11.30.08 PM • Christmas

November 30, 2008

The Moravians and their Star (Lk 18.18-30)

We begin our Christmas season with an introductory message. The Moravians have a Christmas ornament that is a multi-pointed star. It began as an educational project but quickly became a beloved symbol of Christmas. Four passages are associated with its meaning, these will form our theme for the month of December, all related to the ‘star’ and its association with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our first message introduced this theme by taking a look first at the rich young ruler and the spiritual investment to which the Lord called him – give up everything. Then the Lord taught his disciples the principle of multiplied returns – give up everything and get one hundred fold in this life and in the life to come, everlasting life! Exactly what the rich young ruler asked for.

We compared these themes to the spiritual investment Count Zinzendorf made in the 1700s. He was the spiritual leader of the Moravian movement, called by some ‘the rich young ruler who said Yes!’ When Zinzendorf died, his Moravians and their mission sent out over 228 missionaries, seeing many thousands come to Christ, simply because they made the right spiritual investment.

Unfortunately, the modern Moravian church does not match the orthodoxy of former days, but the missionary efforts of the 18th century Moravians are an inspiration to us today.

Read the notes while you listen.

11.30.08 Study • Pilgrim’s Progress

November 30, 2008

Pilgrim’s Progress: The Celestial City

We conclude the first half of The Pilgrim’s Progress as we see Christian and Hopeful finally reach the destination of all believers, the Celestial City. We see them linger first in Beulah land, the land where the seasoned saint is partly in this world and partly in the next, then they cross the river of death, entering into the joy of their Lord. Bunyan says (as in his vision the gates to the City close) “After that they shut up the gates; which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them.”

In our own ministry, we have seen many saints go on ahead of us. I can sincerely say that I wish myself among them. Our folks gave what I thought were moving testimonies at the end of this session on that subject. I amplified their words so that you can hear them also, hopefully the distortions at that amplification will not be too distracting.

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Here is our study guide and the study guide with answers for this session.

11.30.08 AM • Romans

November 30, 2008

Not by Rite, Not by Power, but by My Spirit (Rm 2.28-29)

or, What makes a True Jew?

Our concluding message for the second chapter of Romans concludes Paul’s main argument against the Religious man. The Religious man thinks he is exempt from God’s judgement because he has divinely revealed Rites and special judgement escaping Power because of his superior morality and way of life. These notions misunderstand the nature of true acceptance by God, a regeneration of the inner man by the power of the Spirit instead of the works of the flesh.

Read the notes while you listen.

11.23.08 PM – Galatians

November 23, 2008

Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5.16-24)

Our message this afternoon returns to a theme we considered eight years ago, the fruit of the Spirit as taught in Galatians. Today’s message looked at the whole idea of spiritual fruit, the desirability of spiritual fruit, and the method of cultivating spiritual fruit. For cultivation, we must crucify the flesh — weed the garden, and so enhance the working of the Spirit in our own lives.

Read the notes while you listen.

11.23.08 Study – Pilgrim’s Progress

November 23, 2008

Pilgrim’s Progress: Ignorance Ignores Christian (pp. 174-187)

In this session we see the renewed attempt by Christian and Hopeful to evangelize Ignorance. Ignorance is completely confident in his own obedience, he has no sense that he needs more than his own self-justification. He does not know he needs the merits of Christ. Leaving him to his own deserts, Christian and Hopeful talk of another man, Mr. Temporary, who made a show of going on a pilgrimage, but turned back when his mind was not changed, he feared other men, could not bear the shame of religion and was grieved to feel guilt for his sin.

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Here is our study guide and the study guide with answers.

11.23.08 AM – Romans

November 23, 2008

The Rite judged by the Un-Rite if the Un-Rite is Right (Rm 2.26-27)

In this message we look at what good our religion is if we have the right rites but the wrong lives. Paul proposes a situation where the uncircumcised (the Un-Rite)nevertheless keeps the righteousness of the Law. He asks, will not his law keeping equal the value of your circumcision? Moreover, will not his law keeping judge your law breaking? Jesus gave examples, the men of Nineveh and the ‘queen of the south’ (Mt 12.41-42). The same problems attend our religion today. We have the Bible,we have baptism, we have the customs and practices of Christianity, but when we sin (as professing Christians) we stand judged by the lives of non-Christians who don’t sin in the same ways we do.

All of this builds the case that neither morality (Rm 2.1-16) nor religion (Rm 2.17-29) can exempt us from the judgement of God and the sentence of wrath that has fallen on mankind. (Rm 1.18-32). We need something superior to morality and religion.

Read the notes as you listen.

11.16.08 PM [Our Church]

November 16, 2008

For Our God is a Consuming Fire (Hb 12.25-29)

This afternoon we considered another distinctive of our Church life, reverent worship. Much has been said all over the world about worship in recent years, but we stand as a body of believers committed to conservative, reverent, traditional worship. By worship we mean more than music, but everything from music to offering to announcements to preaching and all the bits in between. Our reason for insisting on this kind of worship is found in Hb 12.18-29, as the Christian experience is compared to Mt Sinai and found to be far more solemn and far more holy than that awe inspiring experience. We intend to be reverent in worship because God is who He is.

Read the notes while you listen.

11.16.08 Study [Pilgrim’s Progress]

November 16, 2008

Pilgrim’s Progress: The Enchanted Grounds

In this session we see Christian and Hopeful keeping themselves wakeful in the Enchanted Grounds by engaging in ‘well managed fellowship’. The specific topic that engages their minds is a discussion of Hopeful’s salvation testimony. In this section Bunyan gives us a clear picture of a soul under conviction and turning to Christ. We made our reading shorter this week to spend more time covering this section in detail.

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Get the study guide and the study guide with answers here.

11.16.08 AM [Romans 2.25]

November 16, 2008

A Rite is Right only if Law is not Wronged (Rm 2.25)

Our study of Romans moves from showing the insufficiency of even revealed religion to eradicate sin (Rm 2.17-24). Now Paul attacks confidence in the rites of revealed religion. Men made idols out of the rites of Judaism, thinking that their possession and performance of the rites meant they escaped God’s wrath towards sin, failing to realize that their sin invalidated their rituals. The same condition afflicts us today, even us as independent Baptists. We easily make our religious exercises into ‘magic’ rituals that act as ‘charms’ to keep us safe from condemnation. We think that if we regularly attend church, if we’ve been baptized, if we’ve prayed a prayer or walked an aisle, we’ve escaped! But we fail to understand that sins invalidate rituals. What we need is genuine Biblical repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ for our sins. From that faith decision flows the newness of life.

Read the notes while you listen.

11.9.08 Entering the Harvest (Jn 4.27-35)

November 9, 2008

Entering the Harvest (Jn 4.27-35)

In our afternoon service, Scott Holloway presented his vision and plans for a church planting ministry in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. He gave the presentation on overheads, then preached another message for us.

The message comes from the Lord’s teaching of his astonished disciples when they discover him speaking to the Samaritan woman. He teaches them that there is a harvest they did not see. He teaches them that the harvest is often in a place they would not expect. Finally, he teaches that the harvest is ready. These principles admonish us today as well.

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