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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Sunday
Dec302018

"A Whirlwind" -- Zechariah 7:1-14

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on Zechariah as part of our series on the Minor Prophets:  A Whirlwind

Monday
Dec242018

Merry Christmas from the Riddleblog!

Merry Christmas from the Riddlebargers! 

My wife Micki is hiding in the shadows.  Our son Mark, and daughter in law Brianna, are on the right.  Our son Dave, and his fiance Nancy Robles, are on the left.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:4-7

Monday
Dec242018

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (December 24-30)

Sunday Morning, December 30:  We return to our series on the Minor Prophets.  We pick up with Zechariah 7, and the Prophet's discussion of the hardness of the human heart.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  Why should we baptize infants and children of believers?  This week, we are considering article 34 of the Belgic Confession which deals with the sacrament of Baptism.  Our afternoon service begins at 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study:  Our series will continue in the new year when we take up "making the case for Christianity." 

Friday Night Academy:  Resumes in 2019

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

Sunday
Dec232018

"You Shall Conceive and Bear a Son" -- Judges 13:1-14:20

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon for the fourth Sunday in Advent from Judges 13-14

Tuesday
Dec182018

"How Can You Turn Back?" -- Galatians 4:8-20

The Seventh in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Galatians

Whenever legalism rears its ugly head, slavery to the “basic principles of the world” is not far behind.  Once enslaved to the basic principles of the world, the blessedness of knowing that Jesus died for the forgiveness of all our sins, and that our Lord fulfilled the law for us so that we can be justified, will soon disappear.  Ask a slave if there is joy in bondage.  Ask a freeman if he wishes to return to slavery.  But this is the very thing the Judaizers were imploring the Galatians to do–turn back to the things which once enslaved them, and this after Jesus came to set them free.

Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia is his response to an attempt by a group of Jewish converts to Christianity to infiltrate the churches which the apostle had recently helped to found, with the express intention of undermining the gospel that Paul previously proclaimed in these churches.  Preaching what Paul calls a false gospel, these false teachers–known as the Judaizers–contended that Paul’s gospel of free grace inevitably leads to license.  They worked their way into the Galatian churches secretly and began spying on Gentiles exercising their liberty in Christ, then arguing that Paul’s gospel is dangerous because it supposedly encourages people to live in utter disregard to the law of Moses and the traditions of the fathers of Israel.  In this incident, we witness a collision between a false gospel based upon human merit and obedience to the law of Moses, and the gospel of Jesus Christ which is anchored in the free and sovereign grace of God, made manifest in the life and death of our Lord.  

From the apostle Paul’s perspective, this is a battle over the fundamental nature of Christianity, a battle which determines whether or not Christianity is centered in the redemptive work of Christ, or in human merit, as is typical of all other religions.  Paul has made it clear that through faith in Jesus Christ, even Gentiles become heirs to all the promises that God made to Abraham.  It is through faith in Christ that we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and are justified.  None of these blessings come to us because we earn them through good works.  Furthermore, by virtue of our union with Christ, all racial and social distinctions specifically related to our standing before God are removed (cf. 3:28).   In Christ, there is no longer any distinction between Jew and Greek, male and female, slave and free.  We are now one.  

The visible sign and seal of this unity is baptism, through which the believer “puts on Christ.”  Once clothed in the robe of Christ’s glorious and perfect righteousness, the believer, who was formerly estranged, an alien, and a foreigner to the things of God, is now regarded as an adopted son or daughter, entitled to the full inheritance from his heavenly father.  As such, all believers, whether they be Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, have the privilege of intimate fellowship with God, just as the true Son of God, Jesus Christ did.  As God’s adopted children, we too, cry out “Abba, Father.”

We will cover verses 8-20, beginning with Paul’s description in verses 8-10, of the continuing efforts of the Judaizers to infiltrate the Galatian churches with the goal of returning them to the legalistic principles of Judaism.  “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.  But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?  You observe days and months and seasons and years!”  

Paul is taking up the matter of what happens when full-grown and mature sons and daughters of God return (as mentioned in vv 1-7 of chapter 4) to the “basic principles of the world” (the stoicheia) as the means of receiving their inheritance from their Father.  Rejecting God’s way and returning to the former way of seeking to establish their own righteousness, the Judaizers strive to gain their inheritance through human merit and external ceremonies instead of through faith in the saving work of Jesus. This raises a number of questions.  “What happens when so-called Christians seek to turn back the clock of redemptive history?”  “Should we go looking for our inheritance in the endless wilderness of the Sinai?”  “Should we seek good things from the slave-masters who ruled over God’s people during their bondage in Egypt?”  “Should we seek good things from those who held us captive in Babylon?”  Paul’s answer is remind us that should we do so, we have turned our backs on the finished work of Jesus Christ.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Dec172018

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (December 17-23)

Sunday Morning, December 23:  We complete the four Sundays in Advent with a look at the life of Samson, a type of Christ (our text is Judges 13:1-20).  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  What are sacraments?  This important topic is addressed in article 33 of the Belgic Confession.  Our afternoon service begins at 1:15 p.m.

