From Your Pastor: Zechariah’s Comforting Gospel (A Christmas Meditation)

Zechariah the Prophet prophesied at the time of Darius of Persia (ca. 520-18 BC), during the same time as the Prophet Haggai, with a preaching ministry that spanned about fifty years (520-470 BC). He became a martyr for His faithful preaching and teaching, and was nobly recognized by the Lord Jesus Christ for His faithful example (Matt. 23:35; 2 Chron. 24:20-21).

Zechariah’s prophesy is saturated with rich, biblical, gospel truth. He speaks of the hope of the Incarnation that we celebrate at Christmastide. Let us meditate on this wonderful book of prophecy to encourage our souls to joy this Christmas! Christ has come! God promises His believing people:

And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD,

and I will be the glory in her midst.'” (ESV Zechariah 2:5)

The theme of Zechariah’s Gospel is that though the people of Israel are unfaithful to His covenant, God will be faithful to His covenant promises, and God Himself will come and make His holy presence known in their midst, making His people holy. God will dwell in the midst of His people! God’s great promise is:

“I will be their God and they shall be my people, and I will dwell in their midst forever”.

Meditate upon this at Christmastide: Repentance: Because God is holy, and we are sinful, God’s people need daily repentance (Zech. 1). God’s people are called to a life of repentance before His holy throne. God will through preaching and the power of His Spirit bring His people to repentance. In light of all the good that God has done for His people, the people are called to repent: “Return to me…and I will return to you” (1:3). In the Incarnation, the Son of God came preaching “repentance and the forgiveness of sins”.

Meditate upon this at Christmastide: Holy People: “God’s glory is revealed in the midst of the people” (2:5). How? Ultimately, through the “pierced one” who is a fountain for sinners to bathe in! (12:10, 13:1). Though there is sin in God’s people, God’s glory will be revealed, and His power and grace will transform them into a holy people. In the Incarnation, the Son of God came to make the good news of the Kingdom known, and was pierced for His people’s iniquity, so that by His blood, and through repentance and the forgiveness of sins, God’s glory by His Spirit could be realized in His people, and as a “wall of fire around” them (2:5a). On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came as fire and glory to dwell in the purified church.

Meditate upon this at Christmastide: Righteousness: God’s people need righteousness (Zech. 3). Though the people, symbolized by Joshua the High Priest, are soiled with filthy, sinful garments. The LORD will remove these garments of filth and wickedness, and give His righteousness to all who believe. In the Incarnation, the Son of God took our flesh to earn perfect righteousness before God, and to clothe His own with His own glorious righteousness.

Meditate upon this at Christmastide: Power: God’s people need the power and fullness of His Holy Spirit (Zech. 4). “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD (4:6). God will grant a full supply of His Holy Spirit so that God’s people through His grace (4:7b) can live the holy lives that they have been called to live. In the Incarnation, the Son of God was anointed with the Spirit without measure to be the “Christ” or “Anointed One” to provide the Holy Spirit for them so that they could have access to “grace upon grace” without measure in union with the risen Son of God.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. (ESV Zechariah 12:10)

Meditate upon this at Christmastide: Mediator: God’s people need a crown Priest-King- “The Branch” (Zech. 6). God’s people need a king to rule and reign over them as a “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. We need one to subdue our evil hearts to God’s purposes. We need one who is also a priest to offer a final sacrifice and offering on our behalf for the forgiveness of sins, and to pray for us continually, both day and night, for our faith not to fail. In the Incarnation, the Son of God was the Holy “Branch” of Jesus, True and Faithful Israel, to offer Himself as the final sacrificial offering, the True Lamb of God, to take away the sins of God’s people, and to be enthroned on High as only Mediator and Priest-King, full of compassion and power for His people.

Meditate upon this at Christmastide: Fasting and Feasting: God’s people’s fasting will lead to feasting (Zech. 7-8). Though God’s people are called to humble themselves from the heart through fasting, this will lead to feasting with the LORD in their midst. Though the people are presently humbled, they will sup with the LORD for evermore! Hallelujah! In the Incarnation, Christ came fasting through humility even unto death, so that He might secure everlasting life for His own and invite them to an eternal Supper and Feast of the Lamb! When we gather at the Lord’s Table at communion, we can be reminded that this is a foretaste of the feast that we shall enjoy with Christ for all eternity.

Meditate upon this at Christmastide: Fountain: God’s glory that is promised in Zechariah’s prophecy is ultimately revealed in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ (Zech. 9:10; 13:7). God has richly provided for believing sinners a FOUNTAIN. In this fountain, Jesus Christ has purchased through His blood, our forgiveness, joy, and sanctifying grace. Through the Incarnation of the Son of God, God brings both comfort and conformity to Christ!

“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness. (ESV Zechariah 13:1)


—Pastor Biggs

From Your Pastor: Pursuing Holiness in 2018

Dear Beloved, Loved by God, at KCPC,

As you plan your calendars for the new year of 2018, may you also have a plan for holiness. The Apostle Paul both encourages and commends the Christians at Thessalonica because their election by God was demonstrated very specifically in that the gospel came to them not only in word, but “also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thess. 1:3-5). As a congregation, they had learned of God’s love for them in Christ, and they had become imitators of the Lord Jesus and other godly Christians. Even through great affliction, their faith and joy in Jesus shone through to all (1 Thess. 1:6-8). This was a sanctified congregation that possessed a measure of holiness by God’s grace. Yet the Apostle Paul encouraged them to “do so more and more”, and reminded them that the will and purpose of God was for them to be sanctified/holy (1 Thess. 4:1, 3, 8). They were to pursue holiness and grow in Christ.

How might we grow more and more in holiness in Christ in this coming year? As the Christians did at Thessalonica, it was primarily through a deeper knowledge of God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. Here are some ways that other Christians before us have sought to grow in holiness. Let me encourage us to do the same in this new year, praying for the blessing of God’s Spirit in our flourishing and maturity as a congregation in Christ. Let us “more and more” pursue holiness (some of the below we have included in our worship services, so that you will do this at least once a week).

