Church Blog

In the beginning God

In the beginning, God made all things good because He is good. He is good and all that He does is good.

God created all things good…but that’s not the way it is now. We must be taught, from the ground up, to live in the world that God made to be good.

Here is Voddie Baucham teaching a children’s catechism to seminary students. It is darn good. The link starts at the right spot.

An Introduction to Worldview

A beautiful old piece from Francis Schaeffer.

Resources on inerrancy.

The authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian church in this and every age. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God’s written Word. To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master. Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority.

The following Statement affirms this inerrancy of Scripture afresh, making clear our understanding of it and warning against its denial. We are persuaded that to deny it is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse that submission to the claims of God’s own Word which marks true Christian faith. We see it as our timely duty to make this affirmation in the face of current lapses from the truth of inerrancy among our fellow Christians and misunderstandings of this doctrine in the world at large.

This Statement consists of three parts: a Summary Statement, Articles of Affirmation and Denial, and an accompanying Exposition. It has been prepared in the course of a three-day consultation in Chicago. Those who have signed the Summary Statement and the Articles wish to affirm their own conviction as to the inerrancy of Scripture and to encourage and challenge one another and all Christians to growing appreciation and understanding of this doctrine. We acknowledge the limitations of a document prepared in a brief, intensive conference and do not propose that this Statement be given creedal weight. Yet we rejoice in the deepening of our own convictions through our discussions together, and we pray that the Statement we have signed may be used to the glory of our God toward a new reformation of the Church in its faith, life, and mission.

We offer this Statement in a spirit, not of contention, but of humility and love, which we purpose by God’s grace to maintain in any future dialogue arising out of what we have said. We gladly acknowledge that many who deny the inerrancy of Scripture do not display the consequences of this denial in the rest of their belief and behavior, and we are conscious that we who confess this doctrine often deny it in life by failing to bring our thoughts and deeds, our traditions and habits, into true subjection to the divine Word.

We invite response to this statement from any who see reason to amend its affirmations about Scripture by the light of Scripture itself, under whose infallible authority we stand as we speak. We claim no personal infallibility for the witness we bear, and for any help which enables us to strengthen this testimony to God’s Word we shall be grateful.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

Cover One Another

“Love covers a multitude of sins.”

Having prayerfully repented of being unnecessarily offended, having prayerfully asked God to mature you to the place of “overlooking offense,” now ask God to give you the supernatural strength to cover your brother or sister’s sin, even the sins committed against you.

How does that feel? Does it feel that you are making light of what was done to you? Then pray about that. Does it still feel that it is about you? Then pray about that. The aim of God in the Peter passage we are exploring is that we would be so other centered in the church that the first thing I think of when you step on my toes is the divine enabling that God has given me to cover your sin before it ever becomes known.

Remember, “Whoever covers an offense seeks love,” Proverbs 17:9.

Pray today that God would make you the kind of person in church who is not only never offended but that covers the sins of others for glory of God. And pray that God will grow your fellow church members in the same way, chances are that you will need it more than they do.

Cover One Another

“Love covers a multitude of sins.”

Now, again, we are submitting ourselves to God for the sake of growing our Christian faith and our Christian church. By personally repenting more deeply we will return on the next Lord’s Day ready for a deeper fellowship.

Today, prayerfully repent of being offended by what is not actually sin. It is time for us to recognize that this is a version of spiritual adolescence and we can grow out of it. Your job and mine is to cover sin (which we will pray about tomorrow), not to raise small things to the level of offense. 

Pray. And may God raise us up to be thick skinned spiritual adults who help others grow in Christ.

Love One Another

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

This week we are submitting ourselves to God for the sake of growing our Christian faith and our Christian church.

Today, in your prayers for one another, give up your right to be offended, even if – especially if – you think you are justified. Here’s why:

  1. It is wisdom to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
  2. It is hatred to spread the matter. Proverbs 10:12
  3. It is glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

Today, so that God is seen to be glorious in His Church, give up your self-justified right to be offended and remember that answer to the question. “What’s wrong with the church?” I am. I am the offender and Jesus has covered all of my sin.

Pray for One Another

“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.”

This week we are submitting ourselves to God for the sake of growing our Christian faith and our Christian church. We start by acknowledging a version of the old G.K. Chesterton question. “What’s wrong with the church?” The answer is, “I am.” We are more deeply repenting of those things in our hearts that we allow to keep us from one another in the church.

Today, pray for one another. Pray for everyone in the church that you think of today. Pray that they would experience the covering of their sins through the grace of Christ and the grace of the church. Pray, especially, for anyone in the church that you were mad at today, anyone who has offended you. Pray what you honestly feel and then repent of that anger and ask that God would make you want what he wants for them. Then pray for what God wants for them.

