When Jesus Brings a Sword
Every Christian soon finds that the most divisive thing he can do is tell someone else about their sin and their need for a Savior
Christian, you cannot be surprised when you experience division. You don’t need to seek this division or long for it or glory in it, but you do need to expect it. Jesus and his gospel bring division between those who embrace him and those who reject him. As Matthew Henry said, “Christ came to give... Continue Reading
God Remembers You
We forget to remember. But God never does.
God never forgets to sympathize with and comfort those who are hurting. To name just a few, he remembers to provide for you, comfort you, convict you, strengthen you, lead you, provide you with joy, apply the grace of Christ, keep you from apostasy, use you for his kingdom purposes, refresh you with his presence,... Continue Reading
Praying in the Whirlwind
Calvin offers four rules for prayer–four rules for when we need the basics all over again.
It should be clear by now that the Institutes‘ four rules for prayer (reverence, a deep sense of need, humility, and trust) cohere: knowing God as he has revealed himself magnifies our helplessness; and the humility that results takes God at his Word that he will hear the prayers of his children. The crux, according... Continue Reading
When God “Rightly” Hurts Us
The Scripture is full of times when God watched and allowed his children to be hurt.
Remember God’s sovereignty. He really is the omnipotent, omniscient, everywhere present King. God really is in control of everything. He foreordains all that comes to pass. Do not listen to your fleshly heart. Do not entertain the lies of Satan. Forget the theologians who presented an impotent God who is powerless to interfere. God is sovereign. ... Continue Reading
All of Us Sinners, None of Us Freaks
Christian convictions for the transgender age
For Paul, gay and lesbian sexual acts are “contrary to nature” — literally “against nature.” At its heart, sex misuse is the toxic runoff of idolatry, but the manifest wrongness of the act is in leading its actors to use gender for anti-natural sex acts. Such abuse of creation is nothing short of rebellion against... Continue Reading
The Spiritual Warfare of Boring Preaching
Jesus was often poorly received — but He never bored
“If lost people don’t like your message because they’re hostile to the gospel, you’re in good company. But if you’re boring the people of God with the Word of God, something has gone seriously awry.” The devil is a preacher. From the third chapter of the Bible onward, he is opening up God’s word... Continue Reading
An Essential Key to Understanding the Development of the NT Canon
For anyone willing to search for it, the internet is packed with myths, mistakes, and misunderstandings about how the whole process really worked
“(1) there was a core canon from a very early time, (2) there was dispute about some of the smaller books that took some time to resolve, (3) Christians continued to find some non-canonical books to be orthodox and helpful, though not Scripture, and (4) some books were so theologically off the mark that they... Continue Reading
Doxology is, literally, a word or words of praise
Doxologies punctuate the Bible because they punctuate the life of faith. This at least was Paul’s understanding of the life of Abraham: “he was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom. 4:20). Let me invite you to take a simple word-association test. The usual procedure for such a test is that the administrator... Continue Reading
I’m Glad Paul Used This Word
I’m glad Paul used the word “perplexed,” because God takes me through many many things I just don’t understand.
When we’re perplexed, we think, “How did this happen?” or “Why is this happening?” and we have no answer. Things don’t seem to line up with our expectations. I thought if I did this, God would do this. If I sowed, I’d reap. Well, you will reap, but before the harvest comes you might have... Continue Reading
When You Are Tempted to Despair
If you are tempted to despair today, for whatever reason, look to Christ.
So when we get sick, I am tempted to despair. I feel helpless, weak, and useless. Questions swirl around my mind all day and night, “Should I switch doctors?” “What’s the long-term effect of this medication?” “When will we get better?” “How long can I go without sleep?” I find myself irritable and impatient. Stressed... Continue Reading