  1. Law of God/10 Commandments: Memorize the Law of God and go over it regularly on 2 hands and 10 fingers, remembering the 2 tables to love God and neighbor as self (cf. Matt. 22:37-39), and 10 commandments that summarize our privilege and duty in Christ before God. See how gracious God is in His condescension to sinners that He would make the summary of how to love Him and neighbor as ourselves so easy to memorize and meditate upon each day (Psa. 1)?!
  2. Lord’s Prayer: Memorize, and seek to regularly pray the Lord’s Prayer from the heart, meditating upon each petition regularly. Praying “Thy will be done” reminds us to be self-less, and dependent upon God’s Word alone, and praying “Forgive us our debts as we forgive…” reminds us to be merciful.
  3. Apostle’s Creed: Memorize, and seek regularly to think of these petitions and summaries of God’s salvation in Christ. Let your subjective faith that God has given to you by His Spirit, be built up in this objective summary of your most holy faith.
  4. Bible Reading/Meditation: Seek to regularly read through the Bible (perhaps annually?), and meditate upon truths that are highlighted by God’s Spirit to teach and guide you (I write them out on 5X7 cards for memorization, prayer, meditation, further Bible study, etc. I invite you to do the same if helpful). There are so many good apps for accomplishing this regular reading of Scripture, particularly helpful are the ESV Bible app (with many Bible reading plans), and Reading Scripture app that helps you to get an overview of redemptive-history and a helpful, Christ-centered introduction to each Bible book.
  5. Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms: Memorize these excellent catechisms with your family, starting with the Shorter Catechism, and then seeking to feed on and digest more fully the Larger Catechism. Much wisdom in these!!

I pray that this will be useful for us to grow in holiness “more and more” in 2018! All of this must be undergirded by unceasing prayer for illumination and power by Christ’s Holy Spirit. Remember, Beloved of Jesus, holiness means greater glory to our Covenant LORD and Triune God, and more happiness for us His people.

For true holiness is nothing more than true happiness!

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (ESV 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

From Your Pastor: Magnifying and Rejoicing in Christ at Christmas

Read Luke 1:26-55.

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” (Luke 1:46-47)

Mary rejoiced in God her Savior because of Christ. We can too! What are specific ways to do this as a congregation during this Advent and Christmastide?

1. Let us know God our Savior in Jesus Christ (1:30-35) “…He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

God is for us and with us in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:31-32). There is no saving knowledge of God outside of Jesus Christ. Salvation is an amazing work of God the Father for sinners through the incarnation of Christ by the Holy Spirit (1:31-33, 35, 37). Jesus is Mary’s great son, Son of the Most High God, and the Eternal King of David’s line come to save sinners. Jesus Christ is both God and man. Though truly born of Mary’s substance through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is God in the flesh, the heir to David’s throne, the King of kings and Lord of Lords! Let us bow to Him as our Lord!

2. Let us know our humble estate before Him (1:48) “…He has looked on the humble estate of his servant….”

 Our salvation is all of grace, let us humble ourselves before Him. What can we boast of regarding our salvation? It is all because of God’s magnificent mercy and glorious grace to us in Christ (Eph. 2:4)! When we were neither seeking after God, nor desiring to please Him, when we were at enmity with Him as sworn enemies, God looked upon the rebellious world in pity and sent Christ in the fullness of the times to save sinners (John 3:16-17; Rom. 3:9ff; 5:6-8; 8:7-8; Gal. 4:4). As sinners we have nothing to offer God, so we must only receive and believe (Isa. 55:1-3, 6-7; Matt. 11:28-29; John 3:18, 36). Let us say with Mary by faith: “Behold, I am the servant of the LORD; Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

3. Let us know to fear Him (1:50) “And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.”

 God’s mercy is for those who truly love and fear Him. To fear God means that we desire to show our love through obedience to His Word, through devotion as we offer Him our hearts and worship, and through humble service as we daily give ourselves to Him in Christ (Gen. 22:12; Job 28:28; Psa. 19:9; 110:11; Eccl. 12:13; Isa. 33:6; Mal. 1:6; 2:5; 4:2; Acts 9:31; 2 Cor. 7:1).

4. Let us know His strength in our weakness and His opposition to pride (1:51-53) “He has shown strength…He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate…”

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). God is not impressed, nor does He take pleasure in our strengths and proud positions, but rather He takes delight in those who fear him and hope in His steadfast love (Psa. 147:11). God calls the weak things in the world to shame the strong (1 Cor. 1:27), and hates pride and arrogance (Prov. 8:13; Amos 6:8), so let us boast of our strength in Christ that is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

5. Let us know that His promises are for us as Abraham’s children in Christ (1:54-55) “He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

 All of God’s promises made throughout redemptive-history are received by faith and ultimately realized in Christ. All of God’s promises are “Yes” in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). Gospel promises were made to Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:15)…and to us.; to Abraham (Gen. 12:2-3)…and to us; to Israel…and to us (Gal. 3:16, 26-29). Believers are the true Israel of God (Gal. 6:16).



In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

From Your Pastor: Some Excellent Advent and Christmas Books for this Festive Season

Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative by Russ Ramsey (combine this with Andrew Peterson’s excellent companion music CD)

Child in the Manger by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Songs of the Nativity by John Calvin

Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation by Joel R. Beeke

Christmas Playlist: Four Songs that bring you the heart of Christmas by Alistair Begg

The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ by Tim Keller

The Christ of Christmas by James Montgomery Boice

Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus, A Family Devotional by Marty Machowski

Come, Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp


In Christ,

Pastor Biggs

From Your Pastor: “We Confess One Holy Catholic and Apostlic Church”

Happy 500th Anniversary of the Reformation!

