Excerpt taken from Come to the Waters

 June 18

Jesus and the Devil

Matthew 4:1–11

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1

From the temptations of Jesus and how he overcame them, there is direct application for our lives when we are tempted and must stand against Satan’s wiles. Let me summarize by three statements.

1. We face the same battle. The devil is not omnipresent as God is. Satan cannot be everywhere tempting everyone at all times. He has probably never tempted you directly. But this does not mean we do not face spiritual battles every day. We do. Paul wrote about these battles in his letter to the Ephesians, saying, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). These battles are so fierce that Paul warned us to be ready for them by arming ourselves with God’s armor. We must be fully equipped for the struggle.

2. We have the same choice. As Jesus did, we have the choice of trusting God and sticking to the path he sets before us or distrusting God and seeking to win victories for God or ourselves in the world’s way. What will it be? Will we go God’s way? Or will we follow the world, the flesh, or the devil? Joshua challenged the people of his generation, saying, “Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).

3. We can have the same victory. The Bible says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). What is that path to victory? The temptation of our Lord points the way: “It is written! . . . It is written! . . . It is written!” As Paul told the Ephesians, the only offensive weapon we have is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).

Remember Christ’s example. Here is Jesus—the holy Son of the almighty God, the one in whom neither Satan nor man could find any wrong or gain even the tiniest foothold. Jesus’s eyes were always on the glory of his Father. He lived in the closest possible communion with him. But if Jesus, your Lord and Savior, needed to know Scripture in order to resist Satan and win the victory over him, how much more do you and I need it to win a corresponding victory!


Come to the Waters: Daily Bible Devotions for Spiritual Refreshment by James Montgomery Boice

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Author Interview with Charles Malcolm Wingard

We are starting up our weekly author interview section of our blog again and this week’s interview is with Charles Malcolm Wingard. He is the author of Help for the New Pastor: Practical Advice for Your First Year of Ministry.

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  • Question #1—Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you’re from, family, job, personal interests, unique hobbies, what you do in your spare time, etc.

I serve as Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Dean of Students at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi and as Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. Prior to joining the RTS Jackson faculty in 2014, I spent 28 years as an ordained pastor in the PCA and OPC, serving congregations in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Alabama. My hobbies include hiking, running, reading political and military history, and traveling with my wife, Lynne. We love the ministry of hospitality.

 

  • Question #2—When did you first want to write a book?

I had no interest in writing a book. In 2011, Lynne began encouraging me to write a book to help young ministers. I reluctantly agreed. I am more interested in doing ministry than writing about it.

 

  • Question #3—Which writers inspire you?

Apart from the writers of sacred scriptures: Augustine, John Calvin, numerous Puritan authors, David Wells, Paul Johnson, Jane Austen, and George Elliot (Mary Ann Evans).

 

  • Question #4—Have you always enjoyed writing?

My parents expected me to write letters. It became a habit, an enjoyable one. I write many letters each year, including to members of my congregation on their birthdays. For most of my ministry, I have written one sermon manuscript per week. The built-in deadlines mean that I face little in the way of writer’s block.

 

  • Question #5—What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?

The first year of ministry is a critical time for new pastors. Young ministers want to arrive at their first church prepared for the daily challenges of the pastorate. I wanted to cover the primary duties of the minister – from sermon preparation and sacraments to visitation, counseling and hospitality. I fear that students may receive a theological education, yet still leave seminary ill-equipped for the daily work that faces them in their first church. Help for the New Pastor provides the tools they need to care for their congregations and lead with confidence.

 

  • Question #6—What book are you reading now?

Windsprints, Joseph Epstein; All That Is God, James E. Dolezal; The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age, Patrick Parr; An Able and Faithful Ministry: Samuel Miller and the Pastoral Office, James M. Garretson

 

  • Question #7—Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book?

The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan

 

  • Question #8—Favorite sport to watch? 

Any sports that the children of my congregation play. I root for their teams. I love the fellowship I have with my church families at the athletic field.

 

  • Question #9—Favorite food?

Lynne is a spectacular chef. So, whatever she’s serving.

 

  • Question #10—Favorite animal?

My two long-haired, miniature dachshunds, Jem and Scout. They are 13-years old, and I love walking them with my grandchildren and the children of my congregation.

 

  • Question #11—What famous person (living or dead) would you like to meet and why?

John Quincy Adams. His extraordinary intellect, principled conduct, and breadth of public service alone make him an interesting figure. Moreover, because of the years he lived (1767-1848) and influential connections, he knew almost every major American leader from the American Revolution to the Civil War.

 

  • Question #12—If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?

Whichever books I’m preaching, which currently are Exodus and Romans.

 


How can readers discover more about you and your work?


