“You have heard . . . but Scripture Says”

grounded

“Evangelicals who would catechize today need to properly identify the appropriate “vis-à-vis” for their own catechetical ministries. In other words, when we say, in effect, “You have heard that it was said … but the Scriptures say to you” we need to be clear about the influences that have been speaking into the lives of our congregants. Catechesis must always be attentive to the counter-catechesis at work in our lives. Earlier we dealt with the causes and consequences of the uncatechized church. In reality, however, all our members actually have been catechized—thoroughly so—in competing worldviews.

. . .

As we suggested in the previous chapter, catechesis typically has a built-in contrast: “You have heard that it was said … but I say to you.” That is, in order to more clearly illustrate the truth of the Gospel we need to highlight p 192 the counterclaims of the competing cultures. In every age and culture there are false -isms—beliefs and worldviews that fly in the face of God’s revelation in Christ. Examples in our own age might include such -isms as materialism, godless humanism, religious pluralism, and so on. In faithful and fruitful ministries of preaching, teaching, counseling, and liturgy as well as through the hymns and songs we sing, we must identify and challenge these with the potent, liberating, universal, and unchanged truth of God’s Word.”

J. I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2010), 162, 191–192.

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New Sermons Uploaded

It takes quite a bit of time, internet-wise, to upload a sermon. I noticed that we are very far behind in this task, and hope to upload the rest of the Ephesians series, and the sermons for the rest of 2015.

This might be a good place to put in a plug for a volunteer: If you live in the Hamilton, Ontario area, we could use a sound engineer to help with the recording and uploading of sermons. By “helping,” I mean, “doing basically the whole thing.” As it stand right now, I record my sermons on my smartphone, then transfer them to the computer, and rename them for uploading. Then upload them.

So, the first two sermons in the “Hard Sayings of Jesus” series are now up. Just click here.

And if you’ve been clamouring for the sermons, I apologise, and thank you for your patience. If you haven’t exactly been clamouring, but just wondering, now you know: the uploads have been put on the back burner.

Blessings,

Scott Jacobsen, Minister, Mountain View Christian Church.

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Do Not Judge?

Baxter on Judging

‘Be much therefore at home in searching and watching, and amending your own hearts:’ And then you will find so much to do about yourselves, that you will have no mind or leisure to be censuring others; whereas the superficial hypocrite whose religion is in externals, and is unacquainted with his heart and heaven, is so little employed in the true work of a Christian, that he hath leisure for the work of a censorious Pharisee.

Richard Baxter, William Orme, The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 6 (London: James Duncan, 1830), 403.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” (Matthew 7:1–6, ESV)

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The Hard Sayings of Jesus

Cellphonemax

Jesus offers up some “hard sayings” in the Gospels. Indeed, the Bible is full of things that are either 1) difficult to understand or 2) hard to accept. Jesus taught His disciples that He was “the bread of life” and “whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (John 6:58). Upon hearing this, many of his disciples said,

“This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60).

When Jesus explained that some of them did not believe in Him, and that they were not called,

“many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” John 6:66

They seemed to think that the “hard saying” was a deal-breaker. If Jesus stayed on this path, they weren’t going to follow. He asked the remaining disciples,

“Do you want to go away as well?”

The disciples’ answer did not indicate that they understood, nor even accepted everything Jesus said. In fact, further Gospel accounts indicate that they neither understood nor accepted all of Jesus’ teachings. But their answer did indicate a trusting faith, a commitment, a willingness to follow in order to gain understanding later (which, they did):

“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.'” (John 6:68-69)

They would come to understand Jesus and His Gospel. At this time, however, they trusted Jesus, and that was enough for them.

In the next few weeks at Mountain View, we are going to look into some “hard sayings” of Jesus. Some are matters that need clarification, others require a commitment to accept and obey, while others may be teachings that have been hidden behind tradition and custom.

If there are “hard sayings” that trouble you, please feel free to contact me here. I might even include them in my next sermon (don’t worry, though, I won’t mention your name)!

We meet for worship and preaching every Sunday at 11 AM, at 118 Limeridge Road East, Hamilton, Ontario.

 

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