The Reformation

By Aaron LeDuc,

Last week, we began our 2 week series praising God for the Reformation. There’s lots of great information out there about why this period of theological reform is vastly important for the church and our world’s culture. Below, are a few resources that can help you dig deeper.

Ligonier Ministries is doing a Reformation 500 Celebration Conference, all their video/audio is available to watch live or afterwards. Great content if you want to dig deeper into the importance and implications of the reformation.

John Piper has a has a short and helpful biography of Martin Luther at Desiring God:

A post on the foundation of the Reformation; Sola Scriptura:

A post about how we need to consistently be reminded of Sola Fide:

The Suffering King of Glory

By Aaron LeDuc,

“If God is good, why is there suffering in the world?”

The age old question. A question that seems to simultaneously put God on trial and cast great doubt on the Christian life. A question that juxtaposes our experience as we walk through this life and the biblical claims of who God is and what He’s like. As we prepare to remember the atoning death of Jesus and celebrate His great victory over the grave, it would do us good to frame out the answer to this question biblically. In doing so, I believe we will be more able to delight in the wonder of the resurrection of our Lord this Sunday.

Easter Church Service

If we assume for a moment there is a creator God, it will help us to learn WHY He created us as we seek to understand the state of suffering that we experience. The WHY of our creation is a picture painted throughout scripture, but it is most concisely found in Ephesians 1:3-6

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (ESV)

Do you see the “why” there? We were created and chosen “in Christ” so that we might “praise His glorious grace.” So, God’s aim in creating us is that He might show us a display of His glorious grace. And if God is infinitely wonderful, lovely, and glorious, then we should expect a display of infinitely wonderful, lovely, and glorious grace. This display of grace is precisely the thing we are preparing to gather and remember this Friday: the death and suffering of Jesus. The God-Man Jesus Christ was born into this world of suffering to display God’s grace.

Suffering exists so that Jesus might display the infinite, lovely, and glorious grace of God by suffering to overcome our own suffering. In Romans 8 we learn that through sin entering the world, suffering and death entered as well. The creation of God was placed into captivity to this pain and suffering, longing for the redemption from God. Longing for grace. To be human is to long for the very thing we were designed to desire: Redemption. Grace. Glorious grace.

Isaiah says of Jesus:
   Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
          he has put him to grief;
     when his soul makes an offering for guilt,

          he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
     the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
     Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
     by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
          make many to be accounted righteous,
          and he shall bear their iniquities.
     Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
          and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
     because he poured out his soul to death
          and was numbered with the transgressors;
     yet he bore the sin of many,
          and makes intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:10-12)

Church Service on Easter

Without suffering in this world, Jesus could never suffer for us so that we might receive this graceful gift of God! But because we live this life of eager longing through suffering, Jesus was able to demonstrate to us the most wonderful, magnificent, and excellent display of God’s grace. The most undeserving sinners are given the perfect righteousness of the only one who suffered without deserving it. In His suffering Jesus took the very wrath of God away from us, He set us free from our bondage to sin, and He dealt the deathblow to death. And we praise Him for this. His glorious grace.

Join us this Good Friday as we remember and reflect on the suffering of Jesus, then join us on Sunday as we delight and revel in His magnificent resurrection. After Easter, we’ll begin a journey through the book of Job that will help us dive deeper into understanding suffering and the sovereignty of God. I hope you can join us for it all!

God’s Glory and the Psalms

By Jason McConahy,

This weekend, as we explored the glory of God in our “Greater” series, we spoke about the many competitors to God’s glory seeking to capture our affections. This world is constantly advertising its “glories” before us, offering joy, hope and purpose through products, relationships, experiences, vacations, careers, and a myriad of things. Worshiping God in His glory begins with seeing Him as glorious. The battle is first to behold, and then to believe, so that we can respond to His glory is soul-satisfying worship. The progression of these words was presented an illustration we will use throughout this series:

One place where we see this progression illustrated at the level of personal worship is in the Psalms. The Psalms are filled with individuals who are struggling to see God in the midst of their circumstances. But the Psalms are about movement - moving toward God, fighting to see truth and His glory in the midst of a world that hinders our sight, and then grabbing hold of those glimpses of truth and glory with tenacious faith. As the Psalmist does this, they always walk away responding to those truths in worship. In the Psalms, God “meets us where we are at, and takes us where we need to go…”  So if you are seeking some biblical fuel to help you behold the glory of God in your own personal worship this week, here are a few Psalms you might consider. We covered these Psalms in a summer preaching series a few years ago that can be found here:

  • Psalm 36 - God’s Faithfulness
  • Psalm 73 - Eternal Mindset
  • Psalm 62 - Trusting God 
  • Psalm 32 & 52 - Repentance & Forgiveness 
  • Psalm 42 & 43 - Depression & Discouragement 
  • Psalm 46 - Quieting our Fears
  • Psalm 139 - God’s Presence and Intimacy 

- Jason