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:

It's More Than a Christmas Tree

By Kevin Wolfe,

Every year a team of servants works diligently to decorate our building for the Christmas season.  And while they do a wonderful job making our building look beautiful, their efforts go beyond that.  In fact, everything on the Christmas tree we put up each year is done to represent Jesus.  Below are the ornaments on the tree and what they represent from scripture.  Take a few minutes to read through these and let that fuel you to worship Jesus!

  • Alpha and Omega - Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13) - Jesus was and is and is to come. He is from everlasting to ever- lasting. 
  • Angel - The angel of the Lord (Exodus 3:2) - Many scholars believe this was the Old Testament appearance of Jesus.
  • Bible - The Word (John 1:1) - Jesus is the speech uttered by God the Father, impelled by the breath of God’s Spirit. He is not merely information, but the effective, powerful Word that called creation out of nothing and today calls life out of death.
  • Christmas Lights - The light of the World (Isaiah 9:1-5; John 8:12) - Jesus is the light that pierced the darkness of the world 2000 years ago and showed the path to God. Those who follow Him will not walk in darkness.
  • Cross - Redeemer (Isaiah 60:16b; Isaiah 48:17) - Christ’s death is the payment that redeems us from Satan and makes it possible for us to be called children of God. Jesus was born on earth to die on the cross.
  • Crown/Gold Ornaments - King of Kings (Revelation 19:16) - Christ is the king over all kings and rulers. As subjects in His Kingdom, we owe Him our complete allegiance.
  • Door - Door (John 10:1-9) - Jesus is our only door to God. He is the only way to heaven.
  • Dove - He is our Peace (Isaiah 9:6) - Christ is our peace. He has ended the conflict between God and man by His death on the cross.
  • Gavel - Righteous Judge (Psalm 75:7; Psalm50:6) - Jesus is our judge and advocate before God Most High.
  • Globe - Creator (Hebrews 1:10-12) - “God as our Creator delights in being trusted by us as his creatures, for an attitude of dependence is most appropriate to the Creator/creature relationship” (Wayne Grudem)
  • Gold Rays - God’s radiance (Hebrews 1:3) - Jesus is image of God and the radiance of His glory.
  • Lamb - Lamb of God (John 1:29; Revelation 5:6-14) - Jesus is the fulfillment of the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. As the Lamb of God, Jesus’ sacrifice pays for our sins, past, present, and future if we believe in Him.
  • Lion - Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5) - Jesus fulfills the Old Testament prophecies, being from the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David.
  • Manger - Immanuel “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14-8:8; Matthew 1:23) - Jesus was God born on earth as a human being. Today He sits at the right hand of the Father having made the way for mere humans like us to draw near to God.
  • Mirror - The God who sees (Genesis 16:13) - There is nothing that is hidden from the Lord.
  • Pitcher - Servant of all (John 13:3-17; Mark 10:45) - Jesus did not come to enjoy a life of kingship over the world. He came not to be served as a King but to serve. Just as God humbled Himself, we are to follow in His example.
  • Priest - Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14) - The Old Testament high priest interceded to God on behalf of the people. Jesus is now the one who intercedes for us with the power of His own blood shed for us.
  • Purple Ornaments - Majesty (Psalm 93:1; Psalm 96:6) - Purple is the color of royalty and Jesus is more majestic than any other.
  • Ram Tapestry - The Lord will provide (Genesis 22:14) - Though our sin requires death, Jesus is God’s provided substitute for us.
  • Red Ornaments - Blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19; Ephesians 2:12-13) - We were once excluded from the citizenship of heaven but the perfect, spotless blood of Christ brought us near.
  • Rings - Bridegroom (Ephesians 5:21-32; John 3:29) - Jesus is the bridegroom and His church is the bride. He is the head of the church and gave up His life for her.
  • Rock - Chief Cornerstone (Isaiah 28:16; 1 Peter 2:6) - Jesus is the cornerstone which the religious leaders rejected, but which God chose to build His church upon.  We are a temple of living stones, built upon the solid rock of Jesus.
  • Root - Root of David (Revelation 5:5) - Jesus was both a descendant of David, and the root from which the nation of Israel grew.
  • Scepter - The Lord is my Banner (Exodus 17:10- 16) - In battle, armies of the Old Testament would hold up the Kings scepter or a banner proclaiming their king. Jesus is our banner, the scepter of God Most High.
  • Serpent on the Staff - The God who heals (Numbers 21:9; John3:14-15) - Just as the snake on the staff showed the Israelites the consequences for their sin, Jesus shows us the consequence of our sin. All who look to his sacrifice will have everlasting life.
  • Shepherd’s Staff - Shepherd (Psalm 23; John 10:11-14) - Jesus came to care for and to lead lost sheep, lost men and women. His sheep know His voice and no one can take them from his hands.
  • Snowflake - The Lord who sanctifies (Psalm 51:7; Isaiah 1:18) - To sanctify means to make holy. Jesus blood washed our sins so that we are white as snow. As believers He continues to make us holy from the inside out. What He starts, He will finish.
  • Stars - Bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16) - The morning star heralds the end of night. Jesus heralded God’s coming victory over all evil.
  • Sword - Lord of hosts (Psalm 46) - Jesus is our Warrior King and will fight for those who are needy.
  • Tear - Comforter (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) Jesus comforts us with understanding for He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
  • Tree Branch - Righteous Branch (Jeremiah 33:14-16) - Jesus is the descendent of David who fulfills God’s promise to Israel of a Messiah.
  • Vine/Grapes - Vine (John 15:1; John 15:15) - Jesus is our life source. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being.
  • Wheat - Bread of Life (John 6:32-33, 47-48) - Jesus is our spiritual nourishment. Without this food, we die. (Psalm 73:27-28)
  • White Horse - Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) - Christ is Truth in the flesh. What He promises, He will do. We can trust His word.