People are always desiring to have their ears tickled at the expense of the truth (2 Tim. 4:3), and preachers who are willing to cater to that desire abound in our narcissistic, entertainment driven culture. When we tamper with the truth of God's Word, we empty the gospel of its divine power because the wisdom of this world and the true wisdom of God are diametrically opposed.
Unity in the local church is of utmost importance to the Lord Jesus. Because Christians are united to Him, they are united to one another. Yet sadly, due to our pride, we fail to behave in a way that is consistent with this blessed identity and strife and division run rampant. How can we guard ourselves against disunity?
"Every good and perfect gift is from above..." Yet we are so prone to think that we are responsible for our successes, and look to point the finger of blame when things don't go our way. Through his example of thankfulness, the Apostle Paul directs our attention to the bountiful blessings that are ours in Christ which should cause us to always give thanks to God, and therefore to be humble.
Christians enjoy a blessed position of holiness before God by no merit of our own. Through our union with Christ we have been sanctified once for all, yet we are called to live that position out practically. Practical change begins in the heart, and holiness comes through humility.
God has been gracious to reveal Himself to us, not only through the skies, but through the Scriptures. It is only in the pages of the Bible that we find who He is, who we are, and what He has done to reconcile us to Himself. When we rightly respond to this revelation, His glory is revealed in us!
God has been gracious to reveal Himself to us, not only through the skies, but through the Scriptures. It is only in the pages of the Bible that we find who He is, who we are, and what He has done to reconcile us to Himself. When we rightly respond to this revelation, His glory is revealed in us!
God has not left Himself without a witness. The heavens declare His glory in a general sense, and His Word is His special revelation that tells us not only who He is, but who we are, and what He has done to redeem a people for Himself. As a reflection of who He is, God's Word is His powerful and sufficient means both to save and to sanctify His own.
Life is oftentimes hard, and sometimes it seems almost unbearable. It is at these times we are prone to spiral downward into despondency and doubt. How do we reconcile the fact that God is good with the overwhelming circumstances we face?
The biblical concept of repentance includes an acknowledgment of sin and the need to turn away from it and to turn to Christ for forgiveness and cleansing. When repentance is genuine, it brings about a resolve in the soul to no longer live for oneself, but for the Lord, understanding that God is not interested in outward change that does not flow first from a heart that has been transformed by the gospel.
Psalm 51 provides five basic aspects of genuine repentance. As King David pours out his heart to the Lord, he takes us by the hand, as it were, and walks us through what repentance looks like in shoe leather.
The 1689 Baptist Confession states that, "although there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation, yet there is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation to them that repent, which makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary." Psalm 51 is a divine primer for penitents; a guidebook to help those who have come to understand their helplessness in applying themselves to genuine repentance.
The Bible teaches that God not only hates sin, but that by His very nature he can have no fellowship with it (Is. 59:2). If everyone has sinned—and they have (Rom. 3:23)—how is anyone going to stand before the Lord?
Discouragement can take many different forms, but it always tends toward the same end of veiling the goodness of God from our eyes. In Psalm 42, we have the divinely-provided cure for discouragement through the experience and the inspired pen of David.
If you could sum up the Christian life, what would it look like? The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, answers that question with a closing summary of his letter to Titus: believers are to be devoted to good works, God's word, and God's people.
These three words ring sweetly in the ears of those who have experienced this indescribable gift. But how are we saved? And what motivated God to save us? Meditating on the answers to these questions will make all the difference in how we work out what God has called us to do in response to His amazing grace.
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