Posts tagged ‘Preaching’

March 9, 2016

He Humbled Himself (John 13:1-17)

IMG_0017-0On Sunday, January 31, 2016, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “He Humbled Himself” from John 13:1-17.

Jesus washed his disciples’s feet to point them to the fact that he had washed us clean from sin and death on the cross.

1. You Were Washed—The love Jesus expresses to his twelve disciples is also expressed to us who believe today. His washing of their feet points to the cleansing provided through his future death on the cross, called our definitive sanctification, by which God’s people are separated from the sinful world as members of his covenant community.

2. You Are Being Cleansed—Jesus’ washing of his disciples’s feet also points to the believer’s ongoing need of forgiveness–then and now–called progressive sanctification.

3. Serve So Others Might Be Clean—Humble service to your brothers and sisters in Christ is the correct application of Christ’s command to wash one another’s feet.

Listen to “He Humbled Himself” (John 13:1-17) at mcopc.org.

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November 30, 2015

A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel

Treatise on Law and Gospel CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

Martin Luther said that the law ought never to be preached apart from the gospel, and that the gospel ought never to be preached apart from the law. We live in a day when few professing Christians understand either the law or the gospel, much less their relationship to each other.

In this important work, long out of print, the great Scottish preacher John Colquhoun helps eliminate this unnecessary confusion, showing how the law and the gospel differ as well as how they agree. If we do not understand the law and its role, we can never rightly understand the grace of the gospel. Faulty conclusions lead to antinomianism (“the law has no place”) or legalism (“God’s favor comes from doing the right things”). Both are deadly paths off the narrow road.

“The subject of this treatise is, in the highest degree, important and interesting to both saints and sinners. To know it experimentally is to be wise unto salvation, and to live habitually under the influence of it is to be at once holy and happy. To have spiritual and distinct views of it is the way to be kept from verging towards self-righteousness on the one hand and licentiousness on the other; it is to be enabled to assert the absolute freeness of sovereign grace, and, at the same time, the sacred interests of true holiness. Without an experimental knowledge of and an unfeigned faith in the law and the gospel, a man can neither venerate the authority of the one nor esteem the grace of the other.” –John Colquhoun

Source: Back Cover

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
ADVERTISEMENT
CHAPTER 1. The Law of God, or the Moral Law in General

Section 1. The law as inscribed on the heart of man in his creation.
Section 2. The law as given to Adam under the form of the covenant of works
Section 3. The law, in the hand of Christ the Mediator, as a rule of life to believers

CHAPTER 2. The Law of God, as Promulgated to the Israelites from Mount Sinai

Section 1. Of the covenant of grace, and of the Ten Commandments, as the rule of duty to believers according to that covenant, as published from Mount Sinai
Section 2. Of the moral law in the form of a covenant of works, as displayed on Mount Sinai to the Israelites
Section 3. Of the law promulgated from Mount Sinai to the Israelites, as the matter of a national covenant between God and them

CHAPTER 3. The Properties of the Moral Law

CHAPTER 4. The Rules for Understanding Aright the Ten Commandments

CHAPTER 5. The Gospel of Christ

CHAPTER 6. The Uses of the Gospel, and of the Law in Subservience to It

Section 1. The principal uses of the Gospel
Section 2. The uses of the moral law in its subservience to the Gospel

CHAPTER 7. The Difference between the Law and the Gospel

CHAPTER 8. The Agreement between the Law and the Gospel

CHAPTER 9. The Establishment of the Law and the Gospel

CHAPTER 10. The Believer’s Privilege of Being Dead to the law as a Covenant of Works, with a Highly Important Consequence of It

Section 1. What it is in the law as a covenant of works to which believers are dead
Section 2. What is included in the believer’s being dead to the law as a covenant
Section 3. The means of becoming dead to the law as a covenant
Section 4. Of the important consequence of a believer’s being dead to the law as a covenant of works
Section 5. Of the necessity of a beleiver’s being dead to the law as a covenant, in order to his living unto God

CHAPTER 11. The High Obligations under which Believers Lie, to Yield Even Perfect Obedience to the Law as a Rule of Life

CHAPTER 12. The Nature, Necessity, and Desert of Good Works

Section 1. The nature of good works
Section 2. The necessity of good works
Section 3. The desert of good works

John Colquhoun

John Colquhoun (1748-1827)

About the Author

While on a walking tour through Scotland during a College vacation, Alexander Moody Stuart spent a weekend at a country inn on the road between Glasgow and Edinburgh. His interest was aroused in two lads who arrived at the inn late on the Saturday evening. After spending the night there they left early next morning and returned to the inn again that evening. He discovered that they were working lads from Glasgow who, on coming under spiritual concern, had sought for a minister that preached the gospel fully. They eventually found a preacher to their mind in Edinburgh and were determined to wait on his ministry. That preacher was Dr John Colquhoun of the New Church in South Leith. Such value did they set upon Colquhoun’s preaching that they were willing to walk about a hundred miles each weekend to hear him and be back at their work at 6 o’clock on Monday morning. These young Christians were typical of many in Scotland at the beginning of the nineteenth century who had felt the power of the Word and therefore highly prized the full gospel ministry at South Leith. With much of the Church of Scotland lying under the blight of unbelieving Moderatism, ministries like that of Colquhoun and his contemporaries – Dr John Love of Glasgow and Dr MacDonald of Ferintosh – were oases in the desert.

John Colquhoun was born at Luss in Dunbartonshire on 1 January, 1748. The son of a small farmer, he received his elementary education at the local Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) school. The teacher, a Christian, not only instructed the minds of his pupils but sought to impress the truth upon their hearts. It was to his explanation and application of the Westminster Shorter Catechism question, ‘What is effectual calling?’ that Colquhoun afterwards traced his conversion.

On feeling led to devote himself to the ministry he entered Glasgow University in 1768, where he pursued his studies for ten years. The Presbytery of Glasgow licensed him to preach in 1780, and the following year he was ordained to what proved to be his only pastoral charge—the New Church in South Leith (St John’s, Constitution Street). There he exercised an effective ministry until forced to give up through ill-health a year before his death in 1827.

Shortly after his conversion John Colquhoun had walked all the way from Luss to Glasgow, a distance in all of about fifty miles, to buy a copy of Thomas Boston’s Fourfold State. This book had a moulding influence on his early Christian life. He came to esteem it next to his Bible. The influence of Boston’s teaching was later to permeate his ministry and writings. Thomas Boston’s remains had been laid to rest in the beautiful churchyard of Ettrick sixteen years before Colquhoun was born, but few if any of his followers bore such marks of his influence as the minister of South Leith.

Although a minister of the Established Church, Colquhoun was regarded as one of the ablest exponents of ‘Marrow’ theology. By an Act of Assembly on 20 May, 1720 his Church had condemned the book, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, because it maintained that there was a universal call and offer of the gospel to sinners. Defenders of the free offer—nicknamed ‘Marrowmen’—foremost of whom were Thomas Boston and the Erskine brothers, were forced to secede from the Church in 1722. Later, however, as we find in the case of John Colquhoun, upholders of ‘Marrow’ teaching continued to exercise their ministry within the Establishment. How Colquhoun reconciled his respect for an Act of the General Assembly with his uncompromising maintenance of ‘Marrow’ theology is illustrated in some advice he is reported to have given to the students who sought his counsel. ‘Noo, ye ken’, he would say to them in his colloquial tongue, ‘I daurna advise ye to read the “Marrow” for the Assembly condemned it; but though they condemned the “Marrow” they didna condemn Tammes Boston’s notes on the “Marrow”, and that’s a book that ye should read.’

It is not surprising that one of the great characteristics of Colquhoun’s ministry was the emphasis on the duty and necessity of sinners complying with the offers and invitations of the gospel. At the same time he dwelt much on the danger of hypocrisy. The depth of his own spiritual experience, his discriminating views of truth, and his aptitude for religious conversation made him of great use to those in spiritual distress.

Retired and unassuming by nature, he sought no place of distinction in the Church. Indeed, it was in his mature years that he began his career as an author. He wrote seven treatises, all of which are closely related in theme and manner of presentation. The first to appear was on Spiritual Comfort in 1813. It was followed by Law and Gospel (1815), The Covenant of Grace (1818), The Covenant of Works (1822), Saving Faith (1824), The Promises (1825), and Evangelical Repentance (1826; republished by the Trust in 1965 as Repentance).

It was in his writings perhaps more than anything else that Colquhoun came nearest to Boston. They were both at their best in expounding the grand central themes of salvation, and so thoroughly had Colquhoun imbibed The Fourfold State that in cast of thought, mode of development, and turn of expression his own writings bear striking similarities to it. Above all, the works of both are thoroughly experimental and practical. They preached and wrote for the common people, and it was the common people of Scotland for many generations following that loved and valued their works.

