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Sep 2020 17 Sep 17, 2020
1

When some wish to insist that women should remain silent in church, they typically appeal to 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35. There Paul wrote: “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church” (1 Cor. 14:33b-35). ...Read More

Sep 2020 15 Sep 15, 2020

My Interview with Remnant Radio The link below is of my interview of over an hour with the hosts of Remnant Radio. I’ve done this before on other topics with Josh and Michael, but this may be the longest and most in-depth of all. They asked questions of me related to my new book, Understanding Spiritual Gifts: A Comprehensive Guide (Zondervan) that was released on September 1. I hope you enjoy it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HSdH7jHr9U&feature=youtu.be ...Read More

Sep 2020 11 Sep 11, 2020

If you are wanting an introduction to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, this book is for you. If you are already knowledgeable in the gifts of the Spirit, this is the book for you as well. It is a source book for the seasoned Christian. You should secure extra copies to give away. No one is more able to produce a balanced book like this than Dr. Sam Storms. With a solid background in the Word and the Spirit, he has written a book that will be edifying and God-honoring. R. T...Read More

Sep 2020 10 Sep 10, 2020

“Sam Storms has given the Body of Christ a gift in, Understanding Spiritual Gifts, A Comprehensive Guide. This is without doubt, the best book I have ever read on the subject. Sam brings clarity to this often misunderstood subject, awakening us to the necessity of spiritual gifts in order to live the fruitful lives God has designed for us, and to fulfil the mission he has assigned to us. It is time for the Body of Christ to function as a whole, healthy, and strong ...Read More

Sep 2020 9 Sep 9, 2020

A couple of days ago I joined Scott Lindsay of Faithlife (Logos) for an hour-long interview on my new book, Understanding Spiritual Gifts: A Comprehensive Guide (Zondervan). Here is the link in case you’d like to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4DuQxbZM00&list=PLVacgImttbO8kRONNrh_VKfDLil3q69PT    ...Read More

Sep 2020 9 Sep 9, 2020

Sam Storms has written the most comprehensive book on spiritual gifts I have ever seen. I can’t think of a question about the gifts that he does not address. And his answers are based on the simple statements of Scripture, not preconceived theory about the gifts. Although Sam is a scholar, this book is not a scholarly, theoretical examination of spiritual gifts. It is an eloquent, easy to read, practical explanation of each of the twenty-one spiritual gifts and why...Read More

Sep 2020 7 Sep 7, 2020
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[This article was first published on September 5, 2020, at www.crossway.org.] Q: What are spiritual gifts? Where are they found in Scripture? A: The primary texts where spiritual gifts are explicitly mentioned are Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-14; and 1 Peter 4:10-11. There are numerous other texts, mostly in Acts, where we read of certain gifts being exercised (see also Gal. 3:5; 1 Thess. 5:19-22; 1 Tim. 1:18; 2 Tim. 1:6; Heb. 2:3-4; James 5:13-18...Read More

Sep 2020 3 Sep 3, 2020

Because the Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, learning to depend on the Spirit is crucial to the Christian life. And because biblical teaching about gifts of the Spirit points us to dependence on God’s Spirit to empower us to serve one another in the various ways that God equips us, it is teaching crucial for today’s church. Few things could be more central than learning to depend on God, in our various distinctive ways, to build up fellow believers ...Read More

Sep 2020 2 Sep 2, 2020
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[This article was originally published at the website of the Gospel Coalition on August 29, 2020] Many Christians get nervous whenever the subject of rewards is raised. To speak of praise for specific deeds performed or a life well-lived—or conversely the loss of rewards—strikes them as inconsistent with salvation by grace alone. But no amount of anxiety can justify ignoring the clear teaching of Scripture. And numerous biblical texts speak of rewards for o...Read More

Sep 2020 1 Sep 1, 2020

Finally, my new book on spiritual gifts is now available. Perhaps the best place to get it is on Amazon. Some of you may wonder how this book differs from my earlier volume, The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts. The latter volume, originally released in 2002 (174 pages) and then again in a slightly revised version in 2012 (219 pages), was truly only a “beginner’s” guide. This new volume is a massively expanded treatment not simply of the nine g...Read More

Aug 2020 31 Aug 31, 2020
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One of the more fascinating and instructive of Jonathan Edwards’s sermons is rooted in Song of Solomon 5:1. Here is Edwards’s translation of the text: “Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” Although most today believe that the Song of Solomon explicitly addresses the love relationship between husband and wife, Edwards stood in the tradition that dominated church history for its first 1,800 years. He argued that it was somethin...Read More

Aug 2020 26 Aug 26, 2020

No one ever probed the depths of what it means to be saved as intently and insightfully as Jonathan Edwards. He especially drew from this statement by the apostle Peter: “[God] has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:4). Edwards was careful to deny that the Christian partakes of ...Read More

Aug 2020 24 Aug 24, 2020
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“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12). Seriously? Did Jesus really mean what he said? Yes. Let’s look closely at this stunning statement. Thi...Read More

Aug 2020 17 Aug 17, 2020

Numerous books have been written on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Some have been helpful, but most have fallen far short of what the church needs. I’m delighted to let you know of the publication of what I believe is the best and most comprehensive treatment of the Holy Spirit yet to appear. Gregg Allison and Andreas Kostenberger have partnered to produce a 543-page treasure trove of biblical and theological truth about the Spirit (B & H Academic). H...Read More

Aug 2020 11 Aug 11, 2020

So when can we quit? Is there a point in the Christian life when we can take our foot off the pedal, throw our lives into neutral, and happily coast into heaven? After all, isn’t that what the world counsels? Retire. Relax. Amuse yourself. Indulge in whatever pleasures you were denied in your working years. You’re on the shelf, so take it easy. The end is in sight. J. I. Packer only recently entered into glory. During his final years he grew increasingly wea...Read More

Aug 2020 7 Aug 7, 2020

Here is a link to my podcast with Gary Wilkerson of World Challenge. The focus of our discussion is the holiness of God. Enjoy! https://wcm.link/gwp79ss  ...Read More

Aug 2020 5 Aug 5, 2020
1

This week at Bridgeway we looked at our Lord’s declaration, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matt. 5:7). In this brief article I want to share with you the most biblical example of mercy that I’ve ever seen. I’ve written about Jackie Pullinger many times before, but I make no apology for speaking of her yet again. I first met Jackie in January of 1991 in California. I had dinner with her and listened for two hours a...Read More

Aug 2020 3 Aug 3, 2020

It’s almost here. My new book on spiritual gifts (and most likely, my last book on the subject) will be released by Zondervan in a couple of weeks. If you want to learn more about it, see the endorsements by Max Lucado, Christine Caine, Jack Deere, and Mike Bickle, and pre-order your copy, go to the website, www.understandingspiritualgifts.com. This is just about everything I know on this topic. The book is approximately 385 pages and covers the wide range of issu...Read More

Jul 2020 27 Jul 27, 2020

I don’t think it an exaggeration to say that I owe much of what I am as a pastor and theologian to the combined influence of a schoolyard bully and an inattentive bread truck driver. Such are the mysteries of divine providence that largely account for the remarkable spiritual influence, not only on me personally but on the whole of the evangelical world, of one James Innell Packer. I’m not alone in this assessment of Packer’s impact, as the readers of C...Read More

Jul 2020 20 Jul 20, 2020

[J. I. Packer entered into glory on Friday, July 17th, five days short of his 94th birthday. A couple of months earlier I was contacted by the Gospel Coalition and asked to write a personal tribute to him. At the time of the request, it appeared that his days on earth were drawing to a close and they wanted to have everything in place to honor this man once the Lord had called him home. I encourage you to visit the Gospel Coalition website at www.thegospelcoalition.org w...Read More

Jul 2020 18 Jul 18, 2020
3

As you probably know by now, J. I. Packer went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, July 17, five days short of his 94th birthday. Below is a link to a podcast where I talk about his life and theology and the influence he had on me and countless others. https://www.crossway.org/articles/podcast-the-life-and-legacy-of-j-i-packer-sam-storms/...Read More

Jul 2020 15 Jul 15, 2020
3

On Wednesday of last week numerous news outlets disclosed the many Christian churches and ministries that applied for and received substantial funds from the PPP program. Several of the larger and more prosperous mega-churches in the country received anywhere from $5 to $10 million. Others are listed as having received from $2 to $5 million. I won’t mention their names, as my aim in this article isn’t to criticize them or to accuse them of sin. My aim is to e...Read More

Jul 2020 8 Jul 8, 2020
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Episdoe 63 / Christian Cessationist Now Believes In Continuation of Charismatic Gifts / The 180 Cast - with Georgi Boorman https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episdoe-63-christian-cessationist-now-believes-in-continuation/id1457346132?i=1000474823506 Christian theologian and author Sam Storms rejoins the podcast to talk about why he ceased to be a cessationist and now believes the charismatic gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy and speaking in tongues, are present ...Read More

Jul 2020 6 Jul 6, 2020
1

People are coping with the current crisis in differing ways, most of which are only making matters worse. I have long held the belief that the best way to manage the anxiety and fear that arise from earthly chaos is by meditating on the peace and blessings of heaven. And there is no better place for us to see this than in Revelation 7:13-17. Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?”...Read More

Jul 2020 2 Jul 2, 2020

Last week I posted a link to the first half of a two-part podcast that I did with Gary Wilkerson of World Challenge. The subject is the attributes of God. Here is a link to part two. Enjoy! https://wcm.link/gwp74ss    ...Read More

Jun 2020 29 Jun 29, 2020
3

Let me first ask for your patience. It is incredibly difficult to know when to speak and when to be patient and silent on such matters that currently confront us as a society. Many would criticize me for not speaking sooner. I understand their frustration. Others would criticize me had I chosen to speak early on in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd, thinking that to speak before all the evidence is known is both premature and unwise. Then there are those who w...Read More

Jun 2020 25 Jun 25, 2020

If you'd like to watch or listen to my podcast on the attributes of God with Gary Wilkerson, here is the link. Blessings,   https://worldchallenge.org/podcast/preeminent-passion-heart-god?utm_campaign=gwpodcast&utm_medium=guest&utm_source=SamStorms    ...Read More

Jun 2020 22 Jun 22, 2020
1

One of the more enigmatic statements made by Jesus came on the day of his resurrection from the dead. His disciples were hiding out in the upper room, behind locked doors, terrified of what might soon befall them. Jesus suddenly appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you.” He then repeated himself and said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and ...Read More

Jun 2020 15 Jun 15, 2020
2

Ein feste burg ist unser Gott! Say what? Well, that’s how Martin Luther would have written it in his famous hymn: “A mighty fortress is our God,A bulwark never failing;He, amid the floodOf mortal ills prevailing.” There can be no doubt but that Luther’s sturdy, unshakeable, unflappable confidence in God as his refuge, his strength, his mighty, impenetrable fortress is what ultimately accounted for what he was able to accomplish in bringing a...Read More

Jun 2020 12 Jun 12, 2020

I recently engaged with the leaders of The Layman’s Lounge as they asked me numerous questions about spiritual gifts. Here is the link. https://thelaymenslounge.com/spiritual-gifts-often-faked-often-bizzare-but-very-much-needed/...Read More

Jun 2020 8 Jun 8, 2020
3

I don’t know how all of you feel in the wake of the events that have transpired in our country these past few weeks. And no, I’m not talking solely about the death of George Floyd and the resultant protests in our streets. I’m also including in this the pandemic that has proven so devastating in so many ways for so many people. So, I will only speak for myself when I say that I find it easy at times to identify with the perplexity of John the Baptist b...Read More

Jun 2020 5 Jun 5, 2020

Sometimes profound truths are tucked away in obscure and neglected places. That is certainly the case with what we see in 2 John 12. My guess is that many of you have never bothered to read 2 and 3 John, perhaps thinking that epistles so short could hardly say much of value. Oh, how wrong you would be! As we prepare to regather on June 7 as the family of God at Bridgeway here in Oklahoma City, I want to draw your attention to something the apostle John said at the close...Read More

May 2020 31 May 31, 2020
4

I’ve read and heard so many responses to the horrific murder of George Floyd that my heart is shattered and my head is spinning. I don’t know if there is anything more that can be said, but to remain silent is simply not an option. The issue that has erupted once again in our land is not primarily political, social, economic, or educational. It is spiritual. Racism is an expression of the depravity of the human soul. It is one of many symptoms of the corrupt...Read More

May 2020 25 May 25, 2020

I’m happy to announce that Jack Deere’s new book is now available for purchase at Amazon.com. The title is, Why I Am Still Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today (Zondervan, 320 pages). If you’re wondering if this is a reprint of his earlier best-selling book, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, the answer is No. Although there is much here that appeared in that earlier volume, Jack has written a new work tha...Read More

May 2020 20 May 20, 2020
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In the previous article I outlined my understanding of the structure of Revelation. I argued that the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments have already been unleased in the earth and will occur, in varying degrees of intensity, all the way up until the time of the return of our Lord. In other words, they are descriptive of the commonplaces of human experience, both in the past, present, and yes also in the future. In this article we’ll look at the identity and meanin...Read More

May 2020 18 May 18, 2020

My good friend, Michael Brown, recently posted an article posing the question of whether or not the seven seals of Revelation have been opened. His conclusion is No. I hope my response and how I understand Revelation will be of some help in answering this pressing question. Perhaps the single greatest controversy surrounding Revelation and the most important issue when it comes to interpreting the book, is the question of its structure. Many, perhaps most, evangelicals ...Read More

May 2020 13 May 13, 2020
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There seems to be no end to the hyper-critical, cynical comments coming from many cessationists in the professing Christian world. One of the more virulent threads I keep seeing on the internet is the mocking tone that asks why the many prophets in the charismatic world did not foresee the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, let me be clear about one thing. This brief response is not an unqualified defense or vindication of the many names that are mentioned in this regard. Some of ...Read More

May 2020 11 May 11, 2020

What should I pray during this pandemic of Covid-19? What requests should I bring to the throne of grace? What do I need most at this critical time in our country? When I asked myself that question, the Spirit directed my heart to Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13). “But Sam. That’s someone else’s prayer. That&rsq...Read More

May 2020 6 May 6, 2020
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I recently joined Georgi Boorman on her program where she interviews people who have changed their minds on certain theological topics. Here is the link to my conversation with her on why I changed my view on biblical eschatology. I hope you enjoy it. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/180-cast-ep-61-premillennialist-embraces-amillennial/id1457346132?i=1000473293080  ...Read More

May 2020 4 May 4, 2020
1

What do we need most in times like these? If we have Jesus, nothing. At least that is what David would have us believe in Psalm 23. Aside from John 3:16, Psalm 23 may well be the most famous and oft-quoted passage in all of Holy Scripture. I’ve seen it printed on greeting cards, embossed on plaques, written on T-shirts, sewn into quilts, and even parts of it have appeared on bumper stickers of cars! I attribute this to its remarkable and powerfully reassuring port...Read More

Apr 2020 27 Apr 27, 2020
3

There is a lot that I could say to encourage you in this season of uncertainty and extraordinary stress. Perhaps I will at a later time. But my heart is burdened right now with this “thing” that many are calling “virtual church.” Let me be as clear and to the point as I can. There is no such thing as “virtual church.” There are sermons and announcements that we can provide for you by means of modern technology. But these are no substit...Read More

Apr 2020 22 Apr 22, 2020

A little more than 18 months ago I participated in an event hosted by Crossway Publishers that was held at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Along with a half dozen others who had contributed to Crossway’s series of books, Theologians on the Christian Life, I had the opportunity to speak on the subject of my book, J. I. Packer. Here is the YouTube video of that brief session. I hope you enjoy it. https://youtu.be/1etWhxYAUH8    ...Read More

Apr 2020 20 Apr 20, 2020
2

Over the past two months there has been a never-ending stream of articles posted on the Internet trying to decipher God’s role in the Coronavirus. No, I’m not going to add to the list. But reading these articles took me back to something my friend Andrew Wilson wrote a while back. Andrew was asked what he thought about Bethel and Bill Johnson. His response was both biblical and fair, highlighting both some theological concerns and an expression of appreciatio...Read More

Apr 2020 13 Apr 13, 2020
2

In a recent sermon here at Bridgeway I told everyone about a remarkable man, or better still, a man with a remarkable God. In these challenging days when we complain and become embittered with an ever so slight inconvenience, we need to hear the story of Pat Bickle. On Saturday, May 5th, 2007, at the age of 50, Pat Bickle departed this life and entered into the presence of his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Most of you will probably never have heard the name of Pat Bick...Read More

Apr 2020 10 Apr 10, 2020

In the face of Covid-19 and the uncertainty that it brings, we should all pause and raise a Hallelujah to our great and awesome God. If you don’t know the story behind this song, it concerns a young boy named Jaxon Taylor who almost died. As you watch the video and rejoice for all that God has done, be aware that the little blonde-headed boy in his daddy’s arms and eventually on his daddy’s shoulders is Jaxon. Be blessed and worship the Lord! https://y...Read More

Apr 2020 9 Apr 9, 2020

In Colossians 4:5 the apostle Paul speaks of “making the best use of the time.” Older translations render it “redeeming the time.” These are wise words for us today, as so many, confined to home, are trying to fill each day with meaningful activities. May I recommend the words of Jesus in John 15 in which he exhorts us to “abide” in him? What better time than now to press into the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, with an undivided and s...Read More

Apr 2020 6 Apr 6, 2020

[Encouraging words from John Piper during this unsettling season of life.] John Piper Romans 8 — “the great eight” — is a text I think everybody in this isolation period should be memorizing. I’m making that as a suggestion: it’s the best thing you could do with your time. Romans 8 gives greater foundations for this fearlessness than anything in the world — than anything the world has to offer. I’ll mention four: 1. For ...Read More

Apr 2020 3 Apr 3, 2020
1

Michael Kruger / March 19, 2020 [Michael Kruger, President of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a fellow-member of the Executive Committee of the Evangelical Theological Society, recently wrote this insightful article at www.michaeljkruger.com.] “You do you.” Perhaps there’s no phrase that captures our current cultural moment better. Back in 2015, Colson Whitehead of the New York Times Magazine, lamented this phrase, arg...Read More

Mar 2020 30 Mar 30, 2020
1

Bridgeway Church likely is no different from other gospel-centered churches when it comes to the frequency and variety of suffering that people endure. On top of all it all, we can now add the emotional instability and, on the part of some, panic that has set in as we watch the spread of Covid-19. I’m inclined to think the best way to respond to such personal tragedies, such as the sudden and inexplicable death of a loved one or an extended illness or the loss of ...Read More

Mar 2020 23 Mar 23, 2020

This is our final study of Isaiah 6. The practical application we find in this encounter with the holiness of God is profound. There are five things to note: (1) Personal holiness begins with an awareness of who God is. (2) An awareness of who God is leads to an awareness of who we are. (3) An awareness of who we are leads to personal confession and repentance. (4) Repentance leads to forgiveness and cleansing. (5) Forgiveness leads to mission. We must never forget that...Read More

