Text: Selected Passages
March 4, 2013
""For seeing we are so weak that we cannot receive Him with true heartfelt trust, when He is presented to us by simple doctrine and preaching, the Father of mercy, disdaining not to condescend in this matter to our infirmity, has been pleased to add to His word a visible sign, by which He might represent the substance of His promises, to confirm and fortify us by delivering us from all doubt and uncertainty.” John Calvin, Short Treatise on the Supper of our Lord
I. The purpose of the sacraments is to sustain our faith.
II. The purpose of the sacraments is to nourish our faith.
III. The purpose of the sacraments is to confirm our faith.
IV. The purpose of the sacraments is to increase our faith.
“I learned that Christians need to hear the gospel all of their lives because it is the gospel that continues to remind us that our day-to-day acceptance with the Father is not based on what we do for God but upon what Christ did for us in his sinless life and sin-bearing death. I began to see that we stand before God today as righteous as we ever will be, even in heaven, because he has clothed us with the righteousness of his Son. Therefore, I don't have to perform to be accepted by God. Now I am free to obey him and serve him because I am already accepted in Christ (see Rom. 8:1). My driving motivation now is not guilt but gratitude…
We must always keep focused on the gospel because it is in the nature of sanctification that as we grow, we see more and more of our sinfulness. Instead of driving us to discouragement, though, this should drive us to the gospel. It is the gospel believed every day that is the only enduring motivation to pursue progressive sanctification even in those times when we don't seem to see progress."" Jerry Bridges, “Gospel-Driven Sanctification""
The heart of the gospel moves the church to mission and to deeds of mercy which have always been part of the Christian mission. The Christian who has tasted the compassionate love of God in Christ must ask the question put by Jesus: ‘To whom am I a neighbor? I, to whom the Lord of glory became neighbor on the cross—who is it that now needs my compassion, the love that reflects the love of Calvary,” (The Church, p. 161).
© John Fonville
Permissions: Permission is happily granted to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not revise the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on Paramount’s website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by John Fonville.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Fonville