Why Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy is Glorious! (Part 2)

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8)

Why is keeping the Lord’s Day holy glorious?

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is an opportunity to please and glorify God in obedience to His commandments.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is a privilege and blessing of the Covenant of Grace.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it can remind us that the Lord Jesus created it, kept it, and fulfilled it, and gave it to believers as a way of imitating Him.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is an opportunity for growth and maturity in Christ.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it can be a time well spent that helps us not to live overly busy and distracted lives.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is a way of joyfully, peacefully, and graciously witnessing publicly to whom it is you belong, and to whom it is you ultimately submit!

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is part of our confessional heritage as particularly Reformed Christians.

  1. Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy is glorious because it is a privilege and blessing of the Covenant of Grace.

While the Old Covenant saints enjoyed a blessed holy day on the last day of the week, New Covenant saints that confess and believe the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead are blessed to keep the Lord’s Day on the first day of the week (Rev. 1:9-10). It is a privilege and blessing of the Covenant of Grace to have a Christian Sabbath that is also the Lord’s Day. This is a particular privilege and blessing of the Covenant of Grace because only God’s people who are recipients of His saving grace can properly keep the Lord’s Day holy from a pure heart (Matt. 5:8; cf. 1 Tim. 1:5).

God gave the Old Covenant saints the last day of the week as the Lord’s Day or Sabbath to point them to the Promised Messiah and Hope that was to come. Now that Christ has come and has been resurrected according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Luke 24:25-27; 44-47), the Lord’s Day or Christian Sabbath is on the first day. This first day of the week reminds us that we are part of a new creation, the first fruits of the resurrection in Christ Jesus—Hallelujah!! (1 Cor. 15:20ff). Although the day has changed now for the commandment to be kept (from last day to first day), the commandment remains the same in substance and in the goal to promote the glory of God and the good of His people!

The Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 116 teaches us: What is required in the fourth commandment? A. The fourth commandment requireth of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath,(1) and in the New Testament called The Lord’s day.(2) (1)Deut. 5:12-14; Gen. 2:2,3; 1 Cor. 16:1,2; Acts 20:7; Matt. 5:17,18; Isa. 56:2,4,6,7 (2)Rev. 1:10

We should reiterate again that believers in Christ can never keep any of God’s laws in order to merit salvation or the favor of God (that is as a covenant of works), but we can keep it holy and set apart from all other days with a sincere heart that desires to please God. As God’s people in Christ, it is a privilege and blessing to be those who are set apart for the LORD’s own chosen possession to be a holy people, and to be different from the world in order to glorify God (Titus 2:11-14; 1 Peter 2:9-12): “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable…they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:12; cf. Matt. 5:13-16).

What a blessing the Lord has given to us as a gift this special day! What a mercy and kindness of God that we as believers can have one day in seven to freely honor and joyfully worship God, and that we can be reminded of our everlasting rest that is yet to come (Heb. 4:9-10), that we can worship and serve Christ, knowing we are united to Him in his death and resurrection (Col. 3:1-4), and that we can receive the means that the Spirit has provided for our growth in Word, Sacrament, prayer, and fellowship (cf. Acts 2:41-37).

Suggested Questions to Ponder and Ask Yourself to Help You to Keep the Lord’s Day Holy:

Is this activity on the Lord’s Day going to glorify God above all things? / Is this activity a work of necessity or mercy that I lovingly desire to do to love God and neighbor? / Is this activity going to hinder me (or others) from publicly worshipping God and attending to any calls to worship that God calls me to through his ordained servants? / Is this activity loving and the best use of my time for myself, my family, my guests, my neighbors, and those who look to me for leadership? / Is this activity going to be consistent with God’s Word, and particularly His clear teaching on how he desires the Lord’s Day to be remembered? / Is this activity work that I normally engage it on other days, and can it wait? / Is this activity a distraction from my taking time to grow up in God’s Word? / Is this activity something that will not be conducive to remembering what I learned in the morning worship sermon and meditating upon it and hiding in my heart so that I won’t sin against God? / Is this activity properly living a godly example before a broken and lost world?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I want to keep the Lord’s Day holy, please help me. Grant me your wisdom and discernment. Amen

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

(To read the entire study on why keeping the Lord’s Day is glorious, click here: From Your Pastor.Why Keeping the Lords Day is Glorious.March 2016)

Why Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy is Glorious! (Part 1)

Dear Beloved, the next few weeks on the KCPC blog will be focused on showing why keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious! I hope this will encourage you in your faith. – Pastor Biggs


“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8)

Why is keeping the Lord’s Day holy glorious?

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is an opportunity to please and glorify God in obedience to His commandments.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is a privilege and blessing of the Covenant of Grace.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it can remind us that the Lord Jesus created it, kept it, and fulfilled it, and gave it to believers as a way of imitating Him.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is an opportunity for growth and maturity in Christ.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it can be a time well spent that helps us not to live overly busy and distracted lives.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is a way of joyfully, peacefully, and graciously witnessing publicly to whom it is you belong, and to whom it is you ultimately submit!

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is part of our confessional heritage as particularly Reformed Christians.

  1. Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy is glorious because it is an opportunity to please and glorify God in obedience to His commandments.

God has given His people commandments for His glory and our good. The law of God, as summarized in the Ten Commandments, is a clear revelation of God’s righteousness and holiness. The commandments are a clear expression of what it means when believers are admonished: “Be holy, as God is holy” (Lev. 20:26; 1 Pet. 1:15-16).[1] God commands His people in the fourth commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”. This commandment teaches us that God wants us to set apart one day in seven for holy worship and rest. He desires that we make the Lord’s Day special.[2]

As Christians we should desire to fear God and keep all of His commandments. Indeed, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7; Ecc. 12:13). Fearing God and keeping His commandments is a constant teaching throughout Holy Scripture (Exo. 20:20; Deut. 10:12-14; Jer. 32:38-42; Psa. 130:4; 2 Cor. 7:1). As believers, we are taught to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12-13; cf. Exo. 20:20; Isa. 66:2). Although there is absolutely no fear of God before the eyes of the wicked and foolish in this world (Psa. 36:1-2; Rom. 3:18), Christians have been granted the fear of the Lord as a blessing and gift of the Holy Spirit in Christ (Jer. 32:38-42; Heb. 12:28-29)! Do you understand fear of the Lord as a blessing and aspect of the work of the Spirit? God promises in Christ that by His Spirit He would cause His people to fear Him:

I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever…And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me (ESV Jeremiah 32:39-40b)

In Holy Scripture, the fear of the LORD is another manner of describing a desire to obey and please God and to keep His commandments (2 Cor. 5:9-11: “We make it our aim to please Him…Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others…”). In Christ, the commandments for Christians are not merely a duty or obligation (although they are that!). Rather, in Christ, the commandments for Christians are privileges of grace (Matt. 5:17-20; Rom. 6:17; 8:1-6). Christians have been set free to please God in this way before a dying and dark world infested and possessed by sin. Only a Christian can truly say with David, “O how I love your Law! It is my meditation all the day!” (Psa. 119:97); and with the Apostle Paul cry out, “The law is holy, and the commandment is righteous and good!” (Rom. 7:12).[3]

God is very clear that although the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel have been fulfilled in Christ (Col. 2:16-17; Mark 7:19; cf. Rom. 14:17), nevertheless, the moral law, summarized in the Ten Commandments is still a duty and privilege for God’s creatures to keep, particularly His own people. There is no other commandment where God so fully exegetes and unpacks the meaning as to why His creatures, particularly His set-apart people are to keep the Lord’s Day holy than the fourth commandment. Although many evangelical Christians emphasize (rightly!) Jesus’s fulfillment of the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel, and his fulfillment of the moral law (summarized in the Ten Commandments) as a Covenant of Works, they often fail to teach the importance of the ongoing requirements of the Law of God for believers. For instance, our Lord Jesus clearly said:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (ESV Matthew 5:17-20).

Jesus with a holy hatred despised the legalism of the Pharisees. Jesus was constantly pointing out that the Law as a way of righteousness or as a Covenant of Works was impossible for sinful man (Matt. 5:20), but He as Lord of the Sabbath, also upheld and honored the moral law revealed in the Ten Commandments. The Apostle Paul taught that faith in Christ’s righteousness was not to overthrow the moral law of God: “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law” (ESV Romans 3:31). God’s people in Christ should also seek to uphold the moral law in reliance upon His grace and Spirit.

As fallen and sinful human beings, let us be honest that we often desire to go about doing our own work in our own way, selfish and stingy of our time. We want to work as much as we possibly can to get ahead, and to live our lives as fallen people as separated from God as we possibly can! The natural, fallen man sees the Lord’s Day as a hindrance and something that prevents him from doing what he wants to do. And we don’t like to be out of control (in our estimation!) of our calendars and our schedules. This was one of the reasons why Israel often did not rejoice and delight in keeping the Sabbath, and this can be our reason, too!

Yet God in His mercy and covenant faithfulness counters the sinful heart that deceives us by alluring His people to a promise of “Riding on the heights of the earth” in our delight of His holy day! Who in their right minds would not want to enjoy this treasure of a promise given by a Holy and Faithful God and Father?! Have you ever ridden on the heights of the earth??!! God promises as loving Father and blessed Savior:

If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (ESV Isaiah 58:13-14).

“THEN you shall take delight in the LORD…!” Don’t miss this promise. God in His merciful kindness and grace desires to set His people free from our selfishness and self-centered “will worship” of doing our own thing the way we want to do it (“…From doing your pleasure…going your own ways, seeking your own pleasure…”), so that we can experience the liberty of life in the Spirit and the peace that goes with that in Christ! (Gal. 5:1; Rom. 6:1, 14; 8:6: “…The mind of the Spirit is life and [glorious!] peace”). Our great God and Father wants us to understand that true Christian freedom is keeping the Lord’s day with delight! Do you call the Lord’s Day a delight? Do you take delight in the LORD? If your life is joyless, and you have asked God to search your heart for sin that may be hiding, that you’re not seeing (Psa. 139:23-34), perhaps this is something that you haven’t taken seriously enough?! In Christ, we are set free from selfish focus on ourselves, to live unto God, gratefully desiring to do His will. Let us pray more that we will not only do God’s will as we are commanded, but to will to do it from tender and loving hearts that have been thrilled by His grace and love! “…For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).

Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy is an opportunity to show the freedom we truly possess in Christ. As a Covenant of Works, the law summarized in the Ten Commandments, particularly the fourth commandment on keeping the Lord’s Day has been fulfilled in Christ. No fallen sinner could ever keep God’s law as a way of works, or as a covenant of works to earn or merit their salvation. Jesus Christ, the glorious God-Man has accomplished this perfect law-keeping for us in our stead, on our behalf (Gal. 2:16-21). This glorious God-Man has died in our place under the just wrath of God because we did not keep God’s commandments, and we did not take seriously his teaching to keep his Sabbath holy. The glorious Gospel is that when we believe in Christ alone by faith alone through grace alone, this perfect righteousness, or perfect law-keeping of Christ is imputed to believers as if we have never sinned and perfectly kept the commandments of God. “And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

Suggested Questions to Ponder and Ask Yourself to Help You to Keep the Lord’s Day Holy:

Is this activity on the Lord’s Day going to glorify God above all things? / Is this activity a work of necessity or mercy that I lovingly desire to do to love God and neighbor? / Is this activity going to hinder me (or others) from publicly worshipping God and attending to any calls to worship that God calls me to through his ordained servants? / Is this activity loving and the best use of my time for myself, my family, my guests, my neighbors, and those who look to me for leadership? / Is this activity going to be consistent with God’s Word, and particularly His clear teaching on how he desires the Lord’s Day to be remembered? / Is this activity work that I normally engage it on other days, and can it wait? / Is this activity a distraction from my taking time to grow up in God’s Word? / Is this activity something that will not be conducive to remembering what I learned in the morning worship sermon and meditating upon it and hiding in my heart so that I won’t sin against God? / Is this activity properly living a godly example before a broken and lost world? / Prayer: Dear Jesus, I want to keep the Lord’s Day holy, please help me. Grant me your wisdom and discernment. Amen

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs


(To read the entire study on why keeping the Lord’s Day is glorious, click here: From Your Pastor.Why Keeping the Lords Day is Glorious.March 2016)



[1] Note that Old Covenant people were addressed by God’s commandment as those He had redeemed out of slavery: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery…”
(Exo. 20:2). So that we are to understand that all of the commandments are made in the context of God’s covenantal grace to His people who once were enslaved, but now freed by His grace (indicative). The commandments can only be kept by those who ultimately received God as their Savior, and believed in His promises of grace made to Abraham and his seed.

[2] The distinction between Sabbath and Lord’s Day is made later in study.

[3] The Westminster Larger Catechism, Question and Answer 97 is helpful here: What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate? A. Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works, so as thereby they are neither justified nor condemned; yet, besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good; and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness, and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience.

Soul Idolatry, Or, “How Do I Discover and Destroy My Idols by Faith in Christ”

Soul Idolatry, Or, “How Do I Discover and Destroy My Idols by Faith in Christ”

By David Clarkson[1]

Edited by Pastor Charles R. Biggs


“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

ESV Ephesians 5:5


Do You Have Reigning or Ruling lusts?

Everything created that seeks to master your spirit and to bring your life into conformity unto it is potentially a reigning or ruling lust. Every love that is not subdued and submitted under the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a potential lust. Every desire that you have that seeks to rule you rather than to bring you delight in God is potentially a reigning or ruling lust. Every reigning or ruling lust is an idol, and every person in whom it reigns is an idolater. What are your reigning and ruling lusts?

Pleasures, and riches, and honors are the carnal man’s “trinity”, and these become gods that make men idolaters:

ESV 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions- is not from the Father but is from the world.

In Satan’s kingdom, every one bowing himself to his lust worships it as an idol. When the mind is most taken up with an object, and the heart and the affections most set upon it, this is soul worship, and this is what is due only to God.

Secret and soul idolatry is when the mind and heart is set upon anything more than God; when anything is more valued, more trusted, more loved, etc.

According to Ephesians 5:5 (as well as Colossians 3:5 and Revelation 21:8) teaches us that soul idolatry will exclude men out of heaven as well as open idolatry. He that serves his lusts is as incapable of heaven as he that serves, worships idols of wood and stone. We must be careful as Christians, and learn to daily watch and pray. We must learn to live a life of daily repentance: Turning from the “over-desires” or inordinate loves and desires that we see seeking to master us, and influence us, and turn for grace and strength in Christ Jesus alone.


Can Christians Commit Idolatry??

Yes, but more subtly from the heart, or the soul (Prov. 4:23). The danger of soul idolatry is that we often do not notice it as easily because it is inward, from the heart, and so we fail to recognize the dangers of it as we do outward, more obvious idolatry. Many fine Christians would never bow the knee to wood and stone idols, but will bow down from their hearts or souls to other idols that are unseen, yet just as grossly idolatrous and displeasing to God (Deut. 4:19-21; James 4:1ff).

The following are the acts of soul worship so that you might prayerfully consider each one and if found an idolater in God’s sight, you might ask Him to forgive you and restore to you the joy and love of your salvation. God is always crying out to His people: “Return, O Israel…for you have stumbled because of your iniquity” (Hos. 14:1ff). Let us bring our confession to Him each day, knowing He is faithful to forgive us and restore us, and to give us new and wondrous grace to live for Him (Hos. 14:6-8; John 15:1ff; 1 Jo. 1:7; Heb. 4:14-16).

Are you an idolater? If so, remember God gives more grace in order that you might humble yourself through repentance and confess your sins to Him, knowing that He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness (James 4:6ff; 1 John 1:7ff):

  • Esteem: That which we most highly value we make our God. Estimation is an act of soul worship. What we most esteem we make our God such as high opinions of self, our accomplishments, what folks think of us, how we dress ourselves up before others, our possessions, etc. Whose opinions do you esteem the most? At the end of the day who has power over you to judge you “guilty” or “non-guilty”? God or other men? Who do you live your life before? Whose opinions do you “need” to make you someone important?
  • Mindfulness: That which we are most mindful we make our God. What do you think about the most often? When we should be thinking about God and we’re thinking about other things, we are revealing what we love the most. Are our thoughts seeking to follow after God’s thoughts? Do you set your minds on things above where Christ is? (Col. 3:1-4).
  • Intention: What is our greatest longing and goal in life? God and nothing else must be our chief end. If our chief end is to be great, safe, rich, powerful, famous, when it is our own pleasure, credit, profit, and advantage, this is soul idolatry. What do you get up each day with a mind of accomplishing and doing?
  • Love: That which we most love we worship as our God. Do we love riches, possessions, family, and/or friends more, or equal with God? Love, whenever it is inordinate, it is an idolatrous affection.
  • Trust: What do I trust in? Who do we trust, and/or depend upon the most? Where is our confidence? Trust God “with all of your heart” (Proverbs 3:5). Do you trust in your wisdom, strength, intellect, handgun, abilities, etc? Do you trust ultimately in riches, how much you have in your savings account and/or retirement; do you trust ultimately in your friends? Do you boast in yourself, and in your own wisdom or boast in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:29-31).
  • Fear: What we fear, we worship as our God. That is our god which is our fear and dread: ESV Luke 12:4-5: “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Those therefore who fear other things more than God; who are more afraid to offend other people than to displease God; who fear more to lose outward enjoyments than to lose the favor of God and His Spirit; who fear outward suffering more than God’s displeasure and wrath.
  • Hope: Ask yourself: What is my hope? Christ alone should be our hope as Christians; he is our hope and righteousness. What excites your hope each day helping you to get through the day?
  • Desire: That which we chiefly desire is the chief good in our lives, and what we account as our chief good is our god. To desire anything more, or so much as the enjoyment of God, is to idolize it, to prostrate the heart to it, and worship it as God only should be worshipped. What is your heart prostrated before in worship? Pray with the Psalmist that God alone would be your chief desire: Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25-26). Pray for the Holy Spirit to grant you not merely to “do” for God, but that you might will and desire to do good (Phil. 2:13- “to will and to work for His good pleasure”).
  • Delight: Delight is an affection that in its height and elevation is called “glorying”. What do you “glory in”? To take more pleasure in any way of sin, uncleanness, temptation, intemperance, gluttony, drunkenness, earthly employments or enjoyments, than in the holy ways of God, than in those spiritual and heavenly services which we may enjoy God, is idolatry. Would you rather be “glorying” in other things (even lawful and good things) rather than worshipping God and fellowshipping with His people? How do you keep the Lord’s Day? How do you spend your money? Are you generous? The answers to these questions will reveal your idolatry or love for God alone.
  • Zeal: What are we zealous for? Are we zealous for ourselves, our plans, our vacations, our dreams, our agendas more than God? Are we fervent for ourselves and our own good and glory, and indifferent, lazy, and lukewarm in our zeal for God and His Kingdom? Are we more zealous for political parties, persons and/or teachers in the church or in our communities than we are in God and His Church? Do we spend more time thining about, and planning our vacation and retirement than we do in preparing ourselves for worship of the Living God and to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ?
  • Gratitude: What are you most thankful for? Do we honor “diligence” or “luck” or “prudence” or “fortune” more than God’s goodness? In response to compliments, and/or other offering you respect do you give glory and thanksgiving to your “diligence” or your “luck” more than God?

When our care and industry (hard work) is more for other things than for God, we are idolaters. No man can serve two masters!


How Many Masters Do You Have?

When you are more careful and industrious (hard working) to please men, or yourselves, or your children and posterity, than to be serviceable, useful and faithful to God; if it is more important to you to provide for yourselves and your family more than to serve God; if you are more careful what you shall eat, drink, and wear more than how you may honor and glorify God you have a hateful and burdensome master who is not God: ESV Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other….ESV Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

To live like this is to idolize the world, yourselves, your lusts, your relations, while the God of Heaven is neglected.

We must remember that the Bible defines true conversion to Christ as “turning from idols”: ESV

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10: For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Does this characterize your life? You have “turned to God from idols to serve…to wait for His Son…”?

Have you experienced true conversion? How do you know if your affections of your heart and your actions seek something more than God; if you’re an idolater- -how can you be assured of your knowledge and relationship to Christ?


Who then shall be saved??!!

Where is the heart in which some idol is not secretly advanced? Where it that soul that does not bow down to some lust or vanity? Where it that person that does not give that soul-worship to the creature which is due unto the Creator alone?

On the one hand, we find in Scripture that the people of God can be guilty of terrible sins such as stumbling into unforgiveness, anger, lying, drunkenness, murder, adultery, denial of Christ, and blatant idolatry itself (Abraham and the patriarchs, Noah, David, Solomon, Peter, etc). On the other hand, how can this be consistent with the state of grace when this is blatant spiritual idolatry that is offensive to God??!!

Answer: There is an aptness and still a propensity in every saint of God to be idolaters, just as much there is a propensity and aptness toward other sins. In fact, idolatry as a sin is a root and foundational sin to all the others in the heart. The corruption of our natures in Adam consists of proneness to all abominations, including idolatry.

Grace is imperfect in this life and only corrects this corruption in part. Grace weakens the disposition and desire to idolatry,but it does not completely abolish it. That is why we must be aware of it, and constantly be fighting to kill it in its first motions, and thoughts to sin. We must watch and pray that we do not fall into temptation.

It is true that those folks, those natures that are most sanctified on earth are still a seminary (seed bed) of sin; there is in them the roots, the seeds of atheism, blasphemy, murder, adultery, apostasy, and idolatry.

This disposition to idolatry remains more or less in the best, while the body of death remains. Remember the Apostle Paul’s struggle and great frustrations for his own sins (Romans 7:20-25):

Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.


Is Paul’s Struggle Familiar to You?

Is the Apostle Paul’s struggle in Romans 7 familiar to you? Do you have a fight, a conflict within your soul against sinfulness? Is your alliance with the Spirit of God warring against your flesh? Are you hopeful of being delivered by Jesus from the body of death?

Love in the regenerate still may be inordinate, therefore the other affections, desires, delights, desires, fears, zeals, etc. can give way to actual sins of idolatry in their actions.

With that said, however, we must still understand the power of Jesus Christ, and the fact that true believers have been united to Christ and take part in not only the removal of our penalty for sin, but we are empowered by God’s Spirit to live as more than overcomers (Romans 8)!


Are You Habitually Idolatrous?

The regenerate will still have a disposition toward idolatry, but they will not be guilty of habitual idolatry. The unregenerate and unbelieving are guilty of constant and habitual idolatry, but the regenerate will not be (1 Jo. 2:1-3). True Christians are not habitual idolaters; idolatry does not characterize their lives.

Believers will not yield to these idolatrous notions knowingly, willingly, constantly as unbelievers do; these idolatrous desires are not tolerated or allowed, but rather fought against because they have the Spirit that wages Holy War against the flesh (Gal. 5:16-26).

Believers resist idolatry by living watchfully, prayerfully, carefully, and fully and constantly dependent upon God’s strength and grace in Christ. True believers in Christ will resist, lament and pray against idolatry; they are neither arrogant or ignorant of their remaining sinfulness, but they know that sin shall not reign over them as their master:

ESV Romans 6:11-14: So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Are you a habitual idolater? Has arrogance made you neglectful and apathetic (see Rev. 3:14-22)? Has ignorance caused you to overlook it? Is your life privately characterized by idolatry?

Are you still a slave to sin? Does sin have dominion over you? Has it mastered you?

Begin with your private life. Begin with your heart. Ask God to search you and know you. Is your private life characterized by idolatry as sketched above? Are your hearts and minds filled with idolatry?

If you are characterized by habitual idolatry, you cannot claim the assurance of the knowledge of salvation in Jesus nor can you have assurance that you are empowered by His Spirit.

How can you be assured of your faith in Christ that it is truly a saving faith?

True believers fly to the blood of Christ for pardon; they run desperately and violently as possible to Christ and His power to overcome sin and idolatry! When believers see sin, they run to Christ to confess it.

Believers are diligent to mortify or kill their idolatry when they find it in their hearts and minds so that they can please Christ in their daily duties.

The idolatry that the saints united to Jesus are prone to is not the same as reigning, habitual idolatry of the unregenerate and the unrepentant. None are more ready to disclaim this idolatry than those who are most guilty! Those who are most guilty of idolatry reject any need from God or others.

Our proneness to idolatry is the reason why we must all be neither arrogant nor ignorant toward the remaining sin that is within us. We must seek the LORD and ask Him through watching and praying that He would deliver us more and more, and grant us a deeper repentance and trust in Jesus Christ.

The more we understand what we have been delivered from, and from what we are being delivered, and just how much it has eaten us up inside like a cancer, the more diligent we will be in exalting the grace of God found in Christ Jesus, and running to Jesus for His cleansing blood to purify and empower us over our sins.

Do you live a life of repentance, asking God to search your hearts and minds to cleanse of all of your idols?

Are you an idolater?


What is your hope?

If you realize how deeply your idolatry goes, wouldn’t it behoove you to use your time more wisely in seeking Christ, and seeking Him to make you pure as He is pure? The root to all of the believer’s fruitfulness is found in union with Jesus and we grow as behold the gracious face of God each day in our prayers and in our walk:

ESV 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Our only hope is in our Savior Jesus Christ! So be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus (2 Tim. 2:1); watch and pray that you fall not into temptation (Matt. 26:41); be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might (Eph. 6:10); resist the devil, draw near to God (James 4:6ff). Remember the words of James; if we need grace, God will grant it as we ask for it:

“…[God] gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

Let us pray together for a closer, more committed walk with the Living God by His Spirit!



Dear Lord and Father, help me to watch and pray against idolatry in my heart. Keep my heart pure and clean, and my focus fixed on Christ! Grant me grace to be self-aware of my sin, leading me to daily repentance; make me Christ-aware as I keep my the focus of my affections, feelings, emotions, will and mind on Jesus and not on my base and sinful lusts. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.


In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Biggs



[1] The sermon is by David Clarkson (1622-86), entitled ‘Soul Idolatry Excludes Men from Heaven’ (from Works of David Clarkson, Vol. 2, Banner of Truth Trust). Clarkson was a ministerial colleague of John Owen, and the minister who preached and ministered to Owen’s flock after John Owen’s death (yes, Pastor Clarkson was in the shadows of a greater man—but both were great men!).

Westminster Shorter Catechism: Q30 (Part 2)

Question: WSC 30, Part 2: How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?

Answer: The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.


More on Union with Christ

Scripture Memory: ESV Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


An Explanation:* “Uniting us to Christ…” Union with Christ is the fount from which all blessings of eternity and time flow forth by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:3-14). Christ is the Reservoir of all blessing from the Father through the Spirit (1 Cor. 1:9). Believers have union and communion with Christ in grace and glory (WLC, 65-66). What are the practical implications of our union?

  1. The church has union with Christ in the Father’s eternal election. This is a union that precedes our birth and conversion, back into the eternal electing mercies of God. Union with Christ includes union in eternity, in history in the fullness of the times, and the Spirit’s union in the application of our salvation. This covenant theology recognizes that union with Christ is not merely a present experience, but an eternal reality in the plan of God. A covenant of grace was made with Christ as the Second Adam, and all the elect in Him as His seed (Heb. 13:20-21).
  2. The church has union with Christ in the Son’s incarnation. No higher honor was given to humanity than when God the Son took our nature into permanent union with God. The purpose of Christ’s incarnation is particularly His priestly office and work to make propitiation for His people, and intercede for them (Heb. 1:1-2; 2:17; 7:25). The incarnation forms a necessary link with Christ, so that we might have His righteousness to us. Christ joins with us in our nature and this incarnational union makes possible all of the righteousness that He earned and will give to us as we receive it by faith. Only those who are sanctified in Christ can all ourselves “brethren” of God’s Son (Heb. 2:11). This is important as part of God’s promise of being “with us”; the incarnational union impresses upon us that He is not merely God for us, but God with us.
  3. The church has union with Christ in His death, resurrection, and ascension. This is particularly Paul’s theme in his writings (Rom. 6-8). We died with Christ on the cross, were buried with Him, rose from the dead with Him, seated with Him in Heavenly Places, etc (Col. 3:1-4; Gal. 2:20). All of the believer’s experiences of saving faith flow from his union with Christ in these great, redemptive-historical events. Whatever Christ did and received, belong to us as God’s children. As believers, we should count all of these blessings as our own possessions. This union with Christ is an abiding reality that believers must live out of by faith. In 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: “One died for all, then all died, therefore we should live not for ourselves, but for Him who died and has risen from the dead.” Christians died with Christ 2000 years ago with Christ on the cross, but we experientially live this out being transformed in time by God’s Spirit.
  4. The church has union with Christ in the Spirit’s works of personal salvation. The Spirit establishes a vital union with Christ through effectual calling and regeneration. We are in space and time united to Jesus Christ. In Romans 8:30, Paul wrote: Romans 8:30 “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Freedom from condemnation belongs to those who are “in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8). The Spirit of Life liberates us from sin to live for Christ.
  5. Communion with God in love flows out of union. Spirit, faith, and love are the three “chains of union” (William Ames). The Spirit from God to unites us; faith from us to unite us; love to give ourselves wholly to Christ as His Beloved. All that Christ has or has done is ours by faith in Christ Jesus. The Christian is a fruitful branch, an eating and drinking guest at the banquet, a beloved bride, clothed in His righteousness and glory. All these will be realized at the Consummation of all things, and we will live blessedly (Rev. 19:7ff; 21:1ff)! We shall have total, unhindered, intimacy with Christ in heaven for all eternity! We shall realize fully the Lord’s love for His bride!

* Compiled from Dr. J. R. Beeke’s lectures on soteriology.


A Prayer: Thank you, dear Jesus, that you loved me and gave yourself for me. I am grateful to confess: “I am crucified with Christ…and the life I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20).


In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Biggs


Be Filled with the Spirit

Pentecost was a once-for-all, unique, redemptive-historical, unrepeatable act of the Risen-Ascended Christ in sending forth His Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 1:5; 2:33-36). Pentecost was the coming of Christ to His Church as the life-giving Spirit at a new stage of redemptive-history (Acts 2:33-36; cf. 1 Cor. 15:45). Pentecost can be no more repeated than the death and resurrection of Christ can be a repeatable event. Pentecost and the first few stages or phases of the event that are recorded in Acts is not a paradigm for all believers to experience individually, but a pattern to note how the Spirit was poured out upon the Body of Christ in redemptive-history by the Risen-Ascended Christ and spread from Israel to the nations.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Dr. Luke’s important stress throughout the Book of Acts is on how the apostolic gospel spreads from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem to Israel on the Day of Pentecost to the nations, or “to the ends of the earth” as the Old Testament prophets foretold (Psa. 2:8; 22:27; 72:8; Isa. 2:2-5; 5:26; 45:22; 52:10; cf. Acts 28:28:31). The events recorded in Acts 8, 10-11, and 19 are “extensions,” “expansions,” or “stages” of the once-for-all Day of Pentecost through the foundational ministry of the apostles: “…Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets…the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. 2:18-22).

The Apostles, the newly reformed, reconstituted Israel received the promised gift of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, then they were used as Christ’s instruments of blessings to give the life-giving blessings of the Spirit to the believing remnant in Jerusalem, then to Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (even Old Covenant believers who had not heard of the full work of Jesus and the Spirit heard the complete news of redemption, and received the Spirit (see Ephesians 18:24-19:5). The Book of Acts emphasizes that because of Pentecost, the Church is the Body of Christ made up of Jews, Gentiles, slave, free, male, female, and all are one in Christ (cf. Gal. 3:26-29). The blessings made to Abraham have now gone to the nations; Abraham has become more fully the “Father of many nations” (cf. Gen. 12:1-3; Gal. 3:14, 16, 29).

Now believers who receive Christ, receive the fullness of His Spirit, and are baptized in the Spirit upon conversion or regeneration.

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free- and all were made to drink of one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).

We must make clear that the baptism of the Spirit takes place for each member at the time of being incorporated into the one body of Christ, at the time of saving inclusion within the covenant community in regeneration, and not at some time subsequent to that saving incorporation. Christ baptizes all believers with the fullness of His Spirit through faith. All believers are sealed unto the day of redemption by Christ’s Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). All believers are the “dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22) and the temple of God in which the Spirit and Glory of God dwells (1 Cor. 3:16). Dr. Sinclair Ferguson writes that “…Pentecost (or the Acts as a whole) provides us not with a two-stage paradigm for personal experience of the Spirit, but rather that at the point of faith we participate individually in the effect of the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost.”

There are importance applications and implications for believers today.[1] Dr. Richard Gaffin makes an important distinction between understanding the eschatological dimension of Pentecost that was once-and-for-all (historia salutis, an event in the history of salvation) and the individual-experiential dimension (ordo salutis, the order we receive the blessings of redemption) that we continue to enjoy as Christians united to Jesus Christ. To think more about the individual-experiential, ongoing dimension of Pentecost in the believers’ lives, let us think particularly about the signs on the Day of Pentecost and what they symbolize for Christians as the work of the Spirit in us because of what Christ has accomplished.

Although the signs and wonders of Pentecost have passed away, the meaning of the signs have not. On the Day of Pentecost there was wind, or the very “breathing” of the life of God into His body (cf. Ezek. 37:5-9), there was the light of fire that rested above the disciples’ heads (Mal. 3:2-3; Exo. 3:2; Heb. 12:28-29), and there were the languages that they spoke to God and one another (Acts 2:1-4). What are the meanings behind the signs that we should understand as Christians today?

Life (Wind/Breath): God gives believers His life in the Spirit in our union with Christ. This is the full and abundant New Covenant life that was not possible until Jesus Christ had fully completed His work of sinners in His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. In Christ, by the Spirit, the Father makes us alive (Eph. 2:1-10). He breathes into us His life to live for Him, and to live abundantly and joyfully in the Spirit (cf. John 20:21-23). “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11; also Rom. 8:2, 6, 10). This life is given to believers to live for Christ in union with Christ. This is abundant life that is nourished by the reservoir of grace found in Christ; apart from Christ we can do nothing, produce nothing living and good to the glory of God (John 1:16-18; 15:1ff; Rom. 8:5-11).

Light (Fire): God gives us light to purify us, to consume our dross, but to also enlighten our minds to the truths of Scripture (Eph. 1:18; Heb. 6:4; 10:32). God gives light to warm our hearts to know more deeply His love for us in Christ and be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:16-19). The Apostle Paul prays for believers to have illumination by the Spirit to know who they are in Christ, to experience the deep love of God the Father found in Christ Jesus through the Spirit in our inner being (Eph. 1:15-23; 3:14-21).

Language (Tongues): While the languages of Pentecost as signs and wonders to testify to a new epoch of redemptive-history were necessary in the transitional time between the Old and New Covenants, they are no longer necessary now as the complete, inspired Scriptures have been written and given to God’s people. But what these languages pointed to are still important to us. The two important aspects of these Spirit-given languages were for worship and witness. The worship of God in Spirit and truth through transformed hearts (John 4:24; Jer. 31:31-34; cf. 1 Cor. 14:1-5), and the witness within the community in building one another up in the truths of Scripture, and the witness to the world in the good news of salvation.

We see the glorious use of these Spirit-given “love” languages particularly in the Apostle Paul’s writings. Paul often stresses to speak to one another to encourage and especially to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15, 25-32, 1 Cor. 12:7; 14:5; cf. Acts 9:31). Isn’t encouraging, humble, holy, honest speech a wonderful and glorious working of God’s Spirit?! The Apostle Paul refers to the ongoing work of the Spirit and the implications of Pentecost in the believers’ life not as a second blessing, but as a continual need to seek to be filled with the Spirit of God. The Apostle Paul teaches the churches to be “filled with the Spirit”, which can also be said as being filled with God’s Word. The Spirit works so closely in and through the Word of God that it is important to note this.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Eph. 5:18-20). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:16-17).

In both of these important passages, we see the “love” languages given by the Spirit for true worship of God (“…Giving thanks always and for everything…” “…With thankfulness in your hearts to God…”) and to witness (“…Addressing one another in [Scripture]…singing and making melody…” “…Teaching and admonishing one another…”).

So let us as a family at KCPC, united to Jesus Christ by faith, seek to be filled with the Spirit of God because we have received the baptism and full immersion in the Spirit in our union with Jesus Christ by faith!

We should remember that the Spirit of God’s presence is not known first and foremost through a feeling (although feelings should and do accompany). The Spirit of God’s presence is known first and foremost from His blessed fruit and His holy effects on one’s life (Gal. 5:16-25; cf. John 3:8: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit”). What are the blessed fruits and holy effects of the Spirit in your life? In the life of your family? In our congregation at KCPC? These fruits and effects of Christ’s Spirit will reveal Christ’s life in us to others, causing us to hate the sin that remains in us, and to desire more holiness (Christ-likeness) (Rom. 7:11-25); to desire humility in our worship to God and service to one another, and to cultivate honesty before God and others. These fruits and effects of Christ’s Spirit will be seen in our learning to walk as Jesus walked (imperfectly, yet sincerely by His Spirit):

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call…

Let us pray to be filled with the Spirit, and learn some helpful hints as to how from Dr. John Harvey.


Helpful Hints on how to be filled with the Spirit of God (by John Harvey)[2]

  1. Make certain that your heart is wholly (sincerely) devoted to God (Deut. 6:5; 11:11-13; 30:6; Psa. 31:23; 111:1; 116:1; 119:2, 10, 34, 69, 145; Jer. 24:7; Matt. 22:37; Luke 10:27; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Jo. 5:21).
  2. Determine not to compromise your walk with God (Psa. 119:1-8; Phil. 1:21; 2 Cor. 5:-10, 14-15).
  3. Be sensitive to and repentant over sin (Psa. 130; 139: 23-24; 1 Jo. 1:8-2:2; 2 Cor. 7:10-11).
  4. Be faithful in the little things (Matt. 25:14-23).
  5. Remember who gets the glory! (Rom. 11:33-36; Psa. 115:1).
  6. Devote yourselves to prayer (Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18-20).
  7. Keep your eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:1-2).


For Further Reading and Study

Intermediate: A Theology of the Holy Spirit – Frederick Dale Bruner / Beginner: Anointed with the Spirit and Power: The Holy Spirit’s Empowering Presence (Explorations in Biblical Theology) – John Harvey / Intermediate: Perspectives on Pentecost – Richard Gaffin, Jr. / Intermediate: The Holy Spirit – John Owen / Advanced: The Holy Spirit (Contours of Christian Theology) – Sinclair B. Ferguson

[1] As Dr. Ferguson writes: “…While Pentecost is also once for all time in character, implications of the baptism of the Spirit which took place on that occasion overflow the banks of that Day and flow on, down through the centuries. Just as the blood of Christ cleanses men and women from every tribe, tongue, people and nation (Rev. 5:9), so the Spirit flows from the riven side of Christ on Pentecost into Jerusalem, and from there spreads throughout Judea, gathering momentum on to Samaria and indeed to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8).”

[2] Remember that while these are helpful hints, and they are biblical, we must nevertheless always remember the sovereignty of God in His Spirit’s working (cf. John 3:3-8). Though there are ways we can prepare, and seek God, we must always be willing to wait upon the LORD. But seek Him we must because of both the command and the privilege! Amen.

“Is Anything Too Hard for the LORD?” – The Questions God Asks Us

Word of Encouragement- Week Ending Feb. 25th, 2012

Series: The Questions God Asks Us

“Is Anything Too Hard for the LORD?” – Genesis 18:14

ESV Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”


Beloved in Christ, this is your question today: “Is anything too hard for the LORD?”

Sometimes you think there is something too hard in your life that even God cannot help you with. You believe, but sometimes you are inconsistent with what you say you believe. You believe in a sovereign God who rules over the world. You believe in the Almighty God who is maker of heaven and earth. You believe that God was made flesh and lived and died for you. You believe that Jesus has risen from the dead. You believe that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.

Yet your worry, anxiety and fears betray what you’re hiding, and they reveal a heart that wants to believe, more than actually does believe. As a Christian, you know the truths of God are infallibly true and wonderfully revealed to you in Scripture, but you often live inconsistently with these truths, and you’re easily troubled. But again, let God ask you: “Is anything too hard for the LORD?”

Abraham and Sarah waited a very long time to hold in their arms the baby that had been long promised to them by God. For twenty-five long years, they waited on the promise of God to be realized in their lives. There were times of strong faith, and also times of failure during their wait. In Genesis 18, God manifested Himself to Abraham and Sarah to assure them that His promises would come to past “next year” (18:10) —and Sarah laughs in unbelief, and then tried to deny that she had indeed laughed:

“So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” …. But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.” (Genesis 18:12, 15).”

Isn’t she a bit like you and me?! Sarah couldn’t see how God could take her state of practical death in that she was too old to have babies, and grant her new life. Sarah could not conceive in her mind how she could ever conceive a child through God’s life-giving power. What God had promised was just a bit beyond her grasp of faith.

God knew also that she had laughed, and He was not angry with her and take away His gracious promises to her as it were. Rather, it was as if God was confronting Sarah with her laughter of unbelief so that she might see her sins, and might behold in Him the One who could do all things!

This is our God, dear congregation of Jesus! God reveals Himself and keeps His promises to us in spite of our lack of faith, and our silly, limited unbelief. God is always going to be faithful to His people even when His people are unfaithful to Him (2 Tim. 2:13). This in itself is a reason to ask yourself: “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” God can do all things; even forgive our sins because of His mercy.

Whatever your worries, anxieties, and fears are revealing is wrong deep within your heart, you can go to God, with a mere seed of faith, and find a great and powerful Christ ready to forgive, ready to pardon, ready to receive and ready to give to you above and beyond what you could ever ask or imagine!

What are your worries today? What is it in your life that is too difficult for you? What threatens to overwhelm you in your fears? What is too great– too hard– too difficult for you?!”

But you say: “You don’t understand my situation.” You don’t understand that I have made this problem for myself, and I must get myself out.” “There is no way that you would ever understand the problems at my workplace…in my marriage…with my children…the change that never seems to come with myself!?”

Think on Christ. Jesus loves you, and he has lived and died for you. God permanently took upon Himself a human nature from the substance of the Virgin Mary, to unite God and man together forever in Him. In Christ, God did the unbelievable. The Incarnation is the “enfleshing” of God Almighty with the goal of securing your redemption! When God sent His Son into the world, it was with you and your hard situations in mind! God who is Spirit united Himself to a body; God who is infinite united Himself to finitude; God who is everywhere present, became local in Jesus; God who is all-knowing, became limited and learning. And all for us!

“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Think about the Incarnation and how in Christ God reveals what is in our estimation the “impossible”. Remember: “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). When the Angel Gabriel came to the Virgin Mary in the fullness of the times and told her that Jesus, the Son of God, would be born to her, she didn’t laugh- – but believed. This is how we too come to understand and believe.

We may not fully understand our situation (and many times will not!); we may doubt a bit in the power and grace of God toward us (this is a reality of weak faith in this life); but we are to bow before God in humility with the little faith we have in a great Christ, and say with Mary:

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

We are to simply seek to believe God’s Word to us. What is too hard for you today? This thing you are concerned about is never impossible with God. Believe. Think of the change that God has wrought in your heart by the power of the Spirit. Have you always believed? No! How did you come to believe in Christ in the first place? Was this not a mighty “impossible” display of God’s power in taking a hardened sinner far from God, and making your heart loving and teachable, and full of desire to follow Jesus?

Is this not a hard thing, too? Go back to your conversion, think on how the power of the Spirit came upon you to transfer you from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s son; how you were raised, like Lazarus, from the spiritual dead, and seated with Christ in the heavenly places; how you were dead in trespasses and sins, enslaved to sin and the devil, and you were raised to new life in Jesus! (Col. 1:13-14; Eph. 2:1-8; Col. 3:14). Truly, I ask you, when you think of the work that has begun in you, “Is there anything too hard for the LORD?”

Think of the work yet to be done because God is committed to you. He who began a good work will complete it in you! (Phil. 1:6). God is committed to changing us. Ask Him for more faith. Don’t keep your doubts from him, but rather confess them. If you laugh at what you find to be unbelievable at the moment, learn from Sarah, and don’t cover it up and lie to God. God knows our hearts, and He kindly deals with us not according to our sins, but he pities us knowing that we are but dust (Psalm 103:11-15). Like a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on us.

Confess your worries and anxieties and fears to God. Tell him how you are struggling. Go to God in Jesus Christ who wears your nature before the face of God to represent you as your Great and Faithful High Priest, and ask Him for more faith to trust and believe all that He has promised to you.

Then laugh. Laugh with a deep joy, and hearty, belly-like, robust laugh (a real guffaw!), that God is good. Laugh with all your heart knowing that Jesus is for you, and not against you. And if God be for you, who or what could possibly be against you, or harm you?! (Psalm 27:1ff; Romans 8:30ff). Nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus, so go and flourish in your faith, knowing that nothing can harm you (Romans 8:35-39). In Christ, you’re more than a conqueror over everything that God allows to come into your life!

The hardest, most difficult, trying, exasperating, soul-crushing, and painfully unbearable work that could have been imagined, or done by you or anyone else, has been done for you in the death of Jesus Christ.

What was impossible for us has been done for us. Our sins against God were a constant and permanent reminder that we owed God for every sin in our words, thoughts and our deeds. We owed God not only an infinite payment for the sinful condition and our actual sins, but also we owed him a perfect lifetime of righteous living according to His commands, for His glory alone.

We could never repay such a debt. But God did the impossible; God did what was hard for us. God sent His Beloved Son Jesus to perfectly keep His commands and earn all righteousness before Him for us. God sent Jesus, His Beloved Son to die and provide an infinitely valuable sacrifice for our infinite sin-debt against a Holy and Just God for us. God was satisfied with Jesus’ hard work on our behalf; Jesus was raised and vindicated as a permanent and eternal memorial that all who believe in Him have been forgiven. And this, very hard thing, by grace, because of God’s love, has been done, for us.




God is good and faithful.

Look to Jesus who loves you!

“Is there anything too hard for the LORD?”

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

“Where Are You?” – The Questions God Asks Us

Word of Encouragement- Week Ending Feb. 11th, 2012

Series: The Questions God Asks Us

“Where are you?”


“But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” – ESV Genesis 3:9

“Where are you?” is the first question in the Bible. Interestingly, it is the first question that God utters to mankind. The first question in the Bible teaches us that God seeks to ask His people questions. But why?

God is omniscient and that means He knows all things. Why then would He ask us questions? Doesn’t He already know the answer?

The questions that God asks are not so much for His sake as they are for us. God wants to draw us near to Himself, and to search and know us. God delights in His children coming to Him and hearing Him as He speaks by His Spirit through His Word. He wants to speak to us, and for us to learn to listen to Him (Deut. 6:4; Prov. 2:1ff).

When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they had gone their own way. They had lived according to their own plans, and done what was right in their own eyes (Much like we often do! Gen. 3:1-7). They had willingly broken fellowship and communion with God. Rather than truly listening and learning from their wonderful Creator and LORD, they chose to do their own will.

Yet God graciously came to our first parents, and sought them out, even when they were not looking for Him! The Bible tells us that God came “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8). Rather than join God for fellowship as would have been their normal practice and delight, Adam and Eve actually sought to hide from God because of the fear and shame that sin produces. Sin may cause us to hide from God, but in His mercy God seeks after His own.

Satan, sin and shame may drive us away from God, but God intends by grace to draw His dear children near to Him! (John 6:37, 44; James 4:8).

John Calvin wrote: “No one will dedicate himself to God until he be drawn by His goodness, and embrace Him with all his heart. He must therefore call us to Him before we call upon Him; we can have no access till He first invites us…allured and delighted by the goodness of God.”

What grace we behold in God coming to speak to the hearts of our first parents- -and to our hearts today!

God comes to us and asks us the question “Where are you?” so that we can see our need for Him and turn to Him and be restored from our sinfulness. God graciously promises His people that if we will turn to Him, He promises that He will have mercy on us and forgive us. God desires to restore His relationship to mankind that was broken by the fall. God desires to restore you to communion with Him right now.

Ultimately, God asks us the question of “Where are you?” so that we will be brought to see our sins and repent of them, finding grace in our time of need (Heb. 4:14-16).

Dearly beloved of God, do you allow God to ask you this question each day? Listen to His voice: “Where are you?” Where are you today? Where are you in your relationship to God? Are you walking with God, acknowledging His presence? Honestly, where are you? Are you hiding from God? Are Satan, sin and shame driving you from God?

Where is your heart? God is everywhere present, but are you acknowledging His presence and living in His strength? When He knocks on the door of your heart do you answer? (Revelation 3:20). Are you near God today? Are you trying to hide from God?

The question of “Where are you?” put to us by God in the beginning, and then spoken to us every time we seek to read and meditate upon His Word, to hear from Him and to pray, is the same question that was also in the Lord Jesus’ mouth:

Jesus was forsaken on the cross, abandoned as a cursed thing because although He had not committed any sins or transgressions Himself, the LORD had laid our iniquities upon Him.

In our place condemned He stood! This is our Beloved Savior, perfect and sinless as the Lamb of God, and as He who knew no sin because sin for us, so Jesus cries out in dereliction on the cross:

“Where are you?”

Or, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”

Or, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus was made to be sin, having our sins imputed to Him, so that we would receive His righteousness by faith alone and boldly draw near to God.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – ESV 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus reconciled us to God, and has given us access to all of our dear Heavenly Father’s questions. Let us hear Him, let us listen, and let us respond with faith and obedience because of what Christ has done for us!

Dear Beloved in Jesus Christ, God asks us ‘Where are you?’ because God desires to search us and examine our hearts by His most Holy Word and Spirit. Do not run Him! Do not run away and be driven from your only hope for joy and salvation! God wants to bring us to the end of ourselves, to show us our sins, and the habits that only bring hurt and harm to ourselves and others, so that we might repent, and find a deeper, closer relationship with our loving Lord Jesus.

Consider this question to you today: “Where are you?” Are you near to God? Draw near to God in Jesus Christ because He died for you, and He promises to draw near to you.

When you read your Bibles, and meditate thoughtfully on Scripture, let God ask you over and over: “Where are you?” And then be honest with Him…and yourself. Let his be your prayer:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” – ESV Psalm 139:23-24

Don’t try to hide from God. Draw near to God in Jesus Christ. Let God be your hiding place and home.

“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah.” – ESV Psalm 32:7

“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” – ESV John 14:23

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

“Being a Blessing in a Consumeristic World”

Word of Encouragement

‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’– Acts 20:35

“…And I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing…And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:2-3


If you’re a believer, you are blessed! All who believe in Jesus are blessed by God with Father Abraham (Galatians 3:13-16, 26-29). We are blessed with Father Abraham because of God’s promises to him were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ! This means we are greatly blessed!

What does it mean to be blessed by God? What do we mean when we say “God bless you”? Or that “God has blessed me!” We often mean that God has given us some extra money in popular language. But God’s blessing is much more than that! What we should mean primarily when we speak of God’s blessings to us is that we are recipients of God’s grace in three particular ways: (1) Relationship; (2) Righteousness; and (3) Riches.

In Genesis, we are taught that “Father” Abraham was called out of darkness into God’s light by God’s grace and was granted precious promises that established a relationship with God, that gave a righteousness to him that he did not have, and promised great riches because of God’s love.

(1)   Relationship: God has been gracious in seeking out sinners and granting them a relationship to Him by His grace. We who were once far from God have been brought near through the blood of Jesus Christ, and this is what it means to be blessed.

(2)   Righteousness: God has been gracious in giving sinners a perfect righteousness that is received by faith alone in Christ alone. We receive Jesus’ righteousness that was earned from His perfect life lived, and we receive forgiveness of sins through the atoning death Jesus died in our place, and we are received as God’s forgiven children in Him, and this is what it means to be blessed.

(3)   Riches in Christ: God has been gracious in that he not only grants us a relationship with Himself, and a righteousness that is a perfect righteousness that forgives us our sins and equips us for heavenly life with Him for all eternity, but God also further blesses us with all of the riches that are found in our union with Jesus Christ (and there are so many!) and this is what it means to be blessed.

All good and perfect gifts come from God; all things that we enjoy in this life are blessings, but of all these blessings, the greatest of these would be a relationship with the living God, a righteousness from God that makes us acceptable in the Beloved, and all of the riches of God that are given to us because of Jesus.

We are to know that we are richly blessed, so that we will be a blessing to others. God says to Abraham: “I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing.” In Scripture we are taught that God abundantly gives so that we can give to others. We are called by God to honor others above ourselves, to seek to serve, to seek to give whatever we can of our time, talents and possessions.

Do you seek daily to be a blessing to others? Do you plan your day seeking to think prayerfully how you might bless another person, especially those of the household of faith? (Gal. 6:10). We are commanded when we meet together as God’s people to plan or consider how we might stir one another up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:23-25). We are naturally self-centered and focused only on ourselves, so God in Christ commands us to have our eyes fixed on Jesus who gave Himself for us, so that we will seek to stir up others to love and good works.

How can you be a blessing today? Pray that you better understand just how much God has given to you in Jesus Christ. Reflect daily, and meditate day and night on the relationship you have with God because of the love and grace of Jesus. Reflect and meditate upon God’s righteousness that has been given to you, that covers all of your sins, and makes you righteous in God’s sight (use Psalm 32 to equip you to bless others). Reflect on the riches that are in Christ Jesus, and that are yours in Him.

In the Old Covenant, the blessing of God was shown more outwardly in material blessings such as prosperity in land and possessions, fertility (or fruitfulness) in producing families and clans and tribes and peoples, security in dwelling safely and securely in God’s presence, and in victory over one’s enemies in battles. Prosperity, fertility, security, and victory were shadows, or types of the eternal blessings that would come and be fully realized in Jesus.

In the New Covenant, the blessings of God are revealed and realized in spiritual blessings in Christ (but they can also be in material blessings of course; both the Old and New Covenants warn against enjoying the riches and the blessings of God such as prosperity apart from a relationship with the living God, or trusting in one’s fertility, or security, etc; read the Proverbs and prophets for abundant examples of this! In both the Old and New Covenants one could enjoy all the blessings and riches, but be far from God within one’s own heart).

In Christ, we have all of the spiritual riches in the heavenly places we are taught in Ephesians 1:3-14. This means that all believers possess eternal prosperity, fertility, security and victory in Jesus Christ (this is one of the ways you can interpret the Letter to the Ephesians and gain much wisdom from your studies).  These spiritual blessings in the heavenly places can be enjoyed now by God’s people as they walk by faith. God’s blessings in Christ are a foretaste of the blessed eternal and heavenly life of the new creation that we enjoy now by the Spirit of Jesus.

In Christ, we are prosperous in that we will inherit the New Heavens and the New Earth; all that Christ has inherited, we will inherit as “joint-heirs” with Him (we are called beloved “children” and “joint heirs”, Rom. 8:17). In Christ, we can be fruitful through obedience to God, and from the Spirit’s work in our lives through sanctifying grace (John 15:1-11); we can be fruitful in building the church by making disciples of all nations through evangelism or adoption or support of missions and church plants, etc.

In Christ, we can be secure and safe in union with Him, knowing our lives are hidden with Christ in God, and He is our rest from all of our labors (Col. 3:1-4; Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4). In Christ, we can know that all of our victories are because we are more than overcomers in Jesus, and that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

All of these truths of who we are in Christ Jesus should help us to realize how much we have been blessed. In fact, this is how the Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians to pray for one another (Notice how Paul desires them to know their hope, identity, inheritance and power- -all of these are Old Covenant blessed realities found in Jesus: prosperity, fertility/fruitfulness, security, and victory):

ESV Ephesians 1:15-23: For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Do you know how blessed you are in Jesus? Pray to know this better! Ask God to enlighten the eyes of your hearts so that you might know your hope in Jesus, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe! Ask God for a vision through a spirit of wisdom and revelation in your knowledge of Him to see by faith all that God has prepared for those who love Him!

“As it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”- these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”- 1 Corinthians 2:9-10


May we pray as a congregation for ourselves, but particularly for one another that we would know our prosperity, potential fruitfulness, security and victory in Jesus! You might think to meditate prayerfully to God right now by saying to God in Jesus (in your own words, from you own heart): “I am thankful that you have blessed me in Christ that I am an heir with Christ of all your good creation, of every blessing, and every good thing you will do for Jesus, you will do for me!”

You might pray: “I realize that apart from Christ I can do nothing, but I am eternally grateful in Christ that I can produce fruit that will last; I can reach out to others in your courage and strength, making Christ known in my words and actions, and see many come to know the Lord Jesus.”

You could say to God: “I am grateful that I am secure in Jesus and a conqueror over all my spiritual enemies in the heavenly places- -I am invincible in Jesus; if you be for me, who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31; Eph. 6:10-20; Matt. 28:18-20).

Are you characterized as a worldly consumer or a Kingdom producer? Be careful that a worldly, self-focused, and self-centered mindset does not hinder you from realizing these great blessings that you have in Jesus (1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4)! Be careful that a worldly consumeristic mindset and culture that is set on taking and receiving does not hinder you spiritually from realizing these truths and the great blessings of God in blessing others!

You must remember that we live in a consumer-culture where almost everything that is advertised to us and is appealing to us is for instant gratification; we are often lured into living for self in our daily course. It is not hard for us to be distracted and to backslide in our hearts and minds toward self-service and consumers. Be warned!

As God’s beloved children, let us be wise and wary of being tempted to constantly buy and consume the “next best thing” or the “next version” or “upgrade” or “next download” etc. (We all have the same temptations; let’s help each other from falling into temptations and traps: 1 Cor. 10:12-13).

The worldly consumeristic mindset will focus you on yourself rather than upon others. This consumeristic mindset will indeed harm you spiritually and cause you to consume in a worldly manner that takes your focus off of heaven and of your blessed heavenly pursuits.  All that you have ever really wanted and desired can be fully found and satisfied in Christ- -He is all you need; God is your portion in Christ! One day we will live blessed forever, fully realizing for all eternity that God was all we ever needed, and we can learn this to a certain extent now by God’s grace and Spirit.

But be careful of seeking to satisfy your desires through consumerism like the world; it will make you worldly. Our Lord Jesus warned us of how we can all be so easily tempted to be devoted to purchase power and possessions and despise God. So he taught us to live to thrive by God’s grace in seeking first the Kingdom of God:

ESV Matthew 6:24, 33: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money….But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Do you despise God? If you are devoted to purchasing power and possessions you already despise God, and particularly God’s blessings to you in Christ. Why? Because you love your worldly “blessings” more than you love the blessings found in Jesus. If this is true of you, take a moment right now, to bow your head to Christ, repent and ask Him forgiveness. When we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive and restore us! (Amen!! 1 John 1:8-2:2).

As a congregation, let us for a moment think more deeply about how subtly, quietly and softly that we can be lured into being molded into the mindset of this present age as a consumer. There are at least two kinds of people in the world: worldly consumers and Kingdom producers (note: we all are both consumers and producers in this world, and to consume is not evil in itself, but we should think prayerfully what characterizes us).

Consumers are generally characterized as takers and receivers, while producers are givers, and seek to benefit others. Those characterized as consumers are not normally good producers. Consumers are often hindered from producing, especially producing for the Kingdom of God. Consumers very easily just keep buying and seeking to possess, not realizing that their life is passing them by and that they have been molded into the ways of the world.

Consuming can develop an attitude of immediate gratification and walking/possessing by sight (and cash!), while producing for God’s Kingdom can develop an attitude of delayed gratification and walking/possessing all things by faith (in Christ!). Those who are characterized by walking by sight and cash will not walk by faith and wait upon the LORD.

What is God’s answer to worldly consumerism? Giving. We need to be aware that giving is God’s answer to consumerism. Giving rather than receiving and consuming is God’s way of helping us to keep our heavenly focus on heaven more than the “next best thing”.  Learning to trust God with the riches we already have, and everything else we need to live well in this world, is found in giving. God teaches us to be producers more than consumers. Giving is God’s way of helping us to depend entirely on Him, to resist instant gratification, and to set our hopes on the delayed gratification of storing up treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal (Matt. 6:24ff).

Consumerism at a deeper level also affects the way we worship, pray and serve. Be careful and aware of the deeper problems of consumerism. Not only will this world turn you into more of a consumer-taker than a producer-giver with the products the world advertises, but it will make you turn into more of a consumer-taker in God’s Church and Kingdom as well. Watch that you have not already been affected by this terrible threat to your good growth and production in Jesus’ church.

How do you know if you have bought into this worldly consumeristic mindset even within God’s Kingdom? One way to know is that you come to worship services thinking merely about how you might receive from God’s Word and others, but have not planned how you might serve and give of yourself. You have come to worship Christ but perhaps you are focused on yourself. You tend to only consume God’s Word, but you do not allow it to transform you into a willing servant and producer for God. In other words, you seek to be a consumer of God’s Word for mere knowledge, rather than knowledge through the Spirit that will transform you and make you productive in God’s Church. This can be an especially dangerous temptation of confessional Christians who love theology.

Another way is that you think that you think when you pray, that the prayers are for yourself only, and you approach God as if you know better than He what is good or best for you and what it is that you need. You might spend more time talking about what you need from God than about worshiping and praying to God and enjoying fellowship and His holy presence. You might seek Him for what you think you need rather than asking Him to search you and correct you and change you. You may have a list of things God needs to do for you today (not to be misunderstood, we should make our requests known to God, but let him also examine your heart and motives for asking, too!).

You might think that everyone else serves, but you don’t need to, or that you do enough. If you have been affected by the consumeristic culture you might not want to commit yourself to others, but you are willing to take from them (there are seasons where we need to be receivers of course, but this is to help us to think about what characterizes us most of the time; look at your heart).  The worldly consumer spends time thinking of self, and taking rather than receiving.

In your service, you might have forgotten that Jesus says that as our Master and Lord, he has set an example of service that all of God’s people should lovingly follow, so that all of us will be built up in our faith. Remember after Jesus washes the feet of His disciples (even of the one disciple who didn’t deserve it and would betray him?):

ESV John 13:13-17: You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

“If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” This is a very important truth to remember my beloved brethren.

If we are characterized by worldly consumerism in our lives and spending habits, then this will be what molds our minds, hearts, and actions in the church and local congregation as well. If we spend our lives seeking to consume and take, we will also spend our spiritual lives seeking to consume and take, rather than realizing the great blessings of God in Christ for those who produce and give, and seek to give more and more! Let us hear and heed the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 12:2:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

It is interesting that the spiritual blessings found in Christ alone that we can never lose such as prosperity, fruitfulness, security and victory are also counterfeited in our culture, and even drive much of our idolatry for consumption. We are tempted to seek prosperity, fruitfulness, security and victory often apart from Christ and in the things that we can do for ourselves, or what we can buy from others. We do not naturally trust God, and we don’t always believe that we have been blessed in Jesus! But we have! Let us be careful of the idolatry of our hearts! Do not let a day go by that you don’t ask God to examine and search you as David:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”- Psalm 139:23-24

Our first step in learning that it is more blessed to give than to receive is to ponder anew and realize all of the lavish love and blessings we have in Christ! Notice in Ephesians 1 that there is a storehouse of wonderful spiritual food to fix your focus on Jesus: We have been chosen; we have been adopted; we have been redeemed by Christ’s precious blood; we have been sealed unto the day of redemption; we have hope; we have an inheritance that no mind has even conceived, that is above and beyond anything we could imagine; we have power in Christ that we have yet to tap into.

In light of the blessings you have received in Jesus, go now in the Name of the Lord Jesus and ask God how you can be a blessing to others. Ask God to make you a brother or sister in Jesus characterized by producing for God’s Kingdom. Ask God by His powerful might and Spirit to transform your consumerism into being a productive son/daughter in God’s kingdom that gives of yourself, and seeks to worship God to give back to God, and to pray to God to enjoy God, and to serve God desiring to produce disciples and build His Church.

You will be greatly rewarded and blessed for all that you do in Jesus’ Name! God is so good to us that He wants us to produce great riches in heaven that we will enjoy with Christ for all eternity!

You have been blessed with a relationship with God in Jesus Christ! You have been blessed with perfect righteousness so that you can enjoy God’s favor, Jesus’ inheritance and eternal bliss for all eternity! You have been blessed with all of the riches in Christ Jesus- -riches that you will never ever be able to fully fathom.

All this has been lavished on you. Serve others. Seek to bless someone today, particularly those in the household of faith. Give of yourself. Give of your time. Give of your talents. Give of your money and possessions to bless.

“I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing.”- Genesis 12:2-3



In Christ’s love,


Pastor Biggs

“Fall Down at the Savior’s Feet”

“Fall Down at the Savior’s Feet” – Luke 8:40-56


What makes us fall down? The weight of something can make us fall down. We fall down and stumble sometimes because we are careless and frail. What makes us fall down before God?


Our need.


His great power and glory.


The weight of our need for Jesus, and the weight of our realization of His power and glory, and the weight of His kind and merciful willingness to take time to heal us. This makes us fall down at his feet.


Let us worship Jesus. Right now, fall down, and seek Him who calls out to you, and promises to you all that you will ever need in Him. Fall down at Jesus’ feet and find what you need in Jesus, where you can get nowhere else. Go to Him and worship


In Luke 8:40-56, two people fall down at Jesus’ feet because they have great need of Jesus and His healing power. One person who falls down in Jesus’ presence is Jairus, an important person in his day, a synagogue ruler. Another person who fell down in Jesus’ presence was just a nameless common woman described as “a woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years” (Luke 8:43). Read Luke 8:40-56.


Jairus, the important man, and the nameless common woman both had desperate needs, and it didn’t matter the social or economical position that they held in this world. When death came calling, both of them knew that only Jesus could bring healing and help.


And death came calling. In Jairus’ home, Jairus’ dear and **only** daughter was dying. His only daughter (about twelve years of age) was dying; he was losing what was most important to him in this world; the little girl would no longer bless him with her smiles, giggles, hugs, and wretched death would steal her presence from his home forever! (Luke 8:42).


Jairus went to Jesus because all of his importance, all of his religious and social standing, did not matter at this moment. He was a frail man in the face of death, with absolutely no power to save the dear one who meant the most to him in the whole world! He goes to Jesus. Amen! Go to Jesus right now for help.


Jairus goes to Jesus, and “falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house…” (8:41). Jairus implored Jesus. The word “implore” is from the verb parakaleo the same verb used of the Holy Spirit as being one called along side. The term here is being used to show that this important man was begging Jesus with all of his might to do the impossible: reverse death’s awful threat upon his daughter’s life! Jairus is praying fervently. Jairus prays by the Spirit for his daughter to be healed.


In the nameless common woman’s life, she had spent all she had in this world (and it was probably very little) to get well. We are told that “she had spent all her living on physicians” (8:43). No one could help her; no one (not a soul could help her) (8:44). All of the professional advice, wisdom, and medical help she sought could not save her from this slow discharge of blood that would eventually kill her. Death was creeping up on her and robbing her of life.


This woman, with all of the faith she could muster rushes through the crowds to Jesus and touches the fringe of Jesus’ garment. Don’t let anything hinder you from seeking the healing that only Jesus can give. Go and find at least his outer garment to touch. Get as near as you can!!


Just the outer edges of Jesus’ presence will heal sinners! Don’t you see, go to Jesus, touch whatever you can, reach as far as you’re able, with whatever faith you can muster. You may have a little faith, and little hope to get to Jesus, but you’re reaching for a great and powerful CHRIST!


Power went out from Jesus when this dear weak and nameless woman touched Him. We are told “she came up behind HIM and touched the fringe of His garment and immediately her discharge of blood ceased” (8:44) – -and she was immediately healed (8:45-48).


In the face of Jesus Christ, the nightmare of death is over. Jesus brings life.


A little faith, perhaps a very small hope that anyone could ever help her, but this nameless common woman took hold of a GREAT CHRIST. And when this woman felt the weight of God’s glory in Jesus Christ, and the power of his LIFE, she came “trembling and falling down before him” (8:47).


She fell down to worship Christ, to honor the only hope for those dying! We find in Christ the only one who can help us in our time of need!


And her faith in Jesus healed and saved her (8:48). Although she is nameless and common, she is a “daughter” to the living God. Jesus says to her: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” The woman’s faith in Jesus showed her to be a true daughter of the Living God, heirs to the life that is found in Jesus. She goes in peace, having found her hope of life in Christ.


But while Jesus was healing this nameless common woman, Jairus’ daugther had grown worse in the meantime, and news came to Jesus that Jairus’ daughter has died. They came with the news: “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore” (8:49).


This is an example of a faithless people, who do not understand that when Jesus is present to faith there is no threat of death. “Let’s not trouble Jesus with things that he cannot do,” they say. We also think this way sometimes functionally even as Christians. Whereas the nameless common woman was at least willing to give Jesus a try with the little faith she had, these folks are unwilling to even ask?!


Such prayerless and hopeless people we can be sometimes—even when Jesus promises that He is with us!


But Jesus is gracious to even the prayerless and hopeless, and He speaks Gospel words of comfort into Jairus’ life; Jairus (and all in his home) heard life-giving, Holy-Spiritual empowered words come forth from the lips of the Savior. Jesus told Jairus confidently as the Lord of Life and Death:


“Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.”


We often will listen to fear and look to circumstances before we look to Christ and hear His words of promise to us!


What confidence believers can have when facing Jesus Christ. When we look to Jesus and hear His Gospel-drenched, gracious words of power and kindness, all of our fears can be relieved. Our faith, while it may be small, takes hold of a GREAT CHRIST, who can do things that we can’t even conceive or imagination- -so great is His grace and power (Eph. 3:20-21).


And this causes us to fall down beneath the weight of his majesty and power, and we worship Him, too. Worship Him now. Thank Jesus for calming all of your fears; for being your Savior and promising to never leave you nor forsake you. Turn now from what you fear the most, bask in His goodness, mercy and kind presence (Heb. 4:14-16), the go back to face that which seemed so insurmountable, and find grace and comfort.


Jesus reaches Jairus’ home and there are many mourners present. Jesus brings words of comfort for those who have ears to hear. While there is the sound of weeping and mourning, Jesus speaks peaceful words of grace: “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping” (8:52).


Even in the midst of sadness, Jesus’ words can bring hope.


But the folks at Jairus’ home laughed at him (8:53- How did they go so quickly from mourning and weeping to laughing?!!). Do you laugh at God’s Word, or do you simply believe what He says to you? Do you live functionally like these people laughing inwardly, sneering, seeking to lean on your own strength, while laughing at others who take God’s words seriously?


Do you laugh rather than fall at Jesus’ feet? Behold the glory of God:


In the face of Jesus Christ we behold that the nightmare of death is over (see also John 11:40).


Jesus doesn’t rebuke the people for laughing; he doesn’t let the folks with unbelief bother him in the least bit. No, he goes to the one who needs Him. And he will find you who are in need too…


Jesus goes to the child. We are told: “But taking her by the hand he called, saying ‘Child, arise’” (8:54). Jesus is so gentle and merciful. He takes the dead little girl, the **only** daughter of Jairus, the precious daughter of Jairus, by the hand, and she speaks words of power and life to her.


But in the face of Jesus, death is only sleeping.


Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. Death cannot abide in His powerful presence, and this is a reason for us to fall down before Him. Jesus Christ is the Lord of Life!


Jesus speaks to the child a command; Jesus’ words of command have power even over the dead. Jesus commands the child to arise (8:54). We are told then that “And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat” (8:55).


Death had not only separated Jairus from the love and presence of his beloved only daughter, but death had separated Jairus’ daughters’ spirit from her body.


Death is an horrific and evil intruder in God’s creation. Death is not the way it should have been; we must never say that death is just a part of life. Death is because of the sin of man against God, and the just penalty of God for disobedience to His Word.


God does not leave man in fear of death (Heb. 2:14-18). God becomes a man, and becomes subject to the weakness and sin and misery of this life characterized by death, and even undergoes death Himself on behalf of those who believe. God becomes man and dies under the curse of death so that we might be forgiven of our many sins against God, so that we might be reconciled to God and never separted from Him, so that we might be healed of death, and so that we might never be separated from our loved ones again!


This is the hope of those who believe in Christ. Christ has taken the death penalty for our sins. He paid the infinite price of eternal death in our place on the cross. Jesus was forsaken by His father, separated from communion with God, and his body and spirit were separated in death for all who believe. Jesus Christ has been in the tomb , under the power of death, and He has risen victorious as the King of kings and Lord of Life!


In Jesus’ resurrection, we see our hope of sins forgiven, death abolished, and a life with God and our loved ones for all eternity. This is the hope we anticipate as Christians (Revelation 21:1-7). God will dwell with us forever, and we will live with Him and all our loved ones never to be separated by death.  We rejoice that when Christ returns the final enemy will be defeated which is death itself. There will be no more death soon and very soon!  “The last enemy to be destroyed [at Christ’s second coming] is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).


Death is a problem that only Jesus Christ can fix by His power and grace. Only Jesus can bring together and unify eternally loved ones who are separated by death, and spirits separated from bodies. And death becomes sleep in Jesus’ presence. What a picture here of Jesus’ care of all who believe.


Jesus finds His beloved people in our weakness and death, and he comes to us, takes us gently and mercifully by our hands, and speaks life to us. We arise and find healing from our sins in His presence and we behold His face.


When we face death as believers, Jesus may heal us as he did the nameless and common woman. But usually when we face death, we actually die as Jairus’ daughter; we close our eyes as in sleep. For believers in Jesus, death is just like a sleep; a short nap. This is the important point.


Like Jairus’ daughter dying, our dying is very similar. Jesus reaches down into death and draws up back into life. Jesus reaches through into this dimension characterized by sin and misery and death, and brings life to us by taking us permanently into His wonderful and blessed presence.


And we live forever beholding His face! When we die, or when our loved ones die in the Lord, we can be confident that although we are separated from them for a season, they are not separated from Jesus Christ! Although their spirits and bodies be separated and await the union of both on the resurrection on the Last Day, nevertheless, they are not separated from the blissful presence of the Lord Jesus.


And they through death will stare and behold, like Jairus’ daughter, into the glorious and merciful face of their precious Savior. And they will be fully healed because of His power. They will be rescued and saved from a world of sin and misery characterized by death.


This is our hope in Jesus Christ!


When we die, and when those we love die, let us be reminded and comforted of these truths. That death is like sleep in that we close our eyes from this world to open our eyes and to awake fully alive and well and healed staring and beholding the face of Jesus Christ.


When Jairus’ daughter awoke from her death, you can imagine how she would have never forgotten Jesus’ precious face. To remember that glorious face all the days of her life would have given her hope in the death she would die again. But the next time she would die, she would know that the same Jesus Christ who healed her once, would do it again- -but the next time for all eternity! This is written for us to know this and believe.


Don’t forget this face. Don’t forget the face of Jesus Christ. Once he has healed you, you will never see anything more beautiful and glorious again!


Behold the face of Jesus Christ in life and death.


Fall down and worship Him!


Encourage and comfort one another with these words of the Apostle Paul concerning death from 1 Thessalonians. The Apostle Paul teaches the doctrinal truth of what Luke’s Gospel shows to us in the sleep of Jairus’ daughter:


ESV 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.


Fall down and worship before Him!


Find life in Christ alone.


You and I need Him so desperately. Whether you’re an important person or a nameless common person, fall down and find hope and healing in Christ alone.


In Christ’s love,


Pastor Charles- “The Vicar” (I was affectionately known as ‘the Vicar” to John Connor)


This Word of Encouragement is dedicated to my friend and brother John Curtis Connor who recently closed his eyes in this world, to open his eyes in the presence of the Lord Jesus. I am grateful for John’s life, and hopeful in Christ for his death.

Your Mission Today

Word of Encouragement


Dear Beloved Congregation in Jesus,


Here is your mission for today, and as you prepare for worship tomorrow:


ESV Hebrews 10:23-25: 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.


  • Remember God’s promises and faithfulness to you and your family. Think of five specific ways you see the mercy of God in your past; now in your present (the fact that you breathe is one mercy if you’re having trouble, although I think you will not!).


  • In light of God’s promises and faithfulness, hold fast your confession of hope, and do not waver. Lift up your eyes and see your loving Savior who is calling you to find the mercy and grace that you need at the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16).


  • In light of God’s promises and faithfulness to you in Jesus, consider, that is think seriously about how to stir up one another to love and good works. Plot in your mind how you could be a blessing today to another in our congregation. Think, consider, plot, plan how you can stir another up to love and good works, because by nature, and through difficulties we are typically self-centered, and when tried by circumstances we grow weary and our the flame of our zeal for God is doused by the water of the wicked one. Stir up, like with a fire, stir up the flame through seeking to bless others, praying for the power of the Spirit.


  • And meet together for worship and service! Pray and prepare for worship tomorrow with high expectations of what God can do by His Spirit (Zech. 4:6), and encourage one another to persevere and be fruitful. Plan how you’re going to do this today and tomorrow.


  • The Day is approaching; time is very short. Much time has already been lost by worldliness, slothfulness and spiritual sleepiness. The world is passing away with all of the desires (1 John 2:17), let us do the will of God for we will endure and abide forever! Let us continue to seek Him, and ask Jesus never to let us again slumber and grow careless in light of His coming (Matt. 25). Let us encourage one another to serve Jesus with our whole hearts and beings, knowing that the time is short (Eph. 5:15; Romans 13:11-13).


  • We are easily discouraged, but let us endure because of Christ’s grace to us and His promises and faithfulness to be our God! Let us remember: Do not grow weary in doing good, for you will reap a harvest if you don’t give up! (Gal. 6:9).


In Christ’s love,


Pastor Charles