Thursday, April 26, 2018

16 Benefits of Expository Preaching
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

In what follows, I'll provide 16 benefits of expository preaching. 

Expository preaching...
  1. Allows God to speak through His written Word, by His chosen mouthpiece, to all who are present.
  2. Defines the primary way that Christ promises to build His Church -- through the regular, faithful, steady, theological, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered expounding of Scripture.
  3. Feeds God’s people on the whole counsel of God.
  4. Is the primary means that the Spirit of God brings lost sinners to salvation through faith alone in Christ alone.
  5. Is the primary means through which the Spirit of God sanctifies, grows, convicts, and conforms the likeness of Christ in true believers.
  6. Upholds the absolute sufficiency, divine authority, unstoppable power, and glorious comforts found in Holy Scripture.
  7. Brings out the authorial meaning of the text that is singular, unchanging and expounded.
  8. Models for believers how to study God’s Word and how to derive at the meaning of the text and proper application of the meaning of that text for their lives today.
  9. Aids the congregation to know what will be preached on next week (if it’s sequential exposition through a Book of the Bible).
  10. Prevents a minister from saying his opinions, or reading into the text what’s not there (eisegesis), or entertaining people with stories.
  11. Grows the preacher himself as he studies the text of Scripture to be preached and benefits from the sanctifying work of God’s truth in his own soul and life.
  12. Goes forth with the power of the Holy Spirit with much prayer and faithful proclamation.
  13. Must be priority and central in the local church.
  14. Informs the minds of believers with theological truth so as to see how the text that is preached fits within the immediate and greater context of that chapter and book. It shows the flock that God’s Word is a unity and that systematic theology is to be derived out of Scripture as it is properly interpreted.
  15. Does not change with the cultural changes, preferences of men, laws of the land, or generational shifts. It is a timeless mandate from God.
  16. Allows the sermon to be preached in any culture in the world as the meaning of the text does not change from place to place (applications may differ but the meaning remains constant).
Pastor Geoff's sermons & articles are found at his webpage.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Twelve Features of Biblical Preaching
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

This brief write-up will expound upon 12 features of biblical preaching. These features need to be reviewed and recovered in our day so that God’s Word will go forth with mighty thunder, in the power of the Holy Spirit, so that God may save many for the glory of Jesus Christ.

1. EXPOSITION — To exposit the biblical text refers to the teacher bringing the authorial intent out of the text of Scripture. This is the meaning of the particular text. To exposit means to dive deep in bringing the true meaning out of the text and making it plain to the hearers.

2. PRECISION — Biblical preaching must be precise. There must be clear arguments, cogent lines of reasoning and biblical supports for what is stated. The Bible is very precise. God is very precise. The gospel is very precise. The truth that saves is very precise. So our preaching should be very precise and clear.

3. DECLARATION — To preach God’s Word includes the declaration of God’s Truth. To declare is different than sharing truth. Someone may share a cookie, but we declare what God has said. The minister of God has a word from God as received in Scripture and he declares it to the congregation that has assembled to hear from God. Preaching is the declaration of Truth.

4. INSTRUCTION — All biblical preaching must include instruction. To instruct is to inform the mind and engage the intellect. To preach God’s Word is to reveal the mind of Christ, the heart of God, and the wisdom of the Spirit. To preach powerfully demands clear instruction.

5. APPLICATION — Jesus is the master example of preaching with application. He summoned His hearers to action. He called them to repent and believe. He warned them of remaining in their sin. Consider the Book of Hebrews, which is a word of exhortation, which repeatedly calls the hearers to action. True preaching includes both imparting Truth and specific calls to action.

6. PASSION — To preach God’s Word is to let the Word of God speak through the man. When God speaks, heaven roars all the earth must listen! A faithful preacher internalizes God’s Word and says that it’s like a fire in His bones that He cannot keep in. He preaches with passion so all would hear, believe, be moved, and be caught up with the glory of the divine Truths expounded.

7. PERSUASION — The art of public speaking includes persuasion. Jesus persuaded. Paul sought to persuade in his preaching. To persuade is to present the realities of something in such a way so as to bring others with a contrary viewpoint to a different perspective. The gospel is preached with the intention of persuading the lost to turn from their sins and embrace Christ!

8. EVANGELIZATION — All biblical preaching must include the good news of Jesus Christ. A sermon without Christ is like a solar system without the sun. To preach the Bible without the good news of Christ is to give a car without the engine. It’s useless and void of any good thing. Let all who preach proclaim Christ and Him crucified in every sermon. Not every text is about Jesus Christ but every text can lead to Jesus Christ. Preachers must evangelize in every sermon.

9. INVITATION — To give an invitation does not mean a call to ‘raise a hand,’ or ‘walk an aisle.’ Rather, to invite refers to the preacher heralding God’s Word, proclaiming the salvation found only in Christ, and then summoning lost sinners to forsake all else and embrace Christ by faith alone. To invite is to compel, to woo, to summon, to beg, to seek, to entreat, and to welcome.

10. COMPASSION — Faithful preachers emulate Christ as men of compassion. To preach is to pity the lost and present the only remedy for their sin-sick souls. To preach the Word is the greatest way to show compassion upon lost sinners and converted saints. Preaching presents Christ in His fullness to all who have gathered so they may gaze upon Him for rest, rescue, and refuge.

11. CLARIFICATION — Preaching the Word of God must include clarification. To preach well is to ensure that the words that have been spoken derive from Scripture and that the stated facts fit within the larger theological framework of systematic theology. Thus, faithful preaching includes the clarifying of what is said through repetition and supporting the truths stated with other Scriptures in the entirety of God’s Word.

12. EXHORTATION — To preach is quintessentially to exhort. It is a call to action. To preach is to summon to change. A man who has the Word of God presents the meaning of the text in such a way that he then exhorts the hearers to take action in light of what was declared. Enter through the narrow gate! Unless you repent you’ll perish! Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts! Praise Him for His excellent deeds! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

On biblical preaching: here are more articles & podcasts from Pastor Geoff's website.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Pastor’s Responsibility To Train Men
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

When I read the Pastoral Epistles, my heart reflects on the duty that God gives to shepherds to care for, train up, and multiply men of God. Truly this is God’s work ultimately. To this I wholeheartedly affirm. Nevertheless, God has entrusted all shepherds with the glorious and preeminent duty of developing leaders, instructing them in truth, and equipping them to serve Christ and His church.

Here are some ways that I seek to fulfill this responsibility to train men in the local church.

1.    PRAY for MEN
It’s an impossible task. I can’t bring men to the church, make them stay, or make leaders out of men. It’s an entirely impossible task that far exceeds my abilities. But I pray. I pray often and I pray hard for God to bring godly men. For me, I designate Tuesdays specifically in my morning times of meeting with God in prayer to earnestly call upon Him for men of God to rise up within our church and for God to also bring to us men of God with an earnest, humble, devoted, and sincere passion to serve the people of God and the gospel of grace.  I believe that leadership development begins with desperate prayer. I call upon God who alone can do this work!

2.    TEACH the MEN
Paul called upon pastor Timothy to take what he had learned from the aged Apostle and “instruct faithful men” and to pass on the truths to them. The duty falls to the pastor-shepherds to primarily teach the men in the local church. Books, articles, seminaries, professors, conferences are such blessings and can — and should! — be employed but these ought not to eliminate the responsibility of a local shepherd who can weekly teach men who serve in same body of Christ. For me, I disciple a few men throughout the week and then on Friday mornings, I meet with the men of my local church for an hour and a half of focused, shepherding, intentional study of God’s Word and application to our lives.

3.    INVEST in MEN
Teaching is one thing. Investing in the lives of the men is related, but it goes beyond the mere instructing of the mind. Paul said that he not only imparted the gospel to the Thessalonians (truly, he did this!), but he also imparted his very own life as well. He invested in the men. His heart was knit to theirs. His affections were longing for their holiness. His purposes were tethered to the sanctifying work of the Spirit, through His Word, in their lives, for the glory of Christ!  He invested in believers so they would grow in grace and love Christ more. I endeavor to invest in the men that God has brought to serve with me in the local church. Whether it’s a few men, more than that, rather than being discouraged about the men who don’t show up, what a privilege to invest in the men (however many or few there may be) who do show up to be taught. I invest in those who want to be taught, who desire to be trained, who hunger for righteousness, and who reciprocate in leadership development.

4.    MEET with MEN
I meet with the men weekly as a gathering on Friday mornings. In this time, I spend about thirty minutes sharing my heart on practical shepherding related matters. This could include everything from marital matters, sexual purity, working hard on the job, family worship, why we pick the songs we sing at church, our mission statement, qualifications for elders, why we preach the way we do, how to prepare for and respond to the Word of God preached, and many other topics. Then after this brief heart-to-heart discussion, we dig into God’s Word for a straight hour and study it together. We exposit the Word and then we apply the Word. When I meet with men during the week — even for a lunch! — I bring my Bible (not on my phone, but my physical, hard-copy, paper Bible!) and I open it and read a portion of Scripture and share a word of encouragement or a brief exhortation to the brother I’m with. I want them to know that at any time, at any place, with whomever they may be, they can also take God’s Word, read it, be strengthened by it, and depend upon it for blessing and growth.

5.    ENCOURAGE the MEN
Leading men and developing leaders includes encouragement. We can’t only drive men and call them to action only. I believe we must encourage those who serve. For me, I enjoy sending specific text messages and writing specific post-card letters of encouragement to those who faithfully serve. Jonathan encouraged David in the Lord. It is a gift of God’s grace that He gives us one another in the family of God so that we can encourage the men as we see them leading at home: leading their wives, praying with their families, leading in family worship, teaching the children catechism, reaching out to other men for discipleship, how they teach and impart God’s truth. We need to be encouragers who find what God is doing in their lives and verbalize this to them so that God will be praised, they will be encouraged, and they’ll be challenged to excel still more.

6.    DELEGATE to MEN
Leadership is not about doing all the work alone. A good leader delegates. Godly leaders find men of God, men who are capable of leading, men who have shown servant’s hearts and humble mindsets, and provide opportunities for service for them. Leaders delegate responsibilities to others. In the local church, leadership is a shared ministry. Never was God’s intention for one man to lead everyone. Through Moses’ father in law, Moses appointed leaders over the nation to help him lead in the oversight of cases and disputes that came up. So Godly leaders today find gifted, able, holy, and growing men and find ways to delegate responsibilities and give tasks to men to serve, to teach, to disciple, to instruct, to lead, and to oversee certain opportunities.

7.    MULTIPLY Godly MEN
This is God’s work. But God uses faithful shepherds who take biblical truth and invest it into others to grow and develop other men of God. My heart is to see many men grow and multiply themselves. I want to see leadership multiplication. I long to see every man in the local church a growing man who multiplies himself and reduplicates himself as a humble servant of Christ and a diligent servant of His church. I want to lead by example in this, by God’s grace. May God multiply Godly men in and among His local churches as His shepherds seek to multiply themselves and see men develop into men of integrity, men of holiness, men who lead, men who are above reproach, and men who initiate opportunities to reach out to other men and disciple them in the Word and ways of God.

Monday, April 16, 2018

When the Pastor Speaks at a Graveside Service
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

It’s a time of loss and a time when the cruel effects of sin stand visibly before our eyes, when you stand in a graveyard with the casket there ready to be lowered into the ground, what does a minister of the gospel say? With immediate family, a host of extended family members, and others who have have gathered for the occasion, how can a pastor shepherd with gentle care, proclaim biblical truth, and be unwavering in gospel-courage at such an emotional place? Here is one approach that I took recently when I spoke at a graveside ceremony. I took as my text the opening few verses of Psalm 90 on the character of God and then later on in the psalm when Moses calls us to number our days to present to God a heart of wisdom.  In this brief 5-minute message outside, at the graveside, next to the casket carrying the body of the deceased, I presented some lessons for us.

I exhorted everyone present to take this occasion to look in various directions.

1. Look BACKWARD —
On such an occasion as standing in a graveyard with many family members, it’s imperative to get quickly and clearly to the cross-event. I took it as an opportunity to call all who were present to consider looking backward at another death, one that happened long ago, in Jerusalem. Not just to another man, but to the Divine Son of God. I chose to begin here as it provided me a way to get immediately to the hope of the gospel found in Jesus Christ alone.

2. Look DOWNWARD — Secondly, I called everyone standing outside to look downward. That is, I asked them to gaze to the ground, the dust, the dirt, the clods of clay. Look down and see the large hole in the ground that has been dug. Look at the casket that will be lowered there momentarily. See the dust of the earth. I then reminded every single person that this will be you one day. One day your very own body will return to the dust of the earth just like the deceased body that lies here. We do well to remind people on this occasion of the brevity of life.

3. Look UPWARD — But right then, at that point, I transitioned quickly to something bigger and greater still to come in the future for true believers. (And I made that very clear that this is the hope for the Christian; the one who is in Christ.) That is, we look upward to the hope of Christ’s coming in the clouds (1 Thess 4:13-18) when Christ returns to catch up those who are His to meet Him in the clouds. The dead in Christ will rise first and meet the Lord in the air and then the others who remain on earth will instantaneously be snatched up to meet them in the clouds. Yes, this day is soon-coming! This is the sure and comforting hope for the Christian!

4. Look FORWARD — Moses calls his readers to number our days so that we may present to God a heart of wisdom. There’s a sense in which every person standing on that cross, at that gravesite needs to number his days and recognize the future, though known to God, is unknown to us. I exhorted those present to be wise, to look forward and consider death and turn to Christ in saving faith so as to present to Him a heart of wisdom, fearing God, turning from sin, and walking in holiness.

5. Look INWARD — Finally, after these brief words, I summoned everyone to look internally (not in a self-introspective way, of course). I called everyone to truly examine their souls and ask themselves if they, in their own hearts, are really trusting Christ Jesus alone as the only One who can save them from coming judgment. Indeed, is this true of you? Are you trusting Christ?

All in all, it’s a very brief time and yet it should be one where the gospel is clearly presented, where the lost are confronted with the Truth of the gospel, and where believers are comforted with the hope found in Christ. This is one approach that I took recently in a graveyard service. May God use the Word of God as it goes out to save many and comfort those who are grieving in Christian hope.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fullness of Joy: Honoring God & His Sufficient Word Rightly.
The Fullness of Joy in Being a Cessationist
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

It was not too long ago that someone posed the question to John Piper about whether or not continuationists have more and greater joy than cessationists. It’s an interesting question that was given to Piper and one that he answered publicly. I read it and found myself respectfully disagreeing with him on numerous points, even to such a point that I felt it necessary to respond with a brief write-up, primarily for my own thinking and for my church family. It should be noted that this is not a central, core, gospel tenet. There are sweet brothers in Christ who differ on these viewpoints. I do believe they are very important but I believe they are not crux, central gospel tenets. John Piper is a dear brother from whom I’ve benefited greatly, so I am not disagreeing about soteriological issues but, at this point, I’m disagreeing with an important hermeneutical issue.

Cessationists would affirm that the miraculous, sign gifts ceased when the Apostles died and the canon of Scripture was completed. Thus, there are no more gifts of prophecies, speaking in tongues, healings, and interpretation of tongues today.  Continuationists would affirm that all the spiritual gifts are still operative.

Do continuationists have more joy than cessationists? I will argue that Piper incorrectly answered the question when he affirmed that continuationists do have more joy than cessationists. I would argue that cessationists do in fact have great fullness of joy. I’ll argue this with a few brief headings.

1. God is FOR our joy; but He is not ABOUT our joy.
The Bible states repeatedly that true believers have joy and await an everlasting eternity of joy with God! Even a fruit of the Spirit is joy in the life of a believer. But let it be said: God is for our joy and He imparts wondrous joy to our hearts, but God is not about our joy. The existence of God is not existing for and revolving around our joy. God is about His joy. In so far as we are united to Christ through faith, we have His joy made full in ourselves. True believers rejoice because of who God is and how God has revealed Himself in His Word.

2. Deep Joy comes in rightly interpreting the Word.
Deep-seated, unrelenting, indomitable joy fortifies the heart of the Christian when we know we’ve read and understood His Word correctly. The Bible is the sufficient Word and the sign-gifts (such as tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecies, healings) have ceased when the Apostles died and the New Testament canon was complete. Thus, to know that we have the correct hermeneutic and the proper interpretation of a given text is what gives unspeakable joy to the Christian.

