As we have just finished our 93 Sunday School series going through Hercules Collins’ “An Orthodox Catechism” (a Baptist version of the Heidelberg Catechism), we had just begun a new study.
As Pastor Jay put it:
“We have covered much theology in Sunday School and this is what Sunday School is for. We have covered the 1689 London Baptist Confession; The Westminster Shorter Catechism (A Baptist Version); and An Orthodox Catechism. So I wanted to start something a little different now. We are going to watch a video series on The Pilgrims Progress classic book By John Bunyan. This is a classic Christian book and very edifying…
Ligonier Ministries has a video series of a Pilgrims Progress survey done by a great world renown scholar named Dr. Derek Thomas (a teacher at Reformed Theological Seminary). He has done his homework and this is a great opportunity that I know everyone will love. There is also a study guide that I will be handing out week by week that you can even fill out while you watch the video. The video is about 25 minutes every week and we can follow it by a short discussion on relevant topics as time permits.”
We started this video survey this past Sunday. If you missed it you may watch it free online.
Currently, you may get a modernized version of the book for free in eBook and audiobook (MP3) formats:
Free eBook, Kindle (includes Part II) | Audiobook
From the HeartCry Missionary Society blog:
HeartCry Missionary Society wants to thank Pastor Jason Jesuroga for traveling and teaching the HeartCry Missionaries in Cambodia. Jason’s report is below, sharing the highlights of the trip and the blessing of the fellowship he expereinced with the Khmer pastors.
I just enjoyed the distinct privilege and pleasure of going to Cambodia through HeartCry Missionary Society to train local native pastors there for the work of the ministry. I am a Reformed Baptist pastor from a small church in Fort Worth, Texas, called Sovereign Joy Community Church.
My time there was nothing short of amazing for several reasons. First, I found myself personally challenged with forsaking the comforts of the United States for a third world country where there is much poverty and hardship. I was reminded of what the Lord Jesus did in leaving the status and privileges of heavenly glory and coming in likeness of a servant to save a people for His own glory (Phil 2:5–11). For me, this ministry required much dependence on God to get me through each and every day. It was difficult and taxing physically, mentally, and spiritually, but I found every teaching session very gratifying and thoroughly loved it.
Second, this time was amazing because the Cambodian Christians hunger to know the Bible. Their many questions kept me from going through all of the teaching material I brought, but the interaction was worthwhile. I taught for four hours each day. They would not let me stop before my time was up. God was doing a great work. Many times in the USA, people complain that the sermons are too long or require too much thinking. Nothing like that happened in Cambodia!
My two subjects were “An Introduction to the Pentateuch” and “The Doctrine of God.” In the first, I used a biblical-theological methodology to highlight the major themes of each book and how they all fit together with the rest of Scripture. My students said they enjoyed seeing the big picture as we traced the great promise of Genesis 3:15 through the Pentateuch. One of the things I stressed was that the purpose of the Scriptures is ultimately to point to Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27).
In the doctrine of God course, we discovered what God is like. Nothing is better than studying our great and glorious God! Buddhism is the prevalent religion in Cambodia, so it is very important for these pastors to have an accurate understanding of the nature and attributes of God.
The questions they raised were very relevant. An example is one pastor who asked me about meat that had been offered to idols, since his extended family often offers him such meat. He wondered about the best way to respond. I showed him 1 Corinthians 8 and we had a good discussion with all the men.
In conclusion, the men were very thankful for this ministry and the many answers to their questions. They were amazed that I could answer these questions using the Bible and asked how I gained so much knowledge. I thought about the many advantages we have in America. We should be thankful for them all, both spiritual and material.
Thankfully, they have a Bible in their native language of Khmer. Without this I could not have opened the Scriptures as I did and trained these men. I heard that the translator was an American missionary who produced a very accurate rendering by 1920. This was a great service to this people as now they have a Bible they can understand.
I would love to return to Cambodia and continue teaching these men, but I also know that if I get to go, the blessing will be all mine.
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
Re-post from Jan. 23, 2009:
Pastor Jay wrote:
I think that we should pray for his salvation and pray that laws are continued to be established that would guarantee our right to proclaim the gospel and freely assemble (1 Tim. 2:1-6). Mainly that we would have freedom of speech. Once freedom of speech is taken away, then we will be in trouble with preaching and teaching the truth of the Word of God openly and freely.
Ligon Duncan (who watched President Obama’s inauguration with Al Mohler, Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, John Piper, and Thabiti Anyabwile) writes:
…Many Christians find themselves profoundly conflicted because of some of the moral positions and social policies that Mr. Obama espouses. So how do you pray for your President when you disagree with him?
Thankfully, the Bible is not silent about such a question. After all it commands us to pray for all in authority (1 Timothy 2:2), no matter their party, policies or religion (or lack thereof). It is vital that we think Christianly, which is to say, biblically, about this issue (and not just as Democrats or Republicans who happen to be Christian). So, back to the question. How do we pray for Mr. Obama? Here are some ideas (and I want to thank Al Mohler and Justin Taylor for many of these thoughts and words) for praying for our new President, Barack Obama.
First, it needs to be said, that we ought to commit ourselves to pray for our new President, for his wife and family, for his administration, and for the nation. We will do this, not only because of the biblical command to pray for our rulers, but because of the second greatest commandment “Love your neighbor” and what better way to love your neighbor, than to pray for his well-being. Those with the greatest moral and political differences with the President ought to ask God to engender in them, by His Spirit, genuine neighbor-love for Mr. Obama.
We will also pray for our new President because he (and we) face challenges that are not only daunting but potentially disastrous. We will pray that God will grant him wisdom. He and his family will face new challenges and the pressures of this office. May God protect them, give them joy in their family life, and hold them close together.
We will pray that God will protect this nation even as our new President settles into his role as Commander in Chief, and that God will grant peace as he leads the nation through times of trial and international conflict and tension.
We will pray that God would change President Obama’s mind and heart on issues of crucial moral concern. May God change his heart and open his eyes to see abortion as the murder of the innocent unborn, to see marriage as an institution to be defended, and to see a host of issues in a new light. We must pray this from this day until the day he leaves office. God is sovereign, after all.
For those Christians who are more concerned than overjoyed about the prospects of an Obama presidency, there should be a remembrance that as our President, Barack Obama will have God-given authority to govern us, and that we should view him as a servant of God (Rom. 13:1, 4) to whom we should be subject (1 Pet. 2:13-14; Rom. 13:1; Rom. 13:5). Thus, again, we are to pray for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2). We are to thank God for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2). We are to respect Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7). We are to honor Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7; 1 Pet. 2:17).
For those Christians who are more overjoyed than concerned about the prospects of an Obama presidency, there should be a remembrance of our ultimate allegiance: Jesus is Lord (and thus, He, not we, decides what is right and wrong), we serve God not man, and the Lord himself has promised to establish “the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him” (Malachi 3:18). Thus, where our new president opposes or undermines biblical moral standards in our society, fails to uphold justice for the unborn, undermines religious liberties or condones an ethos that is hostile to the Gospel, we will pray for God’s purposes to triumph over our President’s plans and policies.
Without doubt and whatever our particular views may be, we face hard days ahead. Realistically, we must all expect to be frustrated and disappointed. Some now may feel defeated and discouraged. While others may all-too-soon find their audacious hopes unfounded and unrealized. We must all keep ever in mind that it is God who raises up leaders and nations, and it is God who pulls them down, and who judges both nations and rulers. We must not act or think like unbelievers, or as those who do not trust God.
So, now, Christian. Let’s get to work. And pray.
Last week Pastor Jay was at a conference (Trinity Montville – Pastors’ Conference 2012) that he said, this past Sunday, that we wanted to share with us. Well, the audio has now been posted:
Starting this Sunday [June 24, 2012] we will begin going through “The Shorter Catechism – A Baptist Version” [PDF download] during our Sunday Seminary time [2pm every Sunday]. Every family will be provided with this catechism.
Pastor Jay said the following regarding this new study:
I would highly encourage as many as can, to attend the study because it will present us with historic Christianity, what the church has believed for hundreds of years, and will place us squarely in the glorious doctrines of the reformed faith, with men such as John Owen, C.H. Spurgeon, and Jonathon Edwards.
The catechism will enhance your view of Scripture by presenting the Christian faith in an orderly compilation of the doctrines the Bible teaches as well as Scripture proofs from where the doctrines are derived.
We must always remember that the catechism or confession or any other human book is not perfect and not infallible. The Bible is the primary source of life and practice and serves as our absolute standard of authority while the catechism serves as a helpful guide and tool for the Christian’s growth.
These tools have been invaluable for myself and my family, and I think that you will be blessed by them as well, as you attend and lean the catechism. I would encourage all men to teach these things to their wives and children and use these valuable resources as a way to guide and lead your family.
I wanted to leave you with a very simple but profound question from the catechism:
Q3: What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A: The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. 2 Tim 1:13
I am persuaded that the use of a good Catechism in all our families will be a great safeguard against the increasing errors of the times, and therefore I have compiled this little manual from the Westminster Assembly’s and Baptist Catechisms, for the use of my own church and congregation. Those who use it in their families or classes must labour to explain the sense; but the words should be carefully learned by heart, for they will be understood better as years pass.
― C. H. Spurgeon