3 Types of Legalism

Legalism involves abstracting the law of God from its original context.

“The essence of Christian theology is grace, and the essence of Christian ethics is gratitude.” The legalist isolates the law from the God who gave the law. He is not so much seeking to obey God or honor Christ as he is to obey rules that are devoid of any personal relationship.   Have you,... Continue Reading

My Spirit, My Head, My Heart, My Hands, and My Eternal Security

Can we know for certain we are not a duplicitous, hypocritical, superficial Pharisees waiting to be surprised and outed on the Day of Judgment?

We know we are united with Christ and filled with his Spirit because we believe and confess that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world. Both of these conclusions and confessions are evidence of the Lord’s sovereign, irresistible, and effective work.   How do we know we are eternally secure? How... Continue Reading

Yes Christian, You Need the Church

We all need a healthy reminder from time-to-time that we need the church in all seasons and successes of life.

The church is not an option for some Christians, it’s a mandate for all Christians.  To be a Christian involves participation in the local church.  Charles Spurgeon once remarked, “Nobody can do as much damage to the church of God as the man who is within its walls, but not within its life.”  As we... Continue Reading

Between Pearls And Privatization

We should be wary about the rhetoric of cultural “transformation” in this life

Over against transformationalism, I am arguing that we need to recover the older Reformed conviction that there is a distinction between the sacred and the secular. Calvin used these categories without embarrassment. The common is not “neutral” and the secular is not dirty. We recognize this very distinction every time we administer holy communion. Reformed... Continue Reading

Using Signs of Saving Grace

Every born again child of God who places true faith in Jesus Christ will struggle with assurance in various degrees over the course of their lives.

The signs of grace given in Scripture belong only to the godly. It is not that the godly have more of them than the wicked, but that hypocrites do not have them at all. There are positive signs and negative signs, and the positive signs are more important. It is deceitful and futile to argue... Continue Reading

Eternal Subordination of the Son and Books for Youth

Continuing to look at the Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS/EFS/ERAS) teaching and the unexpected places it shows up

It is concerning to me to see how widespread the ESS teaching has become. I am becoming much more vigilant in what I buy for my children to read. As the next generation of the church, it really matters what they are taught.   In continuing to look at the Eternal Subordination of the Son... Continue Reading

I Will Be Your King

Who wants to be a King of self-destroyed people? God does.

Do you not need a mighty King? Who can bring order into your chaos? You can’t; no one else can but God. Who can subdue your unruly passions and regulate your anarchic thoughts? You can’t; no one else can but God.   I will be your king.— Hosea 13:10 Who wants to be a King of self-destroyed... Continue Reading

First Rest and then Work

In the Old Covenant of Grace, work is followed by rest; in the New Covenant of Grace, rest is followed by work.

From the resurrection on, nothing else is said of the Mosaic, ceremonial, seventh-day sabbath. God’s people no longer seem to work and rest after the old rotation and strict legislation of the ancient Mosaic manner. Instead, following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and apostolic leadership, the church honors both the Creation Mandate and the Fourth Commandment... Continue Reading

Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit

We grieve the Spirit when we sin and we especially when we sin in ways that cause discord, perhaps because unity is a special work of the Spirit.

We need to remember that the Holy Spirit is not a distant, abstract deity and certainly not an impersonal force. No, the Holy Spirit is a person, for only a genuine and personable being is capable of this kind of thinking, feeling, and emotion. In fact, when we understand that the Spirit is a person... Continue Reading

A Rejoinder to ‘Theonomy, Bahnsen and the Federal Vision’

A response: Federal Vision is a real problem, but its roots are not endemic in Theonomy.

Just because a person speaks highly of the law of God in one place in one book does not make him a legalist or the father of legalism.  Just because a person has a high view of the efficacy of baptism (as does the Westminster Confession of Faith) in one place in one book does... Continue Reading