From Your Pastor: “Why Are You Angry?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

Repentance before God: Psalm 51

Repentance is not merely a changing of one’s mind toward sin, but a turning completely away from sin with all of one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength, to receive God’s forgiveness in Christ by faith. True repentance is seeing the ugliness of sin, of our particular sins against God and others, and turning away in abhorrence to see the beauty and glory of Christ who receives sinners!

We should remember that faith and repentance are two sides of one coin. You cannot have one without the other. Repentance is always a believing repentance; faith is always a repentant believing. Bringing these two aspects of our walk before God together, our forefather Thomas Watson wrote: “Repentance is a grace of God’s Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed.”

As our forefathers, Martin Luther and John Calvin pointed out, repentance and faith are the Christian’s life-long work. As we repent, we learn to grow in our faith; as our faith grows, so deeply do we repent. J. Gresham Machen described Christianity well as the “Religion of the broken heart”. This is true. As we become more aware of the righteousness of God, God’s grace in Christ, we often experience deep brokenness of heart before we enjoy the deep joy that Christ has promised to believers (John 15:9-11). This does not occur one time only, but will be a pattern as we die to sin and live to righteousness by His grace and Spirit. Thomas Watson noted six very important ingredients of true repentance by which we may test ourselves: 1) Sight of sin; 2) Sorrow for sin; 3) Confession of sin; 4) Shame for sin; 5) Hatred for sin; and 6) Turning from sin (His excellent book on repentance bears reading and re-reading. Available as a Banner of Truth Trust Puritan Paperback).

At this time of when many think of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, perhaps it would be good to see a model of repentance in inspired Scripture. Psalm 51 is helpful in this (as well as Psalm 32). Let us note a few things about Psalm 51 that can teach us about growing in repentance, and thus our faith, and especially our joy of the LORD!

Let us read prayerfully together Psalm 51, then I invite you to use this portion of Scripture to repent before God:

Psalm 51: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; 19 then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.


  1. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions” (51:1) The God we approach in repentance is full of steadfast love and abundant mercy, and willing and able alone to blot out our transgressions, or our sins against His holy commands. God’s steadfast love is His covenantal faithfulness to all in Christ Jesus, and so our repentance is particularly in Jesus’s name. We approach as those who have sinned against God’s law and more fully His love revealed to us in Christ. But we approach with great hope (cf. Heb. 4:14-16). Prayer: Father, forgive me for Jesus’s sake.


  1. “…Cleanse me from my sin” (51:2): It is particularly “my sin” that is in need of cleasning. God is willing, and able to cleanse us from our sins. We can avoid our sins, we can act as if we do not have sins, but because sin is ultimately a sin against God, only God can cleanse us. But cleanse us He will when we approach Him in Christ’s name! Prayer: Father, I am unclean, make me clean from the heart. Make me like Christ.


  1. “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me!” (51:3). True repentance acknowledges openly and honestly before our God that we have sin, and that our transgressions against God’s righteous law are real. Prayer: Father, I have broken your laws, forgive me, and restore me.


  1. “Against you, and you only…so that you may be justified in your words and…judgment…” (51:4). This acknowledges our sin as being not first and foremost against others, but offensive against God. All sin is first of all “against God” and God “only”! This helps us to cultivate a true and healthy spiritual fear of God (“The end of the matter: fear God and keep His commandments…” – 12:13). We acknowledge that we have nothing to defend ourselves with before God, no one else to blame; we have really sinned, and against such a holy and kind God! True repentance acknowledges that God is just if He did indeed condemn us for our sins. He would be just. This removes from us any blame on others, or making excuses for our sins before God. Making excuses and blame will never bring out true brokenness and sorrow for sin, and will make us self-righteous before God. It will tempt us to take God’s grace for granted. Prayer: Father, you would be altogether just in judging me, but you have provided a substitutionary sacrifice in Christ on my behalf. He who knew no sin became sin for me so that I might be covered in your righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21).


  1. “I was brought forth in iniquity…” (51:5). This acknowledges that we are sinners by nature undeserving of God’s mercy and grace. Prayer: In myself there is nothing good, but all good and grace and truth in abundance found in Christ! (John 1:16).


  1. “…You delight in truth in the inward being, and teach me wisdom in the secret heart” (51:6). God knows our hearts, and repentance is the ability to be honestly self-aware of one’s own heart. As we grow in the Christian life, we grow in our appreciation of the depths of God’s mercy, His lavish love, and unimaginable grace that He gives to sinners in Christ (Eph. 3:17-19), but we also become more aware of our “inward being”, or our “hearts” and how desperately sinful they are. True repentance is being honest before God and man. God teaches us wisdom in the “secret heart” so that we might have wise hearts, and be watchful over our hearts (cf. Prov. 4:23). Prayer: Father, make me rich with the wisdom and riches of grace found in Christ.


  1. “Purge me…wash me…whiter than snow….Create in me a clean heart…” (51:7, 10). Our Heavenly Father purges us from the taint and evils of sin through the precious blood of Christ our Lamb. Jesus Christ died for us on the cross to take away the penalty of sin which was death and hell, to free us from the power and dominion of sin, to heal us from the pollution of sin, and to change our course in life from the imminent punishment of sin. We are complete purged of our sins when we approach God in Christ. By His blood, we are washed, cleansed, made pure, and before God we are “whiter than snow”! From the center of our beings, our persons, “from the heart” we are made clean. Prayer: Thank you for the precious blood of Jesus that makes me pure and clean and holy.


  1. “Let me hear joy and gladness….Restore to me the joy of my salvation…” (51:8, 12). True repentance reconciles us back into our fellowship with God. As our sins break our fellowship with God that we enjoy in Christ, true repentance returns us to fellowship, and the joy and spiritual health that comes from that fellowship! Prayer: Father, I want to live in close fellowship with you all of my days: “Whom have I in heaven but you, and who on earth do I desire but you…For me, it is good to be near to God” (Psa. 73:25-28).


  1. “Then I will teach transgressors…” (51:13). True repentance displays an example of God’s love and power before the world. Repentance is clearly displayed so that all may undeniably see God’s goodness and power in the sinner saved by grace. Only God can save us—only God can truly sanctify us and heal us from sin. Prayer: Let me be a light to shine before others in a dark world: in my home, my workplace, my neighborhood, let me shine, kind king!


  1. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit…” (51:17). A broken and contrite spirit is pleasing to God (cf. 2 Cor. 7:10-11). There is a worldly repentance that leads to death; there is a true repentance that leads to further life, and life more abundantly before God and others. The Christian life is a life of being broken before God, knowing that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Thomas Watson said: “The mourner’s heart is emptied of pride and God fills the empty with His blessing.” The best and most mature Christians are not those who on the one hand merely talk about or feel sorry all the time for their sins, self-centeredly focused on themselves and their problem of sin. Neither are they those who are presumptuous of God’s grace, and live outwardly joyful, but thinly spiritual lives with a mere smile. Rather, the best and most mature Christians are those who most of the time feel broken and humbled by their sins and lack of fruitfulness and prayerlessness, yet their constant need makes them more wisely watchful over their own hearts, and more fully focused and dependent upon Christ and His grace, so that they are at the same time full of joy and wonder of God’s goodness and kindness, and mournfully crying out: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” Prayer: Father, let me live a broken-hearted, yet joyful life remembering always: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Amen, and amen!