3. Satisfying Joy comes in adhering to the absolute sufficiency of the Word — no additional revelation, prophecies, or ecstatic languages are needed today.
When we come to God’s Word, we must bow the knee to the absolute authority and perfect sufficiency of Holy Scripture.  Whatever the Word says, that we believe and cling to.  The Bible is our only rule for conduct and godly living. It is the authority for it is the revealed, clear, inspired, inerrant, infallible, unchanging Word of God.  True joy comes in clinging to this sufficient Word, not in seeking after or hearing about a new revelation or vision that someone claims to have from God, or a prophetic word from a teacher in our day. True joy is found when we cling to the body of truth that has been once for all delivered to the saints. We must cling to and hold on to the truth.

4. Fullest Joy comes in Glorifying God Rightly.
Fullest joy does not come in spiritual gifts per se but in using them rightly for the glory of God. Again, if the end of our worship is joy in spiritual gifts then we’re missing the ultimate mark. The ultimate object and end of our worship must be to glorify God supremely through the spiritual gifts that He has given. Glorify God rightly demands that we honor His Word supremely as the sufficient, clear, authoritative revelation that He has given to us. Nothing more is needed. No further verification of the gospel is needed by way of miracles. God has given all that we need. As Peter put it: we have the prophetic word made more sure. May we honor God and His Word rightly so that God receives all the glory. The Spirit of God works in and through the written Word. Let us hold to this and cling to this as we glorify God rightly with God-given joy.

May the Lord impress upon our hearts the simple truth and joyous reality that God’s Word is the precious, true, sufficient revelation that He has given to us. No new revelation or prophecy or vision from God is necessary. None at all. God’s Word is the clear, authoritative, and inerrant truth. Let’s cling to God’s Word as He has revealed Himself in the written body of revelation and rejoice exceedingly in His Word knowing that this is the infallible, eternal, unchanging Word that He has given to us for our good, for HIs glory, and for our joy as we serve Him!

An audio on "cessationism: the ceasing and fulfillment of the miraculous, sign gifts" can be found here when it was preached during the CFBC foundations class.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: the Guarantee, the Glory & the Assurance.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

It is of first importance, the Apostle Paul said. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead proves to be the bedrock doctrine of the Christian faith. One cannot read the Book of Acts without noting the constant theme of the Apostle’s proclamation, namely,  the resurrection of the crucified One and salvation that comes only through His Name.

This article provides some gleanings on the importance on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


The Resurrection is the GUARANTEE of our life.
When Jesus Christ rose up from the dead, He guaranteed that all His people will in fact live eternally through Him. In Christ’s resurrection, all His people live. His bodily resurrection certifies His peoples’ future resurrection. Christ’s resurrection in glory assures His peoples’ resurrection in glory. The new body of Christ provides the template for the new bodies that God’s people will receive in glory. The resurrection of Christ guarantees our life -- only in Him

The Resurrection is the SATISFACTION of Christ’s atonement.
Infinite wrath came down upon the divine Son of God when He bore the curse of the Father’s wrath at Calvary. He became sin for His people and propitiated the Father’s righteous anger against sin. Thus, when the Father raised His Son from the dead, it proved that the Father was truly satisfied with the Son’s propitiatory work. Wrath has been appeased. Salvation has been won. The reality of the resurrection shows the sureness of the Father’s satisfaction of His Beloved Son’s atoning work for His elect.

The Resurrection is the TRIUMPH over all death.
Satan is the father of lies and the god of this age. He is the prince of darkness and the one who holds the power of death. Indeed, when Christ was raised from the dead, it presents the triumph of Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory and the Prince of Life, over all powers of death and darkness. Indeed, Christ defeated the Evil One at Calvary. Fulfilling prophetic words even from Genesis 3, Christ bruised Satan himself on the head and gave him the fatal blow when he defeated death and conquered all evil when He displayed His power in the resurrection.

The Resurrection is the FULFILLMENT of biblical prophecy.
One thousand years before the Lord Jesus came into the world in human flesh, King David prophesied that the Lord would faithfully preserve and watch over His special one and not allow His chosen one to see decay. Even Isaiah the prophet made clear that the suffering Servant who would die as a substitutionary sacrifice for His people will prolong his days through the resurrection. Thus, that Jesus rose from the dead fulfills the glorious and sure Word of Jehovah who prophesied centuries ahead of time that Messiah would rise triumphantly from the dead!

The Resurrection is the SEAL of future glorification.
What will our future bodies be like in glory? How sure can we be that we will inherit eternal life? The resurrection of the Lord Christ provides the seal and certifying mark that we will be with Christ and that we will be made like Christ in His glorified form. His resurrection provides the confident certainty that we will be resurrected in a body that resembles His glorified body.

The Resurrection is the HEART of true hope.
All who have received the new birth by the sovereign grace of God alone are those who have hope -- a sure hope that comes through the substitutionary death and the resurrection life of Jesus Christ. It is a living and interceding Savior who reigns in heaven as He sits at the Father’s right hand that instills hope to the child of God.

The Resurrection is the UNIQUENESS of biblical Christianity.
One may scan the history books and travel the world today and count the innumerable religions and ways of life that will bring one great happiness and peace. But every founder and religious figure in the religion has one thing in common -- they’re all dead and they’ve all decayed. They’ve passed and they’re gone. But Jesus Christ is alive. This is the exclusive and distinguishing mark of biblical Christianity. Life can only be found in the living God. Victory over death can only be granted through One who Himself proved He triumphed over this great monster. Christ alone has done it and this is the unique, essential, foundational, and proclaimed message of Christianity.

