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Showing posts from 2008

reminder of what biblical worship is

Geoffrey R. Kirkland l Associate Pastor CCC Book Review of: Ross, Allen P. Recalling the Hope of Glory: Biblical Worship from the Garden to the New Creation ( Grand Rapids : Kregel, 2006). “ W ithout the life of the worshipper, the act of worship is worthless” (337). This pithy statement aptly summarizes the phenomenal work by Ross on biblical worship. I found myself reading this book with a pen in hand, underlining in almost every paragraph, and even blogging numerous quotes from the book. In all, this may well be one of the best books I’ve read on a biblical theology of worship. In this brief review, I will note a brief summary of the book, give a few points which struck me afresh, and then raise a question or two which Ross raised in my mind. The subtitle of Ross’s work is biblical worship from the garden to the new creation and this is precisely what Ro

What God's Holiness Demanded His Grace Provided

“What God’s Holiness Demanded His Grace Provided” The mind’s musing upon this adage provokes worship. I’m currently reading a book where this line is penned. I thought to myself “This is the perfect motto for Christmas.” What God’s holiness demanded—absolute righteousness—His grace provided—The Righteous Redeemer. The holiness of God demanded that if anyone were to come before Him they must be absolutely, perfectly, entirely, and utterly spotless . I’m thinking of the biblical term of clean when I speak of spotless . Every human being must be clean—morally, spiritually, ceremonially—to come before Almighty God. This defines the purpose for the OT sacrificial system. The OT sacrificial system and purification practices delineate how impure persons may come before an eternally perfect God. And the answer rested upon God Himself taking the initiate and ordaining certain rights, practices, rules, sacrifices, cleansings and such. No human being could have ever imagined such a w

Hey folks in the Los Angeles area...

Christ Community Church is hosting a free Evangelism Seminar on Saturday, January 10th from 10am-5pm (lunch will be provided!). One of the elders, Steve Lantz, will be conducting this seminar and it will be excellent. He has entitled it: " No Fear No Guilt Evangelism! " Also, you won't want to miss two sessions on Israel's History and Geography seminar as well as the Old Testament Theology seminar to prepare our Israel travelers for our upcoming trip to the Holy Land! But anyone is invited. These are on Saturday Jan 17 and 24 from 7-9pm in the CCC Sanctuary. Come learn about the land and geography of Israel! Call the CCC office for more info: 818.341.5750 or contact me: Blessings and hope to see you there!

alarm clock

Today I overslept two and a half hours. Yesterday I overslept an hour and a half. I think it's time to get a new alarm clock!

Christmas Celebration

Talking with a friend this morning brought to mind the core of the Christmas story, namely, Jesus Christ coming to earth to die. I heard a sermon last week which drove this truth home to my heart as the preacher expounded Matthew 1:18ff and ended up in Isaiah 53. The wonderful truths of these texts struck me afresh as I pondered how Christmas and Easter must not be divided. As we draw near to the Christmas season and prepare for Christmas Eve services, family time around the Christmas tree, opening stockings and presents, eating lots of food and, of course, reading the biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus, let us remember that the birth of Jesus must not be divorced from the crucifixion of Jesus. Furthermore, the crucifixion of Jesus must not be divorced from the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Then our perspective will be accurate as we ponder the historical reality of God clothing Himself in human flesh and living a sinless life (which He could do no other) and dying on the c

Don't Make God a Liar

Don’t Make God a Liar 1 John 5:10 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son. What I find fascinating about this verse is the startling statement made by the Apostle John that the person who does not believe in Jesus Christ has made God a liar. The reason this is so is because God has borne sufficient witness to His Son, Jesus Christ, and the person who refuses to believe is calling God a liar. I am afraid that all too many people today have called God—and are calling God—a liar. Sadly so, I trust that many churchgoers may profess verbally God as true and Jesus as Savior but in the way they live their lives (that is, the theme of the book of 1 John) they deny that Jesus is the true Son of God and, hence, point the finger at God and shout “Liar!” Elsewhere in 1 John, the themes of loving the brothers, be

Psalm 8 chiasm

Currently, I'm studying Psalm 8 for our service tomorrow night and I've recognized this chiasm --that is, a literary device in Hebrew poetry where the first corresponds to the last element, the second then corresponds to the second-to-last element, and so on. Oftentimes, the middle element is the apex or the main point the author attempts to emphasize. In my study, I think I found a chiasm in Psalm 8. This would make the middle element v.6 (these are the Hebrew verse numbers by the way. For the English verses, just subtract one from the listed number) which is David's high point in the Psalm--the crowning of Glory in God's creation, namely, mankind. Chiasm: 2 Praising God for His Majesty 3Praising God from his creatures 4The Works of God Praising Him 5The wonder at God’s interest in man

