Law & Gospel

An Invitation to Join Our Company of Real, Great Sinners

BY MARTIN LUTHER & BRANDON HANSON

I heartily sympathize with you and earnestly pray our Lord Jesus Christ to strengthen you and give you a cheerful heart. I should like to know, and am making diligent inquiries to find out, what your trouble may be or what has caused your breakdown.

An Invitation to Join Our Company of Real, Great Sinners

We Preach Christ Crucified

BY BRANDON HANSON

You will not read articles about how Jesus is a “life coach” that just wants to help you get ahead in life. You will not hear teaching that leaves you with the impression that God is stuck in heaven fretting over the world as he looks down in anxiety, just hoping someone will do enough to get the blessing…

We Preach Christ Crucified

When The Law Must Yield

BY MARTIN LUTHER

We will look at the command to love, in the Law of God. Innumerable, endless, are the books and doctrines produced for the direction of man's conduct. And there is still no limit to the making of books and laws. Note the ecclesiastical and civil regulations, the spiritual orders and stations.

When The Law Must Yield

The Gospel According To Noah

BY CHAD BIRD

Many children’s Bible Story books put it this way: “People everywhere were bad, but Noah was good.” But Noah was “good” not because he wasn’t “bad,” but because he believed in the good One whom his father had mistaken him for—the promised seed.

The Gospel According To Noah

The Christian Polytheist

BY CHAD BIRD

God doesn’t believe in atheists. As they reject his existence, so he rejects their rejection. They may not believe in the true God, but they do fear, love, and trust in Some Thing. And that Some Thing is the deity enthroned within their hearts. All atheists are closet theists.

The Christian Polytheist

The Clever Trap Of Jesus

BY SCOTT DAVIS

Luke tells us that Jesus told the parable to “some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and treated others with contempt.” It is important to remember that that isn’t two groups of people- such as: Over here are the people who are self-righteous and over here are the ones who treat others with contempt.

The Clever Trap Of Jesus

What's An Anchor Doing In The Holy Of Holies?

BY CHAD BIRD

Some of the last words our Lord spoke were addressed to a man who stood on the precipice of eternity. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” It was no time to blabber some sentimental nonsense. No occasion for chitchat. The words to a dying man must be words pregnant with life.

What's An Anchor Doing In The Holy Of Holies?

I Believe In Yesterday

BY BRANDON HANSON

For many, “Yesterday" by The Beatles is a poignant and powerful song. It is one of, if not the most, covered songs by the Beatles. It brings back memories of regret, remorse, heartache, and heartbreak. Why do we like this song so much if it seems to cause us such pain?

I Believe In Yesterday

Is It I, Lord?

BY ERICK SORENSEN

I suppose it's natural not to want to take the blame or admit it when we have a problem. Even us adults never really grow out of it, we just learn to paper over our issues with euphemisms or more reasonable sounding excuses: "No, not me. I'm not abrasive and rude; I'm just honest and tell it like it is."

Is It I, Lord?

Jon Snow And Romans Seven

BY BROR ERICKSON

George R.R. Martin is famous for not allowing us much hope in his characters. The heroes all die. Some storytellers are incensed for the way he plays with the hopes of his readers. He certainly hasn't set out to tell the conventional story, where good wins and evil loses, though we all keep hoping good wins out.

Jon Snow And Romans Seven

Easter Revival Burnout

BY MARIAH COWARD

Every year they began the revival with the Easter service. Often with the: “I'm-not-going-to-tell-you-once-a-year-church-goers-the-Gospel-because-you-don't-come-often-enough-to-deserve-to-hear-it-and-instead-I'll-tell-you-how-worldly-you-are” sermon.

Easter Revival Burnout

The Truly Good Shepherd

BY MARTIN LUTHER

You have heard that after his sufferings and death Christ our Lord arose from the dead and entered upon, and was enthroned in, an immortal existence. Not that he might sit up there in heaven idly and find pleasure in himself, but that he might take charge of the kingdom

The Truly Good Shepherd

Why Bad News Is Good News

BY MATT JOHNSON

Martin Luther knew something about economics. Well, God’s economics anyway. It goes something like this: you can’t pay your way into heaven, and it was wrong of the Pope and his cronies to say so. The Christian life is all of grace and nothing of personal sacrifice or performance. These are the big ideas that frame Luther’s 95 theses.

Why Bad News Is Good News

Agree With Your Enemy

BY MARTIN LUTHER

Paul describes this faith in most significant words, namely, when we cry Abba! Father! For in the spirit of fear it is not possible to cry, for we can scarcely open our mouth or mumble. But faith expands the heart, the emotions, and the voice, but fear tightens up all these things and restricts them, as our own experience amply testifies.

Agree With Your Enemy

Whenever Our Heart Condemns Us

BY BRANDON HANSON

He looked me straight in the eye and said these words, almost in a challenging way, “I hate God. I do. I try to love and obey Him, yet whenever I’m alone, when my mind has a chance to think, it constantly and consistently points me to the fact that I am not innocent of sinning against God.

Whenever Our Heart Condemns Us

I Am A Fake Christian

BY RYAN COUCH

What is a fake Christian? I think the answer depends upon how you define “Christian”…the Bible says that a Christian is one who has faith in the person and work of Christ as his/her only means of salvation; that is that they’ve been put to death and raised into new life with Christ.

I Am A Fake Christian

Stop Conflating Caesar With Jesus

BY BRANDON HANSON

Appealing to our religion to push our political and social sensibilities is not what Jesus died for. And when we make it about that, it becomes more exclusive than the very inclusive Gospel. It sets up dividing lines that God never put there; boundaries that He sent His Son to break, walls that were torn down in the death of Christ.

Stop Conflating Caesar With Jesus

The Advantages Of Praying Drunk

BY MATT JOHNSON

Think about it. God’s grace can quickly become theoretical and it plays out in our churchy practices and attitudes all the time. What if a homeless drunk began showing up to church services, but he’s really slow to change? He will need a lot of grace in order to live the sanctified life.

The Advantages Of Praying Drunk

Jesus – The De-Motivational Speaker

BY MATT JOHNSON

Americans love the vicarious sense of pride they get from the odds-defying underdog myth. But often, all the attaboy-ing translates to spiritual performance and a definition of sin that is closer to good intentions gone awry than war against the maker of the universe.

Jesus – The De-Motivational Speaker

The Advocate

BY JESSICA THOMPSON

If you are going to memorize a passage of Scripture, can I suggest these two verses? My guess is you are going to need the good news they deliver every day of your life, multiple times a day. I love the tone that John is taking here, “My little children” is such a sweet term of endearment.

The Advocate

Why Rules Alone Never Work

BY MATT JOHNSON

Your eternal salvation isn’t dependent on performance or effort. Well, not your performance anyway... We Christians are a dull bunch. Tie a string around your finger if you have to, but whatever you do, remember this: spiritual performance inventories are futile. Luther knew this, and the Apostle Paul backs him up.

Why Rules Alone Never Work

God’s Not Looking For Spiritual Gurus

BY MATT JOHNSON

An honest faith recognizes that bad news always precedes Good News in the Christian life. Only by abandoning our own efforts to please God and throwing ourselves on God’s mercy will we begin to legitimately thirst for God’s kindness and grace. 

God’s Not Looking For Spiritual Gurus

The Dung-Slinging God

BY BRUCE HILLMAN

The prophet Jonah longed for one thing: to see the Assyrian city of Nineveh utterly destroyed by the wrath of God. His wish eventually came true. The later prophet, Nahum, describes in terrible and graphic detail the fall of the city. Nahum is a book almost entirely devoted to the horrors of the wrath of God.

The Dung-Slinging God

What The Law Can And Can't Do

BY MARTIN LUTHER

The youth under a tutor follows not his own will; but, from fear of the rod, his master’s will. While under control of his master, his real character cannot be detected. Were he free, his true self would be apparent, for he would manifest his natural disposition and his works would be his own.

What The Law Can And Can't Do