Church SHOULD Be Boring!

I came across the following article and I could not agree more.  As one who walked away from the praise band of a “church” that prided itself on being exciting, relevant and progressive, I want to thank you, Todd Bordow, for saying what I have been thinking for a long time and what led me away from an “exciting” church to a church that does not coddle the goats, but feeds the sheep!

If the cross of Christ is foolishness to those perishing (I Cor. 1:18), shouldn’t a worship service be the most boring thing imaginable to those the Spirit is not bringing to Christ or has not already brought to Christ? Either the simple truths of the cross are glorious, or foolish; worth as much as the greatest treasure, or worthless for usefulness in everyday life. When churches try to make worship interesting, fun and relevant, are they not implicitly admitting that the cross of Christ needs help to excite people, that the gospel is really not enough? Admittedly preachers can boor genuine believers with poor organizational and communication skills, but churches should not try to change the message or simple medium of direct communication (preaching) to make the service any less “boring” to those who complain of such things, less they deny the heavenly power of the gospel to save and strengthen God’s people. When people complain about our services being too boring for them, whether they want more politics, social commentary, entertainment, or legalistic rules, that is not always a bad thing. It could be you are refusing to coddle them with earthly substitutes for heavenly manna, manna which only tastes delicious to those with eyes of faith. So hang in there – being boring isn’t always a bad thing!

Round Up

Logic On Fire – Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks this question, “What is preaching?”  I’m looking forward to this documentary.

What the Cross Says – The cross speaks of benediction, of pardon, joy and peace with God. It tells you that God is ready to forgive you. It says, listen to me, your sin has been punished. I am here because this is the punishment of sin.

Vague Pastors – When you don’t preach on something, you are preaching on that thing. You are just saying what you think won’t be as controversial or the thing that won’t lose you your following.

Upon This Rock – Jesus said to Simon, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

Sinners in the Hands of a Patient God – Finding Jonathan Edwards.

Quote:

The emanation or communication of the divine fullness, consisting in the knowledge of God, to love him, and joy in him, has relation to God as its fountain, as the thing communicated is something of its internal fullness. The warm stream is something of the fountain; and the beams of sun are something of the sun. (Jonathan Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World)

A Conversation In Eternity Past

Here you may suppose the Father to say, when driving his bargain with Christ for you:

Father. My son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls And thus Christ returns.

Son. O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety; bring in all your bills, that I may see what they owe you; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-reckonings with them; at my hand shall you require it. I will rather choose to suffer your wrath than they should suffer it: upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.

Father. But, my Son, if you undertake for them, you must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, I will not spare you.

Son. Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures, (for so indeed it did, 2 Cor. 8:9. “Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor”) yet I am content to undertake it. Blush, ungrateful believers, O let shame cover your faces; judge in yourselves now, has Christ deserved that you should stand with him for trifles, that you should shrink at a few petty difficulties, and complain, this is hard, and that is harsh? O if you knew the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in this his wonderful condescension for you, you could not do it.

From The Covenant of Redemption – John Flavel

Spurgeon Thursday

 CONSOLATION IN CHRIST

NO. 348

A SERMON DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, DECEMBER 2, 1860,

BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,

AT EXETER HALL, STRAND

       “If there is therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy.”

Philippians 2:1.

spurgeon5THE language of man has received a new coinage of words since the time of his perfection in Eden. Adam could scarce have understood the word consolation for the simple reason that he did not understand in Eden the meaning of the word sorrow. O how has our language been swollen through the floods of our griefs and tribulations! It was not sufficiently wide and wild for man when he was driven out of the Garden into the wide, wide world. After he had once eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, as his knowledge was extended so must the language be by which he could express his thoughts and feelings.

But, my Hearers, when Adam first needed the word consolation, there was a time when he could not find the fair jewel itself. Until that hour when the first Promise was uttered, when the Seed of the woman was declared as being the coming Man who should bruise the serpent’s head Adam might masticate and digest the word sorrow. But he could never season and flavor it with the hope or thought of consolation—or if the hope and thought might sometimes flit across his mind like a lightning flash in the midst of the tempest’s dire darkness—yet it must have been too transient, too unsubstantial, to have made glad his heart, or to soothe his sorrows.