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

“Reformation Righteousness”- 494th Anniversary of the Reformation


“Get over it!” “The Reformation was a historical event that took place years ago; it is irrelevant to me and to modern people.” “Just give me Jesus and I will be happy. What good could come from revisiting the teaching of the Reformation in today’s church?” “I’m interested in what Jesus is doing today.”

These are some of the initial comments one is likely to get from other well-meaning Christians unfamiliar, uninformed, and/or disinterested in the Reformation of the 16th century. Yet, what God did in His goodness during the Reformation was nothing less than the reestablishment of the gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, that had been eclipsed by the supposed good works of men.

The Reformation was a time when God allowed light to shine in the darkness of the failed attempts of feeble and sinful men trying to earn righteousness from good works, and only ending in despair before a holy God. In the Reformation, God allowed his grace to come again into glorious sight, so that one could truly know how to be made right or at peace with the living God.

How IS a sinful person to be made right before a holy God?

The Holy Spirit through the light of the Scriptures illumined minds and hearts and reminded needy sinners about salvation, hope, and true life found only in Jesus Christ and his righteousness. The Reformation of the 16th century was a powerful work of the Holy Spirit, and a tremendous revival that awakened the church to the centrality of Christ and His Gospel.

What can the Reformation teach us today? Everything! If we are interested in knowing how we can stop “trying harder” and beating ourselves up when we fail, and learn to rest in the righteousness of Christ alone! What we can learn from the Reformation today is to stop saying “I’ll try harder” and begin saying “CHRIST for me, for me, for me”!

Luther’s Reformation
This week is the 494th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. On October 31, 1517, a young pastor and Bible teacher in Wittenberg, Germany posted 95 Theses (or “things he wanted to discuss with other pastors and teachers in the church”) on the door of the Castle Church in his home town. Not intending anything other than a discussion with other pastors and teachers, Martin Luther was used by God to begin a reformation of the church by returning to the foundation of Scripture alone. Through the recent invention of the printing press, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses were published and literally spread throughout the world; as we would say today, Luther’s message “went viral”.

Luther had learned that the Bible taught that salvation was not sold by indulgences, or man’s contributed good works, but that grace was God’s alone to give. The Pope at the time of Luther was audaciously offering salvation, hope, and the chance for Uncle Buck to get out of purgatory if the people of the town would pay the right price. Luther’s ’95 Theses’ questioned the authority of the Pope to be able to offer salvation, hope, or redemption for money. These 95 things Luther wanted to discuss caused Luther to seek ultimate authority for the church in the Scriptures and not in the whims of popes and councils, because both had erred; Scripture alone was to be the Church’s ultimate authority and sole rule of faith.

What came from this study of Scripture alone, and asking what Scripture taught concerning man’s salvation, hope and life in Christ, was the realization and experiencing of true salvation, real hope, and the abundant life found only in Christ. The doctrines, or teachings of the Reformation established upon, and found in Scripture alone were: faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone (known today as the ‘Solas’ or the five watchwords of the Reformation: Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria based upon Sola Scriptura).

Righteousness Revealed from God
What Luther discovered when going to the Scriptures alone was that a righteousness had been revealed from God, not from within himself or from external works, but a righteousness that God provided for all who believe in Christ. God who demanded perfect righteousness of every single human being for salvation and communion with Him, also had provided this perfect righteousness in Jesus to be received by faith alone (Romans 1:17).

ESV Romans 1:16-17: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Salvation was found by going to Christ, not by going through the motions of external obedience. This righteousness of Christ was received by faith alone. Christ had a perfect righteousness that we could never obtain as sinners. This is why the Apostle Paul writes (Romans 4:4-5, 8:

“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness… “Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin”.

The grace of God was not something man could cooperate with as in the Medieval Roman Catholic theology (as well as in some Evangelical circles today), it was all of grace (Eph. 2:5-10). Grace alone meant that man’s will was in bondage to the flesh, the world and the Devil and the only way that the will could freely choose Christ was for the heart to be regenerated, awakened from the dead, pass from death to life, and this all by grace so that no one could boast, as Paul teaches in Ephesians 2.

ESV Ephesians 2:4-10: But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,p not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Christ alone was the only Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5), our only Savior and Substitute for sin (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The truth of Christ alone was summarized in 1 Corinthians 1:30 and 2 Corinthians 5:21:

1 Corinthians 1:30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

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

In the Scriptures above from Paul’s Letters to the Romans, Ephesians, and Corinthians, notice the fullness of Christ’s saving work: God made us alive while still dead in sin (Eph. 2:4). Because we are dead and lack any kind of righteousness before God, Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). Christ’s righteousness, not ours is our merit before a Holy and Just God. Christ alone is our holiness or sanctification and He is the One who has paid the ransom price by His precious blood to purchase us back and make us children of God.

Also notice the substitutionary quality of Christ alone: Jesus became sin (He who knew no sin). In other words, our sins were laid on his back and he was cursed for us (for us, for us, for us!!! Shout it loudly wherever you are!). His righteousness would cause us to become the righteousness of God through imputation. The perfect righteousness of Christ was imputed to us! This is what Christ alone meant! (2 Cor. 5:21)

And all of this salvation in Christ was for the glory of God alone!
As Romans 11:36 says: “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to God be the glory forever and ever!” Our salvation is all for the praise of HIS glorious grace, as Paul teaches in Ephesians 1!

Today’s Reformation
We have a great need for a Reformation today in Christ’s Church as well! We may not have neighbors selling indulgences and literally trying to buy their way out of hell (although you will find some who are sadly doing this).

What we do have today are well-meaning folks who call themselves Christians who are focusing more on what they do for Christ, than what Christ has done for them. Even though the intention is good, the bracelets some wear with the phrase “What Would Jesus Do” (WWJD) seem to focus too much on our doing and not what Christ has already done! Even if you don’t have this slogan on your wall, and don’t wear a bracelet on your arm, your hope and confidence before God is based on what you have done for God more than what Christ has done for you often times.

Be honest about this. Then look to Christ for hope. What a loving and beautiful Savior that calls us constantly to come to the Throne of Grace and find mercy and hope and grace in our time of need (Heb. 4:16)! Christ can give us relief from our selves; Christ can show us His precious and costly blood that has redeemed us; Christ prays for His people with nail-pierced hands that earned righteousness for us and in this we can hope and have great confidence!

I believe that the main focus for Christians every day should be the centrality of Christ and His work for us. In other words we might have a slogan like this (rather than ‘What Would Jesus Do?”): “What Has Jesus Already Done in His Life, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension for Me?”, but then it would be too long of a phrase for a bracelet or a nice bumper sticker; it would be:

“WHJADIHLDRAAFM?” rather than “WWJD?”

Probably not an easy sell or an easy fit on a nice porcelain figurine in a Christian book store. 🙂

Remember beloved of God: “It is well with my soul” because “It is finished!” not because “It is about me and my attempts at righteousness”. We need Reformation today! It is well with your soul because of Christ’s finished work of satisfying God’s wrath for you; it is finished because Jesus has offered Himself as the Lamb of God, the Final Sacrificial offering for sin and is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him (Heb. 7:25). It is well and it is finished because Jesus was your substitute and God made Jesus who knew no sin to become sin for you, so that you might be righteous in His sight (2 Cor. 5:21). God put Jesus forward as your propitiating sacrifice. Praise God!! Hallelujah!!

