Showing posts from February, 2017

The Cure for Spiritual Amnesia

Amnesia is a terrible disease usually brought on by some sort of blunt force trauma to the brain. I recently heard the story of a woman who got amnesia when she happily lifted her baby in her arms only to accidentally hit the ceiling fan. While the baby was okay, the motion knocked the fan blade off balance and hit her on the top of her head, leaving her with amnesia. She had to relearn who she was, who her husband was and how she met him, and even who her baby was. Physical amnesia is terrible, but spiritual amnesia is far worse. Those who suffer from spiritual amnesia have forgotten who they are and whose they are, and as a result are incapable of carrying out the mission God has for them. Truth be told, every believer struggles on a regular basis with spiritual amnesia. It happens when we begin to listen to ourselves more than we preach the Gospel to ourselves. It happens when we gradually begin believing the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil over the truth of God’s Word…

What We Can Learn from J.C. Ryle

“The world will let a man go to hell quietly, and never try to stop him. The world will never let a man go to heaven quietly—they will do all they can to turn him back…let him begin to read his Bible and be diligent in prayers, let him decline worldly amusement and be particular in his employment of time, let him seek an evangelical ministry and live as if he had an immortal soul,-let him do this, and the probability is all his relations and friends will be up in arms…if a man will become a decided evangelical Christian he must make up his mind to lose the world’s favours; he must be content to be thought by many a perfect fool” (Murray, 67). The name J.C. Ryle seemed to be forgotten by the winds of time after his death. For fifty years, Ryle’s work would be left in the dustbin of history. But when the battle for the Bible began raging on and the conservative resurgence took shape, Ryle’s works once again grew in popularity. Now that a new wave of “young, restless, and reformed” have…

God Meant It for Good

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” –Genesis 50:20a Perhaps the biggest issue people have with Christianity is how a good God can coexist with the evil and suffering of this world. More ink has been spilt trying to give a sufficient answer to the question of God’s goodness in an evil world than I could write in ten lifetimes, but in this one verse we find perhaps the best concise explanation. Let’s at least get one thing out of the way before we break down what is going on in this text: the problem of evil cannot really be a problem to God. Were God to face a real dilemma He cannot solve, such as the presence of evil, He would cease to be the sovereign authority of all creation. The problem of evil then is really only a problem from our human perspective. The old saying, “If God is God, He is not good. If God is good He is not God”, from a play by Archibald MacLeish, sums up the belief of many regarding this issue. Yet in the life of Joseph, we encounter …

Keeping in Step with the Spirit

When my wife and I first married, we would often take walks around a beautiful water reservoir near our apartment in Louisville, KY. When we’d begin walking we wouldn’t always be in step with each other, so I’d do a little foot shuffle until my steps mimicked hers so we could walk hand in hand. If I didn’t do this, either I’d eventually outpace her or she would me and it would lead to some awkward walking. In the Christian life, it is imperative that we strive to keep in step with the Spirit of God, so that we are not running up ahead in self-righteous independence or falling behind in selfish laziness. But what exactly does it look like to, “keep in step with the Spirit” and how does one go about doing this? For this we turn to Galatians 5:16-26.
The problem with legalism and how to combat it
The church at Galatia had a problem running up ahead of the Spirit, so Paul wrote a letter to both warn and remind them. They had begun well and gave evidence that the Spirit was working in thei…