Showing posts from October, 2023

The Reformation in seven minutes

Sometimes, when people would ask me about the Reformation, and why it's a big deal, I'd draw a little sketch on a piece of paper or napkin, like to one above. It's my seven-minute overview of what happened following Luther's posting of his 95 theses (points to debate) on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg on the eve of All Saints Day, 1517.  This is a very rough generalization indeed... First key issue: authority.  The foundation. How do we know we are right about what we believe about being right with God? The Roman Catholic church held that it was the Scriptures, but with a caveat:  specifically, the Scriptures as interpreted and applied by the authority of the Church. So, to the authority base of the Bible was added the magisterium, that is, what the church, tradition, councils, and Popes officially ruled. It was the "Bible-plus..."   The Reformers said, no (or nay), the councils and traditions and church rulers are very important, but not infallible. Th

Evidence of the Holy Spirit

"In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV) "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." (Romans 8:14 ESV) The Holy Spirit is the seal of our New Covenant relationship with Christ (Jer 31; Ezek 36-37; Eph 1:13). The Christian life -- of fellowship with God, of power, of the pursuit of holiness -- is a life in the Spirit. (Rom 8) How do I know when the Holy Spirit is at work in me?  How do I identify his supernatural work in distinction from my own efforts at living the Christian life? What follows is a list of ten evidences of the work of the Holy Spirit in us...  1)  When we experience conviction of sin , not mere guilt and desire to escape punishment, but an awareness of our sin against God and of our need for the forgivene

the eternal city

"For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God." (Hebrews 11:10 ESV) "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelation 21:2 ESV) In one of our weekly Bible studies, we've been reading through the book of Revelation (the Apocalypse). Dr. Lewis Johnson's messages on Revelation in the late 1980s have been so very helpful. Here are some excerpts from " The Metropolis of the New Earth ", a sermon by S. Lewis Johnson.  The subject for today as we come near the end of our study of the great apocalypse is, “The Metropolis of the New Earth”. According to the word of God, Cain built the first city, but he built it in independence of God. Man’s innate desire to have a common life evidently is good. Nothing is said in Scripture about the fact of the building being contrary to his will, but characteristic of human cities is that