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: “At God’s Right Hand” – Psalm 16

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”- Psalm 16:11

What hope we have as the people of God! We who were by nature wanderers from the fold of God, wanderers from the presence of God, wanderers from the delights and joy that only God can give. But now, because of God’s grace to us in Jesus Christ, He has made known to us the path of life! “You make known to me the path of life,” the Psalmist prays. We haven’t found the path of life on our own, we were not even looking for it (Eph. 2:1-4), but God who is rich in mercy made it known to us in Jesus Christ.  Jesus, our Beloved Lord says to us: “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”

Jesus descended into this world to show you the path of life; Jesus ascended back to heaven to show you the fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore at God’s right hand.

By God’s grace to us in Jesus Christ, we are now made pilgrims who walk by faith expectantly looking for a heavenly city and a heavenly inheritance. The path we are on does not lead to destruction, but to more life, life as it is completed in God. As you travel this path, although times can be difficult and you may at times grow weary, do not give up, do not give in, do not be distracted, nor seek to be satisfied in this world. You were made for Jesus, only in Him can you find ultimately all that you’re are longing for from the depths of your hearts and souls.  Although the journey along the path of life can be difficult, Jesus walks with you and will never leave you nor forsake you. “I am with you always, even unto the end of the age…” (Matthew 28:20).

Knowing that Jesus walks with us, makes the journey satisfying and joyful. In fact, the Psalmist says that in the presence of God is “fullness of joy”! The Spirit of God has united us to Jesus Christ so that as we journey as pilgrims we can enjoy Jesus’ presence and be filled with joy along the way as He promised His disciples (John 14-16; Romans 15:13). As we seek God along our journey on the path of life, so we find our Beloved Savior-Husband-Lord and King of kings and Lord of lords enthroned and exalted at God’s right hand (Hebrews 7:24; Romans 8:34). What is He doing there? Ruling and reigning over heaven and earth, as well as praying for us that though all of hell would break loose upon us, we could find at God’s right hand where Jesus is enthroned, His strength, His power, His mercy, as well as the forgiveness, the help we need by His grace, and all of God’s “pleasures forevermore”!

At God’s right hand in Jesus Christ we find strength in our weariness; grace in our weakness; hope in our struggles; pleasures forevermore in our emptiness here. At God’s right hand we find in Jesus all things we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4). All that we long for here, we find at God’s right hand; truly there are “pleasures forevermore” there in Jesus!

What are God’s “pleasures forevermore” in Jesus? Are you hungry? Jesus will fill you; He is the Bread of Life. Are you thirsty? Jesus will quench your thirsts; He is the Fountain of Life. Are you in need of a deeper intimacy and communion with God? Jesus will be your comfort and joy; He is our Heavenly Bridegroom. Are you tired and weary? Jesus will be your rest; He is our rest from our burden of sins, our pains and anxieties, and everything that would distract and/or hinder us along our pilgrimage in this present world.

Let us take refuge in God our Savior (Psalm 16:1). Let us realize that because Jesus is our Lord there is no good apart from him (Psalm 16:2; John 15:5). Let us rejoice that we have a beautiful inheritance in Christ (Psalm 16:6). Let us bless the Lord and let our hearts be glad because Jesus has taken our flesh, and can sympathize with us in our time of need (Hebrews. 4:14-16), because He has tasted the challenges of this path, the sicknesses, the difficulties, the weariness, the loneliness, the abandonment, the cold-hearted hatred; Jesus has taken our sins upon Himself, and tasted the pangs of death and what it means to lose the comfort and power of the presence of God as one forsaken because of sin. And this was for you.

God raised Jesus from the dead after He took upon Himself our sins, after He was crushed for our iniquities, and propitiated God’s wrath in our place. God did not allow Jesus to see corruption in hell, but raised Him in exaltation glory to God’s right hand to experience the fullness of joy and the Father’s love at God’s right hand as King of kings and Lord of lords (Psalm 16:10). And to live for us at God’s right hand so that we would have joy now.

Jesus is a trustworthy Savior, and friend, and Lord, and King, and Shepherd, and Husband. Let us go to him to find in Him the fullness of joy, and the pleasures forevermore this day! Don’t wait another minute seeking in this world or in yourself what only Jesus can give to you. The blessings of God are not found in this world, nor within yourselves, but at God’s right hand!

Seek Jesus there.

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

From Your Pastor: Thoughts on the Assurance of Salvation

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. – ESV 1 John 5:13

As God’s people, we can be grateful that those who truly are believers can never be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus! NOTHING—absolutely NOTHING can separate you from His love for you!! (Romans 8:31-39; John 10:28-30). As believers, we can truly be joyful and confident in God’s love for us in Christ and so gain assurance of our salvation.

The Bible teaches us that assurance is a fruit of our faith in Jesus Christ, but assurance does not necessarily belong to the essence of faith (Col. 2:2; Heb. 6:11; 10:22). This means that one can possess true and saving faith, but not also possess assurance of one’s salvation. One can be a true believer in Christ with the slightest and smallest faith because she is taking hold of a great Christ, even if she is not fully assured! Salvation is about the greatness of Christ and His saving power, and willingness to save the repentant, not about how much faith we have (“Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”)!

But assurance ought to be sought. The Bible teaches: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5). “…Be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure…” (2 Pet. 1:10). We can rejoice that assurance of salvation is a fruit of our faith in Jesus, and it grows out of our growing faith as we grow in our understanding of the love of God for us in Christ. Assurance of salvation in Christ comes out of faith growing up and maturing in our walk with God (Eph. 4:11-16). Our Scripture from 1 John 5:13 tells us that the Apostle John wrote His first epistle to the churches so that they would have assurance of God’s love for them in Christ: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

     We can know that we know CHRIST, that is, we can have the assurance John tells us about in four important ways (1) Loving Obedience to Jesus: “We know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 Jo. 2:3). (2) Love to Other Christians: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love other Christians” (1 Jo. 3:14). (3) Fruit of the Spirit: “By [loving in deed/action and in truth] we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him” (1 Jo. 3:18). (4) Witness of the Spirit of God: “By this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 Jo. 3:19, 24). This is how we gain assurance in our faith as believers. Do we possess to some degree these four things? This is an important question for us to ponder.

