To Pray in Jesus’ Name: Praying through Our High Priest
Seeing the sacrificial basis for prayer helps us answer a question people often ask: does God hear the prayers of the ungodly, or does he only listen to Christians? To put the question another way, does God pay any attention to Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and others who do not call on him in the name of Jesus Christ?
There is a sense in which God hears everyone’s prayers. He is omniscient (all-knowing). Therefore, nothing that anyone ever says escapes his notice. Not one cry for help, not one desperate plea, not one invocation of his divine name (whether in blessing or as a curse) ever goes unnoticed. God hears everything. Of course he does! However, that really is not the question. The question is whether or not he receives every prayer with the same fatherly concern. What does it take for God to accept someone’s prayers?
Click below to read the rest of this article from Philip Graham Ryken
BEING SALT AND LIGHT IN A CULTURE OF SELF-IDOLATRY
Expressive individualism drives our culture. This is the idea that we find our ultimate meaning only when we express our own feelings and desires. We are thought to be most authentically ourselves when we perform outwardly what we are feeling inwardly. Anything that restrains or restricts our ability to do this is seen as the great enemy. The very idea of moral authority denying what we choose for our happiness and freedom is viewed as repressive, even morally wrong. If self and personal fulfilment are the ultimate-if they are sacred, then the very idea of self-denial is utter heresy. Yet it is exactly what Christ calls His disciples to. We cannot avoid it simply because it goes against the grain of our culture. If we really want to be salt and light, we need to take self-denial seriously, however uncomfortable it may be. What do we mean by self-denial and how do we pursue it?
Sometimes You Need To Stand Still
Standing still may not sound right when we are used to throwing ourselves into a whirlwind of activity and our desire is to make progress. Of course, standing still in spiritual things in the sense of indolence or complacency is not healthy. But there are times when God in His providence forces us to stand still. We cannot move forward due to the circumstances no matter how much we wish to. We are not to make haste (Isaiah 28:16; Ruth 3:18). Our strength is to sit still and wait on God as an act of obedience (Isaiah 30:15). Being still and waiting on God brings hope and strength to us (Psalm 27:14; Psalm 62:1,5). The Israelites were like this when they were hemmed in at the Red Sea, they were told to stand still and see the Lord’s deliverance (Exodus 14:13). It is a lesson we still need to learn.
What happens in a society if we forget how to forgive? What is the consequence for human communion where there is no possibility of forgiveness? What if there is only recrimination and self-justification and offence and condemnation? We should know because that is what has happened in the UK today! In this helpful article, Justin Poythress shows how we have come to this terrible position and how Christians should be so very different.
There But for the Grace of God Go I
When a fellow believer falls into sin, even gross sin, how do we respond? Perhaps there is outrage at the fall from grace, distress because of the dishonour brought to the name of Christ and concern for the victims of the sin; all such responses are of course right and proper from a biblical perspective. Yet they miss a critical element: the need for self-examination and assessment of our own propensity to sin. We need to say with John Bradford of old, “There but for the grace of God go I”, and cast ourselves upon the mercy of God seeking grace to help us in our own weakness. In this article, Simonetta Carr helpfully explores these matters in relation to the recent “fall” of a prominent leader. May we seek the grace of God to keep us from sin.
Christ Alone Has All The Answers - Oliver Allmand-Smith
In the past year we have lived through a period of uncertainty that has been described repeatedly as unprecedented. We have asked so many questions and received so few reliable answers. But are we asking the right questions? And when we do pose the right questions, where can the answers be found? In this article, Oliver Allmand-Smith shows how Christ poses all the right questions, and he alone has all the answers, for in him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Biblical Antidotes To Racism - Ronald Kalifungwa
Racism is endemic to the fallen human heart, which is the reason why it is such a serious problem in Britain and across the world today. Many recognise the problem and propose their own political, sociological, philosophical and even revolutionary solutions. None of them have proven sufficiently powerful to deal with the problem.
But the Christian already knows the remedy – the Christ who is revealed to us in the scriptures has already secured the antidote to all racism. There will be no racism in the new earth when he consummates all things, and even now in his church racism can be overcome by his redemptive power.
In these two articles, published in Reformation Today magazine and available online, Ronald Kalifungwa helpfully outlines the Bible’s antidote to racism, which is not political, sociological, philosophical or revolutionary, because it is far more radical than any of these! Ultimately, the answer is Christ himself. But how? Read on to find out more.
Ronald Kalifungwa is Pastor of Lusaka Baptist Church, Zambia and teaches at Trinity Pastors College in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Puritan Family- Oliver Allmand-Smith
“In the Puritan household one finds harmony, security and success—even in the very midst of the difficulties that Samuel Sewall’s family faced. How? What was their secret? If we fail even with all our advantages, how could they succeed despite their massive natural disadvantages?” Please read more below.
Jesus our good shepherd. Tony Flanders.
Les Yates on the Psalms
Recovering Baptist Covenant Theology. A Series.
Learn about the covenant theology of the earliest Reformed Baptists. It was their beliefs on covenant theology which made them unique from their Presbyterian friends and which makes us unique today.
Find reviews of good and helpful Christian books here.
Les Yates' notes from helpful Christian books
The Grace of God and Multiple Sclerosis
Read the story of Ann Yates, written by Leslie Yates.
Fighting For The Right To Life
March 21st was World Down Syndrome Day. Read more about it here.