• Playing for Keeps

    Philippians 3:12–16

    Part of the discipline needed for spiritual growth is regular participation in the local church. Worship on Sunday wherein we hear the Word preached and see it made visible in the sacraments is vital to our long-term spiritual health. But ...Read More

  • The Works of the Flesh

    Galatians 5:19–21

    Take the time today to do a “spiritual inventory” and consider whether any of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19–21 are characteristic of your life. If you have a trusted, Christian friend, ask him if any ...Read More

  • Not Under the Law

    Galatians 5:16–17

    John Calvin comments, “If we would obey the Spirit, we must labor, and fight, and apply our utmost energy; and we must begin with self-denial.” Walking by the Holy Spirit is the denial of the self and one’s fleshly ...Read More

  • Walking by the Spirit

    Galatians 5:16–17

    John Calvin comments, “If we would obey the Spirit, we must labor, and fight, and apply our utmost energy; and we must begin with self-denial.” Walking by the Holy Spirit is the denial of the self and one’s fleshly ...Read More

  • Augustine’s View of Man

    Psalm 139

    Those who are not Christians still seek understanding based on Christian assumptions. For example, scientists can draw universally applicable conclusions from experiments only by assuming a regularity to how the world operates. Such regularity is possible only if a covenant-keeping ...Read More

  • The Seriousness of Sin

    Matthew 18:7–9

    Dr. John MacArthur echoes Jesus’ somber warning in Matthew 5:29: “Sin must be dealt with drastically because of its deadly effects” (The MacArthur Bible Commentary, p. 1,131). Refraining from speaking privately with a certain person might be what ...Read More

  • The Unforgivable Sin

    Matthew 12:24–32

    Pastors both past and present agree that a person who worries that he has committed the unforgiveable sin has not really done so. Those who do the unforgivable act are so calloused that they do not care about their spiritual ...Read More

  • Asking, Seeking, Knocking

    Matthew 7:7–11

    We persevere in prayer knowing that our Father in His goodness will never withhold from us what we really need. We also need to recall, Matthew Henry says, that “we often ask that of God which would do us harm ...Read More

  • With Spirit and Fire

    Matthew 3:11–12

    The purifying work of the Holy Spirit commences in the believer when he first turns to Christ. Sometimes the Spirit works on us in the fire of adversity, through which the Lord promises to take us for His good purposes ...Read More

  • Matthew’s Gospel

    Matthew 5:17

    Take the time to look over Matthew in preparation for our study this year. Find one passage that you have not spent much time examining. Meditate on that text today and ask the Lord to help you focus on His ...Read More

  • Holy War

    Esther 9–10

    All sorts of wild theories about spiritual warfare abound in the church today. Nevertheless, there is a real war going on every time the Gospel is preached. All people are inclined from birth to reject Jesus and will only trust ...Read More

  • The Lord Knows How

    2 Peter 2:9–10a

    That God keeps the unrighteous under punishment by turning them over to their sin should be a sober warning to us. While those of us with true faith will never lose our salvation, if we persist in disobedience, we may ...Read More

  • Redemption’s Drama

    Psalm 85:10

    Other people may treat us unjustly, but the Lord never does. His justice is perfect and will never condemn the righteous, nor will He let the sinner go unpunished. In Christ, the Father has judged His sinful people so that ...Read More

  • God’s Just Judgment

    Psalm 51:4–5

    We cannot forget the consequences our sins have on the world around us. However, if we do not understand that our sin is primarily and ultimately against God, we have not truly repented. Perhaps you have sinned against another person ...Read More

  • The Sin of David

    2 Samuel 11:1–12:23

    God mercifully forgave David when he acknowledged his sin, but this does not mean his transgression had no consequences. David also worshiped the Lord even after these consequences were brought to pass (2 Sam. 12:15b–23), showing that He ...Read More