God Loves the Gates of Zion More: Say No to Plato (part 5)

Plato. Luni marble, copy of the portrait made ...

Plato

The second reason public worship takes priority over private devotion is that there is more of the Lord’s presence in the use of ordinances.  “An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen.  In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you” (Exod. 20:24).  The Lord calls his people to construct an altar that he might sanctify it with his name for his purpose, to bless his people.  In the Old Testament, the temple was pars cultus, a part of the ceremonial worship under the law.  The temple was also the medium cultus, a means of grace and worship.[1]  God met with his people here, where he typified Christ’s natures, offices, and benefits (John 2:19).  This was the place of God’s ceremonial will, and the place of his moral will, where worship was accepted and available.  This acceptance was based on Christ received in types and shadows.  Now under the gospel, the shadows have passed and Christians have no such place of worship.  The ceremonial law, along with the place, has vanished in the New Covenant.[2]  The moral will of God, nevertheless remains.  The types have disappeared and the circumstances have changed; yet, God desires his people to meet in public worship to receive his means of grace.  When they do, he is in their midst to bless them through the ordinances, as he promised. Continue reading

Worship and Authenticity: My Church circa 1561 (Part 8)

Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt D...

Is this a real castle?

            What kind of authenticity do you want?  Do you want to go on an safari, well come to Disney World, for it is a small world after all.  Companies have been selling experience for a while now in America.  What kind of consumer are you?  Don’t worry the companies will find out and they will sell you on it.  The same sadly enough has happened in the church.  What are you looking to get in church?  A cowboy, well come to our Cowboy worship, a hipster, welcome to the coffee shop church, conservative, hey we didn’t vote for Obama, oh your liberal, come over we have hope. The list goes on and on. Continue reading

RED: Calvin’s Sacred Bond of Unity

In 1555, as English refugees fled to the continent where they sought refuge from Roman Catholic Queen Mary Tudor (“Bloody Mary”), many arrived at Frankfort to a French-speaking Protestant church waiting with open arms.  Over time, however, those arms turned cold as differences over aspects of worship sparked sharp discussion and disunity. To continue reading…

Regulative Principle of Worship: A Missoula Need To Uphold the Second Commandment (Part 5)

The Sin of Nadab and Abihu, illustration from ...

The second to last proof for the RPW states that the positive commands of Scripture forbid negative worship practices. The positive commands are simply God’s commands, his revealed will, like the Ten Commandments.  Negative practices are those not found in Scripture or worse, evil exercises contrary to God’s revealed will.  Heidelberg Catechism Q. 91 asks, “What are good works?”  The answer,

“those only which proceed from true faith, and are done according to the Law of God, unto His glory; and not such as rest on our own opinion or the commandments of men.” Continue reading

Fifth Bible Study Save the Date: April 18 at 6:00pm

We will be having our fifth study next Monday.  My wife will be in attendance and looks forward to meeting and seeing everyone. As the semester draws near, we are getting excited about the future and moving to Missoula, although the winter is going to take some time getting use to it.  We have been spoiled in So Cal for the last 5 years.

We are ready to see the church plant in Missoula, to see the gospel form a communion whose soul will be the preaching of the Word.  The physical body made up of fellowship.  A body, who will be spiritually refreshed and renewed each week on the sacraments, whose breath will be the prayers of the saints.  A church that will sing back to God his Word in glad tidings.  A community of grace guarded by church discipline.  Finally, a city on a hill, whose witness will spread to every tongue tribe and nation all to the glory of God the Father, in Christ Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit as our Triune God reconciles his people and sends them out into the world with his blessing.  Amen!

Our fifth meeting will be held at Sean Kelly’s, The Stone of Accord, located at 4951 N. Reserve St., a block south from I-90 Reserve Street Exit.

The Stone offers great dinner and has the perfect size conference room (down the hall on the right).  So, come hungry for God’s Word, great food, and fellowship.  I hope to see you there and invite friends, all are welcome, whether Reformed, on the journey, or interested in hearing about a simple Gospel centered church.

 

Fourth Bible Study Save the Date: March 19 at 6:30pm

We are pilgrims living between the ages of the fall and the end times.  As sojourners and exiles, anticipating God’s glorious return, God has given us His church to center our pilgrimage around that we might have our souls nourished and our spirits refreshed for eternal life.  God does this through His heavenly manna of Word and Sacrament.  I have framed this study around Peter’s exhortation in 1Peter 2:11–17:

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.    Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.    Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone (i.e. culture). Love the brotherhood (i.e. church). Fear God. Honor the emperor.

The meeting will be held at Sean Kelly’s, The Stone of Accord, located at 4951 N. Reserve St., a block south from I-90 Reserve Street Exit.  The Stone offers great dinner and has the perfect size conference room (down the hall on the right).  So, come hungry for God’s Word, great food, and fellowship.  I hope to see you there and invite friends, all are welcome, whether Reformed, on the journey, or interested in hearing about a simple Gospel centered church.

 

New Book will Help this Church Plant!

This book Planting, Watering, Growing: Planting Confessionally Reformed Churches in the 21st Century will hopefully fill a gap left behind by other books that call the church to adapt to pop culture to meet the consumers demands.  This book, I’m told will help churches meet the challenges of planting a church by the simple means of preaching the Word, administering the sacraments, church discipline, and prayer.  Instead of focusing on the unbiblical approach of so many books, this one will help confessional churches uphold the Word of God in church planting. Continue reading

Third Bible Study Save the Date: February 19 at 6:00pm

Understanding that Jesus is the subject of the whole Bible, our third URC Bible study will take place February 19 at 6:00pm.  The meeting will be held at Sean Kelly’s, The Stone of Accord, located at 4951 N. Reserve St., a block south from I-90 Reserve Street Exit.  The Stone offers great dinner and has the perfect size conference room (down the hall on the right).  So, come hungry for God’s Word, great food, and fellowship.  I hope to see you there and invite friends, all are welcome, whether Reformed, on the journey, or interested in hearing about a simple Gospel centered church.

 

 

 

Our Second Bible Study Revisited: Part II

The very first book of the Bible opens in such a way as to present a God much different from the gods of the Ancient Near East. Moses and his people would be living among pagans and needed to know the true God. Yahweh is a sovereign King unlike the pagan gods. He made out of nothing the “Heavens and the earth.” He is the almighty powerful God, who rules over all by his might and providence (1:11). He made everything and it was good (v. 31). Yahweh was a working King, and so for six days he labored, without sweat mind you, and entered into royal rest on the seventh day (2:2–3). Continue reading