Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Our Church

Misty and I started attending our new church and we absolutely love the assembly at Covenant Presbyterian. Their doctrine is our doctrine. Their mission and passions and emphasis in ministry lines up perfectly with the goals of this family. A priority is placed on families and they recognize that it is through families that God pimarily brings faith to his elect according to his covenant promises....this is displayed in their statement of belief and number 6:


1. We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
2. We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
3. We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, except by His mercy.
4. We believe that salvation is by God alone as He sovereignly chooses those He will save. We believe His choice is based on His grace, not on any human individual merit, or foreseen faith.
5. We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him, alone, for salvation.
6. We believe that God is gracious and faithful to His people not simply as individuals but as families in successive generations according to His Covenant promises.
7. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him.
8. We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people to Himself.
9. We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

My family and I personally live all my life and base all of my theology on number 9 and I jump for joy when this is also one of the central missions of the church (the glory of God). Indeed, God's glory is the basis and theme for this blog.

This article on John Newton made me think about how blessed we are to have a new and glorious assembly at my local church. And I hope God cultivates beauiful God-glorifying relationships and service through our new assembly of believers.

Grace be with you all. And let the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ shine upon you and bless you and make you grow from one end of glory to the next.

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GLORIOUS THINGS OF THEE ARE SPOKEN
John Newton, 1725–1807

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. (Psalm 48:1, 2, 3 KJV)


Of the many hymn texts by the noted English clergyman, John Newton, this one is generally considered to be one of his finest and most joyous. In the Old Testament, the city of Zion was the place where God dwelt among His people. It was a haven of refuge, a treasured place. In our New Testament age, Zion refers to the church, a community of God’s people, a living and dynamic organism. Newton’s hymn refers to God’s strong protection of His people, His promise to supply their needs, and His presence to lead His own by the cloud and fire as He did the Israelites of old.
With all its shortcomings and faults, the local church is still God’s means of meeting the needs of mankind. As Christians, we are to promote the church, supporting it with enthusiasm and finding our spiritual strength and fellowship in it. Then as members of Christ’s universal church, we are commanded to be His worthy representatives to the entire world. We must be actively involved in ministering the “streams of living waters” which “never fail from age to age.”
John Newton, the convicted slave trader and sea captain, never stopped praising God for His “sure repose”— “whose Word cannot be broken”—who formed us “for His own abode.”
Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God; He whose word cannot be broken formed thee for His own abode: On the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure repose? With salvation’s walls surrounded, thou mayst smile at all thy foes.
See, the streams of living waters, springing from eternal love, well supply thy sons and daughters and all fear of want remove: Who can faint while such a river ever flows their thirst to assuage? Grace which, like the Lord, the Giver, never fails from age to age.
Round each habitation hov’ring, see the cloud and fire appear for a glory and a cov’ring, showing that the Lord is near! Glorious things of Thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God; He whose word cannot be broken formed thee for His own abode.
For Today: Psalm 87:3; Isaiah 33:20, 21; Matthew 16:18; Romans 12:5
Be thankful for your local church and what it means in your life. Ask for God’s special blessing on your pastor, the board members, and your fellow church members. Allow this hymn to help—

Osbeck, Kenneth W.: Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Kregel Publications, 1990, S. 266

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