Contrived Humility Vs. Humility from Faith

Mark Priestap

Have you ever found yourself in prayer pleading a case before God when you suddenly get a sick feeling that either God is not listening or he’s not willing to hear you? What do you do when that happens? Hopefully you haven’t followed my example.

I have recently become painfully aware of a tendency of mine, when feeling inadequate to approach God, to try to bend his will through tears and contrite statements. Knowing that God will not despise a humble and contrite... Continue Reading

How Can God Decree Sin Without Sinning?

Tyler Kenney
How Can God Decree Sin Without Sinning?

Jonathan Edwards offers his explanation. (See below for my attempt at restating him.)

That we should say, that God has decreed every action of men, yea, every action that they do that is sinful, and every circumstance of those actions . . . and yet that God does not decree the actions that are sinful as sinful, but decrees [them] as good, is really consistent.

We do not mean by decreeing an action as sinful, the same as decreeing an action so that it shall be sinful;... Continue Reading

Why the Law Makes Us Want to Sin More

Tyler Kenney
Why the Law Makes Us Want to Sin More

Jonathan Edwards explains why Romans 7:8—"But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness"—happens.

[The] reason why man has the more strong inclination to moral evil when forbidden, is because obedience is submission and subjection, and the commandment is obligation. But natural corruption is against submission and obligation, but loves the lowest kind of liberty as one of those apparent goods that it seeks; and when he... Continue Reading

Free Bodies, Bound Wills

Tyler Kenney
Free Bodies, Bound Wills

True and saving faith in Christ is not a thing out of the power of man, but infinitely easy. 'Tis entirely in a man's power to submit to Jesus Christ as a Savior, if he will; but the thing is, it never will be that he should will it, except God works it in him.

—Jonathan Edwards, from Miscellanies #71

Edwards draws a distinction here between two kinds of ability:

  1. Physical ability – having the external means with which to do something, and
  2. Moral ability – having the internal will or... Continue Reading

Thank you, Dad. And Goodbye.

Jon Bloom
Thank you, Dad. And Goodbye.

Today we are burying my father, Marlin Bloom. He died at 8:16 PM on July 8th, just days short of his 78th birthday. Having battled numerous health issues over the years, his body simply wore out. Dad’s wish was to be cremated, and since my brother and his family were traveling to Asia just days after Dad died, we postponed the memorial service until they returned.

Dad was born July 19, 1932, to Elmer and Merle Bloom on a farm in central Minnesota. But he spent most of his... Continue Reading

Young, Restless & Reformed Cake

Jon Bloom
Young, Restless & Reformed Cake

A good friend forwarded me this photo of a seminary student’s groom cake. I had never heard of a “groom’s cake” before. But even if I’d seen 100 others, I doubt any would beat this. Man, I wish I could have had a piece of that!

This was probably made to look like the pile beside his bed. Of course, if they were piled in priority I’m sure he’d switch the middle and bottom books around…

Recommended Reading for Recovering Sinners

Mark Priestap

As a follow up to my post on Tuesday, I wanted to share some resources from old saints that have provided the most help in keeping God a priority for me and my family.

1) Sweet Comfort for Feeble Saints, by C. H. Spurgeon

No sermon I can think of has been more influential in convincing me of the goodness of Christ and my own redemption than this one. If you are constantly in the “Slough of Despond” I highly recommend this.

2) Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure... Continue Reading

Grace: Right Here, Right Now

Paul Tripp
Grace: Right Here, Right Now

Do you understand the majesty and practicality of the grace you have been given? If you don't, in subtle and not so subtle ways, you are looking to other things to get you through. You don't need to go out searching for hope and help, because they are already yours in the resources of grace that you have been given as God's child.

Grace is the most transformational word in the Bible. The entire content of the Bible is a narrative of God's grace, a story of undeserved redemption.... Continue Reading

An Admonition to Workaholics

Mark Priestap

Allow me to speak personally for a moment about a sin that long festered in my life: forsaking the means of grace in my home, sacrificing them on the altar of vocational work.

In my profession, it is customary to work long hours to meet deadlines (often multiple overlapping deadlines). And since the work is not back-breaking labor, it is easy to slowly get entangled in it until I find that I have spent an entire year working such long hours that I have forsaken the first things... Continue Reading

One of the Greatest Blockheads in the World

Tyler Kenney
One of the Greatest Blockheads in the World

Seeing the devil is so cunning and subtile, it may seem a paradox, why he will endeavor to frustrate the designs of an omniscient being, or to pretend to counterwork him that is omnipotent, and will not suffer anything but what is for his own glory: seeing that God turns everything he does to the greater and more illustrious advancement of His own honor, and seeing he has experience of it, for so long a time, [that] all his deep laid contrivances have at last... Continue Reading