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How Sanctification Works

sanct

Sanctification, the way the redeemed in Christ reflect his glory after his image, is both positional and progressive. Positional Sanctification is something the Christian has by grace presently in his union with Christ. As the apostle says, And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by th...

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Motherhood and Security

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I have had the privilege of being mothered for fifty one years. I have had the joy of watching my six children experience the same benefits of being mothered for 28 years. There is a certain security in being mothered. While ‘being mothered’ may stir up certain feelings of animosity among the offspring of certain wicked, negative, controlling, or hovering type...

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Forgiveness and Bitterness

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We begin angry. We experience hurt and we hold someone responsible. We hold them accountable and make them pay. When asked, “Are you okay, are you angry?” We reply, “No, I’m fine.” But we’re not ok. The relationship remains shallow, and inside we are in turmoil and our thoughts and desires deceive us. Bitterness has found a place to roos...

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How Sanctification Works

Coming July 10th-13th is the Christ Church Vacation Bible School. There will be a two hour class 6:30-8:00 for adults each of the four nights entitled, How Sanctification Works. In preparation I hope this letter from Dr. David Powlison will be helpful.  An Open Letter to Someone Struggling with Sanctification Dear friend, We all love it when life leaps into forward...

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How Sanctification Works - Vacation Bible School study - July 10-13

Coming  July 10th-13th is the Christ Church Vacation Bible School. There will be a two hour class 6:30-8:00 for adults each of the four nights entitled, How Sanctification Works. Sanctification is a word that we find in the Bible. It literally means "to set apart" for special use or purpose, to make holy or sacred. Therefore, sanctification can refer to the state or...

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Summer Series 2017

Why Do I Care What You Think of Me? Wednesdays, June 7th - July 26th 6:30 - 7:30 pm - Supper at 5:30 We will begin a 7 week summer series on Wednesday June 7th tackling the topic, Why Do I Care What You Think of Me? The common problem men and women of all ages face is a fear of man. Most everyone cares about what others think of them. We either want to fit in to the larg...

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Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Restoration

Jack knew that he must forgive Jill. Jack knew that he could forgive Jill. He knew the offense but she didn’t. He knew her attitude had not changed but she didn’t. He knew she needed to recognize her wrongs and confess, but she didn’t. Jack knew his forgiveness of Jill did not depend on any of these circumstances. Why? All of Jack’s sins were forgi...

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Forgiveness and the Place of Anger

There is one certainty about human relationships, they can be painful. Forgiveness, absorbing the pain in hurtful relationships, is necessary for those relationships to function as God designed. We forgive, it’s costly, as we have been forgiven in Christ, it was more costly. Anger is a necessary and costly emotion we experience when we are hurt by another. Trying to...

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First Steps in Giving Forgiveness

Giving forgiveness requires getting forgiveness. God gives forgiveness freely at the cost of the death of his own Son. All mankind has nothing but need. We cannot make up for our sins. We are completely dependent upon God’s mercies, and God demonstrates his love for us while we were sinners Christ died for us (Rom.5:8). God accepted this sacrifice of himself and veri...

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The Practical Value of the Infinite Worth of Christ's Death

When I think of my unworthiness in light of what I did or did not do, said or did not say, thought or did not think, then I must think upon the worth and value of Christ’s death. When I think of someone else's unworthiness in light of what they did or did not do, what they said or did not say, or I am sure they thought or worse yet, what they did not think, then I m...

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The Foundation for Giving Forgiveness

We all experience hurt in relationships. Hurt in relationships complicates life. Complicated relationships complicate our lives- the way we think about ourselves, others, our relationship to God, and the way we live our lives. We all deal with these complications in various ways. We like to find diversions or distractions. I saw a boat last week named, “Sane Asylum&...

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Resurrection: Jesus Christ was Raised from the Dead

The following is an excerpt from Concise Theology by J.I.Packer. This is a book I recommend for every Christian library. Dr. Packer writes, "Jesus's resurrection, which was a divine act involving all three Persons of the Godhead (Jn.10:17-18; Acts 13:30-35; Rom.1:4), was not just a resuscitation of the ruined physical frame that was taken down from the cross for burial. I...

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Praying Kingdom Prayers - Petition and Priority #7

Petition: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one Priority: Warfare The Christian life is one of warfare against the enemy of our flesh, it’s want is to make the way of the world it’s god giving obedience to the Devil. In this final article on Kingdom Prayer, Learning to Pray the Lord’s Prayer, we tackle the final petition. Let&rsq...

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The Goodness of Good Friday

Can something so unhappy be a cause for celebration? It’s a paradox to call the day our Savior died good. We live as those who believe that for something or some day to be “good” it must mean it is something happy. The early church remembered the day of Jesus’ death with mourning, fasting, and prayer. The fourth century Bishop of Ambrose spoke of G...

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Praying Kingdom Prayers - Petition and Priority #6

Praying Kingdom Prayers Petition: Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtorsPriority: Reconciliation As Christ bore the burden of our sin on the cross, so we bear one another’s burdens fulfilling the law of Christ, and discovering the joy of life together. We are learning to pray in the heart of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is a reconciling God who acts, prays ...