Now go and live for JESUS freely as you never have! Go and live and love JESUS AND OTHERS as you never thought you could. Because you couldn’t before because you thought it was your strength, and your works, and this is burdensome and will not lead to love of God and others, but only discouragement, condemnation and doubt!

Go live for Him and be thankful for a Savior- -not merely a helper for good people- -but a real Savior for sinners, who were once enemies of God before they were reconciled by Christ’s grace! (Romans 5:1-11).

It is true that there are some in our day- – these who call themselves Christians!- – who think that the reason they are saved ultimately is not because of grace alone, but because they have cooperated with grace held out to them. This was what the fight in the Reformation was all about! Medieval Roman Catholic theology is quite complex, but it is foundationally a system of earning salvation by cooperating with grace held out to men, who then respond with their faith, and then salvation is merited to them because of their faith, or because of their works, etc.

We focus on the gorgeous and fantastic Greek word “huper” but point it to Christ! What does this mean? “Huper” means “because of” or “on account of”. We are not saved “huper” or “because of” our faith or our works. But we are saved (“Super-Huper Saved!!) “HUPER” or “because of” Christ. Christ saves us through faith.

If Evangelical Christians in our day would stop and think about it, I think they would find their theology to be more Roman Catholic than they would like to admit! The term ‘Protestant’ used to mean that one was opposed to this Medieval theology of salvation by cooperation, but today’s Evangelical Protestant is not so much protesting this way of false salvation as much as they are protesting the Reformed way of thinking. At one time to be a Protestant meant you were protesting a false hope held out to you. Now it seems to mean in many circles that I am protesting against believing what the Reformation taught about grace alone.

We must be warned that this teaching that says you are saved by cooperating with the grace of God will never produce the humility a Christian must have to know and love God.  This kind of “cooperation salvation” makes people boast! It gives people in this world every reason to boast, which is what Paul is trying to prevent in Ephesians 2 where he is explaining grace alone.

If (and I do say “IF”) every person in the world had the same access to grace and the same ability to cooperate with that grace using their so-called ‘free-will’, it would give one person who chose Christ over someone who rejected him every reason to boast. This is the most popular understanding today in Evangelical circles of how someone is saved! Because there is a reason to boast, it therefore undermines the grace of God and promotes the good works, will, and decisions of men (cf. John 1:12-13; Romans 9:10-21). We need Reformation today!

Also, when Christians are brought up and “nurtured” on a diet of “Christ and you” rather than “Christ in you” (which is the hope of glory, Col. 1:28ff), then we are reminded that we have need of a Reformation. When many sermons every Lord’s Day are on examples from Scripture rather than being centered on the Christ of Scripture, men will “dare to be like Daniel’s” while failing to truly know what it means to trust Christ alone, the very Savior of Daniel! The Scriptures speak of Christ (John 3:30; 5:24ff; Luke 24:25ff), and so must we- – speak of Christ alone! We need Reformation today!

When our worship becomes just another opportunity for mindless entertainment rather than focused on God alone and his glory, we can forget that worship is about HIM and not about us. When we are thinking more about “what we are getting out of the sermon” and whether it is meeting our “felt needs”, we are not worshipping in spirit and truth!

Furthermore, when we reach out to the goats and design our worship to make them feel comfortable, we are failing to reach the sheep and failing to hear the true voice of our Shepherd (John 10). Jesus says as Shepherd that His sheep hear his voice in faithful preaching and they will follow him! We must be reminded about all things being done for the glory of God alone- – and not for us (including our salvation- – of course we benefit, but according to Ephesians 1 and Romans 9, salvation is ultimately for God’s glory!) We need Reformation today!

Revival and Reformation
So, in our day, we need to be reminded of the Reformation! If we want revival, we ought to first seek the Reformation of our congregations so that we might return to the foundational authority of Scripture alone and not add a lot of our own modern and “culturally relevant” teachings of men (which we tend to as idolaters, to place on the same level as Scripture just as the Pharisees, or the Medieval Church of Rome which Luther stood against).

We need to return to Scripture alone and rediscover daily the glorious teaching of faith alone- – our righteousness is not our own, but revealed by God to us so that we can have an ‘alien righteousness’ or the righteousness of Christ given to us.

In other words, the good news of Faith alone is that all that we have done in our sins against God, both committing sins positively against him as well as negatively omitting certain things we should have done, Christ has done all of these for us (for us, for us, for us! Shout it again!).

Salvation **is** by works- – but not ours (our works are never good enough) — our salvation is by the work of Christ for us and His earned and merited righteousness, because of the salvation he achieved by loving God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, and his neighbor as himself. This is given to us by faith alone (and this makes us have really “good news” and hope for the world!).

The Reformation in Our Own Hearts
From this realization of Faith alone, we are reminded daily that it is all of grace alone because of Christ’s work alone, and this all for God’s glory! May we be delivered daily of the Medieval mindset of trying to earn our salvation, even in the sense of cooperating with God. May we be delivered from looking to our failures as well as our successes rather than looking away from both to Christ.

May we find that making lists and checking them twice is a Medieval way, as well as an Old Covenant way to failure, and the a fast and broad way that leads to destruction. Remember, those who make lists come to Christ and say: I prophesied, preached, witnessed, cast out demons and did might works in your name. Christ says to those trusting in their lists “Depart from me – -I never knew you!” (Matt. 7:23ff; 25:41ff).

Jesus says: On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

“Workers of lawlessness” are those who approach a holy God with their own works, rather than crying empty-handedly: “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner- – for Christ sake alone!”

The one who understands grace that is truly gracious is the one that stands before Christ and says: “Nothing in my hands to I bring, simply to your cross do I cling!”

In Philippians 3:4-12, the Apostle Paul gives his list for his confidence in the flesh, then proceeds to discard it. May you discard whatever list you have, whatever thing other than Christ you are trusting in and receive daily by faith the righteousness revealed in Jesus.

Philippians 3:4,7-9: though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more…But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord… That I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith…”

May we not make lists of our own, whether it be our successes leading to self-righteousness, or lists of failures leading to our condemnation, discouragement, and depression.

But may we be as Paul who, putting his lists behind him, who pressed forward to know Christ. Read Philippians 3 carefully again, and remember that this truth will set you free of list making and law keeping that has more in common with Medieval Catholic theology (that Luther fought) and Pharisaical theology (that the Apostle Paul considered “dung”).

Look to Christ and discover anew the Reformation of the 16th Century in your own heart of heart. Remember the vital importance of Scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone!
Soli Deo Gloria!

Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”


In Christ’s love,


Pastor Charles R. Biggs

“What the Spirit Says…Diligence and Discipline”

Word of Encouragement- The Church of Pergamum- “Diligence and Discipline”


“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”- Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22


“…We make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God…”- 2 Corinthians 5:9b-11a


Dear Beloved of the LORD at KCPC: I am writing short messages on the seven churches for our Word of Encouragement so that we might better assess where we are spiritually as a congregation, show us areas that need to be realigned with God’s Word, and how we might more effectively and sincerely make it our aim to please the Lord Jesus Christ!


If you would like to read the introduction to this short series, you may read here: Word of Encouragement


What are our strengths and weaknesses as a congregation? How can we ask God to better search and know us corporately? How are we doing at KCPC as a visible manifestation of Christ’s Kingdom on earth? Are we loving God and others as we did when we were first saved and gathered as Christ’s flock?


