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Showing posts from October, 2007

The Humble God

When Christ emptied Himself and became a man (Phil. 2), he did not veil his divinity but revealed it. He showed us the humility of God. As he walked among us He told us that, if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father. How? Certainly, according to Phil. 2, in one sense especially: the Father - indeed, the whole Godhead - is humble.

James & Paul Follow-Up

The following is the body of an e-mail I wrote to a friend about my previous post. On your first paragraph, I see the challenge to be: 1) to maintain the tension between the poles of truths revealed to us in a "dialectic" form. Rev. Rob Rayburn of Seattle (PCA) has a remarkable series of sermons on this subject: but you are familiar with the idea, for example, the tension between "all of grace" on one side and "human responsibility" on the other regarding salvation. To quote Rayburn: "I am speaking of the fact that biblical truth is universally presented in dialectical form. By that I mean that the Bible characteristically presents any doctrine in terms of its polarities. The truth concerning any particular subject or theme is taught, now in one place, now in another, in terms of the poles that lie at the opposite ends of the particular continuum." 2) to give credit to each passage of Sc

James and Paul on Works

Martin Luther was a very intense and sensitive individual. Before he learned that he could be made right with God simply by receiving salvation as a free gift by faith, he was a very miserable person. He believed that he could only be right with God by being morally perfect. Finding this perfection impossible, he despaired. But when studying Paul’s epistles, he learned that we are justified, or made right with God, by faith alone, apart from our works, he was filled with an enthusiasm to see to it that this truth was known by as many as possible and that it was not lost to people again. Because he was so jealous for the doctrine of justification by faith alone, he didn’t like the epistle of St. James. He called it an epistle of straw and said it should be removed from the canon. Why is that? It is because James seems to contradict the doctrine of justification by faith. In fact, James seems to say that a man is justified by works! You can imagine how t

So what to preach in 5 minutes?

I had an unusual circumstance this morning; my sermon had to be limited to 5 minutes! So what does an Evangelical Anglican preach in 5 minutes? Well, here it is. In a few minutes, I will read these comforting words: So God loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life . St. John iii. 16. The Christian religion is not based on man seeking after God. Rather, it is the belief that God has initiated our relationship with Him by His having compassion on us miserable sinners; upon us who are perishing in our sinful, fallen condition and death. God has loved us. And in so loving, He has acted on our behalf. He has freely provided for us the answer to our sinful, rebellious, fallen condition. That answer is nothing less than His only-begotten Son, Jesus of Nazareth. Two thousand years ago, He gave us His Son in His incarnation, but the incarnation was to the end that His Son m

St. Albans CofE Grand Cayman

When a PCA minister on Grand Cayman Island, I became friends with the Rector of St. Alban's Anglican Church , The Rev. Nicholas Sykes, who used to be in the EMC. During the summer, my wife and I visited with Nick and got to see their new building. Nick is a good man and our church prays for him and his parish regularly. I thought I'd share a few pictures via this blog. The first is, of course, Nick and myself. The latter two of their building. Their kneeling pews, Bible box, and brass eagle lecturn (lovely!) are from old churches in England. OK, I'm a bit jealous!

Forgiveness and Growth

The following is a part of the sermon preached by Bishop Ray Sutton at the recent REC Mid-America Diocese meeting. I had to pass it along; I thought it excellent. All too often parishes think that church growth is in a program. Yes, a program can help. But the key to a growing parish is whether or not its members are forgiving of one another and ultimately the world around them. It's really very simple. If a parish is forgiving, it will be a kind, loving, truly friendly community. If it is bitter, paranoid, insular, mean and critical visitors will come and go. It's almost as though they implicitly realize that true forgiveness cannot be found in this place. If the disciples of Jesus do not forgive as He did, then perhaps He does not live in them. Forgiveness spreads the Word of the Lord. The lack thereof inhibits the central message and mission of Christ and His Church: the absolution. Where forgiveness is, the Gospel will spread!

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XXVII - H. C. G. Moule

Manifoldness Continued. ii. The manifold Grace of God . Here the problem finds a blessed answer. We have studied an extremely complicated lock, and no key in all our store will meet it and move it. But the great Artificer of both circumstances and salvation appears here with His perfect key, His golden key, cast into the very mould of the labyrinthine wards, intended and able to fit them all. Need aboundeth, in its many ramifications. But “grace doth much more abound”; it is the manifold grace of God. True, beneath its multiplicity grace has a divine simplicity and singleness. For what is grace , when we come to its ultimate description? It is no abstract thing; no mysterious substance, thrown off as it were by God and injected into man. It is the Lord Himself in action. Grace of acceptance – what is it but God, for Christ’s sake, pardoning and welcoming the sinner – “ God for us”? Grace of sanctification, of peace and power and holiness, what is it but Go