Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Inexpressible Gift

The Inexpressible Gift
from Of First Importance by fredeaton

“What we see at the cross is the white-hot revelation of the character of God, of his love providing the price that holiness requires. The cross was his means of redeeming lost sinners and reconciling them to himself, but it was also a profound disclosure of his mercy. It is, in Paul’s words, an ‘inexpressible gift’ that leads us to wonder and worship, to praise and adore the God who has given himself to us in this way.”

- David F. Wells, The Courage to be Protestant

Monday, November 17, 2008

holiness must only be seen through grace

“Biblical holiness begins with the Holy. But the holy, by its very nature, can be approached only when we come as sinners. He is never accessible to us as consumers. We come in sackcloth and ashes, not as buyers. Indeed, we cannot approach the Holy at all on our own terms. We must see that the Holy has first approached us in Christ and, through him, reconciled us to himself.

The revelation of the Holy would be unbearable were we to see it in any other way than from within Christ. In Christ, what we are seeing is God’s holiness in its action on our sin. Without Christ we would have to bear that judgment in ourselves What we see instead is holiness coming down in grace and, in Christ, going forth against our sin in triumph.”

- David F. Wells

Friday, November 14, 2008

The stone will be rolled away for each of us

“He came back.

After that brutal Friday, and that long, quiet Saturday, he came back.

And that one intake of breath in the tomb changes everything. It changes the very reason I drew breath today and the way I move about in this world because I believe he’s coming back again. The world has gone on for more than two millennia since Jesus’ feet tread the earth he made. What would they have said back then if someone had told them that some two thousand years later we’d still be waiting? They would’ve thought back to that long Saturday and said, ‘Two thousand years will seem like a breath to you when you finally lay your crown at his feet. We don’t even remember what we were doing on that Saturday, but let me tell you about Sunday morning. Now that was something.’

These many years of waiting will only be a sentence in the story. This long day will come to an end, and I believe it will end in glory, when we will shine like suns and stride the green hills with those we love and the One who loves. We will look with our new eyes and speak with our new tongues and turn to each other and say, ‘Do you remember the waiting? The long years, the bitter pain, the gnawing doubt, the relentless ache?’ And like Mary at the tomb, we will say: ‘I remember only the light, and the voice calling my name, and the overwhelming joy that the waiting was finally over.’

The stone will be rolled away for each of us. May we wait with faithful hearts.”

—Andrew Peterson, CD liner notes for Resurrection Letters Volume II (Centricity Music: 2008)

HT: - First Importance by Bart

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2 great quotes on grace

“Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride.

Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair.

Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because he shows us both God and our own wretchedness.”

- Blaise Pascal

“When our depravity meets his divinity it is a beautiful collision.”

—David Crowder

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Wrong Righteousness

“Before you can ever make a clean and unamended confession of your sin, you have to first begin by confessing your righteousness. It’s not just your sin that separates you from God; your righteousness does as well. Because, when you are convinced you are righteous, you don’t seek the forgiving, rescuing, and restoring mercy that can be found only in Jesus Christ.”

- Paul David Tripp

from Of First Importance by fredeaton

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


by R.C. Sproul

After expressing adoration, we must come with hearts of confession. Remember that we have no right to come before God at all, apart from the finished work of Christ. We can make no claim, in and of ourselves, to the ear of God. We have no intrinsic right to his presence. The Scriptures tell us that God is too holy to even look at sin. God delights in the prayers of the righteous, but we are not very righteous in our daily lives. Nevertheless, the God we serve invites us into his presence in spite of our sin.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The blessing of Christ’s kingly office for us

“The happiness promised us in Christ does not consist in outward advantages—such as leading a joyous and peaceful life, having rich possessions, being safe from all harm, and abounding with delights such as the flesh commonly longs after. No, our happiness belongs to the heavenly life.

Christ enriches his people with all things necessary for the eternal salvation of souls and fortifies them with courage to stand unconquerable against all the assaults of spiritual enemies. From this we infer that he rules—inwardly and outwardly—more for our own sake than his.

Thus it is that we may patiently pass through this life with its misery, hunger, cold, contempt, reproaches, and other troubles—content with this one thing: that our King will never leave us destitute, but will provide for our needs until, our warfare ended, we are called to triumph.”

—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion,
from Of First Importance

Monday, September 15, 2008


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

laughing baby

So cute.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

gospel-motivated love

“When my mind is fixed on the gospel, I have ample stimulation to show God’s love to other people. For I am always willing to show love to others when I am freshly mindful of the love that God has shown me. Also, the gospel gives me the wherewithal to give forgiving grace to those who have wronged me, for it reminds me daily of the forgiving grace that God is showing me.

Doing good and showing love to those who have wronged me is always the opposite of what my sinful flesh wants me to do. Nonetheless, when I remind myself of my sins against God and of His forgiveness and generous grace toward me, I give the gospel an opportunity to reshape my perspective and to put me in a frame of mind wherein I actually desire to give this same grace to those who have wronged me.”

- Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians

Thursday, August 21, 2008

all are guilty and all are forgiven

“Jesus shocked the established authorities by being a friend to all—not only to the destitute and hungry, but also to those rich extortioners, the tax-collectors, whom all decent people ostracized … The shocking thing was not that he sided with the poor against the rich but that he met everyone equally with the same unlimited mercy and the same unconditioned demand for total loyalty.

If we look at the end of his earthly ministry, at the cross, it is clear that Jesus was rejected by all—rich and poor, rulers and people—alike. Before the cross of Jesus there are no innocent parties. The cross is not for some and against others. It is the place where all are guilty and all are forgiven.”

—Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Devil's Condemnation vs. The Spirit's Conviction

When you belong to the King, how can you discern the difference between the Devil's condemnation and the Spirit's conviction? How can you determine if you are in the bogus courtroom or the real one?

In the real courtroom:

* you know your good deeds are not enough
* your hope is in Christ alone for your deliverance
* when convicted of sins, you are pointed past your sins and on to Christ
* the last word is always hope.

In the Devil's courtroom:

* the attention is all on your sins
* you stand and fall on your own behavior
* you are alone without an advocate
* questions are raised about the extent of God's forgiveness.

- Ed Welch
from Buzzard Blog

What is the church in a nutshell?

The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and sanctification center, where flawed people place their trust in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he has designed. The church is messy and inefficient, but it is God's wonderful mess -- the place where he radically transforms hearts and lives.

- Paul Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands

True Repentance

“Repentance has nothing to do with what man has done. Rather it is man’s coming undone in respect to all human righteousness, followed by his going outside himself in faith to Christ alone for salvation.”

- C. John Miller, Repentance and 21st Century Man

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Spirit and the Cross

“Truly to grasp that the eternal God, our Maker and Judge, has out of inexpressible grace sent his Son to die the odious death of an abominated criminal in order that we might be forgiven and reconciled to him; that this wise plan was effected by sinful leaders who thought they were controlling events and who were operating out of selfish expediency, while in fact God was bringing about his own good, redemptive purposes; that our only hope of life in the presence of this holy and loving God lies in casting ourselves without reserve on his mercy, receiving in faith the gift of forgiveness purchased at inestimable cost — none of this is possible apart from the work of the Spirit.”

- D. A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Books, 2003), 66. originally posted by

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What is "Evangelicalism"?

...quick question, long answer. D.A. Carson does a great job attempting to answer this huge and important question.

He addresses some of the issues involved with defining evangelicalism in the western world. LISTEN HERE

Donald A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Dr. Carson has written or edited more than 45 books, including The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Zondervan 1996), which won the 1997 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Award in the category "theology and doctrine." He coauthored An Introduction to the New Testament (Zondervan 1991) and other works.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

know Jesus

by Charles Spurgeon
“Know Jesus. Sit as His feet. Consider His nature, HIs works, His sufferings, His glory. Rejoice in HIs presence; commune with Him day to day. To know Christ, is to understand the most excellent of all sciences. You cannot fail to be wise if you commune with Incarnate Wisdom; you cannot lack strength if you have constant fellowship with God.”

Eph 4:11-13 ESV
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

Friday, August 01, 2008

"Reformed and Evangelical" by R. Scott Clark

Clark makes a helpful comparison: "Perhaps it would be helpful to distinguish between being “evangelical” and being “an evangelical”? I am the former but not the latter.

"Reformed confessionalists are evangelical. We do long to see the true gospel preached truly to everyone and we do expect Christ to operate sovereignly and graciously through his gospel to call his elect from every tribe and tongue. We do long to see Christ’s church full. We long to see sinners coming to a knowledge of their sin and to a saving knowledge of Christ. We long to see those sinners growing in the grace of discipleship but, if I can presume to speak for confessionalists, we don’t have much confidence that contemporary evangelicalism is in any shape to do most of that." Read the whole thing

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Responses to “Reformed and Evangelical” by Irons

Lee Irons elaborates and responds to critics of his first post:

"Sure, our differences on TULIP, the covenants, the sacraments, and so on, are important, but if you hold to the white-hot core of the gospel, then I embrace you as a brother in Christ and I want to be identified with whatever label will work to make sure that this embrace is clear. Of course, I will worship at my own Reformed church on Sunday and you will go to your dispensational Bible-church or Baptist church or what have you, but we can do so without either one adopting an attitude of superiority or exceptionalism since we recognize one another as brothers based on the common bond that we have in Christ. read the whole post here

Monday, July 28, 2008

"I consider myself to be a Christian first..."

Reformed and Evangelical
by Lee Irons

It’s good to see that there are still some Reformed people these days who embrace the label “evangelical” (see the posts by Stephen Nichols and Sean Lucas on the Ref21 site). I don’t sympathize with the Reformed trend that utterly scorns and detests the label. I have no desire to set myself apart as a “Reformed Confessionalist” who has nothing in common with evangelicalism. This separatist attitude is wrong for several reasons:

(1) It smacks of spiritual pride and elitism. I consider myself to be a Christian first, then a Protestant, then an evangelical, and only then Reformed. To exalt ”Reformed” über alles is to downplay our central identity as Christians. To exalt the Reformed confessions is to downplay the primary New Testament confession that “Jesus is Lord.” I’m not a Reformed person who happens to be a Christian. I’m a blood-bought Christian who happens to believe in the Reformed understanding of the gospel. And I do not view myself as a superior Christian for having this belief. It is only by the grace of God that I understand what I do of the grace of God, and even then I betray it all too often in my practice.
read the whole thing

Friday, July 25, 2008

the way God gives faith

"In this way, therefore, faith is a gift of God, not in the sense that it is offered by God for man to choose, but that it is in actual fact bestowed on man, breathed and infused into him. Nor is it a gift in the sense that God bestows only the potential to believe, but then awaits assent — the act of believing — from man’s choice; rather, it is a gift in the sense that he who works both willing and acting and, indeed, works all things in all people produces in man both the will to believe and the belief itself."

- Canons of Dordt, article 14

Not only does this quote from the Canons distinguish historic Calvinism from Arminianism, but biblical Christianity from all other religions, i.e Rome, Mormonism, the Jehova's Witnesses, etc...

the love and life of Christ

"The love of Christ for us is to be held forth as the great constraining motive to religion, and the life of Christ as the bright, engaging pattern of it."