We must acknowledge that there are many hypocrites and unregenerate persons in the visible church who presume that they are in an estate of salvation although they show no evidence that they have had any work of grace in their hearts. There are those who claim Christ as Savior, but deny Him as Lord in their sinful disobedience and blatant unrepentance. Therefore, because we know that our hearts can deceive us, and that there are truly hypocrites, and that we can easily play the hypocrite, we must seek to examine ourselves as Scripture teaches us (2 Cor. 13:5; cf. Matt. 7:14-24).

     You should never want your pastors or elders, nor anyone else to ever grant you assurance in the faith if you are not living by faith presently. To give assurance to one who is not living like a Christian may be to condemn one to hell. It is like the character Vain-Hope in Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ that walked the way with Christian and Hopeful, but who had never truly believed Christ and His Gospel, and ended up being cast into the outer darkness. As Bunyan taught there is even a door to hell at the gates of heaven! If you’re living unrepentantly right now in a sin, it may be that you’re a Christian who has fallen into a trap and you need immediate help through repentance (1 Cor. 10:12-13), but you may also be coming to realize you have never been converted. Seek God prayerfully for help on this.

If, or when you’re in this kind of struggle, you need to hear all of the Gospel promises for believers in Christ, but you do not need anyone to assure you first; God may be convicting you in your conscience to inform you of grieving the Spirit and calling you to repentance (John 16:8-11). You may truly be a Christian, but just have weak faith, and you need to be assured of God’s love. Don’t focus on yourself and your failures, but on Jesus Christ and His promises laid out in Scripture. Remember that all of our works, though weak and tainted with sin, are acceptable to God through faith in Jesus (Rom. 12:1; Phil. 4:18; 1 Pet. 2:5; cf. Westminster Confession, 16.6-7).

Let us all put aside the sins that so easily beset us and run the race with endurance fixing our eyes on Jesus alone to gain our blessed assurance and confidence in our faith (Heb. 12:1-2; cf. 4:14-16). This blessedness of assurance was described by one of our Reformed forefathers in this way:

“Assurance is glory in the bud, it is the suburbs of paradise, it is a cluster of the land of promise, it is a spark of God, it is the joy and crown of a Christian” (Thomas Brooks, Works, Vol. 2, 333).

Seek Christ Jesus through HIs Word to find assurance through the Spirit’s help. Remember it is the Spirit of God who not only regenerates us and unites us with Christ in our new birth, it is the Spirit of God who empowers us to live for Christ and become like Christ, resisting our sins, the flesh and the devil, and growing up into our salvation in Jesus. It is the Spirit of God who witnesses with our Spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:15-26). If children, then we are heirs, and we should live as in the very suburbs of heaven, rejoicing in Christ no matter what difficulty, trial or tribulation, knowing that it will only strengthen our endurance, hope and assurance (Romans 5:1-5).

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of love, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood” (F. Crosby, ‘Blessed Assurance’, 1873)

For further study with the family, see Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation.

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs


From Your Pastor: “You May Not Sin”: Our Aim and Goal as Believers


“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

(ESV 1 John 2:1)

If you are a Christian, you should rejoice that you are free from slavery to sin! You are free to walk in newness of life because of the love of Christ for you! Sin is a great evil and offensive against our Holy God, and a great and grave danger to our souls. Sin has an enslaving power to make us obey it and so it is wonderful news to find out that in Christ we are free not to sin!

We are called in Jesus Christ to realize that we are dead to sin and alive to God. This means that when Christ died on the cross, taking the wrath of God upon Himself for our sins, believers died with Him (Rom. 6:4-11). When Jesus was raised from the dead, we were also raised to newness of life. The Apostle Paul writes:

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

 (ESV Romans 6:11)

 The Apostle John is teaching the same liberating truth in 1 John 2:1.

“Dear Children, I write these things to you that you may not sin…”

(1 John 2:1b).

Notice how John addresses believers as his “dear children”. Like a loving father to a child, so the Apostle John writes to believers so that they may not sin.  But you say: “May not sin?! Certainly, the Bible does not teach perfectionism! Surely you are not saying that the Bible tells me that Christians are to be perfect, are you?!” No, the Bible does not teach perfectionism. In fact, the Apostle John has already addressed this false teaching and misunderstanding in chapter 1 of his letter:

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

(ESV 1 John 1:8-10)

We must never say that we “have no sin” (1 John 1:8), or that we “have not sinned” (1:10). If we say that we have no sin or have not sinned, then we are liars and call God a liar. We have a need for the confession and forgiveness of sins, and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness as we walk by faith in this world (1:9). As long as we live in this world, believers will have a need to confess our sins to Jesus and to be forgiven, and Jesus is more than willing to receive our confession and to forgive us. God is faithful and just to forgive us. What great hope we have as Christians! But John goes on to teach in 1 John 2:1 that he writes his letter so that we “may not sin”. This means that it should be our spiritual aim and goal to seek not to sin against God.

 Because of God’s love for us in Christ, let us no longer make excuses for our sins, but let us hear the truth of God’s word and seek the spiritual goal of not sinning by His grace. I know you are thinking: “But pastor, I will sin, I just know it.” But is this the spiritual aim and goal God has commanded you in the Bible to live out by faith? Yes, indeed you will sin, John says “If anyone does sin…” and then provides all Christians a wonderful Savior to go to, but the point of the passage is that Jesus’ work for us is also to promote our resolve to seek not to sin. We still have the ability to sin as long as we are on this side of eternity, but we desire not to sin and offend our Great God and Heavenly Father!

How should believers live seeking not to sin?

