29 June 2009

The First Great and Primary Business

I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul in a happy state, and how my inner man may be nourished...I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it. (George Mueller of Bristol as quoted in Desiring God by John Piper, pg. 116.)

27 June 2009

At The Scottish Games Today...Prydein

These guys were at the Scottish Games today. I've listened to them for years but today was the first time I saw them in concert. Outstanding stuff....

Lord's Day 26 Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 26:

Scripture Readings: Romans 6:1-7; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Acts 2:38-39; Matthew 28:18-20

Question 69. How does baptism remind you and assure you that Christ's one sacrifice on the cross is for you personally?
Answer. In this way: Christ instituted this outward washing and with it gave the promise that, as surely as water washes away the dirt from the body, so certainly his blood and his Spirit wash away my soul's impurity, in other words, all my sins.

Question 70. What does it mean to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
Answer. It means to have forgiveness of sins from God, through grace, for the sake of Christ's blood which is shed for us in his sacrifice on the cross, and also to be renewed by the Holy Spirit and sanctified as members of Christ, so that we may more and more die unto sin and live in a consecrated and blameless way.

Question 71. Where does Christ promise that we are washed with his blood and Spirit as surely as we are washed with the water of baptism?
Answer. In the institution of baptism where he says: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." "The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned." This promise is repeated when Scripture calls baptism the water of rebirth and the washing away of sins.

For study and discussion:
How do we know that baptism does not save?
The sacrament of baptism is not stating something about what ____ have done but rather what ______ has done for me.

24 June 2009

The Covenant Banner

I came across this poem here and in light of the Ohio Scottish Games this coming weekend I thought now would be a most excellent time to post this.


By An Ayrshire Elder

Blow softly, ye breezes, by mountain and moor,
O'er the graves of the Covenant men,
By the muirland and flood that were red with their blood,
Can ye waft the old watchwords again?

For Scotland and Christ the breezes of old
O'er the wilds of the Westland bore,
From the Lugar and Nith to the Lothian Frith,
And the German Ocean's shore.

And where'er they blew, a prayer was breathed
And a holy psalm was sung,
And hands were clasped and the banner grasped,
When the Covenant watchword rung.

O, the brave true hearts of old,
That bled when the banner perished!
O, for the Faith that was strong in death--
The Faith that our fathers cherished!

The banner might fall, but the spirit lived,
And liveth for evermore,
And Scotland claims as her noblest names,
The Covenant Men of Yore.

22 June 2009

This Week

Blog posts may be light this week as its pretty busy for me and Mrs. Renegade. I'm helping out with VBS all week (the image above is the VBS theme this year), deacon meeting Tuesday night, Bible study on Friday for my wife, the Scottish Games on Saturday, VBS "Finish Line Activities" on Sunday morning (in place of Sunday School) and lastly Men's Discipleship group Sunday afternoon. I'm swamped. I'll be on Facebook from time to time so I'll see you there.

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20 June 2009

Lord's Day 25 Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 25:

Scripture Readings: 1 Corinthians 1:26-32; Genesis 17:1-14; Colossians 2:11-12

Question 65. Since, then, faith alone makes us share in Christ and all his blessings, where does that faith come from?
Answer. The Holy Spirit creates it in our hearts by the preaching of the holy gospel, and confirms it by the use of the holy sacraments.

Question 66. What are the sacraments?
Answer. They are visible, holy signs and seals instituted by God so that by their use God may make us understand more clearly the promise of the gospel, and put the divine seal on that promise; namely to grant us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, by grace alone, because of the one sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross.

Question 67. Are both the Word and the sacraments intended to focus our faith on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?
Answer. Right! In the gospel the Holy Spirit teaches us, and through the holy sacraments assures us, that our entire salvation rests on Christ's one sacrifice for us on the cross.

Question 68. How many sacraments did Christ institute in the New Testament?
Answer. Two: baptism and the Lord's Supper.

For reflection and study:
Why does the Roman Catholic church have seven sacraments and the HC states there are only two?
What are the connections between Old Testament sacraments and New testament sacraments?

