Victims of Victory: The Prosperity Gospel’s Trail of Tears

Victory is a biblical word and an especially exciting word for those in the prosperity “gospel” community.  In their defense, victory is a rich biblical theme.  We indeed have victory through and because of Jesus.  Scripture is quite clear about that. “…but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15.57). “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this […]

Don’t Stop Sinning

“…as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 5.21). Christians use the stock language of “hating sin” and “killing sin.”  Those wanting to sound especially holy and smart speak of “mortifying sin.”  Sin is indeed an interloper in the Christian soul, a squatter in the Spirit-indwelled heart.  Because of Christ sin has no rights, privileges or legal […]

How Can a Sinless God Sympathize with Guilty People?

As part of God’s sanctifying providence Christians must endure difficult seasons of frustration. Some will be brief and others lengthy, but they will all test our affections and whittle away our worldliness. Our questions will not always be about God’s power or authority but about his care. Will he indeed mend the wounds he is right to cause? Answers will be few for most of them or at least selfishly […]

The Sacrament of Sunrise

The sun rose beautifully on Memphis today.  And when the sun rose the gospel rose with it. I wonder if we might overplay our hand when we make the creation accounts in Gen 1-2 merely about, well, creation.  Is God merely trying to explain how things came to be, the science of origins? Or is God weaving in the created order the very fabric of the gospel he will work […]

The Prerequisite for Salvation

“When [God] causes the gospel to be preached, it is certainly the case that he is not saying, ‘I have come to save Simon Peter or Cornelius the centurion or Mary Magdalene.’ He calls no one by the name given them by men at the time of their circumcision or baptism. Were that the case, we could certainly doubt our salvation, for then the thought would legitimately arise that not we but […]

Message in a Bottle

Every so often “the man on the island” gently stirs the waters about the necessity of evangelism in light of God’s sovereignty.  He sends out a message in a bottle that reads, “What must I do to be saved?”  Hopefully someone sends a message back to him saying, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!” The church has long debated his question.  The bottle can easily wander adrift in a […]

Christians and Organ Donation

If navigating the DMV wasn’t stressful enough, they force us to decide whether or not we will be organ donors.  Of course, the DMV would not wish a fatal vehicular demise on anyone.  But, in such an unfortunate event time is of the essence. If there are organs to be donated they need to be preserved and transported quickly.  What better vehicle for that information than our driver’s license. I […]

God’s Kingdom is Christ

What exactly is the “kingdom of God”?  It was the substance of Jesus’ earthly ministry (Lk 4.43).  It was a staple of Messianic expectations.  What Jesus taught about God’s kingdom, however, was much different than what most thought to be true of that kingdom. When we think of “kingdom” we think king with a capitol, army, law, borders, flags, subjects and authority.  When Jesus preached about God’s kingdom, he did […]

Jesus, Cursed and Unforgiven

“The LORD shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven.  Then the LORD will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the […]