Westminster Confession

Once the Spirit of the Lord has resurrected a dead sinner by the divine breath, life begins. This is the monergism that theologians reference in the work of regeneration. The dead sinner lives through God’s singular work. He initiated the life. The spiritual cadaver is no longer cold and icy but is...
( This article is abridged from a chapter in Glorifying and Enjoying God: 52 Devotions through the Westminster Shorter Catechism.) In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches us to pray for the coming of his kingdom (Matt. 6:10). This sounds like a grand idea, something we should surely do. But how do we do...
Modern worship, even by some definitions, has more to do with feelings than form. What matters, it seems, is not the quality of the offering but the affection of the worshiper. Actually, both are important. We must worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23). But attitudes do not trump actions...
It is a sad fact: liberated Christians aren’t always good at practicing Christian liberty. We struggle to break free from the hold of besetting sins. Sometimes we even justify sin on the basis of our freedom in Christ. And we are tempted to hold others to the same standards as us even on matters in...
Unlike every other religion Christianity is fundamentally a message of grace. True believers are “not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned” (cf. Rom. 6:14) Believers are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. But a misunderstanding of grace...
People who believe in Jesus and want in all things to please God can still struggle with assurance of salvation. Circumstances like the transition from childhood to adulthood, major trauma, and the imminence of death can trouble believers with spiritual doubts and fears. But Scripture urges us to “...
Many people suppose that “true believers are able to fall through their own fault into shameful and atrocious deeds, to persevere and to die in them; and therefore finally to fall and to perish.” [i] This opinion seems to be supported by Scriptural warnings against falling away, and examples in the...
At our once-rural (now-suburban) church, we have two weekly prayer meetings. On Wednesday nights, we gather to pray for an hour, structuring our time around praise, confession of sin, and supplication. On Lord’s Day afternoons, we gather for just twenty minutes to pray for the extension of Christ’s...
Martin Luther began his 95 Theses emphasizing the need for repentance. “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” Luther also understood that Jesus’ instruction “does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner...
At the start of his ministry the Lord Jesus used just two verbs to summarize the good news of his kingdom: “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Paul condensed his ministry in a similar way: I testified “both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus...