Easter falls this year on April 12th, a fairly typical date on the calendar in most years. This year it's right in the middle of a whole set of restrictions surrounding COVID-19. Likely we'll be talking about this Easter for the rest of our lives: "Remember 2020 when all Christians around the world stayed home at Easter."
However, for many of us "stay at home" also means that the pace of life has slowed just a bit. And maybe that means we can prepare for Resurrection Sunday more than we typically do, not less. This post is to help you do that.
A. W. Tozer in an editorial he wrote for his denominational magazine, “The Futility of Regret”:
The human heart is heretical by nature. Popular religious beliefs should be checked carefully against the Word of God, for they are almost certain to be wrong.
Legalism, for instance, is natural to the human heart. Grace in its true New Testament meaning is foreign to human reason, not because it is contrary to reason but because it lies beyond it. The doctrine of grace had to be revealed; it could not have been discovered.
The essence of legalism is self-atonement. The seeker tries…
In January 1935, J. Gresham Machen gave a series of radio messages “on the deity of Christ.” This was only a month after the New York Times reported that his church trial (not criminal) would begin in the PCUSA (Presbyterian Church, USA). He was put on trial for taking a stand against using the church's money to fund missionaries like Pearl S. Buck, who didn't believe in the virgin birth or the deity of Christ and didn't feel such issues should be part of the gospel message on the mission field.
As we get closer to Easter Sunday, it's good to stop and consider the cross of Christ when we can. To help you do that, here is a reflection from Hannah Michels on our place at the cross:
Where were you the day he died?
Were you among the soldiers scoffing, beating, mocking?
Were you among the women weeping along the way?
Were you among the crowds watching, waiting reviling?
Were you among the thieves hanging, bleeding, dying?
Were you among the leaders washing your hands of guilt?
Were you among the scribes…
A testimony of one woman's conversion, demonstrating the impact loving our neighbors can have and the peace and comfort that can be found in Christ.
Last week's sermon looked at Romans 6:1-14 and our union with Christ. We need to grasp this union to find faith for real change in our lives. Reading Sinclair Ferguson's The Whole Christ this week he explored the idea of our union with Christ and unpacked even more blessings that are ours when we are in Christ and thus possess Christ. In doing so he cited a powerful passage from John Calvin:
Our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ [Acts 4:12]. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else.…
It seems that one of the cultural phenomenon of our day is the "selfie." In fact, it's amazing the internet doesn't simply collapse under the weight of billions of selfies added to it on a daily basis. But what about your "spiritual selfie"?
"The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived": That is the sub-title of a book by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Justin Taylor called, The Final Days of Jesus. In the book the authors, both highly regarded evangelical scholars, work through each day from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. The book provides a helpful reflection on the historicity of these events, but it also gives a good set of readings for individuals and families who want a way to reflect deliberately on these teachings and events so central to our faith and life.
Jerry Bridges went to be with the Lord yesterday (March 16, 2016). Born to cotton farmers six weeks after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, he was saved in college and eventually went into vocational ministry with the Navigators. Most of us who know him, though, know him as an author and teacher who took gospel truth and made it accessible. If the name is new to you, Justin Taylor has written an excellent piece to honor him and survey his life.
Amazing Grace has to be one of the most familiar Christian hymns of all time. I haven't done any studies on it, but it seems to find it's way into all kinds of Christian and secular movies. If you start the song on a Sunday, everyone present will sing along, not just those who grew up in your church. It is a vivid reminder that something is "amazing" and worth singing about, namely, "grace." But what exactly is "grace"? Let's define it and then look to the New Testament to answer six important questions about it.
And by the way,…