e-Treasure

10 July 2007

Treasuring Christ Fellowship Camp (Australia)


"Christ's Glorious Covenant"
- Source of Joy and Power -

With Joseph Krygier


Mt Tamborine
17-19 August 2007

Brochure - Right Click to Download

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Church-planting in Saskatchewan, Canada

Just in case any of you are interested in what we are doing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, you can check out our latest newsletter here.
We are desirous of establishing a "Christ-treasuring" church-planting church. We want to grow in the grace and knowledge of God in and through the Lord Jesus Christ in an ever-increasing measure and make Him known in our community and beyond.
We will definitely need His grace and wisdom.

May the Lord be magnified!


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09 July 2007

Gospel Sanctification 5 - Spiritual Repentance to the Glory of God

Applying the truths of Gospel Sanctification to repentance means maintaining a deeply sorrowful sense of indwelling personal sin while also rejoicing in the present reality of the full and free forgiveness in Jesus Christ, looking forward with expectation to the final delivery 'from this body of death'.

. . . God's kindness leads you toward repentance.” Rom 2:4

A high view of our Holy God mixed with a sorrow over our own personal sin leads to a treasuring of Jesus Christ and complete surrender to His wondrous, gracious and extensive Gospel promises, and gift of Himself, as the only way to return us to the embrace of our loving heavenly Father.

Repentance therefore ought to be coupled with a relishing of the full & free gospel promises of love, forgiveness, acceptance, justification and of union with Christ Himself. Otherwise, repentance can become a defeated and mournful wallowing in the very slough we are being saved from rather than a turning from it and glorying in the eternal happy state we are being saved to. Thus even your repentance ought to be to the heart-felt praise and glory of God!
Although we are miserable creatures, of ourselves, we don't wallow in defeat or remain self-focused but rather look to God, with thankful heart, for the provision of a solution in Jesus Christ. True repentance leads to Christ-exultation:

“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Rom 7:23-25

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” 1 Tim 1:15-17

Our repentance must not be characterised by wallowing or self-focus because, " . . . whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.” Phil 4:8

When you are convicted over sin, don't wallow in defeat, but simply confess your sin and weakness to God, thank Him that even in this Christ is sufficient to cover your sin and present you faultless before the throne of grace, and He is the one that will bring deliverance from the very sin you struggle with. He loves you anyway and always - thank and praise him for it. And in this you will glorify God in your repentance.

Is your repentance done to the heartfelt praise and glory of God?

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Cor 10:31-32

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06 July 2007

Gospel Sanctification 4 - Legalism's Wrong Assumption

At one point I came to understand the need for the ministry of grace to strengthen believers. I struggled knowing exactly how or where the preaching of commandments came into things. I was challenged by a legalist to explain why we can't simply take an 'imperative' text and preach it, by which he meant rebuke believers for their lack of faithfulness and exhort them to obedience ( i.e. club believers with the commands). After all, it's in the Bible, we need to hear it, and be exhorted to obey, right? It took quite a while for me to figure out what was actually wrong with what he was saying (and doing).

I came to realise that an assumption was brought to the commands by the legalist that forgets that the indelible mark of a Christian is he "loves to keep God's commandments because those commandments are no longer grievous" ( I John 5:1-3).

The assumption implicit (and sometime explicit!) in legalistic preaching is that believers don't want to obey and need to be dragged against their will to obedience. Taken out of the equation is the new heart, the Spirit's work, New Covenant realities, and ultimately Jesus Christ Himself.

Legalists underestimate the power of a believer's new heart feasting on the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. So legalists turn their attention to subduing the flesh through rebuke and sharp exhortation. Scripture teaches this doesn't help bring about obedience but rather fuels the sinful nature by either leading to pride in those who feel successful or leading to despair in those that feel the burden of failure.

In one illustration, Walter Marshall says that much preaching is like telling a man to take his weapons and go and enter a battle. If the man is a soldier he will do it readily. But we are more like sick men on our death beds without the strength to so much as pick up our weapon. The question that needs answering is: How can I, without any strength in myself, perform such an overwhelming task?

The strength to enliven us, and give us power to get out of our sick beds to face the battle, is the gospel alone - to be embraced afresh every day. So our first duty is to believe on Christ and receive healing strength from the great physician who alone gets the glory.

"1O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4Did you suffer so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain? 5Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith-- 6just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"?" Galatians 3:1-6.

Resting in grace-

Shane.

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