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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Tuesday
Feb072017

"They Made Confession and Worshiped the Lord" -- Nehemiah 9

The Eighteenth in a Series of Sermons on Ezra-Nehemiah

In Nehemiah chapters 8-10 we read of a dramatic covenant renewal ceremony which took place in Jerusalem, shortly after the people of Israel had completed the arduous task of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls and gates.  In chapter 8:4-9, Nehemiah recounts the reading of Book of the Law to the people of Israel by Ezra, as well as a second reading of the law which followed shortly after (Nehemiah 8:12).  After the law was read again the people of Israel celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with renewed faith and zeal, this time as prescribed in the word of God, complete with the building of shelters and tents recounting Israel’s time of sojourn in the wilderness exactly as prescribed in God’s word.  A reformation was occurring within Israel–brought about by the Holy Spirit through the sustained reading and studying of God’s word.

According to Nehemiah 8:9, when the law was read the people of Israel who assembled outside the Water Gate were overcome with emotion and wept–this was certainly understandable.  This was after all a remarkable day in Israel’s history because the people present were former exiles who returned to the land after their forbears came under God’s covenant curse because of their prolonged disobedience.  On this day, they were celebrating the fact that Jerusalem’s walls were finally rebuilt and the city could now return to its former glory.  Add to this the fact that the demands of the law expose the depths of our sin and reminds us how deeply sin resides within each of us.  There were good reasons to weep.  

But this was not to be a day of weeping.  With the support of the Levites, Nehemiah exhorted the people to rejoice, because on this day God’s law was read and the people understood it as it was expounded and explained to them.  The people heard the account of YHWH’s mighty acts of redemption in creating the nation of Israel as his own covenant people, and as a consequence, the people’s sorrow now turned to joy.  This joy, in turn, became the basis for a renewed celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.  And it is the conclusion of the feast which sets the stage for the scene described in Nehemiah chapter 9.  This fits Nehemiah’s larger purpose in recounting that the reading of Scripture leads to true joy and creates a renewed strength in the Lord, as well as leading to the recovery of biblical practice.  This sets the stage for the covenant renewal ceremony recounted in chapter 10.  Before the covenant renewal ceremony takes place, the people of Israel become overwhelmed with the guilt of their collective sin, which they confess before YHWH–the theme of Nehemiah 9.

As we turn to our text, the entire 9th chapter of Nehemiah (so you will need to have your Bibles handy), the law will be read for the third time (9:3), and is then followed by a lengthy prayer of confession–which runs from the last part of verse 5 through to the end of verse 37.  The prayer and recounting of YHWH’s mighty acts in redeeming his people sets the stage for the renewal of Israel’s covenant with YHWH as recounted in the next chapter.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Feb062017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (February 6-12)

*** Note Sunday Morning, February 12:  Our Annual Congregation Meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. in the sanctuary.  We will elect officers and approve our annual budget.

Sunday Morning, February 12:  We are continuing our series on Colossians.  We will be discussing the renewal of God's image in us (Colossians 3:1-11).  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We continuing to look at the Heidelberg Catechism's discussion of Justification (Lord's Day 23, Q & A 59-61).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, February 8 (7:30 pm.,):  We continue our new series on personal evangelism, entitled, "Telling the Truth in Love."  We will discuss the biblical nature and character of evangelism.

Academy, Friday February 10 (7:30 p.m.):  We will be viewing and discussing Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American MindOur text for this series will be Hollinger and Capper, The American Intellectual Tradition.  Be sure to get a used copy!  They are much cheaper!

For more information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here (Christ Reformed Info), or on Facebook (Christ Reformed on Facebook).

Sunday
Feb052017

"The Indulgence of the Flesh" -- Colossians 2:16-23

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon:  Click Here

Sunday
Feb052017

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

A Life of Doxology and Praise

As contemporary Christians have become increasingly detached from both the drama of Scripture and its doctrinal significance, our praise has shifted from a focus on God and his glory to our individual worship experiences. Yet we are not only called to gather once a week to sing God’s praises and to receive his good gifts, but also throughout the rest of the week to be loving, generous, and hospitable to others in grateful response to all that God has done for us. The hosts will discuss these and other issues related to worship and doxology as they continue their series, Finding Yourself in God’s Story.

Click Here

Tuesday
Jan312017

"The Book of the Law" -- Nehemiah 7:1-8:13

The Seventeenth in a Series of Sermons on Ezra-Nehemiah

If you know the history of Israel, you know that there are great turning points in redemptive history which determine the subsequent course of events for the people of God.  We find one of these turning points in our passage, when the people of Israel assemble for a covenant renewal ceremony outside one of Jerusalem’s gates just rebuilt by the Israelites, despite the sustained efforts of their enemies to stop the rebuilding process.  The covenant renewal ceremony brought about a revival within Israel and led to a desire on the part of the people to return to those biblical practices revealed to them by God in his word.  From this point forward, the Jews will be characterized as the “people of the Book.”

