Office Hours Season 5—New Life In The Shadow Of Death: Defining Sanctification

In season 5 of Office Hours we’re focusing on the biblical, Christian, confessional doctrine and practice of sanctification, the process of being made holy, of being brought into gradual conformity to Christ by the grace of the Spirit through dying to sin . . . Continue reading →

The Principal Acts Lead To Others

By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein; and acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 88: The Two Parts of the Christian Life

The doctrine of the Christian life is remarkably simple. There are two parts: death and life. The practice of the Christian life, however, is quite another thing. The practice of the Christian life, the living out of our life in Christ, by . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 89: What Is The Dying Of The Old Man?

Imagine that you were indebted to your neighbor. You lost your job and your neighbor loaned you enough money to get by but he did so at interest. You got a new job but the principal was large and the interest continued to accrue even as you worked to repay him. You work hard but you can never get caught up because the interest grows faster than you can repay. You are a slave. In this world (which really existed) there is no “do over,” there is no bankruptcy court. How will you escape your bondage? Death. Only in death are you free from your slavery to your debt and to your neighbor. This is what Paul is thinking as he describes our liberation from the bondage and dominion of sin. Continue reading →

Both/And: Free Justification And Gracious Sanctification

Reformation season is drawing to a close for 2017. Quite naturally, there has been a great deal of emphasis on justification by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide). What might have been a time of remembrance and celebration has . . . Continue reading →

Jesus: Baptism Is Death

In Luke 12:50, as part of a wide-ranging discourse with strong eschatological overtones, our Lord Jesus characterizes his coming death in a striking way. He said, “But I have a baptism with which to be baptized and how I constrained until it . . . Continue reading →

It Was Not So From The Beginning: What Nature And Grace Teach Us About SSA

It is being argued in some evangelical quarters that same-sex attraction (SSA) or homosexual attraction is “natural” and that it SSA (sexual desire for someone of the same sex) is not per se sinful. One writer who defends this view quotes John . . . Continue reading →

Romans Series: The Power of God For Salvation (28)

Romans is one of the greatest resources available to the Christian faith and life. Written in the mid-to late AD 50s to the congregation in Rome, Paul sent this pastoral letter to make clear the gospel, that salvation is from the Lord, . . . Continue reading →

Living Through A Time Of Great Loss

Americans born after World War II, for most of that time, have experienced prosperity and medical progress hitherto unknown in human history. We have been led to expect that, given enough resources, medical science can conquer virtually anything. In an undated story . . . Continue reading →

Asking For A Friend: How To Love A Jerk

Who Says That Calvin Was Not Practical?

…But how do we do that with someone we might think to be unworthy of our love and good deeds? How do you love a jerk? You might say take a look in the mirror. Humbly realizing that we’re all unworthy jerks . . . Continue reading →

The Need Of The Hour: Repentance

Dear Christians, the great need of the hour is collective humility and repentance for our sins, for our selfishness, for our idolatries, and our attempts to make our home in this world in denial of our heavenly citizenship. And we shouldn’t miss the silver lining in all of this. We are still able to publish the best news ever, a lamp is still shining in Babylon, and a voice is still sounding out, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Continue reading →

The Truth About Fasting

Fasting has ordinarily been practiced as giving up food for a fixed time, and has been a fixture of the Christian tradition since its beginnings. One of the earliest Christian documents, the Didache, has several instructions regarding fasting that touch multiple aspects . . . Continue reading →