The sovereignty of Jesus in salvation

I read Luke 24 last night and this portion of Scripture struck me anew: Luke 24:44-45 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, What this Scripture declares in no uncertain terms is that the God-Man, Jesus Christ, opened the minds of those while He was with them after His resurrection in order to understand the Scriptures. Jesus Christ sovereignly illuminates the hearts and minds of those who are His to hear, understand, and respond to the written Word. There can be no active initiated on the part of the sinner except the prevenient, irresistible, and intervening grace of God. It would be amazing to have heard Jesus share the gospel with his followers from the Scripture --e.g. the OT. The Law, the Prophets, the Psalms (and the writings) all speak about th

The divine intrusion

This morning I was reading on the virgin birth of our Savior when I came across this quote: "The virgin birth is a sign of God's judgment on human nature. The race needs a redeemer, but cannot itself produce one; not by its own decision or desire, not by the processes of education and civilization, not as a precipitate of its own evolution. The redeemer must come from outside. Here, as elsewhere, 'all things are of God'. He provides the lamb (Gn.22:8). [Karl] Barth is exactly right: 'Human nature possesses no capacity for becoming the human nature of Jesus Christ.' Also, the virgin birth is a sign that Jesus Christ is a new beginning. He is not a development from anything that has gone before. He is a divine intrusion : the last, great, culminating eruption of the power of God into the plight of man... (Don Macleod, The Person of Christ , 37).

True Worship

From Gerald Wilson, " I believe firmly that true worship incorporates acknowledging and repenting of sin. Only then do we realize how totally dependent on God and his gracious mercy we really are " ( Psalms: Volume 1 , NIVAC, 197). I find this so refreshing and apropos to my life. I concur with Wilson in that worship engages both the heart and the soul which leads to self-examination which then results in repentance and restoration. Praise God for conviction that He brings through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us (cf. Rom 8:9). May we never shun repentance but rather embrace it in order to experience the mercy of God all the more and the grace of God to the fullest.

Are You Waiting for Jesus?

In preparation for my final sermon as we conclude the book of Revelation (tomorrow night---Rev 22:10-21), I found this quote which I must post for your edification. Seiss pictures the church as a young lady waiting for her lover to return: Fiction has painted the picture of a maiden whose lover left her for a voyage to the Holy Land , promising to his return to make her his beloved bride. Many told her that she would never see him again. But she believed his word, and evening by evening she went down to the lonely shore, and kindled there a beacon-light in sight of the roaring waves, to hail and welcome the returning ship which was to bring again her betrothed. And by that watchfire she took her stand each night, praying to the winds to hasten on the sluggish sails, that he who was everything to her might come. Even so that blessed Lord, who has loved us unto death, has gone away to the mysterious Holy Land of heaven, promising on his return to make us his happy and eternal B

Christmas concert pictures from the Master's College

These are some pictures from our time at the concert last week: Elizabeth and I at home by our tree Elizabeth and baby Kirkland in front of our tree Elizabeth and Kelly (formerly in our youth group now at Master's College) Kelly and I at Master's Elizabeth and Megan (on the Outreach Week team to our church) at Master's Kelly posing with her set at the Christmas concert

Can the sermon bless the preacher more than the hearers?

Perhaps this can happen. And perhaps this happened on Wednesday of this week at our mid-week service at church . I preached on Psalm 6 and I had a wonderful time. I'm not sure if things came out cohesively and cogently but in my heart and soul, I was greatly edified by God's Word. I don't think I'm overstating the fact that this may have been--for me personally--one of the most edifying sermons I've ever preached. If you so choose, you can listen to it here . Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

The weightiness of preaching

Here's the quote for today: " What gives preaching its seriousness is that the mantle of the preacher is soaked with the blood of Jesus and singed with the fire of hell." John Piper .

“The Immeasurable Joys and the Incomprehensible Glory of Heaven”

And this was my sermon last Tuesday at church . We are coming near the conclusion of this wonderful-- and understandable!--book in our study of the Sovereign Kingship and victory of Jesus Christ! Here are some quotes I put on the outlines which I thought would also be profitable to post here for your enjoyment and musing. Think, ponder, consider, get excited for heaven (cf. Phil 3:20). Todd Bolen: “Christianity would not be Christianity without its belief in heaven. Did you know that if salvation did not include the promise of heaven, that it would be a weak salvation indeed? This world is not our goal; the next is. If there was no heaven, we might be saved from the condemnation of sin , and we might be saved from the power of sin , but we would never be saved from the presence of sin . If there was no heaven, we would never be perfectly righteous. If there was no heaven, we would not be pilgrims and strangers in this land. If there was no heaven, we would have no hope

weekend getaway with the wifey

Elizabeth looking at the Pacific... Yes, this is sparkling cider... I'm a very happy man...

quiet time interruption

The Lord interrupted my quiet time with this beautiful portrait that He painted this morning: Psalm 113:3-4 From the rising of the sun to its settin g The name of the LORD is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.

