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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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A few words to a new Pastor…

A few words to a new pastor…
I love you, Brother, and I am delighted that God has called you to this great work. I have long sensed that God had such a task in store for you. No one will pray for you more or respond more quickly if you need help than I.
I know you will receive this advice in the spirit in which I give it. I do not presume that you do not know these things but they bear repetition.
Get to know your congregation as quickly as you can. Get to know where they live, how they live and why they live. Map a route to their hearts as well as to their houses.
Get to know your community as well as you can. Meet the business owners, the factory managers, the local, county and state leaders. Learn the neighborhoods and their histories, the schools and their mascots, the police and the firemen and the first responders. Familiarize yourself with the hospitals, urgent cares, nursing homes and retirement centers; introduce yourself to every funeral director.
Get to know your connectIons – Missionaries, local and national ministries your church cares about and why they care. Take a census of your congregation’s extended families, friends and neighbors.
Get to know the calendar. Learn what dates matter and why. Learn every birthday, anniversary and local festival, schools schedules and holiday patterns.
Get to know the converts whose salvation you will be seeking. Make evangelism a public and private priority.
Get to know your companion better – your wife. Involve her in your plans, invest her with your priorities. Never take her for granted.
Get to know Christ better. Use the lens of a new place, a new position to sharpen your focus on your Savior. It is His church you pastor; it is His kingdom in which you labor.
Get to work.

Book Review: Devoted to God, by Sinclair Ferguson


devoted7a-810x1280__82818.1478970628.315.315There is a great deal of ignorance and confusion regarding the subject of sanctification in our day. Perhaps that has always been the case. There are, however, some very helpful books on the subject that are available to the modern reader. (See here.) Thankfully, you can add this recent book by Sinclair Ferguson to that list as well.

The title of the book points the reader to Ferguson’s working definition of holiness or sanctification as primarily involving devotion. He writes:

“To be holy, to be sanctified, therefore, to be a ‘saint’, is in simple terms to be devoted to God.” (p.4)

This is not exactly your typical book on sanctification (not that books on that particular subject are by any means common to begin with). As Ferguson himself puts it in his Introduction:

“This is not so much a ‘how to’ book as it is a ‘how God does it’…

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John Murray on Sanctification



In his book, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, John Murray writes the following about the sanctification of the believer in Christ:

There is a total difference between surviving sin and reigning sin, the regenerate in conflict with sin and the unregenerate complacent to sin. It is one thing for sin to live in us: it is another for us to live in sin. (p.145)

If you are a Christian and you struggle with sin . . . welcome to the club!  That is not a cause for worry or despair.   The work of the Lord in your sanctification is ongoing; it is lifelong.  You will spend the rest of your life repenting of sin, and you will do that because of the grace of God at work in you!

The time to worry (as Murray says) is if you are complacent in and about your sin.  That is…

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I Know You’re Mad at United but… (Thoughts from a Pilot Wife About Flight 3411)

The Pilot Wife Life

If there’s one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that there are always two sides to every story.

On April 9th, a very unfortunate incident played out on United Flight 3411, the video of which has since gone viral causing a mass social media uprising with an ‘off-with-their-heads’ mentality. I mean, across the board. Fire ’em all and let the gods sort it out later.

Look, I get it. When I first saw the video I was appalled too. To say that it was inflammatory would be putting it mildly. But it was also a situation that was escalated far beyond the boundaries of necessity.

If a federal law enforcement officer asks me to exit a plane, no matter how royally pissed off I am, I’m going to do it and then seek other means of legal reimbursement. True story.

Knowing what I know about airport security, I’m

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Stop Killing People with Your Ambition

Horizons of the Possible

Selfish ambition robs others for the sake of your advancement. Healthy ambition enriches others for the sake of God_s glory.To all the excited entrepreneurs out there; all the game changers who are out to disrupt whole economies; all the young church planters who are reaching to build the next megachurch:

Stop killing people with your ambition.

The desire to achieve is a good thing.  Achieving goals feels good, it elevates our sense  of self-worth.  Achievement is the drive that has fueled so much good: amazing medical advances in prosthetics, exploration of space, conservation of wildlife, and instantaneous global communication, just to name a few off the top of my head.

The desire to achieve pushed Michael Phelps to popularize the sport of swimming by breaking the Olympic Gold Medal record.  The desire to achieve kept J.K. Rowling toiling away on the story of a wizard boy named Harry.   The desire to achieve prompted Lin Manuel Miranda to persevere with his idea about a hip hop musical about the…

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“The Master of the Jigsaw Puzzle of Our Lives” (Sinclair Ferguson on the Providence of God)


devoted7a-810x1280__82818.1478970628.315.315In his book, Devoted to God, Sinclair Ferguson includes a chapter dealing with what Romans 12:1-2 has to say about the doctrine of sanctification.  In v.2 the Apostle Paul says the following:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)

There Paul describes the will of God as “good and acceptable and perfect.” Now this passage, strictly speaking, primarily refers to what is known as the preceptive will of God. That is, the will of God as it has been revealed in Scripture regarding how we as believers in Christ are to live. We are to seek to discern and do the will of God. And in doing so, we will find His will to be good, acceptable, and perfect.

But, as Ferguson points…

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