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

Ray Ortlund - Apologetic Report
Monday, 21 August 2017 19:37

Why we grow so slowly

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Written by: Ray Ortlund

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In his Thoughts on Religious Experience, Archibald Alexander asked why we grow so slowly as Christians.

First, he rounded up the usual suspects: “The influence of worldly relatives and companions, embarking too deeply in business, devoting too much time to amusements,...

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017 01:01

My statement on Charlottesville

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Written by: Ray Ortlund

My statement on Charlottesville is a post from: Ray Ortlund

Authors: Ray Ortlund...

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Wednesday, 09 August 2017 22:21

Prayer is boring

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Written by: Ray Ortlund

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“The work of the Spirit can be compared to mining.  The Spirit’s work is to blast to pieces the sinner’s hardness of heart and his frivolous opposition to God.  The period of the awakening can be likened to the time when the blasts are fired. ...

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Sunday, 06 August 2017 20:00

How the devil spoke through an apostle

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Written by: Ray Ortlund

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When Peter said to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” the Lord replied, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah!  For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 16:16-17). Peter’s...

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017 16:09

At all times, continually

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Written by: Ray Ortlund

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I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  Psalm 34:1

It is possible for two psychologies to coexist in our hearts at once--pain and praise. It’s like a football player who plays hurt. He feels bad, but he also feels good, both...

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Sunday, 23 July 2017 02:20

How to build a gospel culture in your church

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Galatians 2:11-21 has been unsettling me for forty years.  Paul rebuked Peter publicly — for what?  They agreed on gospel doctrine: “We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (verse 16).  But...

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Gospel + safety + time.  It’s what everyone needs.  A lot of gospel + a lot of safety + a lot of time.

Gospel: good news for bad people through the finished work of Christ on the cross and the endless power of the Holy Spirit.  Multiple exposures. ...

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Friday, 07 July 2017 05:37

Seven ways delighting in God benefits us

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Written by: Ray Ortlund

image Richard Baxter, in A Christian Directory (Ligonier, 1990), page 140, lists seven benefits of looking by faith to the Lord, as to no other, for our deepest delight.  Updating the language a little:

1.  Delight in God will prove that we know him and love him and that...

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Thursday, 29 June 2017 01:14

Something altogether unearthly

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William C. Burns was preaching in Perth, Scotland, in 1840.  His biographer writes,

“The power indeed that attended his words, and the effects which often in the most unexpected quarters followed them, was at this time most remarkable.  ‘I never...

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Yes, I really have heard that objection. But there are many ways one can cast doubt on the Bible. It's a huge subject, and it quickly becomes technical. But, for starters, here are two things to keep in mind.

One, how the Bible came down to us. The New Testament was...

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Monday, 12 June 2017 19:02

“I went all the way back”

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“Later on in my ministry I faced another crisis that equally influenced the writing of my books.  It came after I had already been a pastor for ten years in the U.S. and a missionary to Europe for five years.  Throughout this period one thing was dinned into my...

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Thursday, 01 June 2017 19:07

Reformed theology gone sour: a warning

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The Rev. William Still, a patriarch of the Church of Scotland in the twentieth century, preaching on Romans 5:5 and the love of God being poured into our hearts, said this:

“I wonder what it is about poring all over a great deal of Puritan literature that makes so many...

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Monday, 22 May 2017 17:32

Is your church an institution?

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To call anything an “institution” today can be its death sentence, including a church.  Should we be ashamed of the institutional aspects of our churches?

What is an institution?  An institution is a social mechanism for making a desirable experience easily repeatable.  An...

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Tuesday, 16 May 2017 23:05

Romans is about God

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“To the question ‘What is Romans all about?’ a variety of answers might be given. . . . An interesting point emerges if we approach the epistle statistically. . . . It comes as no surprise that the word Paul uses most frequently is some form or other of the definite article...

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Thursday, 04 May 2017 03:16

A new post-war world for every one of us

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On December 26, 1944, Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese army was sent to the Philippine island of Lubang. His mission was to resist the American advance, and he was ordered to fight on indefinitely. Onoda never got word when the war ended some months later. For 30 more years he...

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Friday, 28 April 2017 20:14

Three kinds of suffering

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We experience three kinds of suffering in this life.

One, deserved suffering.  We sin, and we suffer misery for it.  Sin always spawns misery.  It’s all sin can do.  So, deserved suffering is inevitable: “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers...

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Monday, 24 April 2017 14:00

Edward John Carnell, 1919-1967

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Fifty years ago today Dr. Edward John Carnell died.  My purpose today is to honor him from a personal angle of vision.  I believe that the second most important reason we exist is to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:28-31).  That sacred obligation does not expire with a...

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 00:46

Listening is living

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“We are justified freely, for Christ’s sake, by faith, without the exertion of our own strength, gaining of merit, or doing of works.  To the age-old question, ‘What shall I do to be saved?’ the confessional answer is shocking: ‘Nothing!  Just be still; shut...

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Wednesday, 05 April 2017 23:40

The sanctuary within

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“God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son.”  Romans 1:9

There was, for Paul, a deeper dimension to his gospel ministry, far beyond his public preaching and writing.  Only God could see and witness this inner world of service, thought and...

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The beautiful “one another” commands of the New Testament are famous. But it is also striking to notice the “one anothers” that do not appear there.

For example, sanctify one another, humble one another, scrutinize one another, pressure one another, embarrass one another,...

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 07:09

“Get back to your burdens”

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“Get back to your burdens” (Exodus 5:4).  That’s what the Pharaoh said to God’s people as they groaned under the subhuman evil that slavery is.  “Get back to your burdens” is the devil’s command.  It is the whip he uses to keep his slaves on...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 15:11

Preaching the Ten Commandments

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When I preach through the Ten Commandments, each sermon has four points, because each commandment does four things at once.

First, each of the Ten Commandments is revelation. Each one gives us an insight into the character of God. For example, what kind of amazing Person would say to us, “You...

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In a sermon preached during the First Great Awakening, George Whitefield laid bare the four archaeological layers always uncovered in true repentance.  Preaching on “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace”...

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Friday, 10 March 2017 23:54

Quietness vs. prominence

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“I have calmed and quieted my soul.”  Psalm 131:2

How did David get into that quiet place before God? He forsook ambition. “My eyes are not raised too high,” he wrote in Psalm 131. He checked that restless impulse of ingratitude and the itch of attention-seeking. He...

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Monday, 06 March 2017 03:37

How to preach with biblical fullness

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“I love the simplicity of the Scriptures, and I wish to receive and inculcate every truth precisely in the way, and to the extent, that it is set forth in the sacred Volume. Were this the habit of all divines, there would soon be an end to most of the controversies that have agitated and...

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