Regularly during our public worship services at KCPC, we confess together as a congregation the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed is the corporate confession of the church that was formulated from the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 A.D. respectively. The Nicene Creed is a Trinitarian Creed that confesses the one Christian faith revealed from the Father, through the Work of the Son, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit (cf. Eph. 2:11-22, esp. v. 18). In response to the elder-presbyter asking in the worship service: “Church, what do you believe?” We gladly respond confessionally as a part of our worship of the Triune God:

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
“And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.
“And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

The third part of the Nicene Creed is focused primarily on the work of the Holy Spirit, the “Lord and Giver of Life”. We confess together as a congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ that we believe in “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church”. When we confess each of these four attributes as members of Christ’s Church, we confess that we are the recipients of the life-giving and powerful work of the Holy Spirit as He has established, is building, and is filling Christ’s Church to the glory of the Father. Because the Nicene Creed is a Trinitarian Creed, it should be emphasized that this necessarily means it is also a Christocentric (Christ-centered) and thus a Pneumatological Creed (having to with the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit) as well.

One: When we confess that the church is one, we confess that we are part of one church that is the body of Christ (Eph. 4:4, 12, 16), the beloved bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23, 29-32), purchased and redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:7; Rev. 1:5), to be children of the living God, one family in Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; 2:11-18; 4:4-6; 5:8). Our oneness is what we possess in our union with Jesus Christ by the Spirit, and we ought to seek to realize that union and communion more fully in our day to day Christian lives. When Christ returns this unity will be fully realized and manifested before the world for the glory of the Triune God (Eph. 5:27; Col. 3:4; 2 Pet. 1:11; 2 Pet. 3:14; Rev. 14:12-13). As the Apostle Paul wrote: “Be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). For everyone who professes the name of Jesus Christ, and loves the Lord Jesus in sincerity with a faith incorruptible (Rom. 10:12; 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph. 6:23-24; cf. Titus 1:16), we should consider them part of the one body of Christ, and the one family of God, and pursue and maintain unity with them through loving service, fellowship, and mercy (Rom. 12:11-18; Col. 3:11-15; 5:12-18; 2 Thess. 1:3).

Holy: When we confess that the church is holy, we confess that we are set apart as one body, one bride, one people, one family to be the purchased possession and delight of God our Father (Gen. 17:8; Exodus 19:5; Deut. 14:2; 30:9; Psa. 74:2; Zeph. 1:17; Mal. 3:17; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:13-18; 2:9-11). We are called by our God and Father to “be holy as He is holy” (Lev. 11:44; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:15-16). In Christ, through the Holy Spirit’s bond of union (Eph. 4:1-6; Phil. 2:1-5), we are given perfect righteousness in Him that is received by faith (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 3:21-26; 4:1-11; 5:18; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9-11). This perfect righteousness that all sinners desperately need to stand before the holy presence of God is imputed as a gift from Christ alone (Psa. 32:2; Rom. 3:24-26; 4:6; 2 Cor. 5:19-21). In Christ, through the Holy Spirit’s bond of union, we also grow up and mature in real righteousness in Him as we walk in the light of His Holy Word, and in the unfathomable love of the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:17-19; 4:13-16). We are sanctified, or grow holy in God’s righteousness, as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling in Him (Phil. 2:12-13). Christ by His Spirit gives us imputed righteousness in our justification, and imparted, or real righteousness progressively in our sanctification (1 Thess. 4:1-8; 2 Pet. 1:3-11).

Catholic: When we confess that the church is catholic, we confess that we are part of one body, one bride, one family that has been called out of darkness and the corruption of sin to be God’s True Israel made up of both Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female, and of everyone the Lord by His Spirit calls to Himself from Father Adam to the last person to be saved before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8; Gal. 3:26-29; Eph. 1:3-6, 13-23; Rom. 5:12, 15, 17; 12:5; 16:25-27; Col. 1:11-12; 3:9-11; 1 Pet. 2:9). We use the term “catholic” as referring to the church as “universal”, not in one place or time, but from all people, and all places, and all times who have called upon the name of Jesus Christ and acknowledge Him as Lord alone. We confess that we are part of one family that is made up of every tribe, people, language and nation of believers (Rev. 5:9; 7:4; 13:7). As our early church father Ignatius of Antioch confessed, “Where Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic church.” This means that where Jesus as Head of His Church is present by His Spirit and His Word, there is the one catholic or universal church (as we see in Revelation with the seven churches, they are all part of one whole, though they are from Ephesus, Smyrna, Philadelphia, etc., cf. Revelation 2-3). We are not Roman Catholic, but we are Reformed, and reforming catholics, not sectarians, but the True Israel of God in Christ by His Spirit (Gal. 6:14-16), who though part of a local, faithful congregation of the church is part of the larger whole in Christ Jesus.

Apostolic: When we confess that the church is apostolic, we confess that we are part of Christ’s kingly and priestly architectural work of building His holy temple, founded on the apostolic and prophetic word, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone, filled with the glorious Spirit of God, to the glory of God alone (Acts 2:1-5; Eph. 2:19-22). We are also part of Christ’s authoritative prophetic work of building up His holy temple by His Blessed Vicar on earth, the powerful Spirit of Truth, who leads His people in all truth through the inspired, infallible, final, and completed Word of God (John 7:38-39; 14:17; 15:26; 16:12-15; 20:21-22; Acts 1:8; 2:38; Gal. 3:14; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 John 4:1-5). To be apostolic means to confess that Scripture alone is God’s final authority for our doctrine and life. Tradition is good when it is scriptural (Acts 17:11; 1 Cor. 11:2; 2 Th. 2:15; 3:6; but cf. Mark 7:4-8), but “To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn” (Isa. 8:20), and “Thus says the LORD” and “It is written…” should be the ultimate word and final guide to our doctrine, life and godliness! To be apostolic means to confess that a true apostolic church is not found through apostolic succession of fallible men, but through faithfulness to apostolic truth found in the Holy Scriptures in preaching, teaching, and living. One of the important marks of the true church is the faithful preaching of the Word of God, and where this is found, there you will find the apostolic church of Jesus Christ.

How can we practically live out this confession we make? We can seek to realize our union and communion with Jesus and other Christians by pursuing peace, and being merciful and patient and compassionate with other confessing Christians as Christ has been so graciously kind with us (Col. 3:12-16). We can realize our union and communion with Jesus by the Spirit and know that we have indeed been set apart and justified through faith by His grace, and seek to glorify Christ in increasingly being more holy as He is holy. We can realize our union and communion with Jesus by His Spirit and know that we are privileged to be part of the one true Israel and family of God, and to know that this one family is made up of all kinds of people, at all times, and in all places. We can realize our union and communion with Jesus by the Spirit, by knowing more fully that we are the temple of the Spirit that Christ is building as Architect, and that King Jesus is ruling, reigning, subduing, guarding and defending this glorious temple by the authority of the apostolic word, the very Sword of the Spirit.

Our Lord Jesus promised that He would build His church, His Holy Spiritual temple, and the gates of hell would never prevail against her! This is precisely what we have observed because of His good providence throughout history. We have also experienced this as part of Christ’s power and grace by His Spirit to our congregation and denomination to this day! What a privilege at the 500th anniversary of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century to continue to confess our union with Christ and His Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father as “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church” throughout the ages, called to be the children of God, and to shine like the firmament as God’s holy ones in this present age (Dan. 12:3; Phil. 2:14-16). Here we still stand as the one holy catholic and apostolic church. May the LORD direct our hearts to His love and the steadfastness of Christ! (2 Thess. 3:5).

Let us this day rejoice and delight in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit this day because of His faithfulness, and because He rejoices and delights in us!

Let us remember that all grace and goodness and mercy and love is from Him, and through Him, and to Him, to Him alone be the glory, forever and ever! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Amen!

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

From Your Pastor: The Grace of Giving and Generosity

Dear Family in Jesus,

Let us seek to flourish and thrive in the grace of being magnanimously generous in our giving. Because of God’s grace to us, let us more eagerly desire to honor and glorify God in Christ by “crowning” our King in the extension and advancement of His Kingdom, to the ends of the earth!


Once upon a time there was a young man named Mr. Consumer and he was known to all as a taker who wanted instant gratification. He desired everything now. He was constantly tempted to buy, and buy, and buy, and buy. His kinder neighbors knew that this, too, was their temptation, but Mr. Consumer would not resist this terrible desire for more buying. When Mr. Consumer was asked by others why he would often buy, buy, buy, he would say that he had come to believe that peace and joy and satisfaction could be purchased through these means (but this was a lie).

In the same town, there also lived a young man named Mr. Producer. He was always seeking to give and to be a steward-manager of all his resources. Though Mr. Producer was often greatly tempted to buy, buy, buy, he was not taken by the temptation to instant gratification, but rather enjoyed the peace and trust of delayed gratification. Mr. Producer ultimately sought to live for Jesus Christ who had loved him and given Himself for him, to produce more gospel resources for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. He desired Christ to be crowned as King through His giving and generosity. Mr. Producer desired to give and bless others because he believed there were greater eternal rewards awaiting those who might show magnanimous generosity (and this was the truth).

One day, Mr. Consumer met Mr. Producer, and was convinced by God’s grace, that the life Mr. Producer lived was the true life of joy, peace and satisfaction. Mr. Consumer realized that while he lived for self, Mr. Producer lived for Christ and others, and gave glory to God! Mr. Consumer repented of his terrible sin against God, found mercy and grace in Christ, and both he and Mr. Producer from that day forth walked hand in hand in the fear of the LORD, helping one another, exhorting one another, encouraging one another, to live for the glory of God.

The truth is, Beloved of Jesus, most of our lives we can see a bit of both Mr. Consumer and Mr. Producer in ourselves, but we are called by God’s grace to be Mr. Producers. Wisdom has shown us that oftentimes the Christian who is more of a consumer in the marketplace, is also more of a consumer in the church than a producer-giver. In other words, this sin can make us grace-takers rather than grace-givers. Only Christ through His grace can redeem Mr. Consumer and transform him into Mr. Producer, a recipient of Christ’s rich benefits, full of thanksgiving! Let us cry out with the Psalmist:

Psalm 103: Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Forget not all His benefits!

…Yet how easily we forget God’s mercies to us in Jesus—so make a point of remembering!

In this year alone, God has blessed KCPC in many ways! How many benefits? Think of five specific benefits to you, our congregation, and your family. Stop. Do it right now. Think about it. I encourage you to make a list of what God has done in your life and is doing presently! Be thankful; be grateful!! The point in this exercise is to stir you up to love and good works! (Heb. 10:24-25).

Behold the riches of God in Christ Jesus—all that Christ has is yours!

You are a recipient of every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus!

ESV Ephesians 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…

     Beloved in Jesus: Remember that because of God’s love to you in Christ, to give faithfully in your tithes and offerings. Give yourself back to Jesus who has given Himself for you (Rom. 12:1). Your tithes and offerings are tangible and concrete displays of the giving of yourself back to God in response to His Gospel promises to you in Christ. You are God’s precious treasure and possession; give yourself fully back to Him (Romans 5:6-11). If you have been redeemed you are not your own. Say it: “I am not my own; I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:5-7).

In your giving, always REMEMBER THE GOSPEL, and to meditate on God’s goodness to you and your family in the Gospel- -DAILY.


ESV 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

We were impoverished, poor and naked before God (Rev. 3:17), without any righteousness to offer him, and nothing but a weight of guilt, sin and debt to God. Christ put aside all of his glorious riches to make us abundantly rich and gloriously clothed in Him.


