Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

The Upright of Heart as a Metaphor for Integrity.

The Upright of Heart as a Metaphor for Integrity Psalm 11.2 says that the wicked seek to destroy those who are “upright in heart” ( לְיִשְׁרֵי־לֵב). The LXX renders the Hebrew phrase as: τοὺς εὐθεῖς τῇ καρδίᾳ (“the straight ones [=upright] of heart”). The Aramaic Targum renders the phrase in its oft-expanded way:  תקיני  לתריצי לבא (“the firm stability of the upright ones in heart”). Why is this language used to speak about integrity? Why does this describe the godly? I want to offer a few observations concerning this phrase. 1. This phrase refers to the godly person being one who is unbending and standing straight up for the Lord and for His Word. The Hebrew root for “upright” (יָשָׁר) speaks of that which is straight and right. So then, the person who is upright in heart is one who is straight in his life, straight in his course, unbending in his convictions, unswerving in his conduct. Joshua was told not to turn away from the Law of God either to the right or the left (Josh 1.7;

God's priority for your life.

From John MacArthur: Christians must remember that sanctification is God's priority for their lives. It is His will for them (1 Thess 4.3; cf. Heb 12.14) and the result of Christ's death on their behalf — "who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds" (Titus 2.14). All believers are to live for sanctification. They have no other goal in life than to be like Jesus Christ: "The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked" (1 John 2.6). From: John MacArthur, 1 & 2 Thessalonians , MNTC, p.210.

A Definition of the Gospel.

What's the gospel? Puritan Thomas Manton gives a very helpful summary: "The sum of the gospel is this: that all those who by true repentance and faith do forsake the flesh, the world, and the devil, and give themselves up to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as their Creator, redeemer, and sanctifier shall find God as a Father, taking them for his reconciled children, and for Christ's sake pardoning their sin, and by his Spirit giving them his grace; and if they persevere in this course will finally glorify them and bestow upon them everlasting happiness; but will condemn the unbelievers impenitent and ungodly to everlasting punishment." Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton , II:102-3.

The modern gospel versus the biblical gospel.

From JI Packer's introduction to John Owen's The Death of Death in the Death of Christ : There is no doubt that Evangelism today is in a state of perplexity and unsettlement. . . . Without realizing it we have during the past century bartered the gospel (the biblical gospel) for a substitute product which, though it looks similar enough in points of detail, is as a whole a decidedly different thing. The new gospel conspicuously fails to produce deep reverence, deep repentance, deep humility, a spirit of worship, a concern for the church. Why? We would suggest that the reason lies in its own character in content. It fails to make men God-centered in their thoughts and God-fearing in their hearts because this is not primarily what it is trying to do. One way of stating the difference between it and the old gospel is to say that it is too exclusively concerned to be "helpful" to man — to bring peace, comfort, happiness, satisfaction — and too little concerned to g

Preaching that is bold, direct, and most loving.

JC Ryle comments on the preaching of George Whitefield: Whitefield was a singularly bold and direct preacher. he never used that indirect expression "we," which seems so peculiar to English pulpit oratory, and which only leaves a hearer's mind in a state of misty confusion. He met men face to face, like one who had a message from God to them, "I have come here to speak to you about your soul." The result was that many of his hearers used often to think that his sermons were specially meant for themselves. He was not content, as many, with sticking on a meagre-tail-piece of application at the end of a long discourse. On the contrary, a constant vein of application ran through all his sermons. "This is for you, and this is for you." His hearers were never let alone. May the LORD raise up more Whitefield's in our day to passionately, directly, and faithfully address the hearers with the truth of Holy Scripture. Source: J. A. Caiger, "Pre

Ways you can biblically pray for your pastors/elders

Eight Ways to Use Scripture to Pray for Your Pastor 1. Pray that he would conduct himself wisely in a life of obedience that remains above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2) 2. Pray that he would love and be faithful to his wife (Ephesians 5:25-33) 3. Pray that he would raise his children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4) 4. Pray that he would love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30) 5. Pray that he would faithfully shepherd the flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-3) 6. Pray that he would flee temptation (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8) 7. Pray that he would be a man of unceasing prayer (Ephesians 6:18) 8. Pray that he would bind himself to the Scriptures and commit himself to expounding the Word of God rather than his own opinions (2 Timothy 4:1-4) “A commitment to expository preaching takes a firm belief in the power of God’s Word and a humble recognition that the God-appointed means of preaching is better than whatever impressive or efficient model we migh

