than being right. It has increased my love for unity. It has manifested the love and power and forgiveness of God both received and extended. It has taught me that my desires and plans do not lie at the center of the world. And in many cases, when resolved correctly, it has even strengthened the specific relationship.

“I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. I don’t swear. Hallelujah, I’m a Christian.” If a telephone pole could talk, it might say the same thing. But a series of zeros do not make a Christian. A million negatives do not produce even one positive. We may pity the man with an empty mind. But what about the person with the empty heart?

“I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. I don’t swear. Hallelujah, [...]

By |2019-06-20T14:44:06-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on “I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. I don’t swear. Hallelujah, I’m a Christian.” If a telephone pole could talk, it might say the same thing. But a series of zeros do not make a Christian. A million negatives do not produce even one positive. We may pity the man with an empty mind. But what about the person with the empty heart?

Here are 10 specific ways you can pray today for members of our persecuted family: 1. Pray they will sense God’s presence (Heb. 13:5). 2. Pray they will know we are praying for them (2 Tim. 1:3). 3. Pray they will experience God’s comfort (2 Thes. 2:16-17). 4. Pray they will see God open doors for evangelism (Col. 4:3). 5. Pray they will boldly share the gospel (Acts 4:29). 6. Pray they will mature in their faith (Col. 1:28-29). 7. Pray they will be granted wisdom in covert ministry work (Acts 9:23-25). 8. Pray they will remain joyful amid suffering (Acts 5:41). 9. Pray they will be able to forgive and love their persecutors (Matt 5:44). 10. Pray they will be deeply rooted in God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17) (Voice of the Martyrs).

Here are 10 specific ways you can pray today for [...]

By |2019-06-20T14:38:07-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Here are 10 specific ways you can pray today for members of our persecuted family: 1. Pray they will sense God’s presence (Heb. 13:5). 2. Pray they will know we are praying for them (2 Tim. 1:3). 3. Pray they will experience God’s comfort (2 Thes. 2:16-17). 4. Pray they will see God open doors for evangelism (Col. 4:3). 5. Pray they will boldly share the gospel (Acts 4:29). 6. Pray they will mature in their faith (Col. 1:28-29). 7. Pray they will be granted wisdom in covert ministry work (Acts 9:23-25). 8. Pray they will remain joyful amid suffering (Acts 5:41). 9. Pray they will be able to forgive and love their persecutors (Matt 5:44). 10. Pray they will be deeply rooted in God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17) (Voice of the Martyrs).

Although physical murder is obviously extreme, let’s not forget the words of our Savior when He said anger in our hearts toward another is murder in His eyes (Mt. 5:21-22). Think about this. If we have the attitude that we want someone out of our family or out of our church because of our own interpersonal conflict, are we not participating in the spirit of murder? Oh we may never pull the trigger, but are we seeking to eliminate people through more civilized means.

Although physical murder is obviously extreme, let’s not forget the [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:10:11-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Although physical murder is obviously extreme, let’s not forget the words of our Savior when He said anger in our hearts toward another is murder in His eyes (Mt. 5:21-22). Think about this. If we have the attitude that we want someone out of our family or out of our church because of our own interpersonal conflict, are we not participating in the spirit of murder? Oh we may never pull the trigger, but are we seeking to eliminate people through more civilized means.

[False religion goes] way beyond what the New Testament teaches, adding almost endless rituals, routines, ceremonies, regulations, because there’s nothing on the inside but you can create a bigger illusion that way.

[False religion goes] way beyond what the New Testament teaches, [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:12:31-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on [False religion goes] way beyond what the New Testament teaches, adding almost endless rituals, routines, ceremonies, regulations, because there’s nothing on the inside but you can create a bigger illusion that way.

