The Purpose of the Law

Law in the Old Testament Does it confuse you when preachers and teachers talk about the law of God? I wouldn’t blame you for the angst if you find such terminology to be a kind of Christianese that everyone is supposed to understand but doesn’t. If you count yourself among the perplexed, this post is […]

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God Helps Those Who…

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader? During the COVID pandemic, my family has discovered reruns of the game show, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? The kids on the program are great, with fun personalities and lots of knowledge. The adult contestants may be equally winsome, but so far, not one has been smarter […]

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A Game-Changing Way to Pray

A Brief Review Two weeks ago, we started a summer series of posts using the metaphor of a computer that needs to be shut down in order to be rebooted to its original system settings. That really is the opportunity for local churches in 2020. Having been shut down, we have a chance to revisit […]

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The Grace of Surrender

One of the most memorable events in my childhood was living through the New Madrid Earthquake of March 1976 in Memphis, Tennessee. While not as well-known as the San Andreas Fault, the New Madrid seismic zone extends 150 miles south from Cairo, Illinois, through New Madrid, Missouri, to Marked Tree, Arkansas. It reaches into Kentucky […]

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The Sanctifying Spirit

In the early 2000s, Judge Michael Eakin became famous for delivering his verdicts with poetic justice. Literally poetic. For example, in a Pennsylvania Supreme Court case involving a woman who claimed a lie about an engagement ring should void her prenuptial agreement, Eakin ruled,  “A groom must expect matrimonial pandemonium / when his spouse finds he’s given her […]

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Hand-Picked: the Spirit of Adoption

It has been over twenty years since I read the article in Tabletalk Magazine. I don’t remember the author’s name or what the piece was about, but I do remember at least part of the author’s bio. He was the father of seven children, in his words, “three home-grown and four hand-picked.” By hand-picked he was […]

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The Power We Need

Last week, just after our family finished supper and was transitioning from the dining room into the den to play a board game, without warning the power went out. There was no wind. No severe weather. So, we took it in stride, lit some candles, and started the game. Several hours later, again without warning, […]

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7 Strands of Grace

The Ordo SalutisIn What is the Gospel: Part 1, we explored the gospel in macro. In part 2, we’ll dig a bit deeper into the micro aspects of God’s grace in order to untangle a variety of strands that have left some believers confused over the years.The tool we will use is called the Ordo Salutis, […]

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What is Wrong with the World?

The Bubonic PlagueIn the mid-14th century, a bacterium called yersinia pestis was carried by fleas from Asia to Europe, being transported on rats that commonly infested merchant ships. As these ships arrived in ports such as Constantinople, Marseilles, and Barcelona, the rats would disembark, carrying the infected fleas through Europe. And the Bubonic Plague was born.Estimates put […]

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Should You Really Trust an Ancient Religious Document to Guide Your Life in the Modern World?

There are times in our lives when it will feel like we are in the dark as the fog descends and we can’t see the horizon. We will experience a spiritual form of spatial disorientation, where, because of the emotions associated with fear, guilt or peer pressure, we will be tempted to steer the plane […]

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What is the Fundamental Entrance Requirement for Membership in the Kingdom of God?

Anyone who applies for admission to a university knows that there are entrance requirements. Typically, you have to have an accredited high school diploma. There is often a standardized test minimum score requirement. Sometimes, essays are required as well as participation in extracurricular activities and community service.In this post, we are going to talk about […]

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What if Jesus is Still Buried?

Introduction – 1 Corinthians 15:12-32 “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, but if true, is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”In that statement, C.S. Lewis, the Oxford professor and author of the Narnia books, challenges us to re-evaluate our assumptions.  What would make Christianity either true or false? What is […]

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The Grace of Adoption

We must not leave our gospel introduction before we see how union with Jesus by faith is not merely a legal issue. We are not merely given a new status as fully forgiven, perfectly righteous humans.We are engrafted into a new relationship with God as adopted sons and daughters. The gospel is not merely about […]

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God’s Work For Us Versus In Us

In the grade exchange, Jesus does the work and we get the credit. He studies; we succeed. This is called justifying grace, where God works for us. However, there is another kind of grace that takes place when God begins to work in us. This is called sanctifying grace, where God indwells his people in […]

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The Grade Exchange

In our last post, we discovered that God requires perfection. But we have all failed the test… and miserably.  But there is hope!  This hope is what I call grade exchange. Here is how it works. I fail the exam and Jesus makes a perfect score. As the grades are being handed out, Jesus stands up and […]

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