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
Monday, 18 September 2017 10:05

Free to Love

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What is love? And how do we love others?

There is unlikely a word that is more familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. We love pizza and our spouses. What do we mean?

The Bible is helpful in pointing us back to the greatest demonstration of love:

By this we know...

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Thursday, 14 September 2017 10:05

You Can’t Preach the Gospel without Preaching Christ

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image I have been quite refreshed by the book Feed My Sheep. It is a compilation with contributions from Mohler, Sproul, Piper, and MacArthur (among others). As you might expect, it is a very helpful reminder and instruction into the priority of preaching.

This...

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017 10:05

What Is Preaching?

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imageI remember my first sermon (sadly, I'm probably the only one who does!). As a new Christian with a lots of zeal, there was far more "heat" than "light." Looking back I don't think I would have been able to answer a simple but important question very well: What is preaching?

In...

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Sunday, 10 September 2017 10:05

Are You Always the Hero of Your Stories?

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image I remember it like it was yesterday. The conversation made such a mark on me, both by stinging my pride and shaping my desire for holiness.

My wife and I were taking a walk, enjoying some nice conversation, and then she lovingly asked me a perceptive question. “Did...

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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 10:05

He Buried 200 Church Members

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I remember spending some time with a minister who was nearing retirement. He was cleaning out his office and packing up boxes, books, and other personal items. He directed me to a large box and told me to take a look. I saw dozens and dozens of manilla file folders with...

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Tuesday, 05 September 2017 10:05

5 Marks of a Contented Heart

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What are the characteristics of a contented heart? Contentment is often tough to pin down. In this post, I want to take an excerpt from my book Chasing Contentment to try to answer this common question by interacting with a trusted guide from the past....

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The struggles associated with pastoral ministry are well documented. It’s a hard job. There is ample discouragement. Pastors know this going in and learn it first hand as we serve. Here I don’t want to point out what we already know as much...

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Thursday, 31 August 2017 10:05

Becoming More Impressed with Christ

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Luke 22:37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”

Prior to heading up to the Mount of Olives, the Lord Jesus makes this...

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017 10:05

Their Tears Didn’t Have Time to Dry

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Funerals are emotional. They are more than what we typically classify as such. Emotionally speaking, they are like a 2-liter of soda shaken by an ornery 7-year-old. There are so many hot wires ready to strike one another and explode.

As a culture, we (Americans...

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017 10:05

God’s Subtle Work in Your Bible Reading

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"Where did this Bible come from?"

This was the question I asked my wife last week after she cleaned out a bookshelf. With a slight glance to the stack of books around it she answered, "I'm pretty sure it's yours." She was right; it was mine.

Then I did what...

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Monday, 28 August 2017 10:05

These Monuments Should Stay

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In recent weeks, the removal of many controversial monuments has been a fixture in the news. As we know, these events have generated substantial conversation. Regardless of where you land on the decisions to remove these monuments and symbols, we can certainly...

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Thursday, 24 August 2017 10:05

The Bridge of Grace Will Bear your Weight!

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I was reading The Forgotten Spurgeon the other day and found this quote a tremendous encouragement. It was reportedly spoken by Spurgeon to his friend J. W. Harrald prior to his death:

Ah! the bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have...

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017 10:05

Is C. S. Lewis Right About Hell?

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One of the most influential writers on Christianity in the 20th century was an Oxford English professor who experienced a remarkable conversion from atheism: C. S. Lewis. He is perhaps best known for his books for children The Chronicles of Narnia, but he also...

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017 10:05

Hanging on His Every Word

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Do you long for a day when people will hang upon the words of Christ? I do. If you're a Christian, I'm sure you also do. But doesn't this seem like such a distant, and if we are honest, even unlikely reality? The words of Jesus are increasingly disregarded. If...

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Monday, 21 August 2017 10:05

I Get to Tell You About the Trinity

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I don't know whose eyes were bigger, theirs or mine. As I knelt next to them, I leaned forward and their eyes of intrigue locked with my eyes of excitement. "I get to tell you about the Trinity," I told them. Having been in church since they were born, they...

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017 10:05

What Does it Mean to be the Apple of God’s Eye?

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Our English phrase the apple of your eye is a helpful translation of the Hebrew which is the little man of the eye. When you look into someone's eye, you can see yourself reflected in the pupil of their eyeball as a little person. Also, your eye is the most...

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Monday, 31 July 2017 10:01

Is Hell for Real?

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imageQuestions about hell continue to be among the most common questions I receive as a pastor. Many involve the existence, nature, and duration of hell. People also want to know the reason for hell. Is it really necessary? 

These are important questions. The Bible...

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Sunday, 30 July 2017 10:05

The Holy Spirit is Not an “It”

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There are times when precision is needed and there are other times when it is not. When we are talking about God then we must always be in the first category. This is because God is the being who is worthy of the highest regard. He is infinitely more valuable...

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Sunday, 18 June 2017 10:05

Nehemiah Sets the Table for Christ’s Feast

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The scene may be hard to imagine: people in the covenant community pawning their fields, homes, and vineyards in order to put food on the table. Worse still, the people that were fronting the money were other members of the covenant community. However, this was...

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:05

Fresh Gospel Wine in Naboth’s Vineyard

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You may be familiar with the story in 1 Kings 21. Ahab is one of the worst kings in the history of Israel. His lusts are boundless. One day he decides that he wants to take the vineyard that belonged to a man named Naboth. He offered to give him another patch of...

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Monday, 12 June 2017 10:05

When the Chariot of Guilt Rolls Into Town

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As Christians we typically bounce off of two extremes:

  1. Undervaluing the work of Christ by clinging to our own merit
  2. Undervaluing the work of Christ by wallowing in our guilt

This is as dangerous as it is insane (and unbelieving).

Sometimes I find myself bouncing off...

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Sunday, 11 June 2017 10:05

The King of the Hill

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At the doorpost of the 15th Psalm, the songwriter asks a couple of questions. These questions deal with how someone might safely dwell in the presence of God. In other words, how may someone have access to God and his covenant blessings?

What follows in the Psalm...

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017 10:05

God Blesses Messy People

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Overall, would you say that the characters in the Bible have it all together or are a bit of a mess? If Genesis is any indication of the rest of the Bible (and it is), the answer is most certainly, they are a bit of a mess.

Adam and Eve, the first family, who,...

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017 10:05

Just Say No! A Key to Learning Contentment

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What does self-denial have to do with my contentment? Below is an excerpt from my book, Chasing Contentment, (pp. 107-110) where I work out some practical considerations of a life ordered by Jesus’ requirement that all who follow him deny themsleves (Lk. 9:23).
As...

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Thursday, 25 May 2017 10:05

The Gospel Diet

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…who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2.20c)

In Galatians 2 we read the Apostle saying that Christ “loved” and “gave himself up” for him. These two phrases are like spiritual protein and carbs for us. On the one side we are loved. This prevents...

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