How To Distinguish True Zeal from False Zeal

I fear there is a plague of complacency among Christians today. Whatever happened to zeal? Whatever happened to Christians who are on fire to know and obey God, who have (in the words of John Reynolds) “an earnest desire and concern for all things pertaining to the glory of God and the kingdom of the Lord Jesus among men?” Yet while zeal is a noble trait, it must be properly directed, for not all zeal is good. Here are some …

10 Sure Marks of Humility

Is there any trait more odious than pride or more precious than humility? Is there any trait whose presence we so highly honor in others and whose absence we so readily excuse in ourselves? Truly, pride is the chief of sins and humility the highest of virtues. Yet the Christian has the joy of seeing the Holy Spirit put pride to death and bring to life the beauty of humility. Here are 10 sure marks that you are growing in …

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8 Ways to Measure Your Love for the Bible

Christians are people of the Word, men and women who live their lives according to its every precept. The Bible is the revelation of God to display his character and to show what it means to live in conformity to him. It is an inestimable privilege to have access to the mind and will of God. Yet while many people pay homage to the Bible, few love it. How can you know if your love for the Bible goes beyond …

Are You a Faithful Servant of God?

The Bible uses several metaphors to describe the relationship of Christians to their God, and each of them examines it from a different perspective to display different truths. One of the most prolific metaphors is that of God as master and his people as servants. We are servants of God. What does this mean? What are the implications? Here are seven things that are true of masters and servants and, therefore, true of God and his people. A servant serves …

5 Warnings to Those Who Merely Pretend To Be Godly

There is in each of us a dangerous temptation toward hypocrisy, to be one thing but to pretend to be another. There are many within the church who are hypocrites, people who claim to be Christians but who are, in fact, unbelievers attempting to convince others (and perhaps themselves) that they are followers of Jesus Christ. They are people who do not practice true virtue but who instead offer counterfeit versions of it. Jude compares them to clouds without water …

Will You Read a Christian Classic With Me?

Many times over the years, I have invited readers of this blog to join me in a reading project as part of an ongoing effort I’ve called Reading Classics Together. We’ve read some incredible books together—Holiness by J.C. Ryle, Christianity & Liberalism by Gresham Machen, The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards, The Cross of Christ by John Stott, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks, and a whole lot more. It has been far too long since we’ve read one, and I …

4 Great Reasons to Read Romans

Many Christians have declared Romans to be the finest book of the Bible, the high peak of Scripture. J.I. Packer echoes many pastors and theologians when he says, “All roads in the Bible lead to Romans, and all views afforded by the Bible are seen most clearly from Romans, and when the message of Romans gets into a person’s heart there is no telling what may happen.” He goes on to give 4 reasons that we ought to read, study, …

Your Highest Privilege

Of all the privileges that are ours through the gospel, which is the greatest? According to many theologians, there is no privilege higher than adoption. J.I. Packer says it like this: “Adoption is the highest privilege that the gospel offers: higher even than justification.” He doesn’t just say it, but also defends it, and his defense is worth pondering. Packer acknowledges that justification is God’s supreme blessing to sinners. Justification is the primary blessing because it meets our primary spiritual …

What Does It Mean that God Is Jealous?

Nobody would imagine a jealous God. That’s what J.I. Packer says in Knowing God, and I think he might be right. There are lots of gods we might fabricate in our own minds, but we would naturally create ones who had only the characteristics we admire: Love, mercy, patience, and attributes like that. But jealousy? That’s far less likely. Yet time and time again, God reveals himself as a jealous God. He even goes as far as to give his …

2 Serious Misconceptions about God’s Wrath

There may be no theological topic more controversial than divine wrath. While most of humanity is eager to acknowledge the existence of God, and while most love to acknowledge his traits of grace and mercy and kindness, very few want to acknowledge his wrath. Yet wrath is a consistent theme in the Bible and a defining characteristic of the God we meet in its pages. Divine wrath suffers when we fail to understand it aright. Here are two serious, common …