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Pride and Faith in Berkouwer’s Studies in Dogmatics

This post contains part of an article that I wrote in 1994. At the end of the post, there's a link to the original and full article. __ The Bible speaks of sin. It also speaks of salvation. The gospel is directed toward ‘the restoration of the image of God’. In this connection, Berkouwer cites …

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Karl Barth the Preacher: “Keep before your eyes our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Prior to his ‘forty years as a professor’, Barth spent ‘twelve years as a preacher’ (Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (from the Foreword to the German Edition). As a theologian, he never lost sight of the importance of preaching. Although he worked for so many years in the university, he always saw his theological work as …

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Arminius – Hero or Heretic?

This article was first published in Evangelical Quarterly 64:3 (1992): 213-227. ---- Some proclaim Arminius as a hero. Others denounce him as a heretic. It may, however, be more accurate to describe him as an enigma. Commenting on the enigmatic character of Arminius, Carl Bangs writes, "Some Calvinists, finding that his writings do not produce …

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The Holy Spirit In The Life Of Faith (with links to audio version)

Here are two links to an audio version of a lecture given in January 1987: The Holy Spirit in the Life of Faith, Part One The Holy Spirit in the Life of Faith, Part Two _________________________________ The Holy Spirit is the Breath of God. All Scripture is God-breathed. We experience the Breath of God upon …

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Thy hand, O God, has guided Thy flock from age to age.

Future generations will be told about the Lord (Psalm 22:30). We look back to the Old Testament. We look back to the New Testament. We wonder, "Is this just ancient history?" We ask, "Does all of this have anything to do with us in today's world?" Here, God's Word gives us God's answer to our …

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Listening to all that Jesus says to us, not just to the things that we want to hear

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because …

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Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you …

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In the beginning, there is love, eternal love, the love of God.

Easter Vigil: Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26; Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13; Psalm 46; Genesis 22:1-18; Psalm 16; Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21; Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18; Isaiah 55:1-11; Isaiah 12:2-6; Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6; Psalm 19; Ezekiel 36:24-28; Psalms 42 and 43; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 143; Zephaniah 3:14-20; Psalm 98; Romans 6:3-11; Psalm 114; Matthew 28:1-10 In …

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Jesus has risen from the dead: What does this mean for us today?

We preach Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23). People hear us speaking of Christ, they hear us speaking of his death for us, and they say, "All of this happened such a long time ago. What does it have to do with us, so many years after Christ lived and died?" When people put this question …

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Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.

Joshua 23:1-24:33; John 3:22-36; Psalm 55:12-23 The concluding message, preached by Joshua, is a call for the people to exalt the Lord. They make a definite and public commitment to the Lord. The Christ-centredness of real commitment to the Lord is summed up in the words of John the Baptist: “He must become greater; I must become less” …

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Let us speak words of encouragement, not words of discouragement.

Numbers 12:1-13:33  -  Miriam and Aaron complained (12:1-2). Caleb and Joshua encouraged (30; 14:6-9). Thank God for encouragers! How did Moses react to criticism? He ‘was very meek’ (3). He was like Jesus - ‘When He was reviled, He did not revile again’ (1 Peter 2:23). Moses - ‘a servant’ - was  ‘entrusted with all …

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You can have it all – all that the world thinks is important, and yet have nothing – nothing that really matters!

2 Kings 17:1-41 -  ‘The people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt’ (7). What happens when people reject the God of salvation? - They become ‘empty’ and ‘worthless’ because they have chosen to ‘pursue emptiness’ by ‘following worthless idols’ (15). If …

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Are you missing something? What about sin? and What about salvation?

What's wrong with the world? How can we make the world a better place? Often, when people ask and give their answers to these questions, they're looking at social, economic and political problems, and they're looking for social, economic and political solutions. As we listen to what they have to say about these problems and …

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Catching a glimpse of Jesus Christ, and being changed by Him

Numbers 24:1-25 When 'the Spirit of God came upon him', Balaam's 'oracle' was described as 'the message of the man who sees clearly'. His 'eyes are opened'. He sees 'with far-seeing eyes'. He 'hears the words of God'. He 'sees the vision of the Almighty' (2-4,15-16). Balaam looks beyond his own time. 'With far-seeing eyes', …

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Can people of this generation still live “by faith” in God (Part Two)?