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Learning, Receiving and Giving Forgiveness

In April Christ Church is beginning a six week Adult Life Group on “Learning, Receiving and Giving Forgiveness.” The Triune God is a peacemaking and reconciling God. The apostle Paul writes about the Lord Jesus Christ, “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. ...

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Praying Kingdom Prayers - Petition and Priority #5

Praying Kingdom Prayers Petition & Priority #5 Petition: Give us this day our daily bread Priority: Generosity We belong to Christ and everything he gives us is his to meet our needs and to be given through us to others. As we learn to pray with the heart of Jesus we learn his priority on generosity. We pray this petition that we and others will make him our trust....

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Praying Kingdom Prayers Petition & Priority #4

Petition: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven Priority: Obedience The life of the church is one of union with Christ in doing the will of the Father. In Matthew 26:36-45 Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane prior to his death. In his praying to the Father he prays three times, ‘Your will be done.’ This is the expression of the Father’s plea...

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The Missionary God and His Missionary Church

God is on mission to glorify his name in all the earth among all the peoples of the earth, and we're invited to join him. Dr. John Piper writes, "Missions exists because worship doesn't." (John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad). God who inspired the text, "Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!" (Ps.67:3...

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Praying Kingdom Prayers - Petition and Priority #3

Petition: Your kingdom comePriority: Evangelism God’s coming kingdom is evidenced by the conversion of sinners. In this petition we are praying for the unlimited rule of God within his people. We are praying that God will expel us and all people from the rule of Satan’s kingdom, self rule, fear rule, and the rule of false hopes. We are praying that God will r...

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The Cross of Jesus Christ

The cross of Jesus Christ is the intersection of the wisdom, justice, and mercy of God. If a person wants to know what the Scriptures mean when they say, “God is love.” (1Jn.4:8), then they can look to the cross of Christ. The overarching aim in all of the apostle Paul's preaching was Christ and him crucified (1 Cor.2:2), and it should be the overarching aim of...

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The Jesus Storybook Bible, A Story of God’s Love

We and the children of our church need to know we’re loved first. Rules don't have the power to change your heart, but God’s love will. When our hearts are changed then we will fulfill the law of love to God and our neighbors. Our children come into this world in sin and spend all their time malfunctioning as image bearers. But when their humanity is changed by...

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Praying Kingdom Prayers, Petition & Priority #2

Petition: Hallowed be Your NamePriority: Worship The Triune God is the Lord who is to be worshiped in all. We draw near the throne of grace with confidence as children of promise and our hearts cry to him in reverence. He is holy, holy, holy, how majestic is his name. In this petition we should praise him, but most importantly it is a petition where we are pleading with ...

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Praying Kingdom Prayers: Petition & Priority #1

Petition #1 Our Father in heaven, The Gospel Priority We are children of God by Faith in Christ Jesus, children of promise and heirs of his life. Our prayer begins with a gospel priority. Before all other matters we begin with the reality that we are children of God the Father and the rightful heirs of his kingdom. Our boldness in coming near to God in humble prayer is ...

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A Thought for the Married

The apostle Paul gave the church in Galatia this great statement regarding the doctrine of justification, “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justi...

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Tolle Lege - The Weight of Glory

Some works are worth reading more than once. One such work I would recommend to you is The Weight of Glory. It is an address or sermon that C.S. Lewis gave at Oxford University Church June 8, 1941. It was transcribed and published in a book of essays entitled Theology. It can now be found in a book, The Weight of Glory, compiled with other essays by Lewis, and edited by Wa...

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The Priorities & Sequence of The Lord’s Prayer

We are learning to pray kingdom focused prayers using the Lord's Prayer or The Prayer. In this article we are learning the priorities of the prayer and how to pray in a sequence those priorities. You may be familiar with the prayer sequence ACTS - adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. In a similar way you can learn a sequence as you pray each petition. It i...

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Corporate Prayer With a Kingdom Focus

We are learning to pursue our 2017 goals through Prayer. We looked last week at the Lord's Prayer or "The Prayer" as a corporate prayer, a prayer that directs our praying together. This week we are thinking about the "Kingdom Focus" of this corporate prayer. I do not want us to think, ‘The pastor and Session is encouraging us to pray. That’s good. I need to pr...

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Objective #1 Prayer - Part 1, A Kingdom Life of Prayer Corporately

In 2017 the Session of Christ Church set forth the following Scripture, vision, goals and objectives for Christ Church: “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,”- Ephesians 4:13 Vision: A growing church who worships, lives and does mini...

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Meditations in Devotional Times

“May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.” - Ps.104:34 The psalmist has been thinking about God and his works. He has been loving God with his mind and his heart as he reflects on God’s wonderful person and works revealed. He calls these reflections his meditation and the Lord his joy. Meditation is “deep thinking on the tr...

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The Security of Benefits

Many people seek employment that promises benefits. They are looking for security they believe comes from having an employer that provides for their needs. It is not only important to them that they are employed by someone they can trust to give them their due for the hours they work, but they also look for the benefits of insurance, retirement and other bonuses. These ben...

