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Posts by Kempiz Hernandez

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The Church as Family

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Brothers and Sisters in Christ I remember growing up and often hearing the statement, “blood is thicker than water.” Usually, the statement was said in the context of remembering that one’s biological or physical family was more important, and more enduring, than people in the church. When I became a Christian, all of a sudden the statement made all of t...

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Spiritual Nurturing

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Life-On-Life Discipleship Some time ago I read the horrifying news of a mother who, for whatever tragic reason, decided to dump her newborn baby in a local trash dump. Why did she do it? Perhaps she was scared, in despair, or just plain hateful. When we hear of news like this, we are literally shocked beyond belief! I mean, what kind of mother would do such a thing?! Sure...

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Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)

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Glory to God Alone   What is man’s most fundamental problem? Depending on whom you ask, the answers you might get to this question will vary. Some would say “unfulfilled desires,” “unfulfilled goals or dreams.” Others would say, “a lack of self-esteem,” or perhaps “a sense of feeling under-appreciated or admired.&rdquo...

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Sola Fide (Faith Alone)

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Faith in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ Not too long ago, I was speaking to a professing believer, who with much enthusiasm was telling me about his life’s goals. “You know, sometimes people want to rain on your parade, but to me, all you have to do is believe, and everything will fall into place.” I thought to myself, “Believe in what? In who...

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Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)

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Saved by Grace Alone When he was a Roman Catholic “monk,” Martin Luther would have said that grace alone was the “gasoline” that propels the car of salvation. However, the “Reformer” Martin Luther would have affirmed that Grace Alone was the “entire” car itself. In other words, all of salvation, from beginning to end, was by...

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Reflections on Man Camp

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Running the Race of Life Together     The writer of Hebrews exhorts his readers, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and al...

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Solus Christus (Christ Alone)

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Christ Alone is Sufficient for Salvation and Sanctification       In C. S. Lewis’ fictional masterpiece, The Screwtape Letters, Screwtape, an  experienced demon, mentors his nephew, Wormwood (also a demon, but “in training”) on the art of breaking down Christians. In essence, the devil’s strategy is not to replace or remove C...

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Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)

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The Sufficiency and Authority of Scripture If you think about the Reformation “Solas” like a building, then the Foundation of the building was the great principle or truth of Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone). What did this mean? That Scripture Alone was the Ultimate and Final Authority in all matters of faith and practice, personally and for the church. It did...

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Let's Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing

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Knowing and Worshipping Christ Over the years, building Lego projects has been a fun and treasured time with my kids. Once, I helped one of my boys build his new Star Wars Lego spaceship. This was the biggest Lego building project of his (then) young seven-year-old life. So as much as I wanted the spaceship to be brought to completion within a 12-hour day, I wanted him to...

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Going Beyond the Call of Mere Duty

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Serving Out of Gratitude Rather Than Obligation   Some time ago, during the holiday season, I came across a Ralph’s employee who, upon charging me for my items, said, “Looks like you are prepping for a big breakfast!”  “Yes,” I replied, “It’s a family tradition.”  I looked at her name badge, and observed that...

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Make a Stand for What You Believe and Reject

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Teaching Truth and Refuting Error There has been a subtle shift in the last 20 years or so in various evangelical circles. It is not that “professing” Christians say that doctrine does not matter “at all,” but that we should not just be defined by “what we are against.” Instead, we should be defined more by “what we stand for.&rdq...

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Putting "Freedom" in Perspective

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Freedom to Love the Lord and Love Others One of the “privileges” that we enjoy in our great country is “freedom.” Freedom of speech, freedom to worship publicly, freedom to have a certain sense of autonomy, and to pursue happiness as individuals along with our families. Each of us as Americans enjoy this freedom and ought to have a profound sense o...

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How's Your Love Life?

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We love because He first loved us No, I am not talking about your “romantic” life (though some of us who are married, especially us men, would profit from considering this as well!). I am talking first and foremost, about your love for the Lord, for this is where it all begins, doesn’t it? Writing to the church at Ephesus, the Lord Jesus utters this terr...

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A Heart for the Lost

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Bringing the Hope of the Gospel to the Lost I still remember one of my long-time mentors some 23 years ago, in the middle of criticizing our church at the time, stopping me dead in my tracks and softly saying to me as he pointed to the streets of East L.A., “see those people walking around out there? Aimless and without hope in life? That’s why we are ...

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People of the Book

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Devoted and Committed to God's Word It is no surprise that the world that we live in is getting worse. Every day, all you have to do is turn on the television to be reminded of not only the “explicit” corruption in our society, but also the “postmodern” (“truth is relative” and “truth is whatever it means to me”) mood of the...

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The Church's Responsibility to Raise Leaders

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Leadership Training and Discipleship within the Local Church I still remember the eagerness and zeal in my heart as a new convert to be trained. And yet God, in His sovereign plan, kept me back from pursuing my passion of attending seminary. Where would the training come from for a young man who desired to be effective in the church, and possibly enter full-time, vocation...

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Entrusted with the Gospel?

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Living and Proclaiming the Gospel We have all been entrusted with certain things in life. I still remember being given my first Dodger hat. It was 1984, and the Dodgers were in the middle of slug fest with the San Diego Padres. A long-time friend of my father yelled at me from across the living room, and said to me, “See this hat? It is my favorite hat. I have owned...

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Great Is Thy Faithfulness

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The faithfulness of God is a great source of comfort to every Christian, even when difficult times come....

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The Gospel Made Visible

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TITUS: The Gospel on Display How is the church stabilized and established in the grace of God? How do we live in such a way that “displays” that Christ is greater and more beautiful than anything on this earth? How do Christians make the “Gospel visible” to a hopeless and dying world, infatuated with sin and the passing pleasures of sin? These are...

