Grace to You

  • What Is the Eye of a Needle?
    In the lead-up to the Truth Matters conference in October, we will be focusing our attention on the sufficiency, authority, and clarity of Scripture. Of our previous blog series, none better embodies that emphasis than Frequently Abused Verses. The following entry from that series originally appeared on September 14, 2015. -ed. I haven’t always sat under the teaching ministry of John MacArthur. In fact, earlier parts of my Christian walk have been tarnished by over-exposure to some really bad Bible teachers, and attendance in some very man-centered churches. A lot of my expertise in error comes from first-hand experience. It took longer… Read more »
  • Imperishable, Undefiled, and Unfading
    What would it be like to have endless riches stored up for you—a future reward that could never be taken away, but that could be enjoyed forever? If you are a Christian, that is an accurate description of the inheritance God has stored up for you. The apostle Peter used three negative terms to describe the positive perfection of our eternal inheritance: “imperishable,” “undefiled,” and “unfading” (1 Peter 1:4, ESV). The Greek word translated “imperishable” (aphthartos) speaks of something that is not corruptible, but permanent. The word evokes the image of a land ravaged by a conquering army; so Peter… Read more »
  • How to Receive True Riches
    You don’t buy or earn your way into an inheritance. The Greek word translated “inheritance” (kleronomia, 1 Peter 1:4) speaks of possessions passed down from generation to generation. You receive them simply because you’re a family member. The apostle Peter describes the means by which believers gain membership in the family of God: “[He] caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). We receive our eternal inheritance by means of spiritual rebirth—the only solution to our sinful condition and alienation from God. Jesus made that very… Read more »
  • How to Wait for Heaven
    Focusing on our eternal inheritance is key to maintaining a proper perspective on Christ’s sufficiency, especially when you’re in the midst of difficult circumstances. That’s not always easy because we’re prone toward selfishness and desiring instant gratification. Advertising fuels that mentality by telling us we can have all we want—and we can have it right now! Of course “having it all” usually means buying on credit whatever product they’re selling. A steady diet of that philosophy has fattened our society with self-indulgence and impatience. People find it difficult to cope with life if they can’t instantly fulfill every desire. They… Read more »
  • A Rich Legacy to Enjoy
    Where did Christians ever get the notion that they need anything other than Christ? Is He somehow inadequate? Is His gift of salvation somehow deficient? Certainly not. We are children of God, joint heirs with Christ, and therefore beneficiaries of a richer legacy than the human mind could ever comprehend: “We are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16–17). Christians are rich beyond measure. All true Christians are heirs together with Christ Himself. Scripture has much to say about the Christian’s inheritance. It is, in fact, the central point… Read more »
  • Trash or Treasure?
    Homer and Langley Collyer were sons of a respected New York doctor. Both studied at Columbia University—Homer earned his degree in law, and Langley became an accomplished engineer and concert pianist. When their parents both died in the 1920s, the brothers inherited the family home and estate. The two men—both bachelors—were now financially secure. But the Collyer brothers adopted a peculiar lifestyle not at all consistent with the material status their inheritance gave them. They retired into almost total seclusion. They boarded up the windows of their house and barricaded the doors. All their utilities—including water—were eventually shut off. No… Read more »
  • Friday’s Featured Sermon: “What Is Sin?”
    A friend once asked me, “What would it take for you to renounce Christianity?” I pondered the question for a moment before responding, “Bring me a sinless man.” And with that, the conversation came to an abrupt halt. Even unbelievers know there’s no such thing as a sinless man. We all inherently understand what the Bible plainly states about the human condition—that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But why doesn’t this sinful world get better? With all of our technological and medical advances, why can’t we put an end to crimes, wars,… Read more »
  • The Christian in Secular Society
    By most modern metrics of church growth, Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill could easily be deemed ineffective and unfruitful. Acts 17:34 names only two converts from the gathering he drew in Athens—Dionysius and a woman named Damaris. That small harvest somehow looks less spectacular than the revivals Paul saw in Antioch or Thessalonica. But Paul had a dramatic effect on the city at the top level. He exposed its highest court to the knowledge of the true God. This event planted a church in Athens and launched Paul’s ministry in nearby Corinth. Paul also opened up more opportunities to preach… Read more »
  • The Root of Idolatry
    Idolatry is the product of rebellion, not confusion. While hearts and minds darkened by sin can’t find God on their own apart from His Word, the apostle Paul makes it clear that the root of idolatry is man’s rejection of creation’s testimony to its Creator. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine… Read more »
  • Uncompromising Evangelism
    The apostle Paul’s sermon on Mars’ Hill (Acts 17:16–33) has been exploited endlessly by evangelistic innovators and missionary methodologists in recent decades. The acute cultural awareness Paul displayed in his preaching has been used to validate everything from worldliness (under the guise of contextualization) to the appreciative study of other religions. But careful examination of the passage completely undermines those arguments. The apostle’s message to the sophisticated Greek thinkers of his day reveals an uncompromising evangelist armed with a narrow and exclusive message.   Paul launched right into that message, beginning with creation: The God who made the world and all… Read more »