Mar 2020 18 Mar 18, 2020

I know that many of you are reeling in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, seeking something to lay hold of and bring some measure of hope and stability into your life. May I suggest, no, may I strongly urge you to watch this short, 5-minute video of Rachel Wilson, wife of my good friend, Andrew Wilson? Andrew posted it today. It may turn out to be the most encouraging 5 minutes of your day. https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/kissing_the_wave  ...Read More

Mar 2020 17 Mar 17, 2020

I recently recorded an hour-long podcast with Alexis Busetti, focusing on my spiritual journey and how I came to believe in the contemporary validity and operation of all spiritual gifts. Alexis tells me that it is “also available through iTunes, GooglePlay, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, basically everywhere podcasts are available.” Her podcast is called, That Makes Total Sense, and here is the link. https://cisternandgrove.com/podcast/episode-030-sam-storms/...Read More

Mar 2020 16 Mar 16, 2020

In the previous article we took note of his reaction when Isaiah first saw God and then the angels that surrounded the throne. Today we look at the third thing Isaiah saw: himself (Isaiah 6:5-8). Seeing God does not produce rapture or giddiness or religious flippancy. It produces terror and self-loathing. Isaiah does not respond with pride or elitism, boasting that he alone has experienced this wonderful privilege. He is undone! He sees himself as insufferably unrighteo...Read More

Mar 2020 11 Mar 11, 2020

In this article we continue our study of Isaiah 6 and what it tells us about the Son of God, whose “glory” Isaiah saw (see John 12:41). A careful reading of this passage will show that Isaiah saw three things: the Lord, the angels, and himself. Isaiah sees the Lord We are told in v. 1 that he saw “the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up’ with the train of his robe filled the temple.” I don’t know what Isaiah meant when he sa...Read More

Mar 2020 9 Mar 9, 2020
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One of the more surprising texts in the Gospel of John comes on the heels of the apostle’s explanation for why so many people denied and defied Jesus. In order to account for this rejection of the Messiah, John appeals to the words of Isaiah 6:1-10, where God himself had declared that although they in one sense “see”, yet in another they are blind. In one sense they “hear”, yet in another they are deaf. It then that John makes this remarkabl...Read More

Mar 2020 5 Mar 5, 2020
2

Most are probably unaware of this, but I frequently speak with people who are new to Bridgeway and I hear one of three observations. Almost all of them are somewhat surprised by what they encounter and experience here. It certainly wasn’t what they expected. First of all, there are those who have come to Bridgeway because they are desperately hungry for the truth of God’s Word. They have spent considerable time in a church, or perhaps several churches, where...Read More

Mar 2020 2 Mar 2, 2020
1

We recently revised our Mission Statement at Bridgeway Church, expanding it by adding a simple but spiritually profound phrase. Previously our statement said: “We exist to exalt Christ in the City.” We still do! But now it reads: “We exist to exalt Christ in the City through joyful satisfaction in Him!” Every Christian, wherever they may live, believes that our ultimate aim should be to exalt and glorify God. But not everyone agrees on the most b...Read More

Feb 2020 24 Feb 24, 2020
3

There are few questions that plague Christians more persistently than the issue of whether we are morally and biblically obligated to give 10% of our income to the local church. If not 10%, then how much should we give, and how might we know? Are Christians in the age of the New Covenant required to abide by laws given under the Old Covenant? Other related issues, especially for pastors, include a proper salary for ministers of the gospel, whether or not it is ok to ask...Read More

Feb 2020 18 Feb 18, 2020
4

Enough time has passed since the controversy at Bethel regarding praying for a resurrection that I thought I would share a few brief comments. Simply put, is it biblical and prudent for us today to pray for a resurrection of the dead? To come straight to the point: Yes, it is. This issue was everywhere in the news when Olive Heiligenthal, two-year old daughter of worship leader Kalley Heilingthal, died in her sleep. Bethel Church in Redding, California, came together f...Read More

Feb 2020 12 Feb 12, 2020
2

In the fall of 2019, I wrote several articles on my blog arguing that the NT allows for the possibility of a woman being referred to as a “pastor”. My friend Denny Burk responded to each one on his blog, to which I posted a friendly response yet again on mine. You can read those earlier articles here on my blog. More recently, my good friend John Piper took up where Denny left off and argued that it is “misleading,” “unwise,” and &ldq...Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020
2

I’m happy to inform everyone that my series of articles, 10 Things You Should Know, is now available at this website. Some of you may recall that over the course of a couple of years I posted nearly every week an article under the title, 10 Things You Should Know about . . . The series covered multiple topics in theology, church history, local church life, and daily Christian living. These articles can now be found in one place on the website. Simply click on Reso...Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

A while back I wrote an article on ten things you should know about the life and ministry of Martin Luther. This was followed by two posts on the life of John Calvin as well as his theology. So it only seems fitting that we should also devote an article to the theology of Martin Luther.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

As someone once said of the doctrine of the Trinity: "Try to explain it, and you'll lose your mind. But try to deny it, and you'll lose your soul!" With this in mind, let’s examine 10 things we should all know about the Trinity.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

This theory of the atonement will likely strike most Christians as bizarre, and rightly so!Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, so it only seems fitting that we should turn our attention to the glorious message of Christmas. We will do that by devoting today’s article to 10 things all of us should know about the virgin conception and birth of Jesus.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

On Sunday, Christmas Day, 1904, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, pastor of Westminster Chapel in downtown London, England, delivered a somewhat unusual sermon. Contrary to his normal practice of expounding a passage of Scripture, he proceeded to tell his people about the remarkable things that the Holy Spirit was doing at that very time in Wales.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

In an earlier article we looked at 10 things we should know about the person of the Holy Spirit. In this article we turn our attention to the work of the Spirit.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Many would prefer that we only speak of God’s love and grace. But apart from the reality of divine wrath neither love nor grace makes much sense. We’ll see this as we explore ten things that every Christian should know about the wrath of God.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

We Protestants often fail to take note of the unique and sometimes profitable contributions of Roman Catholic theologians of the past. So today we look at 10 things we should know about Thomas Aquinas.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Today we take up the issue of tithing, especially as it was mandated under the Law of Moses. Here are 10 things we should know.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

With this article I’m launching a series that will appear every Monday for the foreseeable future. It will focus on 10 things that every Christian needs to understand about particular theological truths from Scripture. I start the series today with 10 things you and I should know about the doctrine of total depravity.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

There is a reason I said God’s “Will(s)” (plural) instead of God’s “will” (singular). My focus in this installment of 10 things you should know is the question of whether or not there are two senses in which God may be said to “will” something.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

There has been considerable controversy over the differences between Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and their respective descriptions of what happened on Easter Sunday morning. But the differences are not discrepancies. In other words, all four accounts, in my opinion, are complementary and perfectly compatible with one another. When we compare and align the four gospel accounts we derive the following ten truths.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

In our continuing series on 10 things every Christian should know, we turn our attention to the Roman Catholic Church and its beliefs about the Virgin Mary.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Although some argue that there is no consistent pattern in the NT for local church government, I disagree. I believe the NT portrays for us a virtually air-tight case for governance by a plurality of Elders. However, it is important to realize that even if this is not the case we can still determine whether or not women should be appointed to positions of senior governmental authority.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Whereas the NT is quite clear that the office of Elder is restricted to qualified men, there is considerable and on-going dispute among evangelicals on the question of whether women can serve in the office of Deacon. Here are my reasons for saying Yes to this question.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

That there is no salvation apart from a conscious faith in Jesus Christ is considered by many to be scandalous. Here are ten things to remember about this critically important issue.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

There is in the New Testament a plethora of information and detail regarding the second coming of Christ. I couldn’t begin to cover it all in one short blog post. So, in this article I will only draw your attention to what we are told in Revelation 19:11-21, one of the more graphic portrayals of who Jesus is and what the second coming will mean for unbelievers in particular.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Few things are more controversial among Christians than the sovereignty of God. Is God truly sovereign over everything, including calamity, natural disasters, death, and demons, or is his sovereign control restricted to those things we typically regard as good, such as material blessing, family welfare, personal salvation, and good health? Today we turn our attention to ten things we should all know about God’s sovereignty.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

As Paul delineates nine of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, the last on his list is “the interpretation of tongues.” Later in that chapter he again refers to interpretation in his denial that any one gift is granted to all Christians (v. 30b). In his instruction on how believers are to arrive at any particular corporate assembly, he says that whereas one may come with a hymn, another with a word of instruction, another with a revelation from God, another with a tongue, one may also come with “an interpretation” (1 Cor. 14:26).Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

In two previous installments of “10 things you should know” we looked at ten reasons why preaching in general has fallen on hard times, as well as ten reasons why biblical preaching is critically important. Today we look at the nature of expositional preaching and why it is, in my opinion, the far superior approach to making known the written Word of God.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

In last week’s installment of our ten-things-you-should-know series I focused on the causes for the demise of biblical preaching. Today I want to focus on why it is so critical that pastors be committed to the exposition of the Word.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Last week we looked at ten things all of us should know about the life of John Calvin. Today we turn our attention to ten things concerning his theology. Our primary, but not exclusive, source for these truths about Calvin’s theology come from the Institutes of the Christian Religion, the first edition of which in 1536 contained only 6 chapters. The final edition of 1550 had 80 chapters.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Of the many theories of Christ’s atoning sacrifice that emerged in church history, this is the one least known by contemporary Christians.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

With the English Reformation we come to the fourth major tradition to emerge from the events of Oct. 31st, 1517 (Lutheran, Reformed [Calvinistic], and Anabaptist being the other three).Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

When I say the “relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit” I’m not talking about the internal dynamics that exist eternally among the three persons of the Trinity. What I have in mind is the relationship that Jesus sustained to the Holy Spirit during the time of his earthly ministry. Here are ten things to keep in mind as you reflect on this question.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

What becomes of those who die in infancy, before reaching an age of intellectual and moral development that would make it possible for them to understand and respond to the revelation of God in the gospel and in creation? This question also applies to those who grow into adulthood suffering from such severe mental impairment that they are incapable of moral discernment, deliberation, or rational decision-making. If human nature is corrupt and guilty from conception, the consequence of Adam’s transgression (Ps. 51:5: Eph. 2:1ff.), are those who die in infancy lost? Here are ten things that will help us respond to this issue.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

What is known as the satisfaction theory of the atonement is most closely associated with the name of St. Anselm. Here are ten things to know about how he conceived of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

The primary biblical text on the nature and meaning of the Lord’s Supper/Table, also known as Communion or the Eucharist (from the Greek word for the giving of thanks) is 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. Here are ten brief observations on what we see in this text.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Your first response to this title may well be: “What controversy?” One doesn’t often hear much any more about the so-called “Lordship Salvation” controversy, but it is most assuredly an issue that needs to be addressed.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Subjective theories of the atonement are those which envision the focus or aim of Christ’s sufferings to be the human soul rather than God himself. This model is referred to either as the moral influence theory or the example theory.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

The most famous verse in the Bible, at least among Christians, is John 3:16. But do we really understand what it means. Here are ten things to keep in mind as you reflect on it.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

There is a reason why I speak of the “necessity” of prayer and not simply ten things to know about prayer. I want us to consider the necessity of prayer in terms of what we stand to lose if we don’t pray. Sadly, prayer for many who profess faith in Christ has become a meaningless ritual. They have lost sight of the fact that God suspends great and glorious blessings on our asking for them. So let’s take a look at ten reasons why prayer is necessary. Or perhaps we could say, let’s consider what we otherwise stand to lose if we choose not to pray.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

During Holy Week, on the night when Jesus gathered with his disciples in the upper room, he declared that through his shed blood there would come into existence a “New” covenant, a glorious reality described in some detail in Hebrews 8. Here are some ten things about the New Covenant that all Christians should know.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Where will believers in Jesus spend eternity? It won’t be on a cloud or a star in some distant galaxy. It will be on the sanctified and redeemed soil of the new earth. Here are ten things you should about what eternal life will be like in the new heaven and new earth. Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Last week I wrote about the Montanists and probably caused many of you to scratch your heads wondering, “Who in the world are the Montanists?” Today we turn our attention to another odd group known as the Nicolaitans. There is at least one profound difference between the two: the Montanists were most likely genuine believers in Jesus; the Nicolaitans were most assuredly not.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Today we turn our attention to the person of the Holy Spirit. We’ll follow up next week by looking at the work of the Spirit.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Before I delineate the 10 things all of us should know, let’s look at a definition of postmillennialism by one of its advocates, Lorainne Boettner.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Today, October 31st, is the 499th anniversary of the launch of the Protestant Reformation. It was on this day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg as a protest against the abuse of the sale of indulgences. So today we look at ten things that everyone should know about the Protestant Reformation.Read More

Feb 2020 11 Feb 11, 2020

Despite Queen Elizabeth's efforts to unify the people of England (she ruled from 1558-1603), some did not think the spirit of the Reformation had gone far enough.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

That title may have put you off, but if you are still reading, I trust you will recognize how critically important this issue of Kenosis is to our understanding of the person of Christ and the incarnation.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

The Kingdom of God is a massively important topic and spoken of throughout the Word of God. So reducing its essence down to only ten things feels silly, if not impossible. But here goes anyway.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

On several occasions in Scripture we come across reference to something called “the book of life” or “the Lamb’s book of life.” What is it and why is it important that we know?Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

In previous installments of our 10 things you should know series we’ve been looking at the more important figures in the Protestant Reformation. Thus far we’ve examined the life and theology of both Martin Luther and John Calvin. Many are unfamiliar with the name of Zwingli, and yet he was a primary contributor to the emergence of reform in Switzerland. So, here are ten things you should know about his life and theology.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Everyone everywhere is talking about Martin Luther in 2017. It is, as you know, the 500th anniversary of the “launch” of the Protestant Reformation. But we would do well to give equal consideration to John Calvin. So today we look at 10 things everyone should know about his life. I will later follow up on this with 10 things we should know about his theology.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Worship involves our bodies as well as our hearts and minds. Our posture tells a story. It makes a statement to God and to others about the state of our souls and the affections and passions of our heart.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Today we continue our weekly series on 10 things you should know. Our focus is on being filled with the Spirit as Paul describes it in Ephesians 5:18.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

On May 30, 1735, Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) wrote a letter of eight pages to Dr. Benjamin Colman (1673-1747), pastor of Brattle Street Church in Boston, in which he described the nature of the revival he was seeing. Colman forwarded a substantial portion of the letter to a friend in London where news quickly spread about religious events in the Colonies. Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

In a previous article I spoke of the first wave of the First Great Awakening, a revival that fell upon New England in 1734-36. Today we turn our attention to the second wave of the Spirit’s work and the events that can generally be dated 1740-42.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

As much as we hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ one would think that everyone is on the same page when it comes to defining this word. Sadly, that is not the case. So just what is the gospel? How might we define it? Here are ten things to keep in mind.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Yet again today we try to understand a little-known theory of the atonement that has actually re-emerged in our own day.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

It is all too easy to become discouraged and disheartened by the rampant presence of evil and injustice in our world today. It leaves us wondering: Will anything ever be done to bring to justice those who have perpetrated such wickedness? Will anything ever be done to reward those who are righteous? The answer is Yes! We have this assurance because of what we read in Revelation 20:11-15 concerning the final judgment. Here are ten things to keep in mind.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Today we turn our attention to 10 features of the healing ministry of Jesus.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Right now, without ceasing, Jesus Christ is interceding for all those who know him. It is a wonderful truth indeed. Here are ten things to keep in mind when you think of Christ’s heavenly intercession.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

History, according to one cynic, is nothing but “the succession of one d___ thing after another.” Unfortunately, many Christians would agree, although one hopes they wouldn't use precisely the same terminology! The fact is, people wonder why the history of Christian theology is worthy of our time and energy. Facts, dates, and dead people do not inspire much excitement, and many doubt the practical value of spending time on something that cannot be changed.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Many are under the false impression that the Holy Spirit is absent from the Old Testament. These ten things will serve to correct this misunderstanding.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

The Imago Dei, Latin for “image of God”, is crucial for our understanding of who we are as the direct creation of God. Here are ten things to guide our thinking.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Some see the concept of immutability as a threat to the biblical portrait of God who appears in some sense to change. Others are equally concerned that a careless tampering with this attribute of God will reduce him to a fickle, unfaithful, and ultimately unworthy object of our affection and worship. It is imperative, therefore, that we proceed cautiously, and yet with conviction, in articulating these ten truths about divine immutability.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Most Christians love the Psalms, for in them we find heartfelt prayer, emotional vulnerability, and passionate praise of God.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

We continue the series on 10 things all Christians should know about basic Christian doctrines. Today we look at the Incarnation of Christ.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

I could have as easily entitled this post: ten things you should know about what happens when a Christian dies. So what happens when a Christian dies? The simple answer is that he/she enters immediately into what theologians call the intermediate state. It is called “intermediate” because it is what we experience in between the time of our earthly lives (now) and the time when we receive our glorified and resurrected bodies. Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

We don’t typically understand jealousy as a good thing. How, then, can I dare suggest that God is characterized by jealousy? To many, that sounds virtually blasphemous. So let’s take a close look at this oft-neglected attribute of God.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Is there any such thing as the “Jezebel spirit”? If so, what is it, or who is it? And what relationship does it sustain to the spiritual gift of prophecy? To answer this we must turn our attention to the letter of Jesus to the church in Thyatira.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

The single most explicit biblical text on the judgment that awaits every Christian is found in 2 Corinthians 5:9-10. There Paul writes this: “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

All of us have our favorite Bible verses. Some of us have our favorite Bible books. Mine is Second Corinthians. Perhaps that is due to the fact that it is so profoundly pastoral and describes in detail how Paul interacted with a church that treated him poorly. In any case, if you’ve never studied Second Corinthians I urge you to do so. Here are ten things about the letter that may help you get started.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Ours is a splintered, fractured world, that often in its differing political parties and conflicting ethical systems and its seemingly endless variety of opinions on virtually every imaginable subject holds out little hope for ultimate meaning. And yet in the midst of undeniable diversity and the differences that so often divide us, the Bible tells us that there is a single, overarching, unitary theme and purpose and goal to all of human history and experience.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Shame and guilt are often confused in people’s thinking. What are they, and how do they differ? More important still, how might we be set free from the debilitating effects of shame? Here are ten things to keep in mind.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

We should acknowledge right from the start that the terminology of “slave” and “master” is highly offensive. And the reason is that our concept of “slavery” today is quite different from what existed, for example, in the time of Paul when he wrote Colossians 3:22-4:1. So let’s proceed carefully as we try to understand what the Bible actually says about this controversial topic. Needless to say, this is far from an exhaustive treatment. But I hope these ten observations will help.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

The spiritual gift of speaking in tongues remains controversial in our day and is a subject deserving of our close attention. This short article is not designed to argue that tongues are still valid but simply attempts to describe the nature and function of tongues speech.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

As glorious and wonderful as is the physical birth of a new-born baby, it pales in comparison with the spiritual re-birth of a person and the new life in Jesus Christ that they receive by God’s mercy and grace. I don’t mean to downplay the beauty of physical birth. It is truly a miracle and puts on display God’s creativity and power. But the second birth, being born again, as the NT describes it, is greater still. Physical birth only gives us physical life. Being born again gives us eternal life as the children of God. So let’s look at ten things we all should know about what it means to be an adopted child of God.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Suffering is an unpopular but essential topic for Christians to understand. And it is nowhere more clearly explained than in 1 Peter. So here are ten things we can learn about suffering from this letter.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Will the debate ever end about the identity of the 144,000 servants in Revelation 7? Perhaps not, but I hope these ten truths will contribute something to our understanding of who they are and what they do. We read that 12,000 are “sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel” (Rev. 7:4).Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

