Thursday, October 25, 2012

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!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

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.

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 exercise authority based upon their own whims rather than looking to the LORD. They lost focus on God.

2. The Teachers Ignored God & His Word.
Those who handle the Word of God, it could be rightly argued, have one of the highest callings on the planet. To stand before people and declare: "Thus says the LORD" is such a monumental task that one should tremble at such a privilege. But the problem with the leaders in Judah was that they were ignorant of God. They did not really know God. They may have been a teacher of the Lord but they didn't know the Lord of the Law. How sad it is when those who supposedly teach the Word are ignorant of that Word and, hence, are ignorant of the God of that Word.

3. The Leadership Arrogantly Sinned Against God.
The rulers of the land transgressed against the LORD. The word "transgression" inherently implies something of prideful arrogance. To transgress means to go beyond the bounds or to trespass what has been marked out. The leadership of the day transgressed against the Lord. They knew what God commanded and they willfully — hence, pridefully/arrogantly — transgressed God's boundaries.

4. The Teachers Spoke According to False Idols.
The prophets are those who took the word from God and spoke to the people saying: "thus says the LORD." However, those who spoke did not speak according to the word of the Lord but they rather spoke according to the idolatrous practices of their gods. What happened was not a coming to the LORD in seeking Him and His Word and recounting that to the people. No! Rather, they spoke whatever the religious practice of Baal might have been. This is blatant idolatry at the most heinous form because it is replacing the Word of God with the human thoughts (and, really, "idolatrous thoughts").

5. The Nation Lived for the Earthly — Not the Heavenly.
The nation walked — that is, "lived" — after things that did not profit. What they lived for was empty. It was vain, futile, void, nothingness. And those who lived in the land loved living for the here and now and thus rejected God and pursued idols. They rejected satisfaction in God for the passing pleasures of the world. They forgot that judgment day is coming. They ignored the reality that a powerful God would bring them to His bar one day & hold them accountable for all their actions. God will repay each person according to what he has done. Indeed, walking after things that do not profit is so dangerous because people think they'll find happiness here while forgetting that an eternity of wrath awaits those who love the present world and live enjoying the pleasures of this age.

Let us learn & be warned from Jeremiah's message!

Monday, October 22, 2012

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 is generous with those whom He saves (Matt 20:15). So the glorious opportunity is ours to give generously to the Lord’s ministry.

2. Give Sacrificially!

On the evening before our Lord was crucified, He commanded His disciples to prepare the Passover dinner. It was here that He reminded them again that He would give His body for His people (Luke 22:19). Indeed, He would shed His blood for His people (Luke 22:20). And according to Hebrews 9:26, Jesus put away sin once and for all through the sacrifice of Himself. By means of the sacrifice of Christ, His people are free and no longer slaves of sin because Christ was offered once to completely and fully bear the sins of many. If Jesus Christ gave so much — sacrificially — of Himself to redeem His people, how much more of a glorious privilege do we have to give sacrificially back to Him. This is why the Apostle Paul writes that he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (2 Cor 9:6).

3. Give Joyfully!

It was for the joy that was set before Christ that He endured the cross, scorned its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the Father. Jesus joyfully gave Himself to redeem sinful man. Jesus spoke to His disciples and told them that He longed for His joy to be in them (John 15:11). So much did Jesus desire their fullness of joy that He prayed to His Father that His followers may have the fullness of His joy in themselves (John 17:13). Christ willingly sacrificed. He joyfully endured. He happily lived. He gave of Himself joyfully so that His followers would have His joy in them till their joy is complete in heaven. So then, we as believers have the utmost opportunity to give of our ourselves and all that we have — including our financial resources — to the Lord. In the context of financial giving, Paul writes that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).

4. Give Expectantly!

The believers in NT churches gave financially and expected the Lord to use it for His glory. The financial gifts were given to messengers who took the money from one church/city to another and they expected the money to bear fruit, increase the Lord’s harvest, and glorify Him. In Philippians 4:17 Paul says to the Church in Philippi after they gave a generous gift to care for spiritual needs that he seeks not only the gift itself but the profit which increases to their account. They gave sacrificially and expectantly that God would provide. An account in Acts 4 reminds us of how sacrificial the Church was in sharing and giving to the Lord’s work and to help others in need when Luke writes: For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need (Acts 4:34-35). So we have the wonderful blessing of affirming 2 Cor 9:10: Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

5. Give Prayerfully!

When a Christian has the privilege of partnering with the Lord in the advancement of His gospel in both the local & global contexts, he should give prayerfully. There should be a prayerfulness in the following regards: (1) a thankfulness that God has richly and graciously provided the financial means to give generously, (2) a petition that God would use these funds for His glory and for the furthering of the Lord’s work, (3) a consecration that God would protect our hearts as we give so that we would shun all greediness and also ask the Lord for more opportunities to give in the future, and (4) a doxology of praise so that may be preeminently exalted through this monetary gift. Furthermore, we should praise, worship, honor, and glorify God as we give and this can express itself in prayerful praise and jubilant worship!