As we continue our series on Ezra and Nehemiah, we will consider, briefly, the opening section of Nehemiah 7, before moving on to spend the balance of our time in Nehemiah 8.  One thing is now obvious–the repeated attempts by Sanballat, Tobias, and Geshem to stop the Jews from rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, gates, and fortifications, have failed.  As we learned from our time in Nehemiah 6,  thanks to the capable leadership of Nehemiah, in just 52 days the Jews managed to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and gates, much to the chagrin of the enemies of Israel, who, out of disdain, stooped so low as to make death threats and threaten blackmail when their previous efforts had failed.

If the rebuilding of the city’s walls was the theme of the previous chapters of Nehemiah, and if the first generation of returning exiles rebuilding the Jerusalem temple had been key to the Book of Ezra, one very important element of Israel’s religion has remained somewhat in the background until now–the central role the law of God played in the life of Israel.  Now that the temple has been rebuilt, sacrifices resumed, priests and levites are once again performing their duties in that temple, and the city of Jerusalem finally has been made safe, the law of God now moves to the front and center of Nehemiah’s account. The focus of Nehemiah 8-10 shifts away from rebuilding walls to the renewal of that covenant which God made with Israel at Mount Sinai.  Once the city’s walls have been rebuilt it is time to seek YHWH’s blessing and favor, and this entails renewing Israel’s covenant with YHWH.

The opening verses of chapter 7 make several important points and set the stage for what follows, so we will consider them briefly before moving on to discuss chapter 8.  With the Sanballat saga seemingly at an end with the completion of the city’s walls, Nehemiah recounts his subsequent actions in verses 1-2 of chapter 7.  “Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many.”  If rebuilt walls and gates were necessary for the safety of the people and for the city of Jerusalem to become a habitable place, Nehemiah reminds us that while this all may be well and good, the people of Israel must not forget the reason why Jerusalem is so important–it is in this city that God’s temple stands, and it is in the midst of this city where YHWH’s people are to worship him according to his word.  This is why in addition to those gate-keepers who stood guard and opened and closed the city’s gates (no small task), Nehemiah appoints singers and Levites to serve in the temple.  The one necessitates the other.

Once again, Nehemiah mentions his brother Hanani, who was the one who first brought Nehemiah the difficult news about the sad state of Jerusalem, news which set the events recounted in the Book of Nehemiah into action (as recounted in the opening chapter).  Nehemiah trusted his brother, as well as a man named Hanahiah, and so he placed them in important positions in the city’s administration.  The “castle” refers to the Tower of Hananel which stood adjacent to the temple mount–a defensive fortification and watch-tower.  These men were placed in charge so as to ensure that the city was properly defended, and its rebuilt gates function so as to bring order to daily life.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Jan302017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (January 30-February 5)

Sunday Morning, February 5:  We return to our series on Colossians and we will deal with Paul's warning not to indulge the flesh (Colossians 2:16-23).  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We will take up the Heidelberg Catechism's discussion of Justification (Lord's Day 23, Q & A 59-61).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, February 1 (7:30 pm.,):  We are beginning a new series on personal evangelism, entitled, "Telling the Truth in Love."  We'll talk about our recommended readings (including Will Metzger's Tell the Truth and Greg Koukl's Tactics)  and address the question "why do people mistakenly think the Reformed churches do not care about evangelism?" 

Academy, Friday February 10 (7:30 p.m.):  We will be viewing and discussing Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American Mind.

For more information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here (Christ Reformed Info), or on Facebook (Christ Reformed on Facebook).

Sunday
Jan292017

"The Lamp and the Light" -- Exodus 25:31-40

Here's the audio from Rev. Lenzner's morning sermon:  Click Here

Sunday
Jan292017

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

From Doctrine to Doxology

How should we respond to the announcement of God’s redemptive mission to seek and save the lost, or to the doctrinal implications of Christ’s atoning death and his resurrection from the dead? On this program, the hosts will move from the drama and the doctrine to a discussion of doxology, or worship. What is the appropriate response to the good news of the gospel, and what patterns of living should flow out of an understanding of God’s grace in Christ? As with doctrine, we cannot escape worship. The question is to whom or to what we will be devoted.

Click Here

Monday
Jan232017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (January 23-29)

Sunday Morning, January 29, 2017.  Rev. Brad Lenzner wraps up his four part series on the tabernacle from Exodus 25.  His sermon this week is entitled “The Lampstand and the Light,” from Exodus 25:31-40.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  Rev. Lenzner will be covering Ephesians 1:11-14 in light of Q & As 49 and 53 from the Heidelberg Catechism.  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study:  Returns February 1 @ 7:30 p.m. with a new series, "Telling the Truth in Love," in which we focus upon personal evangelism.

Academy:  Resumes in February 2017 with a viewing and discussion of Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American Mind.  Our text for this series will be Hollinger and Capper, The American Intellectual Tradition.  Be sure to get a used copy!  They are much cheaper!

For more information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here (Christ Reformed Info), or on Facebook (Christ Reformed on Facebook).

 

Monday
Jan232017

"The Table and the Bread" -- Exodus 25:23-30

Here's the audio from Sunday's Sermon from Rev. Lenzner

Click Here