Posts by Jason Helopoulos

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The Doctrine of God impacts every other loci of theology. However, its influence is not relegated to the realm of theology. The Doctrine of God must also inform our religious practice. For too many, too little thought is given to this necessary truth—even in the pastorate. As pastors, the...
A two-year-old will never obsess about world economies. A three-year-old will never ask for lectures on totalitarian regimes. It is beyond them. If you think otherwise, just try and lecture them about it. They won’t pay attention. Their tiny minds can’t be filled with such thoughts...
Conflict regularly occurs in the church. If experience doesn’t teach this reality, then we only need turn to the pages of the New Testament for verification. Paul and Barnabas separate (Acts 15:36-41), divisions arise in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:10-17), accusations are hurled at apostles (2...
True knowledge of God manifests itself in love for all the saints. Growing maturity in Christ evidences itself in growing love for His people. Does an individual possess a lot of knowledge regarding doctrine and theology? Great, we can never gain enough knowledge of doctrine and theology. Let us...
Martin Luther, the great Reformer, said, “A Christian is free and independent in every respect, a bondservant to none.” In the very next sentence he stated, “A Christian is a dutiful servant in every respect, owing a duty to everyone.”...
The cultural landscape in the West has changed drastically in recent years. What seems even more striking is that more drastic changes appear to loom on the horizon. The world as we know it is turning upside down. How does the Christian and how does the Church stand in such a world? In a similarly...
What should an elder or pastor share with his wife about issue or people in the church? My guess is that previous generations of elders/pastors probably shared too little with their wives. Again, it is only a guess, but I would submit that in our day and age many pastors and elders share too much.
If you know life in Christ, you know languishing in Christ. We all go through dry seasons. The Christian life is never lived from mountain top to mountain top. Every saint has known lackluster days in relationship with the Lord. God doesn’t feel close. You have His peace, but are not peaceful...
Persistent prayer proves hard for many Christians. We may labor on our knees for years as we pray for our unbelieving child, an empty womb, our spouse to be converted, the friend battling cancer, depression to no longer have a hold, a sin to lose its grip, or the gift of just one good friend. We...
The Christian family is under constant assault. Western hemisphere Christians have awakened to this reality in recent years as Western nations embrace everything from homosexual union as marriage, to legally forbidding parents from disciplining their own children, to restricted parental rights...
In Isaiah 66:2, the LORD declares, “This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Humility draws the gaze of God.1 James explains, “God gives grace to the humble.” What large promises are attached to the virtue of...
When individuals embark upon a life of discipleship in Christ, they commence a life of sacrifice. Our Lord said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). This fills some with hesitation. Yet, what we forsake is mere...
There is something wonderfully unique about Christian parents. Christian parents seek to maintain a counter-cultural flavor even as we seek to prepare our children for entrance into that culture as fully-functioning adults. They seek to prepare their children for life on earth at the same time as...
One of my seminary professors would routinely tell his students, "The most important thought that you will ever have is the first thought you have when you hear the word, 'God.'" I think that he is correct. Our first thought about God tends to dominate our lives and living more...
I confess to being a little distracted. My Cubs just defeated their arch rival, the Cardinals, in the playoffs (only to be beaten by the Mets) and my Michigan State University Spartans just defeated the University of Michigan Wolverines in an unbelievable finish to a crucial football game. 'Tis...
What was lost in the Fall? One could answer life, innocence, righteousness, freedom, or a host of other things, and be correct. Yet none of these garners the label "greatest loss." The greatest loss incurred by the Fall was lost communion with our Creator. But what man lost by sin, God...
Some accuse the Protestant emphasis upon the preached Word as pastor-centric and non-engaging, but such an accusation assumes too little about the listener's responsibility in corporate worship. Every individual in the congregation has responsibilities when the Word of God is preached. As we...
As a local church, dare to think beyond yourself. There is everything right about encouraging or inviting people to your church services, and promoting such outreach events as a summer VBS. In fact, it is good and right to focus on ministry in our own little portion of the vineyard. This is why the...
The Westminster Shorter Catechism famously answers, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." This is to be the single greatest controlling influence in our lives...
