Perhaps you’ve heard this variation: “Depression, anxiety, heartbreak—you are not bound to living that way. You don’t have to suffer anymore. Freedom exists in Jesus. Come to him and find freedom.” This is a false gospel. This gospel motivates people to believe in it by presenting your best life now if you’ll just come to Jesus. This is a damning lie. Jesus doesn’t take away your suffering—he promises it (John 16:33). And because we live in a fallen world, your body will fail you—both mentally and physically. But the true gospel, presents a truth much greater than this prosperity gospel could ever conjure up.Read More
I had to carry my doubts to the foot of the cross. I needed to remember the sufficient and complete work of Christ that merited God’s forgiveness and love towards me. I needed to remember that forgiveness of my sins was a gift of grace, and continued to be a gift of grace, so that, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10 ESV). I needed to remember the old, old story of the cross.Read More
What I couldn’t see was the sovereign God at work smelting my hardened heart. It was the beginning of the gentle call of his irresistible grace. I didn’t know I was a sinner in need of Christ. I saw myself as righteous on my own, not requiring anyone’s help with my salvation. But to be saved by the grace of God, we need to recognize our own depravity. We need to recognize that because of the first sin of Adam and because of our own sinfulness, we have fallen short of the glory of God and have no way of restoring ourselves.Read More
Decision-making can fill us with anxiety. What if I make the wrong choice? Sometimes we extend the necessary time to make a decision out of fear. But what if I told you decisions shouldn’t cause us so much stress? What if I told you that as believers we have God’s Word as a perfect standard to bring our questions to? What if I told you that despite what you choose, it is still entirely in God’s hands? What if I told you that we are blessed with the gift of wisdom for the decisions that don’t have black-and-white answers? Would any of this relieve your anxiety, friend?Read More
My dear sister who loves theology, I must ask: Has this knowledge and theology changed you yet? Has your abounding comprehensionfound its way to your heart so as to shape your life? Do the words you speak, the thoughts you think, the actions you commit represent the information in your mind?Read More
As well as we know the sting of the unfaithfulness of others to us, we also know of our own unfaithfulness. Hurtful words we have spoken to others we were supposed to love. Promises we made that we never fulfilled. Times when we were supposed to stand strong to hold another up but ran away and let them fall. Just as others have left their marks of unfaithfulness on us, we have likewise left our own wounds of unfaithfulness. Who can be trusted? Can we rely on anyone? If even those who love us most will still be unfaithful due to their sin, and we ourselves cannot be trusted because of our sin, is there anyone who we can look to that will be steadfast?Read More
My theology-loving friend, I want to warn you of the same pride that could grow inside of you as you grow in knowledge. When we are not using our theology to love and serve God and those he has placed around us, our knowledge could be our downfall. Though you may know the doctrines of grace, you may be living with more pride than grace. Though you may know the essential doctrines of Christology, do you live like Christ lived? Though you know the Greek words for love, are you showing others that agape love?Read More
A year of living in on-going house renovations, seeing rooms completed one piece at a time, I have learned not only patience but a lot about sanctification. In many ways this little house is much like my heart, and yours too.Read More
Knox didn’t have riches or former glory when he became a Reformer to give him boldness either; rather, he shamelessly admitted, “I quake, I fear, and I tremble.”
And yet, John Knox was the Scottish Reformer who founded the Presbyterian church. What made this humble, unnoticeable, fearful man such a mighty man of God? How did God use such a “weak” man?Read More
Shortly after I became a believer, I still lived by my feelings rather than my faith. I doubted my salvation because it didn’t feel real. I struggled to believe that God still loved me when I sinned because I couldn’t feel his love. I often gave into my sins because it felt better than obedience. My worship time was completely regulated by my feelings as well—if I felt near to God, then I had worshipped effectively and rightly.
