This article outlines ways to make the most out of corporate worship. It shows ways to prepare, participate, and reflect.
What makes preaching earnest? This article offers four characteristics: know the text, feel the truth, love the people, and keep the sermon simple.
This article discusses the timing or frequency of family worship, and the manner in which it could be carried out.
This article discusses the heart of family worship, that it helps us be better worshippers of God on the Lord's Day. This is seen in four ways: reading God's Word, practicing family prayer, celebrating the Lord's Supper, and improving upon our baptism.
This article provides seven pointers on how to glean as much as possible from reading Proverbs.
Every Christian sins, so every Christian needs to ask forgiveness. Yet how we ask forgiveness speaks to the quality of our repentance. This article mentions five ways we can evaluate whether our repentance is sincere or not.
Christ-centred preaching is vital for the church. Yet there is a fine line between preaching that is Christocentric and Christomonic. The latter preaches Christ from Scripture to the neglect of the Father and the Spirit. This article explains the tendency to slip into Christomonic preaching, and reminds from Scripture how Jesus' work of redemption includes the Father and the Spirit working with him to that end.
Genealogies in the Bible are often neglected in our reading of Scripture. This article offers six tips for reading them that will benefit the reader.
Israel's exodus from Egypt is one of the central redemptive-historical events in the Scriptures, so central that it is the pattern for at least seven events in Scripture that may themselves be called “Exoduses.” This final article in a series shows the theological centre of the Exodus principle, namely, Christ and his experience.
Israel's exodus from Egypt is one of the central redemptive-historical events in the Scriptures, so central that it is the pattern for at least seven events in Scripture that may themselves be called “Exoduses.” This second article in a series outlines the exodus experiences of Isaac (Genesis 26:6-16), Jacob (Genesis 27-Genesis 31), Israel, God's people through the death and resurrection of Christ, and Peter (Acts 12).
Israel's exodus from Egypt is one of the central redemptive-historical events in the Scriptures, so central that it is the pattern for at least seven events in Scripture that may themselves be called “Exoduses.” This first article in a series determines the main elements of the exodus, and then considers how these are manifested in the events of the exodus of Abram in Genesis 12 and Genesis 20.
This article is a word study on the word faith in Scripture. It shows how someone can be saved by faith, can explain the faith, and yet be of little faith. The article then makes some applications regarding faith-ful exegesis.
This article considers the way Paul and Barnabas engaged with the Lycaonians in Acts 14:1-20. It shows that evangelism that begins with God as Creator is the point of contact to common human experience, for no one can deny that they were created. Paul argues that all men are already in the debt of a gracious God, and so are to repent of sin and place their faith in Christ. Preaching is to proclaim the Creator and Redeemer of all things.
This article offers seven reasons why we should take great delight at the fact that God is our Father, through our adoption as sons in Christ Jesus.
This article offers three pastoral encouragements to Christian parents of an unbelieving adult child: remember the seed sown in the past, pray in the present, and hope for the future.
Why is it worth longing for the day when our eyes shall see Christ? This article shows that our seeing now by faith and our seeing then by sight differ in at least three ways: now we only see Christ partially but then we shall enjoy a full view; now our view of Christ is mediated, but in the future we will revel in an immediate view of the glory of God in Christ; now our view of Christ is too often disrupted by sinful barriers, but then our view will be uninterrupted.
What is stopping you as a Christian from sinning? One of the best answers is given by Paul in Romans 6. There he points out that our sanctification cannot be separated from our justification. This article shows that Paul would have us realize that our union with Christ marks every aspect of our salvation, including our justification, sanctification, and glorification.
It has been argued that it was unjust of God to make Christ our substitute, that this was some sort of divine child abuse. This article shows that is far from so. It offers four reasons why our debt had to be paid by Christ.
This article considers eight common causes of spiritual depression. Among them are physical fatigue, neglect of the means of grace, sin, lukewarmness, and God withdrawing a sense of his delight.
In speaking about the providence of God, many Christians are reluctant to speak of secondary causes, since they think this somehow robs God of his glory. Yet this article demonstrates that God uses means to accomplish his purposes, particularly the spread of Christianity in the early church. The author discusses several conditions ideal for such a spread, and they pertain to Judaism, the Roman Empire, Greek philosophy, syncretism, and persecution.
This article considers the work of Martin Bucer, Concerning the True Care of Souls, a pastoral manual. Bucer lays out five main tasks to which carers of souls should give themselves, and this article outlines the last three: to help in the reformation of church members who have grievously sinned, to strengthen the somewhat feeble and sick in the Christian life, and to protect the healthy sheep from all offence and falling away.
This article considers the work of Martin Bucer, Concerning the True Care of Souls, a pastoral manual. Bucer lays out five main tasks to which soul-carers should give themselves, and this article outlines the first two: to bring to Christ those who are still estranged from him, and to restore to Christ those who had once been brought to him but have been drawn away again.
What is a believer to do when their spouse refuses church attendance? What is a godly wife to do when her husband refuses to join a solid church? What is a godly woman do when her husband forbids her from joining a solid church? This article offers a few thoughts for those who are in these difficult situations: we need to obey God rather than man, we are to respect our spouse, we are to be willing to be reproached for what is right, and we are to pray for the spiritual well-being of our spouse.
Every child the Lord entrusts to parents will spend an eternity either in heaven or in hell. This article offers several helpful practices for parents to put into place in order to aid their goal in being faithful stewards of these little ones.