There is hardly a more controversial and confusing topic in the Bible than that of the Antichrist: who or what is this? Is it a person or a symbol of corporate opposition to Christ, or perhaps both? In this article we’ll look only in John’s first epistle for helpful answers to this question.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

In this installment of 10 Things You should Know we’ll turn our attention to Romans 13:1-7 (and 1 Peter 2) and the Christian’s responsibility toward human government.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

If the language of Christus Victor is foreign to you, it simply means Christ the Victor. The focus of this theory of the atonement suggests that the primary aim of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead was the defeat of Satan and the powers of evil. In its earliest expression it took the form of the somewhat crude ransom to Satan theory. And it is there that we begin.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

It’s both amazing and deeply distressing that I continue to hear of people who are supposedly “in love with Jesus” but not with the church. “We like you, Jesus, but we don’t care for your wife!” Really? The so-called “organized” church is for some reason offensive to them. Does the NT support such a notion? Is it possible for someone to be a Christian and remain opposed to his Bride, the church? I hope these ten truths about the church will forever put that misguided idea to rest.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

The Convergence Conference: the Passionate Pursuit of Word and Spirit, is now only a few weeks away. I hope and pray you will give serious consideration to joining us here in Oklahoma City, October 5-7. Here are ten things you should know about the conference.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Not too long ago a book was published with the title: What was God doing on the Cross? It appears that there are two questions being asked, not one. First, “What was God doing on the cross?” Why was the God-man impaled on a Roman gibbet? It seems shocking that God should be crucified? Second, “What was God doing on the cross?” Once we've agreed that the God-man was on the cross, we wonder, “what was he doing there?” What was he accomplishing? To what end and for what purpose was Jesus, the God-man, suffering?Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Biblical preaching has fallen on hard times in the western world. There’s certainly no lack of speaking and sharing and shouting. And dramatic presentations and video clips are prevalent in pulpits across America. But there is precious little biblical preaching. The Bible makes a token appearance here and there, but rarely to be explained and expounded and acknowledged as authoritative for how we think and live. There are several reasons for this dearth of biblical preaching, ten of which I’ll mention.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

A view frequently advocated by cessationists is that the spiritual gift of prophecy in the NT is largely identical with preaching. This is the position advocated, for example, by John MacArthur (and to a certain extent by J. I. Packer). One wonders what the motivation is behind this argument. I suspect that it is due, at least in part, to the discomfort that many cessationists feel with the idea of spontaneous revelation from the Holy Spirit in the present day. In any case, this provides the cessationist with the ability to affirm that prophecy is still valid insofar as it does not entail any revelatory work of the Spirit but is essentially indistinguishable from preaching.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

The best way to describe the dispensationalist’s view of the millennial kingdom is chronologically, i.e., by means of the temporal order in which the events actually occur. Although there are variations among those who call themselves dispensationalists, I will focus here only on the majority view known as dispensational, pretribulational, premillennialism.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Well, we have arrived. Tuesday is Election Day, an election day, dare I say, unlike any other in the history of the United States. Never before in the history of our country have two more reprehensible candidates stood before us asking for our support. Some may be offended by that statement. But since this election campaign is one in which giving offense has been elevated to an art form, I thought I’d join in. In any case, here are ten things you should know about the coming election.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

It’s been a little more than a week since most Christians celebrated Easter, or Resurrection Day. But it would do us all well to continue to keep our focus on the reality of the empty tomb. Here are ten things that we need to know about efforts on the part of unbelievers to account for it.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Here are 10 things we should know about Satan.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

All genuine, Christ-exalting, Christ-enjoying worship is in or through or by means of the Holy Spirit. This is what Paul meant when he said: “For we are the [true] circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3).Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Last week I wrote an article that identified ten things we should all know about quenching the Spirit, or perhaps I should say ten ways to quench the Spirit that we must studiously avoid. Today I want to turn our attention to ten ways we tend to quench the Spirit in the act of preaching God’s Word.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Anyone who thinks that we’ve made substantial progress in resolving the problem of racial disharmony and animosity in our society is simply not paying attention. The violent events that have filled our streets in the past week together with the response from both the white and African-American communities clearly demonstrate that mistrust, suspicion, and even hatred across the racial divide are rampant in virtually every sector in our society.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

We hear and say much about redemption justification and adoption and forgiveness of sins. But when was the last time you heard a sermon about the doctrine of reconciliation? What does it mean to say we are reconciled to God? What does it mean when we appeal to non-believers to be reconciled to God? In this post we’ll look at ten things we all should know about this glorious truth.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

We must acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of human beings in history have died without ever hearing the name of Jesus.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Repentance is a massively important spiritual issue that calls for careful study and clear articulation. Here are ten things to remember about what it means to repent of our sin.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Revival, both personal and corporate, is something about which the Bible often speaks and something all of us should desire.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

We all hear a great deal about Christian sanctification, but what precisely is it, and how does it work? Today we look at ten things about this crucial biblical truth.Read More

Feb 2020 10 Feb 10, 2020

Were it not for the fact that no less than the Apostle Paul himself commanded us not to quench the Spirit, who among us would ever have suggested that this is even within the realm of possibility? Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

I’m not anything remotely close to being an expert on the question of whether or not marijuana should be made legal and available for use in cases of extreme medical distress. But I will give you my opinion.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Much will be said and written about Martin Luther in 2017, inasmuch as this is the 500th anniversary of his posting of the 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg, an event that many believe launched the Protestant Reformation. But here are ten things about Luther you may not know.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The word miracle is used somewhat promiscuously to describe everything from healing a paralytic to finding a parking space at the mall on the day before Christmas. So we begin our ten things we should all know about miracles with a definition.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

About what? I suspect that many of you have never heard the name Montanism or the individual Montanus from whom the movement is named. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Mysticism is an approach to Christianity that focuses on preparation for, consciousness of, and reaction to what can be described as the immediate or direct presence of God. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

In recent years there has appeared a radical departure from traditional theism that has come to be known as the Openness of God theory or Open Theism.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Original sin sounds so archaic, so pessimistic, so grimly medieval. For heaven’s sake, this is the era of the computer and the space shuttle. And haven’t the most learned psychologists and sociologists assured us that people are by nature good, having been turned to their evil ways not by some inner instinct but through the influence of a deviant culture and sub-standard education? These questions indicate how important it is for us to understand the biblical notion of original sin. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The title to this article may surprise you. What in the world is Paul’s letter to Laodicea? I thought Paul wrote only 13 of the NT epistles (14 if you include Hebrews, which he probably didn’t write). It’s an interesting question. Here are ten things we should know about this mysterious letter.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Two weeks ago we looked at ten things all of us should know about Augustine. His principal theological opponent was a man named Pelagius. Today we turn our attention to what little we know about the person of Pelagius and especially what we should know about his theology.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Today we focus on 10 things that every Christian should know about the penal substitutionary atoning sacrifice of Jesus.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Do we have reason to believe that subsequent to our born-again experience we may have life-changing, empowering, and transforming encounters with the Holy Spirit? Yes. Here are ten things that we should keep in mind.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

I take no special delight in writing this material. But hell is real and people are going there. So let’s look closely at what the Bible has to say about it as well as the on-going debate over whether hell is eternal conscious punishment. I will summarize the issue in ten points.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

What may we conclude, if anything at all, about the tragedy in Houston? What lessons does the Bible teach us as we try to make sense of this event? What is the relationship of God’s sovereignty to the devastation of this hurricane? Here are ten things to keep in mind.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Although largely unfamiliar to Protestants, the name of Ignatius Loyola is widely known among Roman Catholics. Here are ten things you should know about him and the Society of Jesus that he founded.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Today we look at 10 things we should know about how to interpret the Bible (or conversely, how not to interpret it).Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Here we take up the concept of God’s saving grace as irresistible.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

I recently participated with several other authors who contributed a volume to the Crossway series entitled, Theologians on the Christian Life. My book was devoted to J. I. Packer. Here are ten things you should know about him.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

I read in the local newspaper today (5-18-18) that an annual Jehovah’s Witnesses convention is scheduled to convene here in OKC this weekend. It got me thinking once again about this unusual religious organization.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The first thing you should know (but not included among the ten) is that Jonathan Edwards’s most important sermon was not “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

No one outside the biblical authors themselves has exerted the influence on me personally as has Jonathan Edwards. So here are ten things you should know about his life and ministry.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The words of the psalmist are forthright and unmistakable: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The Bible never encourages Christians to be gullible or naïve. We are to exercise discernment. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The next installment of our “10 things you should know” series concerns justification.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

In the on-going dialogue (debate!) between complementarians and egalitarians, there is considerable confusion about the meaning of male headship. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Today I continue the weekly series on 10 things we should know about specific Christian doctrines. Our focus today is divine election.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

We’ve been looking closely at some important principles to understand when it comes to male headship and female submission. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

If there is a single driving force in our society today it may well be what I call instant self-gratification.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Forgiving others is counter-intuitive to human nature. It rarely seems to make sense. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Because of our focus on the inspiration and inerrancy of God’s written revelation, the Bible (i.e., Special Revelation), we often tend to ignore the other ways in which God has made himself known more generally to all mankind. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

A week or so ago I was alerted to a video (https://vimeo.com/275908702) that focused on the amazing creative power of God, both in terms of the massive size of the universe as well as the incredibly small world of molecules and atoms.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The psalmist declares that our Lord is great “and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:5). Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The word “omnipresence” refers to the truth that God is everywhere: from here in the room where I sit to beyond the galaxies that the Hubble telescope is able to probe. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The psalmist declares that our Lord is great “and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:5).Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

On October 5-7, we hosted some 1,400 people in OKC at the Convergence Conference where we focused on the passionate pursuit of both Word and Spirit in the Christian life and in the local church. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

We continue our series of articles on ten things you should know about certain biblical doctrines. Today, we look at the subject of grace.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Was Augustine (the emphasis is on the second syllable, hence aw-GUS-tin, not AW-gus-teen) the greatest theologian in the history of the Christian church? Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Today we turn our attention to the issue of beauty. What is it? Can it be defined? What does it mean to have an aesthetic experience? Is God beautiful, and if so, how does it relate to his glory?Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Here we take up the issue of the new birth, or what we often refer to as regeneration or being born again.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

In an earlier installment of the “10 Things You Should Know” series, we looked at Ephesians 5:18 and what it says about being filled with the Spirit. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

What do we mean when we affirm the inerrancy of the Bible? The importance of that question has not diminished in the least.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Worship is a subject on which everyone has a personal opinion.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is mentioned in three of our four gospels. It is found in Matthew 12:22-32; Mark 3:22-30 and again in Luke 12:10.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Christian Hedonism often goes misunderstood and thus maligned. Let’s look closely at ten things that bring clarity to what is meant by the label.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The word “meditation” has developed something of a bad reputation in certain Christian circles. In this article, I want to reclaim it as one of the essential spiritual disciplines for all believers.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The fact that your immediate and instinctive response to this topic is probably somewhat (or considerably) negative reflects how far removed we are today from the spirit of the New Testament.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Membership in a local church is very much in the minds of Christians these days. Is it biblical? Is it necessary? Is it helpful? These and other questions lead to the following ten things you should know about what church membership means and entails.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

We should acknowledge from the outset that the adjective “common” does not appear in the Bible as a modifier of the noun “grace.” But we are justified in making use of it in view of how God’s dealings with non-Christian people are portrayed for us in Scripture. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

I’m a bit hesitant about posting this article, for the simple fact that there are differing versions of what is known as complementarianism. Although there are several foundational truths that all complementarians embrace, differences emerge when it comes to application in the local church and in para-church ministries. So be aware that not all complementarians will necessarily agree with the way I articulate the concept.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

As we are in the process of building a diaconate at Bridgeway, I thought it would be helpful to mention a few important things to keep in mind.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Last week we looked at ten things we should know about angels. Our focus was on good and holy angels, those who persevered in their obedience to God.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

News broke this past week that Hank Hannegraaf, of the Bible Answer Man radio program, was chrismated on Palm Sunday at Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

It actually sounds a bit silly, even irreverent, to speak of only ten things we should know about Jesus.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

No one has spoken with greater clarity on the nature of both pride and humility than Jonathan Edwards. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

The number of suicides among people we know, at least by name, has been increasing with disturbing regularity.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Holiness of life or sanctification entails substantial growth in Christ-likeness, but never reaches the point of absolute sinless perfection in this life. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Today we turn our attention to 10 things we should know about the most controversial passage in the Bible when it comes to the role/relationship between men and women. Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Today we turn our attention to what giving or financial stewardship is like under the terms of the New Covenant.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

I recently read of yet another claim that a statue of the Virgin Mary was weeping. But this time it was different.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

So, as we continue our study of the Protestant Reformation, we now turn to the Anabaptists and what they believed.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Unbelievers scoff at the suggestion that angels are real. For them, angels are a holdover from the medieval mindset that debated endlessly about how many of them could dance on the head of a pin! Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

Today we turn our attention to James Arminius and a few brief observations about the theological system that bears his name.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

In an earlier post we looked at 10 things all should know about male headship as it is found in Scripture. Today we look at female submission.Read More

Feb 2020 7 Feb 7, 2020

In last week’s article in the 10 things you should know series, we looked at what tithing was like under the terms of the Mosaic or Old Covenant. Today we turn our attention to what giving or financial stewardship is like under the terms of the New Covenant.Read More

Feb 2020 5 Feb 5, 2020

By Andrew Wilson [This article appeared on Andrew’s blog on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. In light of the fact that we are reading through the Scriptures this year at Bridgeway, I thought this would be an encouragement to all.] Sometimes I use this blog as a place to jot down preaching and teaching ideas that occur to me, so I can find them later. (Come to think of it, that's pretty much all I use this blog for, it's just that some jotting takes more time than oth...Read More

Feb 2020 3 Feb 3, 2020
2

One of the more shocking contrasts that we see between the mindset of the 21st century and that of Jesus in the 1st century is the way in which each defines “love”. Let me explain. This reality was brought to my attention as I studied John 11 in preparation for preaching the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. John Piper points out in his message on this passage that “If you walk through life thinking that minimizing pain is the essence of lov...Read More

Jan 2020 30 Jan 30, 2020

[My article was originally published at www.desiringgod.org on January 28, 2020.] There is, admittedly, a lot we don’t know or understand about prayer. How it is incorporated into the way a sovereign God providentially governs the universe remains largely a mystery. Why some prayers are answered swiftly, and others slowly, and some not at all, often baffles us. But this doesn’t mean we are left in the dark when it comes to prayer. We know, for example, that...Read More

Jan 2020 27 Jan 27, 2020

Can a born-again, justified by faith, adopted child of God ever lose their salvation? Or as others have expressed it, is it possible for a born-again, justified by faith, adopted child of God to forfeit their salvation by fully and finally turning their back on Jesus Christ and reverting to unrepentant unbelief? Some say, Yes. Others, such as myself, believe that God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is committed to preserving all his children in saving faith and wi...Read More

Jan 2020 23 Jan 23, 2020
7

[This article was written by Hayden Hefner, Pastor of Student Ministries here at Bridgeway Church. I trust that you will find it as moving and encouraging as I have. Be blessed!] Memory is so odd and so wonderful. Like musical notes on lines of treble and bass, life’s moments are permanently imprinted onto the parchment of our hearts. Played in sequence, these notes create a memorable melody and tell the story of our lives. This last year was filled with many suc...Read More

Jan 2020 20 Jan 20, 2020
3

In 1862 Joseph Gilmore wrote one of the more familiar of our traditional hymns: He Leadeth Me. He leadeth me, O blessèd thought! O words with heav’nly comfort fraught! Whate’er I do, where’er I be, Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me. He leadeth me, He leadeth me, By His own hand He leadeth me; His faithful follower I would be, For by His hand He leadeth me When Jesus turns to describe himself as the Good Shepherd who lays do...Read More

Jan 2020 13 Jan 13, 2020
1

When Jesus declared to the religious leaders of his day that “Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day” and that “he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56), this was more than they could stomach. He’s gone too far, they said to themselves. How can you possibly know what Abraham saw and what brought him joy? You haven’t seen him. Abraham was born in 2,160 b.c., or thereabouts. But “you are not yet fifty years old” (v. 57). Abraha...Read More

Jan 2020 9 Jan 9, 2020
3

Of all the questions I’m asked by other Christians, one tops the list: what is the meaning of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, or the unpardonable sin, and have I committed it? In earlier articles and in the chapter on this subject in my book, Tough Topics (Crossway), I labored to point out that this is not some inadvertent, singular, or even occasional sin. I also made it clear that those who live in fear and anxiety that they have committed this sin are the least l...Read More

Jan 2020 6 Jan 6, 2020
2

Yes, I know the Christmas season is behind us now. It’s typical of most Christians, once December gives way to a new year, to turn their attention to other themes and the responsibilities of the new year. But permit me for a brief moment to linger with the Christmas story and the events surrounding the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. As I was preparing to preach on Matthew 2 at Christmas, I couldn’t help but notice how often God employed angels and dreams an...Read More

Jan 2020 1 Jan 1, 2020

It’s time once again for my selection of the best books released in 2019. I’ll list them from 10 to 1. By the way, there were a couple of ties along the way. (10) Matthew Barrett, editor, The Doctrine on Which the Church Stands or Falls: Justification in Biblical, Theological, Historical, and Pastoral Perspective (Wheaton: Crossway), 912 pages. With the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017 there were numerous books devo...Read More

Dec 2019 31 Dec 31, 2019
3

This article will be short and straight to the point. It may also prove to be the most insignificant thing I’ve ever written. It is largely inconsequential. But I can’t let it pass. I can’t begin to count the number of times over the last several months that I’ve heard or read someone say something about the end of the decade. It usually comes in conjunction with a “Best Of the Decade” series, be it songs, movies, books, athletes, or ...Read More

Dec 2019 23 Dec 23, 2019
1

There are numerous traditions associated with Christmas that on closer examination are shown to lack any basis in biblical fact. One of them concerns the place of our Lord’s birth. We read in Luke 2:6-7 that while Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, “the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” The traditional po...Read More

Dec 2019 16 Dec 16, 2019

One often hears from the cessationist that a distinction should be made between certain, so-called “sign” gifts such as tongues, prophecy, miracles, and healing, which, they contend, are no longer given to the church, and all other gifts of the Spirit. However, much to the surprise of many, the phrase “sign gift” appears nowhere in Scripture. Cessationists often (always?) create a special category for certain miraculous gifts and speak of them as...Read More

Dec 2019 9 Dec 9, 2019
4

In his new book, Against the Darkness: The Doctrine of Angels, Satan, and Demons (Crossway, 2019), Graham Cole makes this important observation: “One of the questions that animates so many today is whether we are alone in the universe. The thought that humanity is the lonely product of blind evolutionary processes chills. . . . Indeed the human imagination is not content with such solitariness, and so we find all sorts of alien beings frequenting popular enterta...Read More