Jesus did not accept religious people. In fact, He kept His fiercest threats for them. You see, Jesus was not about sentimentality; He was about truth. Jesus is truth personified. He is the living manifestation of the holy law of God, and as such, He perfectly understood that religion, spiritual teaching, contrary to the truth comes from hell and sends people there. Anything but the truth is a damning deception that has the greatest power to destroy souls forever because it gives the illusion that all is well. In fact, I would go so far as to say that of all the evils in the world, of all the sins in the world, of all the iniquities in the world, our Lord knew that religion was the worst — false religion — and especially false Judaism and false Christianity. And that’s why the severest eternal judgment will be rendered for the religious who perverted the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Jesus did not accept religious people. In fact, He kept [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:13:40-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Jesus did not accept religious people. In fact, He kept His fiercest threats for them. You see, Jesus was not about sentimentality; He was about truth. Jesus is truth personified. He is the living manifestation of the holy law of God, and as such, He perfectly understood that religion, spiritual teaching, contrary to the truth comes from hell and sends people there. Anything but the truth is a damning deception that has the greatest power to destroy souls forever because it gives the illusion that all is well. In fact, I would go so far as to say that of all the evils in the world, of all the sins in the world, of all the iniquities in the world, our Lord knew that religion was the worst — false religion — and especially false Judaism and false Christianity. And that’s why the severest eternal judgment will be rendered for the religious who perverted the Old Testament and the New Testament.

All false religion is based on works to achieve God’s favor. And when you base it on works you will either use God’s Word as a means to obtain God’s favor or ignore God Word and create your own expectations. Both are deadly because both short-circuit God method of grace.

All false religion is based on works to achieve God’s [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:25:02-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on All false religion is based on works to achieve God’s favor. And when you base it on works you will either use God’s Word as a means to obtain God’s favor or ignore God Word and create your own expectations. Both are deadly because both short-circuit God method of grace.

People say to me, isn’t Christianity about following (implied: outdated and meaningless) rules? No! It’s about following Jesus which means living according to His nature so that our relationship with Him will be strong and our lives will be blessed. Don’t buy the lie! Not following Him is slavery. Following Him is liberation. Those weighed down with the most anxiety, guilt, shame and fear in life are those who are following Christ the least. External rules are a burden. There is no power to obey them. Rules do not change a heart. Our Lord changes our hearts. He gives us grace-empowerment. He provides purpose in doing it His way.

People say to me, isn’t Christianity about following (implied: outdated [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:14:40-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on People say to me, isn’t Christianity about following (implied: outdated and meaningless) rules? No! It’s about following Jesus which means living according to His nature so that our relationship with Him will be strong and our lives will be blessed. Don’t buy the lie! Not following Him is slavery. Following Him is liberation. Those weighed down with the most anxiety, guilt, shame and fear in life are those who are following Christ the least. External rules are a burden. There is no power to obey them. Rules do not change a heart. Our Lord changes our hearts. He gives us grace-empowerment. He provides purpose in doing it His way.

A full, true confession of Jesus Christ as Lord is only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit through exposure to the written revelation, the external Scripture which He authored and accompanied by the internal heart work by which He regenerates, illuminates and sanctifies.

A full, true confession of Jesus Christ as Lord is [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:15:23-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on A full, true confession of Jesus Christ as Lord is only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit through exposure to the written revelation, the external Scripture which He authored and accompanied by the internal heart work by which He regenerates, illuminates and sanctifies.

The sin is not in having more, the sin is being discontent. The sin is not in having wealth, the sin is in what you do with it. It’s not the amount, it’s the attitude… It’s not about what you have, it’s about how you feel about what you have.

The sin is not in having more, the sin is [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:15:48-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on The sin is not in having more, the sin is being discontent. The sin is not in having wealth, the sin is in what you do with it. It’s not the amount, it’s the attitude… It’s not about what you have, it’s about how you feel about what you have.

If you take joy, as an essential element, out of faith, hope, or love, you do not have Christian faith, hope, or love. Faith is the satisfying embrace of the trusted and treasured Christ. Hope is the satisfying foretaste of the future reward. Love is the overflow of joy in God that seeks to meet the needs of others, especially the need of eternal joy.