The Resurrection is the COMFORT for our eschatology.
When loved ones die, the Apostle Paul exhorts believers to not grieve as the pagans do who have no hope. Rather, true believers have an indomitable comfort that springs from the resurrection life and soon-coming return of our Risen and living Lord, Jesus Christ.  Believers know that Jesus intercedes right now, at this very moment, in heaven for His own sheep and that He will return again to catch His people up in the clouds to be with Him forever. And believers ought to comfort one another with these words. It is the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christ that guarantees this future, eschatological hope which plants great comfort deep into the hearts of believers -- even when undergoing great suffering in life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Words of Advice to Church Planters
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

I’m a church planter. By His grace and by a call that I never would have foreseen for myself in seminary, God gave me the awesome privilege to care for His people and preach His Word to His sheep of Christ Fellowship Bible Church. We began with two families. One of which left shortly after we planted. We have been in existence almost seven years and are still committed to the exact same commitments that we had when we began. My heart goes out to church planters -- for I am one! But I want to encourage fellow church planters with one simple truth, though some elements of local church ministry may be different in a church plant (no staff, no building, no secretary, etc.), the main essentials in a local church still remain the same.

I want to give four simple words of advice to church planters.

1. Pray with Importunity
Whatever you do, PRAY. You can do much after you’ve prayed, but you can’t do anything till you’ve prayed. And that’s especially true when planting a church. Devote yourself to prayer. Give your early morning hours to prayer. Grab a man and ask him to pray with you. When you have discipleships with other brothers, pray with them (by teaching, modeling, instructing, and looking at the prayers in Scripture). When you’re with God’s people in the corporate assembly, ask what you can pray for and then do it, right then and there with them. Pray for God to save people. Pray for God to sanctify His elect. Pray for God to give holiness to His people, urgency in our evangelism, love for the congregation, and compassion for the lost. Pray for your sermons. Pray for your outreaches. And while you’re at it, remember to have a prayer meeting where the church gathers corporately, together, regularly, for calling upon God. A church that prays together stays together. A church without prayer is like a house without a roof, open and susceptible to all the winds and storms of heaven. Church planter: pray!

2. Preach the Word
When the Apostle Paul was facing imminent death, he gave a very solemn and crystal clear charge to young Timothy: to preach the Word. It’s not ambiguous, nor is it unclear. It’s not debatable. Nor is it even negotiable whether or not people want it or like it. God has given you a charge, if you’re a pastor, and that charge is that you must feed His people with His Word. Note those two essentials of what and how you are to discharge the proclamation of the Word. You are to preach. This is the how: you are to preach -- to herald, to announce, to cry out, to relay God’s message to God’s people without alteration, addition, or subtraction. And remember the what: you are to preach the Word -- the Scriptures, the written Truth and objective revelation that God has given in the authoritative and sufficient Bible (Genesis - Revelation). Nothing more and nothing less. Don’t be cute and clever and tell stories to get laughs. Don’t spend more time on your illustrations and one-liners than you do on your exegesis and poring over the text in prayer, study, application.

3. Shepherd the Flock
The Apostle Peter give a very clear charge to the elders to “shepherd the flock of God among you.” This is a very clear charge that you cannot overlook. It’s from God the Spirit to you directly, through the pen of the Apostle Peter. Man of God, shepherd of Christ’s people: you are called to care for the souls of His people. Don’t just care for physical needs or give them what they want to hear. You’re the soul-doctor and spiritual physician -- you have the remedy for sin and sickness. That remedy is the gospel of Christ! Of course you cannot save or heal or sanctify anyone by your power. That’s why you must be faithful to serve Christ and His people as an undershepherd for their souls and their spiritual well-being. Consider how Christ is your Shepherd: He is present with you, He communicates with you in the Word, He is available when you call out to Him, He feeds you with Himself as you study Truth in the Bible, He guards you, He watches over you, He protects you from the Evil One, and He’s vigilantly caring for you. So it is with you as an undershepherd for His blood-bought sheep. You must vigilantly watch over them by caring for their souls. You shepherd them by feeding them good, nourishing food (=preaching), you intercede for them by coming to God in prayer on their behalf (=fervent intercessory prayer), you guard them from error by standing as a watchman sounding the alarm when danger looms on the horizon and by establishing God’s people in sound, biblical truth. Man of God, shepherd your flock there with you. Don’t consume yourself with getting a big name or being a conference speaker. Care for the souls that God brings your way in your local church -- whether that’s 2 or 20 or 80. And shepherd them joyfully.

4. Prioritize your Family
That which qualifies you to be a shepherd of the flock at large is your already evident shepherding of your smaller flock in your home. Man of God: love your wife as your first ministry. Love her well. Shepherd her soul well. Pray with and for her. Disciple her. Remember to care for her soul first. Ensure your wife has good, enjoyable time with you. Date her. Know her. Learn her. Satisfy her. Keep close communication with her. And remember that your wife is not the 2nd employee of the church-plant. She doesn’t need to do the secretarial work, the administrative items, the piano playing, and the organizing of events. In fact, it’s probably better that she doesn’t do these things so that others can jump in and serve. And don’t neglect your children. Your children need you. They don’t need a stranger in the home that they can call “pastor.” They need their father to discipline them and train them up in the ways of God, in the fear of God, and model holiness for them. When you sin, repent of it, ask for their forgiveness, and move on with joy. Lead them in regular, daily family worship. Again, your leadership and spiritual soul-care in your home is that which pre-eminently qualifies you to be a shepherd of the flock of God as a whole. So whatever you do and whatever you neglect, don’t let it be your family. Love them. Care for them. Pray for them. And remember: they’re not a hindrance to your ministry; they are your first ministry.

More resources found at Pastor Geoff's articles & media page.

