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
Written by: Ray Ortlund

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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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Written by:Ray Ortlund

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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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Written by:Ray Ortlund

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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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Thursday, 02 March 2017 15:44

Something profound in our generation

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A nice church filled with nice people doing nice things will make no impact in the intensity of our times.  Every hybrid form of “Christianity” deserves to die, and will die.  But here is a pathway back into the prophetic power of apostolic Christianity.

Francis Schaeffer asked...

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Tuesday, 28 February 2017 16:02

What does it mean to “accept Jesus”?

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“You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.”  1 Thessalonians 1:9

You and I are not integrated, unified, whole persons.  Our hearts are deeply divided, more than we realize.

Our reality within is something like a board room.  Big table.  Leather...

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Monday, 27 February 2017 14:25

Three lies we might easily believe

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It is very much in the Devil’s interests that we despair. If he can get us to believe any of these three demoralizing lies that he loves to whisper into our thoughts, our powers for Jesus are greatly diminished. And each one seems to us quite plausible.

Lie #1: “You’re a hypocrite....

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 17:29

Three profiles, always present

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“Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.  Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.  At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me.  May it not be charged against them!  But the...

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Monday, 20 February 2017 06:05

Jesus and tithing

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Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.  These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.  Matthew 23:23

Jesus did not denounce tithing,...

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Thursday, 09 February 2017 12:59

Wisdom for a tender conscience

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“It is the supreme art of the devil that he can make the law out of the gospel.  If I can hold on to the distinction between law and gospel, I can say to him any and every time that he should kiss my backside.  Even if I sinned I would say, ‘Should I deny the gospeI on this...

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Tuesday, 07 February 2017 22:23

Spurgeon versus Hyper-Calvinism

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In Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism, Iain Murray draws four lessons from that conflict:

1.  “Genuine evangelical Christianity is never of an exclusive spirit.  Any view of the truth which undermines catholicity has gone astray from Scripture.”  Spurgeon disagreed with...

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Thursday, 02 February 2017 21:47

True worship, brotherly peace

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“In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and...

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“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. . . . For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do but what he in his deep heart...

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