May this never be said to a preacher

There are some lines that a preacher hopes he never hears. In a sermon on Psalm 7 entitled: " Turn or Burn, " Spurgeon noted how the topic of the wrath of God was seldom preached. Then he pondered how despicable it would be if, in eternity, one would approach him and say the following statement. From Charles Spurgeon: "Sir, you flattered us; you did not tell us of the solemnities of eternity; you did not rightly dwell upon the awful wrath of God; you spoke to us feebly and faintly; you were somewhat afraid of us; you knew we could not bear to hear of eternal torment, and therefore you kept it back and never mentioned it!" May we as preachers be faithful to the Word of God — all of the glories of the Word of God!

The intensity of Kirkland football

What is true repentance? Is there a false repentance that leads to hell?

WHAT IS TRUE REPENTANCE? Is There a False Repentance That Sends to Hell? Geoffrey R. Kirkland Christ Fellowship Bible Church To use the words of the Heidelberg Catechism, godly grief “is to be genuinely sorry for sin, to hate it more and more, and to run away from it” (#89). To answer the question of what the repentance that sends to hell is, we need to examine the biblical truth concerning marks that will accompany true repentance. In other words, a professed repentance without these marks indicating change shows that the repentance is not genuine, real, and lasting. Godly sorrow is an earnest desire. It is a passionate pursuit. It is a zealous pursuit. 2 Corinthians 7:11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. Here are some marks of what biblical,


Very helpful words from D Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The New Testament calls upon us to take action; it does not tell us that the work of sanctification is going to be done for us. . . . We are in the 'good fight of faith', and we have to do the fighting. But, thank God, we are enabled to do it; for the moment we believe, and are justified by faith, and are born again of the Spirit of God, we have the ability. So the New Testament method of sanctification is to remind us of that; and having reminded us of it, it says, 'Now then, go and do it' . (SOURCE: Lloyd-Jones, Romans: Exposition of Chapter 6: The New Man , p.178)

Vince Greene & Family — Serving & Training Pastors in the Philippines

This upcoming week, we at Christ Fellowship Bible Church have the awesome privilege of hosting Vincent Greene and his family. Vincent is raising support to join Sean Ransom serving with TMAI (the Master's Academy International) in the Philippines to train Filipino men to study, interpret, and preach the Word of God faithfully and accurately in their churches. Vincent has visited the Philippines a number of times and has taught modules there and is familiar with the men, the pastors, and the team that he will be working with there. We at CFBC have a wonderful privilege to spent a weekend with Vincent, his wife, Kim, and their children as we serve them, encourage them, and minister to them. WEEKEND SCHEDULE: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 6:30-8:00PM — Meet & greet the Greene family (at Geoff Kirkland's home by the Church) SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 4PM (Family Bible Hour) — Vincent will preach 5PM (Worship Service) — Vincent will preach Please come meet this dear family

When you are angry, what should you do & ask?

From David Powlison : The simplest question to ask about what underlies anger is, “What do I really want?” If you are honest, with God’s help, you can recognize if you really crave to get even, or to hurt someone, or not to be inconvenienced, or to prove someone wrong, or to score points, or to be recognized and appreciated, or to humiliate, or to win, or to get your way. You are ruled by what the Bible terms “self.” SOURCE: David Powlison, "Understanding Anger: Part 1" Journal of Biblical Counseling 14, no. 1 (1995): 52.

Repentance Resources

Last Sunday I preached Jonah 4 at Christ Fellowship Bible Church & much of the sermon showed what true repentance looks like as evidenced by the Ninevites. Here are some very helpful resources on REPENTANCE for further study: The Doctrine of Repentance - by Thomas Watson Repentance - by JC Ryle Repentance & Conversion - sermon by George Whitefield The Necessity of Repentance - by AW Pink Repentance According to 2 Corinthians 7:11 - by John Calvin Faith & Repentance - by Sam Storms Seven Counterfeits of Repentance True Repentance - by Jay Wegter Directions for Hating Sin - by Richard Baxter Repentance - by RL Dabney  The Danger of Delaying Repentance - by Thomas Boston

Call Your People to Repent — Specifically!

