Friday, January 27, 2012

Individualism, Marriage, and the Ordinances

I don't think there is any doubt that the church in the West has had a salutary effect on the practice of marriage. But here's a question for you.

Did the church in the West, particularly in America, also lead the way toward the dissolution of marriage by individualizing and interiorizing Christianity by making the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper primarily a matter of what we think in our heads?

For example, consider this proposal for marriage. Is it not similar to the way we treat church membership?

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

A Little Postcript to Jan 15

In our sermon from January 15, I used the "Elephant Room" and the invitation of T. D. Jakes as an illustration of something which tears apart the unity of the body of Christ. Just in case anyone wants to follow up on that, here are a couple good online evaluations. If all this is meaningless to you, that's just fine. Your walk with Christ will thrive without needing to know anything about this. But since some of you are aware of these people and organizations, I post this here.

"After the Circus Parade" by Frank Turk

"Do You Beat Your Wife" by Carl Trueman

Turk's comments are apropos to the entire topic of unity, so let me give his three main points.

1. Someone needs to check the date for Mark Driscoll's shelf life as a reliable person.

2. The Gospel Coalition's response to MacDonald's resignation is par for the course for an organization that, frankly, values unity above the means to achieve unity (which is: sharpening each other with the truth).

3. TGC is not the only organization that has bacon in the fire after yesterday.  

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs 

Who Will Be Your King?

At his last great public declaration before he was crucified, Jesus cried out, "I did not come to judge the world but to save the world" (John 12:47). The world, however, had no interest in responding in kind. It did indeed want to judge Jesus. The darkness wished to overcome him. Jesus was arrested and brought to judgment. Lo and behold, who should he meet first representing the darkness but the high priest. The Jewish leaders, followed by the Jewish people, finally came to the place where they claimed Caesar as their king instead of their Messiah.

The account of Jesus' trial puts the question before us in clear and uncompromising terms, "Who will be your king?" Join us this Lord's Day to acknowledge Jesus as King.

O Father, Thou Whose Love Profound (#29)
What Sacred Fountain Yonder Springs (#132)
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (#137)
Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above (#60)

Scripture Reading
Old Testament: Exodus 23:1-19; Psalm 119:33-48
New Testament: Galatians 1

Who Will Be Your King? - John 18:12-19:16

P.S. Don't forget our annual meeting following the fellowship meal.

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Hour Has Come

Stepping into John 18, we find that the hour has come in which the forces of evil will unleash their fury on God's anointed One. But this is not just the world's doing. It is not merely random acts of wickedness. It is the cup that God the Father gave to his Son. How does Jesus respond? Come and see, and by seeing Jesus, I hope you will see God like you have not seen him before.

And Can It Be? (#335)
Not What These Hands Have Done (#347)
Our Great Savior (#434)
Psalm 23b

Scripture Reading
Old Testament: Exodus 22:16-31; Psalm 119:17-32
New Testament: Romans 16

I AM Will Drink the Cup - John 18:1-11

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Family Worship

If you are just starting family worship, or if you would like some encouragement for your family worship, this looks like a good website:

The introduction to the site states

Family Worship Month is a humble call to the church and to the head of household to spend time with those you love reading the Bible, praying, and/or singing.  As you will learn from these pages, Family Worship has a rich history in the church, it can be easy to implement, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, it can transform your life, your family, and your church.  Sign the Declaration and join a worldwide movement back to Family Worship.   If you currently come together for family worship, tell someone. Share your experiences with your pastor and friends.  If you are just getting started, you have come to the right place.

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs 

The Word Does Its Work

I believe this was a significant factor in the rise of the Puritan movement.

In the twenty-one years between Tyndale’s first Testament in 1526 and Edward's accession in January 1547, there had been sixty-four editions…of a whole English Bible or New Testament. (In the same period, there had been no English printings of a Latin Bible, though there had been twenty-two across Europe.)…It represents a fair proportion of a population of two and a half million reading the Word of God, and uncountably more hearing it read.

After Edward’s succession, merely in his short six-year reign, however…the number of English editions of the whole Bible or New Testament printed was forty. That is an average of between six and seven a year…. This great expansion in the production of English Bibles in the six years under Edward has not been prominent in the writings of Early Modern History. It has, indeed, been quite removed from the picture….

One of the Edwardian editions, of Psalms, marks, probably in 1549, the first appearance of a little book which, with larger contents, was to have colossal influence on British and American religious life, matched only by the New Testament. Modestly entitled Certain Psalms, chosen out of the Psalter by Thomas Sternhold, this book is the first, with nineteen Psalms, of what was to become the phenomenal ‘Sternhold and Hopkins’, all the Psalm arranged metrically for congregational singing….

Using the…probably over-modest figure of an average printing run of two thousand yields a total printed, in Edward’s reign, of some eighty thousand English Bibles, all in six years.

David Daniell, The Bible in English, 245-6

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Living in Unity

"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and  see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one Spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel..." (Phil 1:27).

This is our objective this Lord's Day, to stride forward in our ability to strive side by side for the faith of the gospel. Join us!

Come, Thou Almighty King (#63)
Amidst Us Our Beloved Stands (#230)
By Christ Redeemed, In Christ Restored (#233)
How Sweet and Awful Is the Place (#238)

Scripture Reading
Old Testament: Exodus 22:1-14; Psalm 119:1-16
New Testament: Romans 15

That They May All Be One (continued) - John 17:20-26

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tolle Lege

I'd like to direct your attention to a book recommendation I published on the Religious Affections Ministries website (Augustine's Confessions). And while I'm doing that, I'd encourage you to check out that website regularly for good content to lead you to worship God aright.

High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs

Friday, January 06, 2012

Spiritual Unity

"Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity....There the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forever" (Psalm 133). May we enjoy this as we meet together this Lord's Day.

 All Glory, Laud, and Honor (#11)
Our Great High Priest Is Sitting (#173)
Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove (#211)
Blest Be the Tie that Binds (#219)

Scripture Reading
Old Testament: Exodus 21:20-36; Psalm 133
New Testament: Romans 14

That They May All Be One - John 17:20-26

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


John Owen, "Brief Instruction in the Worship of God"

Question 27 — What are the principal duties of the pastors or teachers of the church?
AnsweraTo be examples unto the flock in faith, love, knowledge, meekness, patience, readiness to suffer for the name and gospel of Christ, with constancy therein; bto watch for the souls and take care of all the spiritual concernments of the whole flock committed to them; cto preach the word diligently, dividing it aright; dto preserve and contend for the truth; eto administer all the ordinances of the gospel duly and orderly; fto stir up and exercise the gifts they have received in the discharge of their whole work and administration of all ordinances; gto instruct, admonish, cherish, and comfort all the members of the church, as their conditions, occasions, and necessities do require; hto attend with diligence, skill, and wisdom unto the discharge of that authority which in the rule of the church is committed unto them.
1 Tim. iii. 1–7, iv. 12; 2 Tim. ii. 3; Col. i. 24; Phil. ii. 17, iii. 17.
Heb. xiii. 17; Acts xx. 28.
2 Tim. ii. 15, iv. 2; Rom. xii. 6–8.
1 Tim. vi. 20; Acts xx. 28; Jude 3.
1 Cor. iv. 1, 2; 1 Tim. iii. 15.
1 Tim. iv. 14–16.
Acts xx. 18–20, 25, 27; 1 Thess. iii. 5; 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25.
Rom. xii. 7, 8; 1 Tim. v. 17.
The answer is full and plain.

Who is sufficient for these things? Brothers, please pray for me and for all whom the Spirit calls to this responsibility.