 

BOOK HIGHLIGHT — 7 Toxic Ideas Polluting Your Mind by Anthony T. Selvaggio

7 Toxic Ideas Polluting Your Mind by Anthony T. Selvaggio

128 pages | $11.99 | Paperback

About

The world is full of dangerous, toxic ideas that invade our thoughts, undermine our Christian worldview, and extend into our very behavior.

Unfortunately, Christians often live their lives unaware that they are adopting non-Christian ideas, because they are too busy focusing on behavior in the first place. Worldliness is too often equated with what we say and do, rather than the battle of our hearts and minds that it truly is. And when Christians are too concerned and distracted by behavior on the outside, it is easy for worldliness to slip into our minds and take hold.

This book examines seven particularly toxic non-Christian ideas that cripple the modern Christian mind, exploring each idea clearly and understandably. Discussion questions are included to help you pinpoint these toxic ideas in your own thinking—and deal with them.

Are these ideas already polluting your mind? Learn how to replace them with a Christian mindset.

Endorsements

“Anthony Selvaggio’s book should not be overlooked by thoughtful Christians.  He challenges the incorrect notion that “worldliness” constitutes merely overt behavior, and he rightly reminds us that our thoughts and ideas end up shaping our behaviors far more than we think.  He rightly uncovers seven common ideas/values in American culture that are contrary to the principles disclosed in Holy Scripture.”

—T. David Gordon, Professor of Religion and Greek, Grove City College

“We have a [hard] time spotting the seven modern idolatries that Anthony Selvaggio outlines for us . . . [but] 7 Toxic Ideas Polluting Your Mind helps us to spot those current tendencies and, with God’s grace, contain them.”

—Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief, WORLD Magazine

About the Author

Anthony SelvaggioAnthony T. Selvaggio (JD, The University of Buffalo School of Law; MDiv, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary) is an ordained minister, a lawyer, an author, a lecturer, and a visiting professor at Ottawa Theological Hall in Ottawa, Canada. Previously he was a visiting professor at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh and was Theologian in Residence at the Rochester Reformed Presbyterian Church. He edited and contributed to The Faith Once Delivered: Essays in Honor of Dr. Wayne R. Spear. He lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife, Michelle, and their two children, Katherine and James.


 

Knowing and the Trinity by Vern S. Poythress


Here are the 7 parts of Knowing and the Trinity: How Perspectives in Human Knowledge Imitate the Trinity by Vern S. Poythress


PART 1

WHAT ARE PERSPECTIVES?

We explain perspectives and then consider three kinds: spatial perspectives, personal perspectives, and thematic perspectives. A spatial perspective is a view of a visible scene from a particular vantage point in space. A personal perspective is the view that an individual person has concerning the world or some subject. A thematic perspective is a temporary thematic starting point for exploring a subject matter, with the hope of discovering more and growing in truth.

1. The Mystery of Perspectives

2. Spatial Perspectives

3. Personal Perspectives

4. Thematic Perspectives

5. Commonalities in Perspectives

PART 2

THE TRINITY

We consider the basic aspects of biblical teaching about the Trinity.

6. Basic Biblical Teaching about the Trinity

7. Coinherence

8. Analogies for Relations in the Trinity

9. Comparing Analogies for the Trinity

10. Knowledge of the Trinity

PART 3

PERSPECTIVES FROM THE TRINITY

Now we consider some triads of perspectives that originate from the Trinity.

11. Perspectives on Reflections

12. Perspectives from Trinitarian Analogies

13. Perspectives on Ethics

14. Perspectives on Lordship

15. Perspectives on Office

PART 4

CLASSIFYING PERSPECTIVES

We consider how we may classify the various triads that we have surveyed in the previous chapters.

16. A Triad for Revelation

17. Trinitarian Classification of Perspectives

PART 5

APPLYING PERSPECTIVES TO THEOLOGICAL QUESTIONS

Examples illustrate how the use of perspectives can illumine questions relating to theology.

18. Transcendence and Immanence

19. Attributes of God as Perspectives

20. God’s Acting in Time and Space

21. God’s Creating

22. A Mystery of Indwelling

23. The Third-Man Argument

24. The Generation of the Son

25. The Procession of the Holy Spirit

26. Classes, and the Problem of the One and the Many

27. Human Responsibility

28. Conceptual Growth

PART 6

THE NATURE OF PERSPECTIVES

We endeavor to clarify the nature of perspectives and reasoning that uses perspectives and analogies.