Dec 2019 2 Dec 2, 2019

One of the more astounding things that Jesus said is found in John 8:24. There he declares that “unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.” The personal pronoun “he” is not in the original Greek text. Most times in John’s gospel this sort of statement is followed by a more explicit declaration of who Jesus is. For example, he will say things like, “I am the bread of life,” or “I am the good shepherd,” o...Read More

Nov 2019 25 Nov 25, 2019
6

The news has been filled of late with stories of so-called “de-conversions,” especially among some high-profile professing Christian leaders. I’m not here to analyze their lives or their purported reasons for turning away from Jesus. But it did get me thinking about why I am a Christian and am determined, by God’s sustaining gracious presence and power, to remain one forever. There are, of course, numerous reasons why I find Christianity compelli...Read More

Nov 2019 20 Nov 20, 2019
3

This will most likely be the last article I write in response to my friend Denny Burk. In case you are just now dropping in on the conversation, Denny has responded twice to my argument that “pastor” in the NT is a spiritual gift, not an office. My conclusion from the way that the terminology is used in the NT is that women may well receive this gift. So, yes, I still maintain that it is compatible with complementarianism for a woman to be called a “pas...Read More

Nov 2019 4 Nov 4, 2019
5

My friend Denny Burk recently wrote a blog article in response to mine on whether or not it is biblically permissible to call a woman a “pastor”. I appreciate his taking the time to give serious consideration to my argument, but I fear that he has misunderstood the primary point that I labored to make. Denny cites the development of the Baptist Faith & Message (hereafter BF&M) by pointing out that “all three terms (bishop/elder/pastor) are mere...Read More

Oct 2019 31 Oct 31, 2019
2

[This article of mine was posted at the Desiring God website, www.desiringgod.org, on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. I’m posting it here in case you did not see it. Blessings!] I’m a sucker for news articles with headlines such as “The 10 Most Enjoyable Places to Live” or “The Least Expensive Cities in the US” or “The Best Places in the US to Retire.” But it’s not because I want to know where my state or city ranks. My c...Read More

Oct 2019 30 Oct 30, 2019

My book “Practicing the Power” is on sale right now. Get 50% off the print book only at ChurchSource: http://bit.ly/2prdziP Or get the eBook on sale, discounted wherever eBooks are sold: https://amzn.to/2Mno0MM The deals end November 3....Read More

Oct 2019 28 Oct 28, 2019
8

The internet has been abuzz ever since the comments of John MacArthur concerning Beth Moore and whether or not women are permitted to preach. For the sake of clarity, let’s put aside the latter question and instead address the issue of whether or not it is biblically permissible for a woman to be called a “pastor”. Many would argue that there is no difference between the two. They insist that those who are “pastors” are the ones who regular...Read More

Oct 2019 23 Oct 23, 2019

A Review by John Lathrop in Pneuma ReviewOctober 17, 2019 Sam Storms has served the Lord in a number of different capacities. He is a pastor and has served as an associate professor of theology at a major Christian college. These experiences show that he has served the church in both the practical “grass roots” expression of Christianity in the local church and in the academic setting, where he has helped train people for Christian service. In addition, he h...Read More

Oct 2019 22 Oct 22, 2019
91

It seems that everyone is weighing in on the comments made by John MacArthur at his recent conference in California. For those of you not yet aware of what happened, MacArthur was asked to give his brief response to what was supposed to be a one-word utterance. It turned out to be two words: “Beth Moore.” MacArthur’s immediate response also came in the form of two words: “Go home,” which provoked uproarious laughter from those in attendance...Read More

Oct 2019 21 Oct 21, 2019

When a person comes to Jesus through the drawing of the Father, it is impossible for him/her to be turned away or cast out. Look at how Jesus says this in John 6:37-40. “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up o...Read More

Oct 2019 18 Oct 18, 2019

All the videos from the Convergence 2019 conference are now available for viewing. These include sessions from me, Matt Chandler, Christine Caine, Michael Brown, Andrew Wilson, and Jack Deere. Here is the link. Enjoy and be edified! https://www.convergenceconference.org/2019-videos  ...Read More

Oct 2019 16 Oct 16, 2019
1

In a previous article we took note of the sovereignty of our Lord who not only created water and its many properties, but also walked on water. But perhaps the most amazing facet of this story is often overlooked by the casual reader of Scripture Neither Matthew nor John mentions it. It is found only in Mark’s gospel (Mark 6:48). There we are told two seemingly contradictory facts. We read that “about the fourth watch of the night he [Jesus] came to them, wal...Read More

Oct 2019 14 Oct 14, 2019
1

One of the more breathtaking scenes in the gospels is that of Jesus walking on the water. We read about it in Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; and in John 6:16-21. Jesus did not come “by” the Sea, but “on” the Sea of Galilee. Liberal skeptics respond to this story in much the same way they do to the feeding of the 5,000. They scoff that anyone in our highly technological and educated society would believe Jesus literally walked on water. They insis...Read More

Oct 2019 10 Oct 10, 2019

[On September 24, 2019, Michael Kruger posted an article on his blog that I believe you will greatly enjoy.] Our world’s skepticism over miracles is nothing new. Ever since David Hume, philosophers and scholars have been making the case against the possibility of miracles. But, now things have shifted. Hume has been roundly (and decisively) rebutted and philosophers now realize that one cannot prove miracles are impossible. But, not to worry, now there’s a ...Read More

Oct 2019 7 Oct 7, 2019
1

I may be one of the few individuals who still reads the local newspaper every day. I can’t adjust to reading the news on-line. So, there I was on Saturday morning (October 5, 2019) reading the Spiritual Life section of our local paper, The Oklahoman. One story in particular caught my eye. It was alarming, to say the least. Worse than alarming, it was heartbreaking. The story was titled, “Casting sins away.” It concerned a water ritual that helps mark R...Read More

Oct 2019 3 Oct 3, 2019
1

Saturday, October 5th, is the birthday of my theological hero, Jonathan Edwards. He was born in 1703 in East Windsor, Connecticut, and his life and words continue to affect me in countless ways. The Edwards home was rather unusual, as Jonathan had 10 sisters and no brothers! But that’s not my focus in this article. I want to briefly reflect on one of the more important truths that occupied his mind. Although what follows is primarily designed for those who, like Ed...Read More

Sep 2019 30 Sep 30, 2019
5

We just concluded our second national Convergence conference here in OKC and witnessed a multitude of healings. As people send in reports of what happened, I’ll share them on this blog. In my first message at the conference I addressed the problem of the gap (indeed, the vast chasm!) that often exists between what we believe the Bible teaches to be true and what we have personally experienced. We are always quick to believe and embrace what reinforces and confirms...Read More

Sep 2019 25 Sep 25, 2019
3

Rock stars rarely age well. The Rolling Stones are a case in point. Often called The Strolling Bones, and not without cause (!), this once energetic and controversial sixties group was actually invited to perform during the Super Bowl halftime show a few years ago. Of all their many hits, the one that lingers most in my memory is the grammatically torturous, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”! As I type it, Microsoft Word faithfully reminds me of its error ...Read More

Sep 2019 23 Sep 23, 2019
2

Our pluralistic, consumer driven society is all about choices, options, and diversity. If you don’t like what you see, be patient; another version, an updated edition, a new and improved alternative will soon appear. This is often the case in certain expressions of contemporary “Christianity” (so-called). Don’t like the Jesus of evangelical, orthodox biblical faith? No problem. There are plenty of other Jesus’s to choose from. There’s...Read More

Sep 2019 20 Sep 20, 2019
2

No. There is no such thing as the spiritual gift of healing. There never has been and never will be. Obviously, this calls for some explanation. Many Christians, perhaps even most, think of healing in much the same way they do the spiritual gifts of teaching or mercy or evangelism or encouragement. That is to say, they envision a person with the gift of healing as being able to heal all diseases at any time, whenever they will. A person with the gift of teaching can teac...Read More

Sep 2019 16 Sep 16, 2019
5

I am constantly amazed that this question is still being asked, and even more amazed that some Christians respond by saying, Yes. May I remind you of a few important things that Muslims believe, or conversely, don’t believe? Muslims deny the truth of the Trinity, that the one eternal God exists in three co-equal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Muslims also deny the incarnation. We are told in John 1:14 that the eternal Word or Second Person of the Trinity ...Read More

Sep 2019 13 Sep 13, 2019

Whereas the NT is quite clear that the office of Elder is restricted to qualified men, there is considerable and on-going dispute among evangelicals on the question of whether women can serve in the office of Deacon. Here are my reasons for saying Yes to this question. (1) Although the word for “deacon” can describe a non-technical ministry of serving to which all Christians are called, I believe Romans 16:1 is speaking of the office of deacon to which one m...Read More

Sep 2019 11 Sep 11, 2019

Nowhere outside of the book of Acts are the duties and responsibilities of a deacon mentioned. Twice Paul describes them as “serving”, but never provides content or structure to what this means. Most believe this is because the early church looked to the portrayal of deacons in Acts 6 as providing the nature of this office and the sort of “service” or “ministry” they would provide. The most that we might say with confidence is that &ld...Read More

Sep 2019 9 Sep 9, 2019

Here at Bridgeway we are working on building out the role of what it means to be a Deacon in the local church. In this brief, three-part series, I want to address the primary questions that arise when dealing with this issue. The English word deacon is the translation of the Greek word diakonos which appears 29x in the NT. However, only four of those twenty-nine occurrences refer to a person who holds the office of deacon (Rom. 16:1; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8, 12). The othe...Read More

Sep 2019 6 Sep 6, 2019
2

One of the more challenging texts in the NT is found in Matthew 27:51-54. It concerns a rather bizarre event in the wake of our Lord’s death on the cross. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to ...Read More

Sep 2019 2 Sep 2, 2019
2

No, this isn’t an article on work per se. My focus here is the way in which the OT Sabbath ordinance has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Let me explain. Observe how Jesus responded to the accusation of the Pharisees that he and his disciples had profaned the Sabbath when they plucked heads of grain to satisfy their hunger (Mark 2:23-28). Matthew’s version of the story includes this remarkable declaration by our Lord: “Or have you not read in the Law...Read More

Aug 2019 28 Aug 28, 2019
3

Everyone is familiar with the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4. But not everyone can explain what Jesus meant when he said that the Father is seeking men and women who will worship him “in spirit and truth” (v. 23)? To say that we must worship God “in spirit” means, among other things, that it must originate from within, from the heart; it must be sincere, motivated by our love for God and gratitude for all he is and has ...Read More

Aug 2019 26 Aug 26, 2019

Last November, while in Denver for the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, I recorded an interview with Andrew Gabriel, author of Simply Spirit Filled. You can watch the 8 minute interview by going to this address. https://www.andrewkgabriel.com/2019/08/18/encouraging-spiritual-gifts/...Read More

Aug 2019 26 Aug 26, 2019

Last week I posted an article in which I argued that if God is going to love us in the fullest and highest manner, he must seek from us the praise and adoration of all that he is. It is a portrayal of God in Scripture (see John 4:23) that almost destroyed C. S.  Lewis’s faith. Today I want to continue thinking on this theme. So let me begin with an illustration. If God is to love my wife, Ann, optimally, in the most superlative way possible, he must bestow or...Read More

Aug 2019 21 Aug 21, 2019
9

[I posted on this subject a few years ago, but as I’m preaching through John’s gospel it reared its head yet again. It is of such profound importance that we need to meditate deeply on it over and over again.] C. S. Lewis was voted by evangelicals in America as the single most influential Christian of the 20th century. If you are wondering why he was known only by his initials, it is probably because C. S. stands for Clive Staples. If you were named Clive St...Read More

Aug 2019 19 Aug 19, 2019
3

I couldn’t help but sit up and take note when I read that “popular Texas megachurch pastor and author Robert Morris preached before hundreds of inmates at the state's largest prison last week, assuring [them] that God is not ‘mad’ at them.” According to the article on The Christian Post, “The H.H. Coffield Unit in Anderson County houses over 4,000 inmates in East Texas. Since the Southlake-based church opened up its Coffield Campus la...Read More

Aug 2019 14 Aug 14, 2019

This may be the shortest article I’ve ever posted. It concerns the misspelling of a word that is being used with increasing frequency in evangelical circles. Much is being said these days about apostasy or the falling away of certain formerly professing Christians. In an article I read today, once again it referred to people who “apostacize". In one sentence he writes, “Years before a man or woman apostacizes . . .” Please note that the proper sp...Read More

Aug 2019 14 Aug 14, 2019
1

[On August 7th, J. D. Greear, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, posted this brief but insightful article on the nature of the atoning death of Jesus. There is, in my opinion, no greater threat to the Christian faith, the true gospel, and the glory of God and all he has done for us in Jesus, than the repudiation and sinful characterization of penal substitutionary atonement on the part of certain “theologians”, “pastors”, and “aut...Read More

Aug 2019 12 Aug 12, 2019
4

I love the spiritually volcanic eruptions of doxology in Scripture. One such explosion of praise is 1 Peter 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” It’s perfectly ok to ask the question: Why is God “blessed”? Why is he worthy of such adoration? Peter says it is because he is infinitely merciful and kind and has caused us to be born again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (v. 3)....Read More

Aug 2019 9 Aug 9, 2019

Many of you are already aware of a 30-minute podcast featuring Ray, me, and Tony Merida that is currently available at the Gospel Coalition website. It was recorded live at the Acts 29 Global Gathering in Orlando, back on July 24th. The focus of the questions Tony asked us was endurance in pastoral ministry. How have we done it? What are the greatest challenges to endurance and perseverance? What words of counsel do you have for young pastors today? Questions like that....Read More

Aug 2019 8 Aug 8, 2019
2

[The editors of Pneuma Review recently asked me several questions about the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. Here it is.] At this point in church history speaking in tongues is still a controversial subject. What would you say to someone who refers to speaking in tongues as gibberish? If a person believes that all tongues speech both in Scripture and today is a known human language spoken somewhere in the world but previously not known by the speaker, then yes, i...Read More

Aug 2019 5 Aug 5, 2019

John MacArthur’s Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship (Thomas Nelson, Nov 12, 2013) reviewed by Craig S. Keener [Craig Keener wrote an extensive review of MacArthur’s book, Strange Fire, following the conference of the same name. It was originally published on-line at Pneuma Review on November 15, 2013. Since it is quite lengthy, I will post it in two parts. Part One was posted on Friday, August 2. Below is Part Two]...Read More

Aug 2019 2 Aug 2, 2019
2

John MacArthur’s Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship (Thomas Nelson, Nov 12, 2013) reviewed by Craig S. Keener [Craig Keener wrote an extensive review of MacArthur’s book, Strange Fire, following the conference of the same name. It was originally published on-line at Pneuma Review on November 15, 2013. Since it is quite lengthy, I will post it in two parts. Below is Part One] While offering some very needed points,...Read More

Jul 2019 29 Jul 29, 2019
1

I’m asked this question more times than you can imagine, and I addressed it at length in my book, Tough Topics (Crossway). In this article I will try to shorten that explanation a bit. If we are going to answer this question with any degree of accuracy (assuming it can be answered), we must set it within the context of Jesus’ interaction with the Sadducees and the question they posed to him in Mark 12:18-23. And Sadducees came to him, who say that there i...Read More

Jul 2019 24 Jul 24, 2019
2

What precisely is “eternal life”? Does this simply mean that if we believe in Jesus we will live forever? Is he referring here only to the unending duration of our existence? No, it means far more than that, because everyone, even unbelievers, will live forever. Some will live forever in the presence of God in the new heavens and new earth while others will live forever in hell. So “eternal life” must mean something more than simply always remain...Read More

Jul 2019 22 Jul 22, 2019

John comes straight to the point without hesitation or compromise. If one does not believe in the Son, he/she will “perish.” To perish is the opposite of experiencing eternal life. If you gain eternal life by believing in Jesus, you are assured by God that you will never perish. But what does it mean to “perish”? It does not mean that you cease to exist. It means that you remain under the condemnation of God’s wrath and judgment. Twice in v...Read More

Jul 2019 19 Jul 19, 2019

The eternal life that John describes in John 3:16 does not come automatically to all people. It is not bestowed on those whose children “behave” themselves or on people who first get their lives straightened out, put everything in order, and make certain their bills are paid on time. Eternal life is for anyone and everyone who “believes” in this gift of God’s love, namely Jesus: who he is and what he has done to save sinners. This offer is ...Read More

Jul 2019 17 Jul 17, 2019

Today we turn our attention to the gift that God gave. We saw in the previous post that God’s immeasurable love is such that he not only feels a great affection for the fallen world but that this feeling leads to concrete, sacrificial action: he gave us his Son! Muslims consider it blasphemy to suggest that God has a son. Many Mormons happily affirm that Jesus is God’s son because they argue that God the Father, who has a literal, physical body, had sexual r...Read More

Jul 2019 15 Jul 15, 2019
1

When we declare our love for someone, we often have in mind at best a stirring of our hearts, an internal affection that rarely is expressed in any concrete action on our part. That sort of love is hardly worth having. God’s immeasurable love for us, on the other hand, is a giving love, a sacrificial love. As John declares in John 3:16, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. Let this truth sink deeply into your soul: God loved this world by giving to it...Read More

Jul 2019 12 Jul 12, 2019

Today we turn our attention to the object of God’s immeasurable love: the world. John uses one word: “world” (kosmos). Many try to magnify God’s love by pointing out how many people have lived in this world. “Just think,” they say, “of the multitudes of men and women who have swarmed across the face of the earth. Oh, how great the love of God must be that it could encompass such a countless multitude.” I’m not so sur...Read More

Jul 2019 11 Jul 11, 2019
Jul 2019 10 Jul 10, 2019

John 3:16 may well be the most famous verse in the entire Bible. Even if it isn’t, its truth warrants continual celebration and gratitude. What I propose to do over the next couple of weeks is to explore this passage by looking at seven inescapable and eternally significant realities that together comprise this justifiably famous text. The first truth in this text, God’s love, is foundational to everything that follows. But can anything more be said about th...Read More

Jul 2019 8 Jul 8, 2019

Last week I posted only the first half of an interview that Pneuma conducted with Andrew Gabriel based on his excellent book, Simply Spirit Filled. Here is the second half. Pneuma Review: When addressing the subject of spiritual manifestations, such as shaking and being slain in the Spirit, some people tend to categorize them as either all of God or all not of God. You do not do that in the book. Please tell us why. Andrew Gabriel: The funny thing is that a friend from...Read More

Jul 2019 8 Jul 8, 2019

Here is the headline in the June 7, 2019, edition of USA Today: “Pope tweaks temptation phrase in Lord’s Prayer.” Instead of “Lead us not into temptation” he wants Catholics to pray, “Do not let us fall into temptation.” This caught my attention, as you might expect. Five days later, on June 12, John Piper wrote an article in response to the Pope’s action entitled, “Reading the Bible Upside Down: Why the Pope Changed ...Read More

Jul 2019 5 Jul 5, 2019

[On June 30, the Pneuma Review published this short interview with Andrew Gabriel. If you don’t recognize that name, he is the author of a book that I have highly recommended on numerous occasions. The book is, Simply Spirit Filled: Experiencing God in the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit. It is written for a lay audience. It is not technical and no knowledge of Greek is required. Andrew does a great job of addressing some of the more controversial aspects of ...Read More

