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Posts by Grace Church - Articles

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Conflict is an Opportunity

Most people don't enjoy conflict. We tend to avoid it if we can. I suppose there is something healthy about this fact. We certainly don't want to enjoy conflict. However, there is something that is lost, particularly for Christians, when we avoid biblically handling necessary conflict. We could rightly say that in this case there is an unhealthy avoidance of conflict....

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Singleness Is Not a Problem to Be Solved

If you are single today, the portion assigned to you for today is singleness. It is God's gift. Singleness ought not to be viewed as a problem, nor marriage as a right. God in his wisdom and love grants either as a gift....

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Stop Assuming Your Neighbors Are Hostile to Your Faith

The Christian that knows only to bemoan the state of society is the Christian that will succumb to silence. Love for God and love for others must conquer our fear. We must not assume that our unchurched friends and neighbors are hostile to our faith. When we believe the myth that everyone hates us, we tend to retreat to our closets where we hide our lamp under a bowl. W...

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The Kindness That Will Kill Your Church

Kindness, rightly understood, is a Christian virtue, a manner of being that is shaped by love. We are kind when we treat one another the way we want to be treated. We are kind when we lend a sympathetic ear, when we bear with others despite their faults, when we respond to conflict with empathy and gentleness. But kindness and love are not the same thing, and whenever w...

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Why Doesn't God Still Speak Audibly?

The Old Testament can be disorienting. God reveals himself in clouds of fire, in a whirlwind, even in person. He brings people to mountaintops and speaks to them. He wrestles with Jacob. Isaiah sees him high and lifted up on the throne. It was so in the beginning when Adam and Eve walked with their Maker in the garden. God appeared to Abram (Gen. 17:1), Jacob saw him fa...

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The Earthly Temple and the Empty Tomb

The passion narrative is a familiar story with familiar elements: chief priests, Golgotha, two thieves, Pilate, the crowd, the cross, the tomb, and of course, Jesus. But there is a central piece we tend to overlook. According to Matthew, the temple is an essential part of that fateful week. Matthew mentions the temple 16 times over the final eight chapters. It's no a...

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Seven Ways Church Members Should Prepare for a Sermon

What if church members began their own form of sermon preparation? For countless decades, we have heard about the role of pastors in sermon preparation. The number of hours they need to prepare. The priority of preparation. The role of prayer in sermon preparation. But what if church members prepared for each sermon they heard? What if they believed their roles as re...

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How Your Habits Show and Shape Your Heart

At the heart of habit is the brilliance of our Creator. Making decisions takes time and energy, and habits keep us from having to make the same decisions over and over again....

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Marital Intimacy Is More Than Sex: Five Ways to Connect with Your Spouse

"We just don't feel connected." Both of them felt the same way. Somewhere in the timeline of their relationship they had begun to drift apart and now they felt as if they were living lives that were running on a parallel track rather than living lives intimately connected. But how do you solve the problem of "connectedness"?...

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How to Slay the Dragon of Pornography

The pursuit of porn has bad consequences. We need no special insight to see it erodes relationships and never satisfies. But bad consequences aren't enough to stop us. We must be ready with persuasive reasons to put up a fight....

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Giving Your Pastor Sermon Feedback

The Article by Erik Raymond first appreared in The Gospel Coalition Website. After purchasing something during the Christmas season the salesperson handed me the receipt and said, “Here you go. You will be contacted in a few days to complete a brief survey. You could win a gift-certificate.” I smiled politely and said, “OK. Thanks.” It’s not ...

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Common Evangelical Attacks on Sola Scriptura

When we trade out sola scriptura for sola experienca we not only lose the power to sanctify but the essence of what it means to live as a Christian. On the other hand, the Christian worldview drives us to an external word...

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Can Jesus Relate To My Temptations?

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus felt the full force of all temptations. The ones that we feel and cave upon he felt to the highest level...

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Our Pro-Woman, Complementarian Jesus

We often hear that those who don't affirm modern feminism are "anti-woman." Christians are no exception. We sometimes get tagged with this epithet, and once the label sticks we're either total sellouts (the women) or knuckle-dragging Neanderthals (the men). In light of this claim, it's remarkable to consider how the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ, inte...

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Is Church Membership Really Required?

This month we will be inducting new members into the most honored body the world has ever known: the church of Jesus Christ. The initiation fee for this club is so high that no human could have ever paid it; God himself had to pick up the tab. The benefits of the club never expire. The fellowship of the club is unmatched; you receive intimate access to the Lord himself (Jo...

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When a Christian Sins

In the midst of struggle, the Christian does well to remind themselves of the gospel comforts of Scripture. There is peace to be had and love to enjoy. Our Heavenly Father ever extends His grace to us. The Christian also does well to take to heart gospel encouragements. We desire to pursue Christ and work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). As we ...

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8 Ways to Grow in the Fear of God

In his book The Forgotten Fear, Albert Martin lists eight "specific directives for maintaining and increasing the fear of God in our hearts." What follows are his eight directives along with summaries of each point in his own words (lightly tweaked). ...

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10 Questions to Ask of New Year's Resolutions

Most of our resolutions are aimed at changing certain things about ourselves. Here are 10 questions to ask of resolutions (whatever time of year they're made) to ensure we're being gospel-centered in our approach to change....

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Your Podcast Is Not Your Pastor

There's been a lot of talk in the blogosphere this year about the rise of "celebrity pastors" with "rock-star status" and the larger-than-life influence of popular conference speakers whose sermons are downloaded by the thousands. Some have openly decried this development; others are glad that at least pastors are being celebrated. Most of us are somewhere in the middle....

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What Is Doctrine?

What is doctrine? In its basic sense, doctrine is any sort of teaching. The Bible, for example, talks about the teachings of men (Mark 7:7...

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Why Should We Come to Church?

One of the greatest needs of our dark times is for the Christian church to regain her true identity and character. To understand what the church is designed to be, the best place to inquire is at its founding in the time of the apostles. "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42)....

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Love and Respect: Basics for Marriage

Scripture teaches us to love our neighbor (Leviticus 19:18), and Jesus in his famous story makes the point that our neighbor is whatever person God has placed right in front of us (Luke 10:29...

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The Surprising Sin-Killing Power of God's Presence

When the heat of our neighbor's sin singes our conscience and our own creeps in on us, we often respond in fear, cynicism, and hopelessness. This is why we can sing lines like "prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love" with great ease, yet still find it hard to believe God can actually take "my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above....

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How do we know the Holy Spirit is a Person?

The answer is that the Bible presents a person as a substance that can do personal and relational things (such as speaking, thinking, feeling, acting). Something that does these personal things in relationship...

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The "Together" of Evangelism

All Christians are made differently, but we're also made to work together. As an individual believer you may be a foot or a finger or a follicle, but you are part of a body, the church, and it is as part of that body that you're most yourself...

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Sola Scriptura or Sola Cardia?

The Reformation principle of sola Scriptura has to do with the sufficiency of Scripture as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. Sola Scriptura simply means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture....

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Tips for Evangelistic Intentionality

Faithful evangelism is so crucial to the health of a church. The gospel that is grasped is given away. Most Christians agree and even want to see this happen but often struggle with implementing it in their lives. In this post I want to provide a few practical, immediate things that you can do to foster more evangelistic faithfulness....

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5 Resurrection Realities that Reorient our Evangelism

Evangelism rises or falls based upon the reality of the resurrection. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, there is no good news to share: sin and death still reign, we worship a dead and decomposing deity, and Christians should be pitied because we are deceived and pathetic. On the other hand, if the resurrection is true, every Christian should be compelled to share this ...

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Can Your Theology Handle the Book of Lamentations?

Lamentations is basically a series of poems expressing the funeral dirge for the nation of Israel following their destruction by Babylon. It is graphic and in several places it is quite disturbing....

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10 Ways We Can Remember to Be Christians this Christmas - by Kevin De Young

For Christians, there is no excuse to be grinchy and scroogeish this Christmas. Here are ten ways we can remember to be Christians this Christmas...

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Ten Ways to Bring the Gospel Home This Christmas - by Jonathan Parnell

Tis' the most wonderful time of the year ... and it's a unique opportunity to give the good news of Jesus to your unbelieving family....

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The Difference Between Original Autographs and Original Texts by Michael J. Kruger

Can we be sure that we actually have the words of Scripture? Michael Kruger helps us to have confidence in our bibles....

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Why You May Be Tempted To Neglect Your Church - by Tim Challies

At any given time just about every church has some people who are in danger of drifting away, and no longer participating in the life of the church. To do so is to directly disobey Hebrews 10:24-25 which says, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and al...

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"What Faith Is and Is Not" by Guy Richard

What is true saving faith according to the Bible? And how does this differ from the popular view that "faith" is a blind leap into the unknown. Some great instruction and correction here in this article....

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Encourage One Another - Giving Grace With Your Words - by Garett Kell

When encouragement is absent from the life of a church people will feel unloved, unimportant, useless, and forgotten. God knows His people are in need of grace-filled reminders, which is why He calls us to encourage each other every day until His Son returns (Hebrews 3:13)....

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The Gospel is Historical - by D.A. Carson

New Testament scholar Don Carson, in his essay "What is the Gospel?" notes that the good news of Jesus Christ is grounded in historical facts....

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Errors of the Prosperity Gospel - by David W. Jones

No matter what name is used, the essence of this new gospel is the same. Simply put, this egocentric "prosperity gospel" teaches that God wants believers to be physically healthy, materially wealthy, and personally happy....

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Where is Your Zeal for God

On Friday we learned about Jesus clearing the Temple in John 2:12-22. Listen now to a strong exhortation from J.C. Ryle about our Zeal....

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