Over the weekend Jen's church burnt down. No one was hurt in the fire, which is a huge praise. The congregation is hoping to rebuild their building in the same location. The church was there for over 80 years and has had a long testimony throughout the life of the Orthodox Presbyterian Chruch.
Due to a few requests, mainly Stevo, in a short while, I will begin posting some book reviews on here. The books that I will be recapping are:
The Cross He Bore: by Frederick Leahy
The Christian Life: by Sinclair Ferguson
What the Bible Teaches about Marriage: by Anthony
The Big Picture for Small Churches: John Benton
Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace: by Iain Duguid
"Let's Study" Galatians
"Let's Study" Revelation: Both by Derek Thomas
The Prophets Speak of Him: by Anthony Selvaggio
Overcoming the World: by Joel Beeke
Christ and the Covenants: by O. Palmer Robertson
A few weeks ago a certain blog caught my eye that was linked off of Justin Taylor's Between Two Worlds. Then just this past week Tim Challies awarded this blog his distinguished King for a Week. This blog that I am talking about is the IrishCalvinist.com. The author's name is Eric, he is a pastor at a Baptist church out in Nebraska- I have not listened to any of his sermons, as my ears do not have the time to hear all of Joel Beeke's, John Piper's, Derek Thomas's, and Teddy Donnelly's on the web. But I do have time to read his words as I take a break from my studies. His goal for blogging is that his readers would be more impressed with Jesus Christ.
This past week a few words hit me like a 2x4. He writes,
"Too many people today look at Jesus upon the cross like a spiritual piñata that God has set forth to take a beating so all of us good kids could get all the candy we deserve. This is heresy! Jesus Christ willingly hanging upon the wooden cross in utter humiliation while also maintaining and displaying all of his manifold perfections is the indictment upon all of our manifold imperfections. He is there because we are so bad.
So look at him and see everything you are not but, by grace, long to be. Love him because he is so different to you. Love him because he is so appealing to you. Love him because upon that cross heaven’s artillery was emptied upon him that the reservoir of mercy and grace might justly be opened to you."
Robert Murray Mc'Cheyne once said, "for every look of yourself, look ten times to Christ."
Check it out... I believe you will see Christ magnified and exalted
Look, See, and Behold!
Last night, the college students of Rose Point RPCNA met for our first night of worship, prayer and Bible study. This year our study is on The Mortification of Sin, led by Mr. Matthess who is a member of our congregation.
I gave Mr. Matthess a few books of mine that he may look over and read and see what he would be the most comfortable with. A few of the books were Ferguson's commentary on Mark by the Trust, another was Piper's new book on the demands of Christ on believers, and then the last one was The Enemy Within by Kris Lundguardd. Lundguardd was a campus minister at a PCA church when he realized that College students needed solid principles to guide them as they fight sin. So he read Owen and condensed him into a short book that is easily accessible by anybody [really]. And he did a great job.
Mr. Matthess did not stop there... he went directly to the source of this wisdom... He turned first to Scripture then to Owen's works himself, and from there read his commentary on Scripture. Let me say it is fantastic, it is a great reminder as I once again learn about the mortification of sin. Along with it, I am reading Owen's works for devotions...I trust we will know God's blessing this semester.
--- here are my notes from the study - i trust they will be edifying to you ---
GREAT is the mystery of Godliness - how can we comprehend it!? We need to understand how to grow in holiness, for that is our calling in the Christian life.
reading from Romans 3:10-20
- we cannot please God; sin is everything contrary to God - he hates it
- sin and fault is with us. The purpose of the Law is to reveal sin to us. Think of this, this is true, don't the 10 commandments teach you about your radical depravity??
Q: How does Conversion/regeneration affect sin's presence and power? [Romans 7:21]
A: It is a power in us, not to us. At conversion God takes the law used to reveal sin to us and infuses that law in our hearts. And we are now inclined to serve and please God. This enjoining of the law is different than the divine sense that all mankind has. (divinitas sensus) As we are united in Christ.
It is true that Sin is cut back, it is not dead and it can flare up at any moment. We have discovered this, Paul discovered this and describes it as a law... Sin brings forth fruit unto death - do you find this sin?
Why dont people recognize that they are sinners?
- ignorance (they do not know the law, they are so steeped in sin they suppressed their sense of God)
- do not want to - they are blind to the Gospel
- they are at one with sin... in Darkness you cannot sin
Christians have an obligation to share the gospel, and they must live the gospel in their daily life. As believers, we have the inclination to do good. We are free to please God, good thigns come from a good heart.
If we feel guilty over sin and we know that we have dishonored God - this is a blessing! because God is at work within us, softening our hearts to respond to Him.
**At this time we were kicked out of our room - we had it over our time limit... my bad :-/
It has been exciting 7 days for us, as our good friend Leah is now engaged. She and I go way back.. we went to Middle School together. Her fiance, Andy is a first year student at the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.
I was blessed this past Sabbath by two very nice gifts. Two books by Anthony Selvaggio, from Pastor Selvaggio himself. The first one, dubbed The Prophets Speak of Him: 12 perspectives on Christ from the Minor Prophets. I am going to be using for a paper (very providential) on Zephaniah. The title says it all, these books are about Christ - Pick up and Read!
The other book that I was given was only published this year - and it only came out on the Evangelical Press Website this week! What does the Bible teach about Marriage is intended to be used for newlyweds, engaged couples, or for those who are courting. It is an applicable commentary on the Song of Solomon that brings to life how this poetry speaks to our romantic lives. I am definately going to be reading this one... hopefully soon.