- Thomas Foxcroft, The Gospel Ministry

Thursday, July 24, 2008

muppet gangstaaaaaz

And if you think these guys aren’t the Original Original Gangstaz, then you never saw what happened to people who dissed Wilkins Coffee.

I spied these on The RiffTrax Blog by Bill Corbett and had to post them myself.

the only people who get better

“The only people who get better are people who know that, if they never get better, God will love them anyway.”

—Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom (West Monroe, LA: Howard Books, 2004), 68-69

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

all they need is their need

Commenting on Romans 4:5 John H. Gerstner writes:

"If men will only be convinced that they have no righteousness that is not like filthy rags; if men will see that there is no one who does good, not even one; if men will see that they are all shut up under sin--then there will be nothing to prevent their everlasting salvation. All they need is their need. All they must have is nothing. All that is required is acknowledgment of guilt. Just confess your sins and repent of them.

But, alas, sinners cannot part with their so-called "virtues." They have none that are not imaginary, but they are very real to them. So grace becomes unreal. The real grace of God they spurn in order to hold on to their own illusory virtues. Their eyes are fixed on a mirage, so they will not drink real water. They die of thirst with water all around them."

Romans 4:5 "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

Monday, July 21, 2008

sinclair ferguson on indicatives

I ran across this great quote over at Miscellanies : “The great gospel imperatives to holiness are ever rooted in indicatives of grace that are able to sustain the weight of those imperatives. The Apostles do not make the mistake that’s often made in Christian ministry. [For the Apostles] the indicatives are more powerful than the imperatives in gospel preaching. So often in our preaching our indicatives are not strong enough, great enough, holy enough, or gracious enough to sustain the power of the imperatives. And so our teaching on holiness becomes a whip or a rod to beat our people’s backs because we’ve looked at the New Testament and that’s all we ourselves have seen. We’ve seen our own failure and we’ve seen the imperatives to holiness and we’ve lost sight of the great indicatives of the gospel that sustain those imperatives. … Woven into the warp and woof of the New Testament’s exposition of what it means for us to be holy is the great groundwork that the self-existent, thrice holy, triune God has — in Himself, by Himself and for Himself — committed Himself and all three Persons of His being to bringing about the holiness of His own people. This is the Father’s purpose, the Son’s purchase and the Spirit’s ministry.”

- Sinclair Ferguson, message from the 2007 Banner of Truth Conference, Our Holiness: The Father’s Purpose and the Son’s Purchase.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

what brings you comfort?

... is it good health? Knowing your medical insurance is taken care of? Your 401K is growing? Your car is working? Your family is healthy?

These things bring me comfort. But the ultimate comfort (even when the above don't go as planned) is knowing I am a son of God:

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

So, I have supreme comfort knowing:

- I don't have to worry about controlling my destiny,
- I'm a citizen of Jesus' Kingdom,
- My sins are paid for,
- The Devil can't hurt me,
- The law can't condemn me,
- I'm in the will of God,
- He saved me, and that's supreme,
- I have assurance by His Spirit that I'll live forever with Him,
- He has turned my heart of stone to a willing and thankful heart for Him!

Now THAT'S comfort my friend.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

3 great points on saving faith

by Sinclair Ferguson

1. Saving faith boasts of nothing in itself, but everything in Christ.

2. Saving faith never rests on sacraments to make a difference, yet ever feeds on them for spiritual blessing.

3. Saving faith excludes our obedience from justification, but marvelously fulfills it in sanctification.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

john piper on temptation and the new creation

I have mixed feelings about this posting from John Piper. On the one hand, it's encouraging to hear this personal story, where the normal temptations of the flesh had no hold on him, due to his contemplation of the things of God, specifically the anticipation of the new creation.

However, the danger in listening to this audio out of context might lead people to believe that all you have to do is find the right thing to meditate on, and all your temptations will go away. The reality is that while God may grant us temporary abatement from the wiles of our flesh, it's never permanent. Our focus should not be on our victories, but on Christ's victory. This life if fraught with sin, temptation, failure, pain, etc. The list goes on. But our hope is that ONE DAY, all that will be taken away permanently by God at the consumation. Does sanctification occur in us? Yes, but it's imperfect and very slow. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.


Friday, June 13, 2008

growth together by edmund clowney

The life of holiness is the life of faith in which the believer, with a deepening knowledge of his own sin and helpless apart from Christ, increasingly casts himself upon the Lord, and seeks the power of the Spirit and the wisdom and comfort of the Bible to battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. It is not a lonely or cheerless struggle, for Christ gives the Spirit to the members of his body to help one another. Even suffering can be borne with joy, for the Christian walks in the steps of Jesus Christ who takes us by the hand. Maturing in holiness means maturing in love, love that knows God’s love poured out in our hearts, and answers with love that tastes the goodness of the Lord.

Growth in true holiness is always growth together; it takes place through the nurture, the work and worship of the church. - Edmund Clowney, The Church, pg. 89.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

by, from, for

A quote sent to me by my friend got me to thinking. Here's the quote:

"All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that being unhappy leads people to complain, but it s truer to say that complaining leads to people becoming unhappy." - Dennis Prager

I responded, "That is a good quote... We as Christians ought to be the most grateful people on earth!"

Why? Because we've been saved by God, from God, for God:

BY God - "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" - Eph 2:8

FROM God - "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" - Rom 5:9

FOR God - "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" - 2 Cor 5:18

*photo by Harold Davis

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

the promise-driven life

by Michael Horton

"Christ lived the purpose-driven life so that we would inherit his righteousness through faith and be promise-driven people in a purpose-driven world. What are you driven by? The last time I was sick, it was a Saturday and I flipped on the TV for an extraordinary long time. The whole day was exercise equipment, how to become real-estate rich with no money down, and Suze Orman gave me her steps to financial security. As much as we all make sport of this sort of thing, it attracts us. That's because we are "wired" for law: tell me what to do and I'll get it done. That is not just the American spirit, but it is human nature..."


