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...Keep Reading
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In recent years, our society has rapidly embraced what has come to be known as the "cancel culture." If someone has said or done something--at any point in his or her life--that cuts across the grain of the suppose moral rectitude of society, he or she is swiftly excoriated to the point of irremediable social ostracization. An immediate sentence is determined by the masses and pronounced on social media in order to ensure its execution. There is no mercy, no call to repentance, and no hope of restoration...The rashness and widespread nature of the execution is, in part, the thing that makes cancel culture so brutal. The bitter and self-righteous speech of those pronouncing judgment gives the unremitting banter a veneer of justice. This is what makes cancel culture such a powerful weapon; yet, I suggest, a weapon to be avoided by Christians. ...
Paul teaches that Jesus Christ is the source of all godliness. There is no godliness apart from Him. His Person and saving work is the singular and exclusive source of that godliness that God requires and provides. Our God gives what He requires of Himself by coming in the Person of Christ. ...
May we not fall into ritualistic, Christless, and imbalanced approaches to the means of grace in our churches. How we minister the means of grace in the context of public worship is more important than simply professing to be “an ordinary means of grace church.” May the ordinary means of grace be more than a Shibboleth to us....
There is a clear pattern in Scripture of the way in which God uses the praises of His people for their future deliverances and the evangelization of the nations. May we enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, knowing that our God is enthroned on the praises of His people. We need His deliverance and the watching nations need His salvation....
By restraining wrong opinions about His person and work...
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...Keep Reading
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 ...Keep Reading
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 ...Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading
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 ...Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading