What is the Power of the Christian Life?

For Christians who believe God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures and who confess the Reformed faith there can be no question whether we ought to live the Christian life. The question is, however, how do we live the Christian life? From where do . . . Continue reading →

Is the Gospel Preached or Lived?

Re-published from February 17, 2008. Colin raised this question a while back on Unashamed Workman. He asked for comments and, as Mike had just touched on this during the WSC “Missional and Reformed” Conference, I piped up:

Legal and Gospel Mortification

Ralph Erskine (1685-1752) was the brother of Ebeneezer Erskine and a defender of the Reformation doctrines of justification and sanctification against the neonomians and legalists of his day. Mortification is the old-fashioned way of saying, “dying to self.” In the Heidelberg Catechism . . . Continue reading →

How Should We View the Warning Passages?

The Background to the Current Discussion There is concern by some in the Reformed community that there is too much emphasis on grace, in the doctrine of sanctification, and not enough emphasis on obedience and even godly fear. The question has arisen how . . . Continue reading →

Office Hours: Fesko on Galatians

The latest Office Hours is just out. In this episode Office Hours talks with John Fesko, Professor of Systematic Theology and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California, about his new commentary on Galatians.  We talked about the setting of Galatians (when, where, to . . . Continue reading →

So Many Reasons

On this day we rightly pause to give thanks for the innumerable blessings we have received, both those common to all image bearers and those saving benefits particular to believers. Chief among the latter are saving faith and Spirit-wrought union with Christ . . . Continue reading →

Brothers We Are Not Perfectionists

Introduction In the doctrine of sanctification there are several errors to be avoided. First, let’s define our terms and understand what the basic biblical (and confessional Reformed) doctrine of sanctification is. The verb “to sanctify” is Latin. It is the word from . . . Continue reading →

God, Not Man, Is The Author of Sanctification

Sanctification is a work of the Triune God, that is ascribed more particularly to the Holy Spirit in Scripture. It is particularly important in our day, with its emphasis on the necessity of approaching the study of theology anthropologically and its one-sided . . . Continue reading →

Why Is Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude Insufficient?

My doctrine of sanctification is the doctrine of the Heidelberg Catechism: Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude and the doctrine of the Belgic Confession Art. 24. We believe that this true faith, produced in man by the hearing of God’s Word and by the . . . Continue reading →

Leaving, Leaning, and Looking (Phil 3:8-14)

The time after Christmas, including, in some places Boxing Day—for which different etymologies have been given—is a time for writing thank you notes. The Apostle Paul also wrote a thank you letter and the Spirit of God preserved it for us in . . . Continue reading →

The Moralists Will Be Back

An HB Classic

It is an historical fact that moralism (the confusion of justification with sanctification) never dies, it just goes dormant periodically. The Reformation defeated 1000 years of moralism only to see forms of it re-emerge in the Protestant churches even before Luther died. . . . Continue reading →

Heidelcast 17: Legalism and Antinomianism

An HB Classic


What’s the difference between legalism and antinomianism? The latter is the denial of the abiding validity of God’s moral law for the life of the believer. The church has been afflicted with antinomianism throughout its history. All the Gnostics of the 2nd . . . Continue reading →

Is the Gospel Preached or Lived?

An HB Classic

Colin raised this question a while back on Unashamed Workman. He asked for comments and, as Mike had just touched on this during the WSC Missional and Reformed Conference, I piped up: Hi Colin, This business of “living the gospel” is one . . . Continue reading →