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Sanctified!

It was the late Professor John Murray who first articulated the doctrine of definitive sanctification. As he studied the exegetical statements of the New Testament that spoke of believershaving beensanctifiedthrough the death of Christ (e.g.1 Corinthians 1:2;6:11;Heb. 10:10, etc.), Murray suggested that "it is a fact too frequently overlooked that in the New Testament the...

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Eight Types of Baptism

As I teach a short series on the sacraments at church, I recently happened across a fascinating historigraphical statement by Francis Turretin about the way in which certain theologians have calculated the numerous types of baptisms in the pages of Scripture. Setting out the various views, Turretin ultimately listed eight events or experiences that may properly be con...

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The Vertical and Horizontal Cross

The Scriptures give us a robust revelation about all that Jesus accomplished on the cross. As we go about seeking to categorize all of the various dimensions of the cross, we discover that there are bothverticalandhorizontaldimensions to Jesus’ work. Theverticaldimensions are foundational; thehorizontalare consequential. Theverticaldimensions include Jesus’ defeat of ...

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All We'll Ever Need

Our family has recently started working through the Sermon on the Mount during family worship. As we have moved through each section, I've experienced a renewed sense of astonishment at the countercultural nature of what Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount. In the Beatitudes, Jesus teaches that the way of the Kingdom of God is radically different from the way of the ...

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The Fight and the Faithful

Anyone who reads the Scriptures with any degree of honesty must immediately recognize that when Christ enlisted us into His everlasting Kingdom, He enlisted us into a spiritual battle in this fallen world. This means, of course, that our Christian lives will be fraught with trials and tribulation. Anyone who has sought to walk faithfully with the Lord for any length of...

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The Cross and the Atonement

During the first decade of the twenty-first century, a number of prominent leaders in the emerging church movement asserted that the doctrine of substitutionary atonement is tantamount to “cosmic child abuse.” At a time when men and women were finally starting to see the need to condemn every form of abuse that had been tolerated in our culture, the allegation seemed ...

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The Art of Spiritual War

Sun Tzu’sThe Art of Waris one of the most ancient and most revered military manuals in all of human history. In it, Sun Tzu set out what he believed to be the “essentials of military victory.” He wrote: “If you know the enemy and know yourself,you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourselfbut not the enemy, for every victory gained you wil...

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Were Not the Right Man on Our Side...

As a boy, I would sometimes slip into my dad’s dress shoes and put on a pair of his glasses when I found them lying around the house. Perhaps this was merely an act of admiration; however, I suspect that it was also an act of imitation, a longing to grow up to be like my father. Now, as a father of three boys, a subtle, sublime joy wells up in my heart when one of my so...

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For Still Our Ancient Foe...

What impact would it have had on the church in our late-modern, scientific day and age if the author(s) of the Apostles’ Creed had included a statement about the reality of angelic activity and spiritual warfare in the Christian life? I envision such a statement as reading like this: “I believe in principalities and powers, spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly pla...

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The Impact of 9/11

I vividly remember the morning of September 11. 2001. I was living in Flat Rock, NC, just south of Asheville. I remember hustling into the Country Club where I worked as a cook, trying not to lose my job because of my prodigal lifestyle. At some point, the head chef ran out and sat the staff down. We all huddled around a small, portable, black and white kitchen television...

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