True Spirituality, Dealing with Addiction, and Self-Help Manuals

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Dealing with addictions can push a Christian to the limits of patience, trust, and exhaustion. The addiction might involve drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, sex, pornography, power, popularity, wealth, social media, technology, or recreation—and many more. Recovering addicts soon find that they need help—help from God, help from family, help from friends, help from their church. As the battle rages to control the addiction, it has become very common for counselors and addicts alike to turn to self-help manuals. Who hasn’t been helped at least a little by getting some good biblical advice from a significant book like Heath Lambert’s Finally Free,[1] which deals with pornography and lust?… Continue reading

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Grace in 3D – Part 2

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In the first part of this series, we looked at an often-overlooked role of grace: its empowerment for spiritual growth in a believer.

But this is not the only part of God’s grace toward Christians that gets overlooked. The other major work of “grace” in the Christian life is God’s empowerment for ministry.

The foremost example of this is the apostle Paul, who repeatedly cited the grace of God that was give to him for the particular ministry to which he was called: taking the gospel to the nations (Romans 1:5; 15:15-16; 1 Cor. 3:10; 15:10; Galatians 2:9; Ephesians 3:2, 7-8).… Continue reading

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Marks of a Good Church

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Recently, I went to South Africa. My wife and I were visiting a couple that we knew from seminary who are now doing gospel work in Nelspruit, South Africa. Our goal in going was to come alongside them in their church plant for encouragement, support, uplifting, and some Bible-training with their church. It was a precious time to be with them and I am grateful to the Lord of their friendship and work in the Lord.

While we were there, focused on serving them, I was taken aback at how strangely churchcomfortable I was. This “comfort” was not certainly not due to culture, as South Africa definitely has a different culture and way of doing life than my NW Arkansas culture.… Continue reading

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Be a Peacemaker

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“Blessed are the peacemakers” — Jesus.

I’m sure for the TBN viewer and habitual fan, the word “blessing” floods the mind with great health, financial prosperity, exemplary status, and your best life now. But to Jesus’s disciples, “blessed” provides the hope of eternal bliss with our Lord. True blessing and happiness does not rest in earthly possessions, but in the eternal blessing of having the Creator of the world as our true Father. He adopts us into His family, we are literally sons of God — children of God. To cry “Abba Father” is a literal cry to our adopted Father.… Continue reading

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Grace in 3D

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The grace of God as the way of salvation is a central tenet of the Christian religion.

One of the key doctrines that was highlighted in the Protestant Reformation of 500 years ago was sola gratia – salvation is by grace alone. This doctrine is a precious truth that prevents Christians from taking any credit for how they have come to be Christians – God is the one who is responsible for their salvation.

As a result, Christians are rightly eager to defend the gospel against slipping into anything that would undermine the grace of God. In this eagerness, they are like Paul, who said, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Galatians 2:21).… Continue reading

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