11.30.08 gbcvic sermon summaries

Not by Rite, Not by Power, but by My Spirit (Rm 2.28-29)
or, What makes a True Jew?

Our concluding message for the second chapter of Romans concludes Paul’s main argument against the Religious man. The Religious man thinks he is exempt from God’s judgement because he has divinely revealed Rites and special judgement escaping Power because of his superior morality and way of life. These notions misunderstand the nature of true acceptance by God, a regeneration of the inner man by the power of the Spirit instead of the works of the flesh.

Pilgrim’s Progress: The Celestial City

We conclude the first half of The Pilgrim’s Progress as we see Christian and Hopeful finally reach the destination of all believers, the Celestial City. We see them linger first in Beulah land, the land where the seasoned saint is partly in this world and partly in the next, then they cross the river of death, entering into the joy of their Lord. Bunyan says (as in his vision the gates to the City close) “After that they shut up the gates; which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them.”

In our own ministry, we have seen many saints go on ahead of us. I can sincerely say that I wish myself among them. Our folks gave what I thought were moving testimonies at the end of this session on that subject. I amplified their words so that you can hear them also, hopefully the distortions at that amplification will not be too distracting.

The Moravians and their Star (Lk 18.18-30)

We begin our Christmas season with an introductory message. The Moravians have a Christmas ornament that is a multi-pointed star. It began as an educational project but quickly became a beloved symbol of Christmas. Four passages are associated with its meaning, these will form our theme for the month of December, all related to the ’star’ and its association with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our first message introduced this theme by taking a look first at the rich young ruler and the spiritual investment to which the Lord called him – give up everything. Then the Lord taught his disciples the principle of multiplied returns – give up everything and get one hundred fold in this life and in the life to come, everlasting life! Exactly what the rich young ruler asked for.

We compared these themes to the spiritual investment Count Zinzendorf made in the 1700s. He was the spiritual leader of the Moravian movement, called by some ‘the rich young ruler who said Yes!’ When Zinzendorf died, his Moravians and their mission sent out over 228 missionaries, seeing many thousands come to Christ, simply because they made the right spiritual investment.

Unfortunately, the modern Moravian church does not match the orthodoxy of former days, but the missionary efforts of the 18th century Moravians are an inspiration to us today.


My apologies for the delay in posting this! (I know the world was waiting with bated breath.) We had a blessed day yesterday and a busy day today.