“The website and its contents are great. As long as I remember, we never had any website like this to provide solid and reformed teaching in Farsi. We love R.C. Sproul because of his simplicity of explaining the hard-theological concepts. He is our favorite teacher. I am using the website’s content in my teaching and ask our underground churches to have study through it.” —Ram, Iran
Ligonier’s international gospel outreach is expanding, serving as an oasis of truth for the global church. This year, more people than ever are seeking out our teaching and discipleship resources to help them grow in their knowledge of God, of themselves, and of their calling in this world. Through the support of friends like you, and in partnership with Christians around the world, many resources from Dr. R.C. Sproul and the Ligonier Teaching Fellows are being translated into many of the world’s most spoken languages.
Our dedicated-language outreach in Chinese was launched in October. The Chinese Ligonier website, zh.ligonier.org, is an online library of resources, featuring translated articles, dubbed video teaching series, study guides, books, and more.
This website, available in both simplified and traditional Chinese script, has been specially designed to provide download options in video and audio format so that messages can be viewed and shared offline. This helps Christians with limited internet options to access resources and to share them discreetly under the shadow of persecution. Series currently available include The Holiness of God and Chosen by God from R.C. Sproul.
We also recently launched our Chinese social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to share faithful Bible teaching to Chinese speakers around the world. And the work continues in earnest. Our first audiobook in Mandarin Chinese, Surprised by Suffering from Dr. R.C. Sproul, is now being recorded for free distribution in 2021.
Expansion of translated resources to serve trustworthy teaching for the French-speaking world also continues. Ligonier’s French website (fr.ligonier.org) is updated with fresh content weekly, and we are active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Thanks to our Canadian supporters through Ligonier Ministries Canada, we began translation of several titles from Dr. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series in French. These booklets are increasingly requested in several languages, offering succinct answers to common and challenging questions about the Christian faith.
French is currently the seventh most spoken language in the world. Please join us in praying that Ligonier resources can serve the church for many years to come as the need increases, especially with significant population growth expected in the French-speaking countries of North Africa.
Spanish and Portuguese Outreach
This fall saw the launch of the landmark Spanish edition of the Reformation Study Bible. We give thanks to God for the successful release of this pivotal work in Spanish, with a reprint already underway for many Latin American countries. In the coming months, we anticipate the release of the Reformation Study Bible in Portuguese.
Our online Reformation Day event for Latin America was streamed in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. The theme was Romans 8, and several Ligonier teaching fellows participated, as well as other gifted teachers from Latin America and Brazil. This innovative event generated considerable interest and enthusiasm among Christians in many different countries.
An Arabic edition of the Ligonier Statement on Christology video is now available on YouTube. This video, which testifies eloquently to the person and work of Jesus Christ, has been widely shared on Ligonier’s Arabic Facebook page.
Two of Dr. Sproul’s classic video teaching series, The Holiness of God and Chosen by God, were recently dubbed in Arabic for the first time. This has taken place to help meet a rising demand for Christian resources in audio and video content as the availability of mobile devices and as access to the internet increases.
Over the last twelve months, seven Ligonier teaching series have been dubbed in Farsi for satellite broadcast in Iran and surrounding countries. This outreach brings faithful teaching to many people who are suffering persecution for their faith in Jesus.
The list of broadcasted teaching series currently includes The Holiness of God, What Did Jesus Do?: Understanding the Work of Christ, Who Is the Holy Spirit?, The Attributes of God, The Book of Job, Basic Training,and Loved by God.
Help Us Reach More People with Trustworthy Teaching
Resources are currently being translated in many other languages, including Burmese, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Korean, modern Hebrew, and more. These outreaches would not be possible without your prayers and generous financial giving. Your support of Ligonier helps propel our international outreach. Thank you for helping to reach even more people around the world with the truth of God’s holiness and the gospel of His grace.
“It is a privilege for me to support the work Ligonier is doing to spread the good news about Jesus in the world. I found out about Dr. R.C. Sproul on my podcast app. Ever since, I have been blessed by his sermons and teachings on Jesus. This is really the least I can do. I’d love more people in the world to get access to these resources.” —Patrick, Cameroon
It is all too easy to get caught up in how well we’re doing in Christian service while neglecting our communion with the Lord Jesus. In this brief clip, Sinclair Ferguson teaches that the vital source of our spiritual fruitfulness is found in Christ Himself.