Let us have a deep hatred for our sins. We must have a deep hatred for our sins. We should begin by understanding that all of our sins are first a great offense against a Holy and Just and Kind King and Merciful Father. We offend God when we sin; we grieve God when we sin; we hurt Him in His Holy heart (Gen. 6:5ff), and that is a good start for Christians to understand the Godward offense of our sins so that we will seek not to sin.

Sin was the reason Jesus came to save us. Jesus came to set us free from slavery to sin, to release us from the dominion and rule of sin. Jesus says graciously: “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed!” – -Free from sin! (John 8:31ff). In Christ, we are no longer slaves, but dear children (1 John 2:1a). As dear children, we realize that sin crushed our precious Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. “He was crushed for our iniquities” (‘iniquities’ are sins against God’s person and commandments, Isaiah 53:4ff). God crushed Jesus for our sins. “He who knew no sin became the sin-bearer for us that we might be made righteous in our union with Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Let us hate sin because it is crushed the perfect and holy, meek and gentle Jesus. This will help us seek not to sin.

Let us pray for a holy hatred for our sins against God. Sin is lawlessness. John writes:

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.”

(ESV 1 John 3:4)

  Lawlessness is a complete disregard for God and His most Holy Law. Lawlessness is doing what we want to do rather than what God wants us to do. It is foolishness, and it leads to death. There is absolutely no good that comes from sin which is lawlessness. That is a promise from God Himself! The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Lawlessness describes those who will be rejected by Jesus Christ on the last day; it is the character of the anti-christ; it grows and increases into more lawlessness as it is practiced; it is the desperate situation from which God saved us by His grace the Bible teaches us (Matthew 7:23; 23:28; Romans 6:19; 2 Thess. 2; Titus 2:14).

Let us hate sin because it is lawlessness. This will help us seek not to sin.

When we see our sins, let us ask forgiveness from God and deep repentance. Let us see our Advocate before God, Jesus the Righteous One (1 John 2:1b). Where we lack righteousness, Jesus is sufficient as Savior-Advocate (one who pleads our case before God by His blood), to cleanse us. He is also able by His Spirit to keep us from sinning. Jesus’ death takes away our penalty for sin, but also grants us power over sin (1 John 1:7-9).

Let us resolve by God’s grace in Christ by His Spirit that we will not sin. But how can we achieve this? God has provided us some answers in His word. Here are a few ways to seek to do this, although we will fail at times. But what is your main aim, and spiritual goal? To be like Him; to seek not to sin.

Stay far from temptations. If you know something tempts you, or causes you to sin, seek to live far from it. Don’t go near it, even if it is lawful in and of itself. If it causes you to sin and stumble in your walk, then avoid it with all of your heart. If you are tempted to seek satisfaction in something or someone other than God, make sure you don’t fall into a temptation. This will help us seek not to sin.

Live in God’s grace and duty against sins. Go to worship, and hear preaching of God’s Word, take part in the administration of His sacraments; these are all means of God’s grace to communicate His love and power to you as you receive Christ by faith. Pray often all kinds of prayers for yourself and all people (Ephesians 6:18ff). This will help us seek not to sin.

Don’t doubt and distrust God (Romans 4:18-21). Has God ever let you down? Has God ever been unfaithful to you? No, and He never will let you down or be unfaithful to you in Christ. Trust God’s Word to you, believe His promises. Build yourself up in your most holy faith (Jude 24), seeking to believe what God says in true, particularly as He promises you that you may not sin. This will help us seek not to sin.

Be suspicious of carnal self-love. Watch your self-centeredness, and constant focus on yourself rather than on Christ. Be suspicious anytime you become self-aware and wonder why people are treating you in a certain way, or when you are too self-conscious about what others are saying, and you become overly defensive. Carnal self-love will focus you on yourself, rather than on Christ and your service to Him. This will help us seek not to sin.

Kill sin at the root. Know the master sin-roots. Master sins are ignorance of God’s word in general and God’s promises specifically. Unbelief, selfishness, pride, lust, hard-heartedness against God. All of these are master sin-roots that grow all kinds of dangerous and toxic weeds in your garden and the congregational garden of your local church. If you’re not constantly weeding your garden, then the weeds are constantly growing! This will help us seek not to sin.

Keep your conversation and thoughts above focused on Christ (Colossians 3:1-4). You have been raised with Christ, fix your mind on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:1). Watch your negative and cynical and pessimistic conversations and thoughts that you have that are veiled and subtle unbelief against God’s Word. Seek godly companions to talk about God’s goodness and grace. This will help us seek not to sin.

Be watchful and prayerful at all times (Matt. 26:41).  Apart from Christ you are dangerous; your heart is self-deceptive and evil by nature. You do not by nature know how to do anything but sin. You know this experientially in your own life, unless you have learned to self and to God (see 1 John 1:8ff). Remember the importance of asking God to search and know your heart, your thoughts, etc. (Psalm 139:23-24). This will help us seek not to sin.

God’s Word should be your only rule. This will help us seek not to sin.

Seek God’s will each day at the Throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus Christ the Righteous One will grant you mercy and give you grace to help you in your time of need. This is a promise. Why would you not seek this Throne of Grace daily? Why would you not start each day at Christ’s feet? This will help us seek not to sin.

Go to Him now, confess your sins, your carelessness, your lack of watchfulness and prayer. Confess to Christ if you have not tried living for Him as dead to sin and alive to God. Confess to Jesus that you have not even tried to make it your spiritual aim not to sin if this be truth. This in itself is a blatant denial of God’s Word, and is usually fueled by one of the mother root-sins such as ignorance that God’s word teaches this, or unbelief that God would give you strength to live in this way. This will help us seek not to sin.

God requires perfect righteousness of all mankind. All mankind must be perfect if they are to ever hope in heaven and being a recipient of eternal life (Matt. 5:48). Because we are conceived and born in sin, we have no righteousness before God, and can never do anything in this life that is not actually tainted by sin (Psalm 51; Romans 3). Our only hope is to find the perfect righteousness that God demands of us and that we so desperately need in Jesus Christ alone. This is why Jesus alone is described as “The Righteous” or “The Righteous One” (1 John 2:1b). Only Jesus who was both God and man has attained a perfect righteousness.

