Our Blog /our-blog Christ Presbyterian Church blogs ℗ & © 2018 Christ Presbyterian Church SiteOrganic Web CMS Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:07:01 +0000 The Gospel Never Ceases to Amaze /our-blog/the-gospel-never-ceases-to-amaze/ /our-blog/the-gospel-never-ceases-to-amaze/ Tue, 23 Oct 2018 04:00:00 +0000 Some things, no matter how many times you experience them, no matter how many times you hear or read them, never grow boring, stale, or tiresome.   For some people it's a place such as the beach or the home where they grew up.  For others... Matthew Roberts Some things, no matter how many times you experience them, no matter how many times you hear or read them, never grow boring, stale, or tiresome.  

For some people it's a place such as the beach or the home where they grew up.  For others it's a piece of music or a work of art.  

In J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy masterpiece, The Return of the King, the hobbit Pippen has this experience over the sound of distant horns.

In one of the most desperate scenes of the book, the armies of Mordor breach the gate of Minas Tirith.  The Lord of the Nazgûl rides in triumph and terror into the city.  Yet at that precise moment, the horns of the Rohirrim, who had come unforeseen to the battlefield, erupt in the distance.  Gondor will be rescued!  The Lord of the Nazgûl is forced to depart and . . . .  

"When the dark shadow at the Gate withdrew Gandalf still sat motionless. But Pippin rose to his feet, as if a great weight had been lifted from him; and he stood listening to the horns, and it seemed to him that they would break his heart with joy. And never in after years could he hear a horn blown in the distance without tears starting in his eyes.  (J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book 5, Ch. 6, The Pyre of Denethor)

The braying of distant horns never grew tiresome to Pippen.  It always evoked this poignant moment of joy.

The Gospel produces that same fruit in our hearts.  Romans 1:18 - 3:20 descends in a dreadful description of God's just wrath towards proud, rebellious, and idolatrous humanity. Then there's the wondrous turn in 3:21 which leads to these verses. . . . 

Romans 3:23-25 "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith."

There it is!  God counts to us the perfect righteousness of Christ as a free gift!  We are freely given the gift of forgiveness, passive righteousness, and eternal life though we've doe nothing to deserve it!

This is the theological core of Christianity and how contrary it is to the social fabric of western culture.  The doors of this world open and close based on your cleverness, connections, wealth, or morality.

Yet, this free gift of imputed righteousness isn’t discovered by the clever; it’s discovered by those who know their folly and see the wisdom of God in Christ.   

This free gift of eternal life isn’t accessed by the well-connected; it’s accessed by those who connect themselves to a first-century commoner, Jesus of Nazareth.

This free gift of eternal life with God can’t be bought to the wealthy; it’s freely given to those who know their need and come to God with empty hands.

This fee gift of righteousness isn’t earned by those who conquer their sin; it’s given to those who realize that they need someone else to conquer it.

The Gospel is unparalleled!  It never ceases to amaze.  

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Repentance for the deeper insubordination /our-blog/repentance-for-the-deeper-insubordination/ /our-blog/repentance-for-the-deeper-insubordination/ Tue, 09 Oct 2018 04:00:00 +0000 Anyone in a position of leadership experiences insubordination.  A parent hears it from children, a teacher from students, a supervisor from employees, and a shepherd from the sheep.   Insubordination can be necessary when authority is abused. ... Matthew Roberts Anyone in a position of leadership experiences insubordination.  A parent hears it from children, a teacher from students, a supervisor from employees, and a shepherd from the sheep.  

Insubordination can be necessary when authority is abused.  Consider the actions of the mid-wives in Exodus 1:17 or the Apostles in Acts 5:29.  

Yet, most insubordination against authority is simply an extension of our cosmic insubordination against God.  We resist any intrusion on our prerogative to be the master of our lives.  All earthly authorities are a distant and very tainted echo of God's authority.  Furthermore, criticism is a reflection of pride; it's a way of saying, "I could do better."