The need for God's Word to see the Savior

In my study for Acts 8 this Sunday morning, I came across this excellent insight by William Kistemaker: "Philip puts a penetrating question to the Ethiopian Eunuch: "Do you understand what you are reading?" This question is basic to confirming the Christian faith, for the Christian knows Christ only through the Scriptures. By reading God's Word, he increases his knowledge of Jesus Christ, his Savior. Thus Philip begins with the Scriptures, explains their fulfillment in Christ, and leads the Ethiopian official to repentance, faith, and joy. The task of the preacher is to show Christ to his audience. For precisely this reason, some churches have a plaque fastened to the pulpit just below the open Bible and visible only to the preacher. The plaque has the words, "Sir, we want to see Jesus" (John 12:21). The average member of a congregation listens to the preacher only on Sunday, during the worship service. He comes not to hear views on a number of topics that

Concluding the book of Revelation

My youth group has journeyed through the book of Revelation with me for the last 6 months or so--week after week. We are coming to the conclusion of the book and to the conclusion of time as we now know it. Last night I did part 2 of our study on hell: "The Shrieking Cries of the Tormented in Hell Manifested." (I have to give it some title to seize the reader's attention.) Here was my outline (it was more or less a topical study on hell): 1. Hell will be conscious torment in the presence of God (Rev 14:9-10) 2. Hell will be everlasting, unending torment without rest (Matt 25:46; Rev 20:11) 3. Hell will be shameful and conscience-stricken torment (Luke 16:24-28; Isa 66:24) 4. Hell will be black darkness, a bottomless pit, and awful fire (Matt 5:22; 13:50; Jude 7; Rev 19:20; 20:10; Jude 13; Rev 9:1-2) 5. Hell will be where God is glorified to destroy unrighteous sinners (Rom 9:22-23) 6. Hell will be where sinners will think about the opportunities they had to repent

Hey youth--sign ups are open for our winter retreat

“Consider the Cross” the 2009 CCC youth winter retreat Date : Feb 26 – Mar 1, 2009 Location : Big Bear, California Lodging : The Robinson’s Home Cost : $165.00 (scholarships are available) (includes 2 days skiing/boarding, food, lodging, transportation, and weekend notebook). - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -cut here - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Name ________________________________ Age ________ Grade __________ Email ___________________________________ Phone Number ________________ Parent’s Names ______________________ Total Amount Enclosed _______________ Tentative Schedule of Events: Thurs, Feb 26 7pm meet @ ccc 7:30 depart ccc 10:30

Hell's terrors

Tonight I have the (weighty) responsibility of preaching on hell. We've been going through Revelation in our Bible Study and we studied the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15) a few weeks ago. Tonight is part two of that sermon. It's overwhelming. I'm not sure what else to say. It's overwhelming because it is so serious--and yet so many Christians think so lightly of hell. I have 10 points to my sermon tonight on hell. I've titled my sermon in such a way as to get their attention: " The Shrieking Cries of the Tormented in Hell Manifested ." I've grown personally in my own study and I trust that many tonight will learn more about the horrors of being tormented by God forever in hell. I am thankful for God's grace. I'm thankful for Jesus Christ, who died in my place. I'm thankful that "I'm saved from the wrath of God through Him [Christ]" (Rom 5:9). Salvation is truly from the Lord (Jonah 2:9). Stay tuned for the update

Called According to God's Good Pleasure--A Study on 2 Timothy 1:9

Called According to God’s Good Pleasure—A Study of 2 Timothy 1:9 Text: tou/ sw,santoj h`ma/j kai. kale,santoj klh,sei a`gi,a|( ouv kata. ta. e;rga h`mw/n avlla. kata. ivdi,an pro,qesin kai. ca,rin( th.n doqei/san h`mi/n evn Cristw/| VIhsou/ pro. cro,nwn aivwni,wn( Author’s Translation: [God] who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but on the contrary, according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the eternal times . It is evident from this text that the believer in Jesus Christ is saved by the sheer pleasure and grace of God. This is not a new concept. In the Old Testament, Israel was called by Yahweh to Himself simply because of His sovereign choice: Deuteronomy 7:7-8 7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you Just as God elected