Tuesday, December 22, 2015

At Christ Fellowship Bible Church, we just concluded a series called: "A Godly Home" where we looked at God's Word on various issues related to home/family life so as to understand God's perspective and to glean God's wisdom on the family.

A GODLY HOME teaching series at Christ Fellowship:

1. Introduction to the series: "A Godly Home"  |  audio
Geoff Kirkland
2. The meaning of marriage (Genesis 2)  |  audio
Geoff Kirkland

3. The husband's duties to his wife (Ephesians 5:25-33)  |  audio
Geoff Kirkland

4. The wife's duties to her husband (Ephesians 5:22-24)  |  audio
Geoff Kirkland

5. Godly communication in the marriage (Selected Scriptures)  |  audio
Geoff Kirkland

6. The intoxicating delight of sexual intimacy in marriage (Selected Scriptures)  |  audio
Geoff Kirkland

7. Forgiveness in a godly marriage (Matthew 18:21-35)  |  audio
Randy Kirkland

8. The goals of Christian parenting, part 1  (Selected Scriptures)  |  audio
Geoff Kirkland
9. The biblical method for parenting: bring your children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)  |  audio
Geoff Kirkland

10. Family worship  (Selected Scriptures)  |  audio
Jason Woelm
11. Your singleness & undistracted devotion to Christ (Luke 2:36-38)  |  audio
Geoff Kirkland
Download the full PDF notes from all the sessions  |  pdf

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

1. obedience.
I preach the Word because God commands me to do so. In obedience to my Savior, I herald His truth from His Word to listening ears. Why must I preach the Word? Because God calls His prophets to take His words and speak them to His people (Jer 23:28). God has given us His Word and all men everywhere must hear His truth. Christ tells me to “preach the Word” and to be ready “in season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:1-5). I preach because God commands me to do it. I preach to be obedient to my Master.

2. trust.
I preach the Word because I trust it will accomplish supernatural results. The preaching act is the most powerful force that the universe has ever known. Faithful preaching is the word of the living God going forth through His mouthpiece to hearers. Nothing in all existence carries as much power and authority than does the heralding of God’s truth from His Book. So, I preach because I trust it will accomplish great things. I trust that God will work through the preaching event. I believe God that He will use His word to pierce, convict, convert, and change souls. I trust God and therefore I preach.

3. power.
I preach the Word because I want spiritual power to permeate the place of worship. If a gathered group of people have anything in the world and everything in the world but the preaching of the Word of God (which must be attended with much, fervent prayer) then it is a man-centered, man-empowered show that will accomplish temporary, earthly results that will benefit souls whatsoever. I preach the Word because God speaks through His Word. Therefore, almighty power from God the Creator thunders forth as I, His herald and messenger, open my mouth with His words and faithfully impart His truth from the written text. The Word goes forth in demonstration of the Spirit and of power! So, then, I gladly preach!

4. conversions.
I preach the Word because I want conversions! I preach to convert! I preach to change souls. I preach to snatch hellbound souls from the flames and persuade them to abandon their sin, their wickedness and their selfishness and to pursue Christ, His glory, and His love! Of course, I cannot do any of these things. Only God can! The Father draws! The Son gives life to all whom He wills, and the Spirit quickens dead souls to new life. But I preach God’s Word from His Book for His glory so that His elect may be drawn to the matchless Savior by grace! If I gave up preaching, then I would forfeit God’s primary method for the converting of souls. God gladly uses the heralding of His Word in the saving of sinners. Thus, I preach to convert!

5. transformation.
I preach the Word because I earnestly desire that God’s people be transformed more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. I passionately want Christians to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. I long for saints to practice their position; that is, to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. I preach to transform. God has given me the ultimate privilege of proclaiming the glories of Him who calls vile sinners out of darkness and into His marvelous light so that those who embrace Christ as Savior and Lord will love Him more dearly, serve Him more fully, honor Him more heartfully, seek Him more earnestly, enjoy Him more satisfyingly, and proclaim Him more urgently! I preach the Word because preaching is the means by which God sanctifies His people. God’s sheep hear His voice and follow Him. I preach so God’s people are transformed into the likeness of Christ from glory to glory. I preach to change! I preach so believers may be made like Christ.

6. called.
I preach the Word because I’ve been called by God to preach. Nothing in all the world could even compare with the unspeakable privilege and undaunted burden of heralding the unfathomable Christ in this world. No amount of money could ever compel me to quit preaching. No job offer, physical abuse, or violent threats could ever cause me to cease heralding Christ because He has called me to preach. And since God has called me to preach, I’ll preach till he tells me to stop preaching. And this He will not do since He tells me to preach to all creation till all have heard and to speak and keep speaking and to speak in season and out. So then, God has called me and I have been seized and caught and gripped and compelled to obey my Savior to preach Him. Like Paul, God has not called me for any ministry but to preach the Word not in cleverness of speech so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. I heartily, happily and wholly give myself to the relentless study of Scripture, to the incessant proclamation of the gospel, to the urgent pleading with souls, and to the prayerful dependence upon God’s Spirit in and through the preaching-event. So, I preach because I must. I’m a called man!

