The Church Part VI – The Messiah and His Bride

August 12, 2012 in

Just as the titles of “church” and “Jerusalem” have their origin in the Old Testament and then reach their fulfillment in the New, so it is with the imagery of the bride. The Church is the bride of Christ – and this imagery finds its origin in the relationship between God and Israel. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the love songs of the OT are applicable not only to our marriages but to the relationship between Christ and His Bride. This is particularly true of Psalm 45 – the wedding song of the Kings of Israel.

The Church Part IV – Zion, the Perfection of Beauty

July 1, 2012 in

We have been learning about the centrality of the visible church in God’s dealings with men. This centrality helps us correctly understand one of the ways the NT identifies the Church – the Church is Mount Zion, the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Throughout the OT Jerusalem occupies central place, is at the center of God’s dealings in the Judaic Age. In the Messianic Age, Jerusalem is no less central; for Jerusalem is the mother of us all and is the Church, the city of the Living God. So how does this help us understand why we as the people of God are to sing the psalms and the meaning we are to ascribe to them.

The Church Part III – The Local Church

June 24, 2012 in

Though many modern Christians deny the centrality and importance of the institutional church for the life of individuals Christians, such a mentality is considerably out of step with the historic consensus of God’s people and, more importantly, with God’s Word. The early church father Cyprian declared, “Outside the Church there is no salvation” – and our Reformational fathers like Martin Luther and John Calvin agreed. So why did they teach this and what does it mean for us as God’s people? Why is active participation in a local congregation not just beneficial but necessary?

The Church Part II – The Universal Church

June 17, 2012 in

The word “church” is a translation of the Greek word “ekklesia” from which we get our English word ecclesiastical. It carries the idea of those “called out” from the world to be God’s own special people. If we think of the term “church” in this general fashion then we will be able to understand clearly that God has had His Church, His called out people, from the beginning of time and that the “Church” in the NT is simply the continuation and fulfillment of God’s purpose to call a people to Himself ever since our rebellion in the garden. Today we explore the nature of this Church.

The Church Part I – Duties of Elders and Congregations

June 10, 2012 in

In the context of installing a new elder at Trinity Church, our elders preached two sermons. The first by Bob Dowers is entitled The Duties of Elders to their Congregations. Bob explores the meaning and nature of Shepherding. The second by Stuart Bryan is entitled The Duties of a Congregation to her Elders. Stuart explores the call of those under authority to those in positions of authority over them. Together these sermons enable us to more fully understand the harmony that God has orchestrated to create in the Church.

Advent 2010 Part VI: Immanuel in the Visible Church

January 2, 2011 in

Last week we learned that Jesus is Immanuel. Everything that the Temple was created to express visibly – the necessity of sacrifice, the way of re-entry into the Garden of Eden, the pathway to fellowship with God – all these things and more reach their fulfillment in Christ. If Jesus is the Temple of God then those who are in Christ are also the Temple of God. In other words, the Church is the Temple of God, the dwelling place of God, the visible manifestation of God’s blessing, God’s favor, God’s commitment to us. It is this theme that we explore today: Immanuel in the Visible Church.