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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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!

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

Know Your Heart

Disclaimer: Some parts of this blog involve me divulging information about myself of which I am not proud.  Sometimes I plumb the depths of my depraved heart for the edification of the reader, even at times at the detriment of my reputation.  But the truth is that I just want to be real with the reader.  I want you to know that everyone struggles and we are all in need of God’s grace every single day.  So, what I’ve written below is a somewhat embarrassing disclosure of some ugly parts of my heart.  But I write with a purpose…that you may walk with the Spirit.

Continue reading →