Starting this Fall

by John Yoder on September 8, 2015

For our Christian Education class, we are using A Survey of Church History by W. Robert Godfrey.

Despite the ups and downs experienced by the church in its long history, Christ has fulfilled His promise to build and preserve His church so that “the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18) and that He might “present the church to Himself in splendor” (Eph. 5:27).  In this series, Dr. Robert Godfrey examines the key elements of church history between AD 100-600 in order that God’s people today, inheritors of a rich Christian tradition, might better understand themselves as well as rejoice in the faithfulness of Jesus to His holy, catholic (universal) church. (from the cover)

For the morning worship service, we are returning to the Gospel of Mark at chapter 13, the Olivet Discourse.

Chapters like this ought to be deeply interesting to every true Christian.  No history ought to receive so much of our attention as the past and future history of the Church of Christ.  The rise and fall of worldly empires are events of comparatively small importance in the sight of God.  Babylon and Greece and Rome and France and England, are as nothing in His eyes by the side of the mystical body of Christ.  The march of armies and the victories of conquerors are mere trifles in comparison with the progress of the Gospel and the final triumph of the Prince of Peace.  May we remember this in reading prophetical Scripture!  “Blessed is he that readeth.” (Rev. 1:3) (Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Mark, p. 272)

For the evening worship service, we are returning to our sermon series from the Sermon on the Mount at Matthew 6.

Jesus began his instruction on the hill by portraying in the beatitudes the essential elements of Christian character, and went on to indicate by his metaphors of salt and light the influence for good which Christians will exert in the community if they exhibit this character.  He then described Christian righteousness which must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees by accepting the full implications of God’s law without dodging anything or setting artificial limits.  Christian righteousness is righteousness unlimited.  It must be allowed to penetrate beyond our actions and words to our heart, min and motives, and to master us even in those hidden, secret places. (Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, p. 125)

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