Who is this Mediator — God and Man?

The simple answer that every child learns in church, in Sunday School, and in other children’s programs is that our only Mediator is the Lord Jesus Christ who was sent to us to redeem us from our sins by substituting himself in our place, paying the penalty for our sins and imputing to us his… Read More

Fully God and Fully Man

One of the classic works in Christian literature is Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo (“Why did God become Man?”). Here, the great teacher of the church works through the problem of sin, coming to the conclusion that it is impossible for man to redeem himself and were man to be redeemed, only one who needs no… Read More

The Only Mediator Between God and Man

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and man — the man Jesus Christ who gave himself as a ransom for all — the testimony of a unique appointed time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6) So, is there salvation outside of Christ? No. It is a logical impossibility. No human can do it because… Read More

Satisfaction…The Other Kind

Usually, when we think of “satisfaction,” we think in terms of the context of what satisfies us. A nap on the sofa in front of a fire in the fireplace, a nice thick and juicy steak dinner, or a favorite book are satisfying things that come to my mind. For those of us who do,… Read More

Mercy and Justice

These two ideas are not normally thought of as going together very well. Justice demands that the full measure of punishment of the law be meted out in punishment for a crime committed. But justice is not simply limited to satisfying the law. Justice includes the need for restitution to be measured out to the… Read More

Why is Hell Eternal?

If you have grown up in the church, you know that the only just punishment for sin is Hell. You also know that Hell is described in the Bible in three general ways — a separation from all goodness that God brings to existence (2 Peter 2:4), positive retribution for our sins (Mark 9:47-49), and… Read More

I Inherited the Guilt of Adam; Man, I’m in Deep

Question 10 of the Heidelberg Catechism states that God is not only displeased with my actual sin (that is a no-brainer) but that he is also displeased with my inherited sin. Wait one cotton-picking minute! Look, I get that I am guilty of the things I have done, but does that mean that I am… Read More

That’s Not Fair!

How many times have you heard someone exclaim, “That’s not fair!” when things do not go their way. Someone else makes more than they do for the same job; one person gets a speeding ticket and the other gets a warning; one student gets a fortunate break in an athletic event and the other does… Read More

Can the Wicked do Anything Good?

This is one of those questions that gets asked a lot, though often as a result of some misunderstandings of terminology. Often this kind of question comes from a critic of Calvinism…or perhaps more specifically, from a critic of the Calvinistic doctrine of Total Depravity. They see the words, “Totally Depraved,” and assume that what… Read More

Fulfilling the Law and the Prophets

Jesus says that all of the Law and the Prophets hang on the two greatest commandments: loving God with the totality of your existence and loving your neighbor as yourself. That all sounds good, but what is meant by this notion of the Law and the Prophets? To begin with, we ought to make it… Read More

Be Kind

Have you ever wondered why God commands us to be kind to our neighbors…you know the whole Leviticus 19:18 idea that we are to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Why couldn’t we just love God? We could go on retreats, we could find a cave up in the mountains somewhere and live as a hermit… Read More

Christian Requirements

Requirements? Wait a minute, Pastor Win, I have heard you preach over and over that we are saved by grace through faith. In fact, not just that, isn’t that what Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8? Indeed, that is both what I have regularly preached (and written) over the years, and more importantly, that is the… Read More

Willing and Ready to Live for Jesus

The first question of the Heidelberg Catechism closes with the affirmation that because Christ has done all this for me, this reality “makes me genuinely willing and ready to live for Him from this time onward.” And indeed, this principle guides the rest of the catechism. It is the guiding principle for the catechism so… Read More

Assurance

Perhaps my experience is different than everyone else’s. Perhaps the thing that my heart longs for more deeply than anything else is utterly unique to me. Perhaps my need for a sense of belonging that transcends my ability to “stay in the club,” is an utterly singular desire. But, perhaps I’m not alone. And perhaps,… Read More

All Things Work Together for My Salvation

Not only is the Christian not to worry, we are also called to be confident. Confident in what? Confident in our God. Confident in the promises of our God. Confident in the assurance that God will bring about, for us, that which he promised to bring about for us. And confident that no matter what… Read More

“What, Me Worry?”

I’m a kid of the MAD Magazine era, where their mascot, Alfred E. Newman, was famous for saying this line… “What, me worry?” Of course, in many cases, it was the punchline of the joke and it conveyed the he ought to have been worrying about the state of affairs around him. That, of course,… Read More

The Tyranny of the Devil

“Be self-controlled. Be Alert. Your enemy the devil goes about roaring, seeking one to devour. Oppose him firm in the faith, knowing that these things are being endured throughout the world by your brothers.” (1 Peter 5:8-9) “And the dragon became angry about the woman and departed to make war with her remaining offspring —… Read More

Satisfying the Penalty

I suppose that one of the most significant criticisms that can be made of the church in America today is that pastors often downplay the seriousness of our sin. The late Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones used to say that “sin used to be ashamed of itself,” yet by his day, in the church, it no… Read More