As the New Year is still underway, perhaps many are still sorting out what they want to work on this year (or, at least, until mid-February). For the most part, we list things like not eating as much, losing five pounds a month, reading more, praying more, or others. Those are good things, of course. And goals are, to be sure, very good to have. It’s easier said than done, but we need to remember that we need God’s grace through the Holy Spirit to do these things–to do anything. Simply mustering up motivation and esteem to lose weight might make … Continue reading Resolutions, God’s Grace, and Jonathan Edwards
From Drew Hunter: So, where did it come from? Thankfully, it’s used all over the place these days. My hunch is that the person who put feet on it and therefore caused it to run throughout this generation is Jerry Bridges. Perhaps surprisingly, this theme wasn’t in his first and probably most well known book, The Pursuit of Holiness. It wasn’t until after writing this book that he began to more clearly see and stress the centrality of the gospel in the life of the Christian (See second paragraph here). Following that book, however, he began emphasizing the centrality of the gospel … Continue reading Where Did the Phrase, “Preach the Gospel to Yourself,” Come Frome?
There has been quite a bit of debate lately, particularly in Reformed Evangelical circles, about the relationship between God’s grace and our effort in sanctification. A while back, there was quite the conversation on The Gospel Coalition blogs about this relationship. I’ll spare you the details, but check out the roundup of the debates if you have time. God demands that we pursue holiness after being saved. We are not saved to “let go and let God.” Rather, by grace we strive to flee from sin and strive to pursue holiness. This past month, my morning devotions in 1 Timothy have made this clear. In chapter 1, … Continue reading Does Our Effort Nullify God’s Grace?
Part 2 in a 4 part series. View series intro and index. In my last post, I made the point that in raising children and teaching them the Bible, the goal is not to make them nice kids who obey the rules. All people, including our children, are sinners who need a Redeemer who will rescue and deliver them from God’s wrath. No amount of rule keeping will make us right with God. If we truly believe that, it should drastically alter the way we raise our kids and instruct them at home and in church. At the risk of over-generalization, most … Continue reading God Loves His Little Pharisees and Prodigals
Titus 3:1-8:  Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,  to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.  For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but … Continue reading What motivation do we have for good works?
Many people are taught to believe the Bible is a book of rules with a bunch of stories about many heroes who are used by God because they are good people. That could not be further from the truth. With this new year, as you begin your Bible reading plans and start resolutions, remember the simple, old, gospel truth of Scripture: The Bible is not a book of rules, but rather one rule: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. The Bible is not a book of stories, but rather one story: God redeeming … Continue reading A New Year to Remember the Old Story