Anyone in leadership eventually experiences a type of insubordination that especially bothersome.  It occurs when subordinates blame the person in authority for something out of the leader's control.  A family trip by car is delayed by traffic from bad weather.  The weather isn't in the parents' control,  but the children grumble against them.  The Chromebooks of a classroom fail to start.  The failure isn't the teachers fault but the students murmur against the teacher.  Distant economic factors cause a business to stall.  The employees blame the supervisors for mismanagement, but the economic realities are outside their control.

The question is really, "Who superintends all the events of our lives?"  When we're insubordinate against earthly authority in a matter that's beyond their control, then on a deeper level we're really grumbling against God.  This is precisely what we see in Exodus 16.  The people blame Moses and Aaron, yet Moses and Aaron correctly pinpoint that the people are criticizing the LORD.

Exodus 16:1-8 Israel set out from Elim . . . and the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."  . . .  So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, "For what are we, that you grumble against us? . . . the LORD has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him - what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the LORD."

The next time you're tempted to complain against a person in authority ask yourself, "Can this leader really fix the problem?"  If it's outside their control, then you would be wise to hold your tongue because you'll be inadvertently chastising God.  

Furthermore, because God has already exhibited His love at Calvary, then we can trust that whatever disappointments, annoyances, or set backs that we experience are actually gifts of His love.  A mature faith sees all pleasures and disappointments equally as gifts of God's love.  A mature faith will even rise to worship and thank God for a sharp disappointments.

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A reason to worship Jesus /our-blog/a-reason-to-worship-jesus/ /our-blog/a-reason-to-worship-jesus/ Thu, 27 Sep 2018 04:00:00 +0000 "One of the heavy costs of discipleship, I suspect, is not what my discipleship costs me, but what my discipleship (i.e. the discipleship that I’ve received) has cost others in the way of pain." C. John Miller, The Heart of a Servant... Matthew Roberts "One of the heavy costs of discipleship, I suspect, is not what my discipleship costs me, but what my discipleship (i.e. the discipleship that I’ve received) has cost others in the way of pain."

C. John Miller, The Heart of a Servant Leader: Letters from Jack Miller, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2004) p. 172.

A parent knows the painful toil of disciplining a wayward child.  It taxes the parents' time, emotional strength, and relational energy to form the child's character.  The child will flourish to the degree the parent is willing to suffer on their behalf.

The same principle applies in spiritual formation.  In order for a young believer to be fashioned after Jesus Christ, an older believer must walk alongside the younger one and provide training, correction, and at times a painful rebuke.  The younger believer will mature to the degree the older believer is willing to suffer for them.  

This principle is at work on an incalculable scale in the Gospel.  Jesus Christ is the true shepherd who lays down his life for His sheep.  He didn’t experience merely a tax on his time, emotional strength, and relational energy.  He incarnated in weakness, poverty, and ignominy.  He was condemned, spit upon, derided, and hung from a Roman gibbet. Far worse than this, He was severed from the Father.  He experienced the Father’s righteous indignation for our sin.  Yet, Jesus did it all gladly in love for us.

If you can see ways in which your parents suffered so that you could prosper, if you can see ways an older believer toiled so that you could mature, then know that those are small windows into the sufferings that Jesus Christ gladly experienced so that you could be forgiven, made righteous, and be received into His eternal kingdom.  My your heart warm to love Him.

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The Church's Progress and Regress /our-blog/the-churchs-progress-and-regress/ /our-blog/the-churchs-progress-and-regress/ Thu, 20 Sep 2018 04:00:00 +0000 Acts 8:1, 4, 11:19  “There arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria . . . Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word . . . . Now... Matthew Roberts Acts 8:1, 4, 11:19  “There arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria . . . Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word . . . . Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch . . . .”

A naive assumption that young followers of Christ often make is that they expect the church corporately to experience continual growth.  They reason, “Jesus states in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of hell will not withstand the church’s progress.  A healthy local church or denomination will experience ongoing growth.”

This assumption overlooks the fact that Jesus’ own public ministry was marked by times of numeric progress and regress.  There were times when crowds flocked to hear him, and there were times when the same crowds turned away (John 6:66). 

This assumption overlooks passages like Acts 8 in which the church in Judea is scattered.  Furthermore, it ignores the testimony of church history.  The church experienced sharp regress from the rise of Islam, internal schism, and doctrinal pollution.  The church’s influence on culture and society has been extensive or negligible depending on the time and place in history.  Church historian Kenneth Latourette describes this reality.

