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A 3000 Year Old Strategy?

Live Life! God's way

Satan, the enemy of the souls of people, is not very original in his strategy.  In the life of King David, Israel’s second monarch, Satan spotted an opportunity, a sinful desire–common to all people–to disobey God. Like the pattern so well established in the life of Adam and Eve, David saw, desired and took what was forbidden.

John Newton, as he penned these words in 1779, reflecting on the tragic account of lust, adultery, murder, etc, pastorally knew that sin remained appealing and that temptation should be rejected as appalling. Noone should consider themselves ‘temptation proof’ as Scripture warns us, ‘Let the one who thinks he stands, take heed, lest they fall.’ In today’s media-saturated societies, the online ramps to the thruway of temptation multiply daily. May we remain vigilant, urging each other on not to miss the voice of God by hardening our hearts.

Apart from the language, Newton…

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The Golden Calf

Live Life! God's way

‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ Whoever crafted that statement might well have been pondering the people of God as they grew fonder for Egypt as Moses ‘was so long in coming down from the mountain.’ (Exodus 32:1) In their restlessness, they turned to Aaron who, though recently appointed as the High Priest for true worship, led the people in defiant rebellion against God. Aaron’s passive explanation (Exodus 32:22-24) is staggering. He blamed the people who were ‘prone to evil.’ He explained how the calf ‘appeared’ out of the fire into which golden jewellery had been cast. The last time I threw metal into a fire, nothing recognizable appeared before my eyes. The gold was formed and shaped by human hands into an image of a calf.

As John Newton reflects on this biblical account, he doesn’t just settle for the facts of the story but presses home personal application…

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Biblical Fidelity Illustrated in John Wycliffe

Biblical Fidelity Illustrated in John Wycliffe

Dr. John E. Greever

It is true that each faithful Christian today stands on the shoulders of faithful Christians of yesterday.  In a strategic and fundamental way, faithful servants of Christ who come before us pave the way for us to know and pass along the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And added to this, biblical fidelity (faithfulness to the Scriptures and the message of Christ and the gospel presented in the Scriptures) is the means by which we are faithful to God.  The two go together; faithfulness to God and faithfulness to the teaching of the Scriptures go hand-in-hand.

This is supremely seen in the lives of the Reformers and those who followed after them.  And this is specifically seen in the life of one who was a precursor to the Reformation, John Wycliffe (ca 1330-1384).

J. H. Merle d ‘Aubigne called Wycliffe the…

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Richard Barcellos on Gospel Use of the Law

Gospel Use of the Law

Is the Gospel No Longer Enough for Black Christians?

Just Thinking...for Myself


Located on one of the most historic streets in the United States, particularly for black Americans, Auburn Avenue in downtown Atlanta, stands the venerable Big Bethel AME Church.

“Big Bethel”, as it is affectionately and reverently known, was founded in 1847, the same year educator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass began publishing his anti-slavery newspaper The North Star, and the slave Dred Scott filed a lawsuit in St. Louis Circuit Court claiming his temporary residence in a free territory should have made him a free man.

It didn’t.

But, I digress.

For all its notoriety as the oldest predominantly black congregation in Atlanta, Big Bethel is equally renown, if not more so, for a simple two-word message which, for nearly a century, has stood conspicuously affixed atop the church steeple against the backdrop of an ever-expanding Atlanta skyline.

It reads: Jesus Saves.

The message that “Jesus Saves” has been

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The Ten Commandments

Theologians have commonly divided up the ten commandments into two parts (or “tables”). The first part consists of the first four commandments (i.e. Exodus 20:3-11), while the second part consists of the last six commandments (i.e. Exodus 20:12-17). The first four commandments deal with our relationship to God, while the last six commandments deal with […]

via The Ten Commandments

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Live Life! God's way

‘Do you hear what I hear?’ In one sense this is the question Jesus Christ, the head of the church, presses on all the congregations in Revelation 2 and 3. At the close of every specific message to each specific congregation, He urges all of the assemblies of God’s people to use their ears properly, tuning them to the instruction of the Spirit of God.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

A few questions to ponder…

  1. How does the Spirit of God speak to the churches? Read the New Testament and you’ll see the ‘personal’ and ‘preceptual’ strategies of the Spirit. He gifts leaders to teach and preach the Word of God, guiding in observation, interpretation and application…

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Samuel Renihan on New Covenant Union


In Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology and Biblical Theology (found in the volume Recovering a Covenantal Heritage), Micah and Samuel Renihan explain New Covenant union with Christ.

Jesus Christ has been and always will be the federal head of the covenant of grace/New Covenant. To be federally united to him you must be 1) promised to him outside of time in the covenant of redemption and 2) brought into union with him in time by the Holy Spirit.

The Son was the one elected by the Father to win the redemption of the elect. All of this is accomplished in the New Covenant, which is the historical climax of the covenant of grace. To be in the covenant of grace/New Covenant, you must be united to Christ, its federal head.17

Since the covenant of grace is the retro-active application of the New Covenant, if we posit that Christ is the mediator…

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Richard Barcellos on Gospel Use of the Law

Gospel Use of the Law

He Shall Have Dominion / We Shall Have Dominion?

Happy Birthday Canada!

Live Life! God's way

Kings have authority but they are also under authority if they understand God’s design for the country they govern.

On the eve of Canada’s 150th birthday, join me in some reflective meditation on Psalm 72, from which Canada derives her motto “From sea to sea” (v.8). But first a short quote from my dad’s copy of The Ontario Public School History of Canada, penned by George M. Wrong, M.A., LL.D., Professor of History in the University of Toronto. It bears a copyright of 1921.

“Earlier constitutions of Canada had been framed by British statesmen. This one the Canadians framed for themselves. The name CANADA for the federation was agreed upon, and both Upper and Lower Canada abandoned the use of this name, the one to become Ontario, the other Quebec. The delegates desired to call their creation “The Kingdom of Canada,” which should some day rank with the United Kingdom…

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