Give to the One Who Begs from You (Part 2)

Jon Bloom

In myprevious postI reflected on this verse:"Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42). And the comments have been very thoughtful and helpful.

It's a breathtaking command, isn't it? Typical Jesus.If he doesn't knock the wind out of us occasionally, we're not really listening to him.

Just a clarifying thought.

Like the friends who commented, I too wrestle in the specifics of obeying this command. And in my... Continue Reading

Twin City Congregation Votes to Leave ELCA

John Piper

A few blocks from my home Roland Wells, a courageous and compassionate Lutheran pastor who has served over twenty faithful years in our inner-city neighborhood, announced today that the church he leads, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, will leave the ELCA because of the recent decision of the Churchwide Asssembly concerning the ordination of those practicing homosexual behaviors.

This is not an easy thing to do. Nor was it done precipitously. I point to it... Continue Reading

I Have Not Always Obeyed This Command

Jon Bloom

"Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42).

I confess, I have not always obeyed this command.

I'm a veteran urban-dweller. Having lived in an inner city neighborhood for 18 years, I've encountered many beggers and borrowers. Some I discerned as cons I have called out or waved off. Some I have hired to do work. Others I've given to because I felt the conviction of this text.

I've thought a lot about this command... Continue Reading

Rebuilding Some Basics of Bethlehem: The Doctrines of Grace

John Piper

We believe that these 5 truths are biblical and therefore true. Webelieve that they magnify God’s precious grace and give unspeakable joyto sinners who have despaired of saving themselves.

Total Depravity

Our sinful corruption is so deep and so strong as to make us slavesof sin and morally unable to overcome our own rebellion and blindness.This inability to save ourselves from ourselves is total. We are utterly dependent on God’s grace to overcome... Continue Reading

A 250-yr-old Model: How Calvinist Simeon Related to Wesley

John Piper

Today, 250 years ago a great pastor was born, Charles Simeon. He was called to Trinity Church, Cambridge in May of 1782. And he endured fruitfully there through much fire for 54 years until his death November 13, 1836.

Simeon never married. He "had deliberately and resolutely chosen the…celibacy of a Fellowship that he might…better work for God at Cambridge" (Moule, Charles Simeon, 111).

His greatest influence was probably through sustained biblical... Continue Reading

The Goodness of God and the Fear of God

John Piper

Consider two important truths in Psalm 31:19.

Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!

1. The goodness of the Lord.

There is a peculiar goodness of God. That is, there is not only God’s general goodness that he shows to all people, making his sun rise on the evil and the good (Matthew 5:45), but also a peculiar goodness for “those who fear... Continue Reading

The Impossibility of Drinking Too Much

David Mathis

A sinner can’t over-drink at God’s oasis—the fountain of life in the cross of his Son. Calvin explains:

[In the Bible] we read not of any having been blamed for drinking too much of the fountain of living water; on the contrary, those are severely reprimanded who ‘have hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water’ (Jeremiah 2:13).

Again, what more agreeable to faith

  • than to feel assured that God is a propitious Father when Christ is acknowledged... Continue Reading

Listen to Augustine Pray

Jon Bloom

I've been listening to Augustine's Confessions while doing yard work and exercising. It's been 8-9 years since I read the book and was blown away. The entire book is written as a prayer to God. Listening to it is a different experience.

It's listening to Augustine pray. And listening to him confess his sins, struggles, and intellectual wrestlings in this spiritual autobiography reminds me just how similar we are to our ancient brothers and sisters. As he talks to his Savior I hear... Continue Reading

Abortion and Minnesota Laws on Cruelty to Animals

John Piper

In the “Minnesota Cruelty to Animals Statutes . . . Police Regulations,” Statute 343.21 subdivision 1 says, “No person shall . . . unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate or kill any animal.”

Subdivision 7 says, “No person shall willfully instigate or in any way further any act of cruelty to any animal.”

The penalty: “A person who fails to comply with any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Question: If the eight-week-old human fetus (with... Continue Reading

Battling for the Unborn and Unborn-again

John Piper

In the most recent Christianity Today (“Sex, Lies, and Abortion,” Sept. 2009, p. 78) Dinesh D’Souza explains why pro-life arguments for the humanity of the unborn don’t carry the day.

Why then, in the face of its bad arguments, does the pro-choice movement continue to prevail legally and politically?

I think it's because abortion is the debris of the sexual revolution. . . .

In order to have a sexual revolution, women must have the same sexual autonomy as man.... Continue Reading