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

Erik Raymond - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 09 October 2019 03:52

Brothers, We Are Like Mothers

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The Bible provides several similes and metaphors for ministry. Many familiar with the Bible would recall examples such as a shepherd, soldier, athlete, or a farmer (1 Pet. 5:1-4; 2 Tim. 2:3-6). But I wonder how many would immediately think of a nursing mother?

Consider Paul’s words below:

But...

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Wednesday, 25 September 2019 05:08

Created to Clean Toilets

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“We are looking for volunteers for the _______ ministry.”

If you’ve been to church for more than three weeks you’ve likely encountered some sort of announcement asking for help from the church to serve. We understand why: churches have a number of ministries that require...

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Monday, 16 September 2019 23:54

What Does It Mean to Be Sealed with the Holy Spirit?

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In Ephesians 1:13 the Bible says that “when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”

What does it mean to be sealed with the Holy Spirit?

A seal is an identifying mark often placed on a letter,...

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Wednesday, 04 September 2019 06:12

A Meditation Before Preaching

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It’s Sunday morning ten minutes before the service. How are you feeling? If you had to put it into a word, what would it be?

For the one preaching the sermon, it’s probably some combination of words that express his inadequacy for the task at hand. Each week, like clockwork, my hands get...

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Monday, 02 September 2019 00:29

Did Jesus Die for Everyone?

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The atonement is central to Christian understanding and experience. We are the benefactors when we pour over the Word to better grasp Christ’s work. When doing so, we often encounter questions. One common question that comes up when thinking about the atonement is this: Did Jesus die for...

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Monday, 26 August 2019 22:33

Discovering the Secret Journal of Grace

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There was a man who was a good husband and dad. He loved his family faithfully, was always around, steady, and took care of them. His influence, even if wasn’t realized, was central in everyone’s life.

But, his family didn’t fully appreciate the scope of his love until one day...

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Thursday, 22 August 2019 04:35

What Apostates Don’t Say

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When people walk away from Christianity, there are some common reasons they give. They often stem from an unwillingness to maintain the Bible’s authority in the face of mounting criticism from an increasingly secular world. In some cases, it’s because of morality, other times it’s...

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Tuesday, 20 August 2019 06:27

Relating to the Apostle Paul

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The apostle Paul remains such a gift to the church. His testimony of conversion and fruitful ministry is still bearing fruit. But there remains a tension of distancing him from ourselves. On the one hand, we can be tempted to exalt him to a place unfitting for him as a man and brother in Christ....

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Wednesday, 14 August 2019 07:46

I Pray God Turns the Church Upside Down

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During the Protestant Reformation, the church rediscovered the doctrine of justification, and the world got turned upside down. Today, I think it could be the church that is turned upside down if the application of the doctrine of justification were rediscovered. 

I don’t think I have to...

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Wednesday, 07 August 2019 07:39

A Math Problem We All Struggle With

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One cultural observer noted an unhealthy trait that characterizes our age. He said we tend to trivialize the important and make the important trivial. We prioritize the things that are insignificant while the things that matter most get little consideration.

This seems like a perceptive conclusion.

I...

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I remember as a new Christian looking around during communion and wondering what everyone was doing. Everyone looked like they were doing something. I didn’t know. Because of this, I’m always happy to answer the question when asked, “What should I think about during the...

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Monday, 04 February 2019 04:40

The Parent’s Daily Commute

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I awoke recently to a nice, fresh snowfall. Curious to see how much we received I ventured outside to take a look. It was a modest amount, maybe 3-5 inches. It was early, and I noticed the sidewalks had yet to see any foot traffic. I made my coffee, resolving to shovel after doing some reading....

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Thursday, 31 January 2019 01:09

Conversion

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Conversion is a doctrine that is often assumed. We assume that most people understand what the Bible teaches about the subject because they have been converted. But when we read the Scriptures we find that many people who claim the name of Christ aren’t actually converted (cf. Matt. 7:21-23)....

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Monday, 28 January 2019 06:12

What Makes a Good Accountability Partner?

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We are not intended to live our Christian lives alone. We are members of a community. Most of this living occurs within the context of our local church. It’s here that strategic relationships emerge with opportunities to provide deeply personal care. Overall these relationships are meant to...

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Sunday, 27 January 2019 05:00

Resources for Preaching through Genesis

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I was blessed to have recently preached through Genesis. For those who may be interested, I’ve included some of my favorite resources for study and preparation below. 

Creation and Blessing, Allen Ross. 

Ross is consistently helpful for expositors by his attention to the overall...

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Thursday, 24 January 2019 02:57

Reading the Sermon on the Mount with John Stott

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I was looking to add some variety to my devotional reading of the Bible and decided to pick up a copy of John Stott’s little book on the Sermon on the Mount. It has been a rich blessing.

God used John Stott (1921-2011) in great ways as a Bible teacher. His knack for making difficult concepts...

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Wednesday, 23 January 2019 05:45

Brothers, We Are Not Talking Heads

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Whenever something significant happens in our day we can count on the fact that the various media outlets will be flooded with both the details of and opinions about the events. There is no shortage of either. But there’s something else we can count on. And I don’t think this is...

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Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:29

The Treasure Principle

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I have heard of Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle for years. I have meant to read it and, sadly, never actually picked it up. Over the Christmas break I have been studying stewardship and so I picked it up. I wish I had earlier! I very much enjoyed the book. This will be no surprise...

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Wednesday, 09 January 2019 20:07

Some Resources on the Stewardship of Time

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I’ve recently read through a few books to study the topic of stewardship. In the process of reading about the use of time, I was helped by a few resources. I’ll share them below with a brief explanation.

Your Days are Numbered: A Closer Look at How We Spend Our Time & the Eternity...

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Tuesday, 08 January 2019 05:24

No Time to Lose

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Time is not something we instinctively grasp.

When we were young, we had little concept of time. Our parents and those in authority over us made decisions that kept us on time. They made sure we got up on time, ate at the right time, spent time on the right things, and went to bed on time. As we...

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Tuesday, 18 December 2018 09:20

What If I’m Not a Merry Gentleman?

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One of the blessings of holiday season is the opportunity to sing Christmas carols. Each year we dust off many of the old favorites and, for several weeks, get to sing with friends and family. Part of the charm that accompanies these songs is the archaic language. Like a unique and obscure feature...

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Monday, 17 December 2018 06:15

Beautiful Irony in the Manger

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What a striking scene Luke captures with his pen. It’s filled with irony and theological beauty. There is Mary, the mother of Jesus, wrapping up the second person of the Trinity in swaddling clothes.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a...

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018 05:00

Focus on What God Has Revealed, Not Concealed

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One of the hidden gems of pastoral ministry is watching God turn the lights on in a Christian’s mind. And, when he turns the lights on, he also turns on the heat. God is kind to open minds to understand the Word of God, and as he does, he enflames hearts to rejoice in the God of the Word....

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Saturday, 08 December 2018 19:27

God Woke Me Up

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It was a regular day. I got out of bed to an alarm. My warm feet from a night’s sleep recoiled slightly from the cold morning floor. Barely ambulatory, I made my way toward the living room. After making my coffee, I sat down in the chair I sit in nearly every morning, opened my Bible and...

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Thursday, 06 December 2018 05:38

Why Must Jesus be both Human and Divine?

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Recently someone who is just beginning to investigate Christianity asked me an important question. As they are wading through the biblical data, the question came up, Why was Jesus both human and divine? Is this an important detail? 

This is an important question. It’s vital that we...

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