Jesus died for sinners, and he died so that we might live for God. Jesus died for sinners so that we might be set free from slavery from sin and live unto God. The perfect righteousness that God requires of all mankind, God also provides for us in Jesus the Righteous One, and this is received by faith.

Now hate sin. Ask Christ to help you to hate it more. Jesus did not leave you in your sins. He did not allow sin in your life to continue to offend God Almighty, and to destroy your life and soul. He came so that you would have life in Him and to experience abundant life that is without the horrible rule and reign of sin over you, making you a slave with only death as your hope to be set free.

Jesus Christ has overcome sin; he has done for you what you could never do by His power and grace; because of His love for you!

And then go and seek not to sin.

But if (and when!) you do sin, you have an Advocate before the Father, Jesus the Righteous.

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

(ESV 1 John 2:1)

Ponder the love of God for you in Christ.


In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs



From Your Pastor: Gentleness

Gentleness is having the tone and the touch of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus speaks of himself he’s gentle and lowly in heart. And He calls believers to learn from Him.

Jesus says: “…Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29; cf. 1 Cor. 10:1). We are called as Christians to be like Christ in our gentleness. To walk worthy of our calling as a follower of Jesus is to walk “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…” (Eph. 4:2). Gentleness in tone and touch is a visible sign that one’s heart is at rest and calm under the influence of Christ’s grace.

We live in a rude culture of hostility and anger and vindictiveness and general unkindness. Christian gentleness can be an important response to this kind of behavior. In fact, gentleness by Christ’s grace may be our most effective and influential way of bringing change in our culture today.

How could Christians live influentially and effectively in the culture today, particularly in a time of confusion over sexual identity and name-calling in politics? Gentleness.

What could be our answer to aggressive driving? Gentleness.

What could be our response to rushed and rudeness? Gentleness.

What could cause those who perceive that Christians are unloving to listen to our Gospel? Gentleness.

What could be our answer to “pushy”? Gentleness.

What could be our answer to a sarcastic remark? Gentleness.

What could be our answer to those we may disagree with? Gentleness in tone and touch. Specifically, “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).

Imagine that we could as Christians say with King David “…Your gentleness made me great” (2 Sam. 22:35-36) in the midst of a hostile and rude culture. This is the godly influence that could be useful to us as the Church.

Gentleness is a fruit of the spirit. The Spirit of God is pleased to rule over our hearts in such a way that our tongues may possess a gentle tone and our hands and bodies may be used as instruments of kindness with a gentle touch.

When we were young we read in our fairy stories about a gentle giant. As we got older and experienced more of the real world we were surprised to find that he’s not so gentle. But Jesus is. What was attractive about the gentle giant was that he was very strong, but in his strength, he treated others kindly. He was powerful, yet kind. Isn’t this story of the gentle giant really a story about our longings for one like Jesus Christ? Gentleness like meekness is strength that is under control and used in tone in touch to be kind and gracious to others?

One of my teachers used to speak of “gentle-ing himself” when he saw that his heart was upset or impassioned by sin or an aggravation of others. This teacher understood that lack of gentleness was a heart problem. It showed a lack of grace and a need for Christ. At times, I find myself thinking of this and seeking to gentle myself in places where there’s potential controversy or conflict, or in crowded places, or in long lines, or in times when I’m running late and there’s traffic, and when I perceive folks are being inconsiderate of my time. These are times to think about “gentle-ing oneself” methinks. By God’s grace…

Sadly, in the church, we can forget to gentle ourselves. Sometimes when we argue (discuss?) theologically, we can forget gentleness. We can so desire that the truth be told, that we forget tone and touch in telling that truth. We forget to “speak the truth in love” even to one another (Eph. 4:15)! Yet gentleness is one of the most important characteristics that should describe us in our engagement with one another, especially when we disagree. The Bible teaches us:

“The servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil. Correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth…” (2 Tim. 2:24-25).

We see doctrinal positions and personal opinions publicly posted on Facebook and other social media. But what is revealed is often more than truth or a mere opinion. What we see are sinful dispositions and hearts that are in desperate need of Christ-like gentleness. Should we wonder by this kind of online behavior why many distance themselves from us and will not come to hear our Gospel?

Beloved, let us pray for kindness, the ability to teach or persuade others patiently, and to correct with gentleness. For every public display of lack of gentleness that is tweeted and posted on social media, as Christians, let there also be a transparently honest and humble public display of repentance tweeted or posted.

We should remember that like a lot of things in this life, gentleness is “caught” not “taught”. We can have an understanding of what gentleness is, and have an ability to define it, and even be dogmatic about what it’s definition is 🙂 yet we learn it best from seeing it in others. We learn it by imitation. We learn it from being in communion with Christ and learning to be like Him. The glory that will be reflected on us and in us as we are transformed by Christ’s Spirit is the temperament of gentleness toward others (2 Cor. 3:18). As King David, we can possess hands trained for war, living as warriors for Christ in the present cultural battle, and yet gentleness is what will make us great (Psalm 18:34-35). Gentleness is bold because it is God-like, but this does not mean that it’s ever fearful. If we truly want greatness, it must come through godly gentleness.

But gentleness cannot be learned while being rushed and in a hurry all the time. Gentleness cannot be learned in being concerned only about one’s self. Gentleness cannot be learned while seeking to exert one’s opinions without listening, or in seeking to be first (3 John 9). Gentleness cannot be learned as long as one would seek to be right all the time. As our forefather John Calvin wrote convictingly:

“You will never attain true gentleness except by one path: a heart imbued [saturated/permeated] with lowliness and with reverence for others.”

Need gentleness? Embrace Christ, and let him gentle on you through His grace. Then by His Spirit, gentle yourself and go and be influential and effective in your gifts and calling in this world. Let’s cultivate a culture of gentleness in our Christian congregations and in our larger community. Let us tweet and post on social media with gentleness, too.

