For the Truth

Biblical resources, Reformed theology, and cultural apologetics from the ministry of Josef Urban
How Can I Know if I'm Saved?

About the Urbans

Josef and Lina have been married since 2007. They have served in evangelistic ministry, in missions, in the church, and in the academy.

This website is in the process of remodeling and expansion. Bookmark it and come back later to find more resources! We will be adding articles, audios, podcasts, and videos (D.V.) over time.

— Featured Article —

A Theology of the Role of Suffering in Missions

What is the place of suffering in our theology of mission? Does suffering play any vital or necessary role in the advancement of the missionary endeavor as sovereignly determined by the purposes of God? Or is suffering merely a vocationally-occasioned circumstance that ordinarily attends the missionary task? Answering these questions is...

The Inextricable Relationship Between Divine Impassibility and Some Other Incommunicable Attributes

If God undergoes emotional changes, then does He experience time? Is He then acted upon by creatures and subject to what transpires in the creaturely realm? Is His Being composed of metaphysical complexity? Consider the relationship between God's impassibility and other incommunicable attributes of the divine nature.Few doctrines in the...

John 3:1-10 in Defense of Monergistic Regeneration

An Exegesis of John 3:1–10 with a View to its Testimony Regarding the Agency of the New Birth  The hinge upon which the door of salvation-by-sovereign-grace turns is the doctrine of the new birth conceived as a supernatural accomplishment initiated and performed by the sole agency of Almighty God. B.B. Warfield (1851–1921) said, “The...

John Bunyan’s Experiential Exposition of the Doctrine of Justification

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise” (1 Cor. 1:26-27). The truth of this Scripture shines with uncommon salience in the life and...

Preaching the Doctrines of Grace Evangelistically: Lessons from Charles Haddon Spurgeon

It is a well-known fact that “one of the most common charges raised against Calvinism as a theological perspective is that it is not conducive to fueling a long-term passion for missions and evangelism,” as Joel Beeke has observed.[1] But after a survey of John Calvin’s evangelism, including Calvin’s teachings and activities in this...

A Theology of Sanctification (Exposition of 1689 Confession, Chapter XIII)

Introduction The practical and experiential holiness of the people of the God is a subject that is most neglected in our day, but most emphasized in Scripture. It is the goal of the Father’s electing love, to the praise of his glorious grace (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4). It is central to the purpose of the atonement, for Christ died to...

Who Am I? Identity Crisis and LGBTQ Ideology

Our society’s understanding of what it means to be a person is changing at the fundamental level. In recent decades, the question of what makes a person a person has been raised. Who decides what constitutes personhood? And on what basis? Take, for example, the invention and budding development of what is called “strong A.I.”—defined as...

How Can I Know if I’m Saved?

One of the most common issues I have dealt with in pastoral counseling, especially during my years on the mission field where many were coming to faith, is believers who struggle with doubts concerning their salvation. We know that salvation is God’s gift to us by faith alone. The Scripture tells us, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you...

Fictional Dialogue on the Problem of Evil

About this dialogue: This is a fictional exchange between an apologist and a professing Christian believer who has witnessed significant suffering, on account of which he is struggling with doubts relative to the “problem of evil.” The struggling Christian’s name is Pat Thema, derived from the Greek word for ‘suffering’ (πάθημα,...

John Calvin on the Frequency of the Lord’s Supper

Admirers of John Calvin (1509–1564) who have not read his magisterial Institutes are often surprised when they hear that he argues for a weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper, especially considering that a majority of churches today that trace their roots to the Reformation movement do not follow this practice. Calvin believed that a...

— Sermons & Audios —

1 Cor. 2:1–5: Knowing Christ Crucified

1 Cor. 2:1–5: Knowing Christ Crucified

Oh! The knowledge of Christ is more precious than life itself! He is the reason we exist, and He furnishes us with the purpose for living. Adorning and magnifying the doctrine of Christ must be our chief pursuit in life. And even on the brink of death, the well-lived life will be able to look back and say, “I determined not to know anything…except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” He was the invigorating impulse that made my heart thrive, he was the electrifying vitality that animated my actions; He has been my profoundest satisfaction in life, and pursuing Him has been my chief aim that trumped every other goal and every other pursuit in life. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

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Audio: The Problem of Evil and Goodness of God

