Wednesday, July 3, 2019

In this blog, the Christ Fellowship Bible Church (www.CFBCSTL.org) leadership seeks to answer some questions that folks have asked:

Part 1


1. Why do you prefer & use the NASB translation?  —  We prefer to use the New American Standard Bible (NASB) as our preferred English translation because of the philosophy of the team of translators to present an English translation that’s true to the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, to be grammatically correct, to be understandable, and to render the terminology, concepts, word order, phrases as faithfully as possible in contemporary English. The NASB is the English translation, in contemporary English, that’s the closest and the most literal to the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Thus, we can say to our congregation: even though you may not know the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic), the Bible you have faithfully presents a translation that is the closest to the original language in word order, terminology, grammatical concepts, and verbal tenses.
 
2. Why do you have a corporate scripture reading & pastoral prayer in the Sunday service? —   Every Sunday when we gather together for corporate worship, we have a particular time during our worship service where a man will read God’s Word out loud and then we will have a lengthy prayer of adoration, confession, supplication, and intercession. When the Word of God is read, the congregation stands in honor of our Majestic King and in honor of the all-sufficient and divinely authoritative Word. The reason we read the Word in this way on Sundays is to hear from the Lord, through His Word, by the Spirit, as a church family. Often we read through books of the Bible (one chapter each week) or perhaps we will read a portion of Scripture (Old or New Testaments; sometimes a reading from both) that supplement the text that will be preached. Then the prayer is a lengthy adoration to God in response to His Word. God has spoken through His Word and then the prayer is the people’s response of praise and worship to God.

3. Why do you preach for one hour?   —  The important feature is not how long one preaches but does the sermon provide enough time to exposit faithfully the text of Scripture that will be preached.  To preach requires that the man of God introduce the text, provide a bit of background to the text and historical details, he outlines the text and exposits the meaning of the text verse-by-verse, he must illustrate his points and support what he says with other Scriptures (the analogy of faith/cross-referencing), he must faithfully apply the text to the hearers’ lives and provide the implications of the text, and then he must present the gospel of Jesus Christ and a call for the lost to repent and believe the gospel. Faithful gospel expositions cannot be done in 15 minute sermonettes. We preach so as to faithfully exposit the truth of God revealed in the Word of God so that the people of God will be blessed, instructed, protected, and nourished on the sound doctrine of Holy Scripture. We do not cave into the cultural mantra of shortening sermons because people’s attention spans can’t handle long expositions. Rather, we seek to faithfully preach God’s Word and we rejoice when God’s people hunger for the Word and cherish the privilege of hearing from the Lord as His Word is faithfully heralded with boldness, faithfulness, clarity, urgency, relevance, and Spirit-given power.

4. How does someone ‘serve’ at CFBC?   —   Frequently someone will ask the question: “How can I serve around here?” What needs to be done? It can be the case that people who ask this question may be looking for a particular ministry, or niche, or volunteer position to fill to accomplish a task or duty or role (a greeter, making coffee, unlocking the doors, Sunday school teacher, etc). One of the ways that we have joyfully responded to this question of how people can serve is to simply state that we have a church family comprised of so-and-so number of members. Pick one, or two, and make it your ministry to serve them faithfully. In other words, our intentional desire is to equip our flock to be serving “one another” as we build solid vines rather than busily drain ourselves in fashioning ornate trellises. We desire to exert our energy and manpower in people ministry and not so much in programs. We’re not anti-programs! But we seek to encourage folks to creatively think of ways to live out the “one another’s” in the Church family with the members. This, then, presents many opportunities for all people to serve so that no one is left out, no one is overlooked, no one is not needed, but rather everyone is invited to come onto the playing field and actively, intentionally, faithfully, proactively, and regularly serve for one another in the church family until every man is ‘complete in Christ.'

5. Do you try to create a casual environment to worship God on Sundays?   —   When you come to the Scriptures, worshiping Almighty God is never a casual encounter. There’s nothing relaxed or easy-going when God meets with His people. In fact, worshiping God in Scripture is often associated with His holiness, His majesty, His power, and the worshiper falling down in prostrate worship before God, the Sovereign King. We do not intend to ‘create’ any environment with the purpose of impressing or catering to people who come to church. Rather, our goal is to be faithful to honor God rightly, revere Him humbly, exalt His Word supremely, and expound His Word clearly. Rather than creating an environment that makes people comfortable, our ultimate ambition is to present the glory of God in such a heavenly and other-worldly way that the corporate worship of the saints is a heaven-like, transcendent, reverent, and awesome occasion where God is magnified, Christ is preached, the gospel is loved, the Spirit is unifying, fellowship is sweet, and worldliness is absent.

More parts will follow in coming days.

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