Do you live by your feelings? Do you live in a similar way that I did? If so, we need to consider what God’s Word has to say about our feelings, and what living by faith actually looks like.Read More
The Holy Spirit not only gives us the ability to understand Scripture, but He is also the One who enables us to obey it. The enemy is fighting fiercely against us, throwing his best weapons of temptation our way and giving us many reasons to disobey what we have learned. Thankfully, as believers, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us.
Today in our series on Bible Study for Heart Change, we are looking at how the Holy Spirit fills us and enables us to obey God’s Word.Read More
When we study the Bible, we may be tempted to take pride in our knowledge, practice, or ability. But if we only had our own talent to get us through Scripture, it would not be enough. Like in the entirety of the Christian walk, we are completely dependent on the Holy Spirit in our Bible study. It is only because of the Holy Spirit that true change can take place in our hearts when we study Scripture. He not only helps us understand the Bible, but also convicts our hearts of sin and directly applies the Word to our hearts.Read More
I’ve stood at both ends of the spectrum. I was the girl who wanted to move across seas, give up everything and become a missionary to the lost. Though I had a passion for mission work, I had a twisted view of the Gospel—which made me one of the lost to be reached. Once I became a believer and gained a proper view of grace, I secluded myself to my desk studying theology and devoted hours to my Bible and sermons—at the neglect of serving the God I claimed to now worship.
Friend, I have learned it is not a question of, “Is theology or good deeds more important?”, but rather, “Are you cultivating both?”Read More
God’s ways are far higher than our ways. But God’s plans are much higher, loftier than that. His plans are made in his perfect character—both wisely and graciously. It would go against his character to make a plan that was anything less than perfect.
Romans 11 is a proclamation of this. As Paul discusses Israel’s rejection of the gospel and how the Gentiles fit into God’s redemptive plan, we are shown God’s glorious sovereignty and wisdom in the story of redemption.Read More
In this series, I want to focus in on the life-giving Word of God. Before we begin learning how to study the Bible though, we need to set our foundations. It is critical that we understand the purpose and characteristics of the Bible if we want to study it well. If we are to rightly delight in the Word of God, we must begin with a knowledge of it.Read More
However, that is not the grace-filled response to discernment. You don’t need to stop warning others and pointing out false teachings in order to be gracious. You can be both a grace-filled and discerning church member simultaneously. But first, it requires remembering the grace of the gospel.Read More
In my striving to be godly woman and wife (and future mother) I become discouraged with this woman. How does she do all that she does? I try to fulfill my to-do list with the same activities as her: teaching, service, housework, cooking, jobs, and loving my husband, all the while forcing myself to have a blessed attitude about everything. In the midst, studying theology and reading my Bible are at the bottom of my to-do list.
In such a pursuit, I forget that the foundations for such a woman is not works, but theology. A woman who is a theologian first can in turn do the good works, teach with wisdom, discern truth, smile at the future, and fear God. Each of these aspects that make up her godly beauty begin with a firm knowledge of the truth.Read More
None of these pieces of advice is inherently wrong. Most Christians probably do need to work on each of those areas of their life. But therein lies the problem: This advice applies to anyone and everyone. You could struggle with anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, rebellious children, or any kind of spiritual problem and I could respond with this advice and be “right” in a sense. You probably do need to trust God more, you probably could dwell on the gospel more, you could probably think on heavenly things more. But sanctification doesn’t always work that way.Read More
Discernment is known as the ministry is which a person warns others of false teachers and their teachings. They point out their errors and direct us back to Scripture where the truth is proclaimed. This has the possibility is being a gracious gift to the church. However it can, by means of sinful man, become something monstrous when it is based on conscience issues, facts are founded on lies, rudeness is prominent, and God’s glory is not the goal.Read More
When we are broken and hurt by others, how can we reconcile that? After the pain we have felt, why should we risk giving such a precious gift away again? And what about God? How is He trustworthy?
Friend, we can learn to trust both God and others again. There is hope for restoration. But first, we must straighten our theology.Read More