Topic: Salvation


The Place of Perfection In the Christian Life

Perfectionists don’t settle for anything less than perfect. We desire perfect relationships, to meet specific goals, and to reach a certain standard. Yet when conflict comes, we withdraw in hopelessness. When we fail, we beat ourselves up. And if we don’t reach the standard we set for ourselves, we determine […]


Have You Made the “Ask” of Jesus Christ?

A man with leprosy came to [Jesus] and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. […]

Jesus Christ

What Jesus Christ Has Accomplished

Isaiah 53 is one of the clearest statements of what Jesus Christ has accomplished for his people in the entire Bible: Christ came to redeem you from suffering and sin forever by sacrificing himself as your substitute on the cross. He was pierced for our transgressions,     he was crushed for […]

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Your One Hope for Judgment Day

Video Transcript: Our lives are eternal and we all face the judgement of God. …the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:2) Again, these truths are basic principles of the Word of God. Your life is eternal. There was a time when you were not, but there will […]


The Root of Your Doubt

For a short time in my life, God seemed distant and far off from me. I was drowning in a pit of hopelessness and despair as I engaged in spiritual warfare with a sinful pattern I had picked up in elementary school before I became a Christian. Guilt blinded me […]


To Parents Whose Kids Have Abandoned the Faith

One of the heaviest burdens a believing parent can bear comes when a son or daughter abandons the faith they once professed.   It happens. And when it does, you may find yourself wondering where you went wrong. Did we fail in our teaching? Did we fail in our example? […]

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Can I Lose My Salvation?

Video Transcript: Last week, we looked at the promise of Jesus: “My sheep… will never perish” (John 10:27-28). That’s what Jesus said, “My sheep will never perish. They will have a faith that lasts.” Here’s what that means: Those who are truly Christ’s sheep (and turn away) will come back. […]

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What’s the Difference Between Faith and Assurance?

Video Transcript: My friend Charles Price who was the pastor of the People’s church in Toronto tells the story of the first time he flew on an airplane. When he boarded the plan he was in a middle seat of three. Next to the widow was an old lady who […]

Heaven so near

Heaven, So Near – So Far: Q&A with Author Colin Smith

The following is an adaptation of the Postscript from Pastor Colin’s book Heaven, So Near—So Far: The Story of Judas Iscariot (Christian Focus Publications). Learn more about this story and purchase the book and audiobook! Q1: Why did you write this book? I wrote this book for people who are […]


The Power of God to Set You Free

There is one battle you will fight your entire life. I’m referring to your battle against sin. Some of you reading this blog post are discouraged today; some of you feel beat up and ashamed; some of you are sick of fighting the sin in your life; and some of […]

10 Ways to Keep Christ the Center of Christmas

While things like gift-giving, cookie-baking (and eating!), and spending time with loved ones can be great and memorable things, Christians should seek to make Christ the focal point of Christmas. It is after all, Christmas! How can we keep our focus on the Savior? Here are 10 ways to keep […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (December 8, 2017)

6 Things Christ Accomplished by His Death (Servants of Grace, Matt Perman) The reality of substitution is at the heart of the atonement. Christ accomplished all of the above benefits for us by dying in our place – that is, by dying instead of us. We deserved to die, instead, He […]

Deserving or Delighting in God’s Generosity?

Being last in anything often brings shame and embarrassment. I feel like I failed if I get last—my reputation ruined. Thus, I often succeed in not being the very last. Yet, whenever I see Jesus’s words about the “last”, I wonder if the mentality not to be last whatever the […]


Salvation and Purpose in Five Little Words

“But” is my favorite word in the Bible. Throughout Scripture we see “but God,” or “but Christ,” or “but when…” Something was lost, but now it’s found. Someone was dead, but is now alive. A person was blind, but now can see. There was no way, but God made a […]


God’s Economy is Different Than the World’s

God’s economy is opposite of the world’s. The world gives to those who earn, and earnings often equal the accomplishment. Our Heavenly Father, however, gives abundantly more and with a completely different value system. The world wants to possess by claiming and receiving. It wants ownership of what’s truly God’s. […]


Why Every Person Should Attend a Funeral Once a Year

Every person should attend a funeral at least once a year. Going to a wedding reminds you that the marriage bond is sacred. Going to a funeral reminds you that life is a vapor, that one day yours will be gone. When it is announced in church that someone has died, […]

prophetic scripture

The Prophetic Tapestry of Scripture

The Hebrew Scriptures contain prophecies about Jesus beyond counting. If you do a Google search, you will get a number of at least 300, a figure I deem conservative. But many of these individual prophecies also intertwine, creating a still richer tapestry, that I would consider the Hebrew Scriptures in […]

hunger thirst righteousness

What Does It Mean to Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness?

Hunger and thirst are frequent human urges. It’s immensely satisfying to eat a meal when starving or to drink of water when parched. Hunger is often used to convey a consuming desire, like a young and inexperienced sports team hungry for a win, or an individual who, after a string of failures, is hungry for success. The […]


Are You Actually a Christian?