Monday, June 09, 2008

What is the significance of baptism?

by R.C. Sproul

Just as an aside, the word significance has as its root the word sign. A sign is something that points to something beyond itself. We all recognize that whatever baptism signifies, Jesus obviously thought it was very important because he gives a command to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Whatever else it is, baptism is the sign of the new covenant that God makes with his people. We do have the clear mandate in the New Testament that Christians are to be baptized.

I personally do not believe that baptism is essential for salvation. If I believed that, I would think that the thief on the cross who was promised paradise with Jesus would have been disqualified because he obviously didn’t have an opportunity to get baptized. But I do believe that baptism is essential for obedience because Christ commands it. It’s just the same thing as when people say, “Do you have to go to church to go to heaven?” I would say, “Obviously not.” But do you have to go to church to obey Christ? Yes, you do. And if you are not inclined to obey Christ and have no inclination to follow his mandates, that may be a sign that you are not headed for heaven. So church involvement becomes a very serious matter of obedience.

I would say the same about the sacrament of baptism. It’s a sign of the new covenant. It’s a sign of our participation in Jesus, of being partakers in his death and resurrection, which are at the heart of the gospel. It’s also a sign of our cleansing from sin and guilt by the work of Jesus and the washing of regeneration. What we do outwardly with water, the Spirit does inwardly with his grace. So it’s a sign of our cleansing. It’s also a sign of our sanctification. It’s a sign of our baptism of the Holy Spirit. It’s a sign of our being set apart from the world and given the holy task to fulfill the commission that Christ gives to his church.

So there are several things that baptism signifies. I think one of our tendencies is to reduce those to one—making it merely a cleansing rite or merely a sign of empowering by the Holy Spirit—when in fact it is a sacrament that is rich and complex with meaning and significance.

Friday, June 06, 2008

a necessary distinction

A Christian is not someone who slowly "gets the victory" and sins less and less in their life, but rather, one who regularly acknowledges that they are guilty before a holy God; resting solely on His mercy.

"For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me." - Psalm 51:3

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." - Mat 11:28

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Most Attacked Doctrine in the Christian faith


Mark Driscoll on “The Shack”


Monday, May 19, 2008

the gospel: God centered, free, powerful

Christ as Prophet, Priest and King

I read this today and these 3 questions stopped me in my tracks. The answers are simple, beautiful and powerful. Praise your Prophet, Priest and King today.

Children’s Catechism, week 20

Q. 69. Why do you need Christ as a prophet?
A. Because I am ignorant.

Q. 70. Why do you need Christ as a priest?
A. Because I am guilty.

Q. 71. Why do you need Christ as a king?
A. Because I am weak and helpless.

Monday, April 28, 2008

they missed him; they stumbled over him

All those people who didn't seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their "God projects" that they didn't notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together:

Careful! I've put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion,
a stone you can't get around.
But the stone is me! If you're looking for me,
you'll find me on the way, not in the way.

- from Romans 9, The Message

Friday, April 11, 2008

go, follow the world

It seems churches follow a simple strategy these days:

See what's hot in the world + add a biblical theme to it = doing church successfully!

But isn't the church supposed to be different? Aren't we supposed to stand out - and sometimes so much that we're persecuted for it? Aren't we supposed to be kind of like gypsies in a way? We're different, dance to the beat of a different drum, have different values, are good at celebrating, are not afraid to be bold at times, kind of mysterious, you get the idea...

I propose a new strategy. Let's follow what Jesus actually says in his word, and be what we are, a people set apart for God. A people that have been swept up into a grand adventure. It's not about us and our tiny little lives; it's about God and the history of the human race. The history of redemption has graciously allowed us to have bit parts. It's been playing for a while, and will continue long after we're dead. We've hopped onto this train - or rather, been pulled by our collar onto it. It's heading out of town, a town that will be totally destroyed and rebuilt. We'll head back here one day to repossess it as our own. So, in the meantime, let's be doing what our Savior says:

- preaching Christ as Lord and Savior
- administering His sacraments
- building up the flock with sound teaching
- encouraging people to share the gospel with others
- worshiping in song together
- distinguish ourselves as a people "set apart" from the world, yet still in it for several purposes - like: loving our neighbor, evangelism, discipling our families and brothers/sisters in Christ.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

new men's devotional

With the emergence of TV-based bible studies (no, I'm not joking) like The Mayberry Bible Study and Lucy Show Bible Study which seem really silly to me, I thought I'd make my own. Kyle was gracious enough to be the "author". Thanks Kyle.

Chapter Headings:

Chpt 1. The Gospel according to Wesley

Chpt 2. Klingon bastards & quiet time.

Chpt 3. Fulfilling Chekov's Plan for Your Life

Chpt 4. When life gives you tribble - make tranya.

Chpt 5. Wheels within wheels - The Romulan Star Empire in OT Eschatology

Chpt 6. Love thy Neighbor - this means you, Klingons!

Chpt 7. Kirk may be a savior, but is he lord?

Monday, April 07, 2008

on mentoring

...have you considered mentoring or being mentored?

Generation to Generation
by Joshua Harris

When I turned twenty-one, my dad gave me this simple advice: “Find men that you want to be like and then sit at their feet.” As I launched into manhood, he was reminding me that the lessons I needed most wouldn’t be found in a textbook — they’d be written in the heart and life of a godly man. I needed to get close enough to this man that I could observe his character and be shaped by his example. I needed a mentor.

