By Ken Hamrick
John Murray’s treatment of sanctification, particularly his essay, “The Agency in Definitive Sanctification,” makes some surprising inroads toward grasping the believer’s retroactive, realistic identification with Christ. He does not go as far as to acknowledge that the reality of the spiritual union of Christ in the believer brings a title to all that Christ accomplished just as if the believer had accomplished it. Instead, he prefers to call it a mysterious “divine constitution.” But he does recognize the “tension” between the historical objectivity of Christ dying and rising again, and the fact of the believer subjectively dying to sin and rising to new life in Christ—and that the two are often spoken of in the New Testament as if they were one and the same events. The believer did not die to sin until coming to Christ in faith; and yet, the power of that dying to sin is firmly grounded in the once-and-for-all quality of Christ’s death—as if the historically objective death of Christ somehow became an historically objective fact of the believer’s life once he came to Christ […]
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Discouragement is one of the enemy’s most effective tools against the people of God. How many small group leaders begin with great dreams of seeing spiritual growth in their group members only to become discouraged and quit? How many pastors assume leadership in a new church only to run afoul of a power structure, become discouraged, and lose heart?
How many men and women enter the world of business with big goals and high expectations but end up experiencing discouragement? How many people enter marriage in love with one another and soon become discouraged with each other and marriage itself? Continue reading →
The Bible was made to be read in church first.
Wesley Hill / December 12, 2014
Each day began the same way: I would get out of bed, take a shower, and sit down at my desk. I’d place my New American Standard Bible in front of me and open it to where the bright green M’Cheyne’s Bible reading calendar kept my place. I would close my eyes and ask God to illumine the texts I was about to ponder. And then I would begin to read—usually two chapters from the Old Testament and two chapters from the New.
For years this ritual was the high point of my spiritual life. Of course there were missed days. And take it from me: It’s hard to catch up when you’ve missed a day or two of 19th-century Scottish minister Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s calendar. (Knowing this firsthand, a friend of mine created her own irreverent alternative, “A Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers,” which you can find online.) Continue reading →
God promises grace to battle sin and to overcome sin. We believe that God gives that kind of grace to his people. This is not something we deserve; it is not something he owes us, but he gives it anyway. It is undeserved, the overflow of his love for us.
And we long for that grace—the grace to put sin to death, the grace to bring righteousness to life, the grace to be who and what God calls us to be. Continue reading →
We almost killed each other coming out of the gate, but the relentless, self-crushing grace of God chased us down, and now we’re rounding the corner to our 30th wedding anniversary. Snorting our way neck-and-neck down the backstretch, we blindly run through a dust of faith that continues to spotlight our inadequacy against the backdrop of Christ’s sufficiency. We’re an unfancied pair for sure, but the positioning secured for us in the winner’s circle keeps us racing toward the wire.
I enjoy the privilege of a great marriage to a great man. I married my polar opposite, and I’ve been crazy about him ever since the moment we met as two hapless teens. Continue reading →
Jesus, Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better than Jesus Beside You is officially available to order starting today!
Most books about the Holy Spirit focus on describing who the Holy Spirit is. This book is not so much about the Holy Spirit as it is for helping you understand the Spirit’s guidance in your life and how to move in his power. This book asks one, central question: Are you living by the power of the Spirit and do you know what it means to walk with him? Continue reading →
by John MacArthur
A gun-toting, beer-drinking, foul-mouthed “pastor” recently made headlines when he was arrested for driving while intoxicated. In an emotional apology to the church, he confessed he had been abusing alcohol for years.
While the extent of his drinking had been kept relatively private until then, he had built both his reputation and his church on the extreme exercise of his Christian liberties. In an article published just days before his arrest, he made no attempt to hide his drinking, his filthy mouth, or any of the other worldly aspects of his life and ministry—on the contrary, he celebrated them. His moral collapse is a powerful example of the danger of overconfidence and failing to biblically limit one’s liberty. Continue reading →
by John MacArthur
Overconfidence is a sure way to fall into temptation and sin. To assume you’re beyond the world’s grasp, immune to its enticements, and free to do whatever you like is often the first step toward the harsh realization that you’re not.
Many believers in Corinth felt perfectly secure in their Christian lives and thought they had arrived. They were saved, baptized, well-taught, lacking in no spiritual gift, and presumably mature. They thought they were strong enough to freely associate with pagans in their ceremonies and social activities and not be affected morally or spiritually, as long as they did not participate in outright idolatry or immorality. Continue reading →
This is a repost of an old article, but with a more appropriate title. I think it’s worth posting again…
The Church long ago embraced the idea that what happens within substantial reality is not necessary to how God views a man. Continue reading
Yesterday I wrote an article that spoke of living as an exile in this world. So, I thought I’d follow that up with a related thought that God has been impressing upon me more and more as time passes. It seems that people are often allured by the things of this world, whether it be beauty, money, fame, intelligence, a fulfilling spouse, athleticism, materialism- clothes, cars, houses, boats, recreation- vacations, travel, alcohol, sex, good food, drugs, gambling, pornography, entertainment, community status, or even just being accepted or respected by others. Continue reading