This article explains that Christ's victory over the devil in the temptation narrative was his initial victory, after which he went around Israel casting out demons. This was how the Lord Jesus was "binding" the devil. Christ is the last Adam and true Israel, coming to take possession of the inheritance by expelling all the enemies of God.
This article speaks to the blessing that comes from a spiritual brotherhood among ministers. The author mentions tangible ways in which the Lord uses this: the imparting of wisdom through counsel, the exchange of valuable theological resources, and the extension of ministerial outreach and visitation.
This article provides some scriptural principles on how we are to give and receive commendation: praise is not for ourselves but for others, we must guard against all forms of flattery, and we must learn to honour others in the Lord.
Preaching at the funeral of someone who was almost surely an unbeliever is very difficult. This article offers a few things worth considering if you are given such an opportunity: talk about the fall, death, and judgment, exalt Christ, hold out the hope of the resurrection, emphasize the role of faith, and stay away from eulogizing.
Do you struggle with envy? Did you know that the root of envy is pride? This article offers several ways in which to put to death the sin of envy: know who you are in Christ, remember God's promises, thank God for the gifts of others, learn from the gifts and accomplishments of others, and be content with however God is pleased to use you.
This article outlines three benefits that come from the pastoral work of visiting the sick: God calls us to be servants of his people, we become reminded of the frailty of our own lives, and we realize afresh that we are entirely dependent on the Lord.
The Bible has a lot to say about mountains and their theological significance. This article shows that mountains are used as a measurement by which man may better understand the attributes of God. Mountains of importance are the Garden of Eden, the Mount of Olives, the Mount of Transfiguration, Mount Calvary, and Mount Zion.
Is it right or wise to expose children in the worship service to the deep depravity of men as revealed in various parts of Scripture? This article offers three reasons to do so: God commands it, the culture necessitates it for the defense of the faith, and our hearts need it. The article does advise sensitivity to the way in which those raw parts of Scripture are preached, and encourages ministers to help prepare the parents for what the children will hear.
This article presents five reasons to include children in the worship service: it is the pattern of Scripture, a model for the children for life, the place of God's promised blessing, an encouragement to other families, and an encouragement to the parents. The article also offers some caveats regarding infants and toddlers.
This article explores the thesis that the healing miracles of the Lord Jesus are really spiritual parables for us. It offers five observations, drawn from Herman Ridderbos' The Coming of the Kingdom, about what the miracles teach us, concluding with the note that Jesus took the sickness of his people upon himself at the cross.
How we are to harmonize the Old Testament's mention of an "everlasting" ordinance, covenant, possession, and priesthood with the New Testament's lack of continuation of these things? This article demonstrates how Christ gives all these elements their eternal significance.
What role should the fear of God play in the believer's life of obedience to God? This article explains that there is a difference between slavish fear and filial fear, and shows that godly fear belongs to the realm of sonship.
This article offers a biblical theology of clothing, starting from Genesis 3, moving ahead to the tabernacle, and then to the life of Christ. The Bible's teaching about the first and last Adam gives special colour to a biblical theology of clothing.
Studies have shown that the average pastor quits a church within his first five years of ministry there. This article offers seven things that every pastor must remember when tempted to quit.
This article provides fourteen points on how the account of Numbers 21:4-9 deepens our understanding of the gospel.
This article considers the theological significance of two garden settings in which Christ carried out his redemptive work: the Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden-tomb. Since the first Adam was called to guard and keep the Garden, and failed, the second Adam was called to do the same—and he succeeded. This article draws the redemptive-historical line from the first garden to the final garden, showing how Jesus is the heavenly gardener and we are a garden to God.
This article shows how Jesus Christ became the representative curse for us: all of the curses that God placed on Adam were taken by the second Adam, so that those who believe in him might receive all the spiritual and eternal blessings of God. The article shows the relationship between the Lord Jesus and the curse of the covenant in Paradise.
Should every sermon bring its hearers to the cross, even if Christ himself did not do so? This article shows how everything the Lord Jesus said during his earthly ministry on the way to the cross must be read in the light of what he would accomplish at the cross. Thus, preaching needs to have the blood of Christ as its focal point every time again.
In his life the Lord Jesus had to study and understand the Scriptures. How did he read and interpret the Old Testament? This article shows in four ways (in addition to part one of this article) that it was written not only about him, but also to him.
In his life the Lord Jesus had to study and understand the Scriptures. How did he read and interpret the Old Testament? This article shows in ten ways that it was written not only about him, but also to him.
What is the most important overlooked doctrine in Scripture? The author suggests that it is the doctrine of definitive sanctification. He defines what the doctrine teaches, explains why it has been overlooked, and concludes by discussing how it should affect our lives.
Why does much of the Old Testament seem so foreign to us? This article explains that often we struggle to see that all the events of the old covenant were moving forward to the death and resurrection of Christ. It takes the reader through numerous examples from the Old Testament to illustrate the point.
Does the Father love us because of his Son? It may surprise you to know that the answer is "No." This article explains why: the basis of God's love for us is his election of us.
This article shows how Luke 15:11-31 is actually the parable of the three sons. It does this by way of the immediate context as well as the redemptive-historical context.
What exactly did the Lord Jesus mean when he spoke of the cup he had to drink? This article examines what the Old Testament prophets foretold about that cup, and its impact upon the soul of the Lord when he made mention of it.
This article offers a six-step guide that assists us in understanding the New Testament's use of the Old in Hebrews 1:4-14. These steps are valuable for interpreting other instances where a New Testament text cites an Old Testament text.