Posts from 2019

Posts from 2019

The Guarantee of Holiness

“Say not that thou hast royal blood in thy veins and art born of God,” said puritan William Gurnall, “unless thou canst prove thy pedigree by daring to be holy.” There is no such thing as an unholy Christian (at least in any ongoing sense.) Can Christians commit any sort of sin? Yes. Can Christians repeatedly commit sin? Yes. Can Christians commit the worst of sins? Yes. But it is inconceivable that a person could be a Christian without holiness…

Disinterestedness

Disinterestedness. This compelling word is not about what you might expect. We have all seen (and been) the disinterested student, expressionless, gazing into some unknown blank space outside the classroom, waiting out the final eternal moments of the professor’s pedantic, sleep-inducing hum. That describes a use of the word, but not our use. What we wish to say with this word is immensely desirable; it was once employed to describe the best of conditions of the believer. The following intriguing…

The Love of Beauty

I know beauty when I see it. I am now out-of-doors in the morning on a spring day, drinking coffee with the right kind of cup, a light breeze flowing over my shoulder, the prospect of a useful day (which is the best day for me) and a sense of God’s hand planning all events. It is the convergence of likable things made even more desirable by all the days not so perfect. I have had other days, strung tight…

The Unrepenting Repenter

The believer in Christ is a lifelong repenter.  He begins with repentance and continues in repentance. (Rom. 8:12-13) David sinned giant sins but fell without a stone at the mere finger of the prophet because he was a repenter at heart (2 Sam. 12:7-13). Peter denied Christ three times but suffered three times the remorse until he repented with bitter tears (Mt. 26:75). Every Christian is called a repenter, but he must be a repenting repenter. The Bible assumes the…

Witness of the Spirit

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God . . .” Romans 8:16 This “witness” which leads to assurance that we are in God’s family is not a direct or immediate feeling or sense that we are God’s children—some inner confidence that may be entirely misplaced by being based on nothing but the notion itself. The believer will not say merely, “I know that I know that I know.” In fact, having confidence in…

She Better Be Careful

The person who runs from God and does not want to know him lest her motivations and deeds be revealed, had better do all she can to shield herself from any insidious notion that God has in fact displayed himself in nature and in a written revelation. She must tightly grasp evolution (or some other mechanistic theory) on the one hand, and “the-Bible-as-merely-human-words-written-by-well-meaning-people” in the other hand. If she lets loose of either, she is going down. She feels strongly…

The Head of the Church Knows Best: Benefits of Having a Team of Elders

In the first church I served as a pastor, I was the only elder. I was in that position for nearly five years.  Since 2007, I’ve served as one elder on a team of elders. In the 1990s, I became convinced biblically that this is God’s design for each local church — to be led by multiple qualified elders (cf. Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). I’ll not argue for that here. I simply want to list some of the benefits of…

An Amazing Promise NOT for You (Jeremiah 29:10-14)

10 “For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek Me and…

What Did Jesus Mean by “The Broad Way?”

In the Sermon on the Mount, the broad way that leads to destruction is the external religious way. The narrow way is the way Jesus taught. This is seen particularly in the “antitheses” section in Mt. 5. For instance, the broad way is fulfilling the command, “You shall not murder,” but the narrow way is found in Jesus’ statement: “but I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother is guilty…” Or again, “You shall not commit adultery” is…

Is Healing in the Atonement?

It is a valid question to ask, “Is physical healing in the atonement?” The answer is, without equivocation, “Yes.” But maybe not as is commonly perceived. All good things come to the believer through Christ’s death for us. “By his stripes you are healed” in every way possible! It is judicially right that mercy is yours forever due to his death in your place. When merciful actions come to unbelievers, however, (which happens over and over again — God “sends…

Good Works Are Not Your Problem

Rather than writing off good works, the Apostle Paul considered good works and faith to be the closest of friends. The Christian life is “faith working through love” (Gal 5:6). In fact, Christ “gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Good works are a major reason Christ died for you. Don’t think little of them. Rather, it is Mosaic Law-works (such…

To A Living Hope!

Here’s an audio teaching on persecution of believers that Jim Elliff has been sharing recently out of Peter’s manual on suffering for Christ, 1 Peter 1:3-9.  Click here to listen when Jim taught this at Antioch Bible Church in Johannesburg, South Africa. 
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