Consolation is the dropping of a gentle dew from Heaven on desert hearts beneath. True consolation, such as can reach the heart, must be one of the choicest gifts of Divine mercy. And surely we are not erring from sacred Scripture when we avow that in its full meaning, consolation can be found nowhere except in Christ who has come down from Heaven and who has again ascended to Heaven to provide strong and everlasting consolation for those whom He has bought with His blood.

You will remember, my dear Friends, that the Holy Spirit, during the present dispensation, is revealed to us as the Comforter. It is the Spirit’s business to console and cheer the hearts of God’s people. He does convict of sin. He does illuminate and instruct. But still the main part of His business lies in making glad the hearts of the renewed, in confirming the weak and lifting up all those that are bowed down. Whatever the Holy Spirit may not be, He is evermore the Comforter to the Church and this age is peculiarly the dispensation of the Holy Spirit in which Christ cheers us not by His personal presence, as He shall do by-and-by, but by the indwelling and constant abiding of the Holy Spirit the Comforter.

Now, mark—as the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Christ is the Comfort. The Holy Spirit consoles, but Christ is the Consolation. If I may use the figure, the Holy Spirit is the Physician, but Christ is the Medicine. He heals the wound, but it is by applying the holy ointment of Christ’s name and grace. He takes not of His own things, but of the things of Christ. We are not consoled today by new revelations, but by the old Revelation explained, enforced and lit up with new splendor by the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit the Comforter. If we give to the Holy Spirit the Greek name of Paraclete, as we sometimes do, then our heart confers on our blessed Lord Jesus the title of the Paraclesis. If the one is the Comforter the other is the Comfort.

I shall try this morning, first, to show how Christ in His varied positions is the Consolation of the children of God in their varied trials. Then we shall pass on, secondly, to observe that Christ in His unchanging nature is the Consolation to the children of God in their continual sorrows. And lastly, I shall close by dwelling awhile upon the question as to whether Christ is a consolation to us—putting it personally, “Is Christ a present and available consolation for me.”

I. First, CHRIST IN HIS VARIED POSITIONS IS THE CONSOLATION FOR THE MANY ILLS OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD.

Our Master’s history is a long and eventful one. But every step of it may yield abundant comfort to the children of God. If we track Him from the highest Throne of Glory to the Cross of deepest woe and then through the grave up again the shining steeps of Heaven and onward through His mediatorial kingdom, on to the day Continue reading

Secured By Christ

Donald CarsonEverything that we know and appreciate and praise God for in all Christian experience both in this life and in the life to come springs from this bloody cross.

Do we have the gift of the Spirit? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we enjoy the fellowship of saints? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Does he give us comfort in life and death? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Does he watch over us faithfully, providentially, graciously, and covenantally? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we have hope of a heaven to come? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we anticipate resurrection bodies on the last day? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Is there a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we now enjoy new identities, so that we are no longer to see ourselves as nothing but failures, moral pariahs, disappointments to our parents—but deeply loved, blood-bought, human beings, redeemed by Christ, declared just by God himself, owing to the fact that God himself presented his Son Jesus as the propitiation for our sins? All this is secured by Christ on the cross and granted to those who have faith in him.

— D. A. Carson Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 70-71

Daily Roundup

Sola Scriptura Our Only Foundation – Scripture is our only and definitive source of of knowledge of who God is.  Lets get back to Scripture.

Are Bigger Churches Better?– A global survey conducted by Christian Schwartz found that smaller churches consistently scored higher than large churches in seven out of eight qualitative characteristics of a healthy church.

The Secret of Sanctification – A hint:  It starts at the Cross.
The Ministry, A 4 Part Sermon Series by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson  – 4 Sermons that deal with Preachers and Preaching.
Don’t Settle for Your Mediocre Preaching – While this article is aimed more at ministers of the Word, the laity should hold their pastors accountable also (wonder if that last part will preach).
Quote:

He that wishes to attain right views about Christian holiness, must begin by examining the vast and solemn subject of sin. He must dig down very low if he would build high. A mistake here is most mischievous. Wrong views about holiness are generally traceable to wrong views about human corruption. – J C Ryle