The Hand of Growing in Godliness

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Working in ministry—and particularly youth ministry—the one question that I get asked often is “how do I grow in my walk with Christ? What practically can I do to grow in my faith?” Every time I am asked this, I give the same response. “Look at your hand.” What does this mean? Let me show you.

I could just give you a list, but a list might not be helpful, because lists are in and of themselves usually forgettable. So, to make this more memorable (at least for me), I use my fingers to help me remember how spiritual, godly growth happens.… Continue reading

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What We’re Preaching and Teaching

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One of the things that makes PS23 unique is that all of the contributor are engaged in pastoral ministry. We love to write, but our first love is the local church and shepherding the flock of God. And part of shepherding God’s people is teaching them the full counsel of God. So we thought we would give a glimpse of our shepherd’s hearts by sharing what we are teaching and why.

John

At PBC we just started a series in the Servant songs of Isaiah, four beautiful and powerful prophecies of Christ’s messianic ministry found at Isaiah 42:1-9, Isaiah 49:1-13, Isaiah 50:4-11 and Isaiah 52:13-53:12.… Continue reading

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10th Mark of a Healthy Church, part 2

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9 Marks of a Healthy Church is a great book focusing on the essentials of church and ministry. Dever’s work is a blessing to every local church because he distinguishes essentials in a church. Each mark is required for a church to exalt God. There is however, one essential “mark” deserving its own chapter. Due to blogging and creative license, the missing chapter can now be composed (without Dever’s permission). (In fact, his book needs no addition to be great, but we the church do need to understand this subject). What is the missing chapter? The Worship Service.

This chapter seeks to answer the question, “What does biblical corporate worship require?” There are many forms of corporate worship and God’s Word is silent on many “common” elements in our corporate worship.… Continue reading

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The Believer And Suicide

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Recently, someone asked the question will a genuine believer who commits suicide lose their salvation? Honestly, I thought it was a no-brainer, of course not, suicide is not the unforgivable sin which according to Mark 3:28-30 is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (and in context that blasphemy is attributing the spiritual authority of Jesus, during His earthly ministry, to the powers of hell). But some insisted that suicide resulted in the loss of salvation, so I asked myself am I missing something? So I decided I would examine the Scriptures to definitively and authoritatively answer the question, “can someone who commits suicide be saved?”

Before I get into the question at hand, let me say this, suicide is an act of rebellion against God, it is sin plain and simple.… Continue reading

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Psalm 96 and The Queen of Soul

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Like many others, over the last number of days I’ve been reliving great memories as I’ve listened to the incredible discography of Aretha Franklin. Her voice was unparalleled in music history. With a career that spanned decades, she sang for Pavarotti, presidents and popes, was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the consummate diva, and daughter of a Baptist minister.

The Queen of Soul needed no introduction and she loved to sing. It was who she was and her talent was what we, the masses, knew most about her. She said once, “Being a singer is a natural gift.Continue reading

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