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Commitments of Christ Fellowship Bible Church include the following [mp3 is here]:

1. Expository preaching
2. Corporate praying
3. Aggressive sanctification
4. Triune exaltation
5. Urgent evangelism
6. Global missions

Each of these commitments has a 2-3 minute audio podcast of explanation and biblical support.

Listen to & download the mp3 podcasts here.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


The Foolishness in a Child’s Heart.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

The Word of God declares in Proverbs 22:15 that FOOLISHNESS is bound up in a child’s heart, and it is the rod of discipline that removes it [the foolishness] far from him.  What kind of foolishness is bound up in our children’s hearts?

1. Foolishness of SELF LOVE
Every child born into this world is hard-wired with inclinations and a relentless drive to love self and protect self. No one needs to be taught to love himself more. Everyone cares for himself -- including the smallest of children. They love themselves and the way that this manifests itself is in their lust -- the relentless craving -- to satisfy their “desires.” They do what they want to do. And if anyone begins to take that sovereignty away from them, they begin to whine, scream, kick, punch, throw a fit, and all the related synonyms. Our children suffer from the sin of self love.

2. Foolishness of SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE
Children must be taught. That’s why the Book of Proverbs is so replete with verses on listening to instruction and heeding the teaching of a father and mother. Parents, be sure of this: if you do not teach your children at a young age, you may be sure the Devil will. If you neglect to fill their hearts with divine truth, Satan will fill their hearts with corruption. Our children need training, they need to be taught, they need guidance and direction. They do not know the one true God nor do they know the gospel nor do they understand the weight and trajectory of their sin. That’s why God has given you and me to them to instruct their hearts so that they are taught biblical truth as it’s revealed in Scripture.

3. Foolishness of SELF-STYLED SOVEREIGNTY
Children love to believe that the world revolves around them. They have made and created their own sovereign empire -- of course with them seated nicely and powerfully upon the throne. They have made their own world that revolves around them. So our job as parents is to remind our children that life -- and the world -- is not revolving around them. Rather, we must show them that God is the centerpoint and Christ is the apex of all things. Just as the planets revolve around the sun, so Christ is the sun of our lives. We must remind our children that they don’t get all that they want. They don’t get their way much of the time (indeed, they must not!). And God has given the responsibility to us to break their self-styled sovereignty and to lift their eyes to the One who does sit upon heaven’s throne; the glorious, strong, mighty, and ever-present One!

4. Foolishness of ABSOLUTE CONTROL
Lust for control ruins many lives. Many men and women long for control and it can ruin a marriage, a job, a career, a church, and a soul. And yet our children are born with this sinful disposition to have and long for and protect control over “their” things. After all, we must remind them that their stuff is not really “theirs” ultimately; it’s God’s. God has given it on loan to our family, and God is permitting them to use it and to use it well for His glory. So we must guard from allowing, permitting, turning a blind eye to, and even worse cultivating a lust for control -- absolute control over their stuff. They must learn to share. They must learn to happily share what God has given. And the Lord has graciously given you to help shepherd them through this.

5. Foolishness of REJECTING AUTHORITY
To submit to authority will preserve a man from many pains in life. But children are sinfully wired, by our human nature and our sinful propensities, to reject authority and to re-place themselves as the one in authority. If this is not taught at a young age, rebellious children, unruly adults, and unsubmissive citizens may be the tragic outcome which will lead a soul to destruction. Let us faithfully seek to teach our children to joyfully obey authority -- the God-given authorities in our lives.  We must teach them to obey their parents for in doing this, they please God. They must learn to submit to their teachers, the police officers, governing officials, and other authorities in their lives at various times. This is good, beneficial, and profitable for all!

God has given parents the unspeakable privilege and the tireless responsibility of shepherding the hearts of our children so that they may see their sin for what it really is and behold the Savior and all that He and all that He has done to rescue sinners! And for the children who are small, God has called parents to utilize the rod in spanking the child so that the child will learn to turn from that sin, to flee from wickedness, and to obey God for there the blessing is found. What ongoing and daily opportunities God has given parents for evangelism of our own children!  May God help us to be faithful to what He has called us to do as we pray fervently for Him to change the hearts of our children through our efforts to bring the gospel to them.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Pastor’s Intentional Resolve
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

As a man called by God to serve His people as a shepherd, I commit myself to these intentional and essential duties of pastoral ministry. By God’s grace and with His help, I will faithfully live out and seek with all my might to obey Scripture in the shepherding of Christ’s flock which He purchased with His own blood so that Christ’s image may be formed in His people.

1. I WILL faithfully PRAY FOR CHRIST’S CHURCH.
The preeminent duty that Christ has given to me is to serve His people by interceding for them in prayer. Just like the priests in the Old Testament, they offered incense before the Lord which symbolized the prayers of the saints ascending to the Lord. So I must faithfully devote myself to prayer and to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6.4). I commit myself to praying for the growth of God’s people, the maturation of His body, the Church. I will also pray for families by name, for the marriages, for the children, and for God to save the lost and for God to grow His people. I will pray for the purity and power of the church, and for the advancement of the gospel. I’ll labor in prayer.

2. I WILL faithfully PREACH THE INSPIRED & SUFFICIENT WORD.
No sheep can survive without regular feedings. I commit myself to faithfully studying God’s Word so that I can faithfully preach God’s Word in humble dependence upon God’s Spirit and with clarity as I make the meaning of the text known and the applications and implications of the text understandable. I will not shrink back from declaring anything that will be profitable to the saints. My goal is to feed the sheep, not entertain the goats. I will preach ultimately for the glory of God and for the edification of the saints. I do believe that the primary way that God both saves the lost and sanctifies the saved is through the bold, unadulterated, regular preaching of the Word of God.

