Posts by Jacob Tanner

Posts by

If we fail to see to see the glory of Christ predicted in the Old Testament and then unveiled in the New Testament, we have failed to truly understand God’s Word. The Bible is replete with proclamations of the glory of Jesus Christ, and even the minor prophetic books declare the majesty of this...
When the Apostle Paul is outlining the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, he lists joy as the second fruit, directly after love. There seems to be a rather compelling reason for this. In Matthew 22:34-40, when Jesus is asked what commandment is the most important, He responds that the...
In the first part of this series, we looked at some of the ways that security in Christ can cure our feelings of insecurity. In this second part, we consider how security in Christ leads to a magnanimous spirit. Saved, Secure, and Satisfied in All Situations To experience true security and lay our...
In the 1984 film Amadeus , the fictional rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri is explored. At multiple points, the great compositional skills of Mozart operate as the bane to Salieri’s existence. Salieri, confronted with the unimaginable skill of Mozart, is unable to contain...
In the first post of this two-part series, we began to examine the various reasons why the Christian may struggle to find peace with the help of William Bridge’s first sermon from his work, A Lifting Up for the Downcast . In it, he focused on Psalm 42:11, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why...
Jesus most assuredly promised a great peace to his children with the words, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). However, it is no secret that though Jesus promised peace...
Remodeling a home (or church) is hard work. Not only does it take a great deal of planning, hard work, blood (if you happen to be accident prone), sweat, and even tears. There are often unforeseen trials that accompany the work, like leaky pipes, rotted wood, and poorly run wires that all need to...
“Follow your heart.” We hear this time and again, the world’s mantra to find assurance in emotion and intuition. Yet this is hardly a consolation for the Christian who knows that the heart is ever-fickle and oft-misleading. When the weight of sin overwhelms, or when doubts arise, or when fears...
The culture in which we live is diametrically opposed to the idea of the family as set forth in Psalm 127. Here, the Psalmist refers to a household, composed of a father and mother who married early and are blessed by an abundance of children, as a direct and wonderful blessing from God. It is, in...
That Psalm 126 bears the heading “A Song of Ascents,” and is within the grouping of the Psalms of Ascent is a providential grace of God. Likely penned later than most other Psalms, it offers a great degree of hope and comfort to those weary saints who, like the Israelites of the Babylonian exile,...
Unconditional election, when rightly understood, is one of the most freeing doctrines for the under shepherd to embrace and one of the most assuring doctrines for the Christian to hold. It is beautiful because it reveals the beauty of our God whose grace is sovereign and whose mercies are new every...
The physical act of writing out letters and then physically sending them in the mail to others is part of a bygone era. These days, fingers strike digital keyboards and send icons, and digital texts and emails are electronically sent. But while the format of writing and sending letters has largely...
History is replete with the stories of despots and tyrants who wielded unbridled power with cataclysmic results. Everyone knows the horrors of the Hitlers of the world. Shakespeare famously wrote about a man who committed atrocious acts of paranoid murder to keep power in Macbeth . In both history...
In 2011, then 63-year-old Italian History Professor Roberto De Mattei made the following statement about the decline of Rome: "The collapse of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Barbarians was due to the spread of homosexuality... The Roman colony of Carthage was a paradise for homosexuals and...
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” For Christians living in the rampantly-individualistic twenty-first...
Let’s consider the Fourth Commandment carefully: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). There are two parts to this: 1. Remembering the Sabbath; 2. Keeping the Sabbath holy. First, let’s answer the following questions: What and when is the Sabbath day? The original Sabbath day was...
There was a time when 2 Timothy 3:12 worried me. In it, Paul tells Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” It wasn’t the idea of persecution that worried me, but the idea that, at that point in my life, I couldn’t really think of any great moments...
The Great Awakening of the mid-eighteenth century provoked the ire of many Protestants. This was due to reports of hysteria surrounding the Awakening's particular brand of revivalism. Many did not know what to make of the excitement and fervor exuded by those caught-up in the movement. In New...
Christian virtue is lovely to behold. Jonathan Edwards, in his treatise A Dissertation Concerning the Nature of Virtue , described it as, “Something beautiful , or rather some kind of beauty , or excellency.” [1] Edwards did not mean that a delicate flower or an excellent meal possess virtue;...
In His glorious high priestly prayer (Jn. 17), Jesus reveals His heart for His followers. He earnestly asks that His glory might be made known to the elect. The reason? Such knowledge will strengthen their faith, allowing them to persevere in union with their Savior. One of the central themes of...
There I was: Already running late for an appointment and stuck in traffic behind a line of cars behind a horse and buggy. In my frustration, I thought to honk my horn at the primitive horse-drawn carriage but was stopped when I remembered the all-important truth: God is sovereign. What I perceived...
The Christian’s union with Christ is one of the most beautiful—and most neglected—doctrines of the Christian faith. Within this doctrine, there are countless comforts afforded to the Christian, such as the fact that Christ abides within us, and we abide within Him (John 15:5). Alongside these...
It may be surprising, after noting his valiant tenacity, to recognize that John Knox was, by his own admission, a coward by nature when it came to embracing his call to ministry. It was, actually, something he seemingly opposed at first. Indeed, Knox did not rush into Gospel ministry. He was a man...
Martin Luther is best remembered today as the Reformer who defended the doctrine of justification by faith alone against the constant assaults of the Roman Catholic Papacy. However, this was but one conflict that Luther was engaged in during his lifetime. Another significant conflict of Luther’s...
Wittenberg, Germany—October 31st, 1517—An obscure Augustinian Monk stands outside the doors of the Castle Church. In his hand, he holds a hammer and is prepared to nail in place The Ninety-five Theses . His intention is not to deface the church or start a commotion. Rather, this is the common...
Irresistible grace is the fourth part of the Tulip acronym and is the one doctrine of grace that every Christian, deep down, can never deny. No Christian will balk in a Sunday morning worship service when the congregation sings Amazing Grace (written by John Newton, a Calvinist pastor of the...
Preaching the Word of God is one of the most blessed tasks a man may be called to perform. However, just as James warns that not all should desire to teach—for their judgment will be all the harsher before Christ (James 3:1)—many others prove to be ineffective communicators of gospel truth because...
Two of some of the biggest questions that many Christians ask relate to prayer. On one hand, Christians want to know how they should pray. On the other hand, they want to know what they should be praying for. According to the Westminster Larger Catechism, “Prayer is an offering up of our desires...
Note: Read more on John Bunyan's pastoral heart here. The life of John Bunyan proves, perhaps more than any other, that God indeed does not call the equipped, but rather equips the called. Bunyan understood the great grace he had been gifted in Christ, and he was eager to use every moment and every...
It has often been the case that the most ignoble of characters and chief of sinners become the best of Christians after Christ converts them. Seemingly, the greater the past life of sins and the deeper the misery before Christ, the more that soul will labor all the more abundantly and diligently...
Christians are commanded to redeem the time (Eph. 5:16), be instant to always preach the Gospel (2 Tim. 4:2), continually work to take every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) and pursue peace and holiness (Heb. 12:4). Far from being a calling to laziness, the Christian is called by Christ to...