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Changes to Expect in Our Worship Together

A couple of weeks ago I received a letter from my bank informing me of a new debit card they would be sending me. The letter was helpful for me to anticipate those changes that would directly affect me in my spending practices each week. I am writing you to inform you of some changes in our worship together that will begin January 1, 2017. It is my hope that you will antic...

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Listen Up, How to Hear Sermons

A review of a booklet Listen Up!, A Practical Guide to Listening to Sermons, by Christopher Ash. I believe your investment in this booklet will enable you to practice the art of listening to sermons in your participatory worship. ...

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Joy to the World

Watch video as Pastor Dinkins and Wilkerson discuss the Christmas Hymn: Joy to the World. Click here....

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Emmanuel: God With Us

Watch video as Pastor Dinkins and Wilkerson discuss Emmanuel: God With Us. Click here....

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The Sacrament of Baptism in Worship

Reserve the Date Biblical Worship, Equipping the Church for It's Service to GodFriday January 20 - Saturday 21, 2017The Sacrament of Baptism in Worship Christ Church is hosting a series of annual conferences that examine Biblical Worship. It is our desire to offer conferences that equip the church for it’s service to God in corporate worship. Our first conference i...

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Grace for Trials

Maybe at some time you have asked this age old philosophical question, “If God is good and all powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer?” Or maybe you have asked it another way, “God, why is this happening to me?” If you have not asked this question in this personal way, or pondered it in this philosophical manner, you’re either not...

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Reading the Bible Devotionally

Someone recently asked me, “My father is interested in reading a devotional book. Do you have any suggestions about what devotional book I should get him?” Here was my suggestion. Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon is a classic and always good, and a gift I often give to others. New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp is a newer and gospel oriented devotion t...

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Glorifying By Enjoying

Loving God and, in, from and through him, our neighbor is the progression of justification and union in Christ that bespeaks of communion with God. Yesterday my wife was caring for our 96 year old blind and hard of hearing neighbor. She prepared his small dish from Lizards Thicket and his Coke. She helped him to the table and then went about some other duties. When she pa...

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"Never Give Up"

Winston Churchill is often quoted as famously saying in a commencement speech, "Never give up, never give up, never give up,” and then sat down? What he actually said in October of 1941 at the Harrow School in England was, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of hono...

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Digging up an Old Doctrine

It is worth your time to dig up old doctrines. The doctrine that I am speaking of is the one on which the church stands or falls, the doctrine of justification. For those in the reformed church, it is like a well worn book in your library. You know where it is on the shelf. You know the joy you have had in the past reading it. You know your soul’s thirst to revisit i...

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I Almost Slipped

The psalmist struggled with envy and it came close to the ruin of his faith. He says, “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.” (Psalm 73:2). He speaks of his feet and steps as the way of his heart. His heart, which is captive by God’s saving grace, wandered with envy. He was “envious of the arrogant when [he] saw th...

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The Church's Good Order

It is good to belong to a church of good order. Image bearers of God require order. God has provided the order of mothers and fathers for the home, kings and all those in high places for the civil realm, and the order of elders and deacons who lead and serve his church. The Belgic Confession, Article 30: teaches us this order in “The Government of the Church”:...

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Don't Be Embarrassed by Your Ordinary Church

Those acquainted with social media are well aware of their own F.O.M.O (fear of missing out). But are you aware of your group induced shame? We know the feeling, or better yet the reality, of having to fess up when we're not a part of 'the group'. Everyone is speaking out or joining in and you're not. Therefore there is a sense of shame. In our culture it is shameful to no...

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A Community of Saints

When the gathered church confesses, "I believe...in the communion of saints..." in the Apostles' Creed, what is it we believe? The writers of the Heidelberg Catechism help us with this question and answer: Q. 55. What do you understand by "the communion of saints"?A. First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common, partakers of him, an...

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Judgement of the Antagonist

The antagonist is typically on the side less favored. They are not usually our favorite characters in the story. We may like their costume or the clever way they play their part, but in the end we are glad when they “get what they deserve.” It is better to be on the side of God’s saving power than the side of his power in judgment. As the story of redemp...

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Escaping the True Church

Some movies are worth watching and some after you’ve watched them are not worth remembering you watched them. Some of these are not only worth forgetting, but you don’t want others to know you watched them either. I watched one of those recently. However, to further reject it from my thinking I am going to mention it in writing. Misery loves company. The theme...

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Adoption

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 12, On Adoption, teaches the wonderfully gracious and wise doctrine of Adoption with the following words, 1: All those that are justified, God vouchsafes, in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption, by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the child...

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A Life of Glory

Glory is evident even when darkness is pervasive. There is a glory in this life for all those in Christ Jesus. For all the difficulties of this life; the sufferings, afflictions, and pains; for all the groaning we experience being subject to the fall; for all of life being a bearing of the cross of Christ unto our own death; the Christian living in union with Christ enjoys...

