The danger of not repenting

When the heart is grown hard and stiff in wickedness, it is hard to tune the penitential string.  A tender plant is easily removed, but it is hard to pluck up an old tree that is rooted.  An old sinner who has been a long time rooting in sin is hardly plucked out of his […]

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Repentance and the grace of God

If we understand that no man will ever genuinely repent without the grace of God changing his heart, then we will not feel that we have to dilute the demands of the gospel.  We will put our confidence in God.  We will remember that, if God is displeased with us, He will not bless us.  […]

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Genuine repentance

Zachary Crofton, quoted by J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: [Repentance] is a habit, power, principle, spring, root, and disposition; not a bare, single, and transient action.…Repentance is different and distinct from all penitential acts.…Repentance is not the work of an hour, or a day: but a constant frame, course, and bent of the […]

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True repentance

Martin Luther: When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent,” He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. [#1 of his 95 Theses] Sinclair Ferguson: Biblical repentance…is not merely a sense of regret that leaves us where it found us.  It is a radical reversal that takes us back […]

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He didn’t repent?

I do not remember a time when I have not been in a church.  And in all those years of memories, I have seen and heard many tales of perverse sins, both inside and outside of the church — drug and alcohol abuse, financial misdeeds, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, unbiblical divorce and remarriage, physical assault, abuse […]

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Why God is patient

Scripture speaks often about the importance and wisdom of being patient.  (Consider Prov. 14:29; 15:18; 16:32; 19:11; 20:22; Col. 3:12; Js. 5:10; 1 Pt. 2:20ff as just a few examples). Scripture also speaks of the patience of God.  God waits.  One of the common New Testament words for patience is to be long-suffering (see Rom. […]

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Pay attention

On a ball field or in the stands, there is a universal warning of imminent danger:  “heads up!”  Ignore the warning, and you are in danger of being struck by an incoming projectile. In the classroom, the warning generally is given with the words, “Pay attention!”  It serves as a subtle indicator that information is […]

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Stories of grace in unusual places

Tell someone you have a story about grace and they will immediately think you received an unexpected financial gift, a couple struggling to get pregnant finally is with child, or estranged friends were finally reconciled. Jesus also told many stories of grace.  But some of those stories didn’t immediately sound so gracious, like the two […]

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What shall we do?

I moved to Southern California early in the summer of 1984 — the year the Olympics were held in Los Angeles.  Virtually as soon as we arrived, we noted that there was a barrage of information about what to do to prepare for the traffic nightmare that was anticipated to ensue as soon as the […]

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“I am the Lord”

It has been often noted that at the base of all sin is some form of pride. A man pridefully deems that the protection of his finances is more important than the government’s right to tax, so he is deceitful on his 1040 form.  A child yearns for a toy and is billigerent in his […]

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Sunday Leftovers (3/27/11)

John says, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 4). Paul expresses great gratitude and joy for the faith of the believers in Ephesus (1:15-16) and Colossae (1:3-5) and the obedience of the Romans to Christ (16:19). All heaven, the angels, and God Himself […]

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The canary in the coal mine

Michael Wittmer recently made an observation, asked a question, and drew an application about sexual sin: There is something about sexual sin that ruins the minds of previously healthy people.… Why is sexual sin a gateway to this smorgasbord of lethal debauchery?… Sexual sin is the canary in the coal mine, the first sign that […]

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Sunday Leftovers (1/9/11)

The story is told about a visit that the 18th century king of Prussia, Frederick II of Prussia made to a prison in Berlin.  Expectantly, the inmates all vainly attempted to prove to him their innocence and the injustice of their incarceration.  Everyone, that is, with one exception. Seeing that one lone, quiet prisoner, the […]

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