Our union with Christ is the source of all fruitfulness in our lives. Look at what He says here. He says, "Abide in Me, and I in you," verse 4. "As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me." Later on, of course, He will say, "Apart from Me, you can do nothing." And this is really a very striking statement, when you think about it. Jesus is saying, "Unless there is a union between you and Me, your lives will never be fruitful." And in saying that, He's really emphasizing to us, actually it's really important we understand this aspect of the gospel, that we're united Christ. Because He's saying that it is the real key to us understanding how we're going to be fruitful in the Christian life. We are united to Christ. That's our relationship. What's the relationship between the branch and the vine? The branch is united to the vine. But it's as the branch draws on the significance of that union that the branch bears fruit. As the Christian believer draws on the significance of this union, the resources that are ours in Christ, as we saw in Paul's letter to the Colossians, the fullness in Christ that is ours. This should enable us to stand tall and to believe that, so long as we remain in this union and communion with the Lord Jesus, the fruit will begin to grow.
Rushing children to urgent care for stitches is not a fun aspect of parenting. Even when the blood has been running down their face, they fight the doctor coming at them with needle and thread. Not once has my child sat still and stayed quiet during the procedure, then turned with a smile to thank me. That wouldn’t be human nature. My children thank me for things that they perceive as pleasant, not things that hurt.
Perhaps that is part of the reason that 1 Thessalonians 5:18 commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” If it weren’t commanded, we wouldn’t do it. It’s not human nature to give thanks in all circumstances. But for believers, this practice should be a growing facet of our regenerate nature.
Just as my children cannot understand how stitches will help a cut, so we often cannot see the effects of our circumstances. Perhaps they are for our good; perhaps they are for the good of those around us. Maybe they simply, somehow, bring glory to God. As Job found out, God doesn’t owe us an explanation. He does, though, kindly assure us that He will work it all for good, even as He commands thanksgiving.
Matthew Henry, after somebody stole his wallet, wrote down several thanksgivings in that circumstance: “1) I am thankful that he never robbed me before. 2) I am thankful that although he took my wallet, he did not take my life. 3) Although he took all I had, it was not much. 4) I am glad that it was I who was robbed, not I who did the robbing.” Though he didn’t give thanks for the robbing itself—for the act of robbing itself was sin—he gave thanks in this hard situation. The reality of God’s protection and ultimate kindness was bigger than the reality of the theft.
The text gives us solid reason for cultivating such a perspective: “This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18). The will of God, which is our sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3), includes persistent thanksgiving to God. But here, the will qualified: it is God’s will “in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). God’s will for us is undivided from our Savior, just like His covenant love (Rom. 8:39). The New Testament often uses the phrase “in Christ” to describe believers. The term “Christian” is rare. Instead, Scripture often calls God’s elect those who are “in Christ” (e.g., Rom. 8:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 2:17; Gal. 1:22; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2). Just as we who believe the gospel are in Christ, so God’s will for us is in Him. The grace that brought us into union with Jesus is also the grace that wills us home to Him, dangers, toils, and snares notwithstanding.
And perhaps that last little phrase—“for you”—contains similar sweetness. When we are in Christ, circumstances don’t happen to us. Because the will of God in Christ Jesus is for us, so our circumstances will be for us. Of all people, only those who are in Christ have this grounding assurance: anything we go through happens for us, not to us. Surely this is something for which we can give thanks, in spite of grief or pain. It moves us from the stance of victim to beloved child. It lets us see things such as stitches not as torture but as medical care. It allows us to see that the difficulties of this life, though real and hard, are not ultimate. If the Father is for us, then everything else must be subservient to that reality. When the Spirit creates a Godward orientation in us, thankfulness will be able to flow, even in hard times.
Take care of your whole Christmas list and make the new year one of consistent, trustworthy Bible study when you send Tabletalk magazine to your family and friends. For a limited time, give one twelve-month subscription and get the rest 50% off.
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Once upon a time, boys were boys, girls were girls, and binary was a mathematical term.
There has not been a more crucial time in recent history when Christians have needed to stand firm in their faith. As culture becomes increasingly antagonistic to Christianity, the temptation for believers is to be ashamed of biblical truth, and even to deny Jesus Christ who is Himself the truth (John 14:6). When Christian truth is unpopular and unappealing, there is immense pressure from the world to compromise our witness. However, we are called not to waver or to fear others but to stand unashamed of Christ. And while many may fall away from the faith, our Lord has a solemn warning for those who would be ashamed of Christ and of His truth.
The official blog of Ligonier Ministries, founded by theologian Dr. R.C. Sproul in 1971 to help Christians know what they believe, why the believe it, how to live it, and how to share it.