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Best Laid Plans

Do you ever have a week of foiled plans? You know the drill: The calendar is marked for the meetings of the week, the to do list for each day is laid out and prioritized to keep you on track, and it is all synchronized with your various callings to ensure productivity. There is time for work, time for activities and relationships, time for exercise and rest, and even an al...

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Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Darlin' you got to let me knowShould I stay or should I go?If you say that you are mineI'll be here 'til the end of timeSo you got to let me knowShould I stay or should I go?(The Clash, Should I Go or Should I Stay, 1981) Mick Jones of the Clash penned the words to this 1981 classic rock song, Should I Go Or Should I Stay. He says he did not write it with any hidden agend...

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Today in a "Free America"

On Monday May 9, 2016 the civil government of North Carolina is in a terse with the Federal government of these United States concerning who will use a particular bathroom. According to North Carolinians there is an objective reality to a person's sexuality, and they desire the freedom to say so. If the birth certificate says a person is a male then he belongs in a bathroo...

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The Great Applicator

The work of Christ in redemption was to give his life as a ransom for all. He lived a righteous and holy life to die as an atoning sacrifice for sinners and was raised on the third day from the dead. He fulfilled the covenant of works in the place of sinners in his active obedience. He paid the price of the sin and guilt of sinners by his suffering and death on the cross. ...

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Switch Hitters

Are you a switch hitter? A switch hitter is a baseball player that can hit from the right and left side of the plate. The Yankees Mickey Mantle was the greatest switch hitter of all time, but my all time favorite was Chipper Jones who played for the Atlanta Braves for 19 years. Chipper hit for a career batting average of .303 from both sides of the plate, and he came close...

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Making Distinctions

Have you ever wondered by why the command Jesus gave to his disciples in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”, was considered “new”? The Mosaic Law had prescribed love to neighbor both in the moral law (Exodus 20:12-17) and explicitly in the civil law (...

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I'm My Own Worst Enemy

Thursday May 5, 2016 was Ascension Day. This is the date celebrated in the Christian calendar of the west as the 40th day in Easter. It is commemorating the Ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven as recorded by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles. He writes, 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He sai...

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The Great Ought

There is for those redeemed by the blood of Jesus the great “ought.” We like to be free and in our expression of freedoms we don’t like “oughts” or “mandates”. We see ourselves free to do what we want, even as those who have been bought with the price of the blood of Christ. But those who are bought are not their own, and the ought...

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Holy Catholic Church

The Belgic Confession (1561) enables us to affirm what we believe when we confess that “I believe in...the holy catholic church.”1 They wrote in Article 27: The Holy Catholic Church “We believe and confess one single catholic or universal church-- a holy congregation and gathering of true Christian believers, awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Chri...

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A Can't Miss Book

Here's a free book that can't miss. It will help you to find Christ in all of Scripture. You can read it for free by following the link below. http://files1.wts.edu/uploads/images/files/Seeing%20Christ%20ebook(1).pdf Here's what another author has to say about this read, “Ours is an age rife with relativism and self-absorption. How refreshing, then, to read a book...

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A Justifying Faith Works By Love

The Westminster Confession Chapter 11, On Justification, section 2 states, “Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification: yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.” Those who are dead in their trespas...

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Vocation, It All Matters

"What does God want me to do?" This is a question I often hear from people struggling with their jobs or vocations. The two answers I most often give are, his revealed will given everyday in the Scriptures, and the thing he has you doing now. We should be doing what he has given our hands to do right now for the good of others and his glory according to his revealed will. ...

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Idolatry, Having Other "Gods"

The New City Catechism1 addresses the matter of idolatry in week 17: Q.: What is idolatry?A.: Idolatry is trusting in created things rather than the Creator for our hope and happiness, significance and security. Martin Luther says, “To whatever you give your heart and entrust your being, that...is really your god...Everyone has set up for himself some particular go...

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God's Effectual Call

Today's everyday doctrine comes from the Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling: 1: All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightenin...

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The Benefits of Christ's Resurrection

Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ? You must for your: JustificationLife Before GodFuture Resurrection The Heidelberg Catechism Lord's Day 17 tells us we receive three benefits from the resurrection of Christ. Q. 45. What does the "resurrection" of Christ profit us?A. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might make us partakers of th...

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Justification and a Justifying Faith

The everyday importance of the doctrine of justification cannot be understated. It is the doctrine on which the church stands at every hour of it’s existence. A doctrine everyone one of her members must understand, believe and live. Martin Luther, the German Reformer of the 16th century wrote, “This doctrine [justification by faith] is the head and the corners...

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Sanctification, Grace for Good Works

The Belgic Confession was written to teach the church what God has revealed in his Word about particular matters of theology or doctrine. Today's everyday doctrine focuses on "Sanctification". As the writers of the Shorter Catechism state, "Sanctification is a work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and...

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Is It Okay to Laugh?

“Is it okay to laugh before God in prayer? Is this irreverent?” This was one of the final questions that was asked in our Life Group last Sunday morning. The father said they had been to the zoo and upon returning home he was praying with his 3 year old son. He was giving thanks to God for the wonders they had seen in the animals that he has created and sustain...

