Diligence and the Gospel of Grace

In Tuesday’s post, I argued from Matthew 25:14-30 (the Parable of the Talents) that diligence is an assurance of salvation issue. I also suggested that some of us may be struggling in our Christian lives because we have neglected to exercise our gifts and use our God-given resources for the glory of Christ and the benefit of our neighbor. Continue reading “Diligence and the Gospel of Grace”

The Connection Between Assurance, Depression, and Diligence

A few weeks ago I took our college group—and later in the week, our young professionals—through a study on what the Proverbs say about diligence. The week prior we had all been laid low by the many Proverbs that condemn laziness.

I began the lesson my noting that diligence is an “all of life” issue. That is, rather than talking about work ethic—a metric that is typically used in relation to how we approach our job or career—we should speak in terms of diligence and how Scripture calls us to apply diligence to every facet of our lives: our walk with Christ, our jobs, our relationships, our responsibilities at home, our ministries, and even our recreation (see Prov 12:27; 19:24)! Continue reading “The Connection Between Assurance, Depression, and Diligence”

Spiritual Disciplines, Part 6: What Should We Be Praying About?

The Vital Importance of Personal Discipline
Spiritual Disciplines, Part 1: Is Self-Discipline Unspiritual?
Spiritual Disciplines, Part 2: The Priority of Bible Reading and Meditation
Spiritual Disciplines, Part 3: Bible Reading: Some Practical Suggestions
Spiritual Disciplines, Part 4: What is Biblical Meditation?
Spiritual Disciplines, Part 5: Why Pray?

********

In the most recent post in this series, we considered the question of why prayer is essential in the life of a Christian. In this post, we will discuss how Scripture guides and frames our prayers.

How Should We Pray?
It is encouraging to know that we are not the first of Jesus’ disciples to ask this question. It is even more encouraging to know that the Lord himself has given us a straightforward answer to this question. We will look specifically at the elements of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 in a moment. Before we do, we need to say a word about how to understand Jesus’ instruction on prayer in this text. Continue reading “Spiritual Disciplines, Part 6: What Should We Be Praying About?”

10 Quick Tips for Becoming an Excellent Bible Interpreter

Becoming a skilled interpreter of Scripture is not a complicated task. It is hard, but it isn’t complicated. God does not hide the riches of his Word from the simple; he hides them from the proud and ungodly. Right interpretation, then, is first a matter of personal character and piety, and then a matter of methodology. Here are ten basic tips. There is much more to say, of course, but you must start here. Continue reading “10 Quick Tips for Becoming an Excellent Bible Interpreter”

Three Simple Thoughts on Teaching the Bible

(1) Every Christian Should Teach the Bible
If you are a Christian, you are called to teach the truth of God’s Word to others through your personal ministry. You may not be called to or gifted for a public ministry of the Word; you are, however, called to a private ministry of the Word that will require you to teach others. The author of Hebrews warned his readers that their inability to teach others actually revealed a serious spiritual immaturity (see Heb 5:11-14). The expectation implied in this warning is that every Christian should possess some capacity for teaching God’s Word to others. Paul wrote to the Romans: “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another” (Rom 15:14). Every true Christian is a teacher. Continue reading “Three Simple Thoughts on Teaching the Bible”

Was Adam “With” Eve While She Was Tempted?

As I’ve wrestled with Scripture the past several years over the issue of manhood, Genesis 1-3 has remained foundational in the development of my theology of Christian masculinity. I find myself continually returning to this text in order to glean insights on God’s plan for redeemed manhood. It is my contention that an important feature of the narrative—one that provides insight into our calling as men—is the fact that Adam was with Eve during the entire time that Eve was tempted by Satan. Continue reading “Was Adam “With” Eve While She Was Tempted?”

How Our Preparation Can Make Our Teaching Ineffective

In their helpful book Effective Bible Teaching, James C. Wilhoit and Leland Ryken remind us that ineffective teaching arises at one of two levels: (1) the planning and preparation level; (2) the presentation level. In this post I want to focus on the planning and preparation level. What happens in the planning stage that causes us to be ineffective in our teaching? Wilhoit and Ryken mention six pitfalls we should avoid as a prepare to teach. Continue reading “How Our Preparation Can Make Our Teaching Ineffective”