Man's Need of Salvation: Total Depravity and Man's Inability
We begin our study of God’s sovereign grace in salvation with the biblical teaching regarding the effect of the fall upon man and the doctrine of original sin. This teaching is crucial for understanding the doctrine of salvation because one’s understanding of the effects of the fall upon mankind will largely determine one’s view of salvation. In other words, a person’s view of man’s state resulting from Adam’s sin is foundational to that person’s concept of how man appropriates salvation.
Chosen by God
One of the fundamental doctrines that underlie the biblical teaching that men are saved by the grace of God alone is the doctrine of election. The doctrine of election refers to God’s choice of a certain number of people out of fallen humanity who in history would receive all the merits of Christ’s redemptive work and thus be truly, actually and eternally saved.
A Review of Iain H. Murray's "The Psalter - The Only Hymnal?"
In 2001 the Banner of Truth Trust published a small booklet by Iain H. Murray entitled, Should the Psalter be the Only Hymnal of the Church? In this booklet Murray sets out to answer the question, “whether or not Christians and churches are left to form their own judgment on the material they use for this purpose [congregational praise], of whether there is a principle which requires them to use one book alone, namely the Book of Psalms (that is, the Psalter in metrical form).”
The Passion of the Christ: A Biblical Critique of the Mel Gibson File
A movie produced and directed by Mel Gibson was released recently about the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life entitled The Passion of the Christ. This film received a huge amount of publicity before its release in late February 2004.
Paedocommunion: A Biblical Examination
Any study of the Lord’s supper would not be complete without considering the question: Who are the proper recipients of communion? As one aspect of this question, we will consider the issue of paedocommunion.
Brief Critique of Schlissel's Articles against the Regulative Principle
Recently, a series of articles was written by Pastor Steven M. Schlissel against the regulative principle of worship, entitled “All I Really Need to Know About Worship...I Don’t Learn from the Regulative Principle.”
The Neo-Presbyterian Challenge to Confessional Presbyterian Orthodoxy
John Frame (a Presbyterian Church in America ordained minister, “worship leader,” and professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida) has written a book that both defends and sets forth the worship paradigm of most modern “conservative” Presbyterianism.
The Religious Observance of Christmas and 'Holy Days' in American Presbyterianism by Chris Coldwell
The roots of American Presbyterianism go back to the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, and their historic doctrine and practice are expressed in the Westminster Standards written in the mid-17th century. It was the time of the second reformation, and those pursuing reform had sworn the Solemn League and Covenant.
A controversial topic that is avoided by many pastors and sessions today is the issue of head coverings in public worship. There are many reasons why this subject is avoided.
As the second millennium comes to a close the issue of civil government has once again become a matter of serious debate among Christians. The reasons for this increased interest are manifold. One reason is the rise of the theonomy or Christian Reconstruction movement in the 1970’s.
The Subjection of Kings and Nations to Messiah by James R. Willson
The person, offices and administration of Messiah receive, even at the present time, much illustration from typical exhibitions of them under the law. To apprehensions so slow and imperfect as ours, the dignity of the Mediatorial person, and the importance of his mission, are displayed with wonderful emphasis in the sacrifices, sprinklings, holy places, and priestly and royal functions of the Mosaic economy.
Prince Messiah's Claims to Dominion over Governments by J. R. Willson
The Lord Jesus Christ exercises, as Mediator, the offices of prophet, priest and King. The church bore ample testimony to his prophetic office, in the early ages of Christianity, in the writings of the Fathers, in their suffering to the death for holding the truth of the Bible, to be a revelation from heaven.
One of the most maligned, disbelieved and perverted sections of the Bible is the first three chapters of Genesis. If one were to attend any secular university, or any modernistic or liberal church, one would be told that the early chapters of Genesis do not record actual events.
Modernism and Biblical Inerrancy
One of the greatest enemies of biblical Christianity is Modernism or Christian Liberalism. In fact one could make a case that Christian Liberalism has caused more harm to Protestant denominations and institutions in the twentieth century than any other heretical movement. What is Christian Liberalism?
Jesus' Active Obedience in Justification: Refuting Norman Shepherd
The most important question facing any man, woman or child is: how does a person become right with God? How can a person who cannot perfectly obey the law, who has the guilt of sin, be justified and have peace and fellowship with Jehovah?
Christ's Warning Against False Teachers
At the present time a number of “conservative” Reformed denominations are drifting theologically toward a dark and uncertain future. The decline is not primarily due to syncretism with culture or blatant ethical violations but rather is rooted in theological subversion from within.