We will focus today on Jesus’ message to the Church at Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17)


And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’


As we learned in our introduction to this series, it is important to remind ourselves that these seven congregations of the Revelation were real historical churches at the time that John the Apostle wrote his Revelation of Jesus Christ.  However, we want to understand that they are also symbolic of the entire church age between Jesus’ first and second coming.


This means that what Jesus says to the churches, we need to consider soberly for ourselves.  Jesus is still speaking to us (Hebrews 12:25).  Jesus is particularly speaking to His people in these letters as a corporate body and congregation of confessional Christians, and not merely as individuals. This is why it is good to use these letters to be assessed by Christ as we seek to grow in him as a body.


We should understand that through the reading and preaching of the Word in public worship, we at KCPC are also recipients of this important letter.  Jesus is addressing us, too!


Dear Ketoctin Covenant Presbyterian Church…Dear Congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ, in Purcellville, Virginia:


“Dear Pergamum”: Jesus’ primary message to the congregation at Pergamum is:


A church must be diligent in following Jesus even to death, and must practice biblical disciple because there are ferocious wolves from without and wolves within (Acts 20:28ff).  A church must diligently endure persecution but also reject false teaching.  A Church must attend to the means of grace God has provided and practice Biblical discipline.


Final Prophet with Two-Edged Sword

The letter is addressed from the Lord Jesus Christ described particularly as “the Christ who has the sharp two-edged sword”—these are HIS words (v. 12; cf. v. 16; 1:16).  The sharp two-edged sword is symbolic for Christ’s Word to His people.  The two-edged sword is the sword of prophetic salvation and judgment.  As Isaiah said:


ESV Isaiah 49:2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away.


Christ is revealed as the Great and Final Eschatological Prophet of God at His right hand. Christ speaks like a two-edged sword that cuts two ways a two-edged message to His people: blessings for those who hear and believe, and curses for those who reject Him and His message.  The Apostle Paul describes Christ’s Word as the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17).  The Word of Christ cuts deep; the Word of Christ speaks salvation to those who believe and condemnation and judgment to those who reject it.  Christ’s Word is living and active upon our sinful hearts, penetrating deep to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb. 4:12-13).


The Risen-Ascended Christ having the two-edged sword reminds us that the Book of Revelation is a book about the triumph of God’s Truth over Satanic lies and illusions and error and idolatry.  Christ’s words are truth and they condemn those who deny the truth.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life no one comes to the Father except through Him! (John 14:6).


Church Planting Near the Beast and Harlot’s Neighborhood

Jesus reminds us of His care for us: “I know where you dwell…” (v. 13a).  Isn’t it comforting that the LORD Jesus knows exactly where we live; what time period we are a part of, what our particular struggles are, etc.? The LORD knows those who are his and knows intimately where they live and move and have their being; God never leaves for forsakes his people.


This congregation at Pergamum dwells or has been planted or established “where Satan’s throne is” (v. 13a).


What does it mean that Pergamum is the location of “Satan’s throne”? The City of Pergamum was located about fifty miles north of Smyrna and the church had to contend against extremely strong pagan forces.  Pergamum was the location of the oldest temple devoted to idolatry that was first erected for the purpose of worshipping Caesar Augustus.  This very old temple in Asia Minor continued for the purpose of worshipping the Emperor of Rome.  Pergamum was the Roman capital of the Province of Asia; the city was like an ancient Washington D.C. in that it was the seat of Roman government for Asia Minor.


The congregation at Pergamum had to learn to fight the good fight in this world in the midst of both persecution and wickedness of all kinds.  As we learn in the larger Book of Revelation, the Church of Jesus must always be watchful and praying, learning to contend against “the Beast” which is a terrible image of government that exalts itself against God and persecutes believers in every age, as well as “the Harlot” who deceives folks through sexual immortality, wealth and the riches of this world (see chaps. 17-19).


Our congregation still faces today “the Beast” and “the Harlot”. The Beast is an image of Satan to cause Christians to compromise; the Beast is any threat of government opposition to the preaching of the Gospel; this may be more subtle in North America, but nevertheless, we do struggle against different types of persecution from the Beast. The Beast wants to cause Christians to compromise under its power. The Harlot is the sexual immorality, wealth and riches of the world that distract us daily and even on a moment by moment basis to give ups pursuing heaven and settle for the pitiful “pleasures of sin” for a season in this age that is passing away. Let us never forget that whether Satan attacks us with His power or with prostituting ourselves with the world, we are tempted to compromise; LET US STAND in the whole armor of God! (Eph. 6:10ff).


Government was instituted by God as his servant or “minister” (Romans 13) to wield the sword on behalf of God.  However, government can also be a tool or instrument used by Satan to hinder the Gospel and oppose Christ’s Church.  Pergamum was a great pagan city full of wickedness and idolatry and from the looks of things, from a limited perspective, Satan’s “throne” there seemed to have had much more power and authority than Christ’s Church.  The Church was to live by the Truth that proceeded out of Christ’s mouth rather than stumbling because of the way things seemed from their finite perspective.


The good news is that Christ is the Risen-Ascended-Enthroned King and although it may seem that like Satan’s throne is more powerful, the Gospel of Jesus will break through and possess the hearts of His Beloved people.  This is the hope for anyone called to preach the gospel in the midst of strong satanic paganism- -Christ’s throne is greater- -and He possesses as King of kings and Lord of lords all authority in heaven and on earth (Phil. 2:9-11; Matt. 28:18-20).


Later in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John shows to us the reality of Christ’s power and throne over Satan:


Revelation 11:15-18: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. 18 The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants,1 the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”


As we proceed through the Book of Revelation we will see the Triumph of the Lamb who sits upon the throne as He overthrows all of His and our enemies.  The Book of Revelation is how the Lamb who sits upon the throne as King of kings and Lord of lords destroys all competing thrones that set themselves up against God and His Anointed One (Psalm 2).


Because of Christ’s intimate knowledge of His people, they can be assured that come what may, he will never leave them nor forsake them as the King who sits upon God’s throne! We can be confident that Jesus is our King and rules and reigns over heaven and earth.


Hold Fast and Be Faithful to the End!

Commendation of the LORD Jesus: Although Pergamum is located where Satan’s throne is they “hold fast” to Christ’s Name and they have not denied their faith in Jesus; even when persecution was so bad that Antipas was martyred as a faithful witness as a sacrifice before Satan’s throne, they did not deny Jesus (v. 13b).


The congregation of saints were walking by faith and not by sight; they were holding to the promises of God in the midst of tribulation (cf. 1:9).  Although they had suffered from being in a central pagan location, they had nevertheless been faithful to preaching the Gospel of Christ.


In fact, even though they lost one of their members named Antipas, perhaps even the pastor of the congregation, they did not deny Jesus.  Although they Kingdom of Satan dealt them a harsh blow, they kept the faith and did not back down from making the truth known.


Antipas as martyr is identified with Jesus Christ as he is called the “Faithful Witness” or “Faithful Martyr”- -to be a witness for Christ and to receive persecution for Christ’s sake is to be identified with him and to be blessed:


ESV Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood


Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


But there were some things out of order that Jesus addressed to them so that the congregation through repentance might align themselves with Christ’s Holy Word!


Humble, Biblical Discipline is Necessary!

Correct/Rebuke to congregation from the Lord Jesus Christ: “But I have a few things against you…” (v. 14a).


What should we learn from Christ’s correction and rebuke from Jesus Christ as a congregation?


Jesus says that the congregation should have practiced humble, biblical discipline: You have as part of your congregation some who hold to the teaching of Balaam who taught Balak the king of Moab to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel… (v. 14b). By not removing the sinful teaching and behavior, it was putting a stumbling block before others in the congregation, causing them to stumble in their doctrine and life.


What does Jesus mean by “teaching of Balaam”?  You wil remember back in Numbers 22, Balaam gave Balak advice that led Israel to worship false gods and practice sexual immorality; Balaam advised King Balak to lure the Israelites into apostasy (Numbers 25:1-4; 31:8, 16).


ESV Numbers 25:1-4: While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people and hang  them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.”


ESV Numbers 31:16 Behold, these, on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the LORD in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the LORD.


When Israel went astray in the Book of Numbers God told Moses to discipline the people and remove all of the sinful folks from the visible church through death.  Although this is not how discipline is practiced in the New Covenant era, the message is the same: remove the sinful leaven so that the loaf of the congregation will be holy unto the LORD.


The congregation at Pergamum did not practice discipline as they should have; they had allowed certain elements of unbelief and paganism to contaminate the congregation (this was a threat to the Gospel of Hope in that dark city).  If the sinful leaven is not removed, it will work through the whole batch and the light of the Gospel will be forgotten and lost.  Jesus’ rebuke is similar to the Apostle Paul’s words about discipline in the congregation at Corinth:


ESV 1 Corinthians 5:1-5: It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.


These in the congregation are teaching some of the congregation that they can eat food sacrificed to idols and to practice sexual immorality (v. 14c).  Jesus is saying that within a congregation gross idolatry and fornication are not to be tolerated.  Behaviors like this are inconsistent with the profession of faith in the visible Church and must be removed.


Secondly, Jesus corrects and rebukes the congregation because they also tolerated some who held to the teaching of the Nicolaitans (v. 15).  Jesus ‘hates the works of the Nicolaitans’ which was a threat to the Church at Ephesus as well (Rev. 2:6).  The Ephesian Church was commended for hating the works of the Nicolaitans as Christ hates their works (2:6), but Pergamum was tolerating their teaching as well as the sexual immorality.


Jesus teaches to all congregations the importance of church discipline and why it must be humbly practiced in conjunction with the Word of God preached and applied to men’s souls.  Christ’s address to this congregation reveals that the Reformation teachers were correct when they made discipline in the visible church one of the key and foundational marks of the True Church along with right preaching of the Word and the proper administration of the Sacraments.


Many congregations then and now could be commended by Jesus for not denying the faith, and for faithfully preaching the gospel, but who would be rebuked by the Lord Jesus for not disciplining those who were idolaters, sexual offenders and false teachers within their pale. This is another reason why the Book of Revelation is so important for those who read it (Rev. 1:1-3). As churches between the first and second comings of Jesus, we can find out more particularly pleases Him, and what we will have to face at the Judgment Seat of Christ if we do not face it now.


We must remember that godly discipline in a congregation is to promote purity in life and doctrine for all the members. Discipline is to threaten in such a way that it will hold members accountable to Christ’s Word.  Discipline is a corrective and can restore sinful offenders back to fellowship with God.  When discipline is properly practiced, it can save souls from hell, and restore the repentant to full communion with the saints so that the person disciplined might grow in their assurance and joyfully await the return of Christ (rather than dreading it!).


Repentance and Forgiveness!

A call to repentance for the congregation: “Therefore repent!” (v. 16a).  God is not willing that any of his people should perish but for all His Beloved people to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  There is always opportunity for true repentance so that we might experience the full and abundant life of being in joyful fellowship and communion with God! God is good to His people when they leave their sins and return to their Lord Jesus in order to follow His two-edged teaching with more sharpness and more carefully!


Consequences for not hearing what the Spirit says to the churches (v. 16-17): “I will come to you soon and war against the false teachers with the sword of my mouth” (cf. v. 12; 1:16).  This shows by way of inference that what elders here bind on earth in the visible church by correctly disciplining according to God’s Word, it is bound in heaven; what elders loose on earth according to God’s Word is loosed in heaven (Matthew 18).


If discipline at Pergamum is not faithfully carried out, then Christ himself will come from heaven and discipline the offenders.  The implication is that if the pastor-elders use the Word of God to discipline the Nicolaitans in the congregation, then he won’t have to come in judgment- -it will have already been accomplished.  How would this happen?


Jesus is not promising to come back and judge, meaning the end of time when he returns to save and judge in his Second Coming.  Rather, Jesus is speaking of a providential acting with circumstances that will bring judgment upon the Nicolaitans and the congregation in general (Acts 5).


Blessings for All Conquerors in Christ!

Promises for those who hear what the Spirit says to the churches (v. 17): “To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it” (cf. 19:12; also 3:12; 14:1; 22:4).


The hidden manna is Christ’s promise of the abundant life.  In contrast to the pagan meals that some were a part of the idolatry in Pergamum, the believers could partake in Christ’s meal: Christ’s life given to them by faith NOW; the life of Christ communicated to them by faith in the Lord’s Supper NOW; and one day the Wedding Supper of the Lamb with Christ Himself for eternity (Rev. 21-22).


While idolatry and sexual immorality create the illusion of satisfying sinful mankind, Christ will feed his people physically and spiritually with his LIFE and Spirit now and for eternity.  Manna was kept in the Holy of Holies or Most Holy Place in the tabernacle (Exodus 16:33-35; Heb. 9:4).  This symbolized Christ as the Bread of Life that feeds and nourishes His people.


ESV Exodus 16:33-35: And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the LORD to be kept throughout your generations.” As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan.


ESV John 6:32-36: Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.


The promise of the white stone: We should remember that white is the Biblical color for purity and holiness (cf. 7:13).  The white stones were white marble that was very valuable in Pergamum in the ancient world.  Christ is promising to give something of great value, more valuable than all of the riches of Pergamum, that will reveal his intimate knowledge of His people: He knows his people by name.


ESV Isaiah 62:2 The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give.


Christ loves his people and the reason for this letter (as well as the letters to the other 6 congregations) was to teach Christ’s Church in the Inter-Adventual period to continue to persevere by His grace.


Christ’s Word is a means of grace, or a means by which Christ tells His people who he is, what he has done for them, and how they can persevere by faith.


Those who persevere to the end will realize that they are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:31-39), but by His grace they must realize this every day as they persevere to the end keeping their eyes on Jesus the Author and Perfector of their faith.


Let us at KCPC make every opportunity to seek Christ’s means of grace to persevere.  May we continue to hear and believe and trust Christ’s Word as He continues to lead us to the Promised Land.  Let us partake of the Sacraments, knowing that we are partaking by faith of Christ, the Bread of Life, the Manna from Heaven, and He will satisfy the longings of our hearts, and feed us with heavenly food.


Let us practice as a congregation biblical discipline so that we might remain pure as the people of God, and that sinful offenders in life and doctrine might repent and be restored to fellowship with God before it is too late.


May these devotional studies of assessment from Jesus using the letters to the seven churches of the Revelation cause us to better align ourselves with His truth, and encourage us all to make it our aim to please Jesus who died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:6-8).


May we live daily as a congregation before the face of Christ and so before the Judgment Seat of Christ. When we all arrive at our destination and we stand as the congregation KCPC before Christ’s Judgment, may these short devotions have better prepared us, so that we can stand confident and encouraged in the Lord Jesus’ presence.


“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”- Jesus Christ


In Jesus’ love,


Pastor Charles




What the Spirit Says: “Assessment, Alignment and Aim”

Word of Encouragement


“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”- Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22

“…We make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God…”- 2 Corinthians 5:9b-11a


What can we learn as a congregation of Christ at KCPC from the letters to the churches in the Book of Revelation? The churches addressed in the Book of Revelation are seven historical churches of Christ that symbolize the entire church age of Christ’s church. From the first to the second coming of Jesus Christ, these churches represent both strengths and weaknesses, virtues and vices, that characterize Jesus’ church until we reach our goal of glory and perfection (Phil. 3:12-16). We can be confident that Jesus who began a good work in us will perfect and complete it by His grace! (Phil. 1:6).


For the next couple of weeks, I will be writing short messages on the seven churches for our Word of Encouragement so that we might better assess where we are spiritually as a congregation, show us areas that need to be realigned with God’s Word, and how we might more effectively and sincerely make it our aim to please the Lord Jesus Christ!


What are our strengths and weaknesses as a congregation? How can we ask God to better search and know us corporately? How are we doing at KCPC as a visible manifestation of Christ’s Kingdom on earth?


Jesus is Lord of His Church. He knows us by name at KCPC. He knows our strengths and weaknesses, our virtues and vices, and the seven letters to the churches in Revelation teach us three important truths that I want to consider with you for the next few weeks: Assessment, Alignment, and Aim. Jesus makes assessment of His churches; Jesus teaches us through His Word by His Spirit so that we would be aligned with His revealed truth; and Jesus has died for us and loved us so that we will make it our aim to please Him.


(1) Assessment– Jesus makes an assessment of His churches. The Risen-Ascended Jesus assesses His churches during the present age; Jesus is already making a determination on how we are doing at KCPC. We see this truth revealed in how Jesus begins each letter to the seven churches. Jesus begins his letters with: “I know your works…” (2:2, 19; 3:1b, 8, 15); “I know your tribulation and poverty…” (2:9); “I know where you are..” (2:13) which clearly tells us that Christ knows all about us, both good and bad, both strengths and weaknesses.


We can find out more specifically how Jesus assesses us at KCPC by studying these letters to the seven churches. What does Jesus think about our works? The Book of Revelation tells us that our works “will follow believers” (Rev. 14:13) and that we will be assessed by our works, so this is important. These works for Jesus are not in order to merit salvation, but they are the good works we do eagerly in light of the salvation we have already received. We are saved by grace and created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared beforehand for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10).


We should be reminded that we will all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive from Jesus Christ what is due for what we have done in the body, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:10). As the Apostle Paul says “what we are is known to God…” (2 Cor. 5:11). As believers, we should fear God because of His love for us. We ought to make it our chief aim to please Him so that we can be confident on this day to come.


“By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.” – ESV 1 John 4:17


But sometimes we are a bit frightened by the thought of appearing before Christ. It is true that there will be rewards and losses depending on how faithful we were to the gospel and to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10ff). But we don’t have to be frightened by this day, although we should always fear God. We don’t have to be frightened of judgment because Jesus has taken our judgment and condemnation upon Himself (Romans 8:1; 1 John 1:9-2:2). We will not be condemned as believers; although we will be assessed; particularly our works for Jesus will be assessed. Many folks are frightened in an unhealthy manner by the Judgment Seat of Christ because they are putting off for another future day what they know they need to repent of today.


But how can we be better prepared and ready for the return of Jesus Christ? How as a congregation of Christ can we be hopeful about the Judgment Seat of Christ? Let us live our lives daily before the face of Christ, seeking to please Him by His grace, so that the future judgment day to come might be a blessed reality in our present. If we seek the Lord Jesus Christ now and seek to better know Him, then we will have much more confidence in the day to come. We will have already been assessed many times because we sought this assessment on a daily basis!


The reason and goal for our existence is God’s glory in our getting to better know and enjoy Jesus! What or who could keep you from such a glorious Savior? What or who could keep you from honesty before Him daily and letting Him search your heart and to teach you? You are His disciple-follower, and so must learn from Him.


What is our assessment right now before the face of Jesus Christ? We should seek to regularly ask this question.


(2) Alignment– Jesus teaches us through His Word by His Spirit so that we would be aligned with His revealed truth. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” is repeated with each letter to each congregation. Jesus speaks to KCPC so that we might listen. Listening is not only hearing, but doing what we hear.  It is important to ask God for ears and perhaps more importantly, for ears to hear what the Spirit is saying through the Word of God (Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22). To listen to the Spirit is to learn so that we can grow in our knowledge of Jesus and His Gospel. We want to hear so that we can align ourselves with God’s direction in Scripture, and let our lives line up with the grace and mercy that He has revealed to us.


When we get out of line with the truths of the Gospel we want to be realigned. The Bible teaches that we can get out of step with the truth of the gospel, shift from the hope of the gospel, and drift from the message of the Gospel we have heard (see Gal. 2:14; Col. 1:23; Heb. 2:1).


As we study the seven congregations of the Book of Revelation and what Jesus says to them, let us ask: How does Jesus commend them? What are their strengths? How does Jesus rebuke them? What are their weaknesses? At KCPC, how might we learn from these examinations of the Sovereign Lord Jesus? In light of what we study, let us align ourselves up with Jesus’ truth. Let us hear what the Spirit says to the churches! Sometimes God grants us good examples to follow that teach us how we ought to be living; sometimes Jesus grants us poor, unbelieving examples so that we will learn what we do not want to be. We have both in the letters to the seven churches of Revelation.


At KCPC, we are a congregation of sinners saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The Book of Hebrews says that Christ still speaks to His congregations by His Word and Spirit, and we must ask God for ears to hear what the Spirit says the churches. Jesus still walks among the seven golden lampstands which are his congregations, and we must not refuse Him who is speaking (Revelation 2:1; Hebrews 12:25).  As a congregation, we should continue to repent both individually and corporately so that as a congregation our joy might be full, we might know the peace of God that transcends all of understanding to guard our hearts and minds (Phil. 4:7), that we might grow up and mature into Christ (Eph. 4:11ff), and that we might be of one mind, unified in our mission to make the Gospel known to a perverse and crooked generation (Eph. 4:1ff).


Are we out of alignment? We should constantly be asking this question.


(3) Aim– Jesus has died for us and loved us so by God’s grace we seek to be faithful to Christ and His Gospel and “make it our aim to please him” (2 Cor. 5:9). God’s people have been saved for service. Christ saved us from death, hell and slavery to the devil so that we might be His loving servants. His grace to us ought to cause us to no longer live for self, but for Christ alone. This **aim** is summarized in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15:


“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Is this our overarching aim? Is this aim to live to love and serve Jesus our most important goal. We should ask this question daily.


As a congregation, let us remember that Christ will return like a thief in the night. Let our walk before God as a congregation be characterized as watchful, prayerful, and careful. Let us not grow wearing in doing good, for we know that we will reap if we do not give up (Gal. 6:9).