Audio: The Problem of Evil and Goodness of God

The problem of evil was initially raised by the Greek philosopher Epicurus and was popularized by the skeptical philosopher David Hume. Hume put it like this: “Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing: whence then is evil?” His question is meant to cast doubt on the existence of God.
The problem of evil is often recognized as the greatest challenge for biblical theism. From the outset we must confess that we cannot penetrate the secret counsel of the mind of God. Scripture gives us light, but it does not give us a full answer to the “Why?” question. It gives us what we need to know, not necessarily all that we would like to know. So the answer of Scripture is not exhaustive, but it certainly is sufficient for a well-grounded, informed, and reasonable faith. Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

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Sermon: A Well-Grounded Assurance of Faith (Rom. 5:1–5)

Sermon: A Well-Grounded Assurance of Faith (Rom. 5:1–5)

A well-grounded assurance of faith is a heaven of delight in the heart of believers this side of eternity. The Apostle Paul teaches that believers rejoice in tribulation because of the joy of a well-grounded assurance, an assurance enjoyed subjectively and grounded objectively on the Word and promises of God. The doctrine of justification should be embraced and relished such that it yields sweet comfort and consolation in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit, for we know that Christ’s perfect righteousness is imputed to believers and they will never perish. We can be free from the haunting guilt of past shame and the fear of death because our salvation is perfect, perpetual, and permanent, based on the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone.

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— Articles —

The Gospel in a Word

The Gospel in a Word

If you had to summarize the gospel in just one word, what would it be? The question is a tough one. Justification? Redemption? Perhaps the best answer would be “Christ,” as long as we understand that His person and work are both included, and it is His work in...

read more
How Can I Know if I’m Saved?

How Can I Know if I’m Saved?

One of the most common issues I have dealt with in pastoral counseling, especially during my years on the mission field where many were coming to faith, is believers who struggle with doubts concerning their salvation. We know that salvation is God’s gift to us by...

read more
An Exegesis of Romans 2:12–16

An Exegesis of Romans 2:12–16

Background and Contextual Considerations The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans toward the end of his third missionary journey, probably from Corinth.[1] It was just prior to his visit to Jerusalem to deliver the large monetary gift from the Gentile churches as a...

read more
A Theology of the Role of Suffering in Missions

A Theology of the Role of Suffering in Missions

What is the place of suffering in our theology of mission? Does suffering play any vital or necessary role in the advancement of the missionary endeavor as sovereignly determined by the purposes of God? Or is suffering merely a vocationally-occasioned circumstance...

read more
John 3:1-10 in Defense of Monergistic Regeneration

John 3:1-10 in Defense of Monergistic Regeneration

An Exegesis of John 3:1–10 with a View to its Testimony Regarding the Agency of the New Birth  The hinge upon which the door of salvation-by-sovereign-grace turns is the doctrine of the new birth conceived as a supernatural accomplishment initiated and performed by...

read more
A Biblical Critique of Independent Biblicism

A Biblical Critique of Independent Biblicism

Biblicism is alive and well today. It takes different forms and is practiced to varying degrees. Some see this as a good thing; others, as the bane of simplistic evangelical anti-intellectualism. Some believe it to be mandated by the Bible itself; others attribute it...

read more
Who Am I? Identity Crisis and LGBTQ Ideology

Who Am I? Identity Crisis and LGBTQ Ideology

Our society’s understanding of what it means to be a person is changing at the fundamental level. In recent decades, the question of what makes a person a person has been raised. Who decides what constitutes personhood? And on what basis? Take, for example, the...

read more
John Calvin on the Frequency of the Lord’s Supper

John Calvin on the Frequency of the Lord’s Supper

Admirers of John Calvin (1509–1564) who have not read his magisterial Institutes are often surprised when they hear that he argues for a weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper, especially considering that a majority of churches today that trace their roots to the...

read more
Fictional Dialogue on the Problem of Evil

Fictional Dialogue on the Problem of Evil

About this dialogue: This is a fictional exchange between an apologist and a professing Christian believer who has witnessed significant suffering, on account of which he is struggling with doubts relative to the “problem of evil.” The struggling Christian’s name is...

read more
Studying Scripture for Soul Satisfaction

Studying Scripture for Soul Satisfaction

Reading the Bible and studying it are not the same thing.[1] I want to encourage you to make a regular habit of both. Bible reading is the best way to rapidly drink down the pure milk of the Word. By reading and surveying large portions of Scripture, we can become...

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