6. Give Gospel-Centeredly!

And we as believers are called to abound in this gracious work also (2 Cor 8:7). A wonderful help that can guide in making decisions on who or where to give to can center around the incorporation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the gift. Giving to an organization about ‘bettering’ humanity is one thing but having the opportunity to support a ministry that is concerned about helping others materially and a primary goal of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ so that they may repent, believe, and grow in their discipleship is quite another. Let us be devoted to giving gospel-centeredly. May God use our gifts to cause the gospel to flourish and grow rapidly. May we give richly and generously from the overflow of our own hearts that have received the saving grace of Christ who gave up everything for us so that we might gain everything in Him.

7. Give Thankfully!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is marvelous. Though He was rich, He became poor for our sake so that we through His poverty might become rich (2 Cor 8:9). What a marvelous sacrifice that eternally purchased sinful rebels and transferred them into the Kingdom of Light! This results in all the spiritual blessings that God has being channeled on to the believer through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:3-5). And so, the Christian who has received the saving mercies of Jesus Christ and who is eternally thankful to God for saving sinners should evidence his thankfulness to the Lord in giving of what he has up to the Lord. Monetary giving in the local church is one way to proves the genuineness of your love for Christ and for others (2 Cor 8:8).

Download the PDF here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

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. 1 Samuel 2:25 — Who Will Intercede For You?

May it be helpful for you in hearing the biblical gospel presented & may you be encouraged to proclaim the glories of Christ with others that God brings into your life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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 supernatural power sovereignly bestowed by God the Holy Spirit.

That’s our strategy. We have no special methods. We follow no church-growth model. We simply preach Christ. We proclaim Him! We want to magnify the greatness of God (=high view of God) and denounce the sinfulness of man (=low view of man) and proclaim the sufficient gospel that God provides and accomplishes in the hearts of His people through saving faith in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.

CFBC’s vision: to be a disciple-making church.

What do we hope to do? What is our vision for the future?
Quite simply, we make it our resolution to be a disciple-making Church. We want to proclaim that every single Christian is mandated by God to be part of the Great Commission. Thus, every Christian is, thus, a missionary, an evangelist, a disciplee, and a disciple-maker. At CFBC, we desire to foster this attitude so that every single person who commits himself to CFBC will be regularly, actively, and intentionally involved in the lives of other believers at CFBC.

More info at the CFBC website & at Pastor Geoff's article page.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

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 & discuss those questions together & search the Scriptures (with the Scripture references provided in the catechism) for the answers.

4. THEN, at CFBC, the children will hear teaching & expositions through the CFBC catechism during the 4:00PM Family Bible Hour.

5. On the way home from Church (or the following day), parents can ask the children what they learned during the Catechism class at CFBC. In other words: what was the exposition about? What application points were brought out? How can the children apply those catechism points to his/her life specifically?

6. Pray daily for God to take His Truth and plant it in the hearts and minds of the young people. Pray that God would regenerate our young people through the power of His Word as it is being taught at home and in the local Church. Pray! Pray! Pray!

We pray that this would be such a beneficial time for our families to be the primary instructors of the children. Then, as CFBC comes alongside of you, it will serve to reinforce what you're already doing throughout the week.

May God be glorified.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

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 accomplishing something for the cause of God in the earth. Our Lord alludes to this evidence of discipleship when He says, “Herein is my Father glorified that you bear much fruit, so shall you be my disciples” (John 15:8).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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" (119:14; cf. vv.20, 127)."

From VanGemeren's commentary, "Psalms," in Expositor's Bible Commentary, 5:59.

Monday, October 8, 2012

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 this Sunday at 4:00PM (during the Family Bible Hour)

WHERE: We will have the children in a classroom where they can sit & listen to the teaching of God's Word.

HOW LONG: Till we finish the catechism (then we can start over again!)

WHAT CATECHISM? The CFBC catechism can be found HERE.

WHO WILL TEACH? Pastor Geoff will rotate with a number of the men of CFBC.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

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 him to let down the corners of the mainsail. "What would be the good of that?" he asked. The young man told him that he and three others had been asking God to send a wind, that it was coming immediately and that there was not a minute to lose, since they were so near the reefs. With a look of contempt, the officer replied with an oath: "Nonsense! You can't pray up a wind." Noticing a few moments later that the topmost sail was beginning to tremble, he said: "That is only a cat's-paw — a mere puff of wind." "Never mind what you think," cried the young man. "Let down the mainsail quickly."

This he was not slow to do. Hearing the heavy tread of the men on deck, the captain came up from his cabin and saw that the breeze had indeed come. In a few minutes they were sailing away from the dangerous reefs, much to the disappointment of the native cannibals on the beach.

Writing of this and similar experiences, the young man said: "Thus God encouraged me, ere landing on China's shores, to bring every variety of need to Him in prayer, and to expect that He would honor the name of the Lord Jesus and give the help which each emergency required."

So we have been introduced to a remarkable man, J. Hudson Taylor, and to the text, John 14:13, which was woven into the fabric of his life and into the texture of his stupendous achievements: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Read the rest of this biography HERE.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!