Calvin’s Theology: Nearly All the Wisdom We Possess

"Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves."

True wisdom comes from above and that involves our knowing God and understanding ourselves in light of this God who has revealed himself to us in nature and Scripture. We were never meant to understand ourselves and our world without reference to God. This is especially true now that we are in rebellion against the... Continue Reading

Understanding Spiritual Gifts: 4 Lessons from J.I. Packer

“All Christians have gifts and tasks of their own within the church’s total ministry.”

Perhaps it feels audacious to claim discernment as our gift and no less prideful to claim wisdom or mercy. For others, defining their gift puts pressure on them and they’d rather leave ministry to the “professionals.” Still others simply have no idea how to begin to discover what our gifts actually are.   Ask your... Continue Reading

Three Tests God Ordains for His People

Knowing that tests are purposeful, we can rest, understanding that the Master is fully in control of both the test and the outcome.

As a teacher, I don’t ask test questions because I need to know the answers. I ask questions because my students need to know the answers. Likewise, God ordains tests for us, not for his sake, but for ours. He ordains tests today just as he did in the Old Testament with the testing of his people,... Continue Reading

Free to Love

love is joyfully and willfully sacrificing yourself to serve others by doing them good.

This is what we see in the gospel, and this is what Christians endeavor to do as we respond to the gospel. The gospel is the most heart-melting and liberating truth. It models and motivates true love.   What is love? And how do we love others? There is unlikely a word that is more familiar... Continue Reading

We Are Not Germs: The Case for Human Dignity

Christianity teaches that human dignity is rooted in the holiness of God; it reflects God’s dignity.

If you call me to sacrificial, altruistic action in behalf of human beings, you better have a reason. And it should be greater than simply, we should be for people because we’re people. Because unless we can establish that it means something to be people, it’s pure emotion. And rights granted on the basis of... Continue Reading

Winning One Another

Nothing less than one’s eternal destiny is at stake when someone wanders.

God the Holy Spirit turns wanderers back to Himself, but He ordinarily uses people to do so, just as He uses means to bring people to saving faith in the first place. Just as God will use our faithful prayers and proclamation of the gospel for the saving of His elect, He will use our... Continue Reading

Forgive Me Not

Should we forgive someone who does not ask for our forgiveness or does not show repentance in the asking?

When we stand praying and forgive someone who has wronged us, we take it upon ourselves to undertake the heart work of forgiveness. When the wrongs we have forgiven others resurface uninvited in our minds, we must cry out to our God: “I do forgive; help me in my unforgiveness.”   There is a debate... Continue Reading

The Duty of Devotion

Devotion is an expression of love and loyalty rooted in both duty and delight.

Christians often speak of devotion. We speak of “devoting ourselves to God” and, more commonly, of “doing our daily devotions.” This word is familiar to every believer, but I wonder how often we consider what it means and what it entails. What is this devotion we offer to God? And what’s the connection between devotion... Continue Reading

Don’t Be Caught without a Confession

Holding to a confession is an act of humility, admitting that we are not, as we would wish, the final arbiters of truth.

J. Gresham Machen wrote, “In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.” In this way, confessions of faith are at the core of Christianity.... Continue Reading

Godliness Is Not Your Personality

Why do we take our individual, personality, character, gifts, or calling and make that the sum total of godliness for everyone else?

Why do we take our individual, personality, character, gifts, or calling and make that the sum total of godliness for everyone else? The introvert equates godliness with quietness. The extrovert equates godliness with activity. The generous person equates godliness with giving. The social person equates godliness with hospitality. The workaholic equates godliness with hard-work. The... Continue Reading

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