Faith, grace, merit

Whenever we speak of justifying faith, we must keep in mind that these three objects belong together: the promise, grace, and Christ’s merits as the price and atonement. The promise is received through faith. Grace excludes our merits and means that the benefit is offered only through mercy. Christ’s merits are the price, because there…

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Playing God

The TV, radio and newspapers in the UK (and no doubt elsewhere) gave a lot of attention to the news from a nondescript little place in Maryland that scientist have "created an artificial life form". While it appears that this headline is somewhat generous to the actual achievement—though there seems to be no doubt that…

Prayer before the study of the Word

I thank You, my God, that You have prepared for me, a poor sinner, a treasure house full of all kinds of spiritual goodness and nourishment. This treasure house is Your holy and precious Word, which You have given me in the blessed Scriptures. Guide me, therefore, dear Father, and take me into this treasury.…

God is gone up!

Anthem for the Ascension of our Lord. Music by Gerald Finzi (1901-1956). The words are by Edward Taylor (1642-1729), drawing on Ps. 47. Performed by the finest of all English boys' choirs, the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge. The Finzi anthem is the second on this clip and it starts at 3:20. God is…

Proclaiming and bringing

While reading Luke 8 with my wife last night, I noticed something that had passed me by before: Soon afterward he [Jesus] went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1) Proclaiming and bringing. That's a lovely summary of how the Gospel works: Jesus proclaims…