Monthly Archives: September 2015

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 39

    Q. 89 How is the word made effectual to salvation?
    A. The Spirit of God makes the reading, but especially the preaching, of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.

    Q. 90 How is the word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
    A. That the word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.

    It really is encouraging. Often I’ll get a call or a text. Pastor, what is the sermon text for Sunday? Or I’ll be walking into the sanctuary before the service and someone will say to me, “I read … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 38

    Q. 88. What are the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption?
    A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances, especially the word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.

    Exposition – For a long time now I’ve wanted to write a book simply entitles, “The God of the Ordinary.” Sure, we believe in the extraordinary, but most of our lives are taken up with the shockingly ordinary things of life—with things like work and spouses and friends and food and bills and all those little things we do everyday. And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s in these shockingly ordinary things that God is at work in and through us.

    I begin with a discussion … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 37

    Q. 87 What is repentance unto life?
    A.  Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, does, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience.

    Exposition  – Last week we considered faith. As Protestants faith is the air we breathe. Faith alone was one of the great emphasizes of the Reformation. In so emphasizing faith, though, it is possible to neglect repentance, something the reformers and the framers of our catechism would never want us to do.

    So important and emphasized was repentance during the reformation that it stands at the first of the 95 theses proposed by Martin Luther.

    When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 36

    Q. 86: What is faith in Jesus Christ?

    A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.

    Exposition

    There are few words with which Christians are more familiar than faith. It’s one of the great Christian triad: Faith, hope, and love. And it’s the instrument by which we lay hold of Christ and thus the means by which we are saved.

    Faith springs up in the life of the one who has been made alive by God. In other words, after we are born again we possess a desire to live a holy and righteous life and that desire in manifest in faith—turning toward God—and, as we will see next week, repentance—turning away from sin.

    Traditionally theologians have thought about faith according to three elements: knowledge, belief, … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 35

    Q. 85: What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?

    A.To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.

    Exposition

    Thinking back to last week, every sin deserves the curse and wrath of God. Even our sin. Thankfully, God has made a way of escape. Through Jesus God’s wrath is averted. Jesus receives the wrath and curse our sin deserved. We receive the pardon he deserved. This question takes up the how this pardon is appropriated.

    Here faith and repentance are presented as two sides of a coin by which Christ is laid hold of. We will consider each of … Read More »