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Thanksgiving, A Benefit in Christ

When, by God’s grace, we look upon Christ crucified in faith, the profit gained in this life and the next is incalculable. One of the primary advantages afforded by God’s grace in union with the crucified Christ is to live a life toward him in gratitude. It is a great benefit to be rescued from the destructive life of sacrificing one's self to self love leading...

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Satisfaction Leads to Humility

How can a holy God be just and forgive sinners? When a father forgives his son for losing a tool from his tool shed, we say he is merciful. This is right. But if the father demanded that the child be punished for the rest of his lifetime, we would say this is not just. It would not be just for the father is not righteous. He also loses things. But when a person who is sinf...

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Everyday Doctrine: BC (Before Christ)

BC, Before Christ, is one way we understand time. It refers to the time of ancient history before the first coming or incarnation of Jesus Christ. In time eternal there is no “Before Christ” for Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who is God (John 1:1). Time and space have their beginning not before him but in him as all things were created through him and...

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Baseball is Back, So Is Respect

Baseball is back and I am a “settler”, I have cable. But it’s good enough to allow me to catch the Atlanta Braves when I am able, and for that I am glad to settle. Not that the Braves are promising to be anything off the charts this year. Actually it looks to be the opposite. They lost to the Washington Nationals last night 4-6 leaving them 0-6 for the ye...

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In My Place Condemned He Stood, Propitiation

In 1875 Philip P. Bliss penned these words to his hymn, Man of Sorrows! What a Name, concerning the suffering Savior, Man of Sorrows! What a name for the Son of God, who came ruined sinners to reclaim: Hallelujah! What a Savior! Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood, sealed my pardon with his blood: Hallelujah! What a Savior! The Heidelberg Cat...

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Sola Fide, Enough Said

There are some statements of our one true faith that say it all. The Belgic Confession (1561) is one of those when it teaches us concerning justification by faith alone. Belgic Confession Article 22: The Righteousness of Faith We believe that for us to acquire the true knowledge of this great mystery (Article 21: The Atonement) the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts ...

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A Reward You Cannot Lose

The sovereign gracious choice of God before the foundations of the world to make a people from all the nations to be his own through the redemption of the Son and his loving adoption is unchangeable. The basis of this eternal persevering salvation of his own beloved children is the unchangeable nature of God expressed in his immutable decrees, not the meritorious virtue a ...

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Are You Full of It?

Some people are 'full of it'. How do you know someone is 'full of it'? A man is known by his words. His words reveal if he's full of truth or deceit, wisdom or foolishness, love or flattery. King David penned his disgust with a people who are 'full of it'. He said, Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. Ever...

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Living in the Death of Christ

Tonight I had the joy of preaching on a life lived in the death of Christ from Romans 6. You can listen here. Where there is a superabundance of sin in Adam and his sons, there is a greater superabundance of grace in Jesus Christ. So stop laboring and start believing, trusting, thanking and living. The gospel of Jesus Christ is received not achieved to bring about change...

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Justice and Mercy

How can God be just and at the same time merciful? How can God show mercy to wicked sinners and remain just and holy? A just judge would be declared unjust and unfit for his role if he allowed the guilty to go free. We would expect the judge to be just by judging the guilty, and the guilty we would expect to pay the penalty for their guilt. Our expectations are legal. Our ...

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Thinking on Christ

The Psalmist encourages those who belong to the family of God to "Delight yourself in the Lord" and follows with a promise, "and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4). The secular mind and imagination, like her predecessors, is stirred by desire and passion for things that make meaning. He delights in what makes life worthwhile and his desires chase the...

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Jesus Christ, True God and True Man

The Belgic Confession states the truth concerning the "Two Natures of Christ" in Article 19: We believe that by being thus conceived the person of the Son has been inseparably united and joined together with human nature, in such a way that there are not two Sons of God, nor two persons, but two natures united in a single person, with each nature retaining its own distinc...

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'Gone Fishin'

Yesterday was a day to remember. I went fishing. Not man fishing but fish fishing. I worked the morning and then at lunch I walked out of the office saying, "I'm going fishing and will be out of touch until later tonight." Yes, I took my phone, but I didn't answer it. We put the boat in around 3 pm, we drifted out into this beautiful 35 acre pond, I tied on a plastic worm ...

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God's Covenant with Man

Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant with Man 4: This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in scripture by the name of a testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.[150] 5: This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the G...

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Humiliation

In today's everyday doctrines we consider the "humiliation of Christ". In the classic text on humility the apostle Paul exhorts those in the church who are struggling to get along to humble themselves saying, "count others more significant than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3). This imperative is then followed by an indicative of where church folks get this "humility". He sa...

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Learning to Pray

Prayer is learned. It is what the justified do at the entrance into God's kingdom as we seek him for his mercy in Christ (Lk.18:13-14), and it is how we continue to live in the way of his kingdom until he comes again to find faith on the earth (Lk.18:1-8). Throughout life lived in Christ prayer is learned. By observing a prescription for prayer given by Jesus in the gospel...