7. foundation.
I preach the Word because the foundation for all of life, godliness, thinking, and conduct must come from the Word of God. Thus, believers cannot be sanctified without the Word of God. The lost cannot find Christ apart from the hearing of the gospel. The foundation of everything is the gospel of grace and the glory of Christ and the crosswork of this Redeemer. As the hymnwriter accurately penned it: “How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!” Indeed, I preach the Word because the Scriptures constitute the foundation of my life -- and of every believer’s life. One cannot overcome the world, the flesh, the devil, yes, even one’s own sinful and fleshly desires without the sure foundation of God’s Word. So I preach to provide a solid foundation for God’s people so that they will think rightly about life, live intently for God, and focus triumphantly on heaven! The foundation for all of godliness is God’s precious and sure promises. And these, He has given in Holy Scripture! Thus, the burden rests on me to preach the Word for this is the Rock!

8. passion.
I preach the Word because God has burned in my soul a passion to know Him, to understand His Word, and to impart the saving and transforming gospel of Jesus Christ. I have an indomitable passion to study the Word and an insatiable hunger to know God and plunge into the bankless oceans of Scripture. This drives me to passionate preparation, passionate prayer, and passionate preaching. O that God would grant me to preach with even greater passion! May it never be that men of God rise with God’s Word in hand and preach without passion. If the Word of God and the God of the Word has not grabbed the heart and soul of the herald why would the hearers want to receive and embrace this message? I must preach the Word because I believe that Christ was a preacher with passion! John the Baptist was a man full of passion. Whitefield preached passionately as tears streamed down his face as he heralded in the open fields. Jeremiah wept as he preached passionately God’s truth to faithless Judah. With a passion for His glory and a hunger to convey the importance of the moment, I preach with passion!

9. instruction.
I preach the Word of God for the instruction of God’s people not only in theological truths but also in the method by which God’s people should read, study, and interpret the Bible. That is to say, the way that I study, prepare, bring truths together, and preach the text of Scripture is a form of instruction to the hearers so that they will emulate how to rightly divine the Word of truth. So then, the Word instructs the mind with divine things as it faithfully goes forth but it also instructs the mind in how God’s people can read, study, observe, interpret, and apply God’s Word rightly so as to understand the authorial intent of the text and the proper application to one’s life today. I preach the Word to instruct.

10. eternity.
I preach the Word of God because I believe in heaven and hell. I know that all those to whom I preach will live on eternally in the blessed joys of heaven or in the just torments of hellfire. Eternity hangs in the balances as I herald. Sermons make men holier in their walk with Christ or hardened in their stubborn unbelief. God has revealed His eternal truth in an eternal Book about His eternal Son who made a sufficient atonement once for all time. This message captivates me and it consumes me. And I pray that as I ascend to the pulpit to herald I would always preach for eternity knowing that it may be my last sermon I ever preach and it very well may be the last sermon that some may ever hear. It may be the only chance that some have to hear the gospel and to hear the call to repent and trust in Christ for eternal life! So I preach for souls to be snatched from the eternal pangs of death and to be won, by God’s grace, to the eternal life in God’s Son. I preach knowing that the message that I declare, in so far as it faithfully comes from the text of Scripture, can powerfully convert lifeless souls! With that, I gladly preach not just for a temporary result, or to bring in more numbers, or to generate more money. No! I preach to win souls who will gather round heaven’s throne and worship the Lamb who was slain for sinners!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Make the Most of Your Winter Break
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Many students will return home from college after finals week and will have a few weeks off of school. Some students may go to previous employments to work for the break. Others will not work for the few weeks that they’re home and will choose, rather, to relax and spend time with family and friends. It is my goal in this brief essay to strongly plead with you, precious young men and women, to not squander these days but rather to use them wisely and make the most of your winter break. 

I want to provide for you six loving exhortations for your serious consideration.

1. Read your Bible.
Either you will proactively resolve to read your Bible or you will not determine to do so with the result that it probably will get left on the shelf without finding the place of priority in your schedule. Young people, remember that nothing in all of the world so profits your soul and satisfies your heart than the precious words of the living God as revealed in Holy Scripture. If there is one thing to diligently invest your time in this break, do not let it be video games, movies, sleeping in, laziness, or immorality. Rather, resolve now to devote yourself to the reading of your Bible and persevere in this happy duty. Read the Bible and let God speak to your heart through His truth. It will change you. It will comfort you. It will reprove you. It will bless you. It will guide you. It will strengthen you. Spend your winter break reading your Bible! Plan now to read a handful of chapters each day. Even do this in both the Old and the New Testaments. It’s worth it. You can make the time. Prioritize it. Love it. Invest in it. Believe it. Hope in it. Plan for it.

