Posts by Matthew Holst


Suffering in the pastorate tends to fuel the temptation for ministers to run to the “don’ts” of which Paul speaks in 1 Thess. 2:3-6.


The days are spiritually perilous with the spirit of anti-Christ alive and well (1 John 2:18). These are the days where we ought prepare ourselves for what is to come.


Western society, as it slips inexorably into greater unbelief and alienation from God, has created new laws--both written and unwritten--concerning what is and what is not permissible to say in public...It is marked by a closed mind, governed by pride, alive and well in the world around us--and yet this attitude is also alive and well inside of the Church.


The Word, sacraments, prayer and discipline are often called the ordinary means of grace. They are the ordinary or usual means that God uses to grow us in both the knowledge and grace of Christ our Lord. As we, by faith, put ourselves under them, God blesses us. His Spirit works faith, repentance, assurance, joy--whatever is needful in us--to his own glory and our strengthening. It is in the word, sacraments and prayer, that we come face to face with the holy God of heaven and earth, the appalling wretchedness of our own sin and the glorious grace of God in Christ Jesus.


What are the marks of a spiritually healthy believer? In 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10 we find Paul’s thanksgiving to God for spiritually healthy Christians. He tells the Thessalonians--who were relatively new converts--a number of remarkable truths about themselves. I don't think that there is anywhere else in the New Testament where such an explicitly positive report is made of a church and its members.