1.25.09 • Pilgrim’s Progress

January 25, 2009

Pilgrim’s Progress (2): Great Heart Guides Christiana

In this section, the man Great-heart begins to serve as an escort for Christiana and her company on the pilgrim pathway. The chapter begins with a fairly complicated discussion of the particular righteousness from Christ that is imputed to sinners in salvation, that is, the righteousness of his obedience to the Law. The chapter retraces Christian’s footsteps up the Hill of Difficulty to the cross and then on to the gates of the House Beautiful. Along the way, the company learns the same lessons Christian learned, but in new ways and with new perspectives. Great-heart dispatches a new enemy, Mr. Grim Bloody-man, who would bar their entrance into the House Beautiful as the chapter closes.

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1.25.09 • Romans

January 25, 2009

The Faithfulness of God (Rm 3.3-4) – Romans Series

The foundation of the Gospel is the doctrine of condemnation as developed in Romans 1 and 2. Paul shows that all men, Jew and Gentile, pagan and moral, infidel and religious, all men are under the judgement of God. Our message today deals with the second typical Jewish objection that Paul raises and answers in Rm 3. This objection minimizes Jewish sin and insists that God ‘owes’ the Jews because of his covenant obligations. The assumption was that God might punish a man for his sins, but since he is a Jew and he is in the covenant, he will ultimately be saved. (Many so-called Christians make similar assumptions today.) Paul thoroughly demolishes this objection, using Ps 51.4 in particular to show that God is faithful and righteous in judgement as well as in blessing.

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1.18.09 PM • Galatians

January 18, 2009

The Violent Christian (Gal 5.24) Galatians Series

This message has been percolating since before Christmas, but was delayed by our snowstorms.

We are talking about the fruit of the Spirit passage in Galatians. Part of the passage that is often ignored is Gal 5.24, a verse that reveals the human means in the sanctification process: crucifying the flesh. We couple that passage with Mt 11.12, to show that both Jesus and Paul talk in a particularly graphic way about the kind of vigour necessary for a fruitful spiritual life. You cultivate the ground of your heart by a particularly violent process. We attempt to highlight how violent that process is by looking closely at the vocabulary employed.

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1.18.09 Study • Pilgrim’s Progress

January 18, 2009

Pilgrim’s Progress (2): The Interpreter’s House

Christiana and Mercy arrive to a loving welcome in the House of the Interpreter, where they are taught many lessons from Bunyan’s homely examples. It seems that the Interpreter represents the Holy Spirit who instructs believers in the way of wisdom. The Spirit also washes, sanctifies and prepares the pilgrim for the journey. All believers would do well to halt at Interpreter’s house and gain wisdom for the way.

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1.18.09 AM • Romans

January 18, 2009

The Advantage of the Jew (Rm 3.1-2) – Romans Series

We resume our Romans series with the first objection of the Jew to the message of the gospel. The gospel is necessary for all men, for all men are under condemnation for their sins, including religious men. In Romans 2, Paul’s argument specifically points to the Jews. The Jews are God’s chosen people, but in order for them to benefit from their religion, they must see that it first points to their need of redemption from sin. They, like the Gentiles, are subject to the judgement of God.

The Jew objects at this argument. Paul employs a rhetorical style called diatribe as he imagines an opponent arguing with him: What good is being a Jew then? (Implied: we might as well give it all up and indulge in sin – see Rm 3.8.) Paul counters: there are many advantages and the first is the oracles of God, i.e., the written revelation of God found in the Bible. This is a great trust and a great benefit, but only if one is willing to stop arguing with God and accept his verdict on your sinful condition.

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1.11.09 PM • Guest

January 11, 2009

Endurance in Trials (Jas 1.1-8, 12) · Rory Johnson

Our pastor’s son gave us another good message, this time from James on enduring trials and the kind of enduring faith that is necessary for such. He identified the source of trials and temptations, then showed what kind of faith is needed for spiritual stability. He closed with a clear call to the lost to join in the walk of faith that wholly depends on Christ alone for salvation.

1.11.09 Study • Pilgrim’s Progress

January 11, 2009

Pilgrim’s Progress (2): Mercy goes with Christiana

We continue our survey of Pilgrim’s Progress as Christiana and her boys and then Mercy are admitted at the Wicket Gate to the way of salvation by the Lord who bought them. They are received regardless of how they came on the basis of their desire to obtain the salvation He bought for them. As they set out, they are set upon by two ill-favoured men. In sending them off, they learn a lesson concerning the value of prayer and why our Lord requires it.

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1.11.09 AM • Christmas

January 11, 2009

I Am the Bright and Morning Star (Rev 22.16)

We conclude our delayed Christmas series today with almost the last direct quote of the voice of God in the Bible. Here the Lord authenticates the message delivered through his messengers and lends his authority to what is promised by identifying himself with his people and as the promise. He reveals himself to be both creator and descendant of David; he describes himself as the bright and morning star – the harbinger of the full daylight of the Kingdom to come. All who hear, all who thirst, all who are willing are invited to come, to receive the promise of his coming. All men should give up all their treasure to obtain him.

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1.4.09 PM • Guest

January 4, 2009

True Forgiveness (Mt 18.21-35) [Rory Johnson]

Our afternoon message comes from our pastor’s second son, Rory Johnson, a junior ‘preacher-boy’ at Bob Jones University. The three truths of true forgiveness are its unlimited scope, its Christ-like attitude, and it is a mark of citizenship in the Kingdom.

1.4.09 Study • Pilgrim’s Progress

January 4, 2009

Pilgrim’s Progress (2): Christiana Follows Christian

We resume our study of Pilgrim’s Progress, looking at the first bit of the second part of the book. Here we find Christiana, the formerly scoffing wife of Christian, moved by his death and his testimony to enter on pilgrimage, following his footsteps. Her decision shocks most of her neighbours, but begins to influence one.

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Our study guide and the study guide with answers.

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