How many people do you know who identify as Christian, yet lack any real sense of living for Christ? We all know, and pray we are not, the type. They call themselves Christians if asked what their religious preference is, but when you examine their lives, there’s little evidence of […]

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Change Always Begins with Hope

Video Notes: “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) Notice where Jesus begins this conversation: There are great thirsts in […]


Bible Q&A: What Do Muslims and Christians Believe About Getting into Heaven?

Question: What do Muslims and Christians believe about getting into heaven? How do these different belief systems affect the level of confidence that each one can have about the afterlife? Answer: This is Pastor Tim from Unlocking the Bible. Pastor Smith asked me to thank you for your good question and answer […]


A Tale of Two Figs

Once upon a time, there were two baskets of figs. One basket was full of ripe, plump figs. The other basket had rotten ones. The first basket of figs looked so good that it promised a whole summer of fresh fruit, more than you could eat, bursting with sweetness and […]

questioning salvation

Are You Questioning Your Salvation?

Mountain climbing is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. Yet, each year thousands of thrill-seekers attempt to scale the largest mountains in the world for a few precious minutes at the summit. Climbers face many obstacles for their 15 minutes of fame, from altitude sickness to […]

Seven Truths to Fight Anxiety About Your Salvation

Do you even notice how often in Scripture God has to reassure his people? He’s constantly saying things like, “Don’t be afraid, I am with you.” Variations of “don’t be afraid” are often cited as the most frequently repeated command in all of Scripture. God tells us over and over […]

the next best thing

Three Reasons Why God’s Word Will Always Be the Next Best Thing

Our culture is constantly calling out for us to follow the crowds and go after the next best thing. Whether it is the new trend of simplifying our lives in three easy steps or listening to the new album that will immediately change our world, we are pulled, prodded, and pleaded […]

Transformed by christ

Five Hallmarks of Being Transformed by Christ

Transform: “To change completely or essentially in composition or structure”[1] Do you think that’s possible? Maybe for a caterpillar. But what about for you and me? What about that neighbor who blares music late at night, the colleague who takes credit for your work, or the relative who belittles you […]

alive in Christ

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

Where are you from? How did you grow up? Tell me about your family. Where does Jesus play into all of this?   These are the probing questions and seeking statements that fill up most of my time as of late. I recently moved to Georgia, where I have become the lead […]

power in the blood of Jesus

The Power in the Blood of Jesus Christ

French philosopher Voltaire and American President John Adams are famous for their criticisms of Christianity because they thought it was a “bloody religion,” with all its wars, its frequent mention of blood, and the bloody death of its founder, Jesus Christ. What is it about blood, which we normally think of […]


The Threefold Splendor of Salvation

I received God’s gift of salvation when I was young. As my father explained the concept of sin to me, I recognized my sinfulness. Even at 5-years-old, I knew I had disobeyed God’s rules in many ways: lying, jealousy, willfulness, and selfishness. In church, I sang hymns such as “And Can […]

bonds of Jesus

Seeing Beauty in the Bonds of Jesus

It is remarkable to me that the Gospel writers have preserved for us a record of three separate moments that our Savior was bound by his enemies and led through the streets before his crucifixion. First, in the garden, John 18:12-13 says “…they arrested Jesus and bound him. First they […]

look at Christ

Why You Need to Look at Christ to Live

Death consumed the camp ground. Once again, the bareness and dryness of the wilderness led the people to cry out against Moses and against God. And, once again, God’s judgment came down to the people in a plague. This time, it was through the venomous death of serpents. The poison […]

jerry bridges

How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself: An Interview with Jerry Bridges

The beloved Jerry Bridges went to be with the Lord on March 6, 2016 after suffering from heart failure. Until his final day, Jerry was spending himself for the gospel, visiting churches and teaching God’s people what it means to preach the gospel to themselves. He made one such visit […]

Three Means by Which People Follow Jesus

The first disciples did not all come to Jesus in the same way. They had different stories, and they found their way to Jesus by different means. 1. Gospel Proclamation Two disciples of John “followed Jesus” (John 1:37). They did this as a result of John’s preaching. They heard John […]

spiritual performance

Are You Wrapped Up in Spiritual Performance?

I know a lot of men who get wrapped up in performance — work, sports, even community service or church attendance — competitiveness in any arena. But it’s not just men. For some of us Christians, we are no more vulnerable than in the arena of spiritual performance. I am […]

merry Christmas

Three Ways to Respond to Jesus This Christmas

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear […]

it's a wonderful life

It’s a Wonderful Life

We all know the scene from It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey is told by his guardian angel, Clarence, that he had gotten his wish: George had never been born. The chaotic, selfish, sinful tendencies of the town are amplified as a bewildered George stumbles through Pottersville, panicked and heartbroken that […]

blood of Jesus

Brought Near by the Blood of Jesus

As for you, tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you it will come — Even the former dominion will come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem. (Micah 4:8) The prophet Micah ministered to the people of God approximately 740 years before the birth of […]


God’s Secret Work of Election

If God had waited for me to seek after him, he would still be waiting. No one seeks God (Romans 3:11). No one! Not even you. By nature we run from God. If we seek him, it is only because he has taken the initiative to seek us. I came […]

What Does It Really Mean to Be Blessed?