Let us be a gentle-ing, counter-cultural influence,

by speaking the Gospel and living it out gently.


In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

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

From Your Pastor: Our Identity at KCPC in the Christ of Hebrews

Identity. How do we define ourselves (to others, or in our own minds)?  How do we think of ourselves before God and other men?  Our identity is most important to us all.  And we define our identity in different ways.


We are fans of certain ball teams (this can be our identity, e.g. Redskins, Phillies, Falcons, Red Sox, Yankees, Terps, and Jets).  We are from certain places on this great terrestrial ball, or are part of a specific heritage of people (Asian, African, Anglo, American, etc- -this can be our identity).  We make a certain amount of money (“My salary is above $25,000 or above $75,000 or above half a million dollars, etc- -this can be our identity).


We hold certain positions (plumbers, bankers, treasurers, professional athletes, pastors, home school moms, students, president of a certain company- -this can be our identity).  We have a certain name and family (this can be our identity).


We are also defined by our confessional and denominational distinctions (you are an Orthodox Presbyterian and confessional congregation in Christ’s Church).  These are all ways we define ourselves- -these are ways we can think of our identity.


But what should be our most important identity or way of understanding ourselves as a congregation in Christ’s Church?  We should be reminded of our ultimate identity as a covenantal corporate people in Christ.


What should our identity be ultimately? We are those who are united to Jesus Christ by faith. We are those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. We are those who have been loved by God from before the foundation of the world. But you will be tempted to find your individual as well as corporate identity in something or someone other than Christ.


Thus the reason for this reminder: to teach us by God’s grace who we are by using someone else’s sermon.  Now you might complain that I am borrowing from someone else’s sermon.  Don’t be concerned- -I didn’t download this one from online; I am using an inspired sermon, or word of exhortation, or the letter to the Hebrews to encourage you tonight. I’m using the inspired sermon found in the Book of Hebrews.


The Christians that the sermon to the Hebrews addresses were also seeking to know their identity as they were a congregation in transition. These Christians were seeking to understand and to realize who they were in Christ especially in light of the accomplished and perfect work of Jesus Christ for them.


One reason the author of the Hebrews writes to the saints in his letter is to teach them how with the coming of Jesus Christ, everything changes- -especially one’s identity.  Especially during times of trouble and suffering you will especially need to remember your corporate identity as those in Christ Jesus.


Although we as members of Christ’s Church are distinct and diverse on the outside (an observation by someone looking in), we are all one in union with Jesus Christ and this primary identity should serve to unify us.  As the congregation of the Hebrews, we too will experience suffering, persecution and pain as a congregation and we must learn to stand firm, knowing our identity in Jesus as His Church.


What should be KCPC’s focus and self-aware identity as a congregation of Christ?


There is so much to say from the Book of Hebrews, but let’s focus on 10 short points (that sounds like a good number- -now some might get mad at me and say there are literally 1000s of points that could be made- -and you are right, but we will focus on 10).


  • You are those redeemed and ruled by Jesus who sits at God’s right hand. You are those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ (with his own precious blood).  Jesus Christ is the one who has spoken in finality to His Church and given us the Holy Scriptures.


Jesus Christ is the Son of God who created the world and upholds the world by the word of His power and is the exact imprint of God’s nature.  Jesus is the same in essence with the Father, equal in power and glory.  And you Ketoctin Covenant have been redeemed by the blood of this one who died, rose again by the power of God, and sat down at God’s right hand.  That is who you are- -that is your identity.


ESV Hebrews 1:1-4: Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.


  • You are those who are called as a people to watch and listen. You are those who must pay attention to the final Word of the Son found in the Holy Scriptures.  As your pastor and elders make known the Word of Christ to you, in reliance upon God’s grace, you are to believe and obey this word.  Do not neglect the power of this Word and how by God’s grace you will continue to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus.


ESV Hebrews 2:1-3a: Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?


We are all daily tempted to believe a lie- -to drift- -to be deceived- -but because Christ has spoken finally to His Church in His Word, we are to pay close attention and believe what we hear- -you are never to neglect such a great salvation revealed in Jesus! That is who you are- -that is your identity.


  • You are those who have had the power of death and the devil destroyed for you by Jesus Christ. You are those whom Jesus Christ has come to deliver, who was like you in every way as a human, but also unlike you in that he was God in the flesh.  Because of this, you are more than overcomers! You can live a life in Christ that is pleasing to God- -you can produce fruit that will last for the Kingdom.


You are those who have a faithful high priest who serves at God’s right hand to ever intercede for you and who has made once for all propitiation for the sins of those who believe.  You can have a sure knowledge that when you are tempted to sin, Christ Jesus is faithful to help you.


ESV Hebrews 2:14-18: Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.


That is who you are- -that is your identity.


  • You are God’s House. KCPC, you are part of God’s redemptive-historical construction project.  You are a holy temple where God’s Spirit dwells and the Son rules over as you are more and more built up by the Lord Jesus Christ who died for you.


The Almighty God dwells in you and therefore you, in reliance upon God’s grace, must strive for holiness and for purity as a congregation in obedience to God’s Word, because you are a holy place where the living God has made his home.


ESV Hebrews 3:5-6: Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.


Because you are God’s house, part of His New Temple construction project, you are not complete yet, but you can be confident that God who began a good work in your will complete it, fully conforming you to Jesus Christ.  Do not lose this corporate identity as a church in a time of great individualism- -do not seek merely your individual good, but seek the good of Christ’s Church and help build his Kingdom here together by being faithful together to the gospel.


That is who you are- -that is your identity.


  • You are those who must encourage each other. You are called to exhort one another daily, knowing that you all will face temptations to unbelief even leading some to fall away from the living God (revealing that they never had their trust and faith and hope in Jesus Christ).  Those who are united to Jesus Christ by faith must seek to be faithful by God’s grace and to avoid being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.


ESV Hebrews 3:12-14: Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.


Be on your guard against an evil, unbelieving heart; be on your guard of being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  Rather, as a family, as God’s own house, seek to exhort each other according to the word each and every day.


