This is Not Too Good To Be True

All who who are united with Jesus Christ, are accepted and beloved without degree or level.

And for you who are united with Christ Jesus, there is nothing you can do to affect your standing. You cannot get closer to God. You cannot find yourself further from God. Your affections, thoughts, words, and deeds have zero effect on your position, for it is no longer “my righteousness” that matters but “My Righteousness”... Continue Reading

Fencing the Table (Part 1)

How to prepare church members to receive the Lord’s Supper.

As we engage the questions before us we should recognize that the sacraments must be set in the larger context of ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church). Our fencing inquiry is not a simple question that can consider the sacrament in the abstract. Rather it is a complex matter involving several issues of wider biblical,... Continue Reading

Do Not Add To The Offense Of The Gospel

The fruit of the Spirit that the NT calls us to exhibit includes gentleness, meekness, patience, and love

We care about our friends, and we want them to participate in the joy and discovery of this wonderful thing called salvation. But when we do that, so often we come across to these people as saying, in attitude if not in words, “I’m good and you’re not.” People are turned off by that, and... Continue Reading

Does The Westminster Confession Contradict Calvin On Assurance And Faith?

Calvin recognized that we do not always experience the benefits of the assurance that belongs to faith.

Calvin repeatedly recognized similar problems that the divines were facing, that faith as we experience seems to fluctuate. He recognized, e.g., that all believers have implicit faith in something or someone. “We certainly admit that so long as we dwell as strangers in the world there is such a thing as implicit faith; not only... Continue Reading

Human Sexuality: Defined by the Mystery of the Trinity

The Bible discloses that there only two options for human existence: We either worship the creation or we worship the Creator.

We do not define God nor do we self-define. In the creation of human sexuality God, as Creator and Redeemer, reveals something of himself as both different from us, yet intimately related to us. In revealing himself, he defines us. Thus our great cosmic human task is faithfully to carry that image throughout our lives... Continue Reading

No Lord!

When someone says, “No Lord!” they have to be insincere in one of those two words.

When some say “No Lord,” they are proclaiming insincere praise. With their mouths they are giving title and tribute to God, but there is a wide gulf between their words and their affections. They are insincere in calling Jesus, “Lord.” They are very sincere in saying, “No.”   Have you ever said, “No Lord!” I must admit, I... Continue Reading

How Vocation Transformed Society

A dramatic example of how a theological teaching had a revolutionary social impact is the Reformation doctrine of vocation.

Another name for the doctrine of vocation is the priesthood of all believers. God does call some Christians to be pastors, but He calls other Christians to exercise their royal priesthood by plowing fields, forging steel, and starting businesses. But all priests—including peasants and serving girls—need access to God’s Word. So during the Reformation, schools... Continue Reading

Fake Christian Emotions And Real Christian Affections

Many Christians believe that what Scripture means by “pure” and by “lovely” is the pleasant, the naive, the Hallmark Channel, not the reality of a world in need of redemption.

Prosperity gospel preachers would tell us that the point of the Christian life is to escape pain, suffering, and grief. And we should not deny that God has plans to “wipe every tear” from the eyes of believers. But in this life, realistic grief and sorrow are as much a part of the godly affections... Continue Reading

Time to Grow Up

Parents and local church members, let us teach our children to follow our example and grow up.

Let’s enjoy the progress Christ is making within and seek to be a bit different than the average Joe in our culture. Let’s grow up!  Let’s mature and leave behind our childish and foolish ways. Men, let’s take the lead and man up! Ladies, you mature as well and grow in excellence as you grow in years.... Continue Reading

Why Definite Atonement (Particular Redemption) Must Be True

The doctrine of definite atonement or particular redemption refers to the biblical truth that Jesus died on the cross only for His elect and actually procured their eternal salvation at Calvary

“What did Jesus actually accomplish at the cross? Did Jesus really save people or did Jesus make people savable by dying for them? What did the atonement achieve? The many words that comprise the theological range that describes what Jesus did on the cross all underscore that Jesus perfectly saved people by dying for them.”... Continue Reading