'Sin' Tagged Posts

'Sin' Tagged Posts

What Is More Divisive Than American Politics?

No doubt, in the United States we live in a polarized and divisive political climate. But there is something more divisive than American politics. What is it? The flesh and the Spirit. Paul writes these shocking words in Galatians 5:17: “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” Notice closely: the flesh and Spirit…

Two Insufficient Ways to Deal with Difficulty

Over the years I have recognized that people deal with difficulty in generally one of two ways. One person deals with difficulty by looking out. When difficulty and conflict are present, the tendency is to want to look away and escape. Escaping can take many forms, like binge watching TV, gorging on food, or spending above your means. Another person deals with difficulty by looking in. When difficulty and conflict are present, the tendency is to want to look in and fix.…

The Great Exchanges

When I travel to Sierra Leone to equip under-resourced pastors, one thing I have learned is that you get a much better exchange rate “on the street” than you do at the banks or markets. The “street” has very little overhead, so the exchange is great! If you have been attending Grace Community Bible Church for some time, you know that we are passionate about an exchange—not a monetary exchange—but what we call the “great exchange.” Very simply, the “great…

Easter is Not Canceled

You might read this title and think: My Easter has been canceled! My church is not assembling. Easter brunch is not happening and my family is not gathering. Easter is canceled for me! Yes, churches are not assembling, restaurants are not open, and families are not meeting. But Easter is not canceled. I say Easter is not canceled because of the nature of Easter. All the things I’ve mentioned thus far—church assemblies, Easter brunches, and family gatherings—are merely celebrations of…

Doctrines of Power

At Grace Community Bible Church, we believe the Canons of Dordt are an accurate summary of what the Bible teaches about key doctrines regarding salvation. Sometimes the Canons of Dordt are referred to as the “Doctrines of Grace.” But I have always wondered how my Arminian friends feel about this title. Is their system not “doctrines of grace”? It wasn’t until a recent study of the Canons of Dordt, I found that it might be better to refer to the…

Why Is Prayer Hard?

Prayer is hard. Not technically hard, for a young child can pray. Prayer is practically hard. Why? Here are four reasons why: 1. We are self-sufficient. When Jesus teaches his disciples to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11), the disciples needed that day’s bread. They did not have weeks and weeks of food stored up in a refrigerator or pantry. It’s not only economic self-sufficiency that makes it hard to pray. It is spiritual self-sufficiency. We…

The One Principle that Will Save Your Marriage

One principle, if consistently followed, will save your marriage. The principle is easy to understand but hard to practice. The principle is this: See yourself as the problem not your spouse. I get this from Jesus’ wise instructions in Matthew 7:3-5: “Why do you look at the s peck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck…

Advice on Killing Sin

The definitive treatment on killing sin is a series of sermons John Owen preached on Romans 8:13 that eventually became Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers (1656). In the book, Owen has several pithy statements of advice on killing sin. “Be killing sin or it will be killing you” According to Romans 8:13, Christians are to actively kill sin in their lives. The reason is simple: sin is serious. If we do not kill sin, it will kill us!…

Should We Follow Our Heart?

There is a modern-day way of life that says: “Follow your heart.” According to this philosophy, the way to happiness and freedom is to follow what your heart tells you to do. In a nutshell: if it feels good, do it. The problem is that this concept is fundamentally flawed for two important reasons. First, the philosophy of “follow your heart” is inherently inconsistent. No loving person would let a five-year-old eat an entire 64-ounce bag of tootsie rolls in…

Encouragement During Temptation

We all need encouragement, especially when temptation to sin is weighing heavily upon us. Thankfully, the Scripture gives us two encouragements to help us fight temptation: Temptation is common to man. In temptation, God is faithful. If you’re familiar with Scripture, you will recognize that these two encouragements come from 1 Cor 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,…

Hope for the Darkness of Depression

Of all the words to describe depression, one word stands out: darkness. If you have ever felt depressed, your world is dark. Darkness permeates every aspect of your life. Everything is dark. One author calls depression a “stubborn darkness.” The Psalmist, in a time of depression, said: “Darkness is my closest friend” (Ps 88:18). Turning to another Psalm, we encounter a man in deep darkness. He laments, “Why are you in despair, Oh my soul? Why are you distressed within…

Institutes and Idolatry

If I were to tally a survey of the five most influential Christian books of all time, undoubtedly, John Calvin’s, the Institutes of the Christian Religion would make it on many lists. In fact, this very day, marks the 483-year anniversary (March 22, 1536) of the first publication of the first edition of his book. Contrary to popular belief, the Institutes of the Christian Religion is not a dry, heartless book of theology. The book is warm and pious, intended…

The Gospel in a Verse

The God-man priest propitiates the Father’s wrath for his people’s sins. That’s the summary of the gospel in one verse in Hebrews: “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (2:17). This verse unfolds with three attributes of Christ: the person of Christ; the office of Christ; the work of…

Don’t Reduce Sin to Acts

We often reduce sin to what we do or don’t do; for example, lie, steal, or cheat. Let me be clear: sin is what we do or don’t do. But sin is much deeper. Sin is who we are. We commit acts of sin because we are sinners. The famous fifth-century pastor in North Africa, Augustine, understood this well. In his Confessions, he recounts of how he stole some pears when he was sixteen. Listen to what he says: “I…

What I Should Not Do If I Am Offended at Church?

The local church is composed of sinner-saints. We are sinners, and we are saints. Sinners will offend you. And you, as a sinner, will offend others. So, what should you do if you are offended by someone in your church? There is a lot you should do, but here is what you should not do: do not forsake assembling together. I know the natural inclination is to let an offense keep you from coming to church (or sometimes you want…

Sin Is In Prison

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and union by faith into that death and resurrection, you have been justified and definitively sanctified. The condemnation due to sin has been removed. You are a saint. And this means that your relationship to sin has changed. When once sin held sway over you, you now have the power, through the Holy Spirit, “to not let sin reign in your mortal body” (Rom 6:12). Sin no longer reigns; righteousness reigns. Unfortunately,…

What Is Forgiveness?

Because we live in a fallen world, sinning against others and being sinned against, we are in constant need of forgiveness. Yet, we often misunderstand what forgiveness truly is. We think that forgiveness is a feeling, so we don’t forgive because we don’t “feel” very forgiving. We think that forgiveness involves excusing someone’s sin, so we say things like, “What you did wasn’t that bad; I’ve done it before, too”. We think that forgiveness means forgetting, so we don’t forgive…

Killing Sin

Do you feel like you just aren’t gaining ground? Do you feel stuck on the merry-go-round of failure? Christ, the Holy Spirit, and His Word are what we need most to gain victory in killing sin habits in our lives. And like our recent post on Pride, there is a plethora of helpful authors who speak on killing sin in our lives (mortification). We’d like to give you a sampling quotes from these sources, compiled by our friend, Dr Stuart…