God uses our instructions, our encouragements to one another, our urgings, our admonitions as means by which he helps us to hold to our confidence in Christ firm to the end.  Be an encourager- -grateful for God’s grace, confident in God’s mercy- -avoid being self-centered and focused only on yourself.


That is who you are- -that is your identity.


  • You are those who have yet to enter into God’s rest. Although you are in Christ and in him you experience peace and rest partially from your labors even now, you have yet to enter the glorious Promised Land of the New Heavens and the New Earth.  You must understand the “already-not yet-ness” of your identity here.  You have been united to Jesus Christ but you must suffer as in the wilderness until you reach your final destination.  This present age of wilderness-like living can be full of persecution for your faith, temptation, and suffering of various kinds.


This ultimate destination must be reached by God’s grace as you corporately as a congregation, seek to enter the rest when Jesus returns.  Seek to take part in the means of grace, these are also the primary means by which God will get you there safely: Word, Sacrament and Prayer.  What you experience each Lord’s Day when you are called together to worship is a foretaste of the glorious future of which you are already a part because of Jesus Christ’s love for you.


ESV Hebrews 4:9-12: So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


That is who you are- -that is your identity.


  • You are those who have a High Priest to represent you before the throne of God. Jesus, the Son of God is a High Priest similar to Aaron and the Levites, but much different (these were mere men, who were sinful and although they were called to be representatives for a season in God’s Household, they were limited in that they were sinners, and they died).


Jesus the High Priest is called by God to be an Eternal High Priest, who was tempted in every way as we are, but without sin.  KCPC, Jesus is the one who lives to represent you before God.  Jesus Christ is the one who can help you when you are tempted. He lives to pray for you!


KCPC, Jesus Christ is eternal and cannot die.  There will never be a time when you do not have a faithful representative and High Priest before God’s throne (you will never witness a “changing of the guards” as at Windsor Palace), for a permanent and eternal High Priest has taken the position.  It is there with Jesus that you will find and receive mercy and grace to help you.


ESV Hebrews 4:14-16: Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


Jesus as your High Priest implies a lot of things, but you should be reminded that there is always mercy (hesed, or covenant faithfulness) with God to be found in Christ.  This means that you are all sinners.  As sinners, you will sin against God and one another. But what will make the difference is for you to always remember mercy and grace- -particularly the mercy and grace that has been shown to you in Jesus.  Show this same mercy and grace to each other that your High Priest shows to you!


That is who you are- -that is your identity.


  • You are those who are privileged to be part of a better covenant (better than the old covenant saints were under). You are recipients of the New Covenant revelation of Jesus’ cross, resurrection and ascension-enthronement to God’s right hand- -and so you should inform your identity daily with this great reality.


All of the gallons and gallons of blood that was shed and spilled under the Old Covenant administration (in the sacrifices before God), these could never permanently take away your sins.


Only the blood of Jesus could take away your sins.  Jesus’ blood speaks a better word than the blood of Abel, because his blood is a final shedding of blood that is substitutionary and can truly cleanse and purify your consciences.  Jesus offered himself once and for all for sinners—Jesus offered himself for those who believe at KCPC!


Hebrews 9:26b-28: But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.


ESV Hebrews 10:4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.


ESV Hebrews 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.


ESV Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brothers,1 since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


Have confidence to come boldly into God’s presence with your worship and thanksgiving- -continue to hold fast your confession knowing that you have received forgiveness and cleansing by Jesus’ precious blood.  Stir one another up to love and good works as you bask in the grace that Jesus has shown to you- -encourage one another this way- -and seek to be present as much as possible at every worship and fellowship.


Don’t slip into thinking that you are not a vital and needed part of the congregation just because you do not preach or teach God’s Word- -the Bible teaches that we can’t get there without you- -avoid individualism in your identity!


That is who you are- -that is your identity.


  • You are those who are to live by faith until the full revelation of God’s Kingdom when Jesus Christ the glorious Son returns. As part of the Household of God, and as a member of God’s special redemptive household, you are to live by faith in God’s promises that has been given in Christ Jesus.


You are to keep your eyes on Jesus, the one who has already finished the course ahead of you, and has promised that he would also help you to persevere and overcome till the end.  No matter how difficult circumstances may seem in your life- -no matter how dire the times seem to be- -God is sovereign and you can have faith in God, an assurance of his goodness, a conviction of things not seen!


ESV Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.


ESV Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.


Like Abraham and the other Old Covenant saints, you are looking for an eternal city, an inheritance not found in this world of sin and misery that is passing away, but you are looking for a New Heavens and New Earth.


ESV Hebrews 11:13-16: These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.


ESV Hebrews 12:1-4: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.


That is who you are- -that is your identity.


  • You are to live and worship as those who will receive a Kingdom that cannot be shaken. When you worship, let your corporate and covenantal identity be that you, Ketoctin Covenant, are worshipping a God who still speaks to you through His Word, and calls you not to Mt. Sinai, but to the Heavenly Jerusalem.


Remember that when you are called to worship by your pastors and elders not to forsake the gathering together as you are called to hear Jesus Christ speak to you and who serves as your Mediator in worship.  Remember that when you come to worship, you are not a passive spectator, but an active participant in a foretaste of heavenly worship.


ESV Hebrews 12:18-29: For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly1 of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 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. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken- that is, things that have been made- in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.


Ketoctin Covenant Presbyterian Church (KCPC): Your identity is in Jesus Christ and you are to mediate upon this daily as God’s people.  Finally, you are to remember to show brotherly love and hospitality to one another, and seek to help the poor, the oppressed, and the imprisoned (Heb. 13:1-3).


Remember your leaders and consider the outcome of their life and imitate their faith (13:7).  Obey your leaders that God has given to you and submit to them humbly as they teach the Word of God to you.  Remember that they are watching over your souls as those who must give an account (13:17).


You might not like this at times, but your identity is not individualistic, but part of a corporate body of believers who are shepherded by those God has called to teach you, to exhort you, to rebuke and admonish you with love.