“From the seventh into the tenth century the Moslem Arabs mastered about half of the lands which had been ruled by Rome.  This segment also embraced about half of what might be denominated Christendom.  In it the Christian churches dwindled more or less rapidly.”

Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity, Volume 1, page 270

“In the four centuries between 950 and 1350 Christianity was carried over a wider reach of territory than even in those great first five centuries of accomplishment which had inaugurated its course. . . Now followed another period when it seemed that Christianity was fading from the human scene.  Between 1350 and 1500 the geographic frontiers of Christianity shrank alarmingly.  The faith vanished from most of Asia and was hard-bested in Asia Minor and the Balkan Peninsula.”

Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity, Volume 1, page 587

These facts should promote a more mature view of the church’s vitality.  Seasons of pruning can be ordained by God to purify the church.  Persecution can diminish the church in one region and force people to migrate.  This in turn can cause the church to bloom in another region.  

A mature faith says, “The Lord may place me in a time and location in history in which the church is experiencing numeric growth or decline.  He may place me in a time and location in which the church’s impact on culture waxes or wanes.  Regardless of the circumstances, I know that God's eternal purpose will prevail.  Whenever and wherever Jesus places me, I will be faithful.  The church doesn’t have to appear successful in order for me to faithful to Jesus Christ.”

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Repentance for the Overextended /our-blog/repentance-for-the-overextended/ /our-blog/repentance-for-the-overextended/ Fri, 14 Sep 2018 04:00:00 +0000 Ecclesiastes 2:23 Even in the night his heart does not rest. Our lives are frantic with activity.  Part of this stems from the demands of a highly competitive marketplace.  If we don't put in the time, then there's a line of people waiting... Matthew Roberts Ecclesiastes 2:23 Even in the night his heart does not rest.

Our lives are frantic with activity.  Part of this stems from the demands of a highly competitive marketplace.  If we don't put in the time, then there's a line of people waiting to take our spot.  Part of this stems from technology.  We can be reached anytime and anywhere.  E-mail enables us (and often requires us) to work when we're not in the office.  

Yet, if we're honest, there's something deeper at play.  A busy schedule is a mark of being important; it is way to say to ourselves and to others "I'm significant."

Jacqueline Olds, in her book The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-first Century writes, "Talk to Americans about their lives and one thing you will hear over and over again is how busy most people feel.  People complain about being too busy, but if you listen closely, you will hear that people are proud of their busyness.  It serves as a badge of toughness, success, and importance."  (page 14)

Tim Keller, in his small group guide on Romans writes, "An inordinate need for people’s approval continually leads to over-commitments and over-estimations of what we can accomplish in a given amount of time."  (page 148)

Do you continually over-commit and over-schedule?  Are people around you annoyed with you because you can't fulfill the promises you've made?  Do you continually over-estimate your strength to accomplish as much as possible?  

You're living in unbelief and idolatry.  You're seeking to derive from your busy schedule what you can only find in Jesus Christ, namely, that your important because you're a beloved child of the King.  You are approved by the only One who's opinion counts not because of your productivity and success, but because you're clothed in Jesus' perfect righteousness.  

Our culture won't prescribe repentance and faith for a life of over-scheduling and exhaustion, but that's precisely what's needed.  Try this, "Heavenly Father, forgive me for finding my worth in my busy schedule.  Thank you that Jesus suffered and died for my unbelief and idolatry.  Thank you that He rose from the dead to eternal rest for me."

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Repentance and Faith for the Idolization of Success /our-blog/repentance-and-faith-for-the-idolization-of-success/ /our-blog/repentance-and-faith-for-the-idolization-of-success/ Thu, 13 Sep 2018 04:00:00 +0000 Mark 10:25 Jesus said to them, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." An interesting phenomenon is found in every professional sport.  The fans and media follow the... Matthew Roberts Mark 10:25 Jesus said to them, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

An interesting phenomenon is found in every professional sport.  The fans and media follow the story lines of the winners and the stories of the defeated times are ignored and forgotten.

