Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"astonished with admiration"

It's 10:50 p.m. and I having a good time putting the finishing touches on our worship folder for tomorrow's Lord's Day service! Today has been a great day. The work day at the church accomplished not only getting things done, but getting things done together as a body. Sweet fellowship!

And I'm excited about reading Psalm 8 tomorrow morning as our call to worship. I thought I'd share with you how the 1599 Geneva Bible introduces the psalm. Awesome summary!

"The Prophet [II Samuel 23:2; Acts 2:30] considering the excellent liberality and Fatherly providence of God toward man, whom he made as it were a god over all his works, doth not only give great thanks, but is astonished with the admiration of the same, as one nothing able to compass such great mercies."

What a Christian sermon is not

Zach, one of our church music graduates at BBC, posted this from Graeme Goldsworthy. My response is below the Graeme's thoughts. I'm not sure hyperbole was what Paul was after when he wrote to the Corinthians -- "And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testiomony of God with lofty speech or widsom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."

Here's Goldsworthy's quote and my response to Zach's posting it:

From Zach:
Any sermon, then, that aims to apply the biblical text to the congregation and does so without making it crystal clear that it is in Christ alone and through Christ alone that the application is realized, is not a Christian sermon. It is at best an exercise in wishful and pietistic thinking. It is at worst demonic in ...its Christ-denying legalism." Graeme Goldsworthy

From Doc:
AMEN BROTHER ZACH! Did the capitalization of the first sentence heighten the effect? Preaching minus an application realized “through Christ and in Christ alone” turns the grace of Christ’s making us righteous into the law of our “trying harder” or “doing better” to make ourselves righteous. It’s defeating and confusing for believers, and leaves unbelievers believing they somehow can please God by what they do rather than trusting alone in what Christ has done in His person and work as seen and savored in the gospel.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A word of thanks to GBC for T4G!

For all of us from GBC who attended the Together for the Gospel conference last week – thank you for your partnership in the gospel for making it possible for us to attend! My prayer is that the truth that we enjoyed will get spread around our church in numerous ways.

We were reminded that there is but one true gospel, and that to ignore “blatantly false” or “seductively revised” gospels is to ignore our obligation to “guard the good deposit” and “contend for the faith” and “adhere to the pattern of sound words.” This vigilance, we were reminded, was Paul’s vigilance, as he warned fledgling local churches of false teachers who would arise within the Christian community attempting to improve “the” gospel that can’t be improved upon.

We were reminded that it’s not our job to try to save Christianity for relevance. The gospel is always relevant. Our job, as John MacArthur taught us, is to sow the seed and go to sleep. “The wonder of the gospel is this: you sow the seed, you go to sleep, and it grows [Mark 4:27] . . . The thinking that more persuasive words and ingenuity result in more conversions inevitably result in adjusting and eventually corrupting the Gospel.”

We’ve got a great thing going here at Grace! I was mightily encouraged that we’re doing what God “in Christ” has called us to do.

And, by the way, how cool was it to hear 7,000 men and women sing hymns and songs accompanied by Bob Kauflin with only a piano. The human voices really rocked. Bob had all the songs written out in four parts. It was really amazing to hear human voices singing loudly theologically helpful texts and good tunes. So as Al Mohler put it, “to love Christ is to cherish and contend for Christ’s gospel.” So GBC, let’s continue to be faithful!