Family Love Makes The Triune God Visible

If we emphasize the unity of God, we picture in our mind, a lonely, mysterious God who, we think, may have created man and woman because he was lonely. Much as a widower might purchase a dog to overcome loneliness, God made man and woman to have a relationship with. The truth could not be further from this thought. Our God who is one in essence, is nevertheless three in persons. Before time began, God dwelt in perfect community, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Tim Keller states it this way: "So we believe that the world was made not by a God who is an individual nor by an emanation of an impersonal force. But by a God who is a community of persons who [...]

Teaching Children the Substitutionary Atonement Based on Luke 23

I have often used the story of the two thieves on the cross to explain the substitutionary atonement of Christ. Both children and adults can learn from this simple chart! The pertinent verses are Luke 23:40-43. The penitent thief says, "Don't you fear God, since we are under the same sentence? We are punished justly for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom." When using it: 1. I would draw the three crosses. 2. I would ask what was true of the two thieves. Then I would fill in the boxes above their heads. The two criminals are guilty. Since the wages of sin is death [...]

Power of the Gospel|

Pleasing Christ – An Underemphasized Doctrine

  So we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). The greatest joy of a Christian is giving joy to Christ. So says Charles Spurgeon. Have you thought of the Christian life this way? Are you modeling this to your children? Living to please the Lord is an underemphasized doctrine in the evangelical world. And I think it is vital for passing on a non-moralistic view of the gospel to our children. Here is what I have written in a forthcoming book: Pleasing God This discussion of pleasing the Spirit, leads us to a surprising doctrine related to fighting sin. We evangelicals love to emphasize the doctrine of justification by faith. [...]

Power of the Gospel|

The Power of the Conscience

Training our children to listen to their conscience is an important part of following the Lord. But I find parents woefully ignorant of this important area for their own life and for helping their children. The following is a quick overview of the conscience by Kevin DeYoung in The Hole in Our Holiness . Those points in bold are my emphasis. We don’t think about the conscience as much as we should. But the Bible has more to say about the “little voice in your head” than you might think. One of the great blessings of justification is a clean conscience before God. The accusations of the Devil can be silenced by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:10–11; cf. Rom. 8:1; Zech. 3:2). But [...]

A New Resource from The Apollos Project

Dear Friends of The Apollos Project, As many of you know, I spend part of my time writing. Writing allows teachers to spell ideas out more clearly and in more detail. It is rewarding and frustrating, encouraging and discouraging all at the same time. I have released my newest booklet, The Power of the Gospel, aimed at helping parents pass the gospel-baton to their children. Feel free to download it here. I will leave it up on this page through November. If you have time, please read it and give me your feedback. That feedback includes finding typos or it can include letting me know any content that seems unclear. Or you can even tell me if there is content that you disagree with. If you [...]

Power of the Gospel|

Sinners? or Saints?

Every so often, an author puts words to an inarticulate groan in my soul. This article does just that. As one who has a high view of Scripture, I have been bothered by an overabundant use of the word "sinner" in the circles that I run in.  This is one of those life-changing articles for me! Dr. Michael Kruger  argues that calling ourselves "sinners' does not actually help us fight sin better. Three of the key paragraphs. And when our true identities are understood rightly, it actually affects the way we view (and respond to) our sins. We might think that the best way to appreciate the depth of our sin is to think of ourselves primarily in the category of “sinners.” But, this can [...]

Power of the Gospel|

Tedd Tripp on Internalizing the Gospel

Internalization of the gospel is the process of your children embracing the things of God as their own living faith.... It is obvious that internalizing the Gospel requires the work of the Holy Spirit in the child. No parent can do that work; nor can you produce it through your labors. You labor, however, in the hope that God honors his covenant and works through means. While you dare not presume upon His sovereign mercy, you may labor with the expectation that the Gospel is powerful. Shepherding a Child's Heart, p. 198

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Two Parents

Two parents prayed: "It's great to be a Christian parent. And I thank God for my children that their parents are not like others - immoral, selfish, and lazy. We have such a great time when we start the day with family devotions. We never miss a day - even if we are on the car-ferry or at the airport. Our home is a haven of purity. And we do so much for missions. Our children know the names of every missionary we support. We alternate learning their names with learning chapters of Romans at bed-time. Must dash. Thank you Lord." Signed Farah C. "Lord, I feel so useless. Please have mercy on my kids because, with a parent like me, they sure need it." [...]

Caught Red-Handed and Red-Faced

As we wait for the blizzard to hit in the Northeast, how about a little fun with a serious message? I am writing a chapter on the gospel and the need of our children for conversion. This quotation is in the chapter The fairest child, who has entered life this year and become the sunbeam of a family, is not, as his mother perhaps fondly calls him, a little “angel” or a little “innocent,” but a little “sinner.” Alas! As that infant boy or girl lies smiling and crowing in its cradle, that little creature carries in its heart the seeds of every kind of wickedness! Only watch it carefully, as it grows in stature and its mind develops, and you will soon detect in [...]

Tedd Tripp on Salvation, Repentance, Faith

Let's rethink this matter of getting your children saved. Perhaps one of the problems with this perspective is that it looks for a major spiritual event of salvation and misses the spiritual process of nurturing your children. It is your task to faithfully teach them the ways of God. It is the Holy Spirit's task to work through the Word of God to change their hearts... You must always hold out to your children both their need of Christ's invasive redemptive work and their obligation to repent of their sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are not rites of initiation to Christianity. Repentance and faith are the way to relate to God. Repentance and faith are not acts performed one [...]

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