This Life’s Innocent Pleasures Best Enjoyed by Faithful Christians

D. Scott Meadows

Newton is not teaching the philosophy of hedonism that enjoyment is a reliable guide for how we should live. Rather, he grants his friend’s hedonistic premise for the sake of argument and makes a case for godly living even from this. That is a subtle but important distinction, and with that understood, Newton’s letter sets a good example of Christian persuasion.

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By | December 8th, 2017|Christian Life, Herald|

Believe to Know

D. Scott Meadows

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself (Jn 7.17).

We gather from all this that faith is the eye of the soul, while unbelief is spiritual blindness and a moral defect for which we are most culpable. Religious agnosticism and skepticism are to be severely censured, not just pitied.

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By | December 4th, 2017|Doctrinal Christianity, Herald|

Four Questions about Christian Experience Considered

D. Scott Meadows

In this letter, John Newton responded to a friend, addressing subtle matters of Christian experience, mingling both biblical doctrine and personal testimony of his own heart and life. Our expectations about being true Christians must be realistic or we will draw wrong conclusions about ourselves and suffer more anxiety than necessary.

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By | November 16th, 2017|Christian Life, Herald|

To a Careless Unbeliever on His Recovery from a Serious Illness

D. Scott Meadows

Letters of grave spiritual concern to unbelievers might do much good. John Newton offers a fine example in this one to a friend holding to “Deism,” a set of beliefs that God is remote and may safely be ignored, that the Bible is not the Word of God, that miracles never happened, and that one’s own reason is an adequate test of truth.

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By | November 9th, 2017|Evangelism, Herald, Man|

Spots, Wrinkles, and Blemishes

D. Scott Meadows

The Church, Christ’s beloved bride, will someday be gloriously beautiful, wholly without spot, wrinkle, or blemish, and absolutely perfect (Eph 5.27). In this life, however, she is seriously in need of a makeover! John Newton wrote this letter as a mirror for self-examination. He uses Latin names for seven fictitious and flawed characters as a literary device to help us remember them.

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By | October 26th, 2017|Christian Life, Church, Herald|

Fallen Man, Part 2

pastor-d-scott-meadowsD. Scott Meadows

Sinners are, by nature, earthly, unspiritual, and demonic (Jas 3.15). That really shows in their response to gospel light. Jesus said of His enemies, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not had sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin” (Jn 15.22). Their reaction to Him and His message brought into full view the hideousness of what was there in their hearts all along.

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By | September 21st, 2017|Herald, Man, Sin|

Fallen Man, Part 1

pastor-d-scott-meadowsD. Scott Meadows

“Lord, what is man!” (Psa 8.4). Originally, man was an excellent creature, but since the fall, he is so depraved! It is a wonder that the great God should still pay any attention to him.

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By | September 15th, 2017|Herald, Man|

Of Evil Ministers

pastor-d-scott-meadowsD. Scott Meadows

Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: Her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. —Zephaniah 3.4

Evil ministers plague Christ’s Church. Even in this gospel age, we suffer the problem of people in places of spiritual leadership who are actually ministers of Satan, not Christ, masquerading as “ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor 11.15).

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By | August 25th, 2017|Christ, Church, Herald|

Thomas Manton on Jude 21 (Part 5)

pastor-d-scott-meadowsD. Scott Meadows

“The mercy” is the ground of our confident expectation of eternal life. Eternal life is not a reward we deserve for our good works. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6.23). Why must eternal life be a gift while death is deserved? The reason is because Christ obtained life for us, while the unforgiven only depend on themselves.

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By | August 25th, 2017|Christ, Christian Life, Herald|

Thomas Manton on Jude 21 (Part 4)

pastor-d-scott-meadowsD. Scott Meadows

“Looking for the mercy” is looking earnestly for eternal life when Christ returns, and this looking is a means of our perseverance.

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By | August 10th, 2017|Christ, Christian Life, Herald|