I didn’t realize at the time how important and prescient my dad’s counsel was. But less than a year later, God brought me across the path of C.J. Mahaney, the man who would mentor me, train me in pastoral ministry, and eventually install me as his replacement in the church he founded and led for nearly thirty years... more

Thursday, April 03, 2008

hey jude

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

critter corner - anteaters

jeff goldblum - a little slow

What happens when you take an Apple commercial Jeff Goldblum made back in the late 90’s, and slow it down?

Glad you asked ...

Thanks Tom. iStole it from your site. ; )

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

sproul interviews ben stein

who am i? - casting crowns

This is a great song with great words.

Friday, March 28, 2008

visible vs. invisible

The Visible Vs. The Invisible Church
by Brian Schwertley

What do we mean when we make the distinction between the visible and invisible church? And what is the reason for this distinction? Starting around the 4th century - the expression "Visible Church" was refered to by theologians, not to a building, but to the members on the rolls of a local church. In other words, all persons who are members of a local church are considered to be a part of the visible church.

On the other hand, the invisible church refers to those persons who have actually been regenerated or quickened by the Holy Sprit, God's elect or true believers. Augustine referred to the church as a mixed body, a visible people, but this people has both tares and wheat, as described by Jesus. In other words, there is no such thing as a perfect church, and there will always people in the church there with bad motives or are there for the wrong reason. There will always be people who claim to love Christ but whose heart is far from Him. Many, Jesus says, will say on that day, did we not do this and that in your name? Jesus will then say, "I never knew you". These are descriptions of some people now sitting in your local church and Jesus says of them that he "never knew them!!!" Some persons are in church for show, to be seen by men as pious, others perhaps for a social club or to show of their ability to wax eloquent when discussing theology. These persons hearts are completely invisible to us, but of course, they are not invisible to God and only He can know who is truly regenerate, so we must be generous in our judgements. more

Friday, March 21, 2008

are we quick to forgive?

It's easy to condemn one another's (or the world's) sin. Too easy. When must we condemn and when must we forgive? What's the turning point? A repentant attitude. We must have the attitude of Christ; forgiving others as we have been forgiven.

On forgiveness, Luther says,

"Let the ministers of the Gospel learn from Paul how to deal with those who have sinned. "Brethren," he says, "if any man be overtaken with a fault, do not aggravate his grief, do not scold him, do not condemn him, but lift him up and gently restore his faith. If you see a brother despondent over a sin he has committed, run up to him, reach out your hand to him, comfort him with the Gospel and embrace him like a mother. When you meet a willful sinner who does not care, go after him and rebuke him sharply." But this is not the treatment for one who has been overtaken by a sin and is sorry. He must be dealt with in the spirit of meekness and not in the spirit of severity. A repentant sinner is not to be given gall and vinegar to drink." - Commentary on Galatians 6

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

how christians 'fulfill the law of Christ'

As Christians, we understand that only Christ has fulfilled God's law on our behalf. We cannot hope to merit, in any way, our justification. Yet Galatians 6:2 says, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

John Piper comments that this reference to the law isn't about justification per se, but in the way Christians love. Here are some comments he gives on this verse:

• Our fulfilling of the law refers to a life of real love for people (Rom 13:8,10 / Gal 5:13-18)

• It is not the ground of our justification, it is a fruit of it.

• It is rendered NOT in our own strength, but by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

• It is rendered by FAITH as we trust Christ. This faith is the faith that justifiies - i.e. it is a gift.

• It is NOT a perfect love in this life. (Rom 7, Phil 3)

• It will become perfect when we die. (Rom 8:30 / Heb 12:23). It will be perfectly fulfilled in the future. But, we will be no more than justified sinners, and nothing more. Our righteousness is imputed. May Jesus' name be praised alone.

• It is sometimes called the "law of liberty", or "the law of Christ" in scripture.

• It is performed by means of trusting another who's obedience was already perfect.

• It is always pointing away from me and towards Jesus.

- "When you pursue love... pursue it as one who is free from the law as the ground of your acceptance with God. Pursue it as the law of liberty!"

- Our pursuit of love is an "indirect pursuit". We first go through Christ, not directly to the commandment, to love God and neighbor.

- Your God-dependent, Christ-exalting, Faith-based love for people which is based on your justification, is a REAL kind of love, it's really what the law requires.

- The goal of the law is Christ for righteousness (Rom 10:4)

Friday, February 29, 2008

assurance and good works

Here is most of one of Kim Riddlebarger's posts. What excellent spiritual advice and comfort he offers. It's from a series on the Canons of Dort. Read slowly and carefully:

"Contrary to the theology of fear and guilt taught by so many of our contemporaries, the assurance of our salvation is actually the only proper basis for good works. Critics of the Reformed faith often charge that if you tell Christians that they can assuredly know that they will go to heaven when they die, then there is no longer any incentive for doing good works.

The response to this misguided argument is a simple rhetorical question. “Does a dog bark to become a dog, or does a dog bark because it is a dog?” According to Hebrews 11:6, only the Christian who has been given faith as a gift by God, can actually do good works in the first place!

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." - Heb 11:6

Non-Christians can't perform any work that is acceptable to God, because whatever work they perform, is completely tainted and stained by the guilt of sin (Romans 3:12).

“All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Let us not forget that good works spontaneously spring forth in the lives of those who have been called by God to faith in Jesus, and who have been justified and united to Christ (cf. Galatians 5:16-26). If the tree has been changed from a bad tree to a good one through regeneration, so too, good fruit will naturally and inevitably follow—though, as Luther wisely counseled, we should not look to this fruit in our own lives for the primary assurance of our own salvation because we are often times the worst judge of our own character! If we are privileged to see good fruit in our own lives, it should only serve to remind us of God’s graciousness to us, since his grace is the only reason why the fruit is there in the first place. But others in the body of Christ may see true fruit in us and be moved to give thanks to God.

