The doctrine of sanctification is often misunderstood and neglected in our day. If we want to be called children of God, we must be sanctified and have the process of sanctification continuing in our lives. Without sanctification, no one will see God and live with Him in glory.
They say Easter is a symbol of new things.
Folks seem to take extreme pleasure in new things—new cars, new houses, new tools, new machinery, new clothes, new books—new, new, new. There is no end of “new stuff” of carnal value. Carnality certainly finds great satisfaction in the carnal new. Economics rely upon them. All new things of carnal value await a destiny of infernal fire. Soon, they will pass away. Then whose will these new things be?
In recent years, I repeatedly hear a common confession expressed in our conservative churches. Sometimes it is acknowledged in a council meeting, revival meeting, a public testimony, or in personal interviews. In a few occasions, having been involved in small accountability groups, I have also heard this common confession. I have needed to acknowledge this common need in my life as well. This common confession is often declared, “I need to grow in my prayer life.” Why is it that our prayer life often needs improvement?
Romans 12 is one of the many rich passages of Scripture recorded in God’s Word. This chapter begins with the practical outworking of the great plan of salvation and ends with chapter 16. This chapter presents one of the finest summaries of Christian duties found in the Scriptures. In this chapter we want to notice the expressions of love that are listed there and allow our lives to be challenged in our everyday life.
Nature shows us clearly that living things reproduce themselves. This process generally produces a baby that is feeble and needs nurture from its parent. The “Living Christian Faith” will also reproduce itself and this will result in “babes in Christ” who need nurture and help to grow to greater usefulness in the church. Babies often require much sacrifice and work on the part of their care givers. We must understand how to care for the babies that are born into our number and be willing to make the sacrifices needed.
Five pillars of reformation era theology influenced our forefathers. 1) sola scriptura (Scripture alone), 2) sola fide (faith alone), 3) sola gratia (grace alone), 4) solus Christus (Christ alone), and 5) sola Deo Gloria (glory to God alone).
Because gas is cheap and we are rich, we are able to pursue many possibilities in life. These possibilities open the gates for hobbies, special interests or just plain indulgence of legitimate functions such as work.
But not all of us are content to only pursue a closed-in world of a hobby like model shipbuilding or reading poetry. We look for something that is broader; something that involves other people. We want to socialize with our spare time.
Tools are such an integral part of life that we would be incapacitated without them. How would you brush your teeth without a toothbrush? (use a twig, huh?) A mechanic can’t loosen a tight nut with bare hands. It would be impossible to write without a pen or pencil or feather...or something.
We read in the Bible, “No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
What can that mean? Does this even have an application? I am not a murderer; I’m not even tempted to be one. No one I know carries sinister thoughts of killing. We cringe at the thought of taking the life of an animal. Murder my brother? Surely the Bible missed it this time!
But wait, is there something more practical here the Book is speaking to in my life?
Psalm 23 may well be the best-known Psalm today and yet it may hold many deeper concepts that are missed by people who have not been a shepherd or never owned sheep. I first came to recognize the deeper meaning in Psalm 23 when asked to give a topic on this Psalm. The topic time length was to be about 45 minutes and I wondered what I would be sharing for 45 minutes that was not the same as we have always heard. Well I came across a book entitled A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, by Philip Keller. I want to give him credit for many things that I learned about sheep and shepherding.