3. I WILL faithfully SHEPHERD BOTH PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY.
The Apostle Paul cared for God’s people both publicly and privately. He taught God’s Word in the open squares, in the church assemblies, and privately from house to house. Paul also charged the elders of the Ephesian church to faithfully watch over and guard the flock from error and from false teachers. Perhaps the foremost metaphor that the Scripture employs when referring to the minister of God’s Word is that of a shepherd. I must care for God’s people by knowing them, by guarding them, by feeding them, by leading them, and by pointing them to the Chief Shepherd -- the Lord Jesus Christ. I resolve to faithfully shepherd publicly from the pulpit and privately as opportunities come up to counsel and admonish one another with God’s sufficient and inerrant Word.

4. I WILL faithfully MODEL IN PERSONAL EVANGELISM & URGENT SOUL-WINNING.
Why has God left me on this earth? Why didn’t God save me and then take me to glory? As I ponder this biblically, I understand that my duty is to proclaim the excellencies of Christ Jesus. I must follow Christ and speak forth His glory. I must proclaim the unfathomable riches of Christ. Proverbs provides the wisdom that he who wins souls is wise (Prov 11.30). Jesus said that the fields are white for harvest (John 4.35). He has made me to become a fisher of men (Mark 1.17). I will model personal evangelism by urgently, lovingly, boldly, clearly, and faithfully speak forth the gospel and call sinners to repent from sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation (Mark 1.15). All this can be done by God’s grace and with His help. Time is short! We must number our days! Compel sinners to come in!

5. I WILL faithfully SERVE THE PEOPLE IN SACRIFICIAL LOVE, WITH CHRIST-CAPTIVATING JOY.
The Lord states that Shepherd-elders lead; and they must lead well. Jesus models true leadership as being that of servant-leadership, self-sacrificing leadership. So I want to faithfully lead in serving Christ’s people with sacrificial love and with Christ-captivating glory. Perhaps it may take the form of hospitality, praying for and with the saints, loving those intentionally and sacrificially when a need arises, greeting all the saints, protecting them from harm, and reaching out to those on the fringe and encouraging them to offer themselves as living sacrifices to the Lord!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The year was 1768. A twenty-eight year old preacher by the name of Augustus Toplady, who wrote many of our best hymns, including "Rock of Ages", spent the afternoon in London with Mr. Brewer--an older, veteran Gospel preacher, whom he greatly admired and from whom he learned much. This is what Mr. Brewer said to the young Toplady, as Toplady later recorded in his diary:

"I cannot conclude without reminding you, my young brother, of some things that may be of use to you in the course of your ministry:

    1. Preach Christ crucified, and dwell chiefly on the blessings resulting from His righteousness, atonement, and intercession.

    2. Avoid all needless controversies in the pulpit--except it be when your subject necessarily requires it; or when the truths of God are likely to suffer by your silence.

    3. When you ascend the pulpit, leave your learning behind you. Endeavor to preach more to the hearts of your people--than to their heads.

    4. Do not affect too much oratory. Seek rather to profit your hearers--than to be admired by them."

From GraceGems.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Encouragements for those who are distracted
Some of these gleanings are from the puritans
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Remember to Repent
When we find ourselves distracted in the worship of the Lord, let us be diligent to repent of the sin and bewail the fact that we take our eyes off of Christ, His Word, and His beauties and succumb to distractions on lesser things for the moment. Confess your sin specifically to the Lord.

Remember to Refocus
When distractions come and Satan’s temptations assault, remember to cast your eyes upward again on Christ. Do not neglect to refocus on Christ. It’s one thing to notice a distraction and repent of it, but continue to persevere in the mortifying of this sin and the vivifying of holiness by refocusing yet again on Christ’s person and glory.

Remember to Meditate on the glory of Christ
Distractions cast our eyes off of Christ and on to something else. Our hearts falls from the gaze of Christ onto lesser things. The highest object of our affections and the greatest consideration of our hearts is nothing less than the person and glory of Jesus Christ. Set your heart upon the ravishing delights and steadfast glory of Christ. Consider his patience and enduring mercy toward you. Think of His satisfactions and pleasantness in all that He does. Cast your heart continually upon the highest object of the human heart, the surpassing sweetness and majestic glory of this awesome God.

Remember the intercessory work of Christ
Even when you find yourself distracted and your heart has been drawn away from Christ in worship, set it upon your heart that you have an intercessor in heaven in your behalf. When you are distracted below, He remains interceding above. When you have succumbed to distraction and temptations on earth, He remains prayerful, constant, full of love, and pleading His merit continually for you before God’s bar in heaven. O rejoice in this! Even when you sin, He remains your high priest!

Remember the patience of God
In times of sin and when you fall into patterns of distraction and discouragement, remember that you serve a God who is perfect in patience and lavish in love. Your God is one whose heart is full compassion and tenderness toward His creatures, especially His elect. So when you are distracted and are guilt laden in conscience, set it upon your heart that your God is patient toward you, not treating you as your sins deserve, but eager to forgive, ready to forgive, and able to aid you and strengthen you so you can persevere in diligent and focused worship.

Remember the nearness of undistracted worship in heaven
A day will soon come for every believer to worship God without distraction or hesitation or hindrance in eternal glory. Here you long to worship God without distraction. There in glory you will most assuredly worship God without distraction. This is a foretaste here of the fullness of worship of the one, true God in His majestic presence. Here we worship him truly but imperfectly whereas there in glory we shall worship him truly, perfectly, everlastingly, without hindrance.

