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Jul 2013 3 Jul 3, 2013
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We’re now ready to finish by looking at the final four characteristics of grace. (5) Fifth, when it comes to salvation, grace stands opposed to works (Rom. 4:4-5; 11:6). However, when it comes to sanctification, grace is the source of works. This simply means that whereas we are saved by grace and not of works, we are saved by grace unto good works. Good works are the fruit, not the root, of God’s saving grace (see esp. Eph. 2:8-10). It thus comes as no surp...Read More

Jul 2013 2 Jul 2, 2013
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“The heaven I desired was a heaven of holiness; to be with God, and to spend my eternity in divine love, and holy communion with Christ. My mind was very much taken up with contemplations on heaven, and the enjoyments there; and living there in perfect holiness, humility and love: And it used at that time to appear a great part of the happiness of heaven, that there the saints could express their love to Christ. It appeared to me a great clog and burden, that what ...Read More

Jul 2013 1 Jul 1, 2013

We’re now ready to look at some of the distinguishing characteristics of grace. I’m going to mention eight, four in this article and the final four in the next. (1) The first and possibly most fundamental characteristic of divine grace is that it presupposes sin and guilt. If you believe in the inherent goodness of human nature, grace will never register in your soul. It will make no sense. It will be viewed as unnecessary and irrelevant. Grace has meaning ...Read More

Jul 2013 1 Jul 1, 2013
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Posted By Alan Jacobs on June 24, 2013 [My former colleague at Wheaton College, Alan Jacobs, has written a brief but interesting post on the purported universal influence of technology. Anything Alan writes is worth reading, so enjoy.] Jonathan Freedland writes [1], “The American intellectual Leon Wieseltier recently told of his fears for reading. ‘Reading is a cognitive, mental, emotional action, and today it is under pressure from all this speed of the i...Read More

Jul 2013 1 Jul 1, 2013
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Acts 20:24 is surely one of the most powerful and breath-taking texts in all of Scripture. There the Apostle Paul makes this stunning declaration: “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” What is it about “grace” that would lead this man to say such a thing? Do we today understand grace i...Read More

Jun 2013 29 Jun 29, 2013
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On April 14 of this year I was honored to participate in the thanksgiving service where John Piper was acknowledged for his 33 years at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Some of the service is now available below, one segment of which is my challenge to John. ...Read More

Jun 2013 28 Jun 28, 2013
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What comes to mind when you hear someone refer to the “sovereignty” of God? Here is J. I. Packer’s answer to that question. As you read and reflect upon it, observe the beautiful harmony that exists between God’s causal priority in all things (as stated in the first paragraph) and human responsibility and moral accountability (as found in the second). They are gloriously compatible! The sovereignty of God, writes Packer, means that, “the l...Read More

Jun 2013 28 Jun 28, 2013

“If God contains the fullness of all good things in himself like an inexhaustible fountain, nothing beyond him is to be sought by those who strive after the highest good and all the elements of happiness.” John Calvin, Institutes, Book III, chapter xxv 10....Read More

Jun 2013 28 Jun 28, 2013
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In the first post of this series I briefly surveyed some interesting but inadequate ways in which people have tried to deal with the problem of the slaughter of the Canaanites. In the second post I offered a few initial observations that might help us better understand this otherwise befuddling incident. If you are just now joining in with me on this study, I strongly encourage you to go back and read those first two articles. We are now ready to conclude with some final...Read More

Jun 2013 27 Jun 27, 2013
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“It has often appeared to me delightful,” wrote Jonathan Edwards, “to be united to Christ; to have him for my head, and to be a member of his body; also to have Christ for my teacher and prophet. I very often think with sweetness, and longings, and pantings of soul, of being a little child, taking hold of Christ, to be led by him through the wilderness of this world. That text, Matt. 18:3, has often been sweet to me, except ye be converted and become as...Read More