Some excellent application demonstrated by George Whitefield: Concluding a sermon on repentance & conversion , he shouts: You young people, I charge you to consider; God help you to repent and be converted, who woos and invites you. You middle aged people, O that you would repent and be converted. You old grey-headed people, Lord make you repent and be converted, that you may thereby prove that your sins are blotted out. O I could preach till I preached myself dead; I could be glad to preach myself dead, if God would convert you! O God bless his work on you, that you may blossom and bring forth fruits unto God. Amen and Amen.  Now there's a way to capture your audience — all of them! Draw them all in group by group, age group by age group so that they must hear, heed, and respond to the gospel message proclaimed!  

There is Evil in the Land!

The responsibility of Jeremiah, given to him by the LORD, was to arise and speak all that God commanded him to say to sinful Judah (1:17). In chapter 2, Jeremiah speaks the LORD's words to Judah and indicts them for their wicked apostasy. I want to look at Jeremiah 2:8  and examine just a few ways that Judah had forsaken the LORD. THE TEXT: Jeremiah 2:8 — "The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me, And the prophets prophesied by Baal And walked after things that did not profit. 1. The Leadership Lost Focus on God. The priests of the land were eager to lead, eager to teach, and eager to exercise their authority but the priests did not say: " where is the LORD ?" One might think that a priest of the LORD might call upon the LORD but in these evil days such was not the case. The leadership, thus, lost focus on God and determined to make decisions, live life, and

The worshipful act of financial giving in the local Church.

The Worshipful Act of Monetary Giving to the Local Church By: Pastor Geoffrey R. Kirkland Christ Fellowship Bible Church Jesus Christ willingly went to the cross to die so that He might ransom men and redeem them to Himself in a saving, eternal, reconciled relationship. If Jesus Christ has given so much for us, should we not be willing to give sacrificially to Him? In what follows, I hope to provide a number of helpful ways you can worshipfully give: 1. Give Generously ! Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost. The initiative was His. The death of Christ sufficiently saves from the penalty of sin. Jesus Christ gave Himself fully, physically, and sacrificially so that you may be pardoned in Him! If Jesus Christ has given so much for you, what a wonderful privilege to give generously back to Him! Those who have money in this world are to be instructed to do good, to be rich in good works and to be generous and ready to share (1 Tim 6:18). Even the character of God is such that he i

Preaching Two Open-Air Sermons

Last night I went to the Metrolink station at the Central West End in St Louis. It is a busy hub where Barnes Jewish Hospital, Children's Hospital, Forest Park, & the CWE all converge. I was there for about an hour and had a number of great conversations. I recorded both of my open air sermons & I'll post them below. My prayer was two-fold as I went out last night: 1) May God cause spiritually dead sinners to hear the gospel proclaimed & respond accordingly. 2) May God cause believers who are walking with Christ to be encouraged to share the faith and proclaim the gospel in their own lives. Here are my two sermons — available on my SERMONS page. You'll note that I constantly go back to the gospel because the people who are walking by may only hear me for about 30 seconds or so. So I constantly recycle the gospel of Christ, regardless of where I am in my exposition of the particular text. 1. Judges 2:11-15 — A Problem that You Can't Fix 2.

Why does CFBC exist?

Why Does Christ Fellowship Bible Church Exist? Geoffrey R. Kirkland Pastor, CFBC ( download the pdf here ) CFBC exists: to glorify God by preaching the Word, evangelizing the lost, discipling the saved, and obeying Jesus Christ—all by the power of the Spirit. Breakdown of mission statement & preaching points: 1. Always Glorify God — A High View of God & His Glory 2. Preach the Word — A High View of Biblical, Expository Preaching 3. Evangelize the Lost — A Biblical View of Evangelism/Conversion 4. Disciple the Saved — A Biblical View of Discipleship/Growth 5. Obey Jesus Christ — A Biblical View of Aggressive Sanctification 6. Depend on the Spirit — A Towering View of the Spirit’s Enabling Power CFBC’s mission must = CFBC’s strategy In other words, CFBC’s strategy is the mission. The way we can glorify God is by preaching the Word, evangelizing the lost, discipling the saved, and walking in worshipful obedience to His commands. This all happens in full dependence and with supern

CFBC Catechism — Teach Your Children Diligently!