Remember that obeying your leaders joyfully will bring great advantages to you as a Christian (13:17b).  Remember that as citizen of heaven, the very Eternal Kingdom of God that cannot be shaken, you seek a city that is to come!


ESV Hebrews 13:14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.


Finally, remember that you are those who are heirs to the covenant promises of God found in and realized in Jesus Christ.  In reliance upon God’s grace, this is your ultimately identity in Christ- -you will be tempted to replace it, forget it, exchange it, supplement it, etc- –but do not!  Your hope and identity is found in Jesus Christ!


That is who you are- -that is your identity.


So, I leave you with this great benediction:


ESV Hebrews 13:20-21: Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us1 that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.


In Christ’s love,


Pastor Charles

From Your Pastor: Our Adoption in Christ


What wondrous grace that the Father has lavished on believers that we should be called the children of God and that is what we are! (1 Jo. 3:1). The Apostle John makes clear that it is an “out of this world” truth that sinners are not only righteous by God through a legal declaration of righteousness before God’s throne, but we are also legally adopted into the family as God’s children. Our adoption changes our relationship to God so that He is no longer merely our Creator, and because of the fall, He is no longer our Judge, but He is now our Heavenly Father, and we cry out: “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15).

The Father has wondrously elected believers to be in union with Christ and to receive His adoption as sons, as heirs of His many and unfathomable blessings in the Heavenly Places (Eph. 1:3-4; cf. Gal. 4:6). In the fullness of the times, Christ came to redeem us under the condemnation of the law so that we might receive the adoption as sons (Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15). Christ, our elder brother was sanctified, and sanctifies us so that we can be sons of God who take upon ourselves a family resemblance (Heb. 2:9-11). God is now our Father, and now we are no longer citizens merely of this world, but we await the full realization of the Heavenly world to come (Rom. 8:17-25; cf. Phil 3:20-21).

In light of our adoption, though we formerly walked as those who loved the world, with the desires of the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jo. 2:15-17), we no longer love the world in this way because the world is passing away and we desire to do the will of our Heavenly Father (1 Jo. 2:17). In fact, because we are heirs with Christ and take upon ourselves a family resemblance, knowing that one day we shall like Him, we also purify ourselves as He is pure from worldly and sinful influences in our lives (1 Jo. 3:2-3; cf. Titus 2:11-14). We know as adopted children that the Spirit has sealed us unto the Day of Redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:22), and we also have the Holy Spirit who testifies and witnesses with our spirits that we are sons of God (Rom. 8:15, 25-26). This is the glorious Spirit who even intercedes for us to help us in our prayers and our relationship with God! Though we have these glorious blessings now, we suffer in Christ, and we await the full realization and revelation of our adoption as sons that is the resurrection and glorification of our bodies (Rom. 8:17-25). This is the hope we do not see, but we wait for it patiently, and so our future is glorious and brings great joy and peace to us now.

As adopted sons in Christ we know that we possess the encouraging word of our Heavenly Father through our labors: “Well down my good and faithful servant” (cf. Heb. 6:10-12). We know that we have in our union with Christ the Father’s blessed affirmation saying: “This is my Beloved…with whom I am well pleased.” This should change how we view ourselves, and make us as believers—and children of God—to want to live faithfully pleasing God as our kind king and father (2 Cor. 5:9). We are part of a new family in Christ and as the Lord Jesus taught, we are to love one another as Christ has loved us (John 15:9-16). In fact, as the Father has loved Christ, so Christ has loved His own in this same way and this is the motivation for doing His commandments with eager joy (John 15:12ff). The Apostle John writes in 1 John 3-4 that one cannot hate his brother and be a true Christian. In fact, we cannot say we love God whom we haven’t seen if we don’t love our brother who we do see (1 Jo. 3:11-18). And so, in our new family, adopted as children of God, we are to “not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 Jo. 3:18). Love will characterize the children of God as we love one another (1 Jo. 4:7-21). We love because He first loved us (1 Jo. 4:19). Let us rejoice, and live as God’s beloved children!


In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs


From Your Pastor: Sons of Encouragement

Dear Beloved of Jesus at KCPC,

The Apostle Paul teaches the church: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1), and “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil. 3:17; cf. Heb. 12:2).

Our gracious God gives us those in the church to imitate; to aspire by the work of the Spirit to their level of Christ -likeness. Barnabas was one of these examples as we learned through the ministry of the word last Lord’s Day. Some sermons spiritually “stay” with me more than others. Last Lord’s Day’s sermon was one that the Spirit continues to apply in my life and has “staying power” with me. God is good!

Barnabas was a sinner being conformed by Christ’s Spirit who had made some progress in holiness. He was an encourager, a good man, full of faith, Spirit-filled preacher and teacher, and a devoted servant of Jesus in His church.

The church knew him as a great encouragement  (“son of encouragement”, Acts 4:36). How do folks in congregation recognize you? What is your reputation in larger church and community? This has been my meditation before God’s face the last two days.

In Barnabas, the people of God recognized his wise mediation, his deep desire to see sinners and brethren reconciled to God and each other, and his faithful commitment to being a peacemaker. The church recognized his generosity, his trustworthiness, his skill at diplomacy, his bold courage in the face of dangers, and he was beloved by many (Acts 4:36-37; 9:26-30; 12:24-13:5; 14:22-23; 15:2-3, 25-26).

In Acts, Barnabas is described by his actions not his words, inviting us to look to Him as one to imitate. Luke focuses on Barnabas’ character shaped by grace more than on his gifts (1 Cor. 13:1-3; Matt. 7:21-22; cf. Acts 10:38ff).

Jesus, our dear Savior, is our “son of encouragement” who promises us, too, that as we abide in Him, doing His commandments, loving one another, we can also bear much fruit and be like Barnabas–like Christ! (John 15:1-14).

