The hardcover edition of In Christ Alone and the ePub edition of By Grace Alone (both by Sinclair Ferguson) are both featured in today’s $5 Friday sale at Ligonier.org. Also on sale:
- a gift certificate for the Ligonier store
- Angels and Demons teaching series by R.C. Sproul (audio and video download)
- The Intimate Marriage teaching series (audio and video download)
$5 Friday ends tonight at 11:59:59 Eastern.
I once visited with a woman who was dying from uterine cancer. She was greatly distressed, but not only from her physical ailment. She explained to me that she had had an abortion when she was a young woman, and she was convinced that her disease was a direct consequence of that. In short, she believed cancer was the judgment of God on her.
The usual pastoral response to such an agonizing question from someone in the throes of death is to say the affliction is not a judgment of God for sin. But I had to be honest, so I told her that I did not know. Perhaps it was God’s judgment, but perhaps it was not. I cannot fathom the secret counsel of God or read the invisible hand of His providence, so I did not know why she was suffering. I did know, however, that whatever the reason for it, there was an answer for her guilt. We talked about the mercy of Christ and of the cross, and she died in faith.
The question that woman raised is asked every day by people who are suffering affliction. It is addressed in one of the more difficult passages in the New Testament…
Should I get “re-baptized”?
Jared Oliphint and Bobby Jamieson offer differing perspectives on an important question from a reader over at The Gospel Coalition.
How one addresses the question of re-baptism depends on how one understands baptism as a whole. So let’s start where the apostles start—in the Old Testament. We might first ask whether there was meaning behind and precedent to using water as the sign of the new covenant in the New Testament.
I believe, and it sounds like you do too, that baptism is for those—and only those—who have repented of their sin and trusted in Christ for salvation. (Of course, not all Christians agree. For a substantial defense of the believers’ baptism position, see here.) Therefore, any “baptism” performed on someone who was not a Christian is simply not baptism by definition.
Both answers are well worth your time.
Karen Swallow Prior:
Last week’s story of pastor who instead of a tip left a snarky note for her waitress—”I give God 10 percent why do you get 18?”—made news because of what followed the otherwise commonplace event: a photo of the receipt was posted online and went viral, the server was then fired, and finally, after her stinginess found her out, the pastor issued a public apology.