Author: Brian Cosby

The Last Call: Advice for Students Leaving for College

“Make good choices!” her mother called out through the passenger-side window as she pulled away. Julie heard, but didn’t turn around. She just kept quietly walking through the hoards of other students filing into the school lobby. “Why does mom always say that so loudly, especially in front of my friends?” Julie thought to herself, still gliding toward the front doors as if she were on a moving walkway. Despite the fact that Julie was in the 10th grade and had been going through the same school system her entire life, school was still an unfamiliar, scary, and pressure-filled place. Moreover, she constantly felt guilt because she wasn’t standing up for Christ as she knew she should. Julie sometimes felt ashamed of Jesus, like the Apostle Peter who denied Jesus when he suddenly became “unpopular.” As I think about teenagers like Julie, I feel that many parents want to call out to their children “Make good choices!” as they leave to go off to college or begin a career. The interesting thing about making good choices or being a good person is that, if that is all we are – good people – then (on the surface) we are really no different than many moral unbelievers. As this next class of seniors will be graduating and “heading off,” my mind immediately beings to ask: “What is the greatest pitfall...

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Justification: The “Lost” Doctrine in the American Pulpit

I am so very thankful for the recent resurgence among the “Young, Restless, and Reformed”—as Collin Hanson with The Gospel Coalition would call it—who preach the gospel and it’s core doctrine of justification by faith alone week by week. Sadly, this is not the case across America. Luther called the doctrine of justification by faith alone “the head and cornerstone” and explained that “without it the church of God cannot exist for one hour?” He writes in his commentary on the book of Romans that “all men are sinners and in need of [God’s] righteousness.” It was not simply a general “salvation,” but God’s righteousness that provided the foundation for salvation. Calvin wrote, “Wherever the knowledge of [justification] is taken away…the hope of salvation is utterly overthrown.” Indeed, sola fide was the battle cry of the Reformation and remains the bond between the various branches and denominations of the Protestant church. Certainly this doctrine is not just central to the Christian life or the hope of the church; it should also central to teaching and preaching. So what do we mean when we say “justification by faith alone?” What is the historical, Reformed, and biblical understanding? The Westminster Shorter Catechism states: “Justification is an act of God’s free grace wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us a righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ...

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