Tag Archives: Scripture

Together For Preaching

St. Peter Preaching 06.jpg

St. Peter Preaching 06.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SERMON NOTES–Pastor Mike Berry
December 9, 2012–Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

The following notes were taken from a sermon that was part of our CFBC Winter Seminar: Together for the Gospel.

THE VALUE OF GATHERING TOGETHER FOR THE PREACHED WORD OF GOD

Preaching is the pinnacle of worship.

Preliminaries:
-preaching is a positive thing (the word “preach” often has a negative connotation)
-preaching is a heralding of Scripture, lifting up of God and the Gospel

We need to hear God’s Word preached, together.
-This is an irreducibly complex proposition. You cannot remove any part of it and still have it be true.
-This is a need, not an option.

1. We need God.
-We have been made to have a relationship with God.
-Ps. 42:1-2 (like the Psalmist, my soul pants for God, my soul thirsts for God).

2. We need God’s Word.
-If it were not for God revealing Himself to us through His Word, we would be lost.
-He reveals Himself in love through His Word.
-John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

3. We need to hear God’s Word.
-Hear=Listen with the attitude that it will impact our wills.
-Rom. 10:17, So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

4. We need to hear God’s Word preached.
-Not just by ordained ministers.
-The preaching of God’s Word is sacramental, a means of Grace.
-Rom. 1:15-16, for I am not ashamed of the Gospel…
-The preaching of the Gospel is even for saved people.
-Eph. 4:11; 2:20
-If the Gospel is being preached, we are to be thankful.
-1 Tim. 5:17-18
-Preaching is not just something that happens after worship. Preaching is worship.

5. We need to hear God’s Word preached together.
-Something special happens when God’s people gather together.
-In the New Testament, we are the temple of God and He is pleased to manifest His presence when God’s people gather to hear the preached Word.
-Acts 2:41-44
-The body grows together under the preaching of God’s Word.
-The preaching of God’s Word is not mere giving and receiving of information. It is worship.
-If we don’t gather=modern Protestant Monasticism

Questions:

What if we don’t gather together to hear God’s Word preached?
-We are despising a gift of Jesus.
-We grow at different rates.

How can we take advantage of the preacher?
-Like physical exercise:
Stretch out before the preaching: prepare beforehand.
Exercise yourself during the sermon: active listening, fight to pay attention, understanding this is a spiritual activity.
Warm down after the sermon: process the sermon and talk about the message with others, i.e. Care Group.
Continue the burn: take whatever you learn and work with it.

What if the preacher isn’t Milton Vincent (or your favorite pastor, or well-known preacher, etc.).
-If the Gospel is being faithfully preached, it should not matter.

What if the preacher is wrong?
-Understand that humans have frailties.
-Compare what the preacher says to Scripture.
-Get further clarification/feedback from preacher.
-Talk to your pastor if need be.

“The mature worshiper is easily edified.”


A Tree Firmly Planted

He is like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither… (Psalm 1:3)

How can I be like this tree? The rest of the Psalm helps me to understand.

I must not base my life decisions on the counsel of wicked people. Worldly counsel is everywhere I turn. I must turn to the One who is the source of true Godly wisdom.

I must follow the path of obedience. I have no business standing rank and file with those who love sin.

I must not find my fellowship with people who scoff at the things of God. There is no wisdom in that.

But rather, my delight is in God’s law. My thoughts consistently and constantly turning to the Holy Scriptures. What a Grace is God’s Word! That he would lovingly preserve and present His very thoughts to us! That He would use the propositional, subjective truth of His Word to point out the way of salvation! Oh, that a love of the Bible would characterize who I am! Without God’s Word, I am lost.

When the truth of the Gospel is central in my heart and mind, then my desire is to walk in obedience to God’s law. Only then am I the “Blessed…one” referred to by the Psalmist. When Jesus is first in my heart, sin loses its attractiveness. It is then that I have no desire to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners, and sit in the seat of the scornful. But rather, because of the Gospel, I want to love God and love people because God has loved me. I want to show mercy to others because God, through His Son, has showered His mercy on me. I want to forgive others because God has forgiven me.

A tree firmly planted must have a substantial root system. It requires water to grow and flourish. It produces fruit in its season and does not wither and die.

The Gospel is my only hope if I am to be like that tree. Roots deeply grounded in the truths of Scripture, drawing sustenance from the well of Living Water which is Jesus Christ, producing fruit in every season of life and all to the Glory of God, forever!

Lord, may I be like a tree firmly planted.

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel


The Mercy of God’s Word

“For by His Word, God rendered faith unambiguous forever… “  (John Calvin-Institutes Book One 6.2)

God’s Word is a Mercy. It makes clear man’s dilemma and solves his most basic problem. A man need not grope in the darkness in hopes of discovering clarity in the shadows. He will not find what he is looking for there. Obscurity begets ambiguity and hopelessness, blurring the outline of what life lived in subjection to the Trinity can be.

God’s Word is a Mercy. It is a reflection of the Sovereign One, Ruler of the universe. If creation whispers the Name of the Creator, and by so doing leaves man without excuse; God’s Word is the executioner’s sword, putting to death all pretext of self-justification.

God’s Word is a Mercy. It is the antidote to the desperation man feels when the realization of his true predicament takes hold. God’s Word is a lifeline. A blueprint for salvation. It is the foundation upon which changed lives are built. The blind see. The deaf hear. God’s Word relieves man of his awful burden and gives birth to faith.

God’s Word is a Mercy. It is shelter against the storm. God’s Word defends. God’s Word protects. It forms the underpinnings of strength and the groundwork for wisdom. God’s Word is a refuge for the sinner and a safety net for the weak. God’s Word never fails.

God’s Word is a Mercy. It is nourishment and real sustenance. It offers the bread of life in famine and living water in drought. It is the marriage feast’s miracle wine, undiluted and pure. God’s Word is a banquet fit for a king, yet bids the needy come eat.

God’s Word is a songbird singing in the deepest of nights. Hear it.

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel


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