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Sep 2015 30 Sep 30, 2015

The Apostle Peter tells us that the entire scheme of our salvation, including our grace-empowered pursuit of practical holiness, is something “into which angels long to look” (1 Peter 1:12b). Jonathan Edwards agrees (as we would expect!). Continue reading . . . The Apostle Peter tells us that the entire scheme of our salvation, including our grace-empowered pursuit of practical holiness, is something “into which angels long to look” (1 Peter 1:12...Read More

Sep 2015 29 Sep 29, 2015

Countless people throughout the history of the church have registered their thoughts and reflections in something of a personal journal or intellectual diary. But no one, to my knowledge, has left us so rich a treasure chest of spiritual and theological insights as has Jonathan Edwards (1703-58). Continue reading . . . Countless people throughout the history of the church have registered their thoughts and reflections in something of a personal journal or intellectual d...Read More

Sep 2015 28 Sep 28, 2015

I was honored to see that Kelly Kapic of Covenant College has posted a review of my book, Packer on the Christian Life, at the Gospel Coalition website (September 23, 2015). Here it is. Continue reading . . . I was honored to see that Kelly Kapic of Covenant College has posted a review of my book, Packer on the Christian Life, at the Gospel Coalition website (September 23, 2015). Here it is. This book isn’t sexy. J. I. Packer isn’t either. Maybe that isn&rs...Read More

Sep 2015 24 Sep 24, 2015
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Religion that is pure and undefiled, says James in chapter one, verse twenty-seven, of his epistle, entails both the compassionate love and care for “orphans and widows”, on the one hand, and keeping ourselves “unstained from the world”, on the other. Continue reading . . . Religion that is pure and undefiled, says James in chapter one, verse twenty-seven, of his epistle, entails both the compassionate love and care for “orphans and widows&...Read More

Sep 2015 23 Sep 23, 2015

In his portrayal of the person who displays a “religion” that is true and worthwhile, James highlights our use of the tongue. Continue reading . . . In his portrayal of the person who displays a “religion” that is true and worthwhile, James highlights our use of the tongue. Try to imagine a person who obeys the rules and never steals or lies or betrays a confidence, a person who is generous with his/her money and appears to love their spouse, bu...Read More

Sep 2015 22 Sep 22, 2015

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). I find it quite instructive that James uses the noun “doers” in this statement rather than the verb “doing”. Continue reading . . . “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). I find it quite instructive that James uses the noun “doers” in this statement rather than the verb “doing...Read More

Sep 2015 21 Sep 21, 2015
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My guess is that most people reading this article have at one time or another throughout their educational experience audited a class or course, whether in high school or more likely in college. I certainly have. I loved the courses I audited. After I had graduated from Dallas Seminary in 1977 I returned a couple of years later and audited beginning Hebrew which was being taught by my good friend Jack Deere. Continue reading . . . My guess is that most people reading th...Read More

Sep 2015 17 Sep 17, 2015

If the presence of God is what makes heaven heavenly, is there anything whose absence from that glorious state will make it all the more glorious? Yes! Continue reading . . . If the presence of God is what makes heaven heavenly, is there anything whose absence from that glorious state will make it all the more glorious? Yes! Jonathan Edwards puts it this way: “There are none but lovely objects in heaven. There is no odious or polluted person or thing to be seen t...Read More

Sep 2015 16 Sep 16, 2015

Why should we live with passionate expectation of heaven? What is it about the eternal state that makes it such an alluring and overwhelmingly joyful prospect? Many answers could be given, but none that surpasses the simple fact that God will be there. Continue reading . . . Why should we live with passionate expectation of heaven? What is it about the eternal state that makes it such an alluring and overwhelmingly joyful prospect? Many answers could be given, but none ...Read More

