He Who Confesses and He Who Does Not Confess: John’s Confession of Faith

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The substantial theological differences that began to emerge in the days of the apostles caused them to develop short, pithy confessional statements that summarized vital elements of the apostolic teaching. These served as a dividing point between teachers of truth and teachers of error. The apostle John found some teachers infiltrating the church who taught…



Five Essential Aspects of Pastoral Ministry

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Whole books have been written on pastoral ministry; so, even an attempt at summarizing it in a short blog post will fall short of the mark. But I would suggest that several principles rise to a high level of importance when considering the subject of pastoral ministry. Much of what passes for pastoral ministry today is…



Resources for Studying the Law and the Gospel

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A proper understanding of the relationship between the law and the gospel is crucial for any minister hoping to be effective in his preaching and counseling. Indeed, a flawed understanding of the relationship between law and gospel leads to all sorts of problems: Errors in this doctrine have spawned dispensationalism, theonomy, the New Perspective on…



Hymns and Irresistible Grace

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One of the most familiar and beloved hymns in Christian hymnody is “Amazing Grace.” This hymn is John Newton’s enduring testimony to salvation by grace alone. Generations have sung and resounded his words. But why did he choose grace as his theme? What is it about grace that makes it amazing? Newton answers that question…



Confessions of Faith Help Us Obey Biblical Mandates

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A Twofold Duty Two consistent expectations of biblical Christianity—the declaration and the protection of the purity of the faith—gave rise to confessions. Apart from some statement of the content of the Faith, no one can give a convincing profession of personal faith. The believing heart proclaims its confidence toward both the Person and the truth…

 

Six Ways a Church Should Use a Confession of Faith

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Particular Baptist churches planted in the tumultuous soil of 17th century England grew up and bore fruit under a nasty set of doctrinal and methodological accusations, including that they subscribed to libertarian free will, denied original sin, that their pastors baptized women in the nude, and were opponents of church and crown. Perhaps their most virulent…



The Trinity: Reflections without Recrimination

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If a biblical expositor/theologian arrives at a conclusion, on the basis of exegesis, that the Bible teaches there is only one God who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth, and who alone is self-existent having created all things and presently sustaining all things that are not…



Hymns and Christ’s Atonement

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Psalm 103 begins: Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. (Psalm 103:1-2) The words David wrote to encourage his soul are words that we should take to heart as well. We need to be…



Radical Individualism: The Divisive Spirit of Our Age

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Rugged individualism works well for a new nation trying to get its feet on the ground. Often, when historians describe the characteristics of our nation’s founders, “rugged individualism” gets mentioned as a primary trait, and rightly so. Who else would forge into unknown territory, face extreme hardships, and carve out a life in the middle…