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Grace Inscribed

Corporate Character of Grace

Focal: And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. (v.7) For the past few weeks, we have been thinking on some distinctives of reformed piety, that is, what ought to […]

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Thankfulness

One of the characteristics of reformed Christianity is the emphasis it places upon doctrine. It is often a reproach made against us that we think too much and talk too much about doctrine. It is felt by some that doctrine is divisive, that it tends to produce barrenness, an intellectual faith, instead of a joyful […]

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Rejoice Always

It is often thought that the reformed faith, with its stern view of human sin and its emphasis on the majesty of the Almighty, is calculated to produce dour, humorless Christians, beaten-down, and without a spark of real joy in the Lord. In fact, someone once defined ‘Puritanism’ as ‘the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, […]

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reformation2015

Back to the Fountains

A phrase became famous during the Protestant Reformation: ad fontes! Literally, ‘to the fountains.’ What?! The phrase meant “Go to the source.” The Reformers realized that for the church to be renewed, we all needed to go back to the deep source of truth, the Scriptures. When faith gets dry, go back to the fountain […]

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The Majesty and Glory of God

October is Reformation month! And this year is a special commemoration. It is the 500th Anniversary of the nailing of Luther’s 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenberg! The five-solas that fueled that first Reformation are needed again today for another Reformation: Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, and Solus Christus. […]

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Hope for the Restless Hearts

‘Vanity of vanities… all is vanity’ (Eccles. 12:8). These were the Preacher’s first (see 1:2), and also his last words. The writer begins and ends his book by saying the same thing. Throughout Ecclesiastes, the Hebrew word for vanity has served as the Preacher’s multipurpose metaphor to express the frustration of life in a fallen […]

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Towards Home

In his excellent commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes (Living Life Backwards), David Gibson titles this chapter, ‘One Foot in the Grave.’ He opens with the quote: ‘Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened’ (from The Times by Terry Pratchett). He then writes, “Growing old makes a body and an inner […]

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Instructions from the Grave

Greetings and grace to you in the name of Christ Jesus, our risen Lord. This week we come to the central portion of the Preacher’s argument in Ecclesiastes. With chapter six, Solomon begins a new cycle in his argument, which as we now can see more clearly, is that “life is to be enjoyed by […]

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Turn, Turn, Turn

In chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher introduced his main thesis: death puts an end to our repetitive quest for greatness and gain and instead teaches us that we are simply part of the generation who came after the last one and before the next. But it’s not just that the whole of our lives […]

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Chasing the Wind

The book of Ecclesiastes is one of the wisdom books of the Old Testament. It is a book that brings to us the wisdom of God, and does so in a twofold way: (1) It seeks to make us wise about the life of faith lived out in a fallen world. It seeks to impress […]

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