In an earlier post, I invited people, who are unconvinced about faith in God, to consider what Hebrews 11 and the book of Genesis have to say to us about living by faith. Here's a link to that post. https://learningfromgodsword.wordpress.com/2022/08/08/can-people-of-this-generation-live-by-faith-in-god After I completed that post, which highlights what Hebrews 11 says to us about the …

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Can people of this generation still live “by faith” in God?

Have people, in this generation, stopped looking for answers to important questions? There are questions that might point us in the direction of God, but we, the people of this generation don't want to go there, We get uncomfortable when it's suggested that God might be the answer to our most important questions. What do …

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What Kind Of People Are We Becoming?

Hosea 1:1-3:5  ‘Hosea’ means ‘salvation’. Married to ‘an adulterous wife’, Hosea spoke with great compassion to ‘the land’ which was ‘guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord’(1:2). He brought God’s Word of love to the people: ‘I will show My love to the one I called, “Not My loved one”’. He spoke …

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You’ve heard about “American Pie.” What about “The Parable Guy”?

Jesus was a storyteller. He told stories that had a deeper meaning. He told stories that challenged us to change our way of thinking. He told stories that challenged us to change our way of living. It was not so much about changing ourselves. It was about being changed by Jesus and the words that …

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“The living and enduring word of God” is “the word that was preached to you.”

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word …

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“We will not neglect the House of our God.”

Nehemiah 9:38-11:21; Revelation 20:1-15; Psalm 149:1-9 The Lord’s people, in Nehemiah’s time, made this commitment: “We will not neglect the House of our God” (Nehemiah 10:39). Such a commitment to God and His work is not easy to maintain. There is an enemy who opposes God and His work – “the dragon, that ancient serpent, …

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When, Lord, we have big problems, help us to remember that You are bigger than all of our problems.

When we have big problems, help us to remember that You are bigger than all of our problems. Where do our problems come from? They come from our sin. That’s our biggest problem. That’s no problem to You, Lord – “Christ has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26). Thank You, Lord, …

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When trouble comes our way, may we catch a glimpse of God’s eternal Kingdom.

Genesis 2:4-3:15 Do what God tells us to do. This leads to blessing. Do what God tells us not to do. This leads to trouble. It’s been trouble ever since. Here, on earth, things can be turned around. We can be set in the right direction. We are not yet at our final destination, but …

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Jesus, the chosen Servant of God, loved by the Father and bringing delight to the Father’s heart.

Matthew 12:1-21 Much of Jesus' ministry was carried out under the watchful eye of the Pharisees. The controversy with the Pharisees was intensifying (2, 14). The Pharisees were out to get Jesus. For all their religion, they had no time for Jesus. Still, there are the critics, those who try to undermine our faith in …

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God’s Eternal Love – In the beginning, there is love, eternal love, the love of God.

‘Genesis’ means ‘beginning’. These opening verses challenge us to get our priorities right - (a) The priority of God (Genesis 1:1). God comes first. Before anyone else is mentioned, He is there. (b) The priority of God’s Word (Genesis 1:3). God is the first to speak. Before any human word is spoken, there is the …

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Dreamer?

"Here comes that dreamer!... We’ll see what comes of his dreams." (Genesis 37:19-20). Joseph had dreams. His brothers didn't take him seriously. What are we to say about the dreamer and his dreams? We must not make up our minds too soon. Time will tell whether the dreams are from the Lord, As we read …

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Make sure that it’s real!

Simon the magician was impressed by the ‘signs and great miracles’, but his ‘heart’ was ‘not right before God’(Acts 8:13,19). The Ethiopian’s conversion was real. Searching the Scriptures, he found the Saviour (Acts 8:30-35). From the Ethiopian’s conversion, we learn of Jesus’ promise: ‘Seek and you will find’. From Simon’s tragedy, we hear Jesus’ warning: …

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Revelation from God; not discovery by us

“Apart from divine revelation neither human reason nor human experience as a whole is a source of divine truth.”― Carl Henry “Whatever else the Bible affirms about divine revelation and its relationship to reason, it nowhere considers the natural light of reason per se as a source of true knowledge of God.”― Carl Henry “The Bible acknowledges …

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