Corresponding to this, Winston Churchill famously said, "History is written by the victors."  Victors place their interpretation on events, and the study of history is often simply a chronology of winners.  History follows the stories of those with power and wealth and largely ignores everyone else.

Yet, when we encounter Christianity we find that it is the exact opposite.  Jesus' ministry transpired in a backwater region of the Roman Empire.  He didn't possess the noble birth, education, political power, or wealth which makes someone a factor in this world.  His life ended in being arrested, tried, flogged, and hung from a Roman gibbet.  In the world's terms he was a loser.  

Yet, what appeared to us as weakness, folly, poverty, and failure was the very means God ordained to accomplish His eternal plan.  Furthermore, redemptive history has progressed along the same lines through the centuries.

God chose Abram, with his old age and barren wife, to be the father of a great nation.  He chose the nation of Israel, not Egypt, Babylon, or Greece, to reveal His law and covenants.  He took Joseph from the dungeon, Moses from the wilderness, and David from the pasture.  

When you come to a local church, does it feel weak and frail?  Do the people seem mostly uncool and average?  Know that God uses what appears weak and frail to accomplish his purposes.  Know that God works mostly through the uncool and average.

What about your weakness, inadequacy, immaturity, folly, and sin?  Have you embraced them and learned to boast in them because they prompt you to reply completely on Jesus Christ as your righteousness, wisdom, and strength?  

Have you learned to distrust your strengths?  You may be smarter, better looking, physically stronger, or more socially adroit than others.  Yet, if your area of strength causes you to trust in yourself and not to rely upon Jesus Christ, then it is a snare to you.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news to the poor, to sinners, to outcasts, and to losers.  It grows best in the lives of people marginalized by the world.  

1 Corinthians 1:26-27 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.

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Love Without Strings /our-blog/love-without-strings/ /our-blog/love-without-strings/ Tue, 11 Sep 2018 04:00:00 +0000 Many disciples of Jesus Christ begin their journey with an unbiblical assumption.  The assumption is, "If I put Christ first in my life, if I devote myself to obeying His commands and advancing His kingdom, then He will protect me from harm and... Matthew Roberts Many disciples of Jesus Christ begin their journey with an unbiblical assumption.  The assumption is, "If I put Christ first in my life, if I devote myself to obeying His commands and advancing His kingdom, then He will protect me from harm and He'll prosper my health, career, and family."  

It doesn't take long to learn from experience and to read in the Bible that it doesn't often work out this way.  The Bible has many accounts of people putting Christ first and experiencing harm.  Consider the stories of Abel, Naboth, John the Baptist, James the brother of John, and Stephen.  They were faithful to Christ and He didn't protect them from harm in this world.  It is precisely because they were faithful to Christ that they experienced suffering and death.

Why does God ordain suffering for His people?  One reason is that God wants our love, faith, and obedience to be purified of self-interest.  God wants us to love Him because He's supremely worthy of our love irrespective of any ancillary benefits.  

God want us to have the type of faith that says, "Whether this life goes well for me or poorly for me, Christ Jesus will still be first."

We see vignettes of this in the Bible.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when threatened with the fiery furnace respond, "God is able to save us, but if he doesn't save us, we will still obey him."  (Dan. 3:17-18).  Esther makes the same decision.  She makes a decision to honor God and help others even though it puts her at risk.  She says, "If I perish, I perish, but whether I live or die I'm going to do what's right.  God doesn't have to protect and prosper me for me to be obedient to Him."  (Esther 4:16)

The supreme example of this is Christ himself.  In the Garden of Gethsemane he prays, "Father if it is possible, take this cup from me, yet not as I will but your will be done."  Jesus doesn't want to be arrested, beaten, spit upon, mocked, and hung from a Roman gibbet.  Yet, He loves, believes, and obeys the Father regardless of what the Father ordains for him to experience.

God wants you to have the same type of faith.  He will ordain suffering and loss to test whether you love Him for what you can gain from Him, or whether you love Him for Himself.  If He takes away your health, your love relationships, and your career - if He ordains for you to experience disease, loneliness, and unemployment - if He ordains for you to experience loss that will never be mended in this life - will you still love and obey Him?  

