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All articles in category Biblical/theological

April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

The works of William Perkins

Recently, Christian literary organisation ‘Books At a Glance’ interviewed Stephen Yuille and Joel Beeke about the recent publication of The works of William Perkins. Here is the substance of that interview. Books: The publication of The works of William Perkins is a landmark event in Christian publishing. Long overdue, the republishing of this ‘father of the Puritans’ will give new life to Puritan studies. Edited by J. Stephen Yuille (Review editor for ‘Spirituality and Christian living’ here at Books At a Glance), under the general editorship of Joel Beeke and Derek Thomas, volume 1 is now available. We are pleased to have Drs Yuille and...

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April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Beautiful in his time’ (1)

The New England theologian Jonathan Edwards is famous for his description of the progress of redemption history: ‘It may here be observed, that from the fall of man to our day, the work of redemption in its effect has mainly been carried on by remarkable communications of the Spirit of God.’ ‘Though there be a more constant influence of God’s Spirit always in some degree attending his ordinances, yet the way in which the greatest things have been done towards carrying on this work, always have been by remarkable effusions, at special seasons of mercy’. These words have long provided the church with insight into,...

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April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Who raised Jesus from the dead?’

It is natural to inquire about the details of an event so important to us. But we should first remember that the Bible avoids providing us details about what happened within the tomb when Jesus arose in resurrection life. We know he was killed and buried, that the tomb was sealed and guarded by Roman soldiers. But the next thing we learn is that when the women arrive on the third day with anointing spices, the stone was rolled away, and Jesus was gone. The situation here is similar to that of the cross. God does not provide us intimate details of Jesus’ excruciating suffering....

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April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Meet Joseph of Arimathea – a major, minor character of the Bible

One of the major, ‘minor’ characters of the Bible is a man by the name of Joseph, who hailed from the Jewish town of Arimathea. Truth be told, we do not know a great deal about this Joseph, nor about his home town. It is as though he walks in and out of the limelight in just a few seconds. But the Holy Spirit, who caused the Bible to be written, has ensured that a brief paragraph is devoted to Joseph of Arimathea in all four Gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Spirit would have us know about and learn from Joseph, a...

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April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Easter and nature

Only in the Bible can we find a final record of God’s amazing plan of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. But once one knows the truth about life and reality, he or she can see many evidences in the physical world of gospel truth. Take for example the fact of resurrection. As Christians, we believe that we are made in the image of God and have an immortal soul. Death does not end all, but is only the beginning of a wonderful life of fellowship with God, if we have received his Son Jesus. All the seasons illustrate aspects of the phases...

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April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christ’s atoning blood

We see blood in every aspect of the atonement. The blood of Jesus is our redemption — the payment of the price for our freedom from sin. His blood is our justification — the legal basis for the declaration of our righteousness before God. His blood is our propitiation — our protection from the wrath of God. The wonder of the atonement is that we are saved by the shedding of blood: not our own blood, but the blood that God has shed for our sins. Faith The primary thing for us to do with this great doctrine of the atonement is to believe it....

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April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Saving Faith

How a sinner comes to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a mystery of grace. How someone who has opposed the gospel for years, suddenly is humbled by that same message is beyond explanation. How a lifetime of indifference to biblical truths is changed into serious devotion to those truths is baffling. There is no explanation for these things, except to say that God has done it. Salvation has to be all of grace, otherwise it would be impossible. The same, yet different Every conversion is essentially the same and yet experimentally different. They are essentially the same, because they need to contain all...

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March 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘You must be born again!’ (2)

Continued from You must be born again (1) Few people would grudge admitting they are less than perfect, that they make mistakes now and again, and could use help to do better next time. But say ‘sinner’ and mention ‘born again’, and their mood darkens. Nicodemus needed to be persuaded that he must be born again (John 3). Jesus answered by setting out the ‘why’, ‘who’ and ‘how’ of the new birth. In this way, he outlines for us all the biblical doctrine of regeneration. Why? Why is this new birth necessary? Jesus expands on his earlier assertion, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless...

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‘You must be born again!’ (1)
February 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘You must be born again!’ (1)

It may be a stretch to call Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus (John 2:23–3:15) a conversation in any conventional sense; it was more of a master class between a professor and student. For me it recalls the early 1970s and weekly seminars in Professor Paul Woolley’s church history course at Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia. The prof’s every question exposed gaps in our grasp of things, but always led to fresh understanding of the subject. It was our weekly grilling, but we were none the worse for it. Nicodemus was neither a novice nor seminarian, but ‘a man of the Pharisees’ and ‘a ruler of the Jews’. He...

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February 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

God’s river

‘And you gave them drink from the river of your pleasures’ (Psalm 36:8). It is, I believe, the opinion of many, that believers in Christ are a miserable people, eschewing the wonderful delights of sin. I am afraid that Christians do often give the impression that we are an unhappy people, and that is a poor witness. There are, of course, pleasures in sin. These are called in Hebrews 11:25 the ‘passing pleasures of sin’, which Moses rejected when he chose to follow the Lord. These satisfactions of mind and body which are offered on Satan’s menu are indeed ‘passing’. The above text reminds us...

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January 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘On this rock’ (1)

The question of the church’s foundation is a crucial one. On what is the church of Jesus Christ built? What forms her basis, giving her stability and security? Biblically, there is, in fact, more than one answer to this question about the foundation of the church. But one particular answer that has attracted much controversy lies in Jesus’ words to Peter in Matthew 16:18: ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. Word play So in some sense, it would seem, Peter is the...

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January 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

A visit to Israel (11–23 May 2015) (4)

Continued from A visit to Israel (11–23 May 2015) (3) Wednesday 20 May: We saw more of Jerusalem today. The bus took us to the top of the Mount of Olives, or Olivet, which is an elevated ridge to the east of Jerusalem, known for its groves of olive trees. We had a group picture taken, with the city in the background. Then we heard a meditation by my husband Joel on tears and rejoicing. David wept here as he fled Jerusalem to escape from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:30). 1000 years later, the Lord Jesus Christ crossed the Mount of Olives, riding into Jerusalem on a...

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