Grace to You

  • Friday’s Featured Sermon: “The Danger of Being Close”
    In his book Christ’s Call to Reform the Church, John MacArthur asks an important and provocative question: “Who is the hardest person to reach with the gospel?” He proceeds to discuss various possibilities—the atheist, the zealous religionist, or the postmodern agnostic—but ultimately settles on a potentially shocking candidate. However, one type of unbeliever is harder to reach with the gospel than others. Worse than any outspoken, overt rejecter of God’s Word is the self-righteous hypocrite who believes he doesn’t need the gospel. He thinks that by his religion or morality he’s on God’s good side. Nothing is more spiritually deadly… Read more »
  • Christ Plus Mysticism
    It is easy to feel inferior to someone who knows something you don’t—especially when they hold information that you earnestly desire. For centuries, religious mystics have been working overtime to insinuate that the church suffers from the same kind of information void, supposedly a void that only they can fill.   When the apostle Paul wrote his epistle to the church in Colossae, the believers there were being intimidated by people who claimed to have a higher, broader, deeper, and fuller union with God than Christ alone could give. They were the mystics. They claimed to have interacted with angelic beings… Read more »
  • Christ Plus Legalism
    Many years ago a college acquaintance said to me, “I don’t think you’re a very spiritual person.” I was puzzled because he didn’t know me well enough to draw that kind of conclusion, so I asked him why he said that. “Because you don’t go to midweek prayer meetings,” he answered. “What does that have to do with my spirituality?” I responded. “For all you know I might spend all day and all night in prayer.” “No,” he said. “Spiritual people attend prayer meetings.” If he had said spiritual people pray, I would have agreed and confessed that I needed… Read more »
  • Christ Plus Philosophy
    “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” That’s a popular postmortem for a plan that has gone horribly wrong. In fact, well-intentioned ideas are behind almost every financial shipwreck, abandoned project, and foreign policy failure that happens in this world. And yet the quest for better ideas and fool-proof philosophies continues unabated—even making incursions into the church. Our English word “philosophy” is a transliteration of the Greek word philosophia, which literally means “the love of human wisdom.” In its broad sense it is man’s attempt to explain the nature of the universe, including the phenomena of existence, thought,… Read more »
  • Complete in Christ
    There’s a story told about William Randolph Hearst, the late newspaper publisher. Hearst invested a fortune in collecting great works of art. One day he read about some valuable pieces of art and decided that he must add them to his collection. He sent his agent abroad to locate and purchase them. Months went by before the agent returned and reported to Hearst that the items had at last been found—they were stored in his own warehouse. Hearst had purchased them years before! That is analogous to the alarming number of Christians today who are on a desperate search for… Read more »
  • Takeaway from Shepherds’ Conference 2019
    Last month, 4,500 pastors and church leaders gathered on the campus of Grace Community Church for the Shepherds’ Conference. The theme for 2019 was faithfulness, with each speaker tackling a different facet of what it means to be faithful in ministry. And because we know that not everyone had the ability to follow along with the conference livestream, we wanted to highlight some of the stand-out sessions. –GTY Staff Believers occasionally mistake suffering for persecution. Those with a penchant for self-righteousness can go so far as to view every impediment and difficulty they encounter as some kind of spiritual suppression.… Read more »
  • John MacArthur on Faithfulness
    What key qualities do you look for in a church leader? In a world enamored with worldly metrics of success—popularity, influence, acclaim, and charisma—it’s easy for Christians to be swept along with the conventional secular thinking of our day. But we need to be always mindful of the qualities that God esteems in those to whom He has given stewardship of His church. The apostle Paul said, “it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4:2).   Trustworthiness, or faithfulness, isn’t highly prized in this world of short attention spans. But over the long haul of… Read more »
  • The Servant Leader Is Being Sanctified
    All who lead in Christ’s church need to be growing more and more like Him. That’s the implication of Paul’s words to Timothy: “That your progress will be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15). Throughout this series we’ve carefully considered the apostle Paul’s urgent exhortation concerning Christian leadership found in 1 Timothy 4:6–15. Timothy was a young pastor—a son in the faith in Paul’s eyes—and the apostle laid out for him a clear biblical blueprint for servant leaders in the church. Paul impressed upon Timothy the requirement to warn others of error, study Scripture, shun worldliness, be disciplined, work hard,… Read more »
  • The Servant Leader Is Focused
    The Lord Jesus Christ had no time for divided loyalties. He warned that “no one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). Part-time devotion isn’t an option for the true servant of the Lord. The apostle Paul was acutely aware of this reality in Christian ministry and commanded Timothy to “take pains with these things; be absorbed in them” (1 Timothy 4:15). A servant leader is singleminded, as opposed to the double–minded man, who is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). The work of ministry is to absorb Timothy’s mind. Paul’s words here convey the idea of thinking through beforehand,… Read more »
  • The Servant Leader Is Dedicated
    Half measures have no place in Christian ministry. The apostle Paul reminds us that it requires immense dedication. He describes the godly minister as one whose relentless devotion is to maintain a thoroughly biblical ministry. The apostle charges Timothy with these words: “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). Paul’s words give three straightforward tasks to those in pastoral ministry: expound the Scripture, explain its meaning, and exhort the people to follow it. God’s servant leaders need to be relentless, tireless teachers. The Puritan clergyman John Flavel (c. 1630–1691)… Read more »