This post will offer some ideas as to how you as the families of CFBC can continue to reinforce biblical truths into the minds and the hearts of your young people at home. CFBC is committed to teaching the children of CFBC during the Family Bible Hour (4:00PM) but CFBC affirms that the primary teachers are the parents (both the father and the mother) and the primary teaching environment is the home (throughout the week). A great way to teach and instruct your children in solid theology with practical application is to utilize the catechism — a question & answer teaching format (that is very easy to memorize!). Here are some ideas as to how you could implement this... 1. Download & print the CFBC Catechism HERE . 2. Take a few questions & go through them as a family ( and with your children ) regularly at home throughout the week (dinner, before bed, at the breakfast table, etc.) 3. Ask the family members (both adults & children) if there are questions

How Is God Glorified? Here Is One Aspect — Self-Denial

From Gracegems : Now the heart of depraved man is obstinately averse to such a course of feelings and conduct. Instead of being supremely attached to God and the good of His Kingdom, men are by nature lovers of their own selves. And here lies the controversy between man and his Maker. God requires men to regard His glory as the great end of their existence, but they disregard His requisitions and prefer their own will and ends to His. This is the disposition of every natural heart; hence the mortification of this spirit, and the supreme devotion of the heart and life to the service and glory of God, is evidence of a radical change of moral character. It was the character of Jesus Christ that ‘He went about doing good.” God is served and glorified by a life which is actively engaged in seeking the good of others. Where the heart is seriously and intensely interested in the service of God, it cannot be satisfied without ac

What is biblical wisdom — cf. Psalm 1

Willem VanGemeren wisely asks & answers: "What is the biblical wisdom that the psalmists speak of so frequently? First, wisdom calls for a response . The invitation is open to all (34:11-12; cf. Prov 1:8-9; 2:1-3:10). Regardless of age, social standing, or gender, whether Jew or Gentile, God expects the response of love and submission to him (49:1-3). Those who devote themselves to a loving response may have to undergo fatherly discipline: "it was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees" (119:71). Out of the brokenness of heart, the godly learn wisdom; and out of gratitude they seek wisdom. The way of wisdom demands total commitment: "Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart" (119:2; cf v. 3, 10). Since God is greater than any treasure, the love for God demands the ultimate sacrifice — total loyalty and discipleship: "I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches" (1

Catechizing our children at CFBC! This Sunday, Oct 14th...

Starting this upcoming Sunday, October 14th, Christ Fellowship Bible Church will be teaching a Catechism class for our younger children. Charles Spurgeon said it well: I am persuaded that the use of a good Catechism in all our families will be a great safeguard against the increasing errors of the times, and therefore I have compiled this little manual from the Westminster Assembly's and Baptist Catechisms, for the use of my own church and congregation. Those who use it in their families or classes must labour to explain the sense; but the words should be carefully learned by heart, for they will be understood better as years pass. And we at CFBC want to come alongside of the families — where the primary teaching and instructing of children must take place as they live home life together day after day — and allow the men of CFBC to pour biblical, solid, theological, and practical truths into the hearts of our young people. WHEN: The catechism class will start thi

Hudson Taylor — A man of prayer & trust.

In the year 1854 a sailing vessel was becalmed in the vicinity of New Guinea. Seeing the distressed look on the captain's face as he peered intently into the sea, a young Englishman inquired as to the cause of his anxiety. This was the reply: "A four-knot current is carrying us swiftly toward some sunken reefs over there. Our fate seems to be sealed." On the shores of the island, cannibals were rushing about and lighting fires in great glee. Presently the captain spoke again: "We have done everything that can be done." "No," responded the young man, "there is one thing we haven't done. Four of us on board are Christians. Let each of us retire to his cabin and in agreed prayer ask the Lord to give us a breeze immediately." This was agreed upon and done. After a few minutes of earnest intercession, the young man came up on deck confident that the petition had been granted. Finding the first officer, a godless man, in charge, he requested

Biblical Study on the 1,000 Year Millennium

Join us this Sunday night at Christ Fellowship Bible Church as we study the biblical period of the Messianic Kingdom. We will look at a number of elements that will characterize this important area of study. This is a very neglected doctrine in theological studies and the future hope that we as believers have of "reigning with Christ" on earth during the Kingdom should encourage us and energize us with hope and expectation! See you this Sunday at 4PM at CFBC!

Duties of a HUSBAND and a WIFE to each other (good counsel!)

Richard Baxter provides six helpful points on the husband and wife's roles to each other. Duties of a husband & wife to each other: 1. Entirely to love each other … and avoid all things that tend to quench their love. 2. To dwell together, and enjoy each other, and faithfully join as helpers in the education of their children, the government of the family, and the management of their worldly business. 3. Especially to be helpers of each other’s salvation: to sir up each other to faith, love, and obedience, and good works: to warn and help each other against sin, and all temptations; to join in God’s worship in the family, and in private: to prepare each other for the approach of death, and comfort each other in the hopes of life eternal. 4. To avoid all dissensions, and to bear with those infirmities in each other which you cannot cure: to assuage, and not provoke, unruly passions; and, in lawful things, to please each other. 5. To keep conjugal chastity and fidelity,

The Use of the OT in the OT. How does the OT quote itself?