Let us prayerfully we can seek the Throne of Grace daily and find mercy and grace to help us in our time of need (Heb. 4:14-16). We can pray and seek Christ and get to know Him better as our Risen Lord and King!  By God’s grace we can ask God to search and to know us, to try us and know our thoughts (Psalm 139:23-24). In seeking God in this way, we can be self-aware, and self-examining, so that we will not deceive ourselves, and ask the Omniscient and Omnipresent God to take a close look at our hearts as we live for Him.  There is great peace in knowing that God loves and knows us, but this can also be quite disconcerting. But when we fail to please Him he is gracious and merciful to forgive us! (1 John 1:9ff).


Let us not live for self. Because Jesus died for us, let us live for others. In fact, let us pray to count others more significant than yourselves. Let us look not only to our own interests, but also the interests of others (Phil. 2:3-4). Let our aim be to please Him- -we will be joyful and satisfied in our work for Him!


What is our aim? What is the overarching aim of our mission at KCPC? Are we living to please God in light of the glorious work of Christ on our behalf? Are we living with an eye to the Judgment Seat of Christ? This should be our regular concern.


May these short devotional studies of assessment from Jesus using the letters to the seven churches of the Revelation cause us to better align ourselves with His truth, and encourage us all to make it our aim to please Jesus who died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:6-8).


May we live daily as a congregation before the face of Christ and so before the Judgment Seat of Christ. When we all arrive at our destination and we stand as the congregation KCPC before Christ’s Judgment, may these short devotions have better prepared us, so that we can stand confident and encouraged in the Lord Jesus’ presence.


“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”- Jesus Christ


In Jesus’ love,


Pastor Charles


True Repentance: “Against You Have I Sinned, O God”

Word of Encouragement


Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment….For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. – Psalm 51:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10


True repentance is godly sorrow for our sins against God that is a gracious work of the Holy Spirit in us. True repentance is a gospel grace of God given to believers as a gift from the Lord Jesus Christ as one of the fruits of His life, death, resurrection and ascension for us.  True repentance is not what saves a person any more than faith is what saves, but Christ saves us through faith and true repentance. We do not put our hope in our repentance, but in Christ alone that grants to believers repentance. The focus of our salvation is always the grace of God to sinners received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.


But are you truly repentant? Many confessing Christians are not truly repentant. Many confessing Christians may be sorry for being troubled for their sins, but are not so sorry for troubling God with their sins, and offending His Holy character by their sins. We must be aware that there is still a self-centered focus that characterizes our lives, even when it comes to repenting before God. If we are not repentant, if repentance is not what defines us, then how can we say we are true Christian? The fullness of the Gospel era in the full revelation of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ begins with this proclamation:


“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”- ESV Mark 1:15


How do we know and recognize true repentance in us? Notice the Psalmist in Psalm 51 in our scripture above; when repenting of sin, the Psalmist knows that the offense if first a sinful offense against a Holy God: “Against, you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…” Repentance is produced by “godly grief” according to the Apostle Paul.  In Psalm 51, David had sinned against others when he sinned with Bathsheba. He had both committed adultery and he had murdered. But his sin was first against God.


The Apostle Paul had written a letter to the Corinthians for their conduct and behavior that was unbecoming to the gospel of Jesus and their response was a realization that they had sinned against God first, even though they had also sinned against the Apostle Paul and others in the congregation.  The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 7 contrasts true godly repentance produced by godly grief and what he describes as “worldly grief” that produces NOT repentance, but death.


What is worldly grief? Simply, it is being sorry for having to suffer the consequences for sin, but it is not godly grief that leads to repentance. True repentance is sorry for offending our Creator and God.


Every sin strikes at the honor of God, the being of God, the glory of God, the heart of Christ, the joy of the Spirit, and the peace of a man’s conscience. A truly repentant person strikes against all sin by the power of the Spirit, as the Spirit wars against the flesh, so the repentant person allies himself daily with the Spirit’s work to kill sin by drawing strength from a crucified Christ to crucify all (not merely sins in general, but sins in particular!). Christ has not only paid the penalty of our sins, but in our union with Him by faith, he has granted us power over our sins.


When you sin are you first sorry for offending God? Are you saddened first NOT with the fact that this sin could cause others to disrespect you, or that you might be found out, or that you might have some consequences to suffer, or that it would really hurt your family if they knew what you had done, or that the sin has made you feel guilty and like you’re not a good person, etc.? If this is your first concern, it is usually your only concern.


Sadly, this is what is called repentance many times in Christian churches. But the Bible teaches very clearly throughout redemptive-history, that repentance is first sorrow for grieving God; repentance is sorrow for sinning against God your Creator, and Lord who redeemed you.


This is why the Reformers, particularly Luther and Calvin spoke of repentance being a daily activity as a Christian and what should characterize the true Christian each and every day. As the Psalmist wrote: ESV “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3). Repentance is to “know your transgressions against God” and that daily you sin is ever “before you”. To truly know the saving work and power of Jesus Christ, one must know from the sinful depths which they have been saved. Repentance is a continual turning from sin and folly to the grace of God found in Christ alone.


True daily repentance should be some of our first words out of our mouths to God when we get out of bed each morning. A truly repentant person can never content themselves with one act of repentance any more than they can be content with one act of faith or one act of love in the Christian life (Thomas Brooks). If you want to learn to pray more, then ask God to help you to have a deeper repentance, a deeper knowledge of how much you offend Him in words, thoughts and deeds that sin against Him and are abhorrent to Him in both your committing of certain sins and the omission of certain duties.


True repentance can make you pray more, and it can help you to be filled more with Christ’s joy. Why? Because you will more deeply realize the truth of what Jesus says: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), and so you will seek the grace from Christ alone to live for God. As you learn to depend upon Christ more, you will more and more realize that He is your Savior from sin and your closest friend who teaches you to be obedient to His commands, and fills you with His joy: “My joy may be in you, and your joy may be full” (John 15:11b).


But don’t get too confident in your own self to repent. Repentance is not something you do first, it is something God does in you; repentance is a gift from Jesus Christ. Repentance is something that God gives to you by the working of His Spirit. This is another reason boldly to approach the throne of grace to find help in your time of need (Heb. 4:14-16). You need to be repentant in order to grow, you need repentance in order to be full of joy and walking with God, but you can’t produce repentance on your own. Call out to God for a greater repentance! This too, will keep you in your prayer closet seeking God as he has promised to reward you (Matt. 6).


Jesus gives repentance: ESV “God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”- Acts 5:32. Jesus grants repentance. Do you seek Him for it?


Our forefather in the faith, Thomas Brooks reminds us of the fact that we should never fool ourselves into believing that repentance is an act of our own ability: “There is no power below that power that raised Christ from the dead, and that made the world, that can break the heart of a sinner or turn the heart of a sinner to God. You are as well able to melt hard metal like adamant as to melt your own heart; you are as able to raise the dead and to create a world, as to repent….Repentance is a gift that comes down from above….It is not in the power of any mortal to repent at pleasure” (Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices).”


How do you know that you’re truly repentant and that Jesus has granted you repentance? There are a few main ingredients of true repentance: A sight of one’s own sin, sorrow for sin, confession of sin, hatred of sin, and turning from sin.