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Celebrate Recovery

"Celebrate Recovery" is the name of a 'Christian' program that seeks to help those who struggle with the sin of addiction. In 1561 the Belgic Confession was made available to the church of the Netherlands, and this confession of faith served the church to know and celebrate the true God who came to them in their sin. In Article 17 of the Belgic Confession we are given eve...

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Help! I Need a Priest Who Will Not Abuse Me

"Help I need a priest. Not one who abuses me for their own pleasure and security, but one who gives his life for me and lives for my secure intimate freedom in the God who made me." The world is filled with sinful priests who cannot satisfy this human cry. We are constantly reminded of it. Whether we see it in the Academy Award winning film,Spotlight, or in recent headlin...

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Man in Relationship or Covenant

Man lives and dies in relationship. I can sit on my back deck and stare up at the stars and pretend that I am not in relationship to the One who made the stars one by one, named them and put them in place. Although his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature are clearly perceived in the the things he has made and sustains (Romans 1:18), I can suppr...

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Learning to Pray - The Lord's Prayer

Learning to pray is a lifelong endeavor. While prayer is a duty of the Christian life played out in communication between creature and the Creator, it is a duty that turns to delight when the person in Christ is once for all glorified. But until that time it is a duty not to be neglected by the children of the living God. Therefore, every child of God should be found in hi...

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"Kindness is Magic"

"Kindness is magic", Derek said while reflecting on the value of Joan's life. Joan was an elderly lady living in the nursing home where Derek shows kindness. Joan passed away in her bed while Derek was away on a Wednesday playing the lottery. Every other Wednesday Joan went with him and chanced her small coins on a scratch card. This Wednesday she stayed back, and when De...

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The Christ, Prophet

The Larger Catechism of the Westminster Standards teaches us of Christ or Mediator who is our Prophet. Q. 42. Why was our Mediator called Christ?A. Our Mediator was called Christ, because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost above measure, and so set apart, and fully furnished with all authority and ability, to execute the offices of prophet, priest, and king of his church...

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Parenting Original Sinners

As a parent I recognize there is nothing original about my children's sin. When I see their sin I see my own. It seems as though they are not doing anything original themselves but merely imitating me. However, with the writers of the Belgic Confession (see below) I reject the error of those who say that sin is "nothing else than a matter of imitation." I am a sinful paren...

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Children of the Covenant Who Die in Infancy

One of the darkest moments in parenting is enduring the death of a child in infancy. Motherhood and fatherhood pass quickly out of sight as an infant child is snatched from their arms and returned to the dust. The hopes and dreams of a long family life together are dashed, and what that child would have become in the world is never realized. For many the questions that loo...

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Stand By Your Man

Nancy Reagan died this past weekend and she is remembered as the wife of Ronald Reagan. Not that she didn’t do many great things in her lifetime, but as one journalist wrote this week, 'Her aim in her marriage was to make Ronnie great.' A great lady is remembered because she sought to make her husband great. Sounds liberating. On another front Jay Nordlinger, who wr...

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Techno Sermons

I'm a regular partaker of techno sermons from techno preachers who regularly become my techno pastors. There is great value to my soul and my practice as a preacher and pastor in listening to sermons on the web, but there are also some considerable dangers, and more so for parishioners (that's an old fashioned word for church members) than pastors. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson s...

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Parenting Happy Children

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” (Rom.8:22)“Groaning” in this life is not unrealistic. There is much about the reality of living in this world to groan about, and if we are not groaning we are not living honestly. Therefore raising children in a negative world is a reality. There ...

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Everyday Doctrines - Man Created and Fallen

It is an election year and our expectations are great. But are they greater than the men and women we are trusting in to uphold our expectations? We believe God is just (Rom.3:25-26) and that he has created a world and filled it with image bearers who should pursue justice (Gen.9:6). But is this world filled with men and women who are just and who pursue justice? The Belgi...

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Everyday Doctrines - Man's Sin and Misery

Some people seem so happy and contented in their life of sin. Their pleasure is not to live pleasing to God with a love to their neighbor out of gratitude for his grace. They live to please their own selfish desires and this life seems to them and others as their pleasure. However, this life of man in his sin is an expressed life of misery. The writers of the Westminster ...

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Parenting Through Your Children's Disappointments

Sometimes there are disappointments. Not disappointments of your own, but those you feel for your children. Disappointments like...a friendship lost in a popularity contest, a loss in the column where they were so hopeful for a win, a girl who 'just wants to be friends', a boy who likes a girl who pays him more attention, a sudden illness, a separation from a pet they've l...

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Everyday Doctrines - God, Heavenly Father

Today's everyday doctrine fills our minds and hearts with the overwhelming goodness of having God as our Heavenly Father. The Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day Question 26 asks and answers regarding the the first statement in the Apostles' Creed in this manner, Question: WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE WHEN YOU SAY, “I BELIEVE IN GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN ...

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Everyday Doctrines - Man in Sin

Here is a portion of Westminster Confession of Faith  CHAPTER 6, Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof 1. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtlety and temptation of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin, God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his o...

