Faith Alone

I doubt that many readers will have any difficulty accepting the premise that we live in tumultuous times. Consider the contradictory claims surrounding the recent election: “There was no Fraud!” “Stop the Steal!” How about claims related to COVID 19? “Masks do not do any good.” “Mask demonstrably...
Paul often calls for turning from a pagan to a Christian “walk”, [1] a metaphor expecting certain companionship and conduct. Yet we should note he emphasizes the indicative (what Christ has done for and in us) before the imperative (what we ought to do for Christ) in Ephesians 5:8 (in the context...
When I was in college I took a class on various religious traditions. My class visited a Jewish synagogue and while there the priest said this in response to a question asked of him that I no longer remember, “You Christians claim to have Jesus but we Jews have something better. We have the law.” I...
Recently I had been thinking about how to minister to several members of our congregation because of what God is calling them to go through again which will surely tax their energy and emotions. I had also been pondering what we are all going through in the present state of pandemic uncertainty. So...
Looking for the Lost There is a well-known nursery rhyme that generations of British children grew up with which begins with the words, Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep and doesn’t know where to find them; Leave them alone and they will come home, wagging their tails behind them. Cute and all as...
Ray Heiple
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life… 1 John 5:13a NKJ The Protestant Reformation is most often remembered and celebrated as the time God restored the crucial doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone to the church...
Charles Spurgeon’s famous quip goes something like this, “I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines, that are called by nickname Calvinism, but which are surely and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus.” We might say something similar about justification. We may describe it...
John Calvin called justification as “the main hinge on which religion turns” and said we must devote great attention to it ( Institutes, III.xi.1). When we consider justification’s role in the order of salvation it plays a crucial role in distinction from other element but not in separation from...
From the moment Adam assented to and acted on the lie that the forbidden fruit would make him like God, unbelief became the reigning characteristic in all of God’s image bearers. Like a deep-rooted cancer, the distorting nature of disbelief marred the human race. And as humanity grew so too did the...
Perhaps the greatest risk surrounding the doctrine of grace in the Bible is that we allow it to become a cliché. We talk about it, sing about it, take great care to define it, but through it all fail to feel its weight. So, as we continue our reflections on the many-sided beauty of God’s grace...