• We Need to Keep Repenting

    by Tom Hicks on September 24, 2015

    RepentanceSin sometimes grows silently and unconsciously in the hearts of believers, but we must repent when we become conscious of it. Believers must continually turn from self-righteous pride, sinful anger, lust, covetousness, worldliness, prayerlessness, neglect of the Bible, and selfishness of every kind. According to the Bible, repentance is godly sorrow for sin and turning away from all known sin to Christ.  According to the Baptist Catechism:

    Q 92. What is repentance unto life?
    A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace (Acts 11:28), whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin (Acts 2:37, 38), and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ (Joel 2:12; Jer 3:22), doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God (Jer 31:18, 19; Ez. 36:3 1), with full purpose of and endeavour after new obedience (2 Cor. 7: 1 1; Is. 1: 16, 17).

    If we don’t repent, we will not be saved. Jesus said, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Lk 13:3). Here are some of the steps involved in the biblical process of repentance. (more…)

  • Some Thoughts on Parenting

    by Tom Hicks on August 11, 2015

    Parenting1. Your spouse is your most important relationship in this world. Don’t forget that the most important relationship in your life, under God, is your relationship with your husband or wife. Your children will only be in your home for a season, but your spouse will be there for life.  You and your spouse are the relational center of the home. So nurture your relationship with your spouse above all else.  Putting your spouse above your children, teaches them two very important lessons. First, it teaches the kids that they are not at the center of the world, which is a very important lesson for them to learn before they actually get out into the world. Second, it teaches them to look for spouses that will cherish them before any other relationship. If you want your children to marry well, then you must model love and devotion to your spouse above any other relationship. Malachi 2:15 says, “And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So, guard yourselves in your spirit and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.” Notice the logic of that verse. God wants godly offspring; so, be faithful to your spouse. (more…)

  • Should the Government Legislate Marriage?

    by Tom Hicks on June 20, 2015

    MarriageThe Supreme Court is hearing arguments for the redefinition of marriage, and many Christians wonder whether or not the government has any business setting the limits of marriage at all.

    I don’t believe the institutional church should generally try to formulate specific public policy or identify herself with particular political issues or candidates. But the church is charged with preaching the whole counsel of God and seeking to form Christian conscience around God’s Word. The purpose of this post is briefly to survey what Scripture has to say about the government’s role in legislating the definition of marriage. (more…)

  • Dear Christian: THINK Before You Jump On The Bandwagon Against Indiana

    by Shawn Merithew on April 1, 2015

    photo-1427348693976-99e4aca06bb9 We are obligated by Scripture to serve, love, and even sacrifice for the sake of manifesting Christ and communicating His gospel to all persons, whether they be homosexuals, racists, liars, murderers, idolaters, fornicators, tyrants, or any other type of sinner. Christ has instructed us to love even those who are our personal enemies, even when they are persecuting us and pouring out hate upon us. (Matt 5:44, Luke 6:27,35) We are to live this way because we ourselves were once murderers, liars, fornicators, racists, homosexuals, and persecutors of Christians (1 Cor 6:9-11). The only difference between us and any other sinner is the fact that we have been forgiven through faith in Christ. And because we now love Him, we are compelled to actively demonstrate His love and communicate the truth of His grace and forgiveness to all of our fellow sinners, without exception. (Titus 3:1-8) (more…)

  • WANTED: A New Denominational Metric

    by Shawn Merithew on March 23, 2015

    tEREUy1vSfuSu8LzTop3_IMG_2538The metric system never really caught on here in the United States. Most all of us learned it in school, and though we are reluctant to admit it, it is a much better system. A thousand millimeters makes a meter, and a thousand meters makes a kilometer. Could conversions be more simple? But using the metric system is like having to speak the Spanish I learned in high school — it’s difficult and unnatural for me. It doesn’t matter if I have a hard time remembering how many feet are in a mile; I like the ease and comfort of what I’ve always known.