"What about our son?" "What about our daughter?" As a pastor there are conversations that I routinely have with parishioners. One of the regular exchanges I have had over the years begins with a Christian parent or both parents approaching with downcast gazes. The discouragement...
Bible software programs have not been part of my life as a pastor. When preparing a lesson or sermon, my desk is littered with books and papers. It looks like chaos, but I assure you that it is organized chaos (most of the time!). In truth, Bible software hasn't piqued my interest very much at...
Good Assistant Pastors are hard to find. I don't say this, because I am one. I say this merely from observation and as the recipient of too many horror stories. A good Assistant Pastor must be marked by the same things as any other pastor. He must possess a love for God, His Word, and His...
Every Christian heart cries, "Give me more of Christ." We long to see Him. David said, "One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord" (Psalm 27:4). When Peter...
I was visiting a church once and heard an exchange between a pastor and one of his congregants that has stayed with me ever since. A woman asked the pastor before the service, "Is the video this morning going to make me laugh or cry? It always does one or the other." The pastor was quick...
Marriage can be painful--and Christian marriage is no exception. When two sinners are in a relationship as intimate as marriage, there is bound to be some measure of hurt. Our flesh will balk at the demands of self-sacrifice, service, and humility affecting one another for ill. There will be sins...
As a Christian, why not sin? We could give a myriad of answers to that question. However, the best answer is supplied by Paul in Romans 6. Paul could have talked about the misery that sin brings, the pain that it inflicts upon others, the consequences which flow from it, or the penalty that Christ...
As we noted in the last blog post , Christ's intercession is the often forgotten work of Christ in our salvation. We explored in that last post what Christ does as our intercessor. In this post, I want to look at the encouragements we should enjoy from knowledge of this truth. As the writer of...
I grew up listening to the Eagles, Boston, Chicago, Rolling Stones, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Beatles. And whenever I think about the Beatles, I feel a little sad for the forgotten Beatle. Everyone knows John Lennon and Paul McCartney. We debate about which one of these two was...
The Lord knows us and knows our afflictions. In Mark 6:30-44 we have a beautiful picture of this knowledge of the Lord and the compassion that flows from Him in light of this knowledge.
He in our place. "He has borne our griefs" (Is. 53:4). "He was wounded for our transgressions" (Is. 53: 5). "He was crushed for our iniquities" (Is. 53:4). "Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace and with his stripes we are healed" (Is. 53:5). He...
What does your family tree look like? I am not so concerned about your biological family tree. Frankly, that is of very little interest to me. I'm interested in your spiritual family tree. From where did you come spiritually? Who shared the faith with you? And who shared the faith with them? If...
Most of us go through real times of spiritual melancholy in the Christian life. They can be brief or entire seasons in which, as Gisbertus Voeitus said, a person "fails to feel his or her heart's delight in God and divine things." If you have been a Christian for any period of time,...
The Old Testament Scriptures nullify every argument we could propose for man’s redemption of himself. They are a bright neon light flashing with the message that man needs a redeemer that is wholly other. If we go back to the Garden of Eden, all mankind fell in Adam. Well, one thinks, "...
I love my church and I love gathering with God's people to worship together in our particular church. However, I also love the opportunity that vacations afford for visiting other churches. Observing how they worship, experiencing church as a visitor, sitting under someone else's preaching...
Why should we pray? God already knows our hearts. He already knows our desires. So why pray? We could easily say it is because the Bible commands it. Paul goes as far as to say, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17)—that is reason enough. But let's explore a few other reasons...
The past two years have been devastating. I have watched the lives of four Christian friends destroyed for want of care. These are men I have loved and respected. All of them had families, loving wives, and children. Three of them were pastors and another was a nationally recognized professional at...
Christians believe in a sovereign God who has all power, all authority, and who governs all. He is active. He does not sit idly in heaven and allow His creation to slip into chaos. He directs all things, governs all things, and sustains all things. This world and everything in it moves at His...
"Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” These words of the disciples in Mark 4:35 are hauntingly familiar. I think of Job and his questions in response to a life filled with so much pain and trial. I think of David in the Psalms and his being surrounded by enemies and crying...