Do you, like me, have family members who do not believe in Jesus? If so, we are in good company. So did Jesus. And I think this is meant to give us hope.
According to the Apostle John, “not even his brothers believed in him” (John 7:5). That’s incredible. Those who had lived with Jesus for 30 years really did not know him. Not one of Jesus’ brothers is mentioned as a disciple during his pre-crucifixion ministry. But after his resurrection and ascension, there they are in the upper room worshiping him as God (Acts 1:14).
Why didn’t they believe? And what made them change?
The Bible doesn’t answer the first question. But I’ll bet it was difficult to have Jesus for a brother.…
Some good advice for the aging over at Jay Adams’ blog. He reflects on turning eighty.
Prepare for old age. True, you may never make it; there are former students of mine who have died already. If you don’t have some activity that you can engage in for the Lord, you will probably end up a sour and regretful old person.
The introductory “Word to the Reader” of Today’s New International Version (TNIV) says, “Among the more programmatic changes in the TNIV are the removal of...most instances of the generic use of masculine nouns and pronouns.”
NIV: “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
TNIV: “If a brother or sister sins against you [added] rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
- 1 Corinth…
J. Gresham Machen saw in 1933 what many are trying to say today about the need for private education.
The only way in which a state-controlled school can be kept even relatively healthy is through the absolutely free possibility of competition by private schools and church schools; if it once becomes monopolistic, it is the most effective engine of tyranny and intellectual stagnation that has yet been devised. (J. Gresham Machen: Selected Shorter Writings, 167)
J. Gresham Machen was not persuaded as so many seem to be today that revival and reformation will come to the church only after all the churches in a city experience more “unity.”
That has always seemed backward to me. If the churches had deep unity in the truth and in the Spirit, that would be revival and reformation—amazing reformation! Unity of the kind we need is one of the miracles of God’s reviving and reforming work.
And even when great revivals have come, along with new unity there was new division.
In the mean time faithfulness to the gospel and love for people, no matter how controversial, is the path to reformation.
Souls will hardly…
J. Gresham Machen, one of the great proclaimers and defenders of the Christian faith in the early 20th century, went through a season of fearful doubt on his way to solid confidence. Remarkably, it was his mother who spoke one of the decisive words of rescue. He tells the story:
The question is not merely whether we can rest in our faith, but whether we can rest in the doubt that is the necessary alternative of faith. We pass sometimes through periods of very low spiritual vitality. The wonderful gospel which formerly seemed to be so glorious comes to seem almost like an idle tale. Hosts of objections arise in our minds; the whole unseen world recedes in the dim distance, and w…
The last 12 verses of Romans 8 (verses 28–39) are the biblical Himalayas, and Romans 8:32 is Mount Everest.
[God] did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Stand in awe of this verse. Step back and view the whole range, and then focus your gaze on the highest peak. And then reorient your thinking about life’s hardest times and deepest pains.
The reason why Romans 8:32 is so breathtakingly amazing is that it combines all the most massive promises of God for his people with the (seemingly) simple reality of the gospel. In Romans 8:32, the apostle Paul takes God’s most far-reaching, hope…
There is such a thing as unconditional love in God, but it’s not what most people mean by it.
- It’s not a saving love that he has for everybody. Else everybody would be saved, since they would not have to meet any conditions, not even faith. But Jesus said everybody is not saved (Matthew 25:46).
- It’s not the love that justifies sinners since the Bible says we are justified by faith, and faith is a condition (Romans 5:1).
- It’s not the love of working all things together for our good because Paul says that happens “to those who love God” (Romans 8:28).
- It’s not the love of the most intimate fellowship with the Father because Jesus said, “H…
This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I mean that. Don Carson, one of the most respected, faithful, competent, compelling, and understandable biblical scholars in the world will do what he has never done before and will probably never do again.
At the north campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church, over the next two weekends, starting at 6:30 P. M. Friday, February 20, Dr. Carson will lead a free 12 hour seminar that takes you through the whole Bible and puts the whole great story together.
If you are in or near the Twin Cities I encourage you to come. I promise you, you will never read the Bible the same after seeing how it all fits together with Dr. Carson’s help.
Ask your non-Chr…
It is important that we know the nature of the evil in our hearts.
Do you think the essence of your evil is disobeying commandments? That’s a good start. But it’s not the essence of our evil. Commands simply name the evil and its fruits, and tell us not to do them.
The essence of our evil is that we prefer anything to God (Romans 1:23; 2:23). Commands do not create the possibility of evil. Commands name it.
Long before we are told not to covet, we covet. Disobeying the command, “Thou shalt not covet,” is not equivalent to the evil of coveting. The evil of coveting is there first, and then is compounded by the transgression of the commandment not to covet.
Paul said, “I wou…