14 May, 2009

Puritan Reformed Seminary Graduation

Puritan Reformed Seminary will broadcast their graduation LIVE at 7:30 PM Eastern Time on Friday, May 15th.

You can watch it here. Click Students. Then Graduation. You need to wait a moment as it loads.

I will waive to you all!

07 May, 2009

Jesus Builds His Church: PRTS Update, May, 2009

As Reformed Christians, we hold the testimony of a sovereign Redeemer who controls and governs all things by the power of His hand. At the same time, we are often people who are discouraged at the state of our churches and the lack of growth that we see in the Reformed community. We wonder, “What are we doing wrong? What would God have us do in order to see biblical church growth?”

In times of discouragement, as well as in times of great encouragement, it is always important to remember that the church is being built, and that Jesus Christ has promised to build her. In the verse preceding this, Jesus tells Peter that he is blessed for confessing Him as the Christ, the Son of the living God. This confession would serve as a basis and foundation for the church being built throughout history. Year after year, throughout all of church history, men and women, boys and girls, have confessed this same confession for the saving of their souls and the building of Christ’s church.

The church is also built through conflict. In our minds, conflict is a bad thing, a divisive problem; but Jesus says that conflict will be part of the building materials of His church. This conflict is between the church and “the gates of hell.” There is an offensive as well as a defensive way to read this portion of the text. The imagery is that the church is on the attack against wickedness and sin. This is done through the preaching of the Word, through evangelism, through the church interacting with the culture around her, and through participation in the public sphere. This aspect of the conflict cannot be won by building walls around ourselves or being in a “holy huddle”; we are in battle, and the church that Christ is building is built through conflict. It is a call to arms! How many times has the church of Christ been attacked, only to blossom, grow, and flourish under satanic persecution? How often have the laws of men and the powers and principalities of darkness attempted to suppress the church, only to make her confess more loudly and more clearly? The church is built through conflict!

We also see in this part of Matthew’s gospel that the church is built through “keys.” Jesus uses the terminology of binding and loosing to show that the church has great power and responsibility in discipling her members. This may sound like a strange way to build — through discipline — but that is the way of Christ. Discipline involves more than admonition and excommunication. These are real and biblical aspects to discipline, but they are hardly the whole picture. Discipline begins with disciples, or those who are followers of Christ, discipled by Him. We are under this great church builder, and He is telling us that the church that He is building is one in which His followers are going to be students of Him. They will study His ways, His Word, and His will, and He will build.

So should we be discouraged as Reformed Christians? There are times when we need to bring our confession before Christ and ask Him to make it clearer. There are times when we need to bring our conflicts before Christ and ask Him to make them victorious. There are times when we need to bring the keys before Christ and ask Him to make us better disciples. But be discouraged? No! Jesus Christ promised to build His church and the evidence over the past two thousand years is abundantly clear: He is a faithful builder!

Original Article found here.