Remember our ONE-ness in the Gospel (Others’ interests should be more important than our interests)! We are united to one another in one body by Christ’s Spirit:

ESV Philippians 2:2-4: …Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Let us give to each other because we are one body in Jesus at KCPC. May there never be needs in our congregation that we are aware of, that we do not seek as a congregation to provide together. There should never be anyone in our midst with known needs that are not met. If we cannot be generous to our brothers who we are united with and serve with together, how can we ever serve our enemies and the world as we are called to do?!

“Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”


Remember Your Faith and Your Love being demonstrated in your works

ESV James 2:14-18: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Remember to prove your love to Christ and one another; this is biblical. You say you love God, show it! Jesus said: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

ESV 2 Corinthians 8:8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine….ESV 2 Corinthians 8:24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.

EXCEL in the grace of giving generously!

ESV 2 Corinthians 8:7 But as you excel in everything– in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you- see that you excel in this act of grace also.

Let us show our love for God, our love for one another, and the abundant grace of joy and thanksgiving we have by giving tangibly to needs.  Continue to be faithful to tithing, giving and generosity in general.

ESV 2 Corinthians 9:6-8: The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all contentment in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.


Do you believe that you can be MAGNANIMOUSLY GENEROUS and that Jesus can be your ultimate portion and possession and treasure- -and that you can be a greater giver? In Christ, we have all we need. He is full of the grace of generosity and giving—this, too, is our inheritance in union with Him!

Do you believe this? Jesus asks us:

“Didn’t I say that you would see the **GLORY** of God if you just believed?”- John 11:40

Yet we have our pet excuses why we cannot give and be generous in our own estimation. Here are some:

“Objections” as to why you cannot or do not (will not!?) give!

You say: “But I’m really already stretched financially!”

If you’re “stretched”, God knows it and will provide for you (Psalm 37:23-26); you can never out-give God! He is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides! Your giving is an act of faith, and this same grace will be returned to you. In fact, it is through sacrificial giving that you learn more about how to be content in whatever situation and to have Christ strengthen you (look at the larger context of Philippians 4:10-23). The Apostle Paul teaches that we can do “all things” in Christ who strengthens us, and that means all things whether we living in abundance or need. God promises this:

ESV Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

ESV 2 Corinthians 8:14-15: …Your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

You say: “But I tithe, isn’t that enough?!”

Thanks be to God for your tithing; that is a great start! But let us learn that the tithe was to show our utter dependence upon God for all things; that all that we have or will ever possess comes from God (1 Cor. 4:7), and that we are to learn not merely to give a tithe (10%) but learn to be willing to give all of ourselves and our possessions and belongings (nothing we should hold on too tightly! Luke 14:26ff). In other words, giving is for us to avoid idolatry and weighing ourselves down on our pilgrimage by prosperity. Giving is to give back to God as steward-managers of God, recognizing the danger of having too much stored away that might tempt us to lean on our savings plan rather on the God who has saved us!

You say: “But, I am in so much debt.”

Most of our lives we have some sort of debt.  God knows this. We can prayerfully and wisely seek to be debt free, but often the cause of our debt is because we are more consumers by nature than producers.

Remember Proverbs 11:24-25: One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Let us pray and seek to pay our debts faithfully to the glory of God (Psalm 37:21-22), but let us put God first in our priorities, and seek to produce more for His kingdom, and trust Him to pay off the debt. If you have tremendous debts, ask God to search your heart, Psalm 139:23-24-style, and if there is anything greed, consumerism, selfishness to be repented of, then by all means, get to it now and find mercy and grace in Christ (Heb. 4:16). Ask God to be your Help in whatever sinful place you find yourself. No one who cries out to Jesus Christ in true repentance and faith will be without a Faithful Helper!

You say: “But, I can give so little.”

Give your “widow’s mite”; give your few fish and single loaf of bread; give what you can and watch and pray that Jesus in His grace might multiply what you give. Perhaps your small gift will be received, seen, etc. and someone with much more would give because they saw you give little of what you have!? If there is readiness to give, it is from God and acceptable:

ESV 2 Corinthians 8:12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.

Let us show our love for God in our giving and generosity. Remember, He will do above and beyond what we can ever ask or imagine by the power of His Spirit (Eph. 3:20-21). Bless the LORD, Mr. Producer redeemed by the blood of Christ, recipient of His benefits! Bless His Holy Name! Let me encourage you to excel in the grace of giving and generosity today, especially as we prayerfully consider the OPC THANK OFFERING to be received in the next couple of weeks, and as you think about how you would like to increase your giving and seek to be more generous toward God in the new year!

 In Christ’s love,

Pastor Charles

From Your Pastor: The Solas of the Reformation

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the Glory!” (Psalm 115:1)

This month we have the privilege of celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century. October 31st is the occasion when many Reformed congregations gratefully remember the Spirit of God’s work through Martin Luther in hammering his 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenberg Germany, that was the means through which God brought a fresh recovery of His Gospel to His church. We should be thankful that the Reformation was one of the greatest revivals in the history of the church. Let us pray that we today can enjoy this same kind of revival by God’s grace in our hearts and churches.

As grateful heirs of this reformation and revival, let us particularly remember the five theological truths of the Reformation that are worth memorizing and remembering each year at this time. These five truths of the Reformation are five “solas”, or “alones”, that are important for us never to forget as God’s people.

These ‘solas’ accentuate God’s absolute mercy and passionate grace for His dear lost and helpless children whom He is pleased to rescue and receive through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. The ‘solas’ are ‘Sola Scriptura’ (Scripture Alone), ‘Sola Fide’ (Faith Alone), ‘Sola Gratia’ (Grace Alone), ‘Solus Christus’ (Christ Alone), and ‘Soli Deo Gloria’ (To God be Glory Alone!). Let’s look briefly at each of these:

Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone): Scripture alone stresses that the God-breathed-out, infallible and inerrant Word of God is foundational and sufficient for all life and godliness (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3-4). Biblical creeds and confessions are helpful aids to God’s people, and we should embrace tradition insofar as it is consistent with Scripture. Scripture alone means that the last word and final authority for matters of life and doctrine are to be found in the Holy Scriptures. Scripture is to be preached by the power of the Holy Spirit as a primary means of saving and sanctifying sinners (2 Tim. 4:1ff).

Sola Fide (Faith alone): Faith is a gift of God, an instrument whereby believers receive as a gift all of the perfect righteousness that we need to stand before a holy God. The righteousness God requires is the righteousness found in Christ (Rom. 3:24-26, 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:21). Faith alone stresses that Christ does all the work that is required for one to be saved, and we receive this as a gift. We are not saved through faith and our works, but through Christ’s works alone received by faith. However, it is important to note that while we are saved by faith alone, we are saved not by a faith that is alone. True and saving faith is a working faith that responds to God’s grace with sincere obedience out of love and the fear of God (Eph. 2:8-10).

Sola Gratia (Grace alone): Grace alone teaches that we are not saved in our cooperating with God in salvation. We are utterly helpless and unable to do anything good before God in our sinfulness (Rom. 3:23). Apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5) and without the gracious, initiating, powerful work of God through HIs Spirit drawing us no one can be saved (Matt. 11:25-27; Tit. 3:4-7; John 6:37, 44). Our salvation is from beginning to end because of God’s mercy, not because of anything God might foresee in us (Rom. 9). We are saved by grace through faith, not of works, so that no one can boast (Eph. 2:8-9).

Solus Christus (Christ alone): Christ alone emphasizes that there is one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5), who is God’s perfect Prophet, Priest and King. Christ has done all for us that we could never do, nor would want to do in our sinful fallenness. Christ is to be glorified and thanked for His good works for us. Christ is to completely possess our minds, hearts, wills and affections, and our lives are to be lived with our ultimate focus, praise, and gratitude on Him (1 Cor. 1:30; Heb. 12:1-2) because of all He has done for us in His life, death, resurrection, and ascension to God’s right hand. While others may place undue and unbiblical emphasis on saints, Mary, and even angels, our hearts and minds are centered on Christ alone as our loving Savior, Bridegroom, and friend (Col. 3:1-4).

Soli Deo Gloria (To God be the Glory Alone!): All that has been achieved for our salvation is to bring glory, honor and praise to the Triune God alone! (Psalm 115:1; Rom. 11:33-36; Rev. 4:11; 5:9-11). We were made for His pleasure, and now live for His glory in gratitude for what He has accomplished for us in Christ.

As a congregation, let us memorize these five ‘Solas’ of the Reformation, and reaffirm them, and unashamedly make them known as God’s pilgrim people on the way to the Heavenly City.


In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

From Your Pastor: Calvin on the Blessed Practicality of the Providence of God


“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all of our days!” (Psalm 90:14)

“By this [teaching of providence] we confess that we have all our trust fixed in God the Father, whom we acknowledge to be Creator of ourselves and of absolutely all things that have been created, which have been established by the Word, His eternal wisdom (who is the Son), and by His power (who is the Holy Spirit). And, as He once established, so now He sustains, nourishes, activates, preserves, by His goodness and power, apart from which all things would immediately collapse and fall into nothingness. But when we call Him Almighty and Creator of all things, we must ponder such omnipotence of His whereby He works all things in all, and such providence whereby He regulates all things…

By faith are we to be persuaded that whatever happens to us, happy or sad, prosperous or adverse, whether it pertains to the body or to the soul, comes to us from Him (sin only being excepted, which is to be imputed to our own wickedness); also by His protection we are kept safe, defended, and preserved from any unfriendly force causing us harm. In short, nothing comes forth from Him to us (since we receive all things from His hand) which is not conducive to our welfare, howsoever things may commonly seem at one time prosperous, at another adverse. Indeed, all these things are done to us by Him, not through any worth of ours, nor by any merit to which He owes this grace, not because we can force His beneficence to make any reciprocal payment. Rather it is through His fatherly kindness and mercy that He has to do with us, the sole cause of which is His goodness.

For this reason, we must take care to give thanks for this very great goodness of His, to ponder it with our hearts, proclaim it with our tongue, and to render such praises as we are able. We should so reverence such a Father with grateful godliness [piety] and burning love, as to devote ourselves wholly to His service, and honor Him in all things. We should also so receive all adverse things with calm and peaceful hearts, as if from His hand, thinking that His providence so also looks after us and our salvation while it is afflicting and oppressing us. Therefore, whatever may finally happen, we are never to doubt or lose faith that we have in Him a propitious and benevolent Father, and no less are to await salvation from Him.”

~Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1536 edition, pgs. 66-67.

From Your Pastor: John Calvin on the Benefits of Union with Jesus Christ

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” [ESV John 15:4-5].

“If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is ‘of Him’ [1 Cor. 1:30]. If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in His anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in His dominion; if purity, in His conception; if gentleness, it appears in His birth. For by His birth He was made like us in all respects [Heb. 2:17] that He might learn to feel our pain [Heb. 5:2].

If we seek redemption, it lies in His passion; if acquittal, in His condemnation; if remission of the curse, in His cross [Gal. 3:13]; if satisfaction, in His sacrifice; if purification, in His blood; if reconciliation, in His descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in His tomb; if newness of life, in His resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in His entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in His Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgment, in the power given Him to judge.

In short, since rich store of every kind of goods abounds in Him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other.”


“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” [ESV Psalm 90:14].

From Your Pastor: Christ’s Voice in Preaching

Preaching is Christ’s voice speaking with power in the church and to the world in salvation or judgment.

