I was asked this question after giving a talk at a youth group and, I have to admit, it completely stumped me. I wanted to launch into rhetoric about how wonderful and exciting the Christian life is. I wanted to... but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The Christian life is wonderful. The… Continue reading What is it like to be a Christian?
‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 Last week, we saw that life and everything in this world is not necessarily meaningless, but it is fleeting. The idea behind “hebel” is like smoke, breath or a bubble that soon disappears. “Hebel” is also translated in the Bible as “idol”. And… Continue reading Can you handle the “hebel”? (part 2)
The words of the Teacher,a son of David, king of Jerusalem: ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ Ecclesiastes 1: 1-2 Everything is vanity of vanities – utterly meaningless, perfectly useless, and totally futile? It is amongst the best known phrases in the Bible, yet as Christians we often have no idea… Continue reading Can you handle the “hebel”? (part 1)
How do you know that you are really a Christian? The trouble with Christians is that they tend to look at themselves too much. The trouble with looking at yourself too much is that you will eventually freak out. Why? The longer you look at yourself, and I mean truly look at yourself, you will be… Continue reading Assurance, Justification & Sanctification
Why do Christians struggle with assurance of their salvation? In the last post I explored the Bible’s teaching about salvation generally. In this post I want us to go a little further and think about how that salvation works. At the heart of the Gospel, at the heart of salvation, is the doctrine of justification. What… Continue reading Assurance & Justification
Saved by “Faith”? Faith is a fairly important concept in the Bible. True faith is amongst the highest of virtues and false faith among the most dangerous of pitfalls. It seems prudent, therefore, to make sure that we understand what “faith” means. How can we discern the difference between true faith and false faith? It… Continue reading Assurance & Faith
One of the greatest reasons why so many Christians today do not experience the peace that comes through the assurance of salvation can be summarised in one simple question. Can I truly be a Christian even if I fall to the same sin over and over again? The answer to this is “yes”. It is possible… Continue reading Assurance and Habitual Sin.
In 1709 Isaac Watts wrote a hymn that has had a profound impact on my walk with Christ, and more particularly, on my understanding of the Bible. The words are as follows... “Laden with guilt and full of fears, I fly to thee, my Lord, And not a glimpse of hope appears, but in Thy… Continue reading Read the Bible like Isaac Watts.
We all doubt our salvation. Sometimes people ask me what pastoral issues I’ve most often encountered in ministry. It is not a difficult question to answer. By far, the greatest concern for most people in the church is the question as to whether or not they are truly saved. Assurance of salvation has trumped all… Continue reading When you doubt your salvation.
In my last post, I spoke about the danger of zeal without knowledge. Ironically, those who feel most strongly about the church's health can very often become a hindrance to it. If we are passionate Christians, the onus is on us to make sure that our passion is both formed and informed by a solid… Continue reading What does it mean to be biblical?