Note:  Our Annual Service of Lessons and Carols is this Friday, December 21, @ 7:30 p.m.  We'd love to have you join us!

Wednesday Night Bible Study: Our series will continue in the new year when we take up "making the case for Christianity." 

Friday Night Academy:  Resumes in 2019

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

Sunday
Dec162018

"I Will Establish His Kingdom" -- 2 Samuel 7:1-17

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon for the third Sunday in Advent:  I Will Establish His Kingdom

Thursday
Dec132018

Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- The Witness of the Holy Spirit (Part Six)

Here's the audio from the Wednesday night Bible Study: 

Tuesday
Dec112018

"Baptized into Christ" -- Galatians 3:26-4:7

The Sixth in Series of Sermons on Galatians

Paul’s gospel is the public placarding of Christ crucified (Galatians 3:1)–the proclamation of the death of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, and the affirmation of our Lord’s perfect obedience in fulfilling the demands of the law of Moses.  Justification (our right standing before God) and the gift of the Holy Spirit, the promise which God made to Abraham, both come to God’s people (Jew and Gentile) though faith alone (“hearing with faith”).  They cannot be earned by works of law.  Defending this gospel in the face a serious challenge is the reason why Paul sends this letter to the Galatians.

Paul was instrumental in the founding of a number of churches in the Galatian region, and now, soon after he had left the area, a group of false teachers known as the Judaizers began to infiltrate these churches.  Paul says these false teachers were “spying” on those Gentiles exercising their freedom in Christ, trying to prove that Paul’s gospel leads to licence (the abuse of grace).  The Judaizers were Jews who had come to believe that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah, but they also insisted that Gentile converts to Christianity must submit to ritual circumcision, keep certain aspects of the dietary laws, and obey the law of Moses in order to be justified.  These conditions were added to faith in Jesus.

The epistle to the Galatians is the Apostle Paul’s response to this very difficult situation.  Paul expresses his astonishment and his anger at the seeming ease and speed at which the Judaizers were able to throw the Galatians into confusion by introducing their false gospel which is, as Paul says, no gospel at all.  Paul’s response to the Judaizers begins with a stern warning to the Galatians–if anyone comes and preaches a gospel different from the gospel that he had previously preached to them, the one preaching such a thing was to be considered anathema (accursed).  

Paul defends his apostolic office on the ground that the gospel he has been preaching to all the churches was revealed to him by none other than Jesus Christ.  Since this gospel reveals we are justified by the merits of Christ, and not through any merit or works of our own, Paul points out that justification must come through faith in Christ, and not through our works.  Paul explains that the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12, 15, 18, is fulfilled in Jesus Christ (the promised seed–3:16).  This promise was given and ratified before God made a subsequent covenant with Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai.  Paul reminds his hearers that one purpose of the law is to expose our sin, so that we flee to Jesus Christ for forgiveness.  In fact both covenants (Abraham and Moses) point to Jesus Christ and his saving work.  

With this in mind, we pick up where we left off previously (vv. 15-25).  The Apostle moves on from discussing the fact that the promise God made to Abraham is not nullified by the law later given to Moses, to a discussion of baptism in Galatians 3:26-3:29.  Paul is speaking of all true children of Abraham (Jew and Gentile) when he states in verse 26, “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith,” re-stating the point he in verse 25, which we considered, last time–“but now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian [the law].”  

By speaking of both ethnic groups (Jew and Gentile) as “sons” of God, Paul is making an important point in his argument against the Judaizers, namely, that sons, even adopted sons, are legally entitled to receive an inheritance from their father.  In this case, both Jew and Gentile are sons of God through faith in Christ, and therefore both heirs to the promise since both are the legitimate children of Abraham.  It is Jesus Christ who unites Jew and Gentile into one body through faith alone.  But it is the Judaizers who instead seek to divide Jew from Gentile.  This explains, in part, why the so-called “gospel” of the Judaizers, divides along ethnic lines those whom God has joined together in one body (the church).

 

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Monday
Dec102018

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (December 10-16)

Sunday Morning, December 16:  On the third Sunday in Advent, we will take up Nathan's prophecy to David regarding a coming messianic king with an everlasting kingdom.  Our text will be 2 Samuel 7:1-17.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  What is church discipline and why should churches practice such a thing?  This Lord's Day, we'll address article 32 of the Belgic Confession.  Our afternoon service begins at 1:15 p.m. 

Wednesday Night Bible Study (December 12) @ 7:30 p.m.  We will be wrapping up our discussion of faith, reason, and the Holy Spirit.  Our series will continue in the new year when we take up "making the case for Christianity." 

Friday Night Academy:  Resumes in 2019

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