2. Discipline your body.
Control and master your body. It belongs to God anyway. And He has given it to you to use for His glory. So make sure that you discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness over this winter break. Don’t let one day pass without buffeting your body and making it your slave. Don’t be mastered by it; you must endeavor to master it! Serve Christ with your body. Rise early and awaken the dawn with prayer and Scripture reading. Live every hour to God’s glory. It’s all a gift from Him and should be used for His purposes and for His service! Bodily discipline has little profit but godliness is profitable for all things because it holds promise not only for this temporal life but also for the eternal one to come! So, precious young people: discipline your body! Master it! Use it for Christ’s glory! Let all that you do with your body, everywhere your body goes, and all that the eyes of your body look at, and all that the hands of your body touch, let it all be disciplined for the glory of Christ, by the power of the Spirit, and for the fame of God’s Name! Resolve to live with discipline this winter break!

3. Pray with earnestness.
Whatever you do, pray! Young people nothing that you can do would so benefit your soul, shake the world, and impact the kingdom of God more than you praying to the Lord of heaven and earth with earnestness, with persistence, with belief, and with expectancy. Down to your knees. Get out of bed early! Stay up late with your BIble open instead of the TV before you. Call upon your beloved Bridegroom. As He speaks to you through His written word, respond to Him with verbal cries! Worship Him! Praise Him! Adore Him! Ponder His attributes! Confess your sin! Repent of your daily sins! Thank Him for your family! Thank Him for daily provisions! Ask Him for more strength, energy, grace, joy, and power! Pray much this winter break!

4. Speak of Jesus.
Don’t let others look down on your youth but set an example for them in speech. Speak much and speak often and speak delightfully of your Savior. Lay forth all the ways your Savior has blessed you! Proclaim the wondrous works of the Lord on your behalf! Speak of Jesus to your family, to your siblings, to your coworkers, to folks at the gym, to people in the mall, and to strangers walking down the street. Your Savior was unashamed to speak of you, to live for you, to die for you, and to bear God’s holy wrath for you, so you speak much of His great love for you and of His great atonement on your behalf! The gospel spreads as God’s people proclaim it. So precious student: proclaim Him who delivered you from hell and drew you to Himself. Warm your heart with His tender affection for you and then persuasively, passionately and earnestly speak of your wonderful Savior to others! He who wins souls is wise!

5. Serve your church.
God’s plan revolves around the local church. God has a people that He has chosen who are to do His work for His glory in His way. You would do well to involve yourself in God’s plan for this is the centerpoint of God’s program. God’s glory is manifested through the church. So, during your Christmas break, young person, serve your church. Call your pastors and seek to meet with them (yes, even offer to pay for their cup of coffee) and ask how you can specifically pray for them, for the ministry, for their families, and for their own hearts. Get specific, take notes, and ask them how you can serve during your break at home from school. What needs to be done? Who needs to be discipled? What ministry needs encouragement? What missionaries or families or young mothers or divorcees or single parents need a hand-written letter and a dessert dropped off to them with a smile, an encouraging remark, and a prayer for God’s strength? Serve by attending. Serve by arriving early. Serve by preparing for corporate worship. Serve by praying much for the preacher, for the congregation, for the Spirit’s anointing on the minister, and for Christ-glorifying fellowship. Ask an older member of the flock to meet with you and share wisdom with you from Scripture. Yes, dear shy college student: you take the initiative and you pursue an older person to mentor you -- even if it’s for a few weeks.

6. Love the brethren.
As one who has turned from sin and is trusting in Christ alone for eternal life, you are part of the body of Christ and are called by God to serve one another through love. Dear young student, consider for a moment how God loved you. He loved your first, he came to you and initiated love, he loved you even when you didn’t deserve it, want it, merit it, and welcome it. He loved you when you were His enemy. He loved you when you didn’t respond with kindness. He loved you sacrificially by sending His own Son, the Lord Jesus, to be your substitute and wrath-bearing offering. So love others with that same kind of love that you have received from Christ! He loved you and gave Himself for you. This winter break, make it your ambition to love others in the flock and give of yourself for them. Maybe start small. Pick a couple of people on Sunday and initiate contact with them. Shake their hand. Get to know them. Ask them questions. Then, contact them during the week and encourage them. Ask how you can pray for them. Perhaps see how you can come together and serve another person or family in the flock. Love each other, serve each other, sacrifice for each other (time, money, convenience, etc.). Be an intentional and a loving Christfollower this winter break. Serve with great love for Christ! Love His people with the same degree that you have received. Find a person sitting alone on Sunday and invite them to sit with you. Find a younger person and intentionally reach out to them and encourage them. Find an elderly person and ask how you can pray for them for the upcoming week. Love the same way that Christ loved you and you will bless others, be filled with blessing yourself, and glorify Christ as you love the brethren. Maximize your winter break! This won’t just magically or automatically happen. But with some intentionality and with some planning and determination, you can glorify Christ and serve His church for the weeks that you’re home for Christmas break. The glory of Christ is worth it! The good of the church is worth it! The witness to the lost is worth it! The gospel of grace is worth it! And for the joy of your own soul, make the most of your winter break by thinking through these issues and not letting these precious God-given weeks slip through your hands.
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