    When we talk about how we measure health or success in our Southern Baptist Convention, we also have a system of measurement that we find quite comfortable. Amidst all the information we record on our annual church profiles, there are three main measurements that seem to define church health: number of members, number of baptisms, and number of dollars given to the Cooperative Program. Any church with an upward trajectory in these three units of measure is labeled ‘Missional’ and the pastor is automatically qualified for upper echelon leadership in the SBC. This is just how we think. It doesn’t matter that this system isn’t exactly biblical and that it frequently hides an underlying pandemic of unregenerate membership. These units of measurement are comfortable, easy to track, and they are what we’ve always known. (more…)

  • What is Contentment?

    by Tom Hicks on February 12, 2015

    Rare JewelI’ve been reading Jeremiah Burroughs classic book, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, and wanted to share a bit of it here.  If you haven’t read this book, let me encourage you to get it and read it.  American culture fosters discontentment and all the miseries and heartaches that go along with it.  Discontentment is coveting what we do not have, longing for it, believing that if we have it, then we will be satisfied.  To be content is to obey the 10th commandment, “You shall not covet” in the power of Christ and the gospel of grace.  Here are 20 ways that Burroughs describes contentment:

    “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Phil 4:11). (more…)

  • The Difference Between the True Christian and the Hypocrite

    by Tom Hicks on January 22, 2015

    Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 5.24.12 PMHow can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor? One of the best books describing the true nature of conversion is The Christian’s Great Interest by William Guthrie. The great Puritan theologian, John Owen, highly commended it and wrote, “The author [of The Christian’s Great Interest] I take to have been one of the greatest divines that ever wrote; it is my Vade-mecum [that is, “handbook”], and I carry it and the Sedan New Testament, still about with me. I have written several folios, but there is more divinity in it than in them all.”

    Consider what William Guthrie says in chapter 5 of his book about the differences between the true Christian and the hypocrite. Here are some ways in which the hypocrite may be like the Christian. (more…)

  • Answering Some Objections to Sabbath Day Observance

    by Tom Hicks on November 19, 2014

    SabbathIn a previous post, I briefly sketched the Bible’s doctrine of the Sabbath day. Like nearly every doctrine of the Christian faith, the doctrine of the Sabbath is controversial among some Christians today. In this post, I’ll try to answer some of the most common objections to Sabbath observance.

    1. New Testament Passages. Those who say Christians are not obligated to observe the Sabbath day often point to four key New Testament passages to make their case: Romans 14:1-9, Galatians 4:10, Colossians 2:16, and Hebrews 4:3-10. Let’s consider these one at a time. (more…)

  • What God Requires of the Church: Sabbath Day Observance

    by Tom Hicks on November 7, 2014

    SabbathIn previous installments of this series, we’ve been considering “what God requires of the church.”  Here’s the series so far, in case you missed any of it:

    1. Individualism vs. Christ
    2. The Ordinary Means of Grace
    3. Participation
    4. Evangelism and Missions

    In this post, we’ll examine what the Bible teaches us about the time of public worship. We know that the Bible teaches us Who the assembled church should worship (in the first and second commandments), and it teaches us how to worship Him (in the second and third commands). But few people understand that it also teaches the assembled church when to gather for worship (in the fourth commandment). If we lose the doctrine of the Sabbath, the fourth of the Ten Commandments, then we also lose the time to receive God’s ordinary means of grace and to obey all God has commanded us to do as a church. Our church’s confession of faith, The New Hampshire Confession of 1833, plainly teaches that the Sabbath is a perpetual and binding command for local churches under the New Covenant. Our church has corporately confessed this confession. All of the pastors and deacons agree that its teachings are biblical, and all members must agree to be taught in accordance with it. It says:

    Chapter 15, Of the Christian Sabbath

    We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations; by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.

    (more…)

  • Orthodox Presbyterianism vs the “Federal Vision”

    by Tom Hicks on October 10, 2014

    BookI’m writing the following piece because the so-called “Federal Vision” is of interest to some among us for various reasons. What follows is a descriptive account of some of the differences between the the most consistent expressions of the Federal Vision and orthodox Presbyterianism. I’ve chosen not to name the theologians I have in mind in this short post, though I plan to interact with one of them in the future. I haven’t provided documentation for the differences listed here, though they have been confirmed as accurate by two men who hold this system, even if they wouldn’t have chosen to use all the words I have used. I have not attempted a Scriptural rebuttal here, though the final section does provide a short critique. (more…)

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