Last week was a tough week for the United Reformed Churches in Southern California. Scott Clark wrote about the death of a dear friend and fellow church member due to cancer. Scott reminded us that sin and its consequences are terrible, yet the grace of God is so much greater. The Consequences of Sin
Christ Reformed also lost one of our own last week. Jacob Cook, twenty-four years old, died of a massive brain hemorrhage. Jake was alive one minute and in the presence of our Lord the next.
Today, I am conducting his funeral--a tough job because I baptized Jake in 2002, and thought the world of him. It is hard to conduct a service in which I'd rather be participating in as a mourner. But my calling is to comfort Jake's father Rob, Jake's friends, and our church members by cursing death through the preaching of Christ crucified and proclaiming Christ's victorious resurrection from the dead. Lord willing, that is what I will do.
Please pray for Jake's father (Rob) and for us at Christ Reformed as we grieve the death of this wonderful young man. You can read about him here (Jake Cook). One of Jake's favorite verses was John 11:25--I have chosen it as the text of his funeral sermon this afternoon.
Occasions like this remind me once again why we must defend the doctrine of justification sola fide at all costs! What comfort is there in our faithfulness, or in a final justification/vindication according to works? Today, we will seek our comfort in the merits of Jesus Christ, received by faith alone.