Fear of God Devotional: Which Reformation Doctrines Do We Need the Most Today?



Which doctrines from the Reformation are most needed today?

Gary Powers explains in this video that many modern churches today fail to believe that Scripture is sufficient for all matters of life. But, once the church strays away from the foundation of Scripture, all aspects of church life and doctrine are negatively affected. 

Without Scripture to act as an unchanging standard, the church has no direction and will undoubtedly stray from Scripture. Acknowledging that Scripture is sufficient is the first important step towards reformation.

Psalm 102:25-27 (NKJV) – “Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What Is Repentance?



What is repentance?

Carlton McLeod explains in this video what repentance is. Repentance is the wonderful work of the Spirit of God where we become aware of our law breaking and sinfulness and turn from sin to the living God. 

It is not the mere feeling of remorse – rather, it is a change in lifestyle, a forsaking of sin, and a complete change in how you live. Thomas Watson stated in his book, Doctrine of Repentance, that “Repentance is a grace of God’s Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed.” 

Acts 2:38 (NKJV) – “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”

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Fear of God Devotional: When You Realize You Are in Error



What does repentance look like in the life of a believer?

Michael Beasley explains in this video that biblical repentance does not involve the act of someone merely changing their mind. Rather, they are changing their mind and transforming their lives in view of that transformation of the mind.  

Genuine repentance occurs when individuals realize that they’re in error and that they’re sinning. They are convinced that they are moving in the wrong direction and that they need to transform their direction to the pathway of God. Repentance is foundational to the life of the Christian and it is a daily experience.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Can Evolution and Scripture Coexist?



What is the effect of believing that the earth is millions of years old?

Ken Ham explains in this video that if you believe that the earth is millions of years old, you cannot also believe that God’s Word is true. The idea of evolution was invented by atheists – they didn’t want to use the Bible. They wanted to be able to explain the creation of the world without resorting to Scripture and God. 

The fossil record shows evidence of animals eating each other, of cancer, of thorns. Yet, at the time of creation, God called everything “very good.” The Bible says that it was only after sin entered the world that death and suffering began. Thus, believing that the earth is millions of years old directly contradicts Scripture on this point. Evolution and the Bible cannot coexist. 

Yet, pastors in churches today tell their congregations that they can believe in evolution so long as they believe in Christ as well. We cannot teach our children that evolution is true and that sin brought about death. Doing so would prevent them from realizing the effects of sin and about the holiness of God.    

Matthew 6:24 (NKJV) – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

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What Does it Look Like When Fathers and Sons Follow Jesus?

This weekend I'm speaking at the Colorado Father Son Retreat in Fraser, CO. Yesterday, during my morning session, I asked the question: “What does it look like when fathers and sons follow Jesus?” Below are the six answers I gave:

  1. When fathers follow Jesus it is because their hearts are miraculously turned.
    Malachi 4 :5-6
     
  2. When fathers follow Jesus, they walk with their sons and teach them what they love.
    Deut 6:5-9
     
  3. When fathers follow Jesus they explain the greatness of God.
    Psalm 78
     
  4. When fathers follow Jesus, they take their sons on a journey of obedience.
    Gen 18:19
     
  5. When fathers follow Jesus they nurture their sons, and sons honor their fathers and mothers.
    Eph 6:1-4:
     
  6. When fathers follow Jesus, they become like Jesus.
    John 5:17-22

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Fear of God Devotional: What Is the Source of Repentance?



What is the source of repentance?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that God is the source of repentance. It has been granted to us from God. Repentance and faith have their source in God. Unregenerate men cannot repent or believe. 

God in His sovereign grace, chooses who He will give faith and repentance. We should be grateful to God when we repent and believe because God has gifted them to us. 

Acts 11:18 (NKJV) – “When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Home Is the Ideal Place for Repentance



Where is the best place to learn repentance?

Jason Dohm explains in this video that the home is the ideal place to learn repentance. It is where we are most prone to sin against others because we’re most familiar with each other with members of our family. Familiarity can breed contempt.

In Christian families, repentance should be a part of the fabric of everyday life. We are living together in close quarters and are prone to sin against each other. A Christian home should be a place where repentance is on display regularly. Fathers should be examples of repentance to their families. 

Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV) – “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: Grace Alone



What was the Puritan’s view of Scripture and of grace?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that everything that comes to us is by God’s grace. The Reformers and the Puritans loved Scripture. They meditated on it. They were guided by it. They understood that everything was a gift from God. They were saved by grace. 

Living by grace alone, by faith alone, and by Scripture alone fosters a genuine piety in the life of the believer. It is distinct from the Roman Catholic idea that piety is based on one’s owns works. Rather, true piety flows out of a gratitude for God’s grace and the gift of salvation. 

Hebrews 12:28 (NKJV) – “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: Characteristics of Worldly Sorrow



What are characteristics of worldly sorrow?

Dennis Gunderson explains in this video that those who demonstrate only worldly sorrow are absorbed with the consequences of their sin in relation to other people and don’t recognize the breach of fellowship with God when they sin. They fail to have a deep enough of a relationship with God to realize that repentance must be oriented to Him. It is to God that we must turn to.

Unless we have turned from sin and turned towards God, it is not true repentance. True repentance does not result from merely wanting to please others or wishing to avoid temporary, earthly consequences of one’s actions. 

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: Ways in Which the Reformation Fell Short



In what ways did the Reformation fall short?  

Sam Waldron explains in this video that while generally speaking, the Reformation made significant progress in conforming life to Scripture, there were still certain areas where reforms were incomplete or they did go far enough. These shortcomings still negatively affect the Church today.

For instance, Martin Luther held to the state church doctrine and of infant baptism because they were assumed to be part of the Church. Yet, these two false beliefs were rooted in tradition and not in Scripture. We must continually be reforming and seek to understand how we might conform our lives and beliefs more closely to Scripture. 

Psalm 71:18 (NKJV) – “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Mere Guilt And Tears Cannot Merit Salvation



How is worldly sorrow different from godly sorrow?

Paul Carrington explains in this video that the difference between worldly and godly sorrow is night and day. People can cry genuine tears and experience guilt, but it is not godly sorrow if they don’t repent of their sin. Worldly sorrow does not lead to repentance, a change of heart, and salvation.

Godly sorrow involves a clinging to the Lord, a recognition that if He does not save us, we are completely undone. Worldly sorrow does not result in any permanent change or affection for God. Godly sorrow totally changes our view and our affection for God.

2 Corinthians 7:9 (NKJV) – “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: What Areas Need Reformation Today?



How are we to engage in reformation today?

Kevin Swanson explains that we are called to not necessarily repeat the Reformation and address the same issues that they faced. Instead, we are called to reform the various issues relevant to and affecting the Church and family today. For instance, we are called to engage in the reformation of our children’s education.

We are called to bring reformation into the education sphere – otherwise, we may lose successive generations. Today, education has been institutionalized where personal discipleship and training has been removed and parents abdicate their responsibility to train their children to other, unbelieving individuals. While the Reformation took place nearly 500 years ago, semper reformanda (“always reforming”)  continues to be just as applicable today as it was then. 

Ephesians 4:21-23 (NKJV) – “[P]ut off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How a Family is Reformed



How does a family participate in reformation?

Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that family reformation occurs when a family looks to Scripture and does away with the things in their life that do not line up with Scripture and begins to do the things that are commanded in Scripture. It is a doing away of sin and a following of the things that are clearly prescribed.

The father must take a leadership role in this process and guide his family to Scripture to align their family life in accordance with the Word of God. Each family will face its own unique struggles and challenges, but one thing remains the same for each family – that the Word of God is applicable, true, and needed for the reformation of the family.

2 Timothy 3:15 (NKJV) – “[F]rom childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: Characteristics of Repentance



What are some of the characteristics of repentance?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that true, biblical repentance has certain characteristics that Paul lays out in 2 Corinthians 7. Specifically, repentance brings about a sorrow for sin, an indignation and a hatred towards sin, and a zeal to strive after godly things.

Those who have repented realize that they have offended God and they seek to be reconciled with God. They desire to make restitution and do whatever it takes to forsake sin. They yearn to walk with Christ and have their lives honor Him. 

2 Corinthians 7:11 (NKJV) – “For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”  

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Fear of God Devotional: The Distinction Between Worldly and Godly Sorrow



What is the distinction between worldly and godly sorrow?

John Snyder explains in this video that not all repentance is the same. The Bible explains that there is a distinction between godly and worldly sorrow. Specifically, 2 Corinthians 7:10 states that, “[G]odly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

Worldly sorrow focuses on self instead of on God. To an individual who demonstrates worldly sorrow, sin is not a thing that will bring dishonor to God or rob God of His glory. In contrast, as God’s Word indicates, godly sorrow produces true, biblical repentance. 

Isaiah 1:16 (NKJV) – “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil.” 

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