The Use of the OT in the OT — “The LORD is my Strength & My Song” By: Geoffrey R. Kirkland Christ Fellowship Bible Church The Biblical Texts Themselves: Exodus 15:2 (MT & Eng)  עָזִּ֤י וְזִמְרָת֙ יָ֔הּ וַֽיְהִי־לִ֖י לִֽישׁוּעָ֑ה זֶ֤ה אֵלִי֙ וְאַנְוֵ֔הוּ אֱלֹהֵ֥י אָבִ֖י וַאֲרֹמְמֶֽנְהוּ׃ (“Yahweh is my strength & song. And he has become my salvation. He is my God and I will praise Him; the God of my Fathers & I will exalt Him.”) Isaiah 12:2 (MT & Eng)  הִנֵּ֙ה אֵ֧ל יְשׁוּעָתִ֛י אֶבְטַ֖ח וְלֹ֣א אֶפְחָ֑ד כִּֽי־עָזִּ֤י וְזִמְרָת֙ יָ֣הּ יְהוָ֔ה וַֽיְהִי־לִ֖י לִֽישׁוּעָֽה׃ (“Behold God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid for Yahweh, the LORD, is my strength and song. And he has become my salvation.”) Psalm 118:14 (MT & Eng)  עָזִּ֣י וְזִמְרָ֣ת יָ֑הּ וַֽיְהִי־לִ֗֜י לִֽישׁוּעָֽה׃ (“Yahweh is my strength and song. And He has become my salvation.”) Examination of Specific Texts: The earliest occurrence of the phrase “my strength and song and He has

How do your hardships in life fit with the command to be JOYFUL?

Here is how John Piper connects the dots (in commenting on how Jonathan Edwards connected joy & suffering together): Yes, becoming a Christian adds more trouble to life and brings persecutions, reproaches, suffering, and even death. Yes, there are overwhelming sorrows. But the pursuit of infinite pleasure in God, and the confidence that Christ has purchased it for us, does not contradict these sufferings, but carries them. By this joy and this hope we are able to suffer on the Calvary road of ministry and missions and love. "For the joy that was set before him" Jesus endured the cross ( Hebrews 12:2 ). He fixed his gaze on the completion of his joy. That gaze sustained the greatest act of love that ever was. The same gaze-the completion of our joy in God-will sustain us as well. The pursuit of that joy doesn't contradict suffering, it carries it. The completion of Christ's great, global mission will demand suffering. Therefore, if you love the nations, p

The Power of UNforgiveness

The Drama in the Home Everybody loves Bill. The consensus is that his perceived spiritual maturity and humble servant’s heart have been an encouragement to many. When he isn’t running his moderately successful engineering firm, he volunteers for his local church. The pastors love him and usually include him in their quarterly planning retreats. There is one problem however. Bill’s wife, Mary, cannot stand him. No one knows this, but Bill. She has been living with a low-grade animosity toward him for nearly 20 years. The only reason she has not left is because of the stigma of divorce and what it would do to their kids. Mary’s issue with Bill is that he is a hypocrite and her assessment is spot on. Bill is a self-absorbed religionist, who has learned how to manage the gap between who he really is and the person he presents himself to others . The problem for Bill is that he cannot maintain his hypocrisy in every context of his life. His home is the one place where he

Biblical Counseling resources

Here are some very helpful resources to inform your thinking on biblical (" nouthetic" ) counseling . INTRODUCTORY ARTICLES Is There Any Difference Between Biblical Counseling & Christian Psychology? by John MacArthur and Wayne Mack. This is a very helpful, brief, and compelling overview showing the vast differences between biblical/nouthetic counseling and the so-called Christian psychology methods. What Distinguishes Biblical Counseling from Other Methods? by David Powlison In this blog entry, Powlison shows how biblical counseling is fundamentally different than other methods because the view of God, man, sin, hope, and change are all vastly different. The Mandate for Biblical Counseling by Paul Tautges There are helpful resources here, quotes, definitions, and he draws the link (rightly so!) between discipleship and biblical counseling. We Are All Called to Counsel In this blog, Jeremy Lelak argues that every Christian is called to counsel one another