If you take joy, as an essential element, out of [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:16:47-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on If you take joy, as an essential element, out of faith, hope, or love, you do not have Christian faith, hope, or love. Faith is the satisfying embrace of the trusted and treasured Christ. Hope is the satisfying foretaste of the future reward. Love is the overflow of joy in God that seeks to meet the needs of others, especially the need of eternal joy.

Joy originates in God. It comes through Jesus his Son. And it is the fruit of his Spirit. Those who embrace Jesus as their Savior and treasure, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of the Father, enter into that Trinitarian joy.

Joy originates in God. It comes through Jesus His Son. [...]

By |2019-06-20T11:20:58-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Joy originates in God. It comes through Jesus his Son. And it is the fruit of his Spirit. Those who embrace Jesus as their Savior and treasure, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of the Father, enter into that Trinitarian joy.

One measure of the greatness of a man is not only that he practices what he preaches, but also that he doesn’t consider himself above the ordinary means of grace that all Christians need.

One measure of the greatness of a man is not [...]

By |2019-06-20T11:16:12-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on One measure of the greatness of a man is not only that he practices what he preaches, but also that he doesn’t consider himself above the ordinary means of grace that all Christians need.

Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others… Or to say it another way: we do not merely seek to love in order to be happy, but we seek to be happy in God in order to love.

Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets [...]

By |2019-06-20T11:10:13-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others… Or to say it another way: we do not merely seek to love in order to be happy, but we seek to be happy in God in order to love.

Don’t be greedy for the temporary and trivial things of this world. Find your joy in life in what really matters: Salvation from hell. The necessities to live. The opportunity to serve others. A strong marriage. A loving family. A good church. That’s the meaningful stuff that will warm your heart. And greed in those areas is actually good and furthers more joy. Pursue more; just pursue it in the right domains. Abundant life does not come in abundant possessions (Lk. 12:15). Pursue the abundant life that Jesus promised (Jn. 10:10).

Don’t be greedy for the temporary and trivial things of [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:18:22-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Don’t be greedy for the temporary and trivial things of this world. Find your joy in life in what really matters: Salvation from hell. The necessities to live. The opportunity to serve others. A strong marriage. A loving family. A good church. That’s the meaningful stuff that will warm your heart. And greed in those areas is actually good and furthers more joy. Pursue more; just pursue it in the right domains. Abundant life does not come in abundant possessions (Lk. 12:15). Pursue the abundant life that Jesus promised (Jn. 10:10).

Like a dog chasing its tail, we are running around chasing someone else who will always have more. And in the process of our misplaced priorities, we are empty, others are unloved (often in our family) and true God is ignored. Greed is a foolish investment. Plenty to live on, but nothing to live for.

Like a dog chasing its tail, we are running around [...]

By |2019-06-20T12:18:32-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Like a dog chasing its tail, we are running around chasing someone else who will always have more. And in the process of our misplaced priorities, we are empty, others are unloved (often in our family) and true God is ignored. Greed is a foolish investment. Plenty to live on, but nothing to live for.

Our Lord says to be on your guard against “every form of greed” in Luke 12:15. The way I see it, greed is the interlocking component that cements so many other sins together. If the heart is self-focused, looking for status in worldly stuff, it will be materialistic. More is always equivalent with success – admiration from others, joy in possessions, fulfillment in things.  Thus a materialistic heart will be produced. The heart will always want more. Greed is then the result. The comparison game will begin. The result will be more sins like boasting (because we have more) or coveting, jealousy and envy (because we have less) – leading to a general attitude sins like discontentment and ingratitude and selfishness. All this concludes (and comes full circle) with the worship of a false god, the chief sin of idolatry (notice the connection in Eph. 5:5 and Col. 3:5).

Our Lord says to be on your guard against “every [...]