When we speak of Christianity or the gospel we must not only examine and understand what Jesus did, but also who He was and is. For, just as a trust or belief in the historical events in our Lord’s life (e.g., the virgin birth, His sinless life, His sacrificial death, His resurrection and ascension to God’s right hand) are necessary for salvation, so is a belief in the person of Christ.
The Gospel Crisis in the OPC and PCA
In the conservative Presbyterian and reformed realm, there has been a controversy raging since 2002. In the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) the controversy has been especially painful because the Federal Vision teachings have been adopted by a number of pastors and elders, who by their teaching and example, have turned whole congregations away from the doctrines of Scripture and the Westminster Standards on crucial gospel issues.
One of the most popular teachings today in Evangelical and Charismatic churches is the doctrine of the pretribulation rapture. The pretribulation rapture teaching is that there are two separate comings of Christ.
The Final Judgment
The final judgment is the last major event connected to the second coming of Christ. When Jesus returns, the resurrection of the body will occur and the whole human race will appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
The Kingdom of God
A subject that on the surface appears very simple, yet which has produced an extensive bibliography of complex articles, as well as strong disagreements among evangelical theologians is the kingdom of God. Indeed, there are at least as many views of the kingdom of God as there are eschatological schools of thought.
In Romans 1:18 and following Paul begins a discussion of the wrath of God against wicked men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. The apostle proves that all men are without excuse because they suppress the truth about the living God revealed unto them.
God's Wrath against Unbelievers Proved and Justified
Paul’s epistle to the Romans contains the longest, most systematic and profound exposition of the gospel in the whole Bible. The apostle’s letter is the closest thing to a systematic theology that we find in the New Testament. These points raise the question: Why does Romans contain such a complete and detailed presentation of the gospel?
Jesus' Instructions for Dealing with Temptation
In the Roman Empire believers were surrounded by an anti-Christian, morally degenerate culture. There was the worship of false gods as well as an idolatrous love of money, status, power and pleasure.
The Temptation of Eve
The Christian life is one of warfare. There is the struggle with the flesh (cf. Rom. 7:14-25) and there are temptations that arise throughout life. Given the fact that Christians endure one temptation after another, and, given the fact that history is littered with people and denominations that have succumbed to the lies of Satan and have totally apostatized, one should try to understand Satan’s methodology of deception.
Our subject is self-control in an age of dissipation. The Word dissipation is defined as: a wasteful use of time or energy; a wasting or squandering of something; or a dissolute, irregular course of life, an excessive indulgence in pleasure.
Definitive Sanctification and Romans
Today the term sanctification is commonly used to describe the life long process in which a believer puts off sinful behavior and grows in holiness. The doctrines of union with Christ and regeneration are often completely left out of discussions on sanctification.
Necessity of Sanctification: Brief Refutation of the Carnal Christian Heresy
Throughout its history the church has been plagued with two heretical teachings regarding sanctification. One error confounds justification with sanctification and thus makes salvation dependent upon faith in Christ and good works.
The Great Enemy Within
What is the greatest enemy of a Christian's holiness? Is it the allurement of the world or the attacks of Satan? No. It is neither of these things.
Perhaps one of the most misused words in American society today is the word liberty. Liberty is often erroneously defined as freedom to say, watch, or do anything one wants, no matter how filthy, perverted or debauched.
We live in a time when the institution of marriage is under attack from many quarters. Young people often delay marriage for many years to favor a career and/or live a lifestyle of habitual fornication.
Establishing a Christian Home
Our subject is establishing a Christian home. This topic is rather broad; therefore, we will focus our attention on establishing a Christian family by choosing a godly husband or wife.
Encontrando um Parceiro Piedoso (Portuguese)
Noso tema é estabelecer un lar cristão. Este tópic é bastante amplo; portanto, nós iremos focar nossa atenção em estabelecer uma família cristã escolhendo um marido ou esposa piedosos.
Dealing with Marital Problems
In our modern post-Christian culture, problems within professing Christian families have been on the rise for quite some time. This sad reality is due to a number of factors.
Pentecost, Part 1--Old Testament Background, New Testament Expectation
One of the most important events in the history of redemption is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It was on the day of Pentecost that the resurrected, ascended, glorified King poured out His Spirit upon the church.
Pentecost, Part 2--The Events of Pentecost and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
In the book of Acts the physician Luke (an evangelist and co-laborer with the apostle Paul; cf. Ac. 16:10-17; 20:5; 21:18; 27:2; 28:16) gives us an inspired history of the formation and empowerment of the Christian church and the spread of the gospel from Judea, to Samaria, and to the Gentile world.
