A Church of All Sorts

Variety

One of the things I love about the church is the variety of its members. You will meet brothers and sisters who have walked with the Lord for many years and others who are newly converted. There are people from different ethnic backgrounds and personality types. The church is made up of all sorts. For this reason, a church is not to exclude people because of their age, personality or appearance. A healthy church will be a place in which redeemed people from various ages and stages in life (according to the Word of God) are welcome to fellowship and worship the Lord.  Continue reading A Church of All Sorts

Why Study Church History?

Church History

There is great value in the study of church history. As we take the time to look back and read about various individuals who have gone before us and of various events that have occurred in the life of the church, there are incredible lessons to be gained. Why study church history and why highlight various heroes from church history?

The study of church history is filled with many practical benefits. I believe we should take time to be familiar with church history for the following reasons.

A Record
The study of church history is valuable because it serves as a record. It is a record of what the Lord has been doing in the church and how the church has responded to the teaching of God’s Word. To look back at God’s providence, provision and protection is an amazing testimony to His faithfulness. This ought to provide us with encouragement. When it comes to the way the church has responded to the Word of God, church history is filled with positive and negative examples (like every generation). These examples provide us with lessons and warnings, as we will face similar situations.

A Reminder
Secondly, church history is a reminder. What does it remind us of? Here are a few things: We are reminded of those who gave up their lives for the cause of the gospel. We are reminded of those who stood firm against false teaching. We are reminded of the importance of protecting ourselves against error. We are reminded of the power of the gospel. Church history is filled with practical lessons that we can benefit from. One church historian stated, “We can understand the present much better if we have some knowledge of its roots in the past”.[1] It is important to be reminded of what the people of God have done before us.

In a non-consecutive series of posts, I will highlight the lives and actions of various individuals from church history. I trust that this serves as an encouragement to many and causes us to thank the Lord for His mighty work through His people.

Many great and faithful characters won’t be mentioned simply because I am not writing an exhaustive textbook on church history. However, I will be highlighting various individuals who I would class as my personal heroes from church history.

Remember, none of these characters are perfect. It was only by God’s enabling grace that they had the commitment and courage to stand on the truth of God’s Word. It is for this reason they are to be remembered as heroes of the faith and we praise God for them.

Who are your favourite heroes from church history?

 


[1] Earle E. Cairns, Christianity Throughout the Centuries, Zonvervan, 1996, p. 21

How to Pray for your Pastor

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The people of God are to be in prayer for all the saints (cf. ). Such prayer obviously includes specific prayer for individuals. Paul regularly requested prayer for his ministry and evangelistic opportunities (; ; ; ). In taking time to pray for all the people of God, it is important that we are specific in what we are praying for. Included in the broad category of praying for all the saints, it is important for the people of God to be praying for their pastors. Like all believers, pastors are in need of Divine grace and power so as to be faithful in their service to the Lord.

If your pastor is going to honour the Lord and encourage the people of God in his pastoral and public ministry, it is essential that he be a man of God in private. How can you pray for your pastor? There are many things you could and should pray for, but here are a few things.

In his letter to Timothy, Paul had a series of public duties that Timothy was to carry out in the ministry of the church (“the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching). But before he could be faithful and effective in such practices, he needed to first cultivate personal spiritual virtues. He says, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity“. This verse provides us with five areas that Timothy is to set an example. Such actions provide the foundation for an effective public pulpit ministry.

Firstly, take regular time praying that your pastor would be an example in his “speech“. Words can build up or they can tear down. Speaking too much can lead to trouble (Prov. 10:19); gentle speech can diffuse anger whereas harsh speech can provoke anger (Prov. 15:1) and it is always important to think before you speak (Prov. 18:13). These principles provide practical wisdom in the use of our words. Our words are a powerful tool and for this reason pray that your pastor be quick to hear and slow to speak (cf. James 1:19).
Continue reading How to Pray for your Pastor

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

25 Brothers, pray for us.

3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,

13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.

We’re Not Meant to Live in the Doorway

*Guest post by Richard DeVeau*

I’m worried about the church.

Not this particular church here in Australia, the broader church.

In particular, the church in the US, where I live.

It seems the largest Christian movement in the 21st century is the seeker-friendly church. Some 40,000 churches in the US already follow this model. And about 400,000 pastors have attended seeker-friendly growth seminars.

Now, you may be asking yourself, so what’s wrong with reaching the unsaved for Christ? Isn’t this the great commission? Well, yes and no.

In Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”  Disciples are not just converts, they are maturing followers of Christ.

Continue reading We’re Not Meant to Live in the Doorway

How to Develop a Mature Christian Mind – Guest Post

The following post was written by Demian Farnworth, blogger for  Fallen and Flawed. To learn more about Demian, click on the links at the end of his challenging post.

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Last week I got a little frustrated when a friend emailed me this question: “Are you intimate with Jesus?”

Partly because I’m a guy and when I think of intimacy, my mind doesn’t immediately race to another GUY. But I was also frustrated because that question was attached to one of Oswald Chambers devotions.

Why would an Oswald Chambers devotion upset me?

Continue reading How to Develop a Mature Christian Mind – Guest Post