As God’s people, we should understand that preaching is a continuation of Christ’s prophetic ministry to the Church. Christ still speaks. On the Day of Pentecost, the exalted, ascended Christ sent forth His Spirit to empower His beloved people to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Preaching was one important result of this Holy Spiritual outpouring. We see Peter in Acts 2 “lifted up his voice” (Acts 2:14; cf. Isa. 42:2) to authoritatively declare the truths of God in submission to His word. To lift up one’s voice as a preacher (or prophet as in the Old Testament, cf. Isaiah 40:8-11) is to authoritatively, yet submissively declare the mind of God in Christ by the Spirit. As we see in the sermons recorded for us in Acts chapters 2 and 7 and 13, all are focused on declaring authoritatively, yet submissively the mind of God in Christ by the Spirit, particularly God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises through the Gospel of Christ (see particularly Acts 2:32-36, 13:23, 25, 38-39). In faithful preaching, where the preacher is authoritatively, yet submissively declaring God’s truth through His, we hear God’s very voice. As our forefather, John Calvin, taught in his ‘Sermons on Deuteronomy’: “Where preaching is, there God’s voice rings in our ears.”

Preaching is Christ continuing to be with His Church by His Spirit, to guide the Church, to feed His sheep through the means of men as they declare His word faithfully (Christ says to His preachers: “I am with you always, even until the end of the age…” -Matt. 28:18-20). Christ is pleased not to speak directly from heaven to His people, but to use sinful, yet sanctified men as His means of making His truth known. Christ is pleased to use weak men to glorify His strength (1 Cor. 1:23-24, 2:1-5; 3:7; 4:7; 2 Cor. 2:16). Christ is pleased to use men who are insufficient yet qualified and called to the task (cf. Act 13:1-4; 1 Tim. 3:1ff). Preaching is incarnational, in that it continues Christ’s powerful ministry of the Word, and extends His kingdom through weak men, weak vessels, extending a hand of grace and comfort to His people through the preacher.

Although Christ is pleased to use weak, sinful, insufficient, yet sanctified and qualified men to preach, the authority and efficacy of preaching is with Christ alone. The men that Christ calls to preach and fills with His Spirit are those who are submissive to God’s Word and faithfully declare God’s Word to God’s people. In other words, preachers are Christ’s called, ordained, and sent ambassadors declaring faithfully the mind of Christ the King to the church and to the world as it is revealed in the Word of God (“Preach the Word!” 2 Tim. 4:1, not merely a preachers own ideas, or his pet theological topics, nor his own opinions). Faithful preaching through ambassadors is declaring the Gospel story of redemption to the church and to the world all for the glory of God, imploring sinful men to be reconciled to God in Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17-21)! In Acts 2 and 7 and 13 with the sermons of Peter, Stephen, and Paul, we see them as preachers wholly submitted to Holy Scripture as Christ’s ambassadors, faithfully telling God’s good story of redemption in Christ. Their preaching has Christ and His crucifixion as the central focus of their messages (cf. 1 Cor. 2:1-5). Let us rejoice that God has provided faithful ambassadors in preaching! As the people of God we can rejoice that God is not silent, but ever present to teach, guide, encourage, comfort, and edify His people through preaching (cf. Isa. 40:1ff; Eph. 4:11-16). Preaching reveals God as the God of all mercies and comfort because we are reminded of His gracious voice to us in Christ. Christ’s sheep hear His voice, and they learn to listen, learn, and follow as his sheep-like disciples (John 10:14-16, 27). Jesus says: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). What should God’s people remember to bring to the preaching event or sermon so that they can better hear and follow? Not only God’s Word to follow along with the preacher, but also a prepared heart, and an expectant faith that Christ will speak to them.

But you may ask, “How is preaching Christ’s voice speaking with power”? The Bible teaches us that although Christ is exalted at God’s right hand, ruling and reigning in a glorified body, He nevertheless is pleased to be with His chosen instruments by His Spirit as a means to speak to His Church. Although Christ is in heaven as Advocate, ever-interceding for His people (Rom. 8:34), he nevertheless is present, truly and really, yet spiritually in preaching to the faith of God’s people. Similar to the Lord’s Supper where Christ is truly and really, yet spiritually present (not corporally present for He is embodied in heaven as glorified King of kings), so he is present in this same way in preaching. As Calvin wrote in his ‘Commentary on Acts’: “The Lord gave the Holy Spirit [on Pentecost] once to His disciples in visible shape, that we may be assured that the Church will never lack His invisible and hidden grace [my emphasis].”

This is another important way of saying that Christ is pleased to use the means of men as preachers to be present with His Church and to make His very voice heard. In Romans 10:13-17, the Apostle Paul is speaking of the importance of faith in hearing God’s Word. He writes: “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). Before this verse, the apostle very clearly declares that Christ is present to the faith of all who hear faithful preachers and will save them: “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). He says in Romans 10:14: “But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” In Romans 10:14b, the Apostle Paul is translated in many Bible translations as saying: “How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard” stressing merely Christ as the subject of preaching, and this is true to a certain extent; Christ is the subject of good and faithful preaching! But what Paul is more particularly saying here is captured more faithfully in the marginal reading of the ESV. In the original language, Paul is not merely speaking of Christ as the subject (“in him of whom”, but Christ as the actual speaker. The correct translation of this should be: “And how are they to believe Him whom they have never heard” (Rom. 10:14b). That is, in the preaching event or sermon, when the ambassador of God is submitted to Christ and His Word, the very voice of Jesus Christ is heard. We are to believe Him and hear Him!

Furthermore, Christ promises that the Gentiles will hear His voice through the ministry of the apostles in John 10:16ff, emphasizing that it is Christ’s voice that is heard truly and really, yet spiritually through preaching: “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice” (cf. Acts 13:47-48). Also, in the sermon to the Hebrews, the preacher says that Christ is speaking in and through preaching, he writes: “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven” (Heb. 12:25). Christ literally speaks from heaven and warns from heaven through the preaching event or sermon, and this brings either salvation or judgment. John Calvin, in his “Commentary on Isaiah” wrote: “When the ministers faithfully declare the words of Christ, their mouth is His mouth and their lips are His lips [my emphasis].”

