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Blog Archives: May 2018

When the Spirit Comes

May 31, 2018
Chris Castaldo
We recently enjoyed hearing a sermon at NCC by our friend Dave McDowell, chaplain of the Wheaton Graduate School. Prior to ministry in the Midwest, David was senior pastor at College Church, Northampton MA, the town in which Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758) served nearly 300 years ago. You may recall that it was in Northampton where Edwards was instrumental in bringing the Great Awakening to his day. The town had been beset by loose living and factional bitterness. Instead of retreating from these problems, Edwards addressed them directly. He ...

Justification and Sanctification

May 24, 2018
Chris Castaldo
In his book, Justification by Faith in Catholic-Protestant Dialogue, Professor Tony Lane distinguishes the Reformation doctrines of justification and sanctification: Justification refers to my status; sanctification to my state. Justification is about God’s attitude to me changing; sanctification is about God changing me. Justification is about how God looks on me; sanctification is about what he does in me. Justification is about Christ dying for my sins on the cross; sanctification is about Christ at work in me by the Holy Spirit ...

Seeds of Spiritual Renewal

May 17, 2018
Chris Castaldo
A specialist on prayer and revival, Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) wrote books and conducted meetings exhorting Christians to seek spiritual refreshing from God. His first book, Why Revival Tarries, sold hundreds of thousands of copies and sounded a prophetic call for awakening in the twentieth century. A follow-up book, Meat for Men, was published in 1961. It challenged the Church to overcome carnality with higher levels of personal discipline. The following passage comes from a chapter on meditation and explains the difference between ...

It’s Not Hopeless!

May 08, 2018
Chris Castaldo
Opposition. If it’s intense and sustained enough, it can easily sap one’s resolve. Faced with opposition, however, no movement in history has managed to thrive through 2000 years of protracted persecution, save one—the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since its inception, the people of God have suffered physical torture, intellectual ridicule, and social ostracism, yet they have never ceased to strive and grow. It leads to the question: What has infused the Church with such an inextinguishable tenacity? One incomparable promise from ...

Divine Power in All of Scripture

May 03, 2018
Chris Castaldo
In 1854, at the age of twenty and just four years after his conversion, Charles H. Spurgeon became pastor of London’s New Park Street Church. His ministry so grew that the 6,000-seat Metropolitan Tabernacle was built to accommodate the congregation. In “The Mustard Seed: A Sermon for the Sabbath-School Teacher,” he spoke of the power of the gospel, and his words extended to the whole of Scripture. The human can never rival the divine, for it lacks the life-fire. It is better to preach five words of God’s Word than five million words of ...