Let us pray for one another this week that we all would be described like Barnabas as a “good man full of the Holy Spirit and faith” (Acts 11:22-24). Let us repent of our sluggishness and slothfulness at times in seeking sanctification (cf. Heb. 12:14; 6:11-12; Rom. 12:11-12; Phil. 3:12-15), and turn to Christ, to reflect more of His grace, truth and love (2 Cor. 3:18). He is FULL of grace! (John 1:14-18).

Pray for your pastor that I would be the best example I can be to Christ’s flock, especially as I learn this week at seminary in Grand Rapids. Pray that my life would be worthy of imitation as husband, father, preacher, pastor, son, and friend. I want this very much. Also, pray for your elders who are called to be living examples of Christ to the flock (1 Peter 5:3). Forgive me when I fail. Christ is enough for all of us! 🙂

Let’s pray for one another in this way! (1 Thess. 5:11).

“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:11-12).

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs  (in training to be a Barnabas)

From Your Pastor: “Why Are You Angry?”

The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground (ESV Genesis 4:6-10).

Cain’s heart was not right before God. Both Cain and Abel came to bring offerings of worship to God Almighty (Gen. 4:1-5). Both were outwardly worshipping God and bringing the substance of their labors to the LORD for worship and dedication. But Cain’s heart was far from God, even though his lips and actions may have honored Him (cf. Isaiah 29:13).

Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable to God because his heart was right before God. This reminds all of us of the importance of daily seeking to live before God with tender hearts that are devoted to our loving Savior (cf. Heb. 3:12-13). We must never come to God in our own name, but always in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and with a heart resting in His completed work alone. We must remember that the Lord knows our hearts:

“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance,

but the LORD looks on the heart.”- 1 Samuel 16:7

Cain’s sacrifice was a mere show and God knew his heart, and God rejected his offering: “…For Cain and his offering he had no regard” (Gen. 4:5). This made Cain very angry. So God asked Cain: “Why are you angry?”

God asks him the question about his anger to lovingly and patiently bring him to see his sin and to repentance. God warns Cain of the danger of his sin, and sin’s desire to possess and enslave him (Gen. 4:7). Why was Cain angry? On the surface it was because his brother’s sacrifice was acceptable and his was rejected. Deeper in Cain’s heart, he was angry for selfish reasons (cf. James 4:1-4). The anger that was manifesting and coming forth from Cain’s heart was that he didn’t truly love God as he should. Cain thought God owed him something; Cain came in his own name, based on his own merits, or what he thought he deserved from God.

Cain thought selfishly that his works for God were good enough and that God was indebted to accept him. God warns Cain of sin’s ability to enslave and seek to master those who would reject God’s grace, relying on their own works and efforts before God. We too must always keep in mind that we deserve nothing before God because of our sinfulness (Luke 17:10). God is good and faithful, and does amazingly gracious things for us, yet we are undeserving (cf. Luke 11:13). We must keep this in our minds, lest we too become angry and ungrateful. All sinners are accepted only on the basis of the completed work of Jesus Christ.

But Cain does not listen to God’s gracious and merciful warning. What we see here is a man who is seeking to please God for himself. Cain is seeking to self-justify (to “justify himself”, cf. Luke 10:29), rather than trust in the riches of God’s grace by asking God for mercy through faith alone in His promises. Our only hope is that God is pleased to justify (“declare righteous”) the ungodly based on what God has done for sinners in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:23-26); we must repent of our efforts at justifying ourselves before God, it will only lead to more anger at God and others.

Our anger often is an indicator that we somehow think we deserve grace from God. When we’re angry, let us find out if we are perhaps only serving self rather than serving God. Our anger reveals something about our hearts before God. Let us be honest with God and ourselves. Do we truly believe that we are received by God’s grace alone, or do we think that God owes us something, and so we get angry when we estimate that we have gotten less than we think we deserve? Do we understand that anything that we have accomplished has ultimately been because of God’s grace and Spirit? (1 Cor. 4:7).

Honestly, what do we truly deserve before God? When we think of the numerous times we have been angry with God and others from our hearts, the many times we have self-righteously and self-centeredly lived for God only for what we could get from God, let us be reminded of His rich love and grace to us in Jesus Christ. How patient and kind, how gentle and meek God is toward sinners in Christ. How He loves those who will recognize what they truly deserve for their sins, and find grace in God’s promise to forgive and heal and to accept that is found in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

God asks us today: “Why are you angry?” Do you think you deserve something from me? Will you not be accepted if you do what is right, simply trusting and believing in God’s promises revealed in Jesus Christ alone? Will you not be accepted if you simply believe that all the righteousness that God requires of you He also provides for you in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ?

Rather than repent, Cain struck in angry murder against his brother Abel who was accepted by faith. If sinners cannot kill God in their anger, they will kill those who please God if they have the opportunity (cf. Acts 7:51-53; 9:4-5). We must remember that anger is potential murder against God and those whom God loves (Matt. 5:21ff). It was the anger of the Pharisees and teachers of Israel that put Jesus to death (Mark 3:6). Yet through this sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, all repentant sinners (including the angriest, and those farthest right now in their hearts before God) can be brought near to God and be accepted by God in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6; 2:14ff) through Jesus’ precious blood that continually cries out for forgiveness rather than vengeance, and speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (Heb. 12:24).

With God, there is mercy and forgiveness, and everlasting steadfast, undeserved love because of the precious blood shed by God’s blessed Son for sinners! God poured out His righteous and just anger on His Beloved Son, so that we could be acceptable to Him.

Why are you angry? Repent, believe; repent again, believe again. When you are angry, ask yourself what you truly deserve, and then see what God graciously has given you by His grace in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ! If you’re a believer, Jesus lived for you; now go live for Him! He died for you; now go lose your life so you can truly find it! He was raised and vindicated for you; go and live righteously alive in Him! He was enthroned at God’s right hand; go and be confident in Him! (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

Let us be careful to watch ourselves and our hearts closely, as John Calvin warned us: “Anger is always our near neighbor.”  And as the blessed Apostle James wrote: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires” (James 1:19-20).

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs