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  • The Value of a Soul

    Matthew 16:26 is sometimes obscured by the epic texts that surround it. Matthew 16 contains Peter’s proclamation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God (v. 16). It contains Jesus’ promise to build His church and lay siege to hell (v. 18). It contains Jesus’ first prediction of His approaching passion (v. […]

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  • For the Sake of His Name

    This week, Chris Anderson is traveling in Indonesia with two young families from the church he pastors who are praying, strategizing, and planning to move there. This excerpt from Gospel Mediations for Missions is a fitting thought for the occasion! “Why in the world do they do it?” I’ve often wondered what would motivate missionaries […]

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  • Jars of Clay: A Philosophy of Grace vs. Glory

    During my theological training, I regularly heard challenges on the need to be exceptional for the glory of God. I was taught that excellence was a cardinal Christian virtue, which honestly did me a world of good. I heard that it is a sin to do less than your best. And so it is, though I […]

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  • A Stack of Bibles

    When I was a kid, we would say (rather irreverently, I admit), “I swear on a stack of Bibles.” The meaning was as clear as “I swear on my mother’s grave”: The speaker was telling the truth—or at least wanted you to believe he was. If swearing on one Bible in a court of law […]

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  • Groaning Grace

    The modern church doesn’t lament well. The churches in which I grew up tended to omit “downer” Psalms in favor of those that we consider to be more “uplifting.” If we’re honest, we’re almost embarrassed by the negativity of Psalms of lament, Psalms of imprecation, and books like Ecclesiastes and Lamentations. You might think that’s just […]

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  • The Eye of Faith

    One of Luther’s central insights at the Reformation was the nature and importance of faith. For him, faith is famously that which justifies, which makes us right with God. This is not because of any intrinsic virtue faith itself possesses. Rather, it is because faith unites us to Christ such that we receive His righteousness […]

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  • A Father’s Adequacy

    Some men feel inadequate in their role as a father, so they withdraw and leave it to their wife to carry the load. Some men feel totally adequate in and of themselves to handle the upbringing of their children.“I got this,” they say to themselves before prayerlessly entering a room to shepherd their teen in […]

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  • The Passivity of Christ

    The four Gospels provide infinite opportunities for the Christian to marvel. The words of Christ are captivating. The miracles of Christ are awe-inspiring. And we could go on, endlessly: the purity of Christ, the compassion of Christ, the humility of Christ, and so forth. I’m struck on this Good Friday by the passivity of Christ. […]

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  • Your Church Is God’s Gift to You

    Church life can be messy. Any time you put sinners together—even redeemed sinners—there’s bound to be some friction. Sadly, many churches feel more like a war zone than a refuge. Much of the problem stems from our unwillingness to exercise the undervalued virtue of deference, what Colossians 3:13 calls “bearing with one another.” Conservative Christians […]

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  • Introducing Gospel Meditations for Christmas

    The incarnation is an audacious doctrine. The belief that the Creator of the universe “became flesh” is astonishing. An immeasurable chasm is fixed between the infinite God and finite man—and it was crossed when Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem! Understandably, this doctrine has stirred imaginations. The immortal God Whom heaven cannot contain—now […]

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