Jul 2019 3 Jul 3, 2019

What did Jesus mean in John 3 when he spoke to Nicodemus of being born again? The best way to answer that question is by taking note of what Jesus did not mean. And it is, somewhat surprisingly, Nicodemus himself who supplies us with the answer. (1) We know, first of all, that being religious is not the same as being born again. We know this because Jesus was speaking to one of the most religious men in Israel, a Pharisee, and to that man he says, “You, Mr. Pharis...Read More

Jul 2019 1 Jul 1, 2019

One of John Piper’s most important books is entitled God is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2005). The primary emphasis of the book is the fact that, whatever other blessings we might obtain when we believe in Jesus Christ, preeminent over all is the glorious reality of getting God! The Apostle Peter put it this way: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that h...Read More

Jun 2019 28 Jun 28, 2019

[The following brief article was released on June 27th at www.premierchristianity.com.] “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.” At first glance you might think these words came from the lips of a wild-eyed fanatic who has little regard for the Bible. The gift of tongues is often treated like the proverbial ‘black sheep’ in the family of God. We can’t completely dismiss the presence of the gift of tongues, but we regard...Read More

Jun 2019 26 Jun 26, 2019

This is a quick reminder that the early bird discount to register for Convergence 2019 ends this coming Saturday, June 29. Don’t let this date pass by without taking advantage of the lowest ticket price available. We are genuinely excited and expectant for what we believe God will do at the conference, as we focus entirely on the theme: The God Who Heals. Join me, Matt Chandler, Jack Deere, Andrew Wilson, Michael Brown, and Christine Caine, together with the Brid...Read More

Jun 2019 26 Jun 26, 2019

How does an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ affect our lives? What difference does it make in how we live and how we relate to others and how we handle the countless struggles and experiences of life? Here is but a small sampling of how life is influenced when the Gospel is at the center. In each of the following texts, the subject matter or ethical responsibility or commandment under consideration is in some way grounded in or flows out of the gospel. This w...Read More

Jun 2019 24 Jun 24, 2019

Let me begin with a confession: I’ve never seen a single episode of either the Bachelor or the Bachelorette. And I don’t intend to. That’s no judgment on you who do watch the show (but now that we’re at it, why do you watch it?). It’s simply a way of saying that if I have misunderstood or misinterpreted what actually happened on the episode in question, it’s because I never actually saw it. My information is based on an article that ap...Read More

Jun 2019 19 Jun 19, 2019

Many have reached a saturation point when it comes to the notion of gospel centrality. “Enough already,” they cry, with more than a little exasperation. I understand this reaction. We who identify as evangelicals are good at taking what is otherwise a fully biblical term or concept and beating it into the ground or pounding it into the heads of our people. So, yes, it’s possible for us to grow justifiably weary of certain terminology. After years of wa...Read More

Jun 2019 17 Jun 17, 2019

Many are under the false impression that the Holy Spirit is absent from the Old Testament. These ten things will serve to correct this misunderstanding. (1) The Hebrew term ruach = breath, wind, spirit, appears @ 377 times in the OT (only 264 of which are translated by the Greek pneuma in the LXX). 94 of these 377 instances refer to the Spirit of God. No significance should be placed on the fact that ruach is feminine. Says Anthony Thiselton: “It is an accident of...Read More

Jun 2019 13 Jun 13, 2019

This is to let you know that we are looking for our next Pastor of Student Ministries here at Bridgeway. We are accepting applications through July 3rd. The Pastor of Student Ministries at Bridgeway will strive to help all our students grow in their understanding and confidence in the truth of God’s Word and to cultivate a deeper and more joyful satisfaction in all that God is for us in Jesus Christ. If you are interested, or know of someone who is, go to www.bri...Read More

Jun 2019 13 Jun 13, 2019

Earlier this week I posted an article on what I call “The Dirty Dozen.” They are the primary reasons why we stink at evangelism. They are the typical excuses people use not to share their faith with non-Christians. In the aftermath of that article, one person commented that there is yet another reason that may well be the most frequently cited of all. I think he’s right. I can’t believe I didn’t include it in the original list. But then who...Read More

Jun 2019 10 Jun 10, 2019
7

When I say that “we” stink at evangelism, I’m not talking about all of you. Some of you, I hope many of you, excel at sharing your faith with non-Christians. But most of us do not. It may sound offensive, but let’s be honest: we stink at evangelism. At least I do. But I don’t want to. My desire to be more faithful and vocal in sharing the gospel with the lost has led me to identify what I call the Dirty Dozen. These are the twelve reasons wh...Read More

Jun 2019 5 Jun 5, 2019
3

My new book, The Language of Heaven: Crucial Questions about Speaking in Tongues was officially released yesterday, on June 4, and is available now at Amazon. Below is the list of 30 questions about tongues that I seek to answer in the book. Introduction: Tongues – A Good Gift from the Father of LightsMy First Experience of Speaking in Tongues(1) What happened on the Day of Pentecost?(2) Where Else in Acts did People Speak in Tongues?(3) Does the gift of tongues a...Read More

Jun 2019 3 Jun 3, 2019
7

Last week I spoke about Mike Bickle and answered some of the questions that people ask concerning him. Today I will address the International House of Prayer for which he provides leadership. Some of you have never heard of IHOPKC while others have only read about it on the blogs and websites of its most vocal critics. Even fewer of those reading this article have actually visited the house of prayer or spent much time taking advantage of what is offered. Let me begin b...Read More

May 2019 31 May 31, 2019

You may recall that in my list of the best books of 2018 I placed Everyday Glory by Gerald McDermott at the top. I was recently asked by www.juicyecumenism.com to write a brief review of it. Here it is below. My spiritual journey has been largely shaped by the same historical figure to whom Gerald McDermott gives much of the credit for his own: New England pastor and theologian, Jonathan Edwards (1703-58). McDermott, currently the Anglican Chair of Divinity at Beeson Di...Read More

May 2019 29 May 29, 2019
16

If I am asked one question more than any other, it typically concerns what I think about the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and Mike Bickle. So I am going to post two articles, the first about Mike and the second about the House of Prayer itself. Before I begin what will undoubtedly prove to be two controversial articles, full disclosure is called for. From 1993-2000 I served as Mike Bickle’s associate pastor at what was first Metro Vineyard Fellows...Read More

May 2019 27 May 27, 2019
2

Of the many things John writes concerning the Word, the Son of God, in John 1, one of the more important is his statement in v. 14 that he is “full of grace and truth.” Let’s be clear right from the start. God isn’t whatever you want him to be. He is who he is whether you like it or not. God is not like silly putty in the hands of those who wish to twist and shape him into something more palatable to their senses. He has always been, is now, and ...Read More

May 2019 22 May 22, 2019

If when you sin you run away from God rather than to God, you have failed to fully embrace the grace of God. If when you sin your instinctive response is one of fear of judgment rather than gratitude for forgiveness, you have failed to fully embrace and understand the grace of God. If when you sin your immediate reaction is to hide from God rather than openly confess how you’ve failed, you don’t understand grace. If when you contemplate your own value as a...Read More

May 2019 20 May 20, 2019
2

When it comes to our understanding and experience of Christian sanctification, I can’t think of a more important biblical text than Philippians 2:12-13. Here is what Paul wrote: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13). Paul&rsq...Read More

May 2019 17 May 17, 2019
May 2019 15 May 15, 2019
1

My new book, The Language of Heaven: Crucial Questions about Speaking in Tongues, is available at Amazon for pre-purchase and will be released on June 4. What follows below is the introduction to the book that I hope will give you a sense for why I wrote it. Like many, if not most of you, I grew up loving Christmas. I couldn’t wait until Christmas morning when my sister and I would tear into the many gifts that our parents had worked so hard to purchase for us. Ev...Read More

May 2019 13 May 13, 2019
2

I’m a bit hesitant about posting this article, for the simple fact that there are differing versions of what is known as complementarianism. Although there are several foundational truths that all complementarians embrace, differences emerge when it comes to application in the local church and in para-church ministries. So be aware that not all complementarians will necessarily agree with the way I articulate the concept. (1) I’ll begin with identifying some...Read More

May 2019 10 May 10, 2019
1

I’m excited to announce the soon-coming release of my book on the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues: The Language of Heaven: Crucial Questions about Speaking in Tongues (Charisma House, 272 pages). Yes, that’s right, 272 pages on this one spiritual gift! I know that sounds like an exaggeration, but I have examined every biblical text on the subject, analyzed and responded to virtually every interpretation of them, and have tried to address the numerous qu...Read More

May 2019 8 May 8, 2019

I just saw the news that Asia Bibi has finally arrived safely in Canada. If you don’t know her story I encourage you to go here (https://www.christianpost.com/news/asia-bibi-leaves-pakistan-to-be-reunited-with-daughters-in-canada-reports.html) to read about her experience. She spent 8 years in a Pakistani prison for supposedly blaspheming Muhammad. After being released a year ago she has remained in Pakistan while her daughters sought refuge in Canada. She was deta...Read More

May 2019 6 May 6, 2019
2

As glorious and wonderful as is the physical birth of a new-born baby, it pales in comparison with the spiritual re-birth of a person and the new life in Jesus Christ that they receive by God’s mercy and grace. I don’t mean to downplay the beauty of physical birth. It is truly a miracle and puts on display God’s creativity and power. But the second birth, being born again, as the NT describes it, is greater still. Physical birth only gives us physical l...Read More

May 2019 3 May 3, 2019

On first sight, John 1:5 may not appear to be all that significant. But I need to remind myself of the truth it contains every day. Otherwise, I fear I might want to give up, or just hunker down until Jesus returns. Here is what John says: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). John’s point in this passage is to tell us how the Word of God (John 1:1), the Second Person of the Trinity, relates to the da...Read More

May 2019 1 May 1, 2019
3

Last Sunday I began a new sermon series on the Gospel of John. As all of you are undoubtedly aware, the so-called “Prologue” to John’s gospel, chapter one, verses 1-18, is quite breathtaking! On Sunday we looked at seven things John says about the “Word” in vv. 1-5. Here I want to mention only two of them. First, the Son of God, or the Word, was eternally pre-existent: “In the beginning was the Word” (v. 1a). You should immedia...Read More

Apr 2019 29 Apr 29, 2019
4

[Today’s article is for sports fans. The rest of you may wish to look elsewhere for your Monday morning edification!] Another of my childhood heroes has passed away. The Boston Celtics announced this past Thursday night (April 25, 2019) that John Havlicek (affectionately known as “Hondo”) had died at the age of 79. I’ve been a sports fan all my life. My dad and I shared multiple incredible experiences together as he supported me in my athletic p...Read More

Apr 2019 25 Apr 25, 2019
Apr 2019 24 Apr 24, 2019
1

In countless churches here in OKC and throughout the country, people gathered last week to observe what we call Good Friday. You will notice that I did not say they gathered to “celebrate” Good Friday. There is a long-standing tradition in evangelical, and especially liturgical, churches that Good Friday should be approached with sobriety and sadness. If there is one word that would appropriately describe the mood of Christians on Good Friday it is somber. I...Read More

Apr 2019 22 Apr 22, 2019

Yesterday, Christians all around the world celebrated one of the foundational truths of their faith, the bodily resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, “we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19). And yet, many continue to doubt if this actually occurred. Perhaps you are one of those who appeal to a variety of explanations for the empty tomb. Let’s consider the many reasons why some doubt and others simply deny that Jesus...Read More

Apr 2019 18 Apr 18, 2019
2

I was recently asked by the hosts of The Laymens Lounge to answer a few questions about the Christian faith. I thought you might enjoy my answers. 1. What is the “Gospel” and what practical implications does the Gospel make in my everyday life? I believe the Gospel is the gloriously good news, indeed the very best news, that God has graciously done everything necessary, at great sacrifice to himself, through the sinless life, penal substitutionary and sacri...Read More

Apr 2019 17 Apr 17, 2019
Apr 2019 15 Apr 15, 2019
5

There are so many fascinating, intriguing, and appealing things about Jesus that one hardly knows where to begin. But let me try. When I peruse the gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus, several things virtually leap off the page. For example, I try to envision what it would have been like to sit under the teaching of Jesus. How would I have responded? My sincere hope is that I would have responded the way the multitude did after Jesus concluded his Sermon o...Read More

Apr 2019 10 Apr 10, 2019

If you plan on being in Oklahoma City on Friday, April 18, I want to invite you to join us for our traditional “Good Friday” service at 6:30 p.m. in our auditorium. I would also encourage you to invite friends and family members who may not know Jesus and his saving love. This will be a wonderful time for them to hear a short and pointed presentation of the gospel. So, why do we speak of the Friday when Jesus was brutalized and crucified as good? It would al...Read More

Apr 2019 8 Apr 8, 2019
2

The conflict between the so-called Word and Spirit camps is not one supported by either God’s Word or the Holy Spirit. I’m shocked by how often Christians forget that it is the written Word of God that encourages us to pursue spiritual gifts and commands us never to forbid speaking in tongues, while it is the Spirit of God who is responsible, by inspiration, for every theological truth that the Bible affirms. This division is not one that the Bible would eve...Read More

Apr 2019 5 Apr 5, 2019
1

In a recent blog article at the Gospel Coalition website, Justin Taylor drew attention to some shocking statistics cited by Mark Noll in his book, The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith (IVP Academic, 2009). I thought you would find this fascinating, as I do. Here is what Justin wrote. It is as if the globe had been turned upside down and sideways. A few short decades ago, Christian believers were concentrated in the global n...Read More

Apr 2019 4 Apr 4, 2019
2

I woke up this morning, as did you, and as all people do each day of their lives, with an unshakeable, inescapable, relentless longing for joy. I can’t wash it from my skin in the shower or hold my breath in hopes that it will disappear. Psychological catharsis will not drive it from me. Willpower will not suppress its influence. And contrary to much so-called “Christian” counsel, I should not exorcise its presence or pray for its defeat. There is in o...Read More

Apr 2019 1 Apr 1, 2019
2

On Sunday, Christmas Day, 1904, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, pastor of Westminster Chapel in downtown London, England, delivered a somewhat unusual sermon. Contrary to his normal practice of expounding a passage of Scripture, he proceeded to tell his people about the remarkable things that the Holy Spirit was doing at that very time in Wales. G. Campbell Morgan was a perceptive man, a conservative, sane, balanced, and highly respected pastor. Having heard that revival had br...Read More

Mar 2019 29 Mar 29, 2019
1

The Apostle Peter tells us that “the passions of the flesh” are waging “war against” our “souls” (1 Peter 2:11). Don’t underestimate the significance of this daily battle for our souls. So, how are we to fight? With what weapons do we wage this war? Peter says we do so “as (or because we are) sojourners and exiles” (v. 11a; see 1 Peter 1:1,17). His point is that we should draw strength to say No to fleshly passions b...Read More

Mar 2019 28 Mar 28, 2019

I’m happy to announce the publication of what I believe will be the definitive treatment of justification for years to come. It is now available for purchase at Amazon or at the Crossway Books website. It is titled: The Doctrine on Which the Church Stands or Falls: Justification in Biblical, Theological, Historical, and Pastoral Perspective, edited by Matthew Barrett. Foreword by D. A. Carson I was honored and privileged to contribute to this volume. My chapter ...Read More

Mar 2019 28 Mar 28, 2019
Mar 2019 25 Mar 25, 2019
2

There is hardly a more controversial and confusing topic in the Bible than that of the Antichrist: who or what is this? Is it a person or a symbol of corporate opposition to Christ, or perhaps both? In this article we’ll look only in John’s first epistle for helpful answers to this question. (1) Interestingly, the only place in the NT where the word “antichrist” appears is in the Johannine Epistles, not in Revelation. Nowhere in Revelation is the...Read More

Mar 2019 22 Mar 22, 2019
2

What is worship? Here is my definition: Worship begins in the mind with deep, biblical thoughts about God, robust and expansive truths about who he is, his greatness and glory. This in turn inflames the heart and awakens passionate affections for God such as joy, gladness, delight, reverence, gratitude, admiration, love, fear, zeal, and deep satisfaction in all that God is for us in Jesus. These in turn find expression in all of life, whether in singing or speaking or...Read More

Mar 2019 20 Mar 20, 2019
4

[It’s time for my annual rant about the madness, the lunacy, the stupidity, if you will, of March Madness, in particular, the annual ritual in which a national champion in college basketball is determined on the basis of a single-elimination tournament. Many of you have read it before, so feel free to move on to other things. But if you missed it, you need to read it.] If you aren’t a fan of college basketball here in the U.S., stop reading and go about your...Read More

Mar 2019 18 Mar 18, 2019
2

What are we to do when Christians clash? I’m not thinking of momentary spats or minor disagreements, but of significant divisions and conflict grounded in equally sincere convictions about what is right and wise. If you’ve been a Christian for any period of time you’ve no doubt seen it or, sadly, been embroiled in one of your own. Once again, one of the admirable things about the Bible is its often brutal honesty, its refusal to gloss over the glitches...Read More

Mar 2019 14 Mar 14, 2019
1

I recently returned to reading John Piper’s book, Reading the Bible Supernaturally, and was stunned yet again by a truth that has utterly transformed my life. That’s not an overstatement. I can’t think of another theological principle that has meant more to me than what you are about to read. I have often in my books tried to say the same thing, but it always seems to fall short of how John has expressed it. John begins by citing C. S. Lewis and his de...Read More

Mar 2019 11 Mar 11, 2019

The title to this article may surprise you. What in the world is Paul’s letter to Laodicea? I thought Paul wrote only 13 of the NT epistles (14 if you include Hebrews, which he probably didn’t write). It’s an interesting question. Here are ten things we should know about this mysterious letter. (1) We know this letter to the Laodiceans was written by Paul because of the instruction he gave to the Colossians in his letter to the church in that city: &ld...Read More

Mar 2019 7 Mar 7, 2019
3

You may be wondering why God would orchestrate life in such a way that we have to remain steadfast in prayer (Col. 4:2). After all, it strikes you and me as much easier and far more pleasant if God would simply say Yes right now. Here are a few reasons why he doesn’t. First, we are a presumptuous people! We just assume that God ought always to do what we ask, when we ask, precisely in the way we ask. By delaying his response, God awakens us to the gracious charact...Read More

Mar 2019 5 Mar 5, 2019
Mar 2019 4 Mar 4, 2019

Whereas the NT is quite clear that the office of Elder is restricted to qualified men, there is considerable and on-going dispute among evangelicals on the question of whether women can serve in the office of Deacon. Here are my reasons for saying Yes to this question. (1) Although the word for “deacon” can describe a non-technical ministry of serving to which all Christians are called, I believe Romans 16:1 is speaking of the office of deacon to which one m...Read More

Mar 2019 1 Mar 1, 2019
4

Last night I had the privilege of speaking to the students in our counseling school here at Bridgeway. The topic assigned to me was that of soteriology, or salvation. More specifically, we looked at the subject of God’s sovereignty in salvation and the subject of divine election. As I prepared for our time together, I decided that the best way to dive headlong into the topic was by way of an illustration I used in my book, Chosen for Life: The Case for Divine Elec...Read More

