Flower

God Is Our Mighty Fortress – Psalm 46

Call To Worship November 12 2017

Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke

J.C. Ryle Luke 6:46-49

“Let us mark, in these verses, what an old and common sin is profession without practice. It is written that our Lord said, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” The Son of God Himself had many followers, who pretended to honor Him by calling Him Lord, but yielded no obedience to His commandments.

The evil which our Lord exposes here, has always existed in the Church of God. It was found six hundred years before our Lord’s time, in the days of Ezekiel — “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.” (Ezek. 33:31.) It was found in the primitive Church of Christ, in the days of James. “Be doers of the word,” he says, “and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22.) It is a disease which has never ceased to prevail all over Christendom. It is a soul-ruining plague, which is continually sweeping away crowds of Gospel-hearers down the broad way to destruction. Open sin, and avowed unbelief, no doubt slay their thousands. But profession without practice slays its tens of thousands.

Let us settle it in our minds, that no sin is so foolish and unreasonable as the sin which Jesus here denounces. Common sense alone might tell us that the name and form of Christianity can profit us nothing, so long as we cleave to sin in our hearts, and live unchristian lives. Let it be a fixed principle in our religion, that obedience is the only sound evidence of saving faith, and that the talk of the lips is worse than useless, if it is not accompanied by sanctification of the life. The man in whose heart the Holy Spirit really dwells, will never be content to sit still, and do nothing to show his love to Christ.”

God Commands Worship

Call to Worship November 5, 2017

Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke

J.C. Ryle Luke 6:20-26

“Who then, are the people to whom our Lord says, ‘Woe unto you?’ They are the men who refuse to seek treasure in heaven, because they love the good things of this world better, and will not give up their money, if need requires, for Christ’s sake. They are the men who prefer the joys and so-called happiness of this world, to joy and peace in believing, and will not risk the loss of the one in order to gain the other. They are those who love the praise of man more than the praise of God, and will turn their backs on Christ, rather than not keep in with the world. These are the kind of men whom our Lord had in view when He pronounced the solemn words, ‘Woe, woe unto you.’ He knew well that there were thousands of such people among the Jews–thousands who, notwithstanding His miracles and sermons, would love the world better than Him. He knew well that there would always be thousands of such in His professing Church–thousands who, though convinced of the truth of the Gospel, would never give up anything for its sake. To all such He delivers a dreadful warning. ‘Woe, woe unto you!’”

Luke 16 -The Rich Man and Lazarus

Call to Worship October 29, 2017

“At first I clearly saw that the free grace of God is absolutely necessary to attain to light and eternal life; and I anxiously and busily worked to understand the word of Paul in Rom. 1:17: The righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel. I questioned this passage for a long time and labored over it, for the expression ‘righteousness of God’ barred my way. This phrase was customarily explained to mean that the righteousness of God is a virtue by which He is Himself righteous and condemns sinners. In this way all the teachers of the church except Augustine had interpreted the passage. They had said: The righteousness of God, that is, the wrath of God. But as often as I read this passage, I wished that God had never revealed the Gospel; for who could love a God who was angry, who judged and condemned people? This misunderstanding continued until, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, I finally examined more carefully the word of Habakkuk 2:4: ‘The just shall live by his faith’ From this passage I concluded that life must be derived from faith…. Then the entire Holy Scripture became clear to me, and heaven itself was opened to me. Now we see this brilliant light very clearly, and we are privileged to enjoy it abundantly”

- Martin Luther

Warnings from 2 Kings 22

Call To Worship October 22 2017

Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke
J.C. Ryle Luke 6:12-19

“Let us observe, firstly, in these verses, that when our Lord ordained His first ministers, He did it after much prayer. We read that He ‘went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples, and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles.’

We need not doubt that there is a deep significance in this special mention of our Lord’s praying upon this occasion. It was intended to be a perpetual lesson to the Church of Christ. It was meant to show the great importance of prayer and intercession on behalf of ministers, and particularly at the time of their ordination. Those to whom the responsible office of ordaining is committed, should pray that they may “lay hands suddenly on no man.” Those who offer themselves for ordination, should pray that they may not take up work for which they are unfit, and not run without being sent. The lay members of the Church, not least, should pray that none may be ordained, but men who are inwardly moved by the Holy Spirit. Happy are those ordinations, in which all concerned have the mind that was in Christ, and come together in a prayerful spirit!

Do we desire to help forward the cause of pure and undefiled religion in the world? Then let us never forget to pray for ministers, and especially for young men about to enter the ministry. The progress of the Gospel, under God, will always depend much on the character and conduct of those who profess to preach it. An unconverted minister can never be expected to do good to souls. He cannot teach properly what he does not feel experimentally. From such men let us pray daily that the Church may be delivered. Converted ministers are God’s special gift. Man cannot create them. If we would have good ministers, we must remember our Lord’s example, and pray for them. Their work is heavy. Their responsibility is enormous. Their strength is small. Let us see that we support them, and hold up their hands by our prayers. In this, and in too many other cases, the words of James are often sadly applicable, ‘You have not, because you ask not.’ (James 4:2.) We do not ask God to raise up a constant supply of converted young men to fill our pulpits, and God chastises our neglect by withholding them.”

Outnumbered Again

Call To Worship October 15 2017

Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke

J.C. Ryle Luke 6:1-11

“We should weigh carefully the nature of our Lord Jesus Christ’s teaching about the observance of the Sabbath, both here and in other places. We must not allow ourselves to be carried away by the common notion that the Sabbath is a mere Jewish ordinance, and that it was abolished and done away by Christ. There is not a single passage of the Gospels which proves this. In every case where we find our Lord speaking upon it, He speaks against the false views of it, which were taught by the Pharisees, but not against the day itself. He cleanses and purifies the fourth commandment from the man-made additions by which the Jews had defiled it, but never declares that it was not to bind Christians. He shows that the seventh day’s rest was not meant to prevent works of necessity and mercy, but He says nothing to imply that it was to pass away, as a part of the ceremonial law.

We live in days when anything like strict Sabbath observance is loudly denounced, in some quarters, as a remnant of Jewish superstition. We are boldly told by some people, that to keep the Sabbath holy is legal, and that to enforce the fourth commandment on Christians, is going back to bondage. Let it suffice us to remember, when we hear such things, that assertions are not proofs, and that vague talk like this has no confirmation in the word of God. Let us settle it in our minds, that the fourth commandment has never been repealed by Christ, and that we have no more right to break the Sabbath day, under the Gospel, than we have to murder and to steal.

The architect who repairs a building, and restores it to its proper use, is not the destroyer of it, but the preserver. The Savior who redeemed the Sabbath from Jewish traditions, and so frequently explained its true meaning, ought never to be regarded as the enemy of the fourth commandment. On the contrary, He has “magnified it, and made it honorable.”

Let us cling to our Sabbath, as the best safeguard of our Country’s religion. Let us defend it against the assaults of ignorant and mistaken men, who would gladly turn the day of God into a day of business and pleasure. Above all, let us each strive to keep the day holy ourselves. Much of our spiritual prosperity depends, under God, on the manner in which we employ our Sundays.”