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Posts by Josh Bales

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Christian Hedonism in Church History

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A view of Christian Hedonism in Church History. Augustine: “Man is one of your creatures, Lord, and his instinct is to praise you…he wishes to praise you. The thought of you stirs him so deep that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no rest until they rest in you.” (Confessions Book 1.1)...

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An Attitude of the Heart

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First and foremost, to be without spot or blemish is a foundational attitude of the heart. It’s the heart that says, “My life is not my own, I belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” Everything flows from that attitude of the heart....

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Thou Shalt Remember

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Peter said that in both of his letters, "I am stirring you up." In other words, Peter is saying, "the reason I have written you, is so that I can stir you up to remember…” This is Peter’s purpose statement. His aim is not to give new truth. One commentator has said, “Peter was not endeavoring so much to open up new vistas of truth [but] to stir up the minds of the ...

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Parenthood in the Local Church: Part 2, Family Worship

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I am so grateful that the Lord put me in a home where my dad regularly led us in family worship growing up. I know that this is not the norm for most people today. The family is being more and more torn apart. Not only in terms of redefining what the family is, but also in terms of the growing demands for our time, and the endless onslaught of entertainment that seem to cr...

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True Christianity

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True Christianity is the miracle of new life. We can’t earn this life. We can’t obtain this life by our own performance or sincerity. It comes completely by a gift of free grace. That’s how Peter opens his letter in 1:1, “To those who have obtained a faith.” In other words, True Christianity is something that happens to you, just like birth. ...

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Sovereign

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It is not a doctrine to fight over. It is a doctrine that fights for us....

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Our Stubborn God

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Many of us have never thought of stubbornness as a positive quality. In fact, the first definition listed for "stubborn" in Merriam-Webster is "unreasonably or perversely unyielding: MULISH" Yikes! But the second listed definition is this: "justifiably unyielding: RESOLUTE." Now that is a different case all together. That is the kind of stubborn our God is. Justifyably uny...

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The Injury of Antinomianism

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This gets to the very heart of the gospel. The reason why the gospel is good is not because of the benefits that we receive from it. The gospel is not good primarily because we gain freedom, or peace, or forgiveness of sins. The gospel is good because we gain Jesus Christ Himself. Christ himself is the gospel. The false teachers were treating Christ as a means to an end. T...

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How to Read Your Bible for the New Year

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But there is another view of the Bible. This view affirms the Bible’s own testimony of itself, namely that this book it is not a product of man but has been breathed out by God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16). It claims that if this Word is believed...

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The Benefit of Hiding God's Word In Your Heart

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I have been working through the Truth Bible Memory Plan on my ESV app. It's been wonderfully helpful to my prayer life. It is so easy to start praying and then quickly run out of things to say. Truly what Jesus told Peter and the others also applies to us: “So, could you not watch with me one hour?" Matthew 26:40. But with Scripture hid in my heart, there is a treasur...

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On Sale Now: The Gospel?

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The ancient writer of Ecclesiastes said thousands of years ago, before the internet, before the NFL, before bluetooth, and iPhones, and sound systems, "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9. This was made fresh once again as I was reading a 100 year old sermon by Martyn Lloyd-Jo...

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Ask the Pastor: The First Marriages

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A question and answer session with Pastor Josh. ...

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Ask the Pastor: On Christ and the Law

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A question and answer session from this week's sermon. ...

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Ask the Pastor: On Sanctification and Relationships

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A question and answer session from this week's sermon. ...

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The Prayer that No One Deserves, Part III

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From John 17:6-10 we learn that Jesus prays the prayer that no one deserves so that the elect would treasure a grace that no one could destroy. Our delight from this passage, how it applies to our heart, is that election is the good news that salvation is not just offered but effected....

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The Prayer that No One Deserves, Part II

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From John 17:6-10 we learn that Jesus prays the prayer that no one deserves so that the elect would treasure a grace that no one could destroy. Our duty from this passage, how it applies to our will, is to consider that election protects both obedience and assurance....

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The Prayer that No One Deserves, Part I

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From John 17:6-10 we learn that Jesus prays the prayer that no one deserves so that the elect would treasure a grace that no one could destroy. Our Doctrine from this passage, how it applies to our mind, is that the goal of election is the elimination of all human pride....

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Ever Present Help

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Jesus provides for the greatest troubles you will face in this life by giving you the Holy Spirit. In our passage, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would come to us and perform three important things: 1) He would convict the world. 2) He would guide the apostles into all truth.  3) He would glorify Christ....

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Apart from Me You Can Do Nothing

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Failure to Pray is Always a Sign of Self-Reliance. This is the absolute implication of Jesus’ words in John 15:1-8. v.7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Why does Jesus say this? v.5 “…apart from me you can do nothing.” He tells you to pray because you are helpless on our own. If you don’t cal...

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Amusing Ourselves to Death

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The greatest enemy to your peace in Christ is when you fill your mind with all the distractions of this world. ...

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The Postponement of Peace is the Promise of a Greater Pleasure

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There can be no doubt in at many points in your Christian walk, you will face a crisis in which you are pleading the promises of Christ and yet still peace is postponed....

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