Although I am sure they are there, I have yet to meet someone who is a Christian, and who asks, “how many sins can I commit and still be a Christian?” Biblically understood, the assurance of our salvation is not based upon human presumption and vanity, but upon confidence in Jesus Christ, who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and who prays for us, to that our faith will not fail (Luke 22:32; I John 2:1-2). Far from making us lax in our efforts, then, if we are in Christ, what else can we do, but live a life of gratitude, striving to be obedient to the commands of God as revealed in his word (1 John 5:2)?

The Canons also warn us, that those who reject this teaching, and who base assurance on human efforts are, ironically, the ones most apt to fall into sin. “By God's just judgment this does usually happen to those who casually take for granted the grace of election or engage in idle and brazen talk about it but are unwilling to walk in the ways of the chosen.” How many illustrations of this are there? Too many, I am afraid.

Therefore, the assurance of our salvation is based upon the promises of our Savior (John 6:37, 10:28), and once we are in him, the Scriptures declare, good works will inevitably follow (John 15:16). We must be very careful here not to reverse this order, and make the good works that we do to be the basis for our assurance. For this is the religion of fear and doubt, the religion that terrifies the soul. This is the American religion, grounded in a false sense of human goodness, and which places far too much confidence in the flesh."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

living by grace - part 2

On love and bondage, Hordern writes:

"If we accept God's love with a loving trust, inevitably we desire to please God, because it is of the very nature of love that it wishes to please the loved one. And here is true freedom from bondage.

When the law commands us to do certain things under the penalty of punishment for failure to comply, or with the hope of reward if we obey, we are still under bondage.

The fear of punishment and the hope of reward restricts us, so that we cannot do what we truly desire to do. But where we act because of love we can act willingly, gladly and freely." - pg.109

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.We love because he first loved us." - 1 John 4:18,19

Friday, February 22, 2008

the end

in Christ alone

What a great song. "Self-evangelize" with these comforting words of grace:

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

“In Christ Alone”
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

Friday, February 15, 2008

living by grace - part 1

I'm starting a mini-series of posts on the book Living by Grace by William Hordern. The quotes aren't in order. They are quotes from sections that struck me as helpful or profound or both.

Evangelism or Loving One's Neighbor?

"Christians often debate among themselves as to what is the primary task of the Christian. Some argue that the Christian's first task is to spread the gospel, win converts, and to be an evangelist. Others argue that the Christian's first task is to perform acts of love for the neighbor. The debate is ironical in view of Jesus' words about letting our light shine before men.

Acts of evangelism and acts of love do not stand in contrast to each other. Acts of love may be a most effective means of evangelism. When an unbeliever sees a truly selfless concern for others in the life of a Christian he may well be led to seek the source of the power displayed by such a life. On the other hand, of course, if a Christian displays no love in his life, it is rather futile for him to preach about the love of God in Christ." - p.162

One might get the impression Hordern is saying 'actions speak louder than words'. But he's not. In the book he makes a strong case for the gospel being clearly communicated too. *We need to love our neighbors AND share the gospel.

*I do not doubt that God has used street evangelists, tracts, etc... in bringing people to Him. God is sovereign. But I tend to think that's not the norm...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

do you have a thirsty soul?

"Oh God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and wary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you." — Psalm 63:1-3

Monday, February 11, 2008

can you have too much grace?

"But do not some abuse the grace of the gospel and turn it into wantonness? Answer: Yes, some do, ever did, and still will do so. But it is only the ill-understood and not believed doctrine of grace that they abuse. The grace itself, no man can abuse, for its power prevents its abuse. Let us see how Paul, that blessed herald of this grace (as he was an eminent instance of it) deals with this objection (Rom. 6:1, etc.). How does he prevent this abuse? Is it by extenuating what he said (Rom. 5:20), that grace abounded much more where sin had abounded? Is it by mincing grace smaller so that men may not choke upon it or have too much of it? Is it by mixing something of the law with it, to make it more wholesome? No, but only by plainly asserting the power and influence of this grace, wherever it really is, as he does at length in that chapter. This grace is all treasured up in Christ Jesus, offered to all men in the gospel, poured forth by our Lord in the working of faith, and drunk in by the elect in the exercise of faith. And it becomes in them a living spring, which will, and must, break out and spring up in all holy conversation."

Robert Traill, Justification Vindicated (Puritan Paperbacks, Banner of Truth, 2002), p. 41.

originally posted on The Upper Register Blog by Lee Irons

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

feeling guilty over prayer part 2

Here's an excellent addendum on the first post about prayer The Upper Register Blog:

"...once we realize that Christ’s righteousness is sufficient to make our weak and distracted prayers acceptable, then we become less constrained in prayer. We won’t be afraid to address our confused anxieties to the Lord, even if we can’t articulate them as we would like (”groanings too deep for words,” Rom 8:26). We won’t be afraid to pray, even if we know we’ll get distracted. We can pray liberally, at any time, at any place, and in any state of mind. Why? Because our weak prayers are made mighty by the intercession of Christ for us. - Lee Irons

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

funny headline

...this goes in the "no DUH!" category.

feeling guilty about your prayer life?

Ever feel guilty that you don't pray enough? Lee Irons has some encouraging grace-filled words:

"The great danger is to turn the duty of prayer into a law that leaves you feeling guilty for your lack of prayer. The paradox of law-based motivations to godliness is that the more guilty you feel, the less you will do what you know you ought to do. And the more you fail, the more guilty you feel. It is the never-ending spiral of law-sin-guilt from which one cannot be extricated apart from the gospel.

