Sanctification

The gospel has me reconsidering the typical way we think about Christian growth: spiritual measurements and maturity; what it means to change, develop, grow; what the pursuit of holiness and the practice of godliness really entails.

If we’re serious about reading the Bible in a Christ-centered way; if we’re going to be consistent when it comes to avoiding a moralistic interpretation of the Bible; if we’re going to be unswerving in our devotion to understand the many parts of the Bible in light of its unfolding, overarching drama of redemption, then we have to rethink how we naturally and typically understand what it means to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

Let Grace Kill Your Natural Instinct

In his 2008 movie The Happening, writer, producer, and director M. Night Shyamalan unfolds a freaky plot about a mysterious, invisible toxin that causes anyone exposed to it to commit suicide. One of the first signs that the unaware victim has breathed in this self-destructing toxin is that they begin walking backwards—signaling that every natural instinct to go on living and to fight for survival has been reversed. The victim’s default survival mechanism is turned upside down.

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The Law & the Gospel

by Jason Moore on April 9, 2011

This post originally appeared on White Horse Inn.

“The Gospel is the message, the salvation-bringing proclamation concerning Christ that he was sent by God the Father…to procure eternal life. The Law is contained in precepts, it threatens, it burdens, it promises no goodwill. The Gospel acts without threats, it does not drive one on by precepts, but rather teaches us about the supreme goodwill of God towards us.”  –John Calvin

Law & Gospel: the “two words” of Scripture

In order to recover the sufficiency of Scripture we must once again learn to distinguish the Law and the Gospel as the “two words” of Scripture. For the Reformers, it was not enough to believe in inerrancy. Since Rome also had a high view of Scripture in theory, the Reformers were not criticizing the church for denying its divine character. Rather, they argued that Rome subverted its high view of Scripture by the addition of other words and by failing to read and proclaim Scripture according to its most obvious sense. READ MORE

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On the list of my top ten Christian books of all time is Holiness by J.C. Ryle (1816-1900). The book, a collection of twenty papers on the subject of holiness first published in 1879, is pungent, practical, and, after more than a century, still wonderfully readable. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was right: “[Ryle] is preeminently and always scriptural and expository…It is exposition at its very best and highest. It is always clear and logical and invariably leads to a clear enunciation of doctrine. It is strong and virile and entirely free from the sentimentality that is often described as ‘devotional.’”

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Others May, You Cannot

by Jason Moore on October 18, 2010

I (tim challies – who originally posted this) came across this bit of writing on Facebook today and quite enjoyed it. It stands as a good challenge at any age, but perhaps particularly in an age of Christian celebrity. It was written by George D. Watson, a Wesleyan minister who did the bulk of his ministry in the early 20th century.

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If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.
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The Bible Is Very Easy To Understand…

May 27, 2010

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything […]

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