Here is the audio from Rev. Compton's Sunday Service: Click Here
Living in Light of Two Ages
The Gifts of the Spirit
Well, in this program we want to focus in on the gifts and fruit of the Spirit. What I’d like to do is start with Ephesians 4, because we’ve talked a little bit about the “Farewell Discourse,” John 14-16. [Jesus] will be gone, but it’s good because he’s going to send the Holy Spirit. And so, the ascension and Pentecost are very closely related.
The passage I want to begin with is Ephesians 4, where the Apostle Paul says, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
“Therefore it is said, ‘When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’ (In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.”
Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we look at the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit in the church and in believers. Click Here
This was on the Daily Show a while back.
Man of Sin: The Antichrist
The sixth Lloyd Jackson Lecture Series with Dr. Kim Riddlebarger. Free and open to the public.
The Lectures will be based on my book, Man of Sin
For more information, Click Here -- Church of the Redeemer
If you live in the Mesa area, I would love to meet you!
The Twenty-Fourth in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John
When Jesus declared that he was “the living bread who came down from heaven,” many of those assembled in the synagogue in Capernaum began grumbling. When Jesus went on to say “truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you,” a heated argument broke out. After Jesus finished speaking, John says, many of those present complained about his hard sayings, and from that time on “many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” There can be little doubt that Jesus is driving away the multitudes now following him through these difficult sayings which reveal his identity as the Son of God and Israel’s Messiah, as well as the true nature of his mission–which is not to attract a large number of followers and lead an insurrection against Rome, but to obey his Father’s will, even if that meant giving his flesh on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. This is why Bob Godfrey very aptly calls the “bread of life” discourse in John 6, “Jesus’ church shrinkage seminar.” When Jesus is finishing giving his “bread of life” discourse in the synagogue in Capernaum, many disciples walked away and no longer followed him.
We are continuing our series on the Gospel of John, and we wrap our time in John 6 and our study of Jesus’ “bread of life” discourse. We have looked at the setting for the sermon (Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the 5000, and Jesus walking across the Sea of Galilee), and we have considered the details of the discourse and the difficult sayings we find within it. We now consider the outcome of Jesus’ discourse–which is that many who had been following him, no longer did so. By this point in his messianic mission huge crowds were following him everywhere he went, but for all the wrong reasons. When Jesus fed the people in the wilderness they called him a prophet and wanted to make him king. Messianic expectations reached a fever pitch. But people quickly lose interest in Jesus whenever he reveals the true purpose of his mission.
The time had now come for Jesus to drive away the “looky loos” (the consumers) who are following him out of self-interest, and not because they are looking for someone who will deal with the guilt and power of sin. Given the usual image of Jesus–meek and mild–it can come as a bit of a shock we when consider that the Jesus who is revealed in the gospels is anything but meek and mild. His tender compassion and love for sinners is found throughout. But so is the disconcerting way Jesus speaks of himself (his claims to deity), and the way in which he dramatically confronts the religious leaders of his day with their self righteousness and misunderstanding of the Old Testament. In the “bread of life” discourse, Jesus says things which good Jewish boys would never say. Unless he is truly who he claims to be (the Son of God and Israel’s Messiah) then his words are positively revolutionary–even dangerous.
Before we consider the consequences of Jesus’ “bread of life” discourse (vv. 60-71), it is important to set out a brief outline of those events recorded in John 6 which took place in the Galilee region about the time of the Jewish Passover (the second during Jesus’ public ministry). What actually happened in the twenty-fours hours before and during the time Jesus gave this discourse? Why does Jesus get such a negative reaction from those who heard him in the synagogue? To answer these questions and to understand our text, we will briefly review these events in summary form.
To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here
Sunday Morning (March 22): Rev. Andrew Compton will be preaching. Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Afternoon: Rev. Compton will be conducting our catechism service, which begins @ 1:15 p.m.
Wednesday Night Bible Study (March 18): We are continuing our "Run Through the Letters of Paul" and we are finishing up Galatians 2:15 ff, and consideration of Paul's doctrine of justification.
The Academy: No Academy this week.
For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website: Christ Reformed Church
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
This week on the White Horse Inn we are continuing our series on the Work of Holy Spirit. Our panel of hosts is joined once more by Justin Holcomb as we look at the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
On this episode we consider the nature of the Spirit’s baptism at work in all believers. What does it mean to be baptized by the Holy Spirit? Can we distinguish this baptism from traditional water baptism? Should baptized Christians look for a second blessing? The hosts will discuss this issue as it appears in various New Testament texts, as well as its implications for the ministry of the church in our own day. Join us as we discuss the significance of this baptism within the context of the Holy Spirit’s work of the new creation on the White Horse Inn.
