Author: Joey Tomlinson

J.C. Ryle on Sanctification

“This is the will of God, even your sanctification” (1 Thess. 4:3). There is today and always has been debate regarding the process of sanctification. Largely in the circles I run in, I see two major ditches: The doctrines of justification and sanctification are blended together. Those who are proponents of this position say that when one is justified, they are entirely sanctified in Christ Jesus. The idea that a pastor would call Christians to be obedient to God’s Law and to bear good fruit often give those who subscribe to this position angst. The doctrine of sanctification is...

Read More

Three Ways to Use Your Writing in Seminary for the Local Church

One of the ways seminarian can love the local church and serve her is by writing, a lot. The beauty is that as a seminary student you are already writing a lot. As you write, think of how what you’re writing can serve the Lord and His church body. The local church can benefit from your studies and your conclusions. Why not turn that exegetical paper on Hebrews 6 into a 4-week Sunday School series? This can guard you against becoming an ivory tower theologian and cause you to apply the things you are learning in seminary at the local church level....

Read More

Hope: The Best of Things

The Sovereignty of God: How Suffering and Justice Meet Hope has been defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “desire with anticipation.” Other definitions given by Merriam-Webster include a “deeply held wish” or a “feeling of wanting something to happen.” I’m certain that this is how the broader culture defines hope, but is there more to it? From a Biblical worldview, we must ask ourselves the questions, “What is Christian hope?” and “How is it different from a wish or wishful thinking?” In order to do that our minds and feelings must be informed by the Scriptures. I’d like to...

Read More

Six Ways I Engage in the Spiritual Disciplines

Thanks to Dave Jenkins for asking me to participate in this testimonial series on the spiritual disciplines. First, I’d like to say that the spiritual disciplines are a vehicle and not the destination. If spiritual disciplines are our highest aim, our aim is cheap and nothing more than an idol. The spiritual disciplines are a means of grace God gives us so that we may cherish and enjoy Him. The spiritual disciplines are also a means God uses to train us for the purpose of godliness (1 Tim. 4:7). Therefore, when we engage in spiritual disciplines, the goal is to commune...

Read More

Defining Deacons, Defining Christians

As we continue with our study on 1st Timothy here at Servants of Grace, I have the pleasure of defining for us the office and function of deacon as it relates to the local church. There is a lot of legalistic baggage with this office steeped in the traditions of men. Therefore, I think we should have a definition for deacon in order to ensure that we’re speaking the same language in a study like this. Here is my definition: Simply, the Greek noun, diakonos means “servant” or “minister” and is sometimes translated into the English word “deacon” as...

Read More