When Assurance of Salvation is Fleeting

In a world filled with sin, the flesh, and the devil, assurance of salvation is the soft feather bed on which the Christian rests.

Dear struggling Christian, if our gaze is always within, assurance will remain fleeting. No doubt, we need to examine our lives and test the fruit, but true assurance, lasting assurance, secure assurance comes from looking to Christ and our union with Him. We want to see evidence of Christ’s grace in our lives, but we realize these evidences not by seeking after them, but by gaining a greater grasp on Christ. How do we gain this greater grasp of the King of Glory? How do we look to Him more? God has granted His means of grace to the struggling Christian for this very purpose.

Why You Don’t Read Your Bible

The excuses to put off reading the Bible are apparently endless--and often astonishingly pathetic--but the underlying reason is often spiritual despair.

While declining to read the Bible is hardly an exegetical strategy, it is still an act of despair before Scripture. Far more importantly, it is a temptation to every one of us--no matter how studied or long in the Bible-reading habit we may be. "The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Heb. 4:12).

The Evil of Sin

Every sin is a rejection of God’s goodness and a misuse and mutation of God’s gifts.

The point is simple: the evil of sin lies not only in transgressing a standard but in receiving something good from God yet using it in rebellion against him. Let us repent. Let’s repent of receiving God’s abundant and good gifts without living in constant gratitude. Let’s repent of using those gifts for our selfish and prideful desires rather than his glory. Let’s repent of worshiping the gift rather than the Giver.

Women in Scripture: Lydia

Lydia's story also gives us hope for those whom we earnestly desire to come to Christ.

Lydia exhibited her newfound faith in word and deed. She and her household were baptized, and she opened her home to Paul and his companions. This was not a small thing. During their time in Philippi, Paul and Silas's preaching resulted in the deliverance and conversion of a demon-possessed girl, which was rewarded with beating and imprisonment. Also, the Jews had not given up pursuing Paul as a traitor to their faith. Yet, Lydia was willing to count the cost for the sake of her brothers in Christ and receive them gladly into her home.

Addressing Continuationist Arguments from 1 Corinthians 14

A common continuationist position is that there exists a gift of tongues which is a Spirit-given language, understandable by God, that is exercised in prayer between the believer/Spirit-filled individual and God

Therefore, from these verses in 1 Corinthians 14, it is clear that, as in Acts 2, the gift of languages was the miraculous ability to speak an unlearned language that is known by others for the purpose of exalting Christ and building up others. It served as a loud statement at the birth and foundational time of the church to declare that God’s plan of redemption is no longer restricted to one nation, but all nations. It served as a statement of judgment by God on Israel for failing their mission to be a light to the nations. This gift ceased with the apostolic era in the first century as the New Testament church foundation was established.

Gospel Leadership: A Call to One and All

Desiring to better communicate the gracious Gospel of God and to continue maturing as a bold, Christ like, servant-leader.

Be warmed with the undeserved, unlimited, unalterable, immutable, Gospel; rest in the Father’s love. Then, get busy loving, serving, leading, and influencing. You are not called to manipulate. You are not called to dominate. You are not called to win. However, you are called to point every man, woman, boy, and girl to the Lord of lords, King of... Continue Reading

Deadly Doctrines: The Pattern and Protection

How do we guard ourselves against false teachers and their deadly doctrines?

Preaching must involve an element of teaching the facts of the Bible, but it must also “reprove, rebuke, and exhort.” It must always have a practical dimension that addresses the heart of the listener and confronts his unbelief. Whereas teaching is meant to accumulate facts, preaching is meant to save souls, to transform lives, and to motivate holy living. Faithful preaching confronts and corrects false doctrine and sinful patterns of living (reprove, rebuke), and it trains and encourages those things that honor God (exhort).

Please Stop Saying — “God Told Me”

The “God Told Me” language violates the sufficiency of Scripture and uses God's name in vain

For whatever the reason, some people feel compelled to us God’s name as a stamp of approval on their stories, their decision to move churches, their decision to go into the ministry, or their decision to take a job transfer. Either way, it’s not true. It’s intellectually dishonest. We as evangelicals must not allow people to continually get away with using this language. We certainly shouldn’t celebrate it.

How I Gleaned Hope from the Darkest Psalm

Despite the dark tone, however, there is hope to be found in Psalm 88. Here are four reasons.

Psalm 88 is brutally honest about life in a fallen world. While many of us come out of depressive fogs and spiritually dark seasons, there are others who perpetually struggle. Some preach a false theology that says if you just pray hard enough, believe hard enough, and do all the right things, God will make your life all that you’ve wanted it to be. But real life indicates otherwise. And so does this psalm.

What Remembering the Poor Really Means

In the Bible, to remember means something much more than bringing to mind a matter.

The sense given here is that remembering the poor is not an occasional activity but wrapped up in what it means to be a Christian. Clearly the Apostle Paul saw it this way, as the record of his ministry indicates an ongoing commitment to caring for the needy (see 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8-9; 1 Tim. 5; Phil, for examples.). As I reflect on this commandment, it makes me thankful that I am involved in a church where I regularly observe this duty fulfilled in practical ways. Let me share a few of those with you by way of both encouragement and example.

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