Today, pray for one another. Each one us need prayer and need to pray. Each one of us needs God to act in our lives today.

Read the Bible in 40 Days

New Testament in 40 DaysAs the new year begins, take up the good and simple task of reading the Bible and talk about it with everyone who will join you.

Read the New Testament in 40 days and then read it again.

Children who worship become adults who worship

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What is happening on Sunday morning in the Lord’s Day worship service? Last Sunday we said three things:

  1. We remember that we are created to worship. Genesis 2:1-3.
  2. We participate in the re-creation of all things in the resurrection. Acts 20:7; Luke 24:1-6.
  3. We anticipate the new creation in the new Heaven and new Earth. Rev. 1:9-11.

Sunday worship sets the pattern for our lives. Sunday shapes Monday through Saturday.

Admittedly, this is seeing things only from a human perspective. From a divine perspective, on the Lord’s Day, God receives the worship He both deserves and demands. We will discuss this is much greater detail at The Table, starting on October 4.

Children Who Worship

This Sunday, September 10, we will return to our long-time patterns of keeping more of our children in worship with us. Specifically, children will worship with us from 3rd grade and above. This brings a change for those children 3rd grade to 5th grade and it brings a change for all of the adults in worship as well.

Before we speak further as to the function of younger children in the service, return just a few lines above and remember two things.

  1. God deserves and demands worship. This includes the worship of believing children.
  2. Worship shapes our lives in the created world, by resurrection and towards heaven. This is exactly what we want for our children.

These reasons alone are enough for us to lean in to the responsibility of training our children to worship so that they become adults who worship.

Adults Who Train Children to Worship

We began this process of transition one year ago. Since then, we have trained parents in their responsibility to raise their children to be believing adults. This responsibility is given by God to parents (see Ephesians 6:1-2) and is not usurped by the church. The church serves to train and equip parents for their God given task.

Parents have taken part in two sessions:

Shepherding the Child’s Heart, by Ted Tripp. This focused on the parental responsibility to not just discipline, but to shepherd towards adult faithfulness, from the inside out. Regarding Sunday, that means that teaching our children to worship is a job that take place all week long. Children learn to obey, to sit and to listen in 100 different situations at home before they ever arrive at church.

Family Worship, by Donald Whitney. This discussion taught us that training in worship is also a parental task and it gave us a helpful and basic form to use around our tables at home: read, pray and sing.

This is our culture, this is who we are. By bringing children back into worship, we are declaring to God and to everyone, that we are taking seriously this responsibility both on Sunday and all week long.

What does this look like on Sunday?

First, adults in the service who do not have children in this age group may find themselves a little distracted as we learn to do this together. Let me remind you of something important as your Pastor (and as the Pastor of these children). These are our kids, not “their kids” and never “those kids.” What they think of Jesus and of His church for the rest of their lives will be shaped by us. Be patient. Love them and their parents. Offer to help as soon as you sit down – don’t wait until there is an issue. And pray, pray, pray. Pray for the heart and soul of the children. Pray for the ability and patience of the parents.

Parents, you are welcome in the service and so is your child. We are here to worship God together. Seek diligently to apply what we have sought to teach you between Sundays so that your children are ready for worship. Take advantage of wisdom of other adults and the suggestions given by those who have been there before, like these practical suggestions from Noël Piper. At any time during the service, you have permission to take your kids out for a moment and then bring them back in when ready. It is yours to discern between fidgeting and running, between noises and screaming.

Let us all remember, that is a long-term project, not just one Sunday. God deserves worship and we are preparing the next generation to worship Him. This is about God, not about us or even about our children. And we know, that the greatest good we can give our children is to train them in the joys of corporate worship. Our children will be shaped into worshipers as they worship along with us and as they see us worshiping wholeheartedly over time.

A Prayer for the People

Sunday’s prayer for the people, based upon the call to worship from Psalm 144:1. Our call to worship, as well as our benediction, ends with an Amen and Amen. The congregation joins in on the second with all their hearts.

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,

who trains my hands for war,

and my fingers for battle.

Eternal Lord of Hosts. You who regard man. You who touch the mountains and they smoke, yet you take regard for man. You are our stronghold. You train our hands for war. You rescue our children from palace of the devil. To you we sing a new song today. Give us eyes to see the battle raging against the knowledge of God in the world where we live and give us courage to stand and fight against it. We are in need of workers for the harvest, athletes for the race, soldiers for the battle. God, please raise them up among us. Take us – we sideline sitting, Monday morning quarterbacks – and send us out into the game, send us into the battle…and may the gates of hell not prevail against us. God, there are people we love, a community we love, a nation we love, that are all in great danger because they are captive to the devil to do his will. Free them by the Word of your Gospel. We ask this so that you would be seen as a great savior. In the name of Jesus, who already stands in victory, ruling heaven and earth, Amen and Amen.