Pentecost, Part 3--The Filling of the Holy Spirit
When Jesus poured out the Spirit from heaven the disciples were baptized in the Spirit and also filled with the Spirit. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues” (Ac. 2:4).
Pentecost, Part 4--The Change to the New Covenant Administration
One of the most common questions associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost regards the differences between the Old and New Covenant. How is the outpouring at Pentecost unique, given the fact that the Old Testament saints were already indwelt by the Spirit and partakers of His gifts?
Pentecost, Part 5--Speaking in Tongues
After the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Ac. 2:4). When the apostles are filled with the Holy Spirit they become the Spirit’s mouthpiece by speaking in tongues (i.e., spoken foreign languages) to a large assembly of foreign Jews.
Pentecost, Part 6--Excursus on the Charismatic Movement
Many modern “Christian” historians and authors describe the rise and spread of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement as a great modern revival; as, first, a breath of fresh air upon a dying, formalistic Protestantism and, then, a great reviving force upon Roman Catholicism.
Spiritual Gifts, Part 1--The Apostleship
When the Holy Spirit came to the new covenant church at Pentecost, He equipped the church by giving diverse gifts to its members. The apostle Paul discusses a number of these spiritual gifts in his epistles (e.g., Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:7-13).
Spiritual Gifts, Part 2--Prophecy
The gift that Paul places immediately after “apostle” is that of prophet (see 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11). New Testament prophets, just like their Old Testament counterparts, received direct revelation from God which was then communicated to the people of God.
Spiritual Gifts, Part 3--Evangelist
The third office listed by Paul is the evangelist. This office is often misunderstood today, for many denominations still have an office called an evangelist. The modern “evangelist” is someone who preaches the gospel where it previously had not been known.
Spiritual Gifts, Part 4--Pastor-Teacher
The fourth office that Paul lists is the gift of pastor-teacher. Before we examine this office we need to justify the combining of the two terms (pastor, teacher) into one category. John Calvin (whose interpretation was adopted by the early Reformed and Presbyterian churches) argued that the apostle was designating two distinct offices.
Spiritual Gifts, Part 5--Governor or Ruling Elder
Another office that is crucial to the well-being of the church is the office of ruling elder. A ruling elder has the gift of leadership, government or administration in the church.
Spiritual Gifts, Part 6--Mercy and Giving
The gift of showing mercy is a broad gift which includes visiting and attending the sick; caring for the poor; showing love and compassion toward orphans and widows; and, showing kindness to believers who are suffering emotionally, who may be going through a personal crisis.
Spiritual Gifts, Part 7--Miracles and Healing
In 1 Corinthians 12:28 Paul lists healings and the working of miracles as gifts of the Spirit. We have placed these gifts together because the working of miracles includes healing the sick and because of the supernatural nature of these sign gifts.
Spiritual Gifts, Part 8--Word of Knowledge and Discerning of Spirits
When Paul sets forth examples of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, the first gifts he mentions relate to the conveyance of wisdom and knowledge. “[T]he apostle speaks neither of wisdom nor of knowledge in themselves, but a word, discourse of wisdom or knowledge; for he seizes the gift in action at the moment when it is to serve the edification of the church.”
We live in a time in which many professing Christians regard church membership as optional. They consider church membership as something that men devised for pragmatic reasons; that it has nothing to do with the requirements of Scripture.
Conflict Resolution in the Church
Professing Christians desire peace in the body of Christ. Many acknowledge that peace and purity can only be maintained through biblical church discipline.
The Great Commission
The Great Commission is one of the most referred to and preached upon portions of Scripture by Evangelical and Fundamentalist pastors and teachers today. Given the fact that the Great Commission contains Christ’s marching orders for the church, this emphasis is warranted.
Regulative Principle Applied to Church Government by James H. Thornwell
The argument from the Scriptures against the system of Boards is, of course, a very short one to all those who sincerely receive and adopt our Standards. If our model of church government is according to the pattern revealed in the Mount, whatever is subversive of its fundamental principles must necessarily be unscriptural and destitute of all Divine authority.
The Discretionary Power of the Church by John L. Girardeau
There are certain utterances which, though brief, are comprehensive and regulative. They enounce principles, or inculcate duties, which involve all minor and dependent ones, and stamp a moulding influence upon thought and action.
A Biblical Refutation of the Roman Catholic View of Authority
One of the fastest growing religions in the United States is Roman Catholicism. This growth is due to a number of factors. There is a large body of Roman Catholics who immigrate (both legally and illegally) to the United States each year from Mexico, Central and South America.