Adopted Into the Family

When I was in high school, I would often go with my parents to a small, rural Baptist church. I wasn’t too interested in the traditional, country style of the worship service. My least favorite part of the service was the “fellowship time.” Every week, the song leader would sing the same chorus as people walked around the room shaking hands with everyone. You may have heard the familiar saying, “Familiarity brings contempt.” That’s what happened for me with the song we would always sing during the fellowship time. It didn’t take long to get on my nerves.

But as I began to reflect recently on the topic of our adoption into God’s family, the song popped into my head. It’s called “The Family of God.” Here’s the chorus:

I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod
For I’m part of the family, the family of God

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The Nature of True Faith

I remember her trembling voice, her tear-filled eyes, and I can still quote what would come next. Occasionally, I would push my mother to the limit with my bad behavior. In those moments, she would recite Philippians 2:12. I came to dread hearing the words: “You need to ‘work out your salvation with fear and trembling!’” She meant well. She was worried for me. I had exasperated her. But what my mom didn’t realize was that she had missed the point of the verse.

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Is Church Membership Biblical?

Is church membership biblical? 

There are many who make the argument that church membership is unbiblical because it is not specifically detailed or explicitly mentioned in the Bible. We believe this understanding to be shortsighted. Although it is true that explicit instruction for receiving members into local churches is absent from the biblical text, the concept of church membership can be clearly seen through both descriptive and prescriptive biblical texts.

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Forget Halloween. Happy Reformation Day!

I don’t celebrate Halloween. Never have. There are lots of reasons why, none of which I would want to legislate on someone else. Here are the top three:

1. Halloween was absolutely restricted in my house growing up, so I have no nostalgia attached to this dark “holiday.”

2. I’m not into spooky stuff. It’s not my thing. Never has been. Never will be. I don’t like horror movies for the same reason I don’t like super spicy foods: when I’m trying to enjoy myself, I don’t want to be uncomfortable.

3. My wife grew up the same way, so we have no interest in celebrating Halloween as a holiday.

To be sure, there are other, more personal reasons. But despite my ambivalence toward Halloween, I still get really excited about October 31st. Why, you ask? Because it’s Reformation Day!

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Christians Leak

My dad likes to say that “Christians leak.” That’s why, he argues, we attend worship services weekly. We need to be reminded, time and again, of the truths of Scripture. We tend to forget God’s power and goodness as the stresses and pains of the world assail us between Monday and Saturday. 

As we are unable to gather to be reminded in person of God’s glory, and as we face uncertain days ahead, allow me to offer a quick reminder of several foundational truths.

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Recommended Resources: Understanding the Trinity

My pastor is currently preaching through John’s Gospel, which deals often with the doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine is supernatural, mysterious, and difficult to comprehend. It is difficult because there is nothing in all the natural, created world that perfectly illustrates or explains the Triune nature of God. All our analogies, similes, metaphors, and illustrations fail because God is distinct, unique, and altogether holy.

Since the subject is so difficult, I thought it would be helpful to give you a handful of simple, easy-to-grasp tools to help you understand the doctrine of the Trinity a bit better.

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RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Identifying False Teachers

At our church, we preach through books of the Bible. We often proclaim that “nothing is better for God’s people than God’s Word.” And we feel the best way to preach God’s Word to God’s people is by working systematically through books of the Bible. Right now, we are learning from Paul’s letter to Titus.

In his letter, Paul gives instructions to Titus as he endeavors to organize and strengthen the church on the island of Crete. One major problem he will encounter is false teachers. Tonight, I preached Titus 1:10–2:1, wherein Paul condemns heretical teachers and instructs his protégé on how to handle them. In preparation for the message, I came across two excellent videos on identifying false teachers and discerning truth from error.

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