Here is Pastor Jay’s sermon from this past Sunday reminding us to NOT miss Jesus in all of Scripture:
By way of encouraging you to meditate on the glories of the incarnation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, here are the Scripture readings from this past Sunday:
The Christmas season is mostly celebrated as a joyful, happy occasion (and for good reason!) But it’s also a good season to remember the longing, the desperation, and the darkness in which the world awaited its coming Savior, and even now awaits His return.
The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
– Isaiah 9:2; 7:14
This true light was none other than the Word of God, the Son of God, 2nd person of the Trinity, Jesus the promised Messiah:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
– John 1:1-5
…there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
But the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
…The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
– Luke 2:8-20
We know the story does not end there, but this baby fulfilled the purpose for which he was born, namely, to “save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21)
…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”
…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
– Matthew 1:20-23; 20:28
And He is coming again to judge the living and the dead (as Psalm 98 says [which Joy to the World is based off of):
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.
…Before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth;
He will judge the world with righteousness
And the peoples with equity.
Joy to the World:
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found!
“Behold, I am coming soon,
bringing my recompense with me,
to repay everyone for what he has done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.”
… He who testifies to these things says,
“Surely I am coming soon.”
Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.
– Revelation 22:12-13, 20-21
Several events that we’ve been talking about during announcements and have added to the church calendar:
Tomorrow, November 23, immediately following the service we welcome all to join us for our annual Thankgiving Potluck. Guest are under no obligation to bring anything, just enjoy the meal and fellowship with us. Members, if you haven’t already, you may sign up to bring food by contacting Shay.
November 30, we will be handing out the proposed budget for 2015.
On December 14 we will have our annual budget meeting (members only) immediately following the service.
On December 7 we will be closing out our worship service with several baptisms.
Also, be on the lookout for an email of each candidates testimony in the coming weeks. As our Constitution state in ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP – Section 3 Procedure for Receiving New Members:
For admission into church membership, applicants shall be recommended by the elders for admission (when the Board of Elders is satisfied that an applicant gives a credible profession of faith and meets the requirements for membership) and then accepted by vote of the members at any regular or special meeting of the church…
To my knowledge, I had the privilege of explicitly introducing our church to the discipline of “Biblical Theology“ [17 min. readout] during our last Sunday School.
Several folks afterwards said they found it helpful and were interested in the Biblical-Theological Catechism I presented. So, below is a portion of the introduction to this catechism with links to each section thereafter.
(Note: This catechism is a work in progress and currently only goes to Exodus. The author hope to have a section on each book of the Bible).
THE END IN THE BEGINNING:
A BIBLICAL-THEOLOGICAL CATECHISM FOR YOUNG AND OLD
by James T. Dennison, Jr.
Introduction [7 min. readout]
How does the Bible begin?
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1)
How does the Bible end?
“And I saw a new heavens and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1)
What is the word for the study of beginnings?
What is the word for the study of ends?
What is the inclusio of the Bible?
(NB: an “inclusio” is a bracket device marking the beginning and end of a work. An inclusion suggests symmetry, parallelism — rounded/completed balance.)
The protological beginning anticipates the eschatological end; the eschatological end consummates the protological beginning.
What other parallels or symmetries are there between the beginning and the end of the Bible?
A garden (Gen. 2:8; Rev. 22:1–2)
The tree of life (Gen. 2:9; Rev. 22:2)
Life with no curse or deathless life (Gen. 1:31; Rev. 21:4; 22:5)
A dwelling-with-God place (Gen. 2:15–17; Rev. 21:22; 22:3)
What is this pattern or paradigm called?
a. Ursgeschichte and Endgeschichte
b. Protology and Eschatology
These are fancy words. What do they mean?
a. The beginning of history (German: Urgeschichte) is like the end of history (German: Endgeschichte).
b. The first things (Protology) are like the last things (Eschatology)
Why does eschatology recapitulate protology?
Because the fundamental symmetry in the history of redemption displays the reflection of the end in the beginning (and vice versa: the beginning in the end).
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Rev. 21:13).
Define “protology” more completely.
