The ‘More and More’ of Holiness

Holiness is the great goal of Christ’s saving mission.

Holiness matters. And it matters far more than we are willing to admit. We may be quite happy to engage in argument and debate over the meaning of the concept in Scripture, but make little effort to fight the inward battles involved in the pursuit of holiness in our daily lives.   Holiness has too... Continue Reading

Ultimate Blame Shifting

We live in a culture of blame, not a culture of admission.

We flail around looking for someone else to blame instead of putting our hands up and saying, “I was wrong”. Presidents, politicians, government officials, police, bankers, clergy, doctors, teachers, pupils, husbands, wives, parents, children—how much clearer the air would be if we could swallow our pride and say it. Instead we double down; we go... Continue Reading

Are We There Yet?

No, you are not there yet—you’ll know when you are.” And yet, the Bible tells us that there is more to the story.

In light of that biblical guidance, the question of whether Christians living today are “there yet” seems easy to answer. We are still running, walking, pressing on, and, as we do so, we face all manner of trials and sinful inclinations. We see, and to some extent experience, decay—both physical and moral—in this fallen world.... Continue Reading

How the Real Word Really Became Real Flesh

When the Word became flesh, it was really the Word, and he continued to be the Word even in the flesh.

The astonishing thing that is announced at Christmas and becomes conspicuous at the cross is that God the Son has added to himself a complete, real, personal human nature. It’s his as much as yours is yours. And in that nature he, the eternal Son, experiences growth, suffering, death, and alienation, not to have a... Continue Reading

Fig-uring Out Christ’s Concern for His Father’s House

The church relies not on its own ingenuity or devices but on the God who is the ground and goal of faith.

The church is to be a house of prayer. It doesn’t need to rely on the ordinary. It shouldn’t be satisfied with small measures. It doesn’t need to turn to human contrivance. It shouldn’t be constrained by sight or limited by seasons. Prayer can and should seek God for great things, wonders beyond expectation, things... Continue Reading

Read the Bible Like Whom?

When we read Scripture, we also want to read it like Christ and his apostles read it.

I recently saw a Christian book advertisement that said, “How to Read the Bible Like (famous pastor’s name here).”  Now, the book is probably decent, and the pastor is a solid Christian man, but the advertising line was troubling to me for several reasons.  First, it further adds to the celebrity pastor problem in our... Continue Reading

Proof That I Shouldn’t Trust Myself

If I’m not likely to develop complete control of my emotions, then I have to consistently remind myself that they are an untrustworthy guide for my life.

Perhaps God has given us fickle emotions to prove the foolishness of such a basis for decision-making. Why would we determine the most critical aspects of our lives based on something that changes with the weather? Why would we make decisions based on emotions that have proven time and again to be untrustworthy? Christian maturity is... Continue Reading

What Do You Do When You’re In the Pit?

Remembering gives hope and builds faith; imploring puts words to our needs and welcomes God’s timely grace

Maybe you feel stuck in life right now.  Maybe you feel trapped and unable to make progress with Jesus.  As if your feet trudge through thick, sticky mud and you can’t get to where you need to be.  Or you’ve fallen into a pit and you’ve tried to claw yourself out.  But it’s just not possible.... Continue Reading

If Christ is Not Risen…

In short, we have everything to lose if we don't preserve the truth of the resurrection and everything to gain by constantly abiding in it.

The Forgiveness of Sins. Perhaps the greatest of Paul’s arguments is that which he sets out in verses 17-18. If Jesus is not raised then no one has their sins forgiven. The logical implication of this is that those who have professed faith in Christ but who have already died have perished because they would... Continue Reading

Lies at the Heart of Addiction

Whatever you are addicted to, try to find the lies at its heart and then attack them with God’s truth

“Every addict tells four kinds of lies: lies about God, lies about themselves, lies about the sin, and lies about others. The only way to deliver addicts is to rip out these lies and replace them with truth.”   It doesn’t matter what kind of addiction it is—drink, drugs, food, gambling, porn, spending, tanning, people-pleasing,... Continue Reading