I often hear statements such as, “I am so blessed to have three healthy children!” or “I received the promotion that I’ve been waiting for…I feel so blessed!” or “We just bought the home of our dreams. We are incredibly blessed!” or “We are blessed to live in a country […]


Something More Important Than Your Freedom

What is the most amazing story you’ve ever heard? This one is at the top of my list, and it is anything but normal: About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that […]

Unforgivable Sin

Bible Q&A: Must I Be Baptized Again to Receive the Holy Spirit?

Q: Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus. My question is about baptism. I was born in a Christian family by the grace of God, and was baptized. Is it an obligation to be baptized again in order to receive the Holy Spirit? If yes, than what about the […]

the good life Bible resources

What Is the Good Life?

I’ve never met a single person who wants to live a bad life. That’s because everyone wants to live the good life. We all long to be blessed. The problem is, people in our world have very different perceptions of what exactly the good life is. Is the good life […]

if God is for us who can be against us?

What Being “In Christ” Means

Here is a great reality that stands at the center of the Christian life. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was born in the manger, died on the cross, and rose from the dead, lives by his Spirit in the soul of every Christian believer. We call this being “in Christ.” If […]

The Image of God: Three Important Questions

Genesis is a word that simply means beginning. Here in chapter one, we find both the beginning of the Bible and the beginning of Creation. We learn that we have a God who can create energy, matter, waves, time, life, and us by his very words. I find this to […]

blood of Jesus communion Maundy Thursday

Five Maundy Thursday Thoughts

What a week to search our hearts. The following lessons from Luke’s gospel jumped out at me so clearly this morning, and I pray they will be of help to you as you meditate on Christ’s journey to the cross today. Luke 22:2 – The chief priests and the scribes […]

thirsty come to jesus

All Who Are Thirsty, Come to Jesus

Sixty percent of the human body is comprised of water. Amazing! In other words, we need water to survive. Water is not an option for us. Our lives depend on it. Think about how easily a human dehydrates. All it takes is a hard workout, a hot day, or hours […]

The Preacher Who Rightly Refused to Pray for Me

One day I was at a conference in which one of my preaching heroes spoke. He had been a great blessing to me and there was an anointing on his ministry. I wanted that! The conference lasted three days and there was a group of about 100 people. I decided […]

Five Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Family and Friends

Question: I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been writing to my parents about Jesus for about 3-4 months now. I feel as though there is no change in them at all. I really miss talking to them and I love then. I just want them to be saved!!! […]

Word of God or Gaga?

A little while back, I met with some of our pastors as we talked about our congregation.  One of the guys said, “Many of our people are reading the Bible, but they don’t really believe what it says about sin.” Then our youth pastor at the Barrington campus said, “Pastor […]

Bible Q&A: Who Receives the Redemption Payment?

Question: Who Receives the Redemption Payment? That is, when Christ redeemed us, who was paid? Answer: This is a common question.  It often arises once a person gets hold of the biblical idea of “redemption.” “Redemption” in the ancient world happened when someone stepped in and paid off a slave’s debt […]

The Meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Easter is a major Christian holiday that celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Good Friday remembers the crucifixion and death of Christ, while Easter Sunday celebrates His resurrection. What is the meaning and significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Why is it something that has been so […]

Three Reasons Why People Reject God | Video

In his recent sermon titled Hidden Hatred in the Human Heart, Pastor Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) shared three reasons that people reject Jesus Christ. Below is a video snapshot explaining why Christ is a stumbling block to many (full text below). People stumble over Christ’s teaching about: 1. His unique glory […]

Five Reasons Why We Should Love the Genealogies of the Bible

Why did God include lengthy genealogies in the Bible? Was it to make us bored? Was it to laugh at us as we struggle to pronounce Hazarmaveth or Ge-harashim? While we can’t peek into the mind of God to know the exact reasons, there are several reasons that coming across […]

What is a True Christian? Definition of Real Christianity | Video

Knowing the answer to the question “What is a true Christian?” is a very important one, especially when it is followed by “Am I a true Christian?” The Unlocking the Bible team tackles this important question in the video below: The Beatitudes of Matthew 5 describe the way true Christians […]

How to Respond to Attacks From Satan

Have you ever doubted your salvation in light of your sinfulness? This excerpt from a Charles Spurgeon sermon should be a comfort: “I know what the devil will say to you.  He will say to you, ‘You are a sinner!’ Tell him you know you are, but that for all […]

What Qualifies Jesus to Be Our Savior? | Video

By definition, a “savior” is someone who overcomes our enemies, rescuing us from their powerful grip.  What enemies do every one of us face?  What uniquely qualifies Jesus to be our Savior from them?