Specific Aspects of Self-Denial (Brakel)

Self-denial is a big part of what it means to follow Jesus.  On several occasions, Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me" (Mt. 16:24 NIV).   Self-denial is something that doesn't come easily since even as Christians we still struggle with our sinful… Continue reading Specific Aspects of Self-Denial (Brakel)

The Distinctive Characteristics of Predestination (Brakel)

In both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible talks about election and predestination.  He has in mercy chosen some sinners to salvation and in justice has passed by others.  God didn't elect some to salvation because he knew they'd believe, or because they were more worthy than others.  He chose to save some sinners… Continue reading The Distinctive Characteristics of Predestination (Brakel)

Avoiding False Spirituality/Spiritualities

There are many popular quasi- and pseudo-Christian spiritualities in existence today.  The “Christian” bestsellers typically include books about spirituality without a clear explanation of or belief in the gospel.  Some popular “Christian” authors deny key aspects of the historic faith and others talk about being spiritual without much dependence on Scripture.  You can find bestselling… Continue reading Avoiding False Spirituality/Spiritualities

Of Lawful Vows

Vows are probably not on the radar of many Christians today.  Perhaps there isn’t a specific reason why we don’t think much about vows, or perhaps we’ve heard of crazy or unbiblical vows which has made us shy away from them altogether.  However, there are proper vows that Christians can voluntarily make to God.  Scripture… Continue reading Of Lawful Vows

Diligence

It is biblical to say that Christians are called to follow Jesus and live the Christian life with diligence.  I appreciate how Dutch theologian Wilhelmus a Brakel (d. 1711) explained this: “God has granted man a soul and a body, as well as the ability to be occupied and to glorify him with both.  …After… Continue reading Diligence