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The Work of the Holy Spirit /our-blog/the-work-of-the-holy-spirit/ /our-blog/the-work-of-the-holy-spirit/ Tue, 04 Sep 2018 04:00:00 +0000 Dear CPC Family,   In the late spring, I took an aside from Romans to preach four sermons on the doctrine of effectual calling.  This doctrine is closely related to regeneration and the new-birth.  To assist that study, I read several books on the... Dear CPC Family,

 

In the late spring, I took an aside from Romans to preach four sermons on the doctrine of effectual calling.  This doctrine is closely related to regeneration and the new-birth.  To assist that study, I read several books on the Holy Spirit, including this one from Octavius Winslow, who was a 19th century minister in England.  I also used these notes to conduct family worship.  I hope they stimulate your reflection on the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Warmly,

Pastor Roberts

September 2018

(Please pardon any typos found below.  The fault is with me, not with the author or publisher.)

 

 

Octavius Winslow (1808 - 1878), The Work of the Holy Spirit, 1840 (repr. Edinburg: Banner of Truth, 2013)

 

 

Biography:

Octavius Winslow was a prominent Baptist minister in England during the 19th century.  He was a friend of Charles Spurgeon and J. C. Ryle.  He composed over 100 books and pamphlets; several of his books reprinted by the Banner of Truth Trust. 

 

Page 2:  Low views of the dignity of the Holy Spirit’s person will engender low views of the necessity and nature of his work. 

 

Page 47:  The natural man is a god to himself, and he has many other gods as well. 

 

Page 52:  A new spring of action is a distinguished feature of the renewed man which must not be overlooked.  Every unconverted man has his rule of action; or, in other words, some great governing principle, which is his rule and standard in all that he does.  The controlling principle of an unrenewed mind is self.  His rule is to adopt such a course, and to do such things, as either gratify or elevate himself.  . . . But quickened by the Spirit, ‘born of God,’ ‘created anew in Christ Jesus,’ the will of God is now his rule of action, the glory of God his aim, and the love of Christ his constraining motive.  ‘The expulsive power of a new affection’ has found a home and a dwelling-place in his heart; and when his own will comes into competition with God’s will, under the holy sway of this ‘new affection’ – the love of Christ – self is renounced, yea swallowed up in God, and God in Christ is all in all. 

 

Page 113:  It may be, reader, that your heart is often anxious to know in what way you may distinguish between nature and grace, how you may clearly discern between that which is the work of man, and that which is the work of God.  In this way you may trace the vast difference – that which at first came from God, returns to God again.  It rises to the source whence it descended. . . Did nature ever teach a soul the plague of its own heart?  Did nature ever lay the soul in the dust before God, mourning and weeping over sin?  Did nature ever inspire the soul with pantings for God and thirstings for holiness?  And did it ever endear the throne of grace and make precious to the soul the atoning blood, the justifying righteousness of Jesus?

 

Page 132:  The holy Robert Leighton has remarked that to say from the heart ‘Thy will be done’ constitutes the very essence of sanctification.

 

Page 135:  Such an attainment in holiness is not soon or easily gained.  Far from it.  In many, it is the work of years; in all, of painful discipline.  It is not on the high mount of joy, but in the low valley of humiliation, that this precious and holy surrender is learned.  It is not in the summer day – when all things smile and wear a sunny aspect – then it were easy to say, ‘Thy will be done’; but when a cloudy and a wintry sky looks down upon you, when the chill blast of adversity blows, when health fails, when friends die, when wealth departs, when the heart’s fondest endearments are yielded, when the Isaac is called for . .  . . then to look up with filial love and exclaim, ‘My Father, thy will be done!’ – oh, this is holiness, this is happiness indeed.

 

Page 145:  They know but little of their own heart, who do not know, that sin (to borrow the language of John Owen), ‘not only still abides in us, but is still acting, still laboring to bring forth the deeds of the flesh. . . . When sin lets us alone (as has been remarked) we may let sin alone.’ 

 

Page 166:  Where the Holy Spirit descends in an especial and extraordinary manner (as the history of the American churches and, more recently, of many in our own land testifies that he sometimes does), conversions assume a more marked character and type.

