Your session will end in  seconds due to inactivity. Click here to continue using this web page.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The church’s highest office demands the highest moral character. And one of the most accurate indications of a man’s true character is how he responds when he is challenged or criticized. That is why Paul excludes pugnacious people from the office of elder or pastor.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
When was the last time you sat down and evaluated your testimony? Not the story of how the Lord saved you, but the daily testimony of your life. What does your life say about your faith, your knowledge of God and His Word, and your love for His people? In simple terms, what is your reputation?
Monday, January 19, 2015
Christians have the advantage of knowing in simple terms what God wants them to look for in a shepherd. In 1 Timothy 3:2-3, Paul spells out God’s standards for shepherds, summed up by the phrase “above reproach.” That passage clearly shows out that God is primarily concerned with a pastor’s moral character rather than his abilities. Nonetheless, He does include one crucial skill—the ability to teach. Some may wonder why Paul features this qualification in a list of moral qualities. He does so because effective teaching is woven into the moral character of the teacher. What a man is cannot be divorced from what he says. “He that means as he speaks,” writes Richard Baxter, “will surely do as he speaks.” An elder must be a skilled and effective teacher, who works hard in his studies and proclamation (cf. 1 Timothy 5:17). That is the one qualification that sets him apart from a deacon. Since the primary duty of the overseer is to preach and teach the Word of God, being gifted for that is crucial.
Friday, January 16, 2015
More than two years ago, I wrote an article titled “The Burpo-Malarkey Doctrine,” critiquing the insanely popular I-Saw-Heaven-and-Here’s-What-It’s-Like genre of Christian best sellers. We posted that article on the Grace to You blog in anticipation of a revised and expanded edition of John MacArthur’s The Glory of Heaven.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Recent and potential terrorist attacks in France currently dominate the news cycle. Analysts, experts, and commentators discuss and debate the facts, often with skewed and confused perspectives on Islam, and offer a variety of political and emotional responses.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The number of people successfully masquerading as pastors astounds me. How do these imposters manage to carve out lengthy and prosperous careers, often in spite of obvious character flaws and an utter lack of biblical fidelity? The short answer is that too many congregations prize personal preferences over biblical standards for shepherds.
Monday, January 12, 2015
What qualifies a man for pastoral ministry? Based on the abundance of self-appointed and unaccountable leaders in modern evangelical churches, it seems many church-goers either don’t know or don’t care. The fellowships they attend may profess Scripture’s authority in their doctrinal statement, but their practice reveals that it’s nothing more than a token badge of orthodoxy. Churches truly submitted to the authority of God’s Word look for qualified leaders and hold them to biblical standards.
Friday, January 09, 2015
“The NFL's doing a better job at it. CBS is doing a better job at it. Kmart is doing a better job at it. Virtually every institution on earth is demonstrating that they are doing a better job at restoring people than the Church.” These are the words of a disgraced pastor whose sexual sins made national headlines. It’s hard to find a clearer example of how worldly views on leadership exist among Christians. God does not demand perfection from those who shepherd His flock, but He insists on men who are above reproach. The highest office ordained by God requires the highest standards in personal character. And those standards are not obscure or mysterious. God’s Word is abundantly clear about the character qualifications for church leaders.
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
The problem of unqualified leaders stems from a failure to heed Scripture’s clear teaching on the qualifications for church leadership. And it’s not as if those qualifications are a mystery; Paul was very clear about the qualities every church overseer (pastors and elders) must possess.
Monday, January 05, 2015
Churches are everywhere. So why is it so difficult to find a good one? There are many towns and cities void of even one Bible-teaching, gospel-proclaiming, disciple-making church. There are several reasons good churches are so rare today.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Undoubtedly a lot of planning has gone into your Christmas celebration this year. Between decorating the house, organizing meals and visits with relatives, preparing for and attending office, church, and family parties, and all the time spent shopping, wrapping, and sending gifts, you can see why Christmas is a multi-month event for many people.
Friday, December 19, 2014
That first Christmas, earth was oblivious to the significance of a simple birth in a quiet town. But heaven wasn’t. The holy angels waited in anticipation to break forth in praise and worship and adoration at the birth of the newborn Christ. This Child’s birth meant deliverance for mankind. The angel told Joseph: “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The world’s Christmas celebration is bound up in a disturbing incongruity. On the one hand, people go to great lengths to support and sustain the legend of Santa Claus, using his mystical benevolence to leverage good behavior from their children. On the other hand, they systematically minimize the Person and work of Christ—the holiday’s rightful celebrity—to the point that the Lord is nothing more than a plastic infant, frozen for all time in the familiar nativity scene. They exchange the singular Christ for a cheap hoax.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Many people gladly celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas, only to ignore, shun, and reject Him the rest of the year. They don’t mind celebrating the birth of a baby, but they don’t want to hear about the Lord of lords.
Friday, December 12, 2014
You may be wondering why the virgin birth—of all the miracles in Scripture—is so frequently attacked. After all, if one can believe, say, that Moses parted the Red Sea, what’s the big deal about a virgin birth? It certainly isn’t as spectacular a miracle. And Scripture devotes relatively little space to describing it. Can it really be that important?
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Years ago I read an interview with the pastor of one of our nation’s largest churches. Asked specifically what he believed about the virgin birth, he said, “I could not in print or in public deny or affirm the virgin birth of Christ. When I have something I can’t comprehend, I just don’t deal with it.” He was subtle about it, but that pastor was challenging the virgin birth. His statement implied that the virgin birth is somehow optional or irrelevant truth. It isn’t. Satan knows that, even if we don’t. Perhaps that is why he has worked so hard to discredit the virgin birth.