Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) Sermon, August 10, 2014 – James Jennings: A Life Of Joy In Christ (Philippians 1:1)

1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Grace Church, Austin (Texas): Brandon Davison – Undeniable Proof Of Christ (John 2:13-22)

13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) Sunday School, August 10, 2014 – Tawfiq Cotman-El: Christ-Centered Parenting (Eph. 6:4)

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

81 Weeks Of Art (Azurdia, That Is) Preaching Through The Book Of Revelation: De-Creation (6:12-17)

Arturo Azurdia III is one of the pastors of Trinity Church, Portland, Oregon. Almost fifteen years ago, while pastoring another church in California, he preached through the book of Revelation over a course of 81 sermons.  In the interest of full disclosure, Dr. Azurdia’s approach to this book may be a little different than what you may be accustomed to.  If you will be patient with him, I think you will find that he brings much light to what can be a confusing book and makes it rather easy to understand.  If you do not attend a Sunday evening service, this would be well worth your while as a substitute. You will need your bible open in front of you while listening to this series.

This week: Chapter six, verses twelve through seventeen.

12 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) VBS, July 2014 – Tim Conway: For The Children – Who Is Jesus Christ?

From I’ll Be Honest:

This Bible Study was taught for the children at Vacation Bible School that was done at our church. Tim talks about how Jesus did all these miracles of healing, He calmed storms, and did all those things to show us His power. He is so powerful that He can wash you whiter than snow, wash all your sins away. He is alive today and coming back to judge the world, and even if you are a child you must repent and believe before that Day.

Free Will Friday: Augustine

free will friday aug 2014

The human will is always free, but it is not always good. For either it is free from righteousness, when it is serving sin, and then it is evil; or it is free from sin, when it is serving righteousness, and then it is good. Indeed it is always  by the grace of God that [the will], which had previously been evil, is good. And through grace it also happens that the good will itself, which has now begun to exist, is increased. ( quoted in John Calvin, “The Bondage and Liberation of the Will,” p. 122)

calvin - blw

Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) Bible Study, August 5, 2014 – James Jennings: The Spirit Himself Bears Witness (Rom. 8:16)

16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Grace Church, Austin (Texas): Brandon Davison – A Portrait Of Christ (Colossians 1:15-23)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) Bible Study, July 15, 2014 – Matthew McDonnell: The Christian’s Call To Give Thanks (1 Thess. 5:18)

18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

There’s Only One Thing Wrong With This Wonderful Prayer….

Please do not say the Elizabethan language used. This is serious.

O, Son of my God, and my blessed Savior; as a beggar, all wounded and sore, presents himself before a great king, so do I present myself before thee, who art the King of heaven and earth. From the lofty throne on which thou sittest, disdain not, I implore thee, to cast thine eyes on me, a poor sinner. God has made thee so rich that thou mightest assist the poor, and has constituted thee King of Glory in order that thou mightest relieve the miserable. Behold me then, and pity me: behold me and abandon me not, until thou seest me changed from a sinner into a saint. I know well that I merit nothing; nay more, that I deserve, on account of my ingratitude, to be deprived of the graces that, through thy means, I have already received from God. But thou, who are the King of Glory, seekest not merits, but miseries, in order to help the needy. But who is more needy than I? O, exalted Son, well do I know that thou, who are King of the universe, art already my king; yet I am determined to dedicate myself more especially to thy service, in order that thou mayest dispose of me as thou pleasest. Therefore, do I address thee in the words of one of my ancestors in the faith: “do thou govern me, O my King, and leave me not to myself.” Command me; employ me as thou wilt, and chastise me when I do not obey; for the chastisements that come from thy hands will be to me pledges of salvation. I would rather be thy servant than the ruler of the earth. I am Thine; save me. Accept me, O Jesus, for thine own, and as thine, take charge of my salvation. I will no longer be mine; to thee I do give myself. If, during the time past I have served thee ill, and lost so many occasions of honoring thee, for the future I will be one of thy most loving and faithful servants. I am determined that from this day forward no one shall surpass me in honoring and loving thee, my most amiable King. This I promise; and this, with thy help, I hope to execute. Amen.

The problem? Well, as written above, we would not find a problem. We have edited this prayer slightly for publication. Why? This prayer was written by St. Alphonsus Liguori, an 18th Century Roman Catholic bishop. Mr. Liguori was canonized as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 1839 and he was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1871. Thus, his writings are