 

Page 217:  He gives you himself.  Can he give you more?

 

Page 237:  Draw near, then, seeking soul, with boldness [in prayer]; not the boldness of presumption, self-righteous man, but that of one chosen, called, pardoned and justified.  Draw near with the lowly boldness of a child, with the humble confidence of a son.  You are dear to your Father.  Your voice is sweet to him.

 

Page 254:  Many of the saints of God tend to forget the appointed path of believers through the world.  They forget that the path is to be one of tribulation; that far from being a smooth, a flowery and an easy path, it is rough, thorny and difficult.  The believer often expects all his heaven on earth.  He forgets that whatever spiritual enjoyment there may be here, related in its nature to the joys of the glorified, and of this he cannot expect too much – the present is only the wilderness state of the church.

 

Page 261:  Be sure of this, that when the Lord is about to favor you with some great and peculiar blessing, he may prepare you for it by some great and peculiar trial.

 

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A Study in Romans /our-blog/a-study-in-romans/ /our-blog/a-study-in-romans/ Sat, 10 Feb 2018 05:00:00 +0000 CPC is commencing a study in the book of Romans.  Romans has played a pivotal role in the life of the church through the centuries.  It also comprehensively declares the Gospel and thereby informs our study of the rest of scripture. The pivotal... Matthew Roberts CPC is commencing a study in the book of Romans.  Romans has played a pivotal role in the life of the church through the centuries.  It also comprehensively declares the Gospel and thereby informs our study of the rest of scripture.

The pivotal moment of Augustine's conversion was caused by reading Romans 15:13.  It was Martin Luther’s comprehension of Romans 1:17 that sparked the Protestant Reformation.  Luther wrote:

I had greatly longed to understand Paul’s letter to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression ‘the righteousness of God’, because I took it to mean that righteousness whereby God is righteous and acts righteously in punishing the unrighteous . . . Night and day I pondered until . . . I grasped the truth that the righteousness of God is that righteousness whereby, through grace and sheer mercy, he justifies us by faith.  Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise.  The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before ‘the righteousness of God’ had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love.  This passage of Paul became to me a gateway into heaven.  (Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol. 34 (Muhlenberg Press, 1960), pp. 336f.)

Both John Calvin and William Tyndale stated that Romans elucidated the other books of the Bible.  Calvin wrote:

If we gained a true understanding of this Epistle, we have an open door to all the most profound treasures of Scripture.

William Tyndale stated:

[Romans is] the principal and most excellent part of the New Testament, the most pure Euangelion, that is to say, glad tidings. . . . . and also a light and a pure way in unto the whole Scripture.

 

As a church we spent a year in Ephesians which has only 6 chapters.  Romans has 16 chapters and is quite dense.  I suspect we'll be in our study of Romans for at least two years.  

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Officer Nominations and Training /our-blog/officer-nominations-and-training/ /our-blog/officer-nominations-and-training/ Thu, 05 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 CPC is in a season of officer nominations and training.  The Biblical precedent for this process is Acts 6:1-6.  In that passage we see five truths.  First, the essence of church polity is plurality not singularity.  Decisions were made by teams not... Matthew Roberts CPC is in a season of officer nominations and training.  The Biblical precedent for this process is Acts 6:1-6.  In that passage we see five truths. 

First, the essence of church polity is plurality not singularity.  Decisions were made by teams not leaders working together; they weren’t decreed by one individual. 

Second, leaders were called forward by their peers; they didn’t put themselves forward.

Third, the offices of the church are deed and word.  They comprise the office of Deacon and Elder.  Deacons are oriented towards physical needs; Elders are oriented towards spiritual needs.

Fourth, the foremost criterion for church leadership is character.  Skills and talents are secondary to holiness.

Lastly, we’ll see that all these principles are rooted in the ministry of Jesus Christ.  We see Jesus working in concert with God the Father and God the Spirit.  Jesus didn’t put himself forward; he was called forward by God the Father.  Jesus’ ministry was deed and word.  Jesus’ ministry stemmed from His character; at the pivotal moment he said, “Not my will, but your will be done.”

Please converse with the pastoral staff if you have questions about this process.

 

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