The study of the “first things”; the “beginning things” in the history of redemption
Define “eschatology” more completely.
The study of the “last things”; the “final things” in the history of redemption.
Is eschatology only the “last things” in order of time, i.e., the end of the world, the final judgment, heaven and hell?
What else does eschatology embrace?
The whole history of redemption.
Why do you say that the whole history of redemption is eschatological or under the umbrella or canopy of eschatology?
Because eschatology deals with God’s own eternal Being and dimension; and God’s eternal Being and dimension is over and above the whole history of redemption.
Is all of Scripture from Genesis (creation) to Revelation (new creation) oriented to and related to eschatology?
Yes, eschatology is prior to and above every text from Gen. 1:1 to Rev. 22:21.
Is it important to consider the eschatological dimension or aspect of a Biblical passage?
Yes, since every verse of Scripture is underneath the eschatological umbrella/canopy, eschatology casts its shadow over the entire history of redemption.
Thus, you are suggesting that when I read my Bible, I should pay attention to the linear history (i.e., the line from Adam to Christ, from Moses to Christ, from David to Jesus, etc.).
Yes, I must read the Bible looking in two directions: forward (?) and backward (?) (on the horizon of history).
Why should I be concerned with the historical (linear/horizontal) aspect of each portion of the Bible?
Because God has created me and all mankind a being in history. In his revelation of himself, he accommodates himself to my being in time and space — drawing my story into his story. He reveals himself in history—objectively, concretely, supernaturally and transformatively.
And you are suggesting that when I read my Bible, I should pay attention to the vertical aspect (i.e., the line from God to creation, from heaven to earth, from eternity to time, etc.)
Yes, I must read the Bible in two additional directions: upward (heaven-ward ?) and downward (earth-ward ?).
Why should I be concerned with the eschatological (heaven-ward) aspect of each portion of the Bible?
Because God has made me for himself, even as he made all things. And where he reveals himself to his rational creatures, he invites them to come up to him—to the eschatological arena—to his very glory-presence.
Does that mean that Adam in the garden of Eden was invited to the eschatological arena?
Yes; Adam was being shown a garden replica of the garden-glory of heaven. Hence, even before his fall into sin, Adam was invited to enter a heavenly/eternal arena.
It seems then that the eschatological arena penetrates or intrudes into the temporal or historical arena?
Yes, as God reveals himself and his plan of salvation in history, so at every point the eschatological arena casts its shadow and sheds its light in history.
Would you trace this pattern of eschatological intrusion and anticipation in the books of the Bible?
- Genesis [23 min. readout]
- Exodus [35 min. readout | this is the one I read portions from Sunday]
[HT: Enrique Duran]
Missed it? Here is the audio
Here are some details on the upcoming conference that we have been talking about during announcements:
Dr. Richard Barcellos
Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D., is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA
Dr. James Renihan
James M. Renihan, Ph.D., is an elder at Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Vista, CA, and is the Dean and Professor of Historical Theology at the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies.
1.SOLID GROUND CHRISTIAN BOOKS will again be represented at our conference this year. Michael Gaydosh will be bringing many wonderful Reformed books for your perusal. Be sure to come prepared to take home some of these great books that will be for sale!
A. Modes: To register for our upcoming conference, please mail the filled out registration form to:
Heritage Baptist Church,
201 East Broad St.,
Mansfield, TX 76063
or visit our website www.reformedbaptist.org and register online.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:11-15
The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened. Second London Baptist Confession, Chapter 14, Paragraph 1
Q. 94: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?
A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption are His ordinances, especially the Word, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer; all which means are made effectual to the elect for salvation. The Baptist Catechism
Download (PDF, 270KB)
On the last Wednesday of every month there will be a time for Jr. High and Sr. High students to meet and discuss a book that the kids will have read. We will meet at the same time as the Men’s and Women’s Bible study, at the church.
The second book [see first book here] we will be discussing is “The Silver Chair” (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis. We will take four months to go through this book. It is broken down into sections listed below:
If you don’t have access to this book, either through the library or a friend, please let Melinda and Jacek know. We can order one when needed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to talk with Jacek & Melinda.