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Everyday Doctrines - Election

Today's everyday doctrine comes from the Canons of Dordt. The Christian Reformed Church, gives this brief introduction to the Canons of Dordt, "The Canons of Dordt come from an international synod of Reformed people held in Dordrecht, Netherlands... The Decision of the Synod of Dort on the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in the Netherlands is popularly known as th...

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Everyday Doctrines - Covenant of Grace

We find ourselves in situations where we often wonder, "How long will it be like this?". Of these 'situations' the situation we should be most concerned about is a life in relationship to God bound under the covenant of works. A covenant is a relationship that God sovereignly administers with his creatures. All mankind are the descendants of the first Adam and live in rela...

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Parenting Children Who Serve Part 2

Our children are being raised in a world that defines greatness by being served. But our Lord is the King of an eternal kingdom where greatness is seen in the lives of those who serve. This is the second post on teaching children to be the servants of all. Teach Them Serving People is Serving the LordServing people and serving the Lord are not two different things. When w...

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Parenting Children Who Serve, Part 1

Five ways we can trust God to help us raise children who serve....

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Parenting Through A Super Bloom in the Valley of Death

Yesterday I published a post on parenting children who serve. In that post I talked about teaching your children that they are served each day by the living and true God. One of the ways to do that is to demonstrate it to them in God's grand theater of general or natural revelation. We can show them the magnificant ways God governs and preserves his creation to serve the n...

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Everyday Doctrines- God's Revelation

The knowledge of God is not for mere speculation but that the creature may have a living experience of his Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer....

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Parenting and Athletics

Please read this brief article in preparation for Wednesday night parenting class. Remember, it’s only a game. That’s an important prompt in youth athletics — not just for the kids, but even more so for coaches bent on winning and parents pressing to live vicariously through their children. Against the backdrop of our societal obsession with sports is ...

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The Unseen

I have been away from our home and church family for almost a week seeking to care for our son Peter. I wanted to share with you some things I'm learning along the way. I posted a video today of my son Peter's first assisted steps since he entered the hospital a week ago diagnosed with Guillian Barre syndrome. After seeing the video one of the elders from his church comme...

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Five Reasons to Join Us for the Worship Conference

Five Reasons to Join Us for the Worship Conference...

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Another Parenting Class!

Did you know that in the last 10 years there have been 75,000 books published in America on the subject of parenting? There are multitudes of government and private services devoted to family and parenting. There are multitudes of Christian ministries focused on family and parenting. There are multitudes of counseling services, Christian, secular, Biblical and pseudo-bibli...

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Introducing the New City Catechism

The church can take these biblically grounded and carefully worded forms of teaching and learn doctrine to put our life in Christ into practice for the glory of God. ...

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Take Up and Read 2016

The beginning of the year is a good time to make a commitment to a plan for reading the Scriptures....

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Humble Evangelism

Evangelism is more about weakness than strength and humility than boldness. It is more about what Jesus has done for your need, than it is trying to convince them of their need....

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Tell Them All That God Has Done for You

This week "return home" and tell someone what God has done for you. ...

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A Church Reforming

As we remember the Protestant Reformation and live in it's movement today we must be seeking a modern reformation, a church always reforming to the standard of God's word....

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IN CHRIST: Worship, Life and Ministry Together

We are alive in Christ. Our aim at Christ Church is to disciple people who worship, live and do ministry together in union with Christ. ...

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Ministry Together

By doing ministry together in the mercy and truth of Christ and his gospel, we show the world the truth and God mends the broken heart and heals the wounded soul, and rescues the walking dead. ...

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Life Together

Life Together is seen in the church when we are making disciples who love one another....

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A Vision for Christ Church: Worship Together

The leadership of Christ Church has adopted a vision for making disciples at Christ Church who worship, live and minister together in Christ....

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The Growth Chart of Christian Maturity II, "On Grace in the Ear"

The Christian in this stage of maturity focuses on Christ as the object of his faith and his assurance grows even in the midst of his adolescent ups and downs. ...

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The Growth Chart of Christian Maturity, Grace in the Blade

Christian maturity is a steady growth that the children of God may grow into full grown men and women who look like Christ....

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Christian Duty Lived in the Beauty of Christ

We can learn from John Newton to live the Christian life in the beauty of Christ. It is coming to his beauty revealed in the gospel that empties us of our futile self sufficiency, and fills us with the empowering sufficiency of Christ. ...

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5 Reasons to Join a Breaking of Bread Group

Life Together requires time together around the table, prayer together as a multigenerational body, and being encouraged from God's Word. ...

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Extraordinary Love for Enemies

Extraordinary love for enemies is not an easily understood way of life, but God gives wisdom to all who ask (Jas.1:8) and a body of Christ to his own to assist us in knowing how to love extraordinarily. Let us love our enemies with an extraordinary love. ...

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A Church for Such a Time as This: Part III, Living as a Minority in a Majority Culture

Let me suggest that we must become an authentic minority that lives the theology of the cross, not the theology of glory. ...

