11.16.08 gbcvic sermons

A Rite is Right only if Law is not Wronged (Rm 2.25)

Our study of Romans moves from showing the insufficiency of even revealed religion to eradicate sin (Rm 2.17-24). Now Paul attacks confidence in the rites of revealed religion. Men made idols out of the rites of Judaism, thinking that their possession and performance of the rites meant they escaped God’s wrath towards sin, failing to realize that their sin invalidated their rituals. The same condition afflicts us today, even us as independent Baptists. We easily make our religious exercises into ‘magic’ rituals that act as ‘charms’ to keep us safe from condemnation. We think that if we regularly attend church, if we’ve been baptized, if we’ve prayed a prayer or walked an aisle, we’ve escaped! But we fail to understand that sins invalidate rituals. What we need is genuine Biblical repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ for our sins. From that faith decision flows the newness of life.

The Enchanted Grounds [Pilgrim’s Progress]

In this session we see Christian and Hopeful keeping themselves wakeful in the Enchanted Grounds by engaging in ‘well managed fellowship’. The specific topic that engages their minds is a discussion of Hopeful’s salvation testimony. In this section Bunyan gives us a clear picture of a soul under conviction and turning to Christ. We made our reading shorter this week to spend more time covering this section in detail.

For Our God is a Consuming Fire (Hb 12.25-29)

This afternoon we considered another distinctive of our Church life, reverent worship. Much has been said all over the world about worship in recent years, but we stand as a body of believers committed to conservative, reverent, traditional worship. By worship we mean more than music, but everything from music to offering to announcements to preaching and all the bits in between. Our reason for insisting on this kind of worship is found in Hb 12.18-29, as the Christian experience is compared to Mt Sinai and found to be far more solemn and far more holy than that awe inspiring experience. We intend to be reverent in worship because God is who He is.

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A smallish crowd today, but blessed services nonetheless.

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