11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, … Continue reading What is the Church?
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what … Continue reading What is the Gospel?
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 18 “I will … Continue reading Who is the Holy Spirit?
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have … Continue reading Who is Jesus?
This is part 8 in Creekstone's sermon series in James, The Gospel for Real Life. Listen here: Sometimes you get what you pay for. That is true of my fifteen-year-old, 250,000-mile Volvo V70 that I purchased a few years ago for less than 10% of its original sticker price. Pretty amazing deal! But sometimes … Continue reading Ruined and Restored
"12 …sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." Romans 5:1 “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, … Continue reading What is Wrong with the World?
In the last post, we began by asking if there is credible evidence for the existence for a personal, creator God. We discovered that the evidence is overwhelming. That evidence is what we call in theology, General Revelation, how God has revealed himself as the Creator through the material universe. Now, we turn to what … Continue reading What is the Bible?
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans … Continue reading Does a Personal, Creator God Really Exist?
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for the salvation to everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16a Abba, Father, and God of my salvation, Paul was not ashamed of the gospel. He knew it was powerful, and when ignited by your Spirit, it would bring total, transforming change to … Continue reading Unashamed
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1 Abba, Father, why should I need to be urged to offer myself to you as a living sacrifice? In view of your mercy, why … Continue reading Living in View of Mercy
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… God demonstrates his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6, 8 Father in heaven, you love me. Yes, you love me. Though I confess that saying those words does … Continue reading Waking Up to the Love of God
If there is a primary presenting problem that couples bring to the counseling office it is that they have a communication problem. The word communication is from the same Latin words from which we get the word community, cum (with) and unitas (unity). Community describes people living with unity. There is something that uniquely connects … Continue reading The Key to Communication
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 My Father and my God, when you instructed Joshua to be strong and courageous as he led your people into the land of promise, … Continue reading The Presence and Power of God
When I counsel couples preparing for marriage and detect a pattern of conflict, I get concerned. This concern is not because I do not expect there to be arguments in marriage. Not at all. My concern is that the couple may be going into marriage with a mindset that marriage will fix their problems. Conflict … Continue reading Marriage Maintenance 101: Resolving Conflict
One of the most helpful books on relationships is Gary Chapman's, The Five Love Languages. One of the five he describes is the love language of "encouraging words." While some people may really live on encouragement, any relationship will experience improvement in an environment of compliment, encouragement and appreciation. These are what I call “grace … Continue reading The Power of Grace Words
“Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality.” This definition is incredibly important to grasp when it comes to Christian identity because we think about Christianity, we typically think about doing, not being. We tend to be so doing focused that we end up connecting our identity to our activity. But what if my identity has nothing … Continue reading Gospel Ontology: How Being Precedes Doing
You know that a business is doing something right when it reaches the fifty year mark. It has sustained strong and weak economies, up times and down. To endure for fifty years is a major accomplishment in any industry. The same is true for marriage. Both sets of my wife's grandparents were married for over … Continue reading The Secret to the 50-Year Marriage
Listen: Before leaving for a meeting in Atlanta, I open my Waze app and type in the address of my destination. I’m not ashamed to say that usually I am in desperate need of navigational assistance when driving in the city 🙂 and I like Waze because of its real-time ability to re-route around problematic … Continue reading Six Things to Know About Wisdom
ion of From the forthcoming book, The Love Triangle: How Union with Christ Transforms the Union of Marriage. When my wife and I married, someone gave us a Heartleaf Philodendron, which is also called the Sweetheart Plant. Perfect for a newly married couple, right? We potted the philodendron in a fashionable, ceramic Gail Pitman bowl … Continue reading The Love Triangle
In John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, he says, “We can never really seek God in earnest until we despair of ourselves.” This was true of the younger son in Luke 15. He only “came to his senses” and decided to go back home when he was out of human resources. What he discovered … Continue reading Where Religion Frowns, Grace Smiles
Horatius Bonar was a pastor who ministered in Scotland in the 19th century (1808-1889). In an article entitled, “The Root and Soil of Holiness,” he deals with what produces the fruit of new life in true Christians. It is fuel for the soul that craves (and yet struggles) to believe that free grace really is true. … Continue reading How Spiritual Fruit Grows
Corrie ten Boom once said, "There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still." Regardless of how deep our sin or sorrow, the love of Jesus flows and fills. Even the depth of Lake Tahoe pales in comparison to the far reaches of God's redemptive love for us in the gospel. … Continue reading God’s Love is Deeper
Before I officiate a wedding ceremony, I require the engaged couple to participate with me in a series of pre-marriage counseling sessions. In the very first session, there is one question that I always ask. It is the foundational question everyone must ask and understand before getting married. "What is love?" What a softball, right? … Continue reading Love is a Choice
"Christ died for the ungodly."The Apostle Paul, Romans 5:6b In his wonderful little book, All of Grace, Charles Spurgeon tells this moving story (pp. 18-19 in the Whitaker House version). "Do not attempt to touch yourself up and make yourself something other than what you really are. Come as you are to Him who justifies the … Continue reading You Don’t Have to Dress Up for Jesus
Lutheran professor, Dr. G. Ferdie, said, “The gospel is not a movement from vice to virtue, but rather, a movement from virtue to grace.” The idea is that when exposed as a sinner (our vice), we naturally attempt to become virtuous (i.e., we try to “be good” or at least be better). The big problem is … Continue reading Moving from Virtue to Grace