• How can I cultivate a consistently biblical prayer life? Question and Answer

    Matthew 6:9-13

    First of all, take the Lord’s model prayer in Matthew 6, “Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” That was really given to be an outline to provide the structure for our prayers. It’s like the skeleton, and we now supply the muscles and the skin. I would take the Lord’s model prayer and use that as the tracks you run on in your own prayer life. You can take other prayers in the Bible as well. You can take Paul’s prison prayers, two in Ephesians, one in Colossians, one in Philippians, and pray those to God. … View Resource

  • Am I not elect because I don’t know the moment I was born again? Question and Answer

    LAWSON: The issue is right now, at this moment, Are you saved or are you not saved? There are some people who cannot pinpoint exactly when they were converted. One reason might be that they were sitting under such shallow preaching that they weren’t receiving enough of the truth to have a strong enough sense to evaluate their own experience. Someone can be saved—and many people are saved—who cannot pinpoint that exact moment. At the same time, there are people who pinpoint an exact moment who still are not saved. They are deceived about their past. They walked forward when … View Resource

  • How is total depravity true when many people appear to act morally and do good deeds? Question and Answer

    THOMAS: Total depravity doesn’t mean that everyone is as sinful as they possibly could be. Total depravity allows for a range of sinful rebellion, but also common grace. Calvin had a doctrine of common civility. When he talked about the civil magistrate, which is a fairly broad concept in Calvin, he allowed for the civil magistrate to do a great deal of good, to respect law and order. We’re talking about the sixteenth century, but Calvin allowed that the civil magistrate could uphold that which is good and punish that which is evil and have at least a sense of … View Resource

  • What does it mean to be “in Christ”? Question and Answer

    Acts 9:4

    LAWSON: To be in Christ, first of all, means that we have a saving relationship with Christ and are brought into union and communion with Him in such a way that, as we are in Christ, what is true of Christ becomes true of us. His grace and His resources become our experience and possession. When you read Ephesians 1–2, that phrase “in Him” or “in Christ” is repeated over and over. It says, “We were chosen in Christ,” and, “We were predestined in Christ.” It goes all the way down to the Holy Spirit—we are sealed by the Spirit … View Resource

  • Since no one seeks after God, why do so many unconverted people come to church? Question and Answer

    1 Corinthians 1:18

    LAWSON: In a lot of churches, I think people are going to be entertained, or they are going to make relationships, or they are going out of religiosity. They are going not for God, but for what God would provide for them. They’re not after the Giver; they’re after the gifts. They are there for all the wrong reasons. That doesn’t mean they’re seeking God. They are simply seeking common grace things, or they are seeking the gifts but have zero interest in the Giver. CHARLES: I have many pastoral friends and colleagues. I get nervous about blanket criticisms of … View Resource

  • Does the Old Testament teach the doctrines of grace? Question and Answer

    Exodus 33:18-19

    In Exodus 33 and 34, Moses says, “Show me your glory” (which is the title of a book I have coming out). Then, God descends in a cloud, and God Himself preaches to Moses. He preaches His own glory to Moses. He says: “I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Ex. 33:18–19). God Himself preaches sovereign grace to Moses, who desires to see His glory. Even having said that, just give me the book of Psalms, and I can put together an airtight case for the doctrines … View Resource

  • What is the fruit of repentance? Question and Answer

    The fruit of repentance is a changed life. It is a turning away from something and a turning to something. It’s a change—a change of direction; a change of desire. It’s a turning away from a life pursuit of sin, self-righteousness, and self-centeredness, and a turning to the Lord with a new mind, a new heart, and a new will. Saving faith is then the entrusting of your life and your soul to the Lord Jesus Christ—but you must be turned in order to believe. So, the fruit of regeneration is really a lifelong turning away from sin and turning … View Resource

  • How were people saved in the Old Testament? Question and Answer

    John 14:6

    LAWSON: There is only one way of salvation. It is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. There is not one way to be saved in the Old Testament and a different way to be saved in the New Testament. That would be two different gospels. There wasn’t one way for the Jew to be saved, and now a different way for the gentile to be saved. That would be two roads to heaven. There’s only one road to heaven. Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father … View Resource

  • May Christians vote for a presidential candidate who denies the Trinity? Question and Answer

    Proverbs 14:34

    SPROUL: If I required real belief in the triune God for the president of a secular state, I really would be disenfranchised. I wouldn’t be able to vote, period. It’s very rare to have an authentic Christian up for election in this secular state. There have been times in the past where I’ve seen believing Christians run against pagans for the highest office in the land, but the pagan’s policies have been more in keeping with biblical policies of government than the Christian’s. So, I look at whether the policies of the candidate are essentially compatible with the fundamental precepts … View Resource

  • What is an “ordinary means of grace” ministry? Question and Answer

    FERGUSON: An ordinary means of grace ministry is the thrill, from the point of view of those who share in that ministry, of the exposition of Scripture in different ways and at different levels and watching the Word of God work. I’ve become more and more convinced that the default among us evangelicals is that we do the work and the Word helps us. And perhaps that’s an indication that in our churches we see far too infrequently what it’s like when the Word of God, preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, itself does the work and changes … View Resource

  • What is the goal of reformation? Question and Answer

    Psalm 115:1

    FERGUSON: Both in Calvin and in the Westminster Confession and its subordinate standards the answer to the first question, “What is our chief end?” must be the same as to the question, “What is the goal of Reformation?” The answer is, “To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” To be able to do both of these things simultaneously is what I think at the end of the day is going to make an impact on our contemporary world that is so interested in enjoyment. It’s very rare to hear non-Christians say, “See how these Christians enjoy the glory of … View Resource

  • Are there distinctions of sin in hell? Question and Answer

    2 Corinthians 5:10

    SPROUL: I think the New Testament makes it clear. There are at least twenty-five references in the New Testament that speak of the various degrees of punishment and/or reward in heaven relative to the degrees of sinfulness of sin. Even though all sin is sin, there is still a clear distinction in the New Testament between those sins that are covered, the multitude of sins that love covers—the Roman Catholic distinction between “mortal” and “venial” is not something that we would hold, but it’s a distinction that we would agree with in part, that at least there is a difference … View Resource