Monday, February 28, 2011
We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly (Psalm 106:6).
Dear Lord, We live in a world where people do what is right in their own eyes. They do not realize that the suffering they are going through is a result of their sin and the sins of our fathers. But even more than that, rather than turn to you for comfort, they turn to their governing authorities. They somehow think the government will save them from their troubles. But like Dagon, the impotent Philistine god, the government is an empty idol and will topple.
Please forgive us as we have trusted in false gods for our salvation from the troubles in our lives. Please grant us repentance and turn us back to you with our whole hearts, minds, souls and strength. Be our God once again, we pray, and lift us up for your glory. Without your help, we are lost. We confess our individual sins to you now…In the Name of Jesus, amen.
People are sick and some are dying. Some need various kinds of surgery, others need various medications. Where does suffering come from? Some suffering comes because of other people’s sin. Some comes because of our own sin. Some suffering comes simply because we live in a sinful world. Someone once said that we begin to die as soon as we are born.
Sometimes suffering can be alleviated by others ceasing to sin. Some suffering stops when we stop sinning. Sometimes nothing happens at all when the sin ceases. Sometimes the consequences of sin are irreversible. And suffering continues.
What we know, however, is that no suffering is pointless. God tells us that though we may not always know why suffering is in the world, we do know that it happens for a reason. Paul told us that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (Rom 5:3-4). And James told us that suffering produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (Jam 1:3-4). Over all of this Paul told us that everything in our lives is there because God loves us and wants us to be conformed to the image of his son (Rom. 8).
Since this is true what kind of attitude should we have in the midst of suffering? James said that these kinds of situations are really a testing of our faith. God wants to prove us to help us remember that it is Jesus we trust in for our lives and our situations. James tells us to consider it all joy when we our faith is tested in this way. Paul, writing from prison, says, “Rejoice always, Again, I say rejoice” (Phil. 4:4).
Thursday, February 17, 2011
To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us.
(Psa 123:1-2 ESV)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Paedobaptism is based on the idea of Covenantal understanding of our faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that unless one thinks in terms of covenant the sacrifice of Christ makes no sense. Of course, people believe the essential facts of the Gospel, that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave, but without understanding the Biblical use of the covenant, how it is that Adam is our head or that Christ is our new head makes no sense. It becomes one big umbrella understanding called Covenant Theology.
So we baptize our babies because we are members of the covenant community and because they are also members of the covenant community. It is very similar to circumcision in the Old Testament. You can read about this some more in Pastor Wilson's book To A Thousand Generations.