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Archive for the ‘Lordship’ Category

Advent is one of my favorite seasons of the Christian calendar. Why is that? It is he season where the songs on the radio, the house, and the church, whether consciously or not, declare the kingship and lordship of Jesus the Christ. It is a season that should break the Church from her chains of pessimism and defeatism, and propel her into great confidence in her calling. For instance look closely to the words of “Joy to the World:”

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

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,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Joy because as surely as our king was born that Christmas morning, he surely reigns now, while submitting his enemies under his feet (1 Corinthians 15:27). And this reign is expansive.  His “blessings flow far as the curse is found” (that is everywhere), and “He rules the world.”  There is no room for pessimism. Our King reigns on high, let the whole earth rejoice!

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It is always interesting to hear or read people’s responses to a biblically sound presentation of the Sovereignty of God.  It has been through the ages, and especially in the countries that have been indoctrinated in human autonomy, that people have resented the teaching that God, the Triune Creator of the Old and New Testament, has all and complete control and absolute authority and rule.  In an age when so many are consumed with themselves it is no surprise that there is little room for such teaching.

Yes, this teaching of the sovereignty of God is should  strike us with a reverent fear.  But, like all other doctrines, for those who are children of God, that is those He has reconciled to Himself through the Son, this is a doctrine of great comfort.  What comfort is there if your god is not able to do anything about the present situation?  Would you pray to such a god that did not have all authority and control?  Would such a god be worthy of any sort of worship?  In fact, any other god is no god at all.

But for those who belong to the One who spoke and it was, they can be confident that their God is able to comfort them, to do something when turned to in prayer, to intervene in history and their situation, to lead history to its rightful end – the New Heavens and the New Earth, to hold all peoples in righteous judgment, etc, etc, etc.

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Uploaded here is a worksheet I put together in October of 2005 as a help in understanding Covenant Theology, which is very integral to the Reformed understanding of the Scriptures.  As a reminder, this is a worksheet, so it is meant to be “worked” through, not just read.  Covenant Theology Worksheet

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     The Heidelberg Catechism is well known for its devotional tone, and for this reason many inside and outside of the Reformed community have come to appreciate it.  Most people who are familiar with confessions and catechisms end up having their favorite parts.  For me Q & A 54 has been one of those.  It reads:

Q. What do you believe concerning “the holy catholic church”?

A. I believe that the Son of God through his Spirit and Word, out of the entire human race, from the beginning of the world to its end, gathers, protects, and preserves for himself a community chosen for eternal life and united in true faith.  And of this community I am and always will be a living member.

     Here I won’t give an exhaustive commentary on this statement, but I will pull out a few things that stick out to me:

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Imprecatory Psalms

     Should Christian’s pray the psalms that call for God’s justice upon the nations and upon their enemies?  There is some disagreement to answering this question among Christian pastors and scholars.  Some give an unhesitatingyes because they are part of our inspired Word of God – many usually question this groups love and compassion for people; others give an emphatic “No” because it doesn’t seem to be according to the overarching theme of the teachings of Christ and the Apostles in the New Testament.  And there are those who don’t know, so they avoid them – which I would think is the majority, I’m sure I have fallen into this camp at times.

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“Your statutes, Lord, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days” (PS. 93:5)

     I realize that for not blogging very long I have posted on the Law of God more than any other topic.  This is due to the fact that: (1) Our society has rejected the Law, and many have rejected any sort of moral standard. (2) The church, in many cases, has ceased to stand upon God’s Law – I do think that the entire Bible is God’s Law, so when I say God’s Law or Statutes or such I am referring to the entire Bible.  Yet, here we are told that the statutes of the Lord are firm.  Moreover, the biblical testimony concerning humanity, human civilization, certain nations, etc.,  is that they – we – will pass away.  But, it seems, that man, in an attempt toward autonomy, has always tried to mold God’s standards, His statutes, into the norms of present day society.  Yet, “the statutes of the Lord stand firm!”  May the Church, His people, stand upon that which has been entrusted to her, the only true and solid foundation, God’s Law, even if it means persecution.

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     Yesterday, for the Confession of Faith we used the preface to the PCUSA’s Book of Church Order.  This seemed awkward at first, being it is the BCO.  Yet, it fit rather well into the movement of the liturgy and theme of the sermon.  I am thankful for learning under a pastor who is being creative with such things.  Below is the section we confessed:

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