by Mike Ratliff
If we learn nothing else, let us make sure we understand the vital link the Word of God has to our personal holiness. That link, of course, will be effective only to the level we live in it and by it. If we neglect feeding from it on our own by relying on teachers, preachers, or writers to spoon feed us then we drastically limit our spiritual nourishment we should be getting. Good Bible teachers will lead their hearers to dig for themselves from the treasure of God’s Word. When I rediscovered my Puritan roots, I started reading those great old writers. Their teachings did that very thing. The great Reformation and Puritan theologians stand head and shoulder above their modern and post-modern brethren.
My own personal revival has been completely God directed and empowered by His grace. Last summer I began researching to write about deeper devotional and growth techniques to facilitate our deep walk with our Lord. This was to be the basis for my third book. However, as I did that research I kept finding myself reading things by John Owen, John Bunyan and other Puritan writers. These studies lead me to study Reformation Theology. As God changed my heart about Reformed Theology, I became convinced that the missing piece the Western Church is lacking is adherence to the doctrines of grace. The fact this is missing in the majority of our churches means the poor sheep in them are spiritually malnourished so they remain self-focused and self-directed. They are not maturing in grace because God’s glory is an afterthought to them. This is a direct indictment against the shepherds of the flock. These shepherds feed their sheep a counterfeit gospel that is man-focused instead of God glorifying. The emphasis is on church growth at the expense of personal holiness and God-centered worship. Continue reading