So try something new. Follow Dabney’s encouragement and think of prayer as something that you already do without realizing it. Or, perhaps more accurately, as something that your regenerate heart wants to do, if only you would capitalize on those irrepressible promptings from the Spirit and turn them into conscious prayers. Instead of thinking of prayer as something arduous and requiring tremendous amounts of discipline and effort, see it as something easy. As soon as the thought, “I should pray about this,” pops into your heard, do it right then and there. Just talk to the Lord, even if for the briefest moment, even for a second or two (what I call “arrow prayers”).

Even when you have sunk into a pit of spiritual emptiness, where even the thought of trying to crawl out makes you feel exhausted and hopeless, the irrepressible promptings of the Spirit are there, perhaps nothing more than the simple, abject cry, “Lord, help me!” It is not really the case that we are prayerless. It is just that we have such an exalted conception of prayer that we have overlooked the many prayers that we have despised as unworthy of the name of prayer."

- Lee Irons /

Sunday, January 27, 2008

we never outgrow the gospel

"For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him." - 1 Thess 5:9-10 esv

Thursday, January 10, 2008

the discomfort of the justified life

Below is a great article I posted a while ago. It's worth reading again.

by Jerry Bridges

I am writing this article just after the conclusion of the high school basketball season. The girls’ team from one of our city’s high schools had a successful season, going all the way to the state championship game where they lost. The next morning the sports section of our daily newspaper showed a pathetic picture of some of the girls sitting on the bench watching the clock run down and knowing they had just lost the championship game. There they sat, chins in hand, looking quite dejected because they had been defeated.

We Americans don’t like defeat, whether it’s in a basketball game or in dealing with sin in our lives. I suspect that’s why we don’t like the seventh chapter of Romans. It sounds too much like defeat. It really isn’t about defeat, however. It’s about struggle; a struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. As Paul wrote in Galatians 5:17, “For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh. For these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” This is a picture of struggle. Then Peter urged us in 1 Peter 2:11, “To abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your souls.” Notice the war metaphor. There is indeed a guerilla warfare going on in the soul of every believer that causes us a great deal of discomfort. We don’t like the struggle, and we especially do not like it when we feel defeated in the struggle.

Unbelievers don’t have such a struggle. For the most part, they enjoy their sin or rationalize their sinful attitudes. They feel justified in their self-righteousness, their critical and unforgiving spirits, and their pursuits of pleasure and materialism. Occasionally, they regret the consequences of their attitudes and actions, but they do not see them as sin. There is no guerilla warfare for the unbeliever. They may or may not have conflicts with other people, but there is little conflict within themselves.

Not so with the believer. The moment we trust in Christ as Savior, we are made new creations in Christ. The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us to animate and empower this new life. He comes to deal with those sinful attitudes and actions, but they don’t disappear overnight. They must be, to use Paul’s words, “put to death” (Rom. 8:13, Col. 3:5). And that’s when the guerilla warfare begins. The flesh—that is, our persistent inclination towards sin, which we have from birth—that generates those sinful attitudes and actions begins to fight back. Romans 7:14–25 helps us understand this internal conflict with the flesh in a helpful way because it describes the experience of a growing Christian who is continually discovering the depths of sin still present in his or her life. Many Bible students will disagree with that last sentence. In fact, this passage of Scripture has been something of an exegetical battleground for centuries. Pages have been written by capable and godly people presenting other views and rejecting the view to which I subscribe. This is not the place, however, to discuss the various interpretations of Romans 7:14–25. Most readers of Modern Reformation will already be familiar with them. For those who want to pursue this debate, James Montgomery Boice’s expositional commentary on Romans has an excellent, nontechnical discussion of four main interpretations.

Theological giants, such as Charles Hodge and John Murray, have ably defended the view that Romans 7:14–25 describes the internal conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. And I certainly cannot add anything to their technical arguments. However, I can offer two of the most compelling reasons for seeing the passage as descriptive of the internal conflict with sin that any growing Christian experiences.

First, there is the natural, literary sense of the passage. What would those reading Romans 7:14–25, untutored in familiar theological debates, understand Paul to mean? Would they not assume that Paul is describing himself in his present state at the time he is writing? They might not fully understand what he is saying, but they would assume Paul is describing the reality of his present experience. Paul did not play literary games with his first-century readers. Admittedly, as Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:16, some things in his letters are hard to understand. But from his point of view, Paul wrote his letters in a straightforward manner to people who were fairly new believers. I believe the first-century Christians in Rome would have assumed Paul was describing his own experience as an illustration of how all believers struggle with the flesh.

The second reason I believe Romans 7:14–25 describes the experience of a growing Christian is that it so accurately reflects the experience of any believer who is intentional about his or her pursuit of a holy and Christ-like life. For the reality is, the more mature we become, the more anguish we experience over the difference between desire and accomplishment in our efforts to put sin to death and to put on Christ-like character.

Early in my Christian life I was exposed to the view that every Christian should “get out of Romans 7 into Romans 8.” This view depicts the Romans 7:14–25 person as one who is seeking to live the Christian life in the energy of the flesh, whereas Romans 8 depicts him as living by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Romans 7 person is living a life of spiritual defeat, but the Romans 8 man is living a life of continual victory. This view created great frustration for me because I never seemed to be able to make the transition from Romans 7 to Romans 8.

I could see myself described in Romans 7, but I assumed that was because I was a “defeated” Christian. Then gradually I came to the conviction that a person never does get out of Romans 7 in the sense that he or she no longer struggles with the flesh. God providentially brought me into contact with the works of the older Reformed writers who reinforced my newly developed conviction. This was a great liberating experience. I found I could deal with the reality of the Romans 7 conflict when I realized it was the normal experience of people who are sincere and intentional about spiritual growth.

