But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 1 Peter 3: 14-16
Less than a year had passed since scarlet fever took the life of Horatio Spafford’s son. Soon after, the great Chicago Fire of 1871 broke out, consuming miles of real estate, including most of the portions Spafford had successfully invested in through the years. It nearly ruined him. And still the worst had not yet come. Two years later, he
Don't forget the ascension! It is an integral part of gospel doctrine. The reality of Christ's ascension has many implications. Here are just five.
1. Jesus is really alive.
The reality of Christ's ascension, inextricable from the resurrection event, tells us that he did not raise from the dead only later to die again like Lazarus, Jairus' daughter,
I understand that many seminaries post a pre-reading list to provide incoming students with a theological framework, an "on-ramp" of sorts, as they plunge headlong into the rigors of the cerebral side of ministerial training. Although I am in hearty favor of this practice and commend it, this post is taken up with a list that should operate
Pastor, you need the gospel as much as your people do. You may carry the bread of life to the people but you need to eat it also.
Paul encouraged Timothy not to be “ashamed of the testimony about our Lord” but to “share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8). In some ways, I think pastors
In Acts 2:42–47, the Scripture provides a beautiful and compelling picture of Christian community. This snapshot of the early church offers a template for authentic community that churches should seek to follow. If we would build these traits into the relationships in our congregations, not only would we inspire passion among our people, but
Let me say this upfront: I believe it is important to preach the moral imperatives of Scripture. Faithful biblical preaching requires pastors to preach the biblical commands. These commands are scattered throughout the New Testament (for an example, check out Paul's list of imperatives in Ephesians 4:25-32). This brings up a major issue for most
As the father of five young children, I live with an ever-present awareness that my greatest stewardship is my children. Many men can preach a sermon and more than a few can be a seminary president, but only one can father these five children.
Thus, my wife and I approach our family with a profound sense of stewardship and intentionality. As
“People ask me, ‘Why pray if God is sovereign?’ I respond, ‘Why pray if He isn’t?” -- Michael Horton
As I have reflected on my prayer and devotional life and this statement, I am reminded that it isn’t that we “should” pray -- as in a duty -- but we “must” pray -- as in a
As my husband held down my three-month old son I buckled the braces in place and locked in the bar. Asa had given up looking at me with those pleading eyes, and had resigned to screaming; maybe someone else would come to help.
If I’m not careful I could hate those braces. Hate them for making my son look at me with those confused, scared, and
C.S. Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham tells the story of Lewis and a friend walking along the street one day when a beggar approached them asking for money. Lewis's friend kept walking, but Lewis stopped and emptied his wallet, giving the beggar its contents. After rejoining his friend, he was chastised. "You shouldn't have done that, Jack. He'll
Do we want to guarantee that our children will run in the opposite direction of our most cherished biblical convictions? All we have to do is sterilize our churches. Make them rigid, unresponsive, grim. Require of our ministers that they play the role of scolding, scowling Reverend Eat-Your-Peas. Treat the gospel as a theological system only,
God is more than sovereign.
As soon as my first child was born, I knew there was a problem. The doctor was focused and serious. The nurses called for help and began moving faster. Something was wrong. Suddenly, Madelyn was placed in my arms, and I was asked to follow the nurse immediately to the Natal Intensive Care
I love seminary students. I love the fact that those who populate these institutions will be sent out all over the world to serve as pastors, planters, missionaries, teachers, scholars, and more. Yet, many students find themselves "flaming out" during their time in seminary. I remember some of my classmates crashing and burning
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."—Romans 8:1
From Albert Barnes's Notes on the Bible, 1834:
"The apostle having established the doctrine of justification, and answered the objections commonly urged against it, now asserts his triumphant conclusion, 'There is therefore, etc.;' that is to say, it
The very first of Martin Luther’s 95 theses was on repentance: “Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when he said [to repent], willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.”
Is Luther right? Is repentance our whole life?
There’s wisdom in this statement. If it is true, and a believer is a repenter, then it would
Lawyers sometimes have a saying they use when building their case behind closed doors: “The best story always wins.” When it’s time to render a verdict, the judge and the jury won’t be thinking about the information that was presented as much as they will be asking, “Which story is most compelling and coherent?”
There was a certain man walking in the desert who came to a well. Amidst this parched and arid land he saw that it was deep, rich, and the very thing that the desert needed. People wandered about, thirsty and in desperate need of the life-giving waters of the well, however none of them came to drink of it. The man approached the well, took up a
I am currently in my third year of studies toward the M.Div at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have a wife, three girls, and another little one due in October. I also work full time, and serve in a local church. When I tell people this I often get strange looks like I am crazy, and often people ask me "How do you do it?" This is
On Maundy Thursday in 1521, the Pope issued a Papal Bull listing Martin Luther and his followers for the first time as heretics. They had already been excommunicated, but now they were singled out as beyond redemption even in the afterlife. No indulgence could spring them. No, in fact, their only hope for escape from torment was a word from the
The last few years have been quite difficult for my family and me. First, I was forced to resign from my pastorate to prevent a church split. This led us to move to another state with our three young children. Shortly after that, I was able to find a local maintenance job, but it didn't pay enough for my family to get by without food stamps or
Knowledge is power, and it helps us excel in life. Even so, it can be a hindrance, especially in our church community.
How can knowledge be a hindrance?
Knowledge is a hindrance when we allow it alone to guide us. We see an example of this in 1 Corinthians. There were some in the church who had come to believe that:
“an idol has no
Many single Christians all across the globe are wasting their singleness. Are you one of them?
By no means do I have all the answers to singleness, but I am well aware of the struggles and difficulties and blessings that singleness brings. The road can be painful, but it doesn’t have to be joyless.
I’m sure many of us who are single want
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May the information here, bless you in your sanctification and bring glory to God and Him alone.