Monthly Archives: July 2008

Audio from the First Chapter of Acts

I have been a little scarce lately on the blog–sorry. I’ve been busy trying to understand the book of Acts!

You can access the audio from my first three sermons below:

Acts 1:1-5–The Church Unstoppable

Acts 1:6-11 Jesus is Coming!

Acts 1:12-26 The Lord Knows Your Heart

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A Pastoral Prayer from a Professor

Jim Hamilton’s prayer for his past and future students:

These Students, Lord, are yours to bless.
Make them mighty warriors;
For our own frailty, we confess,
That all glory may be yours

Come, we pray, and in our weakness,
Set forth Thine awesome power.
You are our God. In you we rest.
Your name is our strong tower.

We come to you through Christ our Lord,
Who ever lives and reigns
With Thee and the Holy Spirit.
One nature, three persons, Lord.

Thine be the glory forever,
World without end, Amen.

Read Jim’s full post on his prayer during transition here.

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The Baptist Mark of the Church is…

Regenerate Church Membership. Read this helpful post by Nathan Finn. Here’s a preview:

The foundational theological distinctive among Baptist Christians is a commitment to a regenerate church membership. My colleague John Hammett goes so far as to call regenerate church membership “the Baptist mark of the church.”[1] Proponents of this position argue that a local church’s membership is to be comprised only of individuals who have been born again and placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

(HT: Between the Times)

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New Series on the Church from the Book of Acts

Recently I began a journey through what may be the most exciting book in the New Testament, the book of Acts. The title for this series of sermons is “The Church Unstoppable!”

You can now download or listen to the first installment of this series as I introduce the book and think through the first five verses. Below you’ll find the dates and sermon titles for upcoming messages. If you are in the Houston area on a Sunday, we’d love to see you at Redeemer. May the Lord prosper his word!

7/20/08 “The Lord Knows Your Heart” Acts 1:12-26
7/27/08 “The Church Ablaze” Acts 2:1-13
8/3/08 “Jesus Conquers Death” Acts 2:14-24
8/10/08 “Jesus is Exalted” Acts 2:25-36
8/17/08 “How Can I Be Saved?” Acts 2:37-41
8/24/08 “The Church: A Display of God’s Glory” Acts 2:42-47
8/31/08 “Strengthened by the Power of God’ Acts 3:1-10
9/7/08 “Heed the Message” Acts 3:11-26
9/14/08 “Why One Way?” Acts 4:1-12
9/21/08 “Speaking of Jesus” Acts 4:13-22
9/28/08 “Strengthened by Persecution” Acts 4:23-31
10/5/08 “A Common Center” Acts 4:32-37, Preacher: Billy Newhouse
10/12/08 “Protection, Pride and Perseverance” Acts 5:1-16, Preacher: Billy Newhouse
10/19/08 “The Word Cannot Be Chained” Acts 5:17-32, Preacher: Billy Newhouse
10/26/08 “Are You Fighting Against God?” Acts 5:33-42, Preacher: Billy Newhouse

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Don’t Waste Your Humor!

This week, my family and I have the privilege of hanging out with a dog named after C.H. Spurgeon. “Spurge” is a big, black, chow/lab that has provided great joy for our family this week and especially for our female chow/shepherd, Tammy.

Also, I was recently given an amazing gift of a golden bust of Spurgeon that sits on my desk, intimidating me as I prepare to preach. I am very thankful for this!

Then, I listened to C.J. Mahaney’s introduction to his recent message “Don’t Waste Your Humor.” Who was the main character of the introduction? You guessed it—C.H. Spurgeon.

What role does humor play in the Christian life? How should it be utilized in preaching…or should it be? Listen to C.J.’s message and let me know what you think!

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Abortion Is About God: Reframing a Moral Issue

This post is meant to introduce you to material from Desiring God on the issue of abortion entitled Abortion Is About God: Reframing a Moral Issue. Here is a preview of what to expect:

This course will advance the biblical truth that abortion is fundamentally an offense to the glory of the Creator, as well as celebrate the sovereignty of God over all of life, while seeking to provide a biblical and theological grounding for the pro-life cause from a God-centered perspective. Students will gain a deeper understanding of this issue by closely examining the key biblical passages regarding the issue of abortion, answering provocative questions, and considering sermons and writings from the ministry of John Piper.

When is it coming out?

With an election year upon us, our plan is to begin shipping this course in mid-August 2008 so that churches can use it prior to the election to anchor biblical convictions about the transcendent moral issue of our time.

What’s the goal?

Our goal is not primarily political (though we hope that Christians would exercise their rights as citizens and seek to influence the culture through the political process). Rather our aim is fundamentally theological. Abortion is not merely the killing of human beings; it is an assault on God’s rights as Creator. Our prayer is that this course would be used by God to awaken the church afresh to the horror of abortion as a belittling of the glory of God and an assault on those made in His image.

Stay tuned to the DG website and to this blog for further information on this timely course!

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The Church Unstoppable!

Are you plagued by doubt? Have you ever wondered if Jesus really did walk on the earth, die on a Cross and rise from the dead? Perhaps you have been taught these things from the time you were small, but somehow you are still on the sidelines when it comes to radical kingdom service and sacrifice. How central should the life, death and resurrection of Jesus be in the life of the local church? How did a group of dejected disciples become powerful heralds of the good news, even at the expense of their own lives? If you find yourself needing a fresh reminder of the reality of the resurrection and the supremacy of Christ in the church, read the book of Acts!

This Sunday, we are beginning a new series of sermons on the books of Acts entitled “The Church Unstoppable!” This Sunday we will be considering Acts 1:1-5, as Luke introduces his second volume (his gospel being the first) of the accounts of the life of Jesus and the beginnings of the Church. Luke-Acts seem to be written to a man named Theophilus, who was in need of hearing about the convincing proofs of the risen Jesus and the fire with which the early church was born. Luke describes the way that Jesus presented himself, after the resurrection, to the disciples over a period of forty days as he confirmed the Scripture’s teaching about the Kingdom of God. We also get an introduction to the foretold Spirit that will be poured out on the disciples in Jerusalem. The rest of this drama has been played out over 2,000 years leading up to the days in which we live now. The main theme is still the same–The Church is Unstoppable.

Did you know that in one way, the book of Acts is simply a recording of Jesus keeping his promise? Jesus told Peter that he would build his church such that even the powers of hell could not destroy it. That promise is put to the test in Acts as his disciples are jailed, beaten, stoned and put to death. But the march of the gospel continues! How encouraging it is to to trace our own church, Baptist Church of the Redeemer, back to these powerful and breathtaking beginnings? Should we be any less dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit to enable and empower? Should we be less concerned with church government and discipline? Should we be any less zealous in risk taking gospel ministry? Join us this week as we begin a journey back to the beginning and are reminded of the ways in which Jesus is still working to prepare a bride for that great wedding day!

He is Alive!

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