Feb 2019 27 Feb 27, 2019
1

I am regularly blessed by the Scripture meditations that appear daily at the Solid Joys app, yet another expression of the ministry of John Piper. This week, Monday, February 25, there appeared a brief meditation entitled, “You Are Greatly Loved.” I loved it! I was deeply encouraged by it, and I think you will be also. Here it is. We all once lived among [the sons of disobedience] in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the m...Read More

Feb 2019 25 Feb 25, 2019
1

As we are in the process of building a diaconate at Bridgeway, I thought it would be helpful to mention a few important things to keep in mind. (1) The English word deacon is the translation of the Greek word diakonos which appears 29x in the NT. However, only four of those twenty-nine occurrences refer to a person who holds the office of deacon (Rom. 16:1; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8, 12). The other instances of the word simply mean servant or messenger or one who ministers ...Read More

Feb 2019 21 Feb 21, 2019
3

There is an astounding statement in 1 Peter 2:6 about Jesus Christ that stands as a challenge to each of us who claim to be his followers. Peter describes Jesus as “a cornerstone chosen and precious.” Think about it: he is chosen of the Father and precious! He is of immeasurable value to God the Father and must therefore be precious and of immeasurable value to us! Treasuring Christ is God’s response to Christ and therefore should be ours. Consider thi...Read More

Feb 2019 18 Feb 18, 2019
4

We should acknowledge right from the start that the terminology of “slave” and “master” is highly offensive. And the reason is that our concept of “slavery” today is quite different from what existed, for example, in the time of Paul when he wrote Colossians 3:22-4:1. So let’s proceed carefully as we try to understand what the Bible actually says about this controversial topic. Needless to say, this is far from an exhaustive trea...Read More

Feb 2019 13 Feb 13, 2019
1

I’m excited today to tell you about a new book that I can happily recommend to everyone. The title is, Simply Spirit-Filled: Experiencing God in the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit (Nashville: Emanate Books, 2019, 186 pp.). The author is Andrew Gabriel with whom I became acquainted last year and got to know better when we met up at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in November, 2018. When Andrew sent me a pdf copy of his manuscript, I...Read More

Feb 2019 12 Feb 12, 2019
Feb 2019 11 Feb 11, 2019
7

Ours is a splintered, fractured world, that often in its differing political parties and conflicting ethical systems and its seemingly endless variety of opinions on virtually every imaginable subject holds out little hope for ultimate meaning. And yet in the midst of undeniable diversity and the differences that so often divide us, the Bible tells us that there is a single, overarching, unitary theme and purpose and goal to all of human history and experience. The apos...Read More

Feb 2019 7 Feb 7, 2019
3

The immediate answer to the question posed in my title is, Yes, of course. Each individual Christian has the immeasurable privilege and joy of knowing and enjoying the love God has for them in Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:5; Gal. 2:20). But there is a dimension to this experience that God intends for us to enjoy only in the context of relationship with others in the body of Christ. Why do I say this? I say it because of two things Paul said in his prayer in Ephesians 3:14-19. Yo...Read More

Feb 2019 4 Feb 4, 2019
2

We should acknowledge from the outset that the adjective “common” does not appear in the Bible as a modifier of the noun “grace.” But we are justified in making use of it in view of how God’s dealings with non-Christian people are portrayed for us in Scripture. Our task will be to determine in what sense, if any at all, the grace of God is given to or is operative in the lives of those who persist throughout life in unbelief and rebellion ag...Read More

Jan 2019 31 Jan 31, 2019

By Andrew Wilson | Wednesday 30 January 2019 [This is a wonderful and insightful article by Andrew Wilson. He posted it on his blog yesterday.] What is the most attractive quality in a leader? No doubt there are all sorts of ways of answering that, and although some responses are obviously wrong, I don't think there's any particular one that is obviously right (other than "Christlikeness" or "love", which just push the question back a stage: "OK, so what does that look...Read More

Jan 2019 28 Jan 28, 2019
1

Shame and guilt are often confused in people’s thinking. What are they, and how do they differ? More important still, how might we be set free from the debilitating effects of shame? Here are ten things to keep in mind. (1) Shame is the painful emotion that is caused by a consciousness of guilt, failure, or impropriety, that often results in the paralyzing conviction/belief that one is worthless, of no value to others or to God, unacceptable, and altogether deserv...Read More

Jan 2019 24 Jan 24, 2019

[You may have read about Lady Gaga’s comments regarding Vice-President Mike Pence’s wife. If not, brace yourself. Michael Kruger has written a perceptive analysis of her absurd perspective. It was published on January 22 at Michael’s blog, https://www.michaeljkruger.com.] Michael Kruger By now, plenty has been written on the issue of Mike Pence’s wife teaching at a Christian school that supposedly “bans” (the preferred word of the ma...Read More

Jan 2019 23 Jan 23, 2019
1

[This article by Andrew Wilson was first posted at the Desiring God website (www.desiringgod.ord] last week, on June 17.] Andrew WilsonPastor, King's Church, LondonJanuary 17, 2019 It is a strange quirk of the contemporary church that arguably the most common way of handling the charismatic gifts, at least in the West, is the only one that simply cannot be defended from Scripture. For now, I will leave aside the question of whether the distinction between “mirac...Read More

Jan 2019 21 Jan 21, 2019

In a previous article I spoke of the first wave of the First Great Awakening, a revival that fell upon New England in 1734-36. Today we turn our attention to the second wave of the Spirit’s work and the events that can generally be dated 1740-42. (1) Historians have typically traced the revival’s beginning to the visit to America of George Whitefield (1714-71), known as “The Grand Itinerant.” Whitefield arrived in the fall of 1740 and “set ...Read More

Jan 2019 18 Jan 18, 2019
Jan 2019 17 Jan 17, 2019
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Afshin ZiafatLead Pastor, Providence ChurchFrisco, TX January 7, 2019 [I first met Afshin Ziafat a few years ago at a gathering of the Council of the Gospel Coalition. He has become a good friend. When he shared with me his testimony of coming to faith in Jesus and what it cost him, I was astounded, and grateful to God for his amazing grace. On January 7, Afshin described his story in an article first posted at the Desiring God website. Take some time and read it close...Read More

Jan 2019 14 Jan 14, 2019
2

On May 30, 1735, Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) wrote a letter of eight pages to Dr. Benjamin Colman (1673-1747), pastor of Brattle Street Church in Boston, in which he described the nature of the revival he was seeing. Colman forwarded a substantial portion of the letter to a friend in London where news quickly spread about religious events in the Colonies. Edwards was in turn asked to write a more detailed account of what he had witnessed, the result of which was titled: A...Read More

Jan 2019 9 Jan 9, 2019
1

Starting this morning at 9:00 a.m. we began a three-day time of corporate prayer and fasting at Bridgeway. Friday night at 7:00 p.m. the fast will end and we will host an all-church worship service. If you’re in OKC, please join us. You may wonder, Why are we doing this? There are several ways of explaining this. Let me begin by citing several texts: “Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob” (Psalm 24:6). &...Read More

Jan 2019 7 Jan 7, 2019
1

Is there any such thing as the “Jezebel spirit”? If so, what is it, or who is it? And what relationship does it sustain to the spiritual gift of prophecy? To answer this we must turn our attention to the letter of Jesus to the church in Thyatira. “But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. ...Read More

Jan 2019 2 Jan 2, 2019
Dec 2018 31 Dec 31, 2018

Worship involves our bodies as well as our hearts and minds. Our posture tells a story. It makes a statement to God and to others about the state of our souls and the affections and passions of our heart. If you were to visit Bridgeway, you would immediately recognize that we freely and frequently lift our hands when we worship. Some people may be seen kneeling. Some sit throughout the course of a service, either by preference or due to some physical limitation. Some ju...Read More

Dec 2018 28 Dec 28, 2018
1

Last year, at almost precisely this time, I posted the following article on the subject of New Year’s Resolutions. If you struggle to articulate them, and struggle even more to keep them, perhaps this will help you. So here it is once again. Resolving in the grace of God to bring one’s life into greater conformity to the image of Jesus is an appropriate expression of Christian sanctification, regardless of the time of year. It was in the late fall of 1722 th...Read More

Dec 2018 24 Dec 24, 2018
2

No biblical text so vividly portrays for us the true meaning of Christmas as does 2 Corinthians 8:9. There the apostle Paul wrote this: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). In what sense was Christ “rich” or “wealthy”? I want you to think with me about what kind of “wealth” or “rich...Read More

Dec 2018 19 Dec 19, 2018

It’s time once again to list what I believe were the best books released in 2018. And it gets more and more difficult each year to keep the list to only ten. So, in addition to the ten, I’ll include a few who are deserving of “honorable mention.” This was originally posted in two parts. Here I have combined them into one article. (10) Gregg R. Allison, 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith: A Guide to Understanding and Teaching Theology (Grand R...Read More

Dec 2018 19 Dec 19, 2018
1

Here are numbers five through one, as well as a few that are deserving of “honorable mention.” (5) Joe Rigney, Lewis on the Christian Life: Becoming Truly Human in the Presence of God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 310 pp. The most recent installment in Crossway’s Theologians on the Christian Life series may well be the best one yet. I can’t think of anyone else who could have written this book besides Joe Rigney, Professor of literature and theolog...Read More

Dec 2018 17 Dec 17, 2018

It’s time once again to list what I believe were the best books released in 2018. And it gets more and more difficult each year to keep the list to only ten. So, in addition to the ten, I’ll include a few who are deserving of “honorable mention.” Instead of trying to list and briefly describe all ten in one article, I will break these down into two posts, beginning with numbers ten through six, and concluding with numbers five through one. (10) ...Read More

Dec 2018 14 Dec 14, 2018

Following the posting of my brief article, Plagiarism: My Copyright Law is that You have the Right to Copy, John Piper responded with a suggestion. I think he’s right. Here is what he said. Sam, I love your free-hearted permission to use all your stuff that you just wrote about. One question. Don’t you want to add one more qualification to the two you gave: You wrote: There are only two qualifications to that rule. First, I ask that you not charge people...Read More

Dec 2018 14 Dec 14, 2018
3

Hardly a day passes that I don’t read somewhere of someone being accused of plagiarism. This past week it was a Christian college president accused of plagiarizing a sermon and book by Joel Osteen. Aside from the fact that I find it surprising that Osteen could say or write anything that is worthy of being copied, it is just one more example of what is happening on a daily basis. The evangelical publishing world has been forced to deal with this problem in recent ...Read More

Dec 2018 11 Dec 11, 2018
1

100 years ago today, December 11, 1918, Alexander Solzhenitsyn was born. He entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, August 3, 2008. So in honor of his 100th birthday, I want to re-post an article I wrote about him back in 2013. It’s difficult to explain the personal impact of Solzhenitsyn. He was such a massive figure in the public eye and provoked controversy (the good kind) throughout the course of his life. He was born on December 11, 19...Read More

Dec 2018 10 Dec 10, 2018

Last week I wrote about the Montanists and probably caused many of you to scratch your heads wondering, “Who in the world are the Montanists?” Today we turn our attention to another odd group known as the Nicolaitans. There is at least one profound difference between the two: the Montanists were most likely genuine believers in Jesus; the Nicolaitans were most assuredly not. (1) The Nicolaitans are mentioned by name twice in the NT, both in the book of Revel...Read More

Dec 2018 6 Dec 6, 2018
Dec 2018 6 Dec 6, 2018
1

My former colleague at Wheaton College, Alan Jacobs, now a professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, is without question the most widely-read and brilliant man I’ve ever known. There is virtually no intellectual discipline on which he cannot speak with remarkable insight. I’m sure he’d blush (and protest) to hear me say that. In any case, on November 30 of this year he wrote a blog article (http://blog.ayjay.org/) about our President. The title cau...Read More

Dec 2018 3 Dec 3, 2018
2

About what? I suspect that many of you have never heard the name Montanism or the individual Montanus from whom the movement is named. Often times when contemporary cessationists wish to ridicule or caricature charismatics they accuse us of being modern day Montanists. So, what was this movement and what did they believe? (1) We can date the emergence of Montanism in Phrygia to about a.d. 155. However, Eusebius and Jerome both date the movement to a.d. 173. One of the p...Read More

Nov 2018 28 Nov 28, 2018
3

Two weeks ago, at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Denver, Colorado, I engaged in an encouraging and edifying conversation with three friends: Andrew Wilson, Tom Schreiner, and Ligon Duncan. I did not have long for my presentation: a mere 20 minutes. But I did take the opportunity to pose a question for Tom and Ligon, both of whom, like Andrew and me, are complementarians. My question was stirred by something Tom wrote in his book on spiritu...Read More

Nov 2018 26 Nov 26, 2018
6

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is mentioned in three of our four gospels. It is found in Matthew 12:22-32; Mark 3:22-30 and again in Luke 12:10. Many Christians are burdened by the thought that they may have committed this sin, or they live in paralyzing fear that some day they will. It behooves us to examine precisely what Jesus meant. (1) The religious leaders had just witnessed Jesus cast out a demon from someone and they concluded from it that Jesus was himself posses...Read More

Nov 2018 21 Nov 21, 2018
2

Last week, together with some 2,700 others, I attended the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Denver, Colorado. The theme of this year’s gathering was the Holy Spirit. On the first day of our meeting I participated in a three-hour panel conversation (debate?) with three good friends: Andrew Wilson, Tom Schreiner, and Ligon Duncan. Andrew and I defended the position known as Continuationism (all spiritual gifts continue to be given by God and ...Read More

Nov 2018 19 Nov 19, 2018
4

The Bible never encourages Christians to be gullible or naïve. We are to exercise discernment. After all, as the Apostle John said in 1 John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” In this passage John is talking about non-Christians who prophesy falsely. Their fundamental error and what exposes them as unregenerate is their denial tha...Read More

Nov 2018 13 Nov 13, 2018
Nov 2018 12 Nov 12, 2018

All genuine, Christ-exalting, Christ-enjoying worship is in or through or by means of the Holy Spirit. This is what Paul meant when he said: “For we are the [true] circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). His point is that the Spirit evokes worship, directs our hearts and minds to Christ in worship, reminds us of all the right reasons for worship, and empowers and energizes us fo...Read More

Nov 2018 8 Nov 8, 2018
1
Nov 2018 7 Nov 7, 2018
1

[This article was published yesterday (11-6-18) by Crossway at their blog, www.crossway.org.] There is no indication that our world’s fascination with angels and demons is in decline. Rarely does a day pass that we don’t hear of someone’s alleged encounter with either a holy angel or a fallen demon, together with news that a new TV show or film on Netflix will feature either or both of these species of spiritual beings. Sadly, though, there is a lot of...Read More

Nov 2018 5 Nov 5, 2018
2

That title may have put you off, but if you are still reading, I trust you will recognize how critically important this issue of Kenosis is to our understanding of the person of Christ and the incarnation. (1) The word translated kenosis is related to the Greek noun kenos and the verb kenoo. Kenos has the sense of empty or to no purpose and kenoo means to deprive of power or to make of no meaning or effect. It is the verb form that is found in Philippians 2:7 (see also ...Read More

Oct 2018 31 Oct 31, 2018
2

That may strike you as a silly question, but some have honestly wondered in view of what the apostle says in Colossians 3:1-4. There he exhorts the believer to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above,” said Paul, “not on things that are on earth.” Is there in Paul's perspective and language an encouragement to Christians that they ignore social injustice today in a...Read More

Oct 2018 29 Oct 29, 2018

A view frequently advocated by cessationists is that the spiritual gift of prophecy in the NT is largely identical with preaching. This is the position advocated, for example, by John MacArthur (and to a certain extent by J. I. Packer). One wonders what the motivation is behind this argument. I suspect that it is due, at least in part, to the discomfort that many cessationists feel with the idea of spontaneous revelation from the Holy Spirit in the present day. In any ca...Read More

Oct 2018 24 Oct 24, 2018

Those who self-identify as Open Theists deny that God has exhaustive, meticulous foreknowledge of all future events, including (especially) the morally responsible decisions of human beings. Their argument is that if such choices are infallibly foreknown, they are necessarily certain to occur, and if they are certain to occur they cannot be avoided, and if they cannot be avoided they cannot be regarded as morally blameworthy or praiseworthy. Jonathan Edwards responds to...Read More

Oct 2018 22 Oct 22, 2018
2

History, according to one cynic, is nothing but “the succession of one d___ thing after another.” Unfortunately, many Christians would agree, although one hopes they wouldn't use precisely the same terminology! The fact is, people wonder why the history of Christian theology is worthy of our time and energy. Facts, dates, and dead people do not inspire much excitement, and many doubt the practical value of spending time on something that cannot be changed. A...Read More

Oct 2018 17 Oct 17, 2018
1

What happens when revival comes? What might we reasonably expect, or is it unwise to assume that in every revival the same things occur? My study of history seems to indicate that no two revivals are precisely the same. There are varying points of emphasis and God appears to enjoy doing new and unexpected things each time he chooses to visit us with his manifest presence. But one thing typically occurs in every revival: souls are saved. During the first phase of the Fir...Read More

Oct 2018 15 Oct 15, 2018
5

Although largely unfamiliar to Protestants, the name of Ignatius Loyola is widely known among Roman Catholics. Here are ten things you should know about him and the Society of Jesus that he founded. (1) Don Inigo de Onez y Loyola, i.e., Ignatius (1491-1556), was the youngest in a family of thirteen children who spent his early years seeking fame and fortune in the military. He “grew up a courtier and caballero, captive to the romantic ideals of medieval chivalry&r...Read More

Oct 2018 10 Oct 10, 2018
2

The division among Christian folk during the revival we know as the First Great Awakening (1734-35; 1740-42) often was due to their different understandings of the nature and significance of physical or bodily manifestations. Many of the so-called Old Lights in Jonathan Edwards’s day insisted on the spurious nature of the so-called “revival” by pointing to the physical and emotional phenomena that were occurring. These manifestations, so they insisted,...Read More

Oct 2018 8 Oct 8, 2018
2

We don’t typically understand jealousy as a good thing. How, then, can I dare suggest that God is characterized by jealousy? To many, that sounds virtually blasphemous. So let’s take a close look at this oft-neglected attribute of God. (1) We need to understand from the start that jealousy can be both good and bad. Jealousy can be driven or motivated both by holy and righteous motives as well as unholy and unrighteous ones. Jealousy can be a sign of both sin...Read More

Oct 2018 5 Oct 5, 2018
2

Jonathan Edwards was born on October 5, 1703. His influence on the global body of Christ, and on me personally, is incalculable. So where is he now? That may sound like a strange question, but I mean it seriously. His body lies in a cemetery near Princeton University. But his soul is by no means asleep or unconscious. So, where is he? What is he thinking, seeing, feeling, enjoying? The question was raised in my mind as I read his funeral sermon for David Brainerd. Brain...Read More

