In the Crucial Questions Series, renowned pastor and theologian R.C. Sproul provides succinct yet comprehensive explanations of essential Christian teachings. Covering theological topics such as the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, baptism, and providence, Sproul also looks at practical questions such as how to deal with guilt and the Christian’s experience of joy. The titles in this collection are ideal discipleship tools, and will help new Christians to learn about how the Bible treats these timeless subjects.
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In this booklet, number 20 in the Crucial Questions series, Dr. R.C. Sproul examines the Olivet Discourse, offering a concise interpretation “consistent with the way that it would have been understood by the disciples at the time.” Sproul’s analysis gleans truths regarding who Jesus was, what he really meant, and what his words mean for us today.
Many people in the church today are plagued by doubts about their salvation. Satan whispers that it is impossible that such sinners could be in a state of grace, and some churches compound the problem by teaching that it is possible for believers to lose their salvation.
But assurance of salvation is possible in this life. Indeed, as R.C. Sproul argues in this Crucial Questions booklet, it is the duty of Christians to make their calling sure (2 Peter 1:10). To help believers reach this goal, Sproul defines assurance, shows how we can get it, reveals the blessings it confers, and warns of the dangers of false assurance. Help is here for those who struggle to know where they stand with Jesus Christ.
In this Crucial Questions booklet, R.C. Sproul shows Christians the one sure path to deep, lasting joy: a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. By abiding in Christ, Sproul shows, believers experience fullness of joy—a joy that transcends unhappy circumstances and even permits us to rejoice with others because of the blessed hope Christ provides.
As human beings, we long to know that our lives will unfold in pleasant and rewarding ways. As Christians, we have a different focus—we want our lives to be pleasing to God. Thus, we ponder his will and worry that we are not doing what he wants us to do.
In this Crucial Questions booklet, R.C. Sproul outlines timeless principles for discovering and applying the will of God in day-to-day decisions. He then illustrates how these principles should inform two of the most significant decisions we face in life—the choice of a career and the choice of a spouse. Here is valuable guidance for those who are passionate to follow God.
There is a common assumption that the Bible is “full” of errors and contradictions, and that its unusual people and events render it useless for today. These ideas are fueled by the teachings of scholarly critics, who seem to delight in raising questions about the Bible’s truthfulness and integrity.
But, according to R.C. Sproul in this Crucial Questions booklet, the critics of the Bible are wrong. In fact, he says there are many solid reasons to trust the Bible. With Jesus, with the apostles and prophets, and with people of God throughout church history, Sproul affirms a high view of Scripture—that it is inspired of God and therefore inerrant and infallible.
In Does God Control Everything?, R.C. Sproul explores and explains the Christian doctrine of providence—the teaching that God is the sovereign ruler of the universe. He then deals with some of the philosophical and theological questions and objections the doctrine raises. His teaching challenges popular assumptions about the universe and exalts God as the sovereign ruler and sustainer of all things.
Does prayer make any difference? Does it really change anything? Yes, says R.C. Sproul in this Crucial Questions booklet. Though we cannot hope that our prayers will change God’s mind, prevailing upon him to act against his will, we can be sure that prayer does change things—including our own hearts. Plus, it is one of the chief means by which God carries out his will in the world.
For these reasons, Sproul argues, prayer has a vital place in the life of the Christian. In short chapters packed with practical wisdom, he unveils the purpose, the pattern, the practice, the prohibitions, and the power of prayer, calling Christians to come before God’s presence with joy and hope.
In Walt Disney’s classic animated movie Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket sings, “Always let your conscience be your guide.” The Bible confirms that the human conscience is real and important, but it also shows that the conscience is not always a reliable guide to making moral choices, for it is twisted by sin. Therefore, a Christian conscience must be nurtured and developed.
In this booklet, R.C. Sproul shows that this development involves learning and mastering the many principles God has laid down in his Word, and even in creation itself. In other words, we must know and understand God’s law. As we gain a firmer grasp of what God expects and requires, we are increasingly able to make decisions that please him.
Christians want to “do the right thing.” But it can be tough to know what the right thing is. Plus, it’s not just the big questions with which we must wrestle—ethical dilemmas confront us each day in every aspect of life. On what basis do we make all of these decisions?
In this Crucial Questions booklet, R.C. Sproul argues that the Bible is the supreme source for ethical guidance. That doesn’t mean it contains a “Thou shalt . . .” or a “Thou shalt not . . .” for every conceivable situation, but it does provide ethical principles. With his trademark wisdom and thoroughness, Sproul explains how we can uncover and apply these principles.
What must we do with our guilt? In What Can I Do with My Guilt?, R.C. Sproul shows how God can use our feelings of guilt to reveal our true guilt in his sight. He then prescribes the only remedy—the forgiveness that God has provided through Jesus Christ. Here is solid biblical counsel for those who hear the accusations of their consciences.
When Jesus explained the necessity of the new birth, the Jewish leader Nicodemus asked in astonishment, “How can these things be?” Some 2,000 years later, much confusion still surrounds the term “born again,” though more people than ever people claim to have had the experience.
