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Showing posts from September, 2014

Catechism #39

Q. How is the Word of God made effectual for salvation? A. The Spirit of God makes the reading and the preaching of the Word an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners . Some people like to pose the question, “If a man on a deserted island dies and never hears about Jesus, will he go to hell?” While that is a most unlikely hypothetical question, I believe that God will do whatever He has to in order to give that man the chance to be saved (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-4,). God could send an angel, appear in a vision, or let the beauty of creation lead him to the truth (Psalm 19:1). But for those of us who are not on a deserted island, God has chosen the manifestation of His Word as the vehicle to bring the lost to salvation. Any person can pick up a Bible and read Romans 10:13: “Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” But God’s desire is for salvation to be both personal and relational. That is why God established the pastor to be

Catechism #38

Q. Who are the sacraments for? A. The sacraments are for all who are trusting in Christ for their eternal salvation . The last two questions have demonstrated that we are not saved by the sacraments, and that we observe the sacraments because we have been saved. Therefore, baptism and The Lord’s Supper are reserved for all who have been saved through Jesus. Baptism should be a personal choice. We do not sprinkle babies or baptize young children who do not understand the significance of what they are doing. The same is true of communion. If a young child does not take the elements observing the Lord’s death and resurrection, he should not be taking it. But if any person, regardless of age, wishes to partake in the sacraments for the right reasons, they should not be refused. The only condition is a clean heart. That’s why Paul instructed to first let each person examine himself to make sure he took the sacraments in a “worthy manner,” for the right reason, refl

David Nelson--A Bright Spot in the NFL

The NFL has received a black eye, and I’m not just talking about a punch from Ray Rice. The National Football League has always had a few bad boys, but they were isolated events. Michael Irvin had drugs and Michael Vick had dogs; there were off the field issues with Adam “Pac Man” Jones and Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson. But today’s NFL seems to have given way to the thug culture, where violence, substance abuse, and fathering babies out of wedlock has become the norm. Ray Rice sucker punched his then-fiancĂ©e, and his team may have tried to cover it up so he could play. Greg Hardy assaulted and threatened to kill a former girlfriend. Adrian Peterson beat his toddler with a switch to the point that he had lacerations on his legs and buttocks. And although Ray MacDonald maintains his innocence, he was just arrested for hitting his pregnant girlfriend. These recent stories follow last summer’s unfolding drama of the alleged murders committed by Aaron Hernandez. The N

Catechism #37

Q. What is the second sacrament? A. The second sacrament is the Lord’s Supper , in which believers symbolically partake in the body and blood of Jesus. As we saw last week, a sacrament is an outward sign that represents an inward expression. The first of the two sacraments is baptism, and the second is the Lord’s Supper. Also known as Communion and the Last Supper, the Lord’s Supper refers to the final meal Jesus ate with His disciples on the night of His arrest. During the meal Jesus used two elements to paint a picture His followers would never forget. He told them as often as they ate the bread and drank the fruit of the vine, they were to remember His body and blood. What we need to remember about this meal is that it was not a random menu; those men in the Upper Room, as well as Jews everywhere, were eating the traditional Passover meal, which was a celebration of the day God led their ancestors out of Egyptian bondage, and spared their firstborn sons by passing

Thoughts on 9/11

We live in the greatest country the world has ever seen, and that is largely because from Day 1 men and women have been willing to lay down their lives in sacrifice for the good of the people around them. In 1607 a group of Puritans arrived in Virginia seeking a place where they could worship God and be free from liberal influences. These people had previously been persecuted by the state-run church in England, then Holland when their children began to emulate the secular Dutch culture. Leaving everything behind, they came to America looking for a place of religious refuge. Many died during that first winter, but rather than return to England, they stayed because they knew it would ultimately be better for their children. On April 19, 1775, shots were fired at Lexington and Concord, and the American Revolutionary War was under way. Once again, many brave men were willing to die so that others could live in freedom. On July 4 th of the next year, the Declaration of Indep