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Christ and Culture, The Church Interacting with the Culture

Our aim in this course is to learn to be disciples engaging in the everyday culture without losing a life of seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. ...

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A Church for Such a Time as This: Part II, Living the Meaning of Marriage

In such a time as this there is a need to understand the meaning of marriage as God has revealed it and to live that meaning out in all the glory our marriages in the church are meant for. ...

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A Biblical Response to the Redefining of Marriage

How we should respond and live in the midst of this redefining of marriage. ...

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Confession of Faith, So What

Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of our creed and the doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone is the foundation stone our lives and the church is built upon....

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Counseling in Community

Counseling in community necessitates that we acknowledge and express our need in prayer in the community of the Trinity, and acknowledge and express our need by asking those in the church for prayer. ...

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The Church of Vows

A vow keeping church goes where she is sent in his providence, stays where she is put to keep those vows, and does what she is asked in a life of love to God and his church. ...

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"Fasting, What Should We Do?"

Christians must long for the glory of God to be revealed in the work of his gospel through sound preaching, right ordering of the sacraments and the discipline of the church. And this longing is expressed in fervent prayer and fasting. Church members must long for God themselves in fasting and prayer that God's people may long for him and taste and see that he is good thro...

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Sacramental Piety: Preparing for the Sacrament of Communion

Our preparation for worshiping the Lord through the sacrament of communion is a matter of heart preparation. I encourage you to come to the Lord's table prepared with hearts to worship. ...

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How People Change Lesson 6 Heat 2: The Real World and You

Homework for Sunday school 5/10/2015...

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Sacramental Piety: Improving Your Baptism

For those who have been baptized and believed the gospel, or believed the gospel and have been baptized, this is a time of affirmation to improve upon your baptism. Participate in sacramental piety from the heart as you look to God in faith with thanksgiving, repentance, faith and trust him for his work of holiness and righteousness in you. ...

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Gazing at the Situation or the Savior?

The Christian's marriage to Christ is meant for every situation, circumstance and relationship.Let the Christian cast his whole heart upon his true Savior, gazing upon his beauty in every situation for fruit that will last. ...

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Spring Gathering Saturday, April 25th

The Spring Gathering is planned that we may enjoy a day of Life Together as a church family. Life Together emphasizes the truth that the church is not a voluntary organization but an organism....

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How People Change: An Overview

This class is not about learning a biblical formula for change. It is about learning how God is at work to make you into the person he created you to be, not by changing your circumstances, situations and relationships, but by changing you....

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Why are Matthew and Luke's Genealogy of Jesus Different?

There are two possible approaches to answering this difficult dilemma we are posed with in the seemingly contradictory genealogies of Matthew and Luke. One is to say that there are two different questions being answered, and necessarily two different genealogies given. ...

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What To Expect from Sermon Application

Application is mental and practical and always determined by gospel and law in the text with Christ at the center. Application in a sermon is necessary to live in Christ Jesus and according to God's rule of faith....

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Seeing is Believing

Therefore, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is a means of grace. It is God's grace confirmed to our senses, sight, smell, touch and taste, to strengthen our faith to share in Christ and all his benefits. ...

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Focus On Missions, God's Global Plan

God's global mission is the means he employs in order that he will be worshiped among the nations....

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An Evangelistic Church

The American church, an evangelistic church....

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The Rare Activity of Encouragement

Therefore, as image bearers of God we should seek to be an encouragement toward others rather than simply influencers. The writer of Hebrews says, "But encourage one another everyday, as long as it is called today," (Heb.3:13). ...

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Gospel Repentance vs. Religious Repentance

"When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said "Repent," he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance." Repentance is the way we make progress in the Christian life. But there is a difference between religious repentance and gospel repentance. ...

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Living Out of The Lord's Day 3

Thoughts from our "Lesson in the Catechism Lord's Day 3" to encourage you in your living toward God and your neighbor as you approach the coming Lord's day. ...

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10 Priorities for Prayer in 2015

As I consider the year ahead of Christ Church and my commitment to prayer for his church, I am committed to the following priorities. I would encourage you to read, study, and pray through these priorities with me in 2015. ...

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7 Reasons to Take Up and Read

Seven reasons for regular Bible reading....

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Congregational Survey

Help our congregation by submitting your feedback to help our elders plan for the upcoming year's direction....

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Examining My Rights

As Christians we often find ourselves demanding our rights from God and man. Therefore we need to be diligent to examine what we believe we have a right to....

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X-ray Questions

These questions are designed to help people discover hidden (and not so hidden) idols in their hearts (controlling desires). We all have a responsibility to be deeply concerned about the spiritual health of ourselves and others....

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The Heart of Anger & How to Handle It

The Heart of Anger & How to Handle It - Class Overview and Schedule ...

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Resources for God Glorifying Marriage

Marriage is the place ordinary people living ordinary Christian lives enter the extraordinary privilege of displaying God's covenantal love to a watching world. ...

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Relationships as the New Society

The apostle Paul will lead us through three primary relationships in these last two chapters in the book of Ephesians....

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