[John J Murray in his ‘Biographical Introduction’ to Colquhoun’s Repentance.]

Source: Banner of Truth

Don Kistler

Dr. Don Kistler (1949-)

About the Editor

Dr. Don Kistler, founder of the Northampton Press, was born in California in 1949, the second of five sons of Jack and Faye Kistler. He grew up on a dairy farm in Central California and graduated from Azusa Pacific College in Southern California in 1971 with a double major in public speaking and religion. He holds the M. Div. and D. Min. degrees, and is an ordained minister. Prior to entering the gospel ministry, Dr. Kistler coached high school and college football for over 15 years.

Dr. Kistler pastored a local church for four years. As part of his preaching and teaching ministry, he has spoken at conferences with such notable figures as Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. R. C. Sproul, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. J. I. Packer, Dr. John Gerstner, Elisabeth Elliot, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, Dr. Michael Horton, Rev. Alistair Begg, Dr. Albert M. Mohler, the late Dr. James Boice, and Rev. Eric Alexander, to name just a few.

Dr. Kistler is the author of the book A Spectacle Unto God: The Life and Death of Christopher Love, and Why Read the Puritans Today? and is the editor of all the Soli Deo Gloria Puritan reprints. He was a contributing author for Justification by Faith ALONE!; Sola Scriptura; Trust and Obey: Obedience and the Christian; Onward, Christian Soldiers: Protestants Affirm the Church; and Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching.

He has edited over 150 books. He currently resides in Orlando, FL.

Source: Don Kistler Online

Hardcover, 320 pages

Publisher: Soli Deo Gloria Publications

Publication Date(s): 1835 (first American edition by Wiley and Long); 1999 (Soli Deo Gloria reprint and modernization)

ISBN: 1-57358-083-X

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

November 17, 2015

A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel

Treatise on Law and Gospel CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

In this book, Colquhoun helps us understand the precise relationship between law and gospel. He also impresses us with the importance of knowing this relationship. Colquhoun especially excels in showing how important the law is as a believer’s rule of life without doing injury to the freeness and fullness of the gospel. By implication, he enables us to draw four practical conclusions: 1) the law shows us how to live, 2) the law as a rule of life combats both antinomianism and legalism, 3) the law shows us how to love, and 4) the law promotes true freedom.

Table of Contents:

Chapter

1. The Law of God or the Moral Law in General

2. The Law of God as Promulgated to the Israelites from Mount Sinai

3. The Properties of the Moral Law

4. The Rules for Understanding Aright the Ten Commandments

5. The Gospel of Christ

6. The Uses of the Gospel, and of the Law in Subservience to It

7. The Difference between the Law and the Gospel

8. The Agreement between the Law and the Gospel

9. The Establishment of the Law by the Gospel

10. The Believer’s Privilege of Being Dead to the Law as a Covenant of Works

11. The High Obligations under Which Believers Lie

12. The Nature, Necessity, and Desert of Good Works

Quote from the Author:

“The law and the gospel are the principal parts of divine revelation; or rather they are the center, sum, and substance of all the other parts of it. Every passage of sacred Scripture is either law or gospel, or is capable of being referred either to the one or to the other . . . If then a man cannot distinguish aright between the law and the gospel, he cannot rightly understand so much as a single article of divine truth. If he does not have spiritual and just apprehensions of the holy law, he cannot have spiritual and transforming discoveries of the glorious gospel; and, on the other hand, if his view of the gospel is erroneous, his notions of the law cannot be right.”—John Colquhoun

John Colquhoun (1748-1827)

John Colquhoun (1748-1827)

About the Author

John Colquhoun (1748–1827) was a minister in the Church of Scotland whose sermons and writings reflect those of the Marrow brethren of the Secession church. Colquhoun’s writings are theologically astute and intensely practical. He wrote on the core doctrines of the gospel, particularly on experiential soteriology.

Source: Reformation Heritage Books

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

June 30, 2015

Strengthened by Grace (2 Timothy 2:1-2)

Pastor Joe Troutman preaching at San Antonio Reformed on June 21, 2015. HT: Billie Moody

Pastor Joe Troutman preaching at San Antonio Reformed on June 21, 2015. HT: Billie Moody

On Sunday, June 28, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached Strengthend by Grace (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

Because Jesus Christ has died and risen, you therefore be strengthened by the grace of God.

1. Strength Training—The ordinary means of grace—the Word, sacraments and prayer—point us to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and are the way God strengthens the faith of believers in Christ. Although a passive command, the call to be strengthened by God’s grace is not a call to inactivity, but to active dependence on the Lord who strengthens us by his grace.