Again, the reality for every believer is that the more we grow in Christian maturity, the sharper this conflict becomes. The more we understand the perfect will of God, the more we see how far short we come in obeying it. And we should keep in mind that we are not only to joyously obey the moral will of God but we are to graciously submit to the providential will of God—that is, to the circumstances, whether good or bad, that he brings or allows into our lives.

One of the most difficult precepts to obey of the moral will of God is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” That this is a moral command is shown by Paul’s identical expression in chapter 4, verse 3 where he writes: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.” It is God’s moral will that we abstain from immorality, and it is also God’s moral will that we give thanks in all circumstances.

Now, most Christians readily understand that it is God’s will that we abstain from sexual immorality. That command seems relatively easy to obey, especially if we focus on the act and not the thoughts of the heart. But to give thanks in difficult circumstances is an altogether different matter. Oftentimes I find myself giving thanks not wholeheartedly but as a sheer act of the will. But I don’t think that is really giving thanks. Recently, in a situation that did not turn out the way I had hoped it would, I said to God: “Father, I give you thanks for the way this has turned out, but I am disappointed.” Then the thought came to me, Jesus would not have been disappointed. Jesus so perfectly trusted his Father’s providential care of his life that he freely submitted to whatever circumstances came his way.

Now, I know and have taught numerous times that nothing happens to us that God does not ordain; that a sparrow cannot fall to the ground apart from his will and that we are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29–31). This being true then, why do I not give thanks genuinely and joyously? Why do I not accept the fact that my infinitely wise and loving Father has ordained these circumstances for my good? It is because “when I want to do right [that is, joyously give thanks] evil [that is, the desire for my own agenda] lies close at hand” (Rom. 7:21). The flesh in the form of my own desires is often in conflict with the will of God.

I have deliberately chosen to use my recent experience with 1 Thessalonians 5:18 because it illustrates a point. The more we grow in Christian character, the more deeply God digs into our inner being to expose the works of the flesh that are still there. As a young Christian, the command of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 was not an issue for me. There were more obvious desires of the flesh I had to contend with. Now, after 57 years of being a Christian, I realize that God is not content merely dealing with the surface sins. He wants to take on the more subtle issues. So often then I now find the words of Romans 7:18b true: “For I have the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out.” I have the desire to give thanks in all circumstances but not the ability to do it wholeheartedly, without reserve. That’s because the desires of the flesh, in the form of my agenda, are against the desires of the Spirit (Gal. 5:17). It is because the passions of the flesh still wage war against my soul (1 Pet. 2:11).

Someone has stated that sanctification (that is, spiritual growth) is more often characterized by desire than by performance. I believe that is true of the person in Romans 7. He wants to do what is right. He delights in the law of God. But evil lies close at hand, waging war against the law of his mind (vv. 21–23).

I hasten to add, however, that these verses in Romans 7 are descriptive only of a person who is sincerely and intentionally seeking to grow in Christ-like character. The person who is complacent about his Christian experience and is not concerned about remaining sin in his life should find no comfort in this passage of Scripture. Romans 7 does not provide an excuse for tolerating sin but simply describes the experience of one who does not tolerate it but rather struggles against it.

How then does the person who is sincere and intentional about dealing with sin in his or her life handle the tension and frustration that seem so pervasive in verses 14–25? Is there no hope of ever experiencing the joy of the Christian life? Yes, there is. And Paul gives us two reasons to rejoice.

First, there is the confident expectation of future deliverance. In verses 24–25 Paul looks forward to the day when he will be delivered from this body of death. Paul knows that when that day arrives, he will be forever free from the struggle with indwelling sin. At last his experience will exactly coincide with his standing of perfect righteousness in Christ.

The second reason we can rejoice in the midst of our struggle is because of the truth of the gospel, which actually brackets the whole chapter of Romans 7. In verses 1–6, Paul teaches us both by analogy and directly that we have “died to the law through the body of Christ” (v. 4). That is, through our union with Christ in his death, we have died to the curse and condemning power of the law. We have died to the reign of the law in our lives. It can no longer pronounce us guilty because Christ has already borne our guilt on the cross.

Then in Romans 8:1, Paul assures us that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” So, Romans 7:4 and 8:1 say essentially the same thing: God does not look on our struggles against indwelling sin with an attitude of condemnation and judgment because the condemning power of his law has been forever dealt with by Christ.

So in the midst of our struggle with indwelling sin, we must continually keep our focus on the gospel. We must always go back to the truth that even in the face of the fact that so often “I do not do the good that I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (v. 19), there is no condemnation. God no longer counts our sin against us (Rom. 4:8).

Or, to say it another way, God wants us to find our primary joy in our objectively declared justification, not in our subjectively perceived sanctification. Regardless of how much progress we make in our pursuit of holiness, it will never come close to the absolute perfect righteousness of Christ that is ours through our union with him in his life and death.

So we should learn to live with the discomfort of the justified life. We should accept the fact that as a still-growing Christian, we will always be dissatisfied with our sanctification. But at the same time, we should remember that in Christ we are justified. We are righteous in him. There is the familiar play on the word “justification,” which means “just as if I’d never sinned.” But there is another way of saying that which is even better: justification means “just as if I’d always obeyed.” That’s the way we stand before God—clothed in the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. And that’s the way we can live with the discomfort of the justified life.

Jerry Bridges has served on staff with The Navigators since 1955 and is author of several books, including The Pursuit of Holiness, The Gospel for Real Life, The Discipline of Grace, and most recently, Is God Really in Control?