Sinclair Ferguson's Four Steps to Kill Sin

Josh Etter

From the January 2007 edition of Tabletalk:

1. Learn to admit sin for what it really is.

Call a spade a spade — call it 'sexual immorality,' not 'I’m being tempted a little'; call it 'impurity,' not 'I’m struggling with my thought life'; call it 'evil desire, which is idolatry,' not 'I think I need to order my priorities a bit better.'

2. See sin for what your sin really is in God’s presence.

'On account of these the wrath of God is coming' (Col. 3:6). The masters of... Continue Reading

Christ Died to Sin and Lives to God

John Piper
Christ Died to Sin and Lives to God

“The death he died he died to sin, once for all,
but the life he lives he lives to God”
(Romans 6:10).

How are sin and God coordinate in this text? Died to sin. Lives to God.

Sin causes death;
God causes life.

Sin is the sting of death—gives death its eternal horror;
God is the spring of life—gives life it eternal glory.

Christ's death was infinitely effective in nullifying the miseries of sin;
Christ's life is infinitely effective in confirming the ecstasies of God.

... Continue Reading

Ready for Work This Week?

Josh Etter
Ready for Work This Week?

John Calvin:

It is an error to think that those who flee worldly affairs and engage in contemplation are leading an angelic life. . . We know that men were created to busy themselves with labor and that no sacrifice is more pleasing to God than when each one attends to his calling and studies well to live for the common good (Calvin's Commentaries, Luke 10:38).

Martin Luther:

A cobbler, a smith, a farmer, each has the work and office of his trade, and yet they are all alike... Continue Reading

Letter to an Incomplete, Insecure Teenager

John Piper
Letter to an Incomplete, Insecure Teenager

Four years ago a teenager in our church wrote to me for advice about life in general, and identity in particular. Here is what I wrote, with a big dose of autobiography for illustration.

Dear ________,

My experience of coming out of an introverted, insecure, guilty, lustful, self-absorbed adolescent life was more like the emergence of a frog from a tadpole than a butterfly from a larva.

Larvae disappear into their cocoons and privately experience some inexplicable... Continue Reading

Why Love for God Is Not a Vague Feeling

Jonathan Parnell
Why Love for God Is Not a Vague Feeling

St. Augustine prays:

My love of you, O Lord, is not some vague feeling: it is positive and certain. Your word struck into my heart and from that moment I loved you. Besides this, all about me, heaven and earth and all that they contain proclaim that I should love you, and their message never ceases to sound in the ears of all mankind, so that there is no excuse for any not to love you. But, more than all this, you will show pity on those whom you pity; you will show... Continue Reading

We Destroy Arguments

Jon Bloom
We Destroy Arguments

Why is it so hard to just find some peace of mind?

Well, peace is hard to come by when you live in a warzone. And like it or not you are in a war—a very serious one. This war is cosmic in its proportions. It involves God, humans, angels, demons, principalities, powers, nations, and antichrists.

And do you know where the front of the battle is? It’s in your head.

Here is how Paul describes it in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the... Continue Reading

Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)

Rachel Jankovic
Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)

A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”

She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”

Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you... Continue Reading

Indulge My Effusive Overflow for a Dead Friend

John Piper
Indulge My Effusive Overflow for a Dead Friend

I read Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “Christ’s Agony.” Stunning. I could not stop till I was done. So penetrating. So full of wine from the crushing and wringing of these grape-texts. So many questions posed. Such answers!

It is simply amazing to me that almost all of Edwards’ published works are available online, or in multiple Kindle editions (for $.99 or $1.99, the one I have).

May God touch you as deeply as he has me—and more—as you linger in the kind of... Continue Reading

How to Think About Your Conscience

Josh Etter

J. I. Packer writes:

It is a universal experience that conscience is largely autonomous in its operation; though sometimes we can suppress or stifle it, it normally speaks independently of our will, and sometimes, indeed, contrary to our will. And when it speaks, it is in a strange way distinct from us; it stands over us, addressing us with an absoluteness of authority which we did not give it and which we cannot take from it. To personify conscience and treat it as God's... Continue Reading