Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Happy 15 Months

How time flies when your having fun! Our miracle baby is now a little girl of 15 months old today, so far the journey has been fun as we have watched Hannah grow and develop each day. At one point I almost became a semi-Pelagian as I found no evidence of original sin in my little girl. However I still need to hold onto the orthodox position because even though she is fairly laid back like her Mommy and Daddy wow does she have a temper!!! It is amazing to see when she doesn't get her own way how quickly she loses her rag. Still she is very cute and the apple of her Mommy and Daddy's eyes. She has brought us much joy and we are looking forward to seeing how she handles being a big sister in September when baby number two arrives :-)!

Stephen <><>

Sunday, 21 March 2010

What on earth is the church?

I have been reading and thinking a lot recently about what is the church. Even within the church there is a big misunderstanding about what the church is. How often do you hear that old chestnut 'the church is the only organisation that exists for those outside'? Whilst the church should be reaching out to those outside that is not the primary purpose of the church. John Piper expresses this well in his book on mission, 'Let the Nations Be Glad', he says: of the Church's mission that: Mission isn't ultimate worship is. I remember the first time I heard that it rocked my whole world, mission is the prime goal of the church isn't it? Yet He goes on to say: Mission is not the end but the means, the goal of mission is to present white hot worshippers before the throne of God. Mission exists because there are places where worship doesn't, places where God is not delighted in and praised, places even where He is not known. Therefore we do have a mission to reach out to the world, both globally and in our neighbourhood. Yet it is Worship not mission that is at the centre of why Church exists, I think it was MacArthur who said 'the church gathers to worship but scatters to evangelise.' The church is about God's people delighting in God, praying together and having fellowship with one another. The primary goal of church is for God's people to meet together and worship Him under the ministry of the word of God., it is only when we have the word rightly preached and the sacraments rightly administered that we have church. Mark Dever in his book 'The Deliberate Church' rightly points out that the ministry of the word of God, is more than just the preaching. It is the read of the Bible, expository preaching singing songs that reflect the word of God back to him, even our prayers should be centred on praying God's word back to Him. When the church on earth reflects this it becomes like the church in heaven having the ultimate purpose to glorify God.

Stephen <><