Sep 2015 15 Sep 15, 2015

What is this thing called “envy” which the apostle Paul insists is inconsistent with genuine Christian love (1 Corinthians 13:4)? Continue reading . . . What is this thing called “envy” which the apostle Paul insists is inconsistent with genuine Christian love (1 Corinthians 13:4)? Jonathan Edwards defines it as “a spirit of opposition to others’ comparative happiness, or to the happiness of others considered as compared with their ow...Read More

Sep 2015 14 Sep 14, 2015

“Love,” says Paul in perhaps the most famous chapter in all his writings, “is patient and kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Continue reading . . . “Love,” says Paul in perhaps the most famous chapter in all his writings, “is patient and kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Some render the word “patient” as “longsuffering,” the willingness to endure much at the hands of others without being moved to retaliate or se...Read More

Sep 2015 12 Sep 12, 2015

Today we conclude our examination of James’ exhortation: “Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). As we do, we must not overlook the power of God’s word. When we receive it and believe it and yield to it and rejoice in it God works through it to “save our souls.” Continue reading . . . Today we conclude our examination of James’ exhortation: “Receive with meekness the impla...Read More

Sep 2015 11 Sep 11, 2015

What a remarkable exhortation: “Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Ah, there it is: “with meekness”! Let me explain what this means by telling you what it doesn’t mean! Continue reading . . . What a remarkable exhortation: “Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Ah, there it is: “with meekness”! Let me explain wh...Read More

Sep 2015 10 Sep 10, 2015

We’ve been looking at James exhortation that we “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). All well and good, you say. But if the word of God is already “implanted” or embedded in your heart, how can you “receive” it? How can you receive something that is already in you? Continue reading . . . We’ve been looking at James exhortation that we “receive with meekness the im...Read More

Sep 2015 9 Sep 9, 2015

In James 1:21 we are not told merely to receive the word, but the “implanted” word. Now what does that mean? Continue reading . . . In James 1:21 we are not told merely to receive the word, but the “implanted” word. Now what does that mean? In speaking of the religious leaders of Israel who were trying to kill him, Jesus said: “you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you” (John 8:37b). Clearly the “word” or ...Read More

Sep 2015 8 Sep 8, 2015

When James exhorts us to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save our souls” (James 1:21), what does he mean by the word “word”? I think there are two things in his mind. Continue reading . . . When James exhorts us to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save our souls” (James 1:21), what does he mean by the word “word”? I think there are two things in his mind. First, look ...Read More

Sep 2015 7 Sep 7, 2015

I’ve always been stirred by the exhortation in James 1:21 that we “receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.” Sadly, many today ignore it. Continue reading . . . I’ve always been stirred by the exhortation in James 1:21 that we “receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.” Sadly, many today ignore it. When I began my public pastoral ministry over 40 years ago it was en...Read More

Sep 2015 3 Sep 3, 2015
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Let’s take a minute and remind ourselves of three important things the Bible says about money. Continue reading . . . Let’s take a minute and remind ourselves of three important things the Bible says about money. (1) First, material wealth or money is never denounced in Scripture as if it were evil in and of itself. As you know, Paul never said that money is the root of all evil. He said that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1...Read More

Sep 2015 2 Sep 2, 2015

How important is it that those who claim to know and follow Christ pursue godliness and holiness in life? Isn’t it enough just to get our sins forgiven? Isn’t it enough to be pronounced a child of God? Continue reading . . . How important is it that those who claim to know and follow Christ pursue godliness and holiness in life? Isn’t it enough just to get our sins forgiven? Isn’t it enough to be pronounced a child of God? Why would anything beyo...Read More

Sep 2015 1 Sep 1, 2015

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Our problem isn’t simply that we commit acts of sin that we know to be wrong. We then add to the problem by denying or at least minimizing our responsibility for them. Continue reading . . . Let’s be honest with ourselves. Our problem isn’t simply that we commit acts of sin that we know to be wrong. We then add to the problem by denying or at least minimizing our responsibility for them. We blame God (after all, is...Read More