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Monday, August 28, 2006

The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration

This is one of the finest expositions on the gospel that I have read. I read it previously, years ago, but came across it once again reading through Getting the Gospel Right by R.C. Sproul, and was captured by how well written this statement is. You can find and read the statement here.

I am thinking about introducing this statement into the confession of faith at the church which I pastor.

An interesting note:
Robert Gundry wrote an article reasoning why he would not sign The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration. He argued that the doctrine of Christ's righteousness being imputed to believing sinners needs to be abandoned. This challenge and a few other reasons led to the birth of the book Counted Righteous in Christ by Dr. John Piper.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Regenerate Church Membership

Dr. Mark Dever, pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, has contributed his thoughts concerning the failed resolution at the Southern Baptist Convention pertaining to regenerate church membership. The failed resolution encouraged Southern Baptist Churches to exercise integrity in maintaining accurate and responsible membership rolls.

One member from the resolution committee suggested that churches should not remove members from our rolls because these particular inactive members are prospects for the church.

Members should not be prospects. Members by definition are active, but Southern Baptists, by in large, are presently unwilling to remove these members from their rolls.

I think we should all work towards maintaining accurate and honest membership rolls.

Giving an Account

Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you."

This highlighted portion of verse 17 should always be on the mind of the faithful pastor. Here is one question I find myself asking lately that is related to this truth: In order to give an account of those I shepherd to God, do I not have to know them?

This question is easy for me to answer. I believe I do have to know the flock which I shepherd. I believe I have to know their names. I believe I must have interaction with them.

Logically, I have come to the conclusion that churches can become to large. Churches can grow so much numerically that it really becomes an impossibility for a pastor/pastors to faithfully shepherd.

With many churches growing by adding satellite churches where the preaching pastor is electronically present, are they moving away from fidelity to Hebrews 13:17? Can a pastoral staff faithfully intercede personally for a congregation of 20,000 members?

As a pastor of a small rural church, I have not had to deal with this issue, but we all should be thinking and preparing for church plants.

Monday, August 14, 2006

What are you reading?

Seth and Brent,
What books/articles/sermons have you recently completed? What are you currently reading/listening to? And what are some future readings on the horizon for you?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Let's Talk Preaching

I spend a lot of time praying and thinking about what books I will preach through first if Shiloh calls me as their pastor. I would really like to nail this down over the next few weeks and be outlining messages and laying out a preaching calendar if at all possible. There is a Sunday morning and evening service and a Wednesday night prayer and bible study service at the church. Maybe all the experienced pastors who view this blog everyday can share some wisdom with me and comment on what books they would preach through first on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening. Thanks for your help.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Grace Greater than All Our Sin

Both my Sunday morning and evening texts illustrate the depravity of mankind at its worse.
This morning we examined the denial of Jesus by Peter found in Mark 14. Peter confidently boasted to Jesus, though all the other disciples fall away, he would not. Peter said he would not deny Jesus, and that he would even die with him. Sadly, this disciple who had walked along with Jesus throughout his ministry, and had been witness to many great miracles, denied even knowing Jesus three times in one night.

This evening we began by surveying David's affairs with Bathsheba and Uriah in 2 Samuel 11-12. David breaks the last five commandments during this affair:
1. He orders Uriah's murder
2. He commits adultery with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba.
3. He steals Uriah's wife.
4. He bears false witness by attempting to coax Uriah into having sexual relations with his wife in order to cover up Bathsheba's pregnancy.
5. He covets another man's wife.

Remarkably, both these men are forgiven of their sins. And both of these men are restored by God. Peter's restoration is found in John 21:15-19. David's sins are forgiven, as noted in the Samuel narrative. His reflection and confessions of this affair are found in Psalm 51.

It is truly amazing that God would forgive Peter, David, you and me of our sins. It is truly amazing that God would restore us and reconcile us to himself. But this is in fact what God does through the death and resurrection of his Son. And the Holy Spirit which David pleaded for God not to take away, is sent to unbelievers to create in us clean hearts.

The great hymn writers do not fail us here. In fact they so often put into words what the Scripture reveals. Julia H. Johnston writes,

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide,
What can avail to wash it away?
Look, there is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today.

Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Grace Greater than Our Sin, The Baptist Hymnal, p 329.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Girls #5

Why do kids want to go up the slide the wrong way?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My Girls #4

Did I tell you Lydia was into princess items (look at the picture on the fridge).

My Girls #3

The girls take a break from wrestling to pose for this picture.

My Girls #2

This is Chloe, as you might can tell, she is a little mischievious.

My Girls #1

Lydia is into princess decor at the present time.