Just two messages today. We had our annual business meeting in the afternoon service time. As always, we had a good spirit among our people with a blessed time of reviewing the past year and our hopes and plans for the coming year.
The Faithfulness of God (Rm 3.3-4) – Romans Series
The foundation of the Gospel is the doctrine of condemnation as developed in Romans 1 and 2. Paul shows that all men, Jew and Gentile, pagan and moral, infidel and religious, all men are under the judgement of God. Our message today deals with the second typical Jewish objection that Paul raises and answers in Rm 3. This objection minimizes Jewish sin and insists that God ‘owes’ the Jews because of his covenant obligations. The assumption was that God might punish a man for his sins, but since he is a Jew and he is in the covenant, he will ultimately be saved. (Many so-called Christians make similar assumptions today.) Paul thoroughly demolishes this objection, using Ps 51.4 in particular to show that God is faithful and righteous in judgement as well as in blessing.
Great Heart Guides Christiana (Pilgrim’s Progress)
In this section, the man Great-heart begins to serve as an escort for Christiana and her company on the pilgrim pathway. The chapter begins with a fairly complicated discussion of the particular righteousness from Christ that is imputed to sinners in salvation, that is, the righteousness of his obedience to the Law. The chapter retraces Christian’s footsteps up the Hill of Difficulty to the cross and then on to the gates of the House Beautiful. Along the way, the company learns the same lessons Christian learned, but in new ways and with new perspectives. Great-heart dispatches a new enemy, Mr. Grim Bloody-man, who would bar their entrance into the House Beautiful as the chapter closes.