Created, Saved and Sanctified — For His Name's Sake

Josh Etter

Three biblical texts to show God's zeal for his name's sake:

We are created for God's name's sake:

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory (Isaiah 43:6-7).

We are saved for God's name's sake:

I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out (Ezekiel 20:14).

We are sanctified for God's name's... Continue Reading

Spurgeon on the Emergent Church

Josh Etter
Spurgeon on the Emergent Church

There is nothing new under the under the sun. Charles Spurgeon addresses the theological liberalism of his (and our) day:

Mark you, in proportion as the modern theology is preached the vice of this generation increases. To a great degree I attribute the looseness of the age to the laxity of the doctrine preached by its teachers. From the pulpit they have taught the people that sin is a trifle. From the pulpit these traitors to God and to his Christ have taught the people that... Continue Reading

No More Scarlet Letters

Jon Bloom
No More Scarlet Letters

W. Somerset Maugham once said, “There is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.”

With networks and newspapers broadcasting another New York Congressman’s sordid sexual secrets, and the public in a swirl of surprise and horror (and prurient fascination), it’s good for us to ponder again the profound grace that Jesus Christ extends to sinners like us, guilty of shameful things.

History has tended to give Mary... Continue Reading

Should I Want to Be "Such a Worm?"

John Piper
Should I Want to Be "Such a Worm?"

I tweeted this morning that I would like to be "such a worm". I said: "William Carey died today 1834. Epitaph: 'A wretched poor and helpless worm, on thy kind arms I fall.' O to be such a worm!"

Not everyone thinks it is biblically sound to call a new creature in Christ a worm, let alone to aspire to be one. It's a good question.

First of all, my meaning: I want to be "such a worm"—a William-Carey-type worm. That is, an indomitable servant of Jesus, who, in spite of... Continue Reading

Joy in God Is the Heart of Mission

Jonathan Parnell

The glory of God — and our joy in him — is the heart of mission.

John Piper writes,

The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God. "The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!" (Psalm 97:1). "Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! (Psalm 67:3-4). . . Missions begins and ends in worship.

(Let the Nations Be Glad, 3rd ed. [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010],... Continue Reading

Lowering Standards for Leadership Roles in the Church

Michael Johnson
Lowering Standards for Leadership Roles in the Church

Piper on lowering standards to fill church leadership roles:

The acceptability of a church lowering its standards in order to fill leadership roles is this: "low" is partly relative, isn't it?

If you have a church that's made up mainly of long-term, seasoned, wise, mature, Bible-knowing Christians, your standards of who should lead in that group are going to be high, because in order to lead you have to be ahead of somebody.

In a church made up of newer... Continue Reading

Biblical Theology and Church Picnics

Michael Johnson
Biblical Theology and Church Picnics

Early on in Piper’s pastorate, he articulated some theological reasons for having church picnics:

If picnics don’t have to do with God we may as well close up shop. Eitherallwe do has to do with God or he is not God. “Whether you eat or drink, orwhateveryou do (like picnics), doallto the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Here are his main points:

Meeting as a church out-of-doors is an affirmation and celebration of God as creator of the world;

Informal togetherness,... Continue Reading

Four Ways We Forget the Lord

Josh Etter
Four Ways We Forget the Lord

David Powlison has written that "the only way we ever sin is by suppressing God, by forgetting, by tuning out his voice, switching channels, and listening to other voices. When you actually remember, you actually change. In fact, remembering is the first change."

Here are four examples from the Bible of how we actively forget God:

  1. By forgetting God's past works of salvation: "then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of... Continue Reading

Hearing with Faith on Sunday

Jonathan Parnell
Hearing with Faith on Sunday

Charles Spurgeon writes,

. . . the real reason why God's people do not feed under a gospel ministry, is, because they have not faith. If you believed, if you did but hear one promise, that would be enough; if you only heard one good thing from the pulpit here would be food for your soul, for it is not the quantity we hear, but the quantity we believe, that does us good—it is that which we receive into our hearts with true and lively faith, that is our profit (excerpted from "The... Continue Reading