29. Distinctives of Perspectival Reasoning

30. Perspectival Knowledge in the Trinity

31. Personal Perspectives and Thematic Perspectives

32. Attributes of God and Perspectives on God

33. Classical Perspectives concerning God

34. Perspectival Context for Attributes of God

35. Challenges to Theological Reasoning

PART 7

DERIVING THEOLOGY

We explore how a few starting principles lead to and reinforce a wider area of theological truths.

36. Expanded Classification of Perspectives

37. Three Persons and Triads

38. Deriving Attributes of God

39. Deriving Perspectives


 

FOUR NEW RELEASES!


We have four new book releases today!

  


1. Loving Your Friend through Cancer: Moving beyond “I’m Sorry” to Meaningful Support by Marissa Henley

264 pages | $15.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Kindle: $9.99 | iTunes/ePub: $9.99

“It’s cancer.”

When you hear the two words you dread most from someone you care about, you know at once that your friend’s life has been turned upside down.

Whether she’s a good friend, a best friend, or just an acquaintance, you want to be supportive. But how can you understand what she’s going through enough to know what she needs? What can you say besides “If you need anything—anything at all . . .”?

Marissa Henley is here to help show you the way. A cancer survivor herself, she lets you in on what having cancer feels like and what your friend truly needs. She prepares you to support your friend with both knowledge and compassion. And she offers specific action steps and practical support resources to help you show love in the day-to-day details.

Cancer is a life-altering challenge—but Marissa will equip and empower you to walk alongside your friend with love and support.

Endorsements

“This will now be the first place I’ll go as I seek to care for people with not only cancer, but any serious illness. Marissa’s practical helps are worth the price of the book.”

—Dave Furman, author, Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials

“Our friend’s cancer diagnosis provides an opportunity for us to . . . share the love of Christ by being his hands and feet and entering into their suffering.
. . . It is a journey worth taking, and this book is an excellent travel guide.”

—Brian Holt, president and CEO, Hope Cancer Resources

“Anyone who’s been touched by cancer, to any degree, will be helped and comforted by this beautiful book. Marissa addresses a difficult, life- changing battle with eloquence, truth, and intense practicality.”

—Kristen Wetherell, coauthor, Hope When It Hurts

About The Author

Marissa Henley is a cancer survivor who writes and speaks about faith, friendship, God’s character, and suffering. She lives in Arkansas with her husband, three children, and one disobedient dog. She would love to connect with you at www.marissahenley.com.


 2. The Life of Moses: God’s First Deliverer of Israel by James Montgomery Boice

472 pages | $29.99 | Hardcover | SAMPLE CHAPTER

“Apart from Jesus Christ, no person in history has made as deep or lasting an impression on the world as Moses.”

So begins this study of the life 
of Moses—the renowned lawgiver, prophet, friend of God, and deliverer
of his people. The events of his life, spanning four books of the Bible, resound throughout Scripture—and while our own lives may seem to pale in comparison, God wants to grow in us the same character traits that he used in the life of this “servant of God” (Rev. 15:3).

This epic undertaking, composed of never-before-published material from the late James M. Boice, delves fully into the narrative of Moses’ life, uncovering its rich meaning and its gospel application to our lives today. Dr. Boice captures the broad sweep of Israel’s captivity, deliverance, and wanderings, defends the Bible’s historical reliability, and offers wise pastoral advice on many practical topics.

Demonstrating what we can learn from their successes and strengths as well as their sins and failures, Boice also leads us to look beyond Moses and the Israelites to the awesome power of their God and the much needed, final Deliverer of his people to come.

Endorsements

“Dr. James Montgomery Boice was first and foremost a preacher. He preached with authority because he had a profound sense of the binding
and compelling truthfulness of God’s Word. And because Scripture is the very word of God, Boice had a profound sense of drama. We see this clearly in these never-before-published lessons on the life of Moses. Here we find astounding moments and breathtaking scenes. Here we find ourselves standing on holy ground. Here we learn from Moses that we must trust God, obey God, and focus on God to the exclusion of all else. And here Dr. Boice continues to teach us of our ultimate calling: to worship God in the splendor of his glory.”

—Stephen J. Nichols, President, Reformation Bible College; Chief Academic Officer, Ligonier Ministries

“Dr. Boice teaches us about more than the life of Moses. He teaches us why we can trust the God of Moses and how we are to hold fast to God’s Word. Through the life of Moses, Boice teaches us about the life of faith in our Redeemer. Once again, Boice’s pastoral care in his writing makes this book a great resource for laypeople to use during their devotional time.”

—Aimee Byrd, Author, Why Can’t We Be Friends? and No Little Women; Cohost, Mortification of Spin podcast

“What a gift to the church are these words from a faithful preacher of the Word who now knows the full presence of the Lord Jesus he served so
well. As Dr. Boice unfolds the words and life of Moses in these chapters, he unswervingly points us to the promised prophet—one like Moses, but the very Son of God, the Word made flesh. I’m grateful to Linda Boice and those who with such excellence and love have compiled and edited this volume.”