Remember the efforts of our imperfect worship are sanctified in Christ
As the redeemed of Christ, bought by His precious blood and unbreakably united to Him in saving faith, remember that even your imperfect efforts in this life are still sanctified by the grace of God and are wholly acceptable before God. By virtue of your union with Christ by faith, your good works are sanctified so that God is well-pleased with your obedience, your fruits, your actions, and your worship — even though it remains imperfect in this life. Bless God that He receives you in His Son, the Beloved, and that he delights in the prayers of His saints and in the worship of His sons.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Commitments of CFBC Restated & Reaffirmed.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Expository Preaching
The highest form of worship that mortal man could reach is the hearing from God as He speaks through the reading and preaching of his Word. The grand and majestic interaction between God and His people in the preaching of the Word cannot be overstated. God comes down to communicate through His chosen mouthpiece to His people to encourage their hearts, inform their minds, direct their wills, and form them more into the image of Christ. For these reasons, we are unswervingly committed to the faithful, biblical, sequential, expository preaching of the inerrant, sufficient, and authoritative Word of God. Thus, when we gather together corporately, the preaching of God’s Word takes center place so that He can speak and address us as His people so we can grow in holiness and in the knowledge of our blessed Savior.

Committed Prayer
We depend wholly and fully on the power of God to make the ministry effectual and God-pleasing. We cannot worship in our own effort, energy, and strength. So we come to God in desperate prayer both privately and publically, both in our closets and in the corporate prayer meetings. We as a body of believers remain steadfastly resolute to seek God’s face in prayer as we adore him, praise Him, reflect on and meditate on His attributes and being, thank Him for all that he does, affirm His absolute sovereignty and glorious providence, confess and repent of our sins, pray and intercede for one another and for the lost who need to come to faith, and for the glory of God to be made great on the earth. We are a church of prayer and will remain such for God’s glory.

Developing Leaders
Our Lord modeled the life and mindset of a leader to develop and train other leaders to do the work of ministry.  He taught them by example, by instruction, by spending much time together. Our conviction at CFBC is to take the Word of God and entrust these faithful truths to other godly men who can then teach others also. Our goal is to reduplicate leaders so that we can have as many godly shepherds in the flock as possible. We meet with the men, encourage the men, disciple the men, pray for the men, and long for God to raise up an army of exceedingly humble and sacrificially diligent to teach sound doctrine and to guard Christ’s flock from error.

Vigilant Shepherding
The highest work a man could ever be called to in this life is to shepherd the sheep that God bought with His own blood. To shepherd requires feeding the flock, caring for the flock, numbering the flock, carrying the wounded, warding off all invaders and predators, keeping watch diligently, bandaging up the bloody, and leading them to green pastures. In the same way, we at CFBC are conscientious to imitate our Lord who is our Chief Shepherd as we vigilantly shepherd His people that He has called us to serve. We must vigilantly guard from false teaching and teachers, we must verbally admonish those veering into dangerous theological perspectives, and we must teach the truth relentlessly. We have as our goal to shepherd the flock of God among us — every single sheep.

Urgent Soul-winning
God has allotted each Christian a certain amount of time in this world to glorify Him and live for His glory. Every faithful Christian longs for more souls to be snatched from the eternal fire and brought into the kingdom of Christ. Thus, we are zealously committed to and urgently focused upon the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. Our commission that Christ gave to us is to go out to all the world. Thus, we are to go to sinners. We are to initiate conversations with friends, family members, and strangers. We understand the nearness of eternity and the Imminency of death. And so with this conviction of the externality of everlasting punishment under God’s wrath, we have as our ambition to be urgent in calling sinners to repent of sin and trust in Christ Jesus alone who loved us and gave Himself up for us by taking the wrath of God in our stead.

Worldwide Missions
We are committed to missions because missions is the very heartbeat of God. God is the God of the nations and He longs for the nations to worship Him. Indeed, He declares that all nations will worship and praise Him! So we start where we are in our Jerusalem and we branch out to our Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth with the gospel. We primarily focus our efforts and resources in global ministries that are likeminded theologically that seek to teach pastors how to preach the Word of God. We long to see indigenous pastors equipped, trained, compelled to go back to their countries and villages to powerfully and precisely proclaim the gospel to the lost and to edify the redeemed. We are faithfully and generously committed to worldwide missions.

Biblical Theology
Our understanding of God and our conviction about truth must derive from the Word of God alone. We make it our fervent ambition to teach and preach theology that is biblical, precise, clear, and helpful for the people of God. Nothing is so paramountly important than for men and women to think rightly about God, about mankind, about sin, abound coming judgment, and about Christ and His gospel. We also seek to have a biblical ecclesiology and eschatology as we derive our convictions from the Scriptures. From the youngest of children in our catechism class, we teach them theology even to the sermons and teachings we have, we endeavor to constantly teach theology and model how to derive theological perspectives that are accurate and governed by the Word of God.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Here's the catechism that we use at Christ Fellowship Bible Church for teaching our young people theology:


Some introductory remarks:

1.The duty falls upon all Christian parents to diligently teach their children biblical truths (Deut 6:4-9; Ps 78:1-8)
2. Parents can incorporate this catechism in the regular family worship times (Eph 6:4)
3. Parents should diligently review these catechism questions regularly (Eph 6:4; Ex 12:24-26; Heb 10:3; Lev 16:34)
4.The parents can work on the specific catechism questions that are taught at the CFBC catechism class for that particular week so the child can be adequately prepared for the instruction.
5. If theological questions arise in discussing these with the family, the parents should contact the elders of the church for help, biblical instruction, and shepherding through various theological topics.
 
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