A sight of one’s own sins before God. As we learned above, we are to have a sight of our own sinful condition before God, as well as our specific sins we commit against God (this is one important use of the Law of God and the Ten Commandments for the Christian life; the Law is never to be used as a way of gaining salvation, because it only aggravates sin and makes one hopelessly realize their sinful helplessness and need of grace to do anything good for God, but as commands in the Christian life, it helps us to see more clearly our own sins and our need for constant repentance and grace). Many of us are good at spying the sinful faults in others, but we can see no faults in ourselves. Our own sins are veiled with ignorance of our sins due to pride and self-love.


A sorrow for your sin. Godly sorrow is sorry for one’s sin against God. It is not first concerned with the trouble that the sin has brought to the sinner, but the pain that it has brought to the heart of our loving Savior. Remember the penitent tax collector before God; this should be our daily prayer of repentant and act; he “beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ (Luke 18:13). Psalm 38 (various verses) says: “There is no health in my bones because of my sin…My iniquities have gone over my head, they are a burden to me, they are too heavy for me…But for you, O LORD, do I wait; O Lord my God, you will answer.” Anyone who can repent without sorrow must suspect if he is truly repentant. Notice in Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”


What characterizes true repentance is a broken heart, and deep sorrow for sin because as a Christian particularly your sins have been against grievous to God who loves you in Jesus. Our Lord Jesus tells us that the Christian is characterized by repentance and “blessed” as he teaches in the sermon on the mount: ESV “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” The Christian is repentant and sorry for sin because the Christian is poor in spirit before God, mournful for one’s own sins as well as the sins of others, and meek.”


Remember the promise of Psalm 126:5: “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy!”


Confession of sin. As our sins are ever before God, so God’s promise must be ever before us: ESV “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). An unrepentant person is basically living a lie because they are living as if they have no sin; a unrepentant person is calling God a liar as well (1 Jo. 1:10). But a truly repentant person knows not only our sins before God, but knows that when they confess, God is faithful to His promises, and He is just in that He will never demand another payment for sin, when Jesus Christ has already borne your curse, your sins and your sorrows on the cross for you (Isaiah 53; 1 Peter. 2:22-25).


Confession is self-accusing. Confession brings a sinner before God as one’s own accuser to find a Savior ready and willing to forgive and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. By self-accusing we prevent Satan’s accusations against us. This is what the Apostle John means when He reminds us in confession of our sins to God that we have an Advocate, or a Mediator, or a “Defense Attorney” to stand for us against any Accuser (1 Jo. 2:1-2; Rev. 12:10). Confession should be voluntary and immediate once Jesus has given repentance. As the prodigal son was quick to come to his father and say: “I have sinned against heaven and before you” (Luke 15:18). Remember that if you draw near to God in repentance, he will draw near to you in forgiving mercies and loving grace.


Hatred of sin and turning from sin. This is a recognition that Christ is your Savior from sin, and that the struggle in the Christian life is what the Apostle Paul wrote in seventh of Romans: “What I want to do , I do not do…That which I do not want to do, that I keep on doing.” The Apostle Paul’s hope and our hope is found in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 7:25), but we no longer love sin as we once did, now we hate sin. When you realize that although you are guilty and culpable for your sins before God, but in some mysterious way you hate them so much before God that you can say with Paul that it is “not I but sin living within me” then you know that you have a true hatred of your sins. Paul wrote: ESV “Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” A sinful, unrepentant person cannot agree with God’s law and believe it is holy, righteous and good. A truly repentant person can love the law of God and hate their own sins in such a way that they (although are culpable) feel like that it is not them doing the sin, but sin dwelling within. This proves that there is no more enmity against God (Romans 8:7-9) because the Spirit of God is at work in the believer’s heart. Our confession (Westminster Confession of Faith, Chap. 15) states this clearly:


“…Upon the apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavoring to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments.”


If you still love your sins, you are not repentant, and you cannot claim assurance of faith. You should really seek God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to examine yourself to see if you be in the faith; if you love your sins, you should seek to make your calling and election sure (see 2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 3:9-11). If you sin, and hate your sins, that is one thing; but to sin, and love your sins, that is another. Be careful here that you keep your focus on the dying Savior on the cross and that in your self-examination you don’t get lost within your own bosom and belly! Your hope, our Gospel hope is held out to us in the Lord Jesus Christ. Run to Jesus, run to Jesus, run to Jesus and find in Him forgiveness- -tell Him you love your sins, and need repentance and call upon His name for grace.


Also, be careful with forms of pseudo-repentance, like when you do something really sinful and heinous and you just feel guilty about it because it was such a thing that you should have never done. Watching certain films, listening to certain music, and looking at certain images on the internet can make you feel after the fact guilty for doing such a thing, but there is also a bit of a thrill. You must understand that this is NOT repentance, but a pseudo-repentance. This is more of a shame and guilt because you know that what you have watched, listened to, or done was wrong, but it doesn’t mean you have truly repented and that you are sorry for your sins because you sinned against God’s great holiness, Jesus’ love and the grieved the Holy Spirit. Be warned.


In your hatred of sin, you also turn from your sins. The Christian life is a constant turning from our sins, folly and idolatries to God; the Christian life is a constant, prayerfully watchful turning from flesh to the Spirit of God, to walk by the Spirit and not gratify the flesh (Gal. 5:16-26); the Christian life is a constant turning from worldliness to godliness to live the way you were created in Christ Jesus to live (Eph. 2:10). Is your life described as the Apostle Paul describes the repentance of the Thessalonian Christians?


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.


Do you know the sweetness of Christ in His forgiving love for you? Do you know that if you confess your sins, He is faithful to forgive you and to cleanse you from all of your sins.


Be not unbelieving. Be not unbelieving in your accepting the righteousness that God requires of every man by faith alone in Christ alone. Be not believing in accepting God’s forgiveness as you confess and abhor your sins because of your love for Him; be not believing in that you continue in your sins thinking that there are no consequences. For the repentant, there is grace and love and mercy found in Jesus Christ; for the unrepentant there is only condemnation and the wrath of God. And remember, do not think that repentance is something like your allowance that you “save for a rainy day” later on in life, as if you could repent when you desired to repent. Like Cain, Pharaoh, and Esau before you, don’t kid yourself into believing that you will somehow repent “one day”; your ongoing unrepentant heart before God is actually hardening you, and will eventually damn you as those unrepentant souls before you. Beware.


Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand…Seek the LORD while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. Today is the day of salvation; today is the day of repentance; repent and believe the good news. Jesus says: “Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy-laden with your sins, and I will give you rest; my yoke is easy and my burden is light.




Prayer of John Calvin: “Now let us bow before the majesty of our gracious God in acknowledgement of our faults, praying that He will make us more sensitive to them. And as long as we have to walk in this world, let us learn to grieve daily over the weaknesses we are subject to. And after we ask him for forgiveness and pray that He will accept us in His infinite mercy, may He, despite our unworthiness, be pleased to strip us so completely of all our fleshly corruption and so renew us by His Holy Spirit that we will bear His mark and image. And may we be strengthened in the hope of life in heaven, and may we, illuminated by the mind and spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, learn to bear patiently the reproaches of this world and scorn all the arrogance and pride of those who have contempt for God and would seduce us and turn us from the right path.”


For further reading: Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 15: ‘Repentance unto Life’


In Christ’s love,


Pastor Biggs