Oct 2018 1 Oct 1, 2018
3

The most famous verse in the Bible, at least among Christians, is John 3:16. But do we really understand what it means? Here are ten things to keep in mind as you reflect on it. (1) Are the words of John 3:16 the words of Jesus or John the Apostle? Probably the latter. John 3:10-15 are clearly the words of Jesus in his conversation with Nicodemus, but it appears that John himself is reflecting on the significance of Jesus’ death in the verses that follow. (2) Wha...Read More

Sep 2018 26 Sep 26, 2018
1

There is a common vision disorder known as Convergence Insufficiency (CI) that illustrates the problem many have with Word and Spirit. People with CI have difficulty seeing things clearly that are near to them. One eye tends to drift outward when reading or doing close work, often leading to double vision. The problem can lead to headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, and difficulty concentrating. “Spiritual Convergence Insufficiency” occurs when a Christian...Read More

Sep 2018 24 Sep 24, 2018
4

That there is no salvation apart from a conscious faith in Jesus Christ is considered by many to be scandalous. Here are ten things to remember about this critically important issue. (1) The doctrine I believe is taught in Scripture is known as particularism or exclusivism or restrictivism. Advocates of this view insist that all are lost apart from a conscious and volitional embrace of Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. Salvation is available only to those who by faith ...Read More

Sep 2018 20 Sep 20, 2018
3

One of the more debilitating obstacles to life in the local church is the fact that people are obsessed with discovering their spiritual gift and frustrated that they have not as yet figured it out. So they do nothing. I want to recommend an approach to you today to overcome this. Stop gazing at your navel and step out and serve someone. Let your gift find you. I’m not opposed to the use of spiritual gifts inventory tests. But I think both Scripture and common sen...Read More

Sep 2018 17 Sep 17, 2018
6

We must acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of human beings in history have died without ever hearing the name of Jesus. What may be said about the eternal destiny of these millions of souls? Are they forever condemned to hell? If so, how can it be fair or an expression of divine justice that they entered eternity without having had the advantage or opportunity afforded those who live in a place or time where the gospel of Christ is preached? Or could it be that ...Read More

Sep 2018 13 Sep 13, 2018

There's simply no restrained or measured way of saying it: Colossians 1:29 is a breathtaking passage of Scripture! Let me begin with Paul's description of his ministry. But don't disengage. Don't think this passage is irrelevant to you simply because you are neither an apostle nor in vocational ministry. How does Paul envision ministry? Put simply, it's really hard work: “For this I toil, struggling.” By “this” Paul probably has in mind the full ...Read More

Sep 2018 10 Sep 10, 2018
2

Christian Hedonism often goes misunderstood and thus maligned. Let’s look closely at ten things that bring clarity to what is meant by the label. (1) When it comes to Christian Hedonism, the adjective is everything. Hedonism is itself a godless approach to life that says we should pursue whatever brings us optimum pleasure. Hedonism judges right and wrong on the basis of whether or not an action brings pleasure or pain. But Christian Hedonism is an entirely differ...Read More

Sep 2018 5 Sep 5, 2018
3

When I read Paul’s words in Colossians 1:24, “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,” I shake my head. It isn’t because I don’t believe what he says. It’s because I struggle to identify with his experience. I’ve lived a rather sheltered, comfortable, and safe life here in America. I honestly have no idea what my brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the globe have endured for the sake of the gospel. This dispari...Read More

Sep 2018 3 Sep 3, 2018

Despite Queen Elizabeth's efforts to unify the people of England (she ruled from 1558-1603), some did not think the spirit of the Reformation had gone far enough. The Puritans of the late 16th and early 17th centuries did not believe Elizabeth's attempt at compromise (Via Media) was sufficient. Her settlement “was based on the assumption that while Christian doctrine is found only in the Bible, such secondary matters as liturgy and Church organization may be impose...Read More

Aug 2018 29 Aug 29, 2018

Brief Comments on the Passion TranslationAugust 27, 2018 by Craig Keener [On August 27 Craig Keener posted a short but helpful article on the Passion Translation. I thought many of you might find it helpful.] Lacking time to engage the Passion Translation thoroughly, I offer just two comments here, one positive and the other negative. First, in the passages that I surveyed, the author captured the spirit of the text well, communicating it in contemporary language. In...Read More

Aug 2018 27 Aug 27, 2018
4

A week or so ago I was alerted to a video (https://vimeo.com/275908702) that focused on the amazing creative power of God, both in terms of the massive size of the universe as well as the incredibly small world of molecules and atoms. It may be helpful here at the start to remember that we count from million to billion to trillion to quadrillion to quintillion to sextillion. So, here are ten things that should leave you in awe of your God. (1) On a clear night, perhaps...Read More

Aug 2018 24 Aug 24, 2018
2

Often times people argue that the primary (if not sole) purpose for the healing ministry of Jesus was to confirm his messianic identity and deity. Others suggest that it was also designed to signal and confirm the in-breaking of the kingdom of God and to provide us with a foretaste of the blessings that will be ours when the kingdom is consummated upon Christ’s return. Whereas there is truth in both of the above noted explanations, we must also consider the expres...Read More

Aug 2018 20 Aug 20, 2018
3

It actually sounds a bit silly, even irreverent, to speak of only ten things we should know about Jesus. There are thousands of things to know about him, perhaps millions. Indeed, when we arrive in the new heaven and new earth we will discover that there is an infinity of truths about our Savior that it will be our joy to see, know, and savor. But for now, today, let’s consider the ten things said about him in Colossians 1:15-20. There Paul writes: “He is ...Read More

Aug 2018 17 Aug 17, 2018
3

In a recent article (August 6, 2018; www.ligonier.org), noted Reformed theologian Sinclair Ferguson sets forth what he calls “solid biblical reasons” for believing that the spiritual gifts of working of miracles, revelatory prophecy, and speaking in tongues were purposely intended by God “only for a limited period.” By the latter he means the time during which the original apostolic company were alive on the earth. Let me say that I have tremendo...Read More

Aug 2018 13 Aug 13, 2018
3

As Paul delineates nine of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, the last on his list is “the interpretation of tongues.” Later in that chapter he again refers to interpretation in his denial that any one gift is granted to all Christians (v. 30b). In his instruction on how believers are to arrive at any particular corporate assembly, he says that whereas one may come with a hymn, another with a word of instruction, another with a revelation from ...Read More

Aug 2018 8 Aug 8, 2018
3

What is it about Wayne Grudem and massive hardback books? His Systematic Theology, currently being revised, came in at a hefty 1,264 pages. Politics according to the Bible was a mere 624 pages, and Bible Doctrine brings up the rear with a paltry 528 pages. Wayne’s most recent work, Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning (Crossway), tops them all. It is 1,296 pages! My only objection is that it is too large and too heavy for me to find space ...Read More

Aug 2018 6 Aug 6, 2018

The words of the psalmist are forthright and unmistakable: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Clearly, joy is essential to our Christian experience and relationship to God. So here are ten things to keep in mind when you think about joy and your delight in God. (1) The command is not that we have joy, but that we have joy or delight in God. David doesn’t say, “Delight yourself.” That...Read More

Aug 2018 1 Aug 1, 2018

I don’t often review books on my blog, but I’m so excited about Gregg Allison’s new volume that I can’t resist the temptation! I read through 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith: A Guide to Understanding and Teaching Theology (Baker Books) quite a while back and found it to be the best, most informative, clearest, and most accessible short book on theology that I’ve ever come across. I say “short” but may need to retract that ...Read More

Jul 2018 30 Jul 30, 2018

I recently read of yet another claim that a statue of the Virgin Mary was weeping. But this time it was different. Her “tears” were examined and found to be the chemical equivalent of olive oil. I will leave it to you to decide what to make of this, but it got me thinking again about the role of Mary in Roman Catholic devotion. One of the consistent claims among many Roman Catholics is that Mary will occasional appear to individuals with some message or warn...Read More

Jul 2018 25 Jul 25, 2018
1

You may recall that in Philippians 2:25-30 Paul described a certain Epaphroditus who risked his life for the work of Christ. “Honor such men” (v. 29b), said Paul. Tragically, today we honor people in whom we find none of the characteristics of an Epaphroditus. It is the pompous, arrogant athlete, or the self-indulgent Hollywood actress, or the unscrupulous Wall-Street financial wizard who wins our praise and adoration. Perhaps it's time to re-evaluate the cr...Read More

Jul 2018 23 Jul 23, 2018
4

Suffering is an unpopular but essential topic for Christians to understand. And it is nowhere more clearly explained than in 1 Peter. So here are ten things we can learn about suffering from this letter. (1) In 2 Corinthians 6:10 Paul describes himself as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing”. And in Colossians 1:24 he again declares, “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake.” It should come as little surprise, then, that Peter would echo this senti...Read More

Jul 2018 19 Jul 19, 2018
1

A few weeks ago I concluded preaching through the book of Revelation. It was an incredible challenge but a rewarding one as well. The series lasted for 38 weeks. Every Sunday we dug deeply into this remarkable and at times unsettling book. Each verse was addressed. Nothing was ignored. I’m happy to let you know that the full manuscript for each sermon on Revelation is now available on my website. This means that you have at your disposal a verse-by-verse interpret...Read More

Jul 2018 18 Jul 18, 2018
2

The word “affection” may be unfamiliar to many, except when used of romantic feelings that pass between a man and a woman. This is not the sense in which I use it here. Jonathan Edwards defined the affections as “the more vigorous and sensible exercises of the inclination and will of the soul.” So, are our “affections” the same as our “emotions” or “passions”? I don’t think so. Certainly, there is what m...Read More

Jul 2018 16 Jul 16, 2018
1

Where will believers in Jesus spend eternity? It won’t be on a cloud or a star in some distant galaxy. It will be on the sanctified and redeemed soil of the new earth. Here are ten things you should about what eternal life will be like in the new heaven and new earth. (1) According to Revelation 21:1 this present earth and the heavens above will “pass away” when Jesus Christ returns to destroy his enemies and consummate his kingdom. But this present ea...Read More

Jul 2018 12 Jul 12, 2018
3

Short answer: probably not. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways in which to determine with a high degree of probability whether or not God exists. Many have tried to articulate various arguments believed to be decisive in demonstrating that “God” exists, none more famous than the so-called “Five Ways” of Thomas Aquinas. Thomas died in 1274, just shy of his fiftieth birthday. The Five Ways include: • The argument from motion ...Read More

Jul 2018 9 Jul 9, 2018

It is all too easy to become discouraged and disheartened by the rampant presence of evil and injustice in our world today. It leaves us wondering: Will anything ever be done to bring to justice those who have perpetrated such wickedness? Will anything ever be done to reward those who are righteous? The answer is Yes! We have this assurance because of what we read in Revelation 20:11-15 concerning the final judgment. Here are ten things to keep in mind. (1) What we have...Read More

Jul 2018 6 Jul 6, 2018
2

I’m an extremely patriotic person. I love the United States of America. I am forever deeply grateful for the countless blessings that I’ve enjoyed because of the freedom that is part of the foundation of this great country. Had I been asked to do so, I would have fought in any war to defend our country. And yes, I celebrated the 4th of July with fireworks and hotdogs and a profound expression of thanksgiving to God for all that he has enabled this country to ...Read More

Jul 2018 2 Jul 2, 2018
2

Mysticism is an approach to Christianity that focuses on preparation for, consciousness of, and reaction to what can be described as the immediate or direct presence of God. Emphasis is placed on the subjective or “felt” experience of being in an intimate relationship with God, what some mystics refer to as “spiritual ecstasy”. The earthly goal of this relationship is personal ethical and spiritual transformation, the heavenly culmination of which...Read More

Jun 2018 30 Jun 30, 2018

The book of Revelation has one primary and profoundly simple theme or big idea: God wins! That is why I have entitled this series of messages on Revelation: The Triumph of the Lamb. This remarkable and challenging book explains to us how God rescues and redeems his people, defeats Satan, routs evil, transforms creation, and eventually and eternally dwells among us forever.Read More

Jun 2018 29 Jun 29, 2018

What is it that makes this portrayal of the risen and glorified Christ more than just a fascinating pictorial display? I doubt if there is a more majestic description of our reigning King than what we find here in Revelation 1:12-16. Countless attempts have been made by artists to render an accurate representation of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m sure that now we find ourselves in the age of computers and highly technical tools of graphic design that many will make an effort to supply us with a vivid portrait of Jesus as he is described in this text. Read More

Jun 2018 29 Jun 29, 2018
2

This past Sunday, June 24, 2018, I concluded a series of sermons in the book of Revelation. There were 38 of them! As I reflected on my time in this remarkable book, ten truths stood out to me above all else. Unlike some, the things in Revelation that had the greatest impact on me had nothing to do with numerical symbolism or 666 or the Beast or the Great Prostitute or the millennium. Here are the primary lessons I learned. (1) Christians in this present age can expect ...Read More

Jun 2018 28 Jun 28, 2018

“What Christ thinks of the Church.” That was the title to a short book on Revelation 2-3 by British pastor John Stott. I like that. We need to think about what Christ thinks of us, the Church. We should care profoundly about what Christ thinks of the Church. But I would like to rephrase Stott’s title, if I may, and entitle the seven letters of Revelation 2-3, “What Christ SAYS to the Church.” My reason for this is found in the opening verse to each of the seven letters. Seven times over we are told that what we are reading are “the words” of the risen Christ to his people.Read More

Jun 2018 27 Jun 27, 2018

A straight sail from the island of Patmos of approximately 50 miles brings one to the port of Ephesus at the mouth of the river Cayster. Traveling up coast some 35 miles almost due north of Ephesus is the city of Smyrna (population @ 100,000). It is the only one of the seven cities still in existence today (modern Izmir in western Turkey). Smyrna was a proud and beautiful city and regarded itself as the “pride of Asia.” The people of Smyrna were quite sensitive to the rivalry with Ephesus for recognition as the most splendid city of Asia Minor. Read More

Jun 2018 27 Jun 27, 2018

In the two closing chapters of Revelation, John portrays for us the beauty and splendor of the new heavens and new earth, and especially the grandeur of the New Jerusalem. One thing that he repeatedly emphasizes is who is in and who is out. He first tells us in Revelation 21:8 that “the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable,” along with “murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars” will not have a place in the New Jerus...Read More

Jun 2018 26 Jun 26, 2018

Ann and I lived in Kansas City, Missouri, known as “The City of Fountains.” Before that, we lived in Chicago, “The Windy City”. Paris, France, is called “The City of Lights” and New York is often described as “The City that Never Sleeps”. We have friends who live in Las Vegas, infamously (but justifiably) referred to as “Sin City”, and the list could go on. Read More

Jun 2018 25 Jun 25, 2018

Why in the world would I take a Sunday morning and talk about what I have called in the title to this message, “The Jezebel Spirit”? There are two reasons. First, there are people alive and well in the professing evangelical church today who are guilty of the same perverted behavior as was this woman named Jezebel back in the church in Thyatira in the first century. Second, I love the spiritual gift of prophecy. I hold it in extremely high regard. It plays an important role in our corporate and private spiritual experience here at Bridgeway. And I am jealous to protect it from abuse and perversion. Paul commanded us in 1 Corinthians 14:1 to earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that we might prophesy. Why? Because, as he said two verses later in 1 Corinthians 14:3, prophecy builds up, encourages, and consoles other Christians. So, when someone appears on the scene in church history, like Jezebel did in the first century, we need to take time to identify her sin and equip ourselves to oppose its presence in our midst.Read More

Jun 2018 25 Jun 25, 2018
1

Forgiving others is counter-intuitive to human nature. It rarely seems to make sense. Most often it grates on our souls like fingernails on a chalkboard. King Louis XII of France spoke for us all when he said, “Nothing smells so sweet as the dead body of your enemy!” If we were honest with each other we’d readily admit that we enjoy withholding forgiveness because it permits us to keep our enemies (and even some of our friends) under control. It gives ...Read More

Jun 2018 24 Jun 24, 2018

Let’s begin our time in God’s Word today with a test. Don’t worry, no one will grade you other than yourself and God. And there is only one question on this exam. Here it is: Where are you today, in terms of Christian growth and zeal and love for Jesus, in comparison with where you were when you first became a Christian? Read More

Jun 2018 23 Jun 23, 2018

One of the more important lessons I’ve learned through the years, especially when it comes to church life, is that seeing isn’t always believing. I don’t want to sound cynical or pessimistic, but you shouldn’t always trust your eyes. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not as impressed as I used to be when I hear of a church with a surging membership, multi-million dollar budget, expansive facilities, and a reputation for programs, ministries, and a growing influence in the community. Read More

Jun 2018 22 Jun 22, 2018

In what do you take deepest delight? What is it that brings the greatest and most intense joy and happiness to your heart? If I were to say to you, “Rejoice, because ________,” how would you fill in the blank?” I’m sure that many of us would point to our families, perhaps our children. Others might say that their greatest source of joy is their good health and good friends and a robust bank account. Of course, if Christians give much thought to the question they would eventually say something like, “My greatest source of joy is in knowing Jesus and being assured that I will spend an eternity in intimate fellowship with him.” Others might point to the truth of our adoption as God’s children, or our being justified or declared righteous in God’s sight through faith in Jesus, and the list of answers could go on almost without end.Read More

Jun 2018 22 Jun 22, 2018
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So, there I was sitting at my desk a few days ago, staring at Revelation 22:4 and the incredible declaration by John that in the new earth we “will see his [God’s] face.” It sounds beyond belief. We will see God’s face! What does that mean? Later that day, during a short break, I logged on to a popular internet news site and saw the headline of an article that had just been posted. The title of the article was: What does God look like? The sub-tit...Read More

Jun 2018 21 Jun 21, 2018

One could make a strong case that the letters to Smyrna and Philadelphia are the most important of the seven, for in neither of them do we find a single word of complaint. They both receive unqualified praise and approval. These, then, are truly churches of which Christ heartily approves.Read More

Jun 2018 20 Jun 20, 2018

The Bible has a remarkable capacity to challenge and overcome our misperceptions about who we are. When we are inclined to think of ourselves as orphans, the biblical text declares that we are the adopted children of God. If we are wracked with guilt, the inspired word reminds us that we are forgiven. The feeling of being stained and soiled by sin is overcome with the realization that we are cleansed by the blood of Christ and clothed in his righteousness. Read More

Jun 2018 20 Jun 20, 2018

In Revelation 22 an angel reveals to John, and John in turn reveals to us, numerous blessings that we will experience in the new heaven and new earth. One of them is found in v. 3b – “and his servants will worship him.” Before we unpack this marvelous truth, let’s skip down to vv. 8-9 and take note of a warning from this angel concerning worship. To all of us who are tempted to worship and love and cherish anything but God, the angel declares: &l...Read More

Jun 2018 19 Jun 19, 2018

I’ve lived in nine cities. I was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, from which we moved when I was ten to settle in Midland, Texas. I attended high school in Duncan, Oklahoma, and went to college in Norman. My wife and I lived in Dallas, Texas, for twelve years, and then moved back to Oklahoma, this time to Ardmore, in 1985. Since then we’ve lived in Kansas City, Chicago, once again in Kansas City and now OKC.Read More

