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“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom. 6:1–2) As these well-known words of the apostle Paul imply, it is possible to conclude wrongly from the teaching that we are saved by grace […]

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Returning to the Gospel of Grace

I’ve been thinking a lot about the gospel lately. Not so much the gospel in relation to salvation but the gospel as it relates to one’s daily walk as a Christian. To be honest, my experience has been that most Christians live as if to say, “I needed the gospel and God’s grace when I […]

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A REWARD OF GRACE, NOT MERIT If the kinds of passages I have considered, teach not only that Christ will reward the righteous at the final judgment for their works, but also that this reward will vary in degree, depending upon the nature and quality of the works in question, then there are several questions […]

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What is Grace?

When I was a boy growing up in East Texas, we lived near some railroad tracks. In those days, homeless men (whom we called hoboes) often rode the rail cars from town to town. Occasionally, one of those men would show up at our front door and ask my mother for a meal. Without asking […]

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Inside Fly Rule

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9) The score was seven to five in the bottom of the final inning. The team sponsored by the […]

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On its face, the Reformed understanding of our Lord’s command to make disciples and to baptize them and their children (Matt 28:81–20; Acts 2:39) seems clear enough. However, judging by modern discussions in the confessional Reformed and Presbyterian churches, things are more complicated than one might expect. Over the last thirty years, considerable disagreement has […]

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Scriptural Teaching In Genesis 17:10–14 the Lord restated His covenant promise to Abraham. To that gracious covenant He attached a sign and seal of initiation, circumcision. Those adult males who first entered the covenant assembly had to profess faith and receive the sign and seal of covenant initiation. Contrary to what the Baptist view might […]

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Confessional Teaching It should not surprise us to find that the same distinction that made by Calvin and the Reformed theologians appears in our confessional documents. In Q. 20 the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) asks, “Are all men, then, saved by Christ as they have perished in Adam?” The answer is, “No, only those who by […]

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The Christian Life in a Prayer From Paul

In the midst of his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul drew attention to the prayer that he of­fered for the saints of God in Ephesus, expressed in one long sen­tence. “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom the whole fam­ily in heaven and on earth derives its name, […]

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