The Blessings of Covid-19 (Romans 8:28)

Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Romans 8:28

As I sit at home with my wife under a stay at home order for our state I am grateful. Just a few short months ago the world went about its everyday routine at a frenetic pace, nothing could affect us (or so it seemed), we were – we thought – masters of our own fate. Now store shelves are empty, many things are in short supply and will become even harder to get. This virus, this disease we now call Covid-19 is seemingly the topic of most of our conversations and the focus of our day. Yet what we have is a forced slow down, a grinding to a halt of all economic and social systems.

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What Will You Pray For? (Romans 12:12-13)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Romans 12:12-13

What will you pray for? As this slow calamity unfolds around the world and in America what will you pray for? At some point in the future, we may be able to look back and discern some of what God is doing through this worldwide calamity. But not now. Now we must reflect and pray. Continue reading

Glory that Surpasses Suffering (Romans 8:18-25)

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18-25

When I was a Youth Director, my good friend and mentor was diagnosed with breast cancer. Miss Debby, as she was affectionately called, had been the Christian Education Director and director of the church’s daycare and school for decades. She never married or had any children of her own. Her life was fully dedicated to Christ and nurturing children and adults alike. Miss Debby suffered two rounds of chemo over the next year. It was hard on her. It was hard for us to watch. Continue reading

A Christian Response to COVID-19 (Romans 8:38-39)

Message on a Christian Reponse to COVID-19 on our YouTuge livestream at 10_30am

Romans 8:38-39

At the time of writing this article, toilet paper and hand sanitizer are nowhere to be found. Flour and sugar are quickly disappearing from shelves. There are over 179,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, resulting in over 7,000 deaths. No vaccine is yet publicly available. In Pennsylvania, testing kits are in limited supply and schools are closed. Continue reading

Is Christianity about rule following? (Romans 7:15-25)

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Romans 7:15-25

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” These are the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:15. Paul was one of the champions of the grass root first-century church movement. He accomplished more for the church than almost anyone after him and wrote a significant portion of the New Testament. Yet, even the Apostle confessed he did not do what he wanted to. Continue reading

What did Jesus do? (Romans 1:1-6)

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Romans 1:1-6

“If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects [Heb 2:17] that he might learn to feel our pain [cf. Heb 5:2]. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross [Gal 3:13]; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent to hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgement, in the power given to him to judge.” These are the words of the sixteenth century reformer John Calvin. Continue reading

“A Good Not Otherwise Attained” (Romans 8:28)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

Romans 8:28

Anglican Bishop J.C. Ryle writes:

“There is nothing which shows our ignorance so much as our impatience under trouble. We forget that every cross is a message from God, intended to do us good in the end. Trials are intended to make us think — to wean us from the world — to send us to the Bible — to drive us to our knees. Health is a good thing; but sickness is far better, if it leads us to God. Prosperity is a great mercy; but adversity is a greater one if it brings us to Christ. Anything, anything is better than living in indifference and dying in sin.”

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Ghosted by God? (Romans 1:20)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Romans 1:20

In our popular culture being “ghosted” means to cut off all communication with someone without explanation. Many people feel they have been ghosted by God. So where is God? Have you looked for him? Why is he hidden from us? If he is sovereign and all powerful and loving, would it not be wise to reveal himself more readily to humanity? Continue reading

Doing Theology (Romans 15:4)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Romans 15:4

Does theology matter? Can you be a Christian without it?

Theology (Greek logos, or “word,” with theos or “God”) is words or knowledge concerning God. Scripture is the God-given foundation and only infallible source for all true theology. All Scripture is “breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16) and is “the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him” (Westminster Shorter Catechism 2). Continue reading