Jun 2018 18 Jun 18, 2018

What is happening in heaven right now? And by “right now” I mean right now! Literally. John was given a vision that answers this question and the portrait it provides is undoubtedly as true today as it was nearly 2,000 years ago. This passage, together with Revelation 5, is a vision of the majesty of a sovereign God in complete control of his creation. From an earthly perspective, it might seem that the enemies of the kingdom of God are winning. Christians are being persecuted, imprisoned, and martyred. Tragedy and trial and turmoil are rampant and the Great Dragon (Satan), the Beast, and the False Prophet appear to have the upper hand. All hope of light at the end of the tunnel grows dim because the tunnel has no end. The tunnel is all there is. History simply has no purpose. Dreams of finally emerging out the other side are shattered . . . there is no other side!Read More

Jun 2018 18 Jun 18, 2018
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The number of suicides among people we know, at least by name, has been increasing with disturbing regularity. It began with the tragic death of Matthew Warren, Rick Warren’s 27-year-old son. Then it was the comedian Robin Williams. In the past two weeks we heard of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. In light of this I thought it might be helpful to identify ten things all of us should know about suicide. (1) According to the Associated Press, Public H...Read More

Jun 2018 17 Jun 17, 2018

To be perfectly honest, there are times when I feel the same way John did as he stood before the throne of God. Not that I’ve ever been in the presence of the throne of God, but reading Revelation 5:3-4 resonates with my own fears and anxieties about where human history is going and whether or not we are ever going to emerge from this colossal mess we’ve created for ourselves.Read More

Jun 2018 16 Jun 16, 2018

Perhaps the single greatest controversy surrounding Revelation and the most important issue when it comes to interpreting the book, is the question of its structure. Many, perhaps most, evangelicals read Revelation as if it is describing a short period of time that is still in the future. Those who embrace what may be called the futurist view of the book most often will argue that what we have in Revelation 6-19 is a description of events that will take place in the future in a period of seven years they call The Great Tribulation.Read More

Jun 2018 15 Jun 15, 2018
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I’m often asked questions by young men in the ministry regarding how I go about the process of sermon preparation. We typically make a good bit of progress in our discussion until they hear that I begin work on a sermon on Monday and typically conclude no later than Wednesday. Their response often reveals a false assumption about the Holy Spirit. They tend to believe that it reflects a greater reliance on the Spirit to wait until Friday or even Saturday night to be...Read More

Jun 2018 15 Jun 15, 2018

Often when we speak of those who suffer from persecution and martyrdom we hear only words and the impact on our hearts is minimal. So I want to begin this morning by putting a face with a name. His name is Sharoon Masih and he was sixteen-years old. I say “was” because three weeks ago, on August 27, during only his fourth day at school, he was savagely beaten to death inside his school by his classmates. Read More

Jun 2018 14 Jun 14, 2018

There are several good reasons why the Apostle Paul described the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). It is a “blessed hope” because it will mean the end of all sin and suffering in our lives. No more battles with temptation. No more feelings of guilt when we fail. No more diagnoses of cancer or heart disease or arthritis. No more sadness upon hearing of the death of a loved one. No more funerals. No more anger or resentment or unforgiveness or lust or greed. No more jealous rivalries. No more division between Christians. No more friction between husbands and wives or parents and their children.Read More

Jun 2018 13 Jun 13, 2018

As you know, here at Bridgeway we love to sing the song, King of My Heart. The way in which it declares that God is good is both biblical and reassuring. But there is a line in the chorus that often times sticks in the throat of some believers. It goes something like this: “You’re never gonna’ let, never gonna’ let me down.” Some of you struggle to sing this because deep down inside you don’t really believe it. You think there have been times in your life when God really did let you down, and you are afraid there may well be more instances in the future when he’ll do it again.Read More

Jun 2018 12 Jun 12, 2018

Sam StormsBridgeway ChurchRevelation #19Download PDF When we’ve been there Ten Thousand Years! Revelation 7:9-17 It has always struck me as bizarre that some Christians, or at least those who profess to be Christians, don’t think it is spiritually beneficial or helpful or encouraging to think about heaven. Many of them have bought into the old saying that such people are “so heavenly minded they’re of no earthly good.” Yes, I have known a...Read More

Jun 2018 11 Jun 11, 2018

Why do people struggle with the book of Revelation? By that I don’t mean why do people have differing interpretations of what will happen when Christ returns, or why do people disagree on the identity of the Beast and False Prophet. The struggle I have in mind is the difficulty people have with the unrelenting display of divine wrath and judgment on the world of unbelievers and idolaters. In other words, the single greatest problem people have with this book isn’t its symbolism or its view of history or the meaning of the number 666. The single greatest challenge that people face when reading Revelation is the extent and intensity of the judgments that unbelievers and idolaters endure.Read More

Jun 2018 11 Jun 11, 2018
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Original sin sounds so archaic, so pessimistic, so grimly medieval. For heaven’s sake, this is the era of the computer and the space shuttle. And haven’t the most learned psychologists and sociologists assured us that people are by nature good, having been turned to their evil ways not by some inner instinct but through the influence of a deviant culture and sub-standard education? These questions indicate how important it is for us to understand the biblical...Read More

Jun 2018 10 Jun 10, 2018

Today, December 10, 2018, is the second Sunday in the season we call Advent. It is the season of the year in which we turn our collective attention to the truths of Christmas, which is to say, the truth of the Incarnation of the Son of God, his conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and the ultimate purpose for which the Father sent his Son into this world. Read More

Jun 2018 9 Jun 9, 2018

It’s not easy today to remain hopeful and encouraged and confident about the future of our society and the world as a whole. Things are a mess. For every one step forward it seems like we take two steps backwards. For every victory that is won for truth and morality and the Christian faith, it seems as if there is a multitude of defeats. In his excellent commentary on Revelation Dennis Johnson puts it this way:Read More

Jun 2018 8 Jun 8, 2018

What are the prospects for the church of Jesus Christ all across the earth, as we await the second coming of our Lord? What I mean by that is, what should we expect in terms of our relationship to the broader culture and the world of unbelievers as a whole? What should we do as we look to the end of human history and the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom?Read More

Jun 2018 8 Jun 8, 2018
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In his description of the new heaven and new earth, John refers to several glorious blessings that God’s people will experience. In Revelation 21:6 he mentions one in particular. It is God himself who declares: “To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.” Why doesn’t he simply say, “to the one who believes”? Why “thirst”? In fact, this isn’t the only time this imagery is used. In...Read More

Jun 2018 7 Jun 7, 2018

[Having described the seven trumpet judgments, but before explaining the seven bowls, John inserts three parenthetical chapters (Revelation 12-14). The purpose of chapter 12 is to provide us with a deeper perspective on the spiritual conflict between the world and the church. At the heart of its message is that, although Satan is the principal source of the persecution of God’s people, he has been decisively defeated by Christ, a victory in which we now share even in the midst of suffering and martyrdom.]Read More

Jun 2018 6 Jun 6, 2018

I’m guaranteed of one thing when it comes to this sermon. Most, if not all of you, will pay very close attention. The reason is that there is hardly a more fascinating and controversial topic in eschatology than that of the Antichrist. Is the Antichrist the same as the Beast of Revelation? Is there more than one Antichrist? Is he a figure of past history or the future? Is the Antichrist a person or a power or a movement, or some combination of all? These and other questions will arise as we try to make sense of this concept.Read More

Jun 2018 6 Jun 6, 2018

In their recent book, MultiChurch: Exploring the Future of MultiSite, Brad House and Gregg Allison address what they believe is the primary objection to multisite churches: video preaching. They list four criticisms in particular: (1) Video venues foster a cult of personality; (2) Video venues devalue the pulpit and the preaching of the Word; (3) Video venues neglect the care of the congregation; and (4) Video venues isolate the preacher from the congregation (p. 78). I...Read More

Jun 2018 5 Jun 5, 2018

In his final two letters written not long before he was beheaded in Rome under orders from the Emperor Nero, the Apostle Paul was clearly energized and concerned about the emergence of false teaching that he obviously believed would pose a great threat to the health and well-being of the church.Read More

Jun 2018 4 Jun 4, 2018

Let me say this up front and get it out of the way. I really don’t want to preach on this text. It isn’t because I don’t understand it. I do. In fact, it is precisely because I understand what it is saying that makes me reluctant to preach on it. Neither is my reluctance to preach on it because I don’t believe it is true. I do believe it is true. I do believe that there is a place called hell and that people are going there. Read More

Jun 2018 4 Jun 4, 2018
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Last week I wrote an article that identified ten things we should all know about quenching the Spirit, or perhaps I should say ten ways to quench the Spirit that we must studiously avoid. Today I want to turn our attention to ten ways we tend to quench the Spirit in the act of preaching God’s Word. (1) The first thing to remember is that nowhere in Scripture do we find the sin of quenching the Spirit explicitly linked to teaching or preaching God’s Word. The...Read More

Jun 2018 3 Jun 3, 2018

Last week we immersed ourselves in what is undeniably one of the most emotionally challenging passages in all the Bible. The portrayal in Revelation 14:9-11 of eternal punishment in hell is terrifying and sobering. Today we come to a passage that is only slightly less foreboding. Read More

Jun 2018 2 Jun 2, 2018

Theories about the end of the world have become big business in recent years. Certain environmentalists tell us that unrestrained global warming will bring about the end of the world as we know it. Certain politicians tell us that the world will likely end in a nuclear conflagration, perhaps instigated by North Korea or Russia. Certain astronomers tell us that one day a massive meteorite will break through our atmosphere and crash headlong into the earth, setting in motion a series of climate changes and floods and earthquakes that will mark the world’s end. Then, of course, we’ve got hundreds of movies coming out of Hollywood that are making a fortune by promoting the idea that in some for or other aliens from a distant galaxy will invade us and either colonize or cannibalize our world, bringing an end to life on this planet.Read More

Jun 2018 1 Jun 1, 2018

Today I want to help you make sense of the world in which we live. In particular, I have in mind the multiple ways in which our society and every society on earth conspires to oppose and oppress the kingdom of Jesus Christ. I imagine there are any number of ways in which people try to make sense of what is happening around the globe, but I want to do my best to account for it in terms derived from the book of Revelation.Read More

May 2018 31 May 31, 2018

In Revelation 17:1 John was promised that he would be shown “the judgment of the great prostitute”. Although he was given a brief glimpse in 17:16, the full story is now told in chapter 18.Read More

May 2018 30 May 30, 2018

Why does Bridgeway exist? We exist to exalt Christ in the City. We do many things. We preach Scripture. We pray. We evangelize and go on mission trips. We gather in small groups and sing. We serve one another and love one another and sacrifice for one another. We strive for ethnic reconciliation. We strive for biblical justice. But why do we do these things? We do them because of the reason why we exist. We exist to make Christ known, to exalt his beauty and majesty, to act and speak and live in such a way that Christ is seen as preeminent and glorious and worthy of all our heart’s affection and joy and delight.Read More

May 2018 30 May 30, 2018

All too often people arrive at a Sunday corporate gathering of God’s people and give little to no thought about what they are doing. It’s become something of a mindless, weekly routine. When the pastor preaches, they listen. When another prays, they pray (or doze off). And when the congregation sings, they sing. But do we understand what is happening when we sing? Do we think much of the spiritual dynamics when we sing our praises to God? Do we understand wh...Read More

May 2018 29 May 29, 2018

I hope . . . I hope that all of you here today will feel warmly welcomed and be encouraged by the people at Bridgeway. Read More

May 2018 28 May 28, 2018

In February of 2015, 20 Egyptian Christians were lined up on a beach in Libya, wearing orange jumpsuits. After refusing to renounce their faith in Christ, they were forced to kneel down. One by one, they were each savagely beheaded. It wasn’t until three years later, in 2018, that their bodies were returned to Egypt to be properly buried. Although their physical bodies suffered great indignity, their souls immediately entered into the presence of their Lord Jesus Christ where, as priests of God, they joined with him in ruling and reigning over the affairs of heaven and earth. And when Christ returns to this earth at the end of human history, they will accompany him and be among the first to receive their glorified and resurrected bodies.Read More

May 2018 28 May 28, 2018

Were it not for the fact that no less than the Apostle Paul himself commanded us not to quench the Spirit, who among us would ever have suggested that this is even within the realm of possibility? To suggest that the omnipotent Spirit of God, the third person of the Godhead, could ever be quenched and thus limited or hindered or in some manner restricted in what he might do in our lives and in the life of the local church is to tread on thin theological ice. Yet in 1 Th...Read More

May 2018 27 May 27, 2018

Not everyone thinks it helpful to focus on the future. They’ve bought into the old saying that people who do are “so heavenly minded they’re of no earthly good.” On the contrary, I’m persuaded that we will never be of much use in this life until we’ve developed a healthy obsession with the next. Therefore, we must take steps to cultivate and intensify in our souls an ache for the beauty of the age to come. And that is precisely my aim as we turn our attention to Revelation 21-22.Read More

May 2018 26 May 26, 2018

Several years ago Ann and I, together with our two daughters, were driving back home from a short vacation in Estes Park, Colorado. I can’t recall precisely where we were, but I think it was somewhere near the Colorado / Kansas border. We could see ahead of us that storm clouds were forming and sure enough it began to rain quite heavily. After the rain ended, we could see directly in front of us the most beautiful and majestic rainbow that we had ever seen. Now, I’ve seen a lot of rainbows, but I had never seen anything quite like this one. Read More

May 2018 25 May 25, 2018

So, there I was sitting at my desk a few days ago, staring at Revelation 22:4 and the incredible declaration by John that in the new earth we “will see his [God’s] face.” It sounds beyond belief. We will see God’s face! What does that mean? Later that day, during a short break, I logged on to a popular internet news site and saw the headline of an article that had just been posted. The title of the article was: What does God look like? The sub-title that followed said: “Liberals and Conservatives have different ideas.” Yes, I was sufficiently curious that I read the article, written by a man named Mark Price. The study was paid for with grants from the Templeton Foundation and National Science Foundation. Read More

May 2018 24 May 24, 2018

We began our study of the book of Revelation on April 23rd of last year. Today is our final week in this incredibly challenging yet remarkably glorious book of the Bible. We have seen and heard and learned much, but here are the ten primary themes or points of emphasis in Revelation that have most greatly impacted me.Read More

May 2018 21 May 21, 2018
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I read in the local newspaper today (5-18-18) that an annual Jehovah’s Witnesses convention is scheduled to convene here in OKC this weekend. It got me thinking once again about this unusual religious organization. Some demographic details are enlightening. In his article at the website of the Gospel Coalition, Joe Carter cites the Pew Research indicating that “no more than 4 in 10 members of the group belong to any one racial and ethnic background: 36 percen...Read More

May 2018 16 May 16, 2018
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Perhaps the single greatest criticism from cessationists is their belief that the charismatic embrace of revelatory gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy and word of knowledge, undermines and is inconsistent with the sufficiency of Scripture. As odd as this may initially sounds, I believe the opposite is true. It is the cessationist denial of the on-going validity of revelatory gifts that compromises the sufficiency of Scripture. By the sufficiency of Scripture many thi...Read More

May 2018 14 May 14, 2018

The Imago Dei, Latin for “image of God”, is crucial for our understanding of who we are as the direct creation of God. Here are ten things to guide our thinking. (1) We read in Genesis 1:26 of God’s determination to create man “in our image (tselem), after our likeness (demut).” Theologians typically have tried to identify one particular element or characteristic feature in humanity that embodies or constitutes the imago dei. (2) If both h...Read More

May 2018 10 May 10, 2018
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I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was, upon hearing that there are people at Bridgeway who, for whatever reason, believe that sex before marriage is permissible. Pre-marital sex is commonplace in our culture, but to hear that it is present in the church is extremely disheartening. My surprise upon hearing this is that I would never have imagined that such a view could even exist among professing Christians. There are some things that are so patently o...Read More

May 2018 7 May 7, 2018
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There is in the New Testament a plethora of information and detail regarding the second coming of Christ. I couldn’t begin to cover it all in one short blog post. So, in this article I will only draw your attention to what we are told in Revelation 19:11-21, one of the more graphic portrayals of who Jesus is and what the second coming will mean for unbelievers in particular. (1) We must first remind ourselves that the second coming of Jesus is our sure and certain...Read More

May 2018 2 May 2, 2018

Were it not for the fact that no less than the Apostle Paul himself commanded us not to quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19-22), who among us would ever have suggested that this is even within the realm of possibility? To suggest that the omnipotent Spirit of God could ever be quenched and thus limited or hindered or in some manner restricted in what he might do in our lives and in the life of the local church is to tread on thin theological ice. Paul says in 1 Thessalonia...Read More

Apr 2018 30 Apr 30, 2018
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We hear and say much about redemption justification and adoption and forgiveness of sins. But when was the last time you heard a sermon about the doctrine of reconciliation? What does it mean to say we are reconciled to God? What does it mean when we appeal to non-believers to be reconciled to God? In this post we’ll look at ten things we all should know about this glorious truth. (1) The most well-known biblical text on reconciliation is 2 Corinthians 5:18-21. Th...Read More

Apr 2018 25 Apr 25, 2018
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Michael Reeves’ book, Spurgeon on the Christian Life, has just been released by Crossway. It is part of the Theologians on the Christian Life series to which I earlier contributed a volume, Packer on the Christian Life. I’ve only just started working my way through what I anticipate will be a wonderful and encouraging book. Early on, Reeves mentions something about Spurgeon that most of us have known. It has to do with his love of cigars! Here is how Reeves ...Read More

Apr 2018 23 Apr 23, 2018
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I recently participated with several other authors who contributed a volume to the Crossway series entitled, Theologians on the Christian Life. My book was devoted to J. I. Packer. Here are ten things you should know about him. (1) If you are wondering why Crossway would include J. I. Packer in the list of those who deserved to have a book written about their view of the Christian life, I would simply remind you that the readers of Christianity Today identified J. I. Pa...Read More

Apr 2018 18 Apr 18, 2018
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As I’ve been preaching through the book of Revelation it has become ever more evident to me that reading divine providence is a tricky and often dangerous business. By “reading providence” I mean the tendency that all of us have to interpret what God is doing in the world around us and even in our own lives. We typically try to read providence because we are uncomfortable with mystery. We don’t like being kept in the dark about why God does or doe...Read More

Apr 2018 16 Apr 16, 2018

On several occasions in Scripture we come across reference to something called “the book of life” or “the Lamb’s book of life.” What is it and why is it important that we know? (1) In the OT the “book of life” (or its equivalents) was a register of the citizens of the theocratic community of Israel. To have one’s name written in the book of life implied the privilege of participation in the temporal blessings of the theocr...Read More

Apr 2018 11 Apr 11, 2018

“What?” you say. A prepositional phrase? How can something so mundane and ordinary be a source of encouragement? Good question. Here’s a good answer. Revelation 17 is an ugly chapter. I’m not being critical of God’s inspired and infallible Word. I’m just being honest. When you read Revelation 17 you encounter a “great prostitute” with whom “the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk” (Rev. 17:2). There’s simply no getting around the fact: this is ugly.Read More

Apr 2018 9 Apr 9, 2018

All of us have our favorite Bible verses. Some of us have our favorite Bible books. Mine is Second Corinthians. Perhaps that is due to the fact that it is so profoundly pastoral and describes in detail how Paul interacted with a church that treated h