Simplicity in Preaching
I think I can say without exaggeration that every preacher should try to read J. C. Ryle’s Simplicity in Preaching.
“Try to use in all your sermons, as far as you can, simple words.” This doesn’t mean the preacher can only use words of one syllable or that he cannot teach important terms and definitions. Rather, it means we should avoid unexplained jargon and words that ordinary people never use (like “erudite” perhaps?!). Preachers must not try to impress the learned or fall back into preening seminary-speak. The application of this point will vary from congregation to congregation, but as a general rule Ryle is surely right: the more you use plan common words, the better.
Wisdom For Reading The Proverbs
While knowing that the Proverbs are necessary for our spiritual growth in grace, here are seven tips on how to get the most out of reading Proverbs.
Proverbs is, at one level, a simple book to understand, and, at another level, a book that requires a great deal of spiritual discernment and wisdom. To get wisdom, we must read wisdom and we must pray for wisdom. As James tell us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives... Continue Reading
Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore, we can look to the faithfulness of God in the past to find courage to live humbly and faithfully in the present
“One of the primary texts about the importance of remembering God is Deuteronomy 8, which belongs to the larger context of the exodus event. In the face of Israelite slavery in the early chapters of Exodus, the promises God made to Abraham appear threatened (Gen. 15:13–16), resulting in a fundamental question about whether God can... Continue Reading
Are We “Saints” or “Aints?”
In some churches, one might hear older congregants talk of the "saints" and the "aints"
“After 47 years of being raised in a pious household, after 30 years of considering myself a born-again Christian, and after 18 years of being an ordained minister and getting to know my flock, I have come to the conclusion that me and every Bible-believing Christian I have ever met is an aint.” In some churches... Continue Reading
What Christianity Alone Offers Transgender Persons
The answer to the problems in our body—along with the answer to any of our problems—is never going to be found in ourselves
Bodily brokenness of any kind, if we have eyes to see, can point us to the broken body of Christ—and through that brokenness, to the eventual restoration and healing that comes through him. Embracing Christ doesn’t guarantee resolution in this life to the bodily brokenness we experience. But it does give us a sure and confident hope that we will have a perfect relationship with our body in the world to come.
Don’t Worry, Be Godly – Pt 1
Two aspects of God’s command to avoid anxiety
I am not saying we should never have urgent care and concern, or even alarm, in situations that warrant it. If your awareness of a clear and present danger springs you into action, that is not anxiety. Taking immediate and urgent action when your toddler goes missing in the mall is not sinful. An elevated heart rate and raised voice is appropriate and wise when sounding the alarm in the event of danger. Sinful anxiety is having an untrusting, uncontrolled reaction to something that isn’t happening and might not ever happen.
The One Who Makes All Things New
If you are looking at the year ahead and feel a sense of dread and foreboding, I want to encourage you.
As you stand on the precipice of 2017, don't fear the future for it is in the hands of your sovereign God. Don't dread the unknown for it is fully known by your omniscient Father. Don't grow weary by the challenges to come, for God is with you. He is actively involved in every moment you face this year and is your help in all trouble (Psalm 46.1).
The Lord is My Shepherd – And Do I Ever Need One
I have a personal shepherd. And I need one. Because I’m one of Jesus’ sheep.
Jesus knows each of his sheep personally. He knows us by name. He’s intimately acquainted with our hearts, our hopes, our sins and struggles, and will carry us through to the end. No one can snatch us out of his hand. What a great and glorious Savior we serve. He doesn’t care for us because we’re good enough, smart enough, and doggone it people like us. We’re singularly unlovable, but Jesus shepherds us because he’s so great and good.
What Is the Regulative Principle of Worship?
Scripture is our ultimate authority; it defines not only our theology but our piety, what we believe about God and how we respond to Him.
The Regulative Principle of Worship holds that we worship God in the manner He has commanded us in His Word. As the Westminster Confession says, “But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited to his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the... Continue Reading
The Dovetail Nature of Scripture
The Bible is God’s means for us to look into and through to help us see Christ clearly.
The very best commentary on the Bible is the Bible itself. If you want a a special key to unlock the Bible’s understanding, start by getting very familiar with the Old Testament. Pray for the Spirit’s guidance and understanding as you read and study. Yes, commentaries and teachers of the Bible can help you learn what a text means, and they have their place. Yet we must keep them in their place by first wrestling with and praying over the Bible ourselves. As it says in Job, “Behold, God is exalted in his power; who is a teacher like him?” (Job 36:22).