What makes these weak men who serve as preachers powerful in preaching? Are they not just weak men? What brings the power and effective or transformative change? Christ, by His Spirit. When the Word is preached, the Spirit is faithful to use these means of bringing about God’s purposes (cf. Isa. 55:10-11; Acts 13:48-49), whether these purposes are salvation or judgment. The Spirit and the Word, though they are distinct, must never be separated from one another. When the Word of God is faithfully preached in Christ’s name, God’s people can be confident that what they are hearing is Christ’s very powerful voice! While the men as preachers are instrumental means of grace, the effectual means of grace comes from the Spirit of God alone. This means that while Christ is pleased to use men as means, nevertheless, it is His Spirit alone that brings the powerful work of salvation or judgment when the word is rightfully and faithfully preached.

Like bread and wine that Christ is pleased to use as instruments or means of His holy presence to the faith of God’s people in the Lord’s Supper, so He is pleased to be with the lips of His preachers as instruments and means, and their words in the preaching event or sermon (like the bread and wine) should be received by faith. There is no automatic working in the Lord’s Supper nor the preaching ministry of the Word. Both require that we receive Christ’s appointed means by faith. The preaching event or sermon requires that we come by faith to receive from the very mouth of Christ with our minds and hearts. God’s people can be confident that what the preacher says, while it may not immediately appear to them to be applicable sometimes, or particularly relevant to them in their estimation at the moment, it is very applicable and relevant, because Christ has chosen to teach them this in His good timing, on this occasion and at this location by His good and kind providence. God’s people should never go forth from a sermon immediately judging the results according to their limited (and often wrong!) estimation, but rather, by God’s Spirit to humble themselves before God, and prayerfully ask: “What are you teaching me, kind king?!” “Help me to hear this, to believe it, to meditate upon it, to live it out!” Help me to apply this,” etc, should be our immediate prayers after the preaching event or sermon. We should be on our knees as we approach the sermon, praying during this honored and privileged time with Christ, and then on our knees as we leave the sermon!

Preaching is using a double-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), and that double edge reminds us of both God’s salvation and His judgment that comes through the faithful preaching event. Preaching by the power of the Spirit brings forth both salvation for those who receive the truth as from Christ’s own mouth, and judgment for those who would reject it, because they are rejecting Christ Himself (see Acts 7:51-54; 13:42-52 for both salvation for believers and judgment for those who reject it who are described as those who “judge themselves unworthy of eternal life”, 13:46). Preaching is a fulfillment of Christ’s promise in John 16 that when His Spirit comes He will guide the Church into all truth (John 16:13-14), and that He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-8). Jesus is faithful through preaching to lead His people into all the truth, sanctifying them by that same truth (cf. John 17:17). He is also faithful to declare to the world by His Spirit through preaching the reality of their sins, the righteousness of God that is required of every creature to enter heaven (and how it is found in Christ alone!), and to prepare all flesh for the Judgment Day. As we learn in Acts 17:31:

“…[God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man [the Lord Jesus] whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

When the Bible is faithfully preached, Christ truly speaks from God’s right hand through the preacher, and brings either salvation or judgment. As Christ will one day formally separate the sheep from the goats as he teaches in Matthew 25:31-45, with every preaching event or sermon, there is a “sneak preview” of this last day separation that is being made, whether one receives Christ showing oneself to be one of his sheep (because they hear His voice!), or whether it is rejection showing oneself to be an unbelieving “goat” (at least at this point in their life). Whether Christ is pleased to bring salvation or judgment, we should understand that the preaching event is always successful in bringing about God’s purposes (even though the preachers are often weak in different ways, the results are always powerful!). God’s word says:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (ESV Isaiah 55:10-11, my emphasis).

Understanding that preaching is Christ’s very voice speaking with power to the church and the world for salvation or judgment might change the way we pray for Christ’s preachers (1 Thess. 1:5; Eph. 6:18-20), and it might cause us to attend worship with more joyful willingness and a heightened expectation of God’s special presence in Christ, particularly in the preaching event! Let us pray earnestly that Christ would be pleased to both save and sanctify His church through preaching. Let us pray with great passion and ardor that Christ would be magnified and glorified in His enthronement as King through preaching (cf. Heb. 5:12).

Beloved in Christ at KCPC, let us pray that we would attend every preaching event or sermon with great confidence, NOT in Christ’s preacher, but in Christ Himself as He is pleased to speak through Him. Let our faith not rest on men’s wisdom in preaching, but in the power of God. Let us be reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5:

“…And my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:4-5).

Where is your faith? In men, or in the power of God? Let us pray that each preaching event or sermon, we would hear Christ well, and that we would see a demonstration of the Spirit and of power!

Understanding this could make the Church more attentive in listening and seeking to “hear” God as Christ speaks through the Ministry of the Word each Lord’s Day! We should be reminded that hearing is not merely hearing audibly with the ears. Many folks can hear audibly the preaching, but not profit from it at all! Profitable, true, and spiritual hearing is learning to be a “doer of the word” by God’s grace and power (cf. James 1:22). In fact, we were “created in Christ Jesus to do good works” and show forth the likeness of Jesus in conformity to Him by the power of God’s transformative Spirit! (Eph. 2:10; cf. Eph. 1:4-5; Rom. 8:29; Titus 2:11-14). As Hebrews 2:1, 3a teaches us:

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it…How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”

As the Parable of the Sower reminds us (Mark 4), there are four types of soils, or hearts, or ways of receiving Christ’s voice. Although the actual growth and increase of the Word by the Spirit in men is a mystery (Mark 4:27), nevertheless, we are to come with prayerfully prepared and expectant hearts to receive from the very mouth of Christ! May we have a flourishing and fruitful increase of growth in holiness, humility, and honesty as a congregation of Christ because we hear and obey the very words of Christ that come forth from His preachers! Amen.

Preaching is Christ’s voice speaking with power in the church and to the world in salvation or judgment.


In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs