Saturday, April 07, 2007

Comments Closed

Comments Closed - at least on this post!

The trouble with a long comments string is that nobody wants to read all the conversation before they leave their two cents. What ends up happening is what takes place when you're the first relative to reach your grandparents... you hear the same stories over and over again.

I felt that the comments on the Tony Campolo / Nature of the Gospel post were starting to head that direction so I closed them off. It is very interesting reading however! And it has provided me with a truckload of ideas to blog about in the future.

My thanks to Darryl, Darrin, Kenny and ScottB and all the others for their input.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Resurrection Hymn - Something to Sing with Joy on Easter Sunday!

Here is a hymn I wrote ten years ago that focuses on what the Resurrection means to the Christian. I think I might have posted it here before... sorry if this is redundant.

It can be sung to different tunes, but my personal favorite is Henry T. Smart's Regent Square... with GUSTO!

Resurrection Hymn
Sing, O Church, your glorious praises
Christ, your Lord, rose from the dead!
He, the proof that God will save us;
Jesus, our own glorious Head!
He our Master! He our Saviour!
He the Victor over death!

Raised by God to reign eternal,
Never did He see decay.
Now He reigns from heav’n supernal
Death no longer holds its sway.
O, the power of the victory,
How His grace and love display!

What a wondrous consolation
Jesus’ death was not in vain.
Raised as God’s own confirmation,
That the Son broke sin’s domain.
He is living! He is living!
Shout forth now this glad refrain!

Men will mock and disbelieve Him
Worry not at their refrain.
They shall bow the knee before Him,
To their sorrow and their bane.
He’s the Champion! Mighty Conqueror!
All will bow before His Name!

Praise Him for the grace He gave you
To repent and to believe.
Praise Him for His love that saved you,
Calling you Him to receive.
Praise the Saviour! Risen Saviour!
Worship Christ the Risen King!

Words: Paul W. Martin ©1997. Music: Henry T. Smart, Regent Square. Public Domain.

Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted (Isaiah 53:4)

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See him dying on the tree!
'Tis the Christ by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, 'tis he, 'tis he.
'Tis the long-expected Prophet,
David's Son, yet David's Lord;
By his Son God now has spoken:
'Tis the true and faithful Word.

Tell me, you who hear him groaning,
Was there ever grief like his?
Friends through fear his cause disowning,
Foes insulting his distress;
Many hands were raised to wound him,
None would interpose to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced him
Was the stroke that Justice gave.

You who think of sin but lightly
Nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the Sacrifice appointed,
See who bears the awful load;
'Tis the Word, the Lord's Anointed,
Son of Man and Son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation,
Here the refuge of the lost;
Christ's the Rock of our salvation,
His the name of which we boast.
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,
Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded
Who on him their hope have built.

Thomas Kelly, 1804.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Why We Must Be Clear On The Nature of the Gospel!

A family in my church brought this little postcard to our service last night to show me the kind of advertising that regularly hits their door.

The cheap knock off of a declining, immoral television show aside... it was the back of the card that just about made my teeth fall out!

In case you can't read it, please note the following. This church (whose name I have blocked off the image)* will have an Easter service - to talk about desperate housewives that live in their area. Presumably, there will be some funky twist to this story that leads to an altar call.

On the 29th of this month, this progressive, edgy, cool-cat congregation will have a PG-13 service to talk about sex. And just to get you out of bed that Sunday morning at 11, is the enticing prospect of a can of whipped cream for every couple! I am not making that up.

My guess is that the whipped cream is a little joke to entice sex-starved husbands to get to the service. There will be lots of nudge-nudging and winks and double-entendre... and the lucky participants will learn that the key to a good sex life starts in the kitchen when you learn to cook with your wife... or something absolutely ridiculous like that. You see, it is not about spraying whipped cream all over each other, it is about cooking! Time together! Isn't that lovely!

I am sorry. But it is this kind of confused attempt at evangelism that makes it absolutely essential we learn what the real Gospel is and how it must be presented.

This is a desperate church... and it seems to me that had best get their own household in order.

*UPDATE (4/5/07 3:07PM): Please forgive a major error on my part. I missed the name of the church in the written content on the back of the postcard. I have removed that image and if I have time I will post it again with that name removed. Thank you to commenters who caught that! I would have removed it sooner but I was teaching this morning and just got back to my computer.

UPDATE (4/5/07 3:20PM): I have posted a second scan of the image that removes any reference to the church name.

Another Masterpiece

My son came home from school today and held up a large painted blob on a piece of fingerpaint paper. "This is my masterpiece!" he shouted with the kind of pure joy that only he can express!

With very little joy, I direct you to my own latest masterpiece. It can be found over at Challeez place... and even comes with its own musical accompaniment!

E.J Young Comments on Isaiah 53:3

“He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

As the verse began so it concludes; hence Isaiah again employs the word despised, and adds to it the tragic statement, and we esteemed him not. Perhaps the purpose is to make even sharper the strong contrast in the following verse.

The unbelief that Isaiah here depicts is the same unbelief found all about us today. Men say pleasant and complimentary things about the Lord of Glory. They will praise His ethics, His teaching, declare that He was a good man and a great prophet, the only one who has answers to the social problems that today confront the world. They will not, however, acknowledge that they are sinners, deserving of everlasting punishment, and that the death of Christ was a vicarious sacrifice, designed to satisfy the justice of God and to reconcile an offended God to the sinner. Men will not receive what God says concerning His Son. Today also, the Servant is despised and rejected of men, and men do not esteem Him.

Isaiah Commentary, p. 344

Easter Week at Grace Fellowship Church

This is the week we remember in particular the death and resurrection of our glorious, wise and strong Saviour, Jesus. It is, in many ways, the most important week of the year for Christians. If Jesus had not died, we would not live. In light of that, we have planned some special services this week to draw us out of the ordinary and elevate our thoughts of Christ.


We will meet tomorrow night at 7PM (adults and kids) for a “night of preparation.” When is the last time you simply read the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection? We will do that Wednesday night, as well as worship the Lord in song. It will be a simple night, but a sweet time of delighting in our God.

Good Friday

We will meet at 7:30PM for a solemn evening of considering the death of Jesus and the taking of the Lord’s Supper. We have invited our friends from Covenant Community Church to meet with us, so you will want to arrive early. Here is a night to meditate on the cross and consider the price of redemption.

Sunday Morning

We meet at our normal 10AM and hopefully get to meet a lot of visitors! Here is a great day to celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead!!

Sunday Night

There will be no meeting at TCS. Instead, we shall meet at 5:00PM with Covenant Community Church at Vellore Woods Public School, 115 Starling Blvd., Vaughan. You can get directions to this location here. Come and encourage these folks!

I am praying the Lord uses these special services to enflame our love for Him.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Nature of the Gospel

In case you have not been following it, Darrin Brooker and Darryl Dash have been having a very important discussion on the nature of the Gospel (what the Gospel really is) in the comment string to this post.

I think this is a good conversation to eavesdrop on for, as it has progressed, it seems to have narrowed the focus down to the heart of the issue... an issue of critical importance to every true Christian!