2. Passing It On—The gospel preached by the apostles has been entrusted to our care. Our strengthening by his means of grace is not merely for our individual benefit, but to enable us to preserve the apostolic gospel and to pass it on to future generations.

Listen toStrengthened by Grace (2 Timothy 2:1-2) at mcopc.org.

June 29, 2015

The Transmission of the Tradition (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15)

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Dr. Daniel B. Wallace (Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts) rubs elbows with Pastor Joseph L. Troutman.

On Sunday, June 14, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached on the transmission of the apostolic tradition from 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15.

The Lord used spoken and written means to transmit his word that man might know him and know how to be saved.

1. Many Things Jesus Did—There was a tremendous amount of information about the words and works of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle John wrote his gospel after the fall of Jerusalem. Paul wrote his letters without the four gospels or the rest of the New Testament to consult. John included material in his gospel which adds to that which is found in the earlier synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke and the rest of the New Testament (See John 20:30-31). Paul had to learn about Jesus from the other apostles and directly from the Lord (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23).

2. Hold To the Traditions—In addition to his letters, Paul also engaged in oral tradition. Paul writes to calm the Thessalonians’s fears regarding the return of Christ. Paul refers to the gospel as the traditions which have been believed by us. The traditions of the Roman Catholic Church differ from those to which Paul refers, and so are “traditions of men” (Colossians 2:8).

3. By Spoken Word or Letter—In the first century AD, the gospel was transmitted to the church by both spoken word and by letter. Many things about Jesus were written, and many others were only transmitted orally. These oral traditions were certainly passed on to the second and third centuries. One such story is called “The Pericope of the Adulteress” (or, pericope adulterae; hereafter “PA”) which is found in John 7:53-8:11. Notable Christian scholars such as F.F. Bruce, Bruce Metzger and Daniel Wallace believe the events in this passage actually happened. The Codex Bezae, which dates to the 5th century contains the pericope of the adulteress. Kyle Hughes reports that this pericope may be traced as far back as AD 50. Unbelieving scholars, such as Bart Ehrman, use the PA to argue against the reliability of the New Testament, and his recent books have persuaded many to disbelieve the Bible. What you don’t know about the transmission of the text of the New Testament is being exploited by unbelieving scholars like Ehrman to destroy the faith of the common believer.

Oral tradition is generally considered unreliable, yet true events in 2 Thessalonians were transmitted orally. Skeptical scholars doubt its reliability, and they err on the side of late dates for New Testament writings, and discard them as inauthentic. Appeals to the telephone game are often made to undermine the value of oral transmission, but this is a case of modern understanding being imposed on ancient people. Ken Bailey, in “Informal Controlled Oral Tradition in the Gospels” demonstrates that ancient traditions are transmitted with a high degree of accuracy, and so Western views of ancient Eastern traditions are inaccurate.

If the PA is not original to the gospel of John, then how did it get there? It was told and retold by the apostles between AD 50 through the 70s. The pericope features many similarities to the vocabulary of Luke in his gospel and his book of the Acts of the Apostles. It may be that Luke influenced the wording of this unique passage. Its textual pedigree includes a citation by Papias in his Didaskalia, the Codex Bezae and 900 New Testament manuscripts. These have been the means by which this oral tradition was transmitted to us from the apostolic era. No doubt, God orchestrated the transmission of this passage and its inclusion in the New Testament canon.

Simply put, the pericope of the adulteress in John 7:53-8:11 is just another story of Jesus showing compassion toward a repentant sinner, and his convicting hypocrites for their rejection of him. Be thankful for the means of God’s transmission of the gospel.

Listen to The Transmission of the Tradition (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15) at mcopc.org.

For further reading

Where is the Story of the Woman Caught in Adultery really from? (by Daniel B. Wallace)
Informal Controlled Oral Tradition in the Gospels (by Kenneth Bailey)

June 29, 2015

The Nearness of God (Psalm 91)

Rev. Clarence Mays

Rev. Clarence Mays

On June 21, 2015, Rev. Clarence Mays preached on the nearness of God from Psalm 91.

Psalm 91 is the most joyful of all the psalms. It begins abruptly with an emphasis on the high and lofty God. Before dealing with the believer’s trouble, the nearness of God is declared. Focusing on the nearness of God alleviates our fear of trouble.

Listen to The Nearness of God (Psalm 91) at mcopc.org.