By |2019-06-20T11:02:13-04:00June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Our Lord says to be on your guard against “every form of greed” in Luke 12:15. The way I see it, greed is the interlocking component that cements so many other sins together. If the heart is self-focused, looking for status in worldly stuff, it will be materialistic. More is always equivalent with success – admiration from others, joy in possessions, fulfillment in things.  Thus a materialistic heart will be produced. The heart will always want more. Greed is then the result. The comparison game will begin. The result will be more sins like boasting (because we have more) or coveting, jealousy and envy (because we have less) – leading to a general attitude sins like discontentment and ingratitude and selfishness. All this concludes (and comes full circle) with the worship of a false god, the chief sin of idolatry (notice the connection in Eph. 5:5 and Col. 3:5).

Sin is the antithesis of God’s glory, a contradiction of His holy nature. It is all that falls short of God’s blameless character, amounting to nothing less than cosmic treason against the Creator.

Sin is the antithesis of God’s glory, a contradiction of [...]

By |2019-05-30T14:18:31-04:00May 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Sin is the antithesis of God’s glory, a contradiction of His holy nature. It is all that falls short of God’s blameless character, amounting to nothing less than cosmic treason against the Creator.

In summary, God’s perfections constitute His essence, or character, which far transcends all created things in greatness. God’s essence is one indivisible whole, so that each and all of His perfections actively characterize God’s entire being. God’s perfections must be thought of as always actively present together and mutually influencing each other without any hierarchy, even when they are not all mentioned in a given passage of Scripture. God in His essential nature is truly beyond human understanding, and the only appropriate responses to studying even the fringes of His ways (cf. Job 26:14) are awe-filled reverence, worship, adoration, trust, and service.

In summary, God's perfections constitute His essence, or character, which [...]

By |2019-05-30T14:16:35-04:00May 30th, 2019|Comments Off on In summary, God’s perfections constitute His essence, or character, which far transcends all created things in greatness. God’s essence is one indivisible whole, so that each and all of His perfections actively characterize God’s entire being. God’s perfections must be thought of as always actively present together and mutually influencing each other without any hierarchy, even when they are not all mentioned in a given passage of Scripture. God in His essential nature is truly beyond human understanding, and the only appropriate responses to studying even the fringes of His ways (cf. Job 26:14) are awe-filled reverence, worship, adoration, trust, and service.

God’s jealousy is His zealous protectiveness of all that belongs to Him (Himself, His name, His glory, His people, His sole right to receive worship and ultimate obedience, His land, and His city).

God's jealousy is His zealous protectiveness of all that belongs [...]

By |2019-05-30T14:13:16-04:00May 30th, 2019|Comments Off on God’s jealousy is His zealous protectiveness of all that belongs to Him (Himself, His name, His glory, His people, His sole right to receive worship and ultimate obedience, His land, and His city).

God’s holiness is His inherent and absolute greatness, in which He is perfectly distinct above everything outside Himself and is absolutely morally separate from sin. This definition is centered on the concept of separation, which is signified by the Hebrew and Greek words for “holy.”

God's holiness is His inherent and absolute greatness, in which [...]

By |2019-05-30T14:10:55-04:00May 30th, 2019|Comments Off on God’s holiness is His inherent and absolute greatness, in which He is perfectly distinct above everything outside Himself and is absolutely morally separate from sin. This definition is centered on the concept of separation, which is signified by the Hebrew and Greek words for “holy.”

Humans do not bring in God’s reign, build God’s kingdom, hasten its final consummation, or hinder its advance. Jesus’ preaching announces that God is in action and that one’s ultimate well-being is tied to what God is doing, not what they are doing. They can only receive it and enter it or reject it and be swept away in judgment.

Humans do not bring in God's reign, build God's kingdom, [...]

By |2019-05-30T14:00:36-04:00May 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Humans do not bring in God’s reign, build God’s kingdom, hasten its final consummation, or hinder its advance. Jesus’ preaching announces that God is in action and that one’s ultimate well-being is tied to what God is doing, not what they are doing. They can only receive it and enter it or reject it and be swept away in judgment.