18 June 2009

A Few Thoughts for Father's Day

As Father's Day quickly approaches let us remember the blessing of having godly parents and if we did not, let that fact urge us on to holiness in our own parenting. I'd like to focus on one aspect of fatherhood and parenting overall. Let's take a wee look at what our spiritual parents have said about this first.

From the Heidelberg Catechism:
Question 104. What is God's will for us in the fifth commandment?
Answer. That I show honor, love, and loyalty to my father and mother and all those in authority over me; that I submit myself with proper obedience to all their good teaching and correction; and also that I be patient with their failings, for through them God chooses to rule us.

This, I think, is so crucial. We are often so unforgiving of those we know best, our parents. Shall we take some time to repent of our arrogance and refresh our memories that our parents are sinners like us and need forgiveness like us. They are God's representative to us, yet they have failings that need to be forgiven. I often find it frustrating that, as a parent of adult children, I seemed to just be getting the hang of the parenting thing (at least to some small degree) and then they were gone. Yet when they were young & I needed the most knowledge I was so ill equiped. Just another reminder to me that our parents need our patience and understanding.

Thank your Dad today for trying to lead you in godliness. He may have failed several times down the road, but he was striving to see you walk in the Lord. Thank the Lord that for your Dad and pray that you would have patience with him and that your children will have patience with you.

Happy Father's Day!

16 June 2009

Dever on Creating a Culture of Evangelism

My church will be having an Outreach Sunday on July 12. In light of that I have been thinking much on the issue of evangelism. I believe Dever's thoughts in this video are very insightful...

15 June 2009

How Sweet & Awful Is The Place

How Sweet & Awful Is The Place is just one of those hymns we love to sing. Lyrics by Isaac Watts, early friend to the evangelical movement, are humbliing and inspiring. Especially the last verse when its great to sing out for all your worth.

How Sweet and Awful Is the Place

1. How sweet and awful is the place
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores.

2. While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
"Lord, why was I a guest?"

3. "Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there's room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?"

4. 'Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

5. Pity the nations, O our God,
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.

6. We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May, with one voice and heart and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace.

Public Domain

13 June 2009

Rain City Hymnal

Good stuff...

Lord's Day 24 Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 24:

Scripture Readings: Psalm 14; Matthew 6:1-18; 7:15-27; 25:31-46; Phillipians 3:1-16

Question 62. Why can't the good works we do make us right, or at least help make us right, with
Answer. Because the righteousness which can pass God's scrutiny must be entirely perfect and must in every way measure up to the divine law. Even the very best we do in this life is imperfect and stained with sin.

Question 63. Then don't our good works merit anything when God has promised to reward them in this life and the next?
Answer. This reward is not earned; it is a gift of grace.

Question 64. But doesn't this teaching make people careless and wicked?
Answer. No, for it is impossible for those who are grafted into Christ by true faith not to bring forth the fruit of gratitude.

For reflection and study:
In what way then, do works play a part in our salvation?
Describe the difference in how we should understand Matthew 25:37 versus Matthew 7:22?

06 June 2009

Piper On the Health, Wealth and Properity Gospel

This is far too imporatant not to share. Please view the video and pass it on as you are able.

Lord's Day 23 Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 23

Scripture Readings: Romans 3:19-26; John 1:1-18

Question 59. What good does it do you, however, to believe all this?
Answer. In Christ I am right with God and heir to life everlasting.

Question 60. How are you right with God?
Answer. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God's commandments and of never having kept any of them, and even though I am still ever inclined toward all evil, nevertheless, without my deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me. All I need to do is accept this gift of God with a believing heart.

Question 61. Why do you say that you are right with God by faith alone?
Answer. It is not because of any value my faith has that God is pleased with me. Only Christ's satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness make me right with God. And I can receive this righteousness and make it mine in no other way than by faith

Three terrific questions this week - the heart of the gospel.

For study and discussion:
-Faith is not the source of our righteousness. What is?
-Describe double imputation.

01 June 2009

I Look Like Who?

Hhhmmm...Its recently been brought to my attention that I have a resemblance to Jerry Garcia. Well, maybe, not sure....whaddaya think?

Worship Service Yesterday

We had a grand time yesterday as my church congregation (Redeemer Church (PCA), which shares a church building with another congregation, had a combined worship service followed by a picnic. A wonderful time was had by all. These are a few photos from the events.