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.
We all fall short. We all sin, sometimes appallingly. At different times in your Christian life, you will inevitably need to confess your sin to someone and ask them for forgiveness. You may possible even have to face the consequences of your sin--even after asking for forgiveness. That is common ground for every Christian, whether they sit in the pew or stand behind a pulpit. Yet, the manner in which we ask forgiveness speaks much about the quality of our repentance.
The Alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars, and churchmen who hold the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today's Church.