In a few minutes, my wife and I will drive to Chapel Hill so that we can participate in the ordination service of Simon Stokes, the new RUF minister at UNC-Chapel Hill. We got to know Simon and his wife, Katie, while he was undergoing his licensure and ordination exams. For Simon, tonight is the culmination of many of years of preparation in which he is deemed fitting for gospel ministry.
(For an overview of what the ordination process of a teaching elder within the PCA looks like, I direct you to this blog.)
I bring this up in part to say that we should be comforted that those who lead our churches within the PCA are highly vetted and qualified and do not receive this responsibility lightly. However, I also bring this up primarily because our sermon this week concerns false teachers. Given the ease of access that we have to sermons and theological thought through various forms of media, how can we be assured that someone is truly teaching the Gospel?
One way in which to do this is to return to the one true source of knowledge concerning Jesus Christ and His gospel: the Holy Bible. Does a teacher primarily concern himself with teaching God’s Word? Does this person actively seek to lead under the authority of the commands in the Bible and stand accountable to others for this? Is this teacher recognized and vouched for by others who place themselves under the authority of Scripture?
Since Jesus is the head of His church, we must ensure that those leading our congregations are individuals who are wholly reliant and led by the Bible, the one infallible source of truth through which we learn of Jesus. In order to do this, we as congregants must be people saturated in God’s Word. Let us resolve to be as the noble Bereans, who were people of the Word and tested Paul’s account of the Gospel against scripture itself. Furthermore, let us dive deep into the oceans of wisdom and glory that are found in the knowledge of Christ within the pages of the Bible.
Scripture: 2 Peter 2:10-22
Sermon: The Troubling Truth About False Teachers
All That I Am I Owe To Thee
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THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
“Given the biblical language of “real presence” in the words of institution, in addition to the biblical practice of connecting the Word and sacrament (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11; Acts 20:7), it is hard to make a purely human assessment of our own worthiness to partake as the basis for receiving the Supper. Certain questions haunt us. “Do I have enough faith?” “Have I sufficiently confessed my sins and purified my heart?” Inevitably, the nature of this introspective process depreciates the fact that the essence of the Supper is a spiritual feeding and a covenant meal, in which God re-affirms his covenant oath. It is the Holy Spirit working through the Word, and not a priest or minister that makes the sacrament efficacious for believers. God is the active party (not even the “rememberer”), and this is why we must see the Supper and the elements of bread and wine as gracious gifts from God–manna from heaven, as it were–given to us by God to communicate to us the realities of the blessings of the covenant of grace, through the signs instituted by God. The Supper is, therefore, not incidental to the Christian life, but must be seen as a vital part of our sanctification and growth in godliness.”