1 John 2:2 by A W Pink

1 John 2:2

Arthur W. Pink


THERE is one passage more than any other which is I appealed to by those who believe in universal redemption, and which at first sight appears to teach that Christ died for the whole human race. We have therefore decided to give it a detailed examination and exposition.

And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). This is the passage which, apparently, most favors the Arminian view of the Atonement, yet if it be considered attentively it will be seen that it does so only in appearance, and not in reality. Below we offer a number of conclusive proofs to show that this verse does not teach that Christ has propitiated God on behalf of all the sins of all men. Read More

Sermon: A Prayer for the Church (Ephesians 1:15-23)

A Prayer for the Church

Ephesians 1:15-23

 

Ephes. 1:15-23 (ESV) 

    For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,  [16] I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,  [17] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,  [18] having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,  [19] and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might  [20] that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,  [21] far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  [22] And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,  [23] which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Introduction-

The Ephesian Church had a reputation. They were known for a few things. Paul had heard of their… faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints.

Paul’s heart rejoiced as he learned that these believers were living out their faith in Christ. They were showing the fruit of true conversion. Read More

Sermon: The Spiritual Blessing of Our Inheritance (Ephesians 1:11-14)

The Spiritual Blessing of Our Inheritance

Ephesians 1:11-14

 

Ephes. 1:3 (ESV) 

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 

 

Ephes. 1:11-14 (ESV) 

    In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,  [12] so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.  [13] In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  [14] who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

If you remember when we began the Book of Ephesians, I mentioned that one purpose of the Book was to show that Jew and Gentile come together to form a new humanity called the Church. Here, Paul stresses this truth.

He began this extended sentence in verse 3 and carries it through to verse 14, one long, run-on sentence. For the apostle, the praise of God was more important than grammar. Once he began thinking about the blessings God has lavished on His people, he forgot all else. Read More

Some Thoughts on Church Planting

Some Thoughts on Church Planting

As I read various papers and articles on the subject of church planting, I often run across one that seems to rise to the top. I believe this one really lays out irrefutably why we should be busy planting churches. This short article is mostly compiled statistics over almost two centuries of church life in America.

Church Planting and Church Attendance 

            In 1820, there was a church for every 875 Americans. But from 1860-1906, Protestants planted a new church for every population increase of 350. By 1900, we had 1 church for every 430. In 1906, one-third of all congregations in the country were less than 25 years old. As a result, the percentage of the U.S. population involved in the life of the church rose steadily. For example, in 1776, seventeen percent of the U.S. population [was] “religious adherents,” but that rose to 53% by 1916.

            However, after WWI, church planting plummeted. Once the continental U.S. was covered by towns with church buildings in each town, there was resistance from older churches to any new churches in “our neighborhood.” But the vast majority of congregations reach their peak in size during the first 25 years and then remain on a plateau or slowly shrink. Why? In general, older churches cannot reach new residents, new generations, new social groups, and un-churched people very well. And as those groups increase in a community (which they will inevitably!) the original churches reach a smaller and smaller segment of their town, and the percentage of un-churched increases. Nevertheless, older churches fear completion from new churches and oppose them. Mainline churches, with centralized government, have been most effective at opposing new churches; as a result they have shrunk the most.

            CONCLUSION: Church attendance and adherence overall in the United States is decreasing. This cannot be reversed in any other way than the way it originally had been so remarkably increasing. It is unlikely that we can ever plant a church for every 500 residents again, which resulted in over 50% of the population becoming churched Christians.[1]

I present these statistics to remind us all of the importance of consistent church planting. If we could plant churches in our surrounding communities, think what change would begin to take place. Our prayer at Grace Reformed Fellowship is that we would become a self-supporting church that would be in the business of planting other churches. Please pray for us. Good things are happening some easy and some hard but all from God. Thank you for your support in this effort. You are truly a vital part.

May God’s Kingdom expand through your loving support,

Pastor Brian  

 

 


[1] This article came from the Church Planting Manual put together by Redeemer Church Planting Center.

Sermon: The Spiritual Blessing of Redemption (Ephesians 1:7-10)

The Spiritual Blessing of Redemption

 

Ephes. 1:3 (ESV) 

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 

Ephes. 1:7-10 (ESV) 

    In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  [8] which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  [9] making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ  [10] as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Last time we looked together at the Spiritual Blessing of Adoption. We were concerned with the timing of this blessing. Paul made sure we understood that the timing was before the foundation of the earth.

Ephes. 1:4 (ESV) 

    even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 

The first Spiritual Blessing of adoption happened in ages past, even before time began. Before God had created anything, the Church was on His mind. He was already at work electing and making things ready for our adoption. That’s the Spiritual Blessing in the past.

Today, I want us to see another Spiritual Blessing. This one is present tense. This one is the Spiritual Blessing of Redemption. Read More

The Snare of Service…by Arthur Pink

The main business and the principal concern of the Christian should be that of thanking, praising and adoring that blessed One who has saved him with an everlasting salvation, and who, to secure that salvation, left Heaven’s glory and came down to this sin-cursed earth, here to suffer and die the awful death of the cross, that His people might be “delivered from this present evil world” (Gal.1:4). “Praise is comely for the upright” (Psa.33:1). But to see the upright praising God is something which Satan cannot endure, and he will employ every art and device to turn aside the happy Christian from such blissful occupation.

Our great enemy is very, very subtil in the methods and means he uses. He cares not what the object may be as long as it serves to engross the believer and hinder his giving to Christ that consideration (Heb.3:l) and adoration (Rev. 5:12) which are His due. Satan’s aim is gained if he can occupy the believer with perishing sinners rather than the Lord of glory. The tactics which the devil uses with the saints are the same he uses so successfully with the unsaved. What is the chief thing he employs to shut out Christ from the vision of the lost (2 Cor.4:4)? Is it not getting them occupied with their own deeds and doings? Assuredly it is. In like manner he deals with God’s people: he seeks to get them engaged in “service” as a substitute for communing with Christ. It is the dragon posing as an angel of light, stirring up the feverish nature and restless energy of the flesh, to find some outlet that appears to be pleasing to God. Read More

Sermon: The Spiritual Blessing of Adoption (Ephesians 1:3-6)

The Spiritual Blessing of Adoption

Ephes. 1:3-6 (ESV)

 

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,  [4] even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love  [5] he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,  [6] to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 

The Apostle Paul begins the letter to the Ephesian Church with worship. Paul writes May the God and Father of our Lord be glorified, may God be highly exalted

He is worshipping God because of all the benefits God has given Paul and also given the Church. That is exactly why we should worship God. He has done so much for His people that He alone deserves to be worshipped.

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 

The best way to understand this verse is to see it as a statement the Apostle makes. He makes this blanket proclamation and then he spends the next ten verses showing us just how much we are blessed in Christ. He is going to elaborate on what he means by who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 

God has given the Church every spiritual blessing. In other words, Read More

Sermon: Reason to Rejoice (Ephesians 1:1-2)

Reason to Rejoice

 

Ephes. 1:1-2 (ESV) 

    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: [2] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we begin the Book of Ephesians, I want us to make sure we get it right. When we’re done with the book, we should be living more like the way God wants us to live based on the truths given to us in the book. God reveals to His children truths through His written Word. Don’t wait for some mystical word from God, we have all we need in the written pages of His Holy Word…the Bible.

Paul highlights three main points throughout the book. These main points help us understand his purpose for writing:

1. He wants to show that God has brought together Jew and Gentile to form a new group, the church. In God’s sight there is no longer Jew and Greek but believers of all races that make up the Church. Jews and Greeks are now brought together through the blood of Jesus and reconciled to God. It would be wrong to think that there is going to be some great revival of national Israel and that the Jewish Nation would somehow experience a revival apart from the institution of the Church. Christ died for the church not for Israel.

2. Christ’s triumph over the powers of darkness on behalf of the church and how the Holy Spirit plays a key role in that.

3. Christian behavior that reflects unity in the body of Christ…the Church.

So, Ephesians is all about the work of Christ on behalf of the Church. I thought it would be very fitting to begin here as a new church plant to learn together the value Jesus places on His Church.

To take the truths of Ephesians into our hearts and to live them out daily will change our lives forever. We truly have Reason to Rejoice.

I. Paul Has Reason to Rejoice (Eph. 1:1a)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, Read More