'Think for a moment about the act of killing. How do you kill something? To make this more palatable, let’s consider snakes again! There are lots of ways to kill a snake. You can crush it with a rock, starve it, burn it, drown it, or chop off its hideous little head. Choose your favorite method, but what you’re essentially doing in each is depriving the snake of something it needs to live—be it brains, food, air, or a hospitable environment. That’s what we have to do with sin in the heart. We have to sin by taking away the things that give it strength, by depriving it of food and air, as it were. This means that one of the most practical ways to kill sin is to quit giving it opportunities to thrive: “Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires”'
'At one point in my own life, I was seduced by the idea that maybe my views represented the truest form of feminism. After all, my view of humanity is one that embraces ontological gender equality. There is no qualitative difference between men and women and God’s love isn’t gender specific in application. Of course, my position as a complementarian is the cause for colleagues and acquaintances to wonder how I could actually claim the feminist moniker, because no one could possibly hold that there are different roles for the sexes while still holding a strong view on equality. But if complementarianism feels like inequality, it’s because feelings are the barometer.'
'I remember the vivid realization, born of the Spirit’s in-the-moment conviction, as I was concluding a sermon one Sunday morning that I was chastising my flock toward gospel-centrality. “Be gospel-centered!” I was essentially saying. And of course, as Luther says, It is the supreme art of the devil to turn the gospel into law. That’s what I was doing, unwittingly. In the heat of the moment, in my passion for my congregation’s obedience to the gospel, I had become a nag. “Be gospel-centered!” is a good command, in the right spirit and in the right measure. But this command piled on and muddled with grace evinces forgetfulness of how the Spirit produces obedience to it. I shifted gears in the middle of my cajoling. And instead of holding up “gospel-centrality” as some kind of hoop to jump through, I instead began to hold up Christ as preeminent and supreme and his gospel as astonishing, trusting the Spirit to open up eyes and ears so he might be beheld as beautiful and found worthy of orbiting around.'
'Our piety is lost if we do not realize our total dependence on God. There are not many truths more important to convey to a class of high-achieving graduates than their dependence on God. It is only when we realize how utterly dependent we are upon God that we are truly made humble and begin to make progress in our sanctification, for only then is pride eliminated. From beginning to end, God alone receives the glory.'
'It’s a horrible realization, but every parent has seen it, and every child has lived it. But if we would be successful parents, we must come to grips with it. Foolishness reigns in the natural heart. And so it is the responsibility and the goal of parenting prayerfully to teach, train, instruct, admonish, and discipline our children, and by every possible way steer them away from inbred folly. The goal is to stand between them and their own self-destruction. The goal is not merely to get them successfully to age 22 without a record with the police or history of drugs or pregnancy. The goal is to see them come by God’s grace to bow the knee to the Lord Jesus, and to rest safely in him who alone gives true and lasting joy.'