There is talk of grounding the A-10 in favor of a newer aircraft. It will be hard to find any replacement that can deliver a punch like the Warthog can--a 30 mm cannon firing depleted uranium ammunition.
One question people have asked me through the years is "what do the Mormons do with Paul, and the doctrine of justification?" The matter has recently resurfaced with the publication of Grace Is Not God's Backup Plan, an LDS writer's "urgent paraphrase" of Paul's epistle to the Romans.
According to Bruce R. McConkie (the author of the standard text Mormon Doctrine, 408), "in summarizing the plan of salvation, Adam taught: `By the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified'" (Moses 6:60). One would think that if you were going to define the doctrine of justification you would first turn to the Apostle Paul, not to the Book of Mormon.
McConkie continues, this time addressing the supposed misreading of Paul which Mormons are all to happy to correct. "Indeed, one of the great religious contentions among the sects of Christendom is whether men are justified by faith alone, without works, as some erroneously suppose Paul taught (Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 3:19-28; 4:5; 5:1-10; Gal. 2:15-21; 2 Ne 2:5), or whether they are justified by works of righteousness as James explained" (Jas. 2:14-26). So, James trumps Paul without comment. 2 Nephi 2:5, which is quite vague, is cited as a proof text, to the effect that Mormons reject justification by obedience to the law of Moses. It reads, "and men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever."
Joseph Smith made himself pretty clear where he stood on the matter. "To be justified before God we must love one another: we must overcome evil; we must visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world: for such virtues flow from the great fountain of pure religion, strengthening our faith by adding every good quality that adorns the children of the blessed Jesus. We can pray in the season of prayer; we can love our neighbor as ourselves, and be faithful in tribulation, knowing that the reward of such is greater in the kingdom of heaven. What a consolation! What a joy!” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 76). If, as Smith teaches, we must demonstrate sufficient love and good works to be justified, then my reaction is not to be "consoled" or "joyful." My "good" works only condemn me all the more!
Now comes a Mormon writer who has written a paraphrase of Romans, entitled, Grace Is Not a Back-Up Plan. In an interview recently posted on an RNS blog, the author (Adam S. Miller) contends,
Mostly we neglect Romans. A lot of that has probably just been reactionary, a way of distinguishing ourselves from our Protestant cousins. For a long time, what was most important to Mormons was showing how we were different from other Christians. That’s contributed, I think, to a general neglect of Paul and of Romans in particular. We tend to see Paul as their guy.
We’re often not very good readers of the New Testament, especially the second half. Once you get out of the history associated with the gospels and with Acts, it’s rougher going for people. One of the most interesting things about Romans is that it’s a 10,000-word explanation of how key gospel elements fit together—grace, sin, the law. That kind of long theological explanation is rare in scripture and it isn’t easy for us to work through.
Paul is a loose thread in early Christianity. He’s evidence of an ad hoc messiness in the original church that we as Mormons are often uncomfortable thinking about. He doesn’t fit well with the tidy institutional story of the institution.
There are many points of response one could offer to these comments, but I will limit myself to just two. First, Protestants (at least historic evangelical and confessional Protestants) are not "cousins" to the Mormons, who, based upon the quotes above from Bruce McConkie and Joseph Smith, openly reject Paul's doctrine of justification as heartily as they do the doctrines of the Trinity and the deity of Jesus. Mormonism is a heretical sect--period. Mormons continue to masquerade as a Christian Church, and here is yet another attempt to co-opt traditional Protestant theology and to sound like mainstream evangelicals. "We like Romans too . . ."
Second, the only way a Mormon can read Paul's letters and not become an Evangelical or confessional Protestant, is to read Romans in the form of a paraphrase, such as the one mentioned above. Mormons have a rather poor track record when it comes to paraphrasing Paul. It is hard to forget Joseph Smith's abominable "paraphrase" of Paul's statement that grace is a free gift from God, received trough faith. In an obvious re-working of Ephesians 2:8-9, in 2 Nephi 25:23 (Book of Mormon) we read; "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." Grace only comes "after all we can do."
So, when Mormons paraphrase Paul, we all ought to be a bit nervous. When they do it with "urgency" we should be very nervous.