—Kathleen Nielson, Author, Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word; Advisor and Editor, The Gospel Coalition

“Dr. Boice had an eye for the many close connections between the Old and New Testaments. With Moses, those connections are especially abundant. The result is an exposition that frequently displays Jesus Christ in his atoning sacrifice and resurrection glory. . . .

Everyone who reads this life of Moses 
will have the rare and genuine pleasure of hearing Dr. Boice’s strong voice again. By the grace of God, the message in its pages will bring fresh blessing to the church of Jesus Christ.”

—Philip Graham Ryken, from the foreword

About The Author

James Montgomery Boice (July 7, 1938—June 15, 2000) was pastor of the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia for more than three decades. With degrees from Harvard, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Basel, Dr. Boice was well known and well respected as a Bible expositor. He wrote many books and commentaries, including a four-volume commentary on the book of Romans, and his Bible Study Hour radio program can still be heard on air and online.


 3. Journeys with Jesus: Every Path in the Bible Leads Us to Christ by Dennis E. Johnson

192 pages | $14.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER

This is an abridged edition of Walking with Jesus through His Word (P&R, 2015). 

The Bible’s sixty-six books form one overarching story—the story of a Hero and his heroic missions. And this story is personal, focusing on the relationship of God and his people in the past, present, and future.

On this eye-opening journey through the Old and New Testaments, Dennis Johnson shows how pervasive, recurring themes are always pointing us to Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of all God’s promises and all humanity’s hopes and longings. He shows us how to read on the alert, paying attention to the clues, examining their context, and interpreting them correctly.

The story of Christ is the most important story of all. Meditate on the beautiful unity of God’s redemptive plan, and let your heart be kindled to flame with love for the Lord who came to serve us in love.

Endorsements

“Read this book and you’ll never read the Book the same way again.”

—Michael S. Horton

“An outstandingly helpful book.”

—Sinclair B. Ferguson

“We are in need of . . . a complete reorientation to how to read and understand the Bible with Christ at the center. That’s exactly what Dennis Johnson provides to us in this book.”

—Nancy Guthrie

“Discover the many glorious ways in which the Old Testament points to Jesus as its goal.”

—G. K. Beale

“A great resource that will enable all cultures to learn, and delight in, the grace that threads through the Bible from beginning to end.”

—Bryan Chapell

The Author

Dennis E. Johnson (ThM, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) taught New Testament and practical theology at Westminster Seminary California for more than thirty-five years. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, the author of Him We Proclaim and of commentaries on Acts, Philippians, Hebrews, and Revelation (Triumph of the Lamb), and a contributor to several study Bibles and other books. He and his wife, Jane, live in Dayton, Tennessee.


4. Free to Be Sons of God by Geoffrey M. Ziegler

360 pages | $49.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Series: Reformed Academic Dissertations

Today, what constitutes freedom is identified in terms of human autonomy. Ziegler instead proposes a previously undeveloped thesis—that freedom is a gift from without, not from within. He proposes that being a son of God is essential to being free and that there is no tension between freedom and human obedience to commands—a relationship exemplified by Jesus. This is a concept previously undeveloped at an exegetical or a theological level.

Endorsements

“I have seldom met such a happy blend! Dr. Ziegler conjoins a deeply original meditation—not at all novelty for novelty’s sake but an insight into the truth of Scripture that has until now received scant attention—with philosophical competence and a sure-footed understanding of contemporary issues.”

—Henri A. G. Blocher, formerly Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Theology, Wheaton College Graduate School

“Geoff Ziegler’s Free to Be Sons of God is interesting, relevant, and prophetic. . . . I found this superb dissertation both stimulating and sanctifying. If you want to be free, or reminded of what freedom in Christ means, take and read.”

—Douglas Sean O’Donnell, Senior Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Elgin, Illinois

“Dr. Ziegler tackles an issue that is important and contested in current society and culture: freedom. . . . Dr. Ziegler’s work illuminates an important strand of biblical teaching and usefully confronts a false view of freedom that is widespread in our modern culture.”

—Douglas J. Moo, Blanchard Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College Graduate School

“In this important study, Ziegler provides a penetrating biblical, theological, and historical assessment of John Stuart Mill’s conception of human freedom as radical autonomy. In our age drunk on the elixirs of individualism, identity construction, and self-determination, Ziegler’s conclusions are as countercultural as they are compelling.”

—Scott M. Manetsch, Professor of Church History, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

The Author

Geoffrey M. Ziegler (PhD, Wheaton College) is senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Hinsdale, Illinois.