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Book Review of "The Darkness and the Glory"

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Jesus' Moment of Darkness No single event in the history of mankind has had a more profound or lasting impact upon people than the death of Jesus of Nazareth. Not only was Jesus’ death an excruciating and painful event for our Savior, but of infinitely greater significance was the separation that He experienced from His Father. For the first time, the eternal Son of...

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Book Review of "The Pursuit of Holiness"

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Pursuing a Life of Holiness by God's Grace Have Christians been called to “let go and let God” or “lift oneself up by his/her own moral bootstraps?” The answer is neither. Christians are saved by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ “alone.” We do not add to or take away from anything the Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished on our ...

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Book Review of "The Gospel and Personal Evangelism"

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The Mission for All Believers Most Christians are painfully aware of their responsibility to “witness” about Jesus to unbelievers. We live, often times, with guilt-ridden consciences, knowing that we fall far short of fulfilling our mission on this earth. With much humility, Pastor Mark Dever (founder of 9Marks Ministries) reminds believers that this problem i...

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Christ's Glorious Ascension

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Three Comforting Truths about Jesus' Ascension With all of the focus in our country on Christmas (rightly so), we often lose sight of Christ’s magnificent resurrection. But we must also not lose sight of the great event of Christ’s glorious ascension, which transpired 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection. This wonderful event is outlined for us in Acts 1. A...

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Book Review of "Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ"

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Beholding The Majesty of Christ Do you long to “see” Jesus in a fresh way? I am not talking about a sort of “mystical” seeing, but to understand and know Him in a deeper way, so that you are driven to worship and obedient holiness? Then this is the book for you. Pastor John Piper writes a book for every believer, young or older, with the purpose of...

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A Christ-Exalting Letter in Retrospect

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The Letter to the Colossians These past two years have provided the wonderful opportunity to look at one of my favorite books of the Bible, the letter of Colossians. From the very get-go, and consistent with the letter itself, my purpose was twofold: 1) for our church to “heighten” our view of Christ in light of His Supremacy above all things, and 2) for our c...

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A Time to Pray

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Pray Without Ceasing 2 Timothy 2:1-4 says, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved...

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The Power of the Resurrection and Ascension

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The Power of God on Display In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul prays that his brethren would have a greater understanding of three things: “what is the hope of God’s calling” (v. 18), “what are the riches of the glory of God’s inheritance in the saints” (v. 18), and “what is the surpassing greatness of God’s power toward us who beli...

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Friday of Passion Week

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The Betrayal, Arrest, and Crucifixion of The King of the Jews The Betrayal and Arrest With growing hostility spearheaded by the religious leaders, the inevitable happens sometime after midnight, early Friday morning. Guided by Judas Iscariot and with a traitor’s kiss, authorities arrest our Lord. Jesus is first taken for an “informal” hearing with the ...

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Thursday of Passion Week

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The Passover Meal With the religious leaders intent on finding opportunity to put Jesus to death, and Jesus knowing that this death for sinners is why He came, the Lord instructs His disciples to make preparations for the Passover meal. While in the Upper room, the Lord reveals to them His impending death, speaks to them about His betrayal, and institutes the Lord's Supp...

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Wednesday of Passion Week

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Jesus Ministers in the Temple Amidst Growing Hostility In comparison to the last three days, Wednesday passes by very quickly, but not without growing hostility from the religious leaders. The events surrounding Jesus, particularly in and around the temple, only cause greater hatred and evil intent on the part of the religious leaders. The Jewish leaders, lead by the Jewi...

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Tuesday of Passion Week

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Jesus Speaking in Parables Having cursed a fig tree the day before, Jesus uses the opportunity of the withered tree to speak to His disciples about the importance of having faith. The day, however, is focused on controversies with the religious leaders. Due to the monumental event of the triumphal entry, the religious leaders are intent on trapping Jesus in an effort to ...

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Monday of Passion Week

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Cleansing of the Temple On Palm Sunday, Jesus had made an initial visit to the Temple, being disgusted with God's house being misused. This set the stage for His infamous but necessary cleansing of the Temple on Monday. Having shaken the whole city of Jerusalem with his "anti-climactic" but very public entrance the previous day, Monday has no shortage of drama. On his wa...

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Palm Sunday of Passion Week

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The beginning of Passion Week Palm Sunday marks the beginning of our Lord's final week before His death and resurrection. After three and a half years of public ministry, and in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, the King arrives, and crowds surround Him. Some have followed Him from Galilee, and some meet Him outside the gates of Jerusalem. King Jesus, however, is not the kin...

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Christ Alone

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Solus Christus and the Protestant Reformation This year, Calvary again had the privilege of hosting the TMAI Symposium, under the theme “Christ Alone: The Uniqueness of the Gospel and Its Impact on World Missions.” This great truth, Solus Christus, was THE great cry of the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago, along with Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone). As I...

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Partnership in the Gospel

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Partnering Together for the Advancement of the Gospel In 1 Corinthians 9:23, in the context of speaking about Christian liberty, the Apostle Paul writes, “I do all things for the sake of the Gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.” In this beautiful statement, there is both a personal and collective application. On the “personal” sid...

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The Beauty of Theology in Practice

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The profoundness and simplicity of the Word of God One of the beautiful things about the Word of God is its “profoundness” on the one hand, and its “simplicity” on the other. That is, we behold truths of a substantial nature, and yet God teaches us that those truths are beautifully applicable to “real life” issues, be they personal, fam...

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The Relentless Pursuit of Holiness

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In the Christian life, there are always two unhealthy extremes that we must guard against. On the one hand, we must guard against legalism. Legalism is the belief that in some way, shape or form, our performance either saves us, or keeps us “in the right” with God. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were condemned by our Lord for a self-righteous, super...

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