In this booklet, R.C. Sproul cuts through the confusion and carefully explains what it means, biblically and theologically, to be born again. He affirms, first of all, that Jesus wasn’t kidding—new birth is essential—then goes on to show what the new birth is and how it occurs. His clear teaching will provide understanding for those who are unfamiliar with the new birth and deeper assurance for those who may not know where they stand with God.
What Is Baptism? affirms that baptism is one of the two sacraments of the Christian church—a sign and seal of the covenant of grace—therefore, it is a necessary and meaningful practice that is packed with rich symbolism. In this booklet, R.C. Sproul provides help in understanding and appreciating this practice of the church.
The word faith is heard often these days, but it is given many different meanings. Sometimes it is used in the sense of trust. Other times, it has more to do with hope. Perhaps most often, it is used to mean belief in something apart from rational or empirical support.
Because faith is central to the Christian life, believers must have a clear understanding of how the Bible defines the word and the concept. In this booklet, R.C. Sproul looks to Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter of the Bible, for a definition of faith and numerous examples of it in the lives of the saints. He shows that faith, in scriptural terms, is not believing in God but believing God and living according to his Word. Armed with this helpful teaching, readers will gain clarity as to whether the faith they profess is the genuine article.
“Repent and believe in the gospel.” From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus called people to repentance. Peter and Paul urged people to repent as well. The concept of repentance is central to the Christian life. But what does it mean to repent? Here Dr. R.C. Sproul unfolds the biblical concept of repentance, especially examining repentance as it relates to regeneration.
When the word church is mentioned, many people tend to think of a formal building with a steeple and stained-glass windows. For others, the word brings to mind the idea of a denomination. But the church is much more.
In this booklet, R.C. Sproul carefully and clearly explains that the church is a body of people saved by Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit who live to glorify and enjoy God. Beginning with the ancient Nicene Creed, which affirms that the church is “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic,” Sproul provides accessible teaching on one of the most misunderstood of all Christian doctrines.
The evangelical church is deeply confused over the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, with many believers being unclear as to what happens at the Lord’s Table. In some churches, it is practiced infrequently or irreverently.
In this booklet, R.C. Sproul cuts through the confusion to define the Supper, demonstrate what it means, and show how important it is for the lives of believers and churches. He explores the origins of the Supper, explains what it does for us, and refutes erroneous views of the Sacrament. Sproul’s teaching will enhance any reader’s appreciation for the work of Christ as pictured in the bread and wine.
From the very beginning of Christianity, the relationship between the church and the state has been a matter of great concern. The issue remains confusing and contentious for many Christians today, as issues of political activism, religious freedom, and civil disobedience confront those seeking to understand this crucial relationship. Here Dr. R.C. Sproul examines the relationship by looking at the nature and mission of government, how Christians should view and relate to their governments, the legitimacy of state-established churches, how to deal with abuses of power, and the legitimacy of civil disobedience.
What Is the Trinity? carefully explains the doctrine of the Trinity, stressing that Christians worship one God who manifests himself in three distinct persons. He shows what the Bible teaches about the Trinity and outlines the chief errors Christians make in regard to this crucial doctrine. Above all, he affirms that while this truth is difficult to understand, it is not contradictory. Rather, it is a beautiful expression of the biblical teaching on the nature of God.
No person in history has provoked such widely divergent assessments as Jesus of Nazareth. Some say he was a cunning fraud, while others say he must have been out of his mind. In many cases his story is altered to suit the fancies of those seeking to make him an ally for a host of militant causes.
However, as R.C. Sproul points out in this Crucial Questions booklet, there is compelling evidence that Jesus was something more—that he was, in fact, God in the flesh. By wrestling with the biblical titles for Jesus and the accounts of his life and ministry, Sproul unfolds the scriptural portrait of Jesus, the Son of God.
In Who Is the Holy Spirit?, R.C. Sproul addresses this controversial topic by going back to the Bible. He establishes the biblical teaching on the Spirit’s identity—he is one of the three persons of the Godhead, along with the Father and Son—then briefly sketches some of the most basic yet important roles the Spirit carries out. He shows that the Spirit gives new life to unbelievers, then sanctifies, strengthens, teaches, and anoints them for ministry. This booklet provides a basic understanding of the divine person on whom Christians’ very lives depend.
R.C. Sproul was a respected teacher, theologian, and pastor. He was the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries where he served as executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. Sproul held degrees from Westminster College, Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary, Free University of Amsterdam, and Whitefield Theological Seminary. He taught at several colleges and seminaries including Reformed Theological Seminary and Knox Theological Seminary. He also served as senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew’s Chapel, in Sanford, Florida. Sproul’s teaching can be heard daily on the Renewing Your Mind radio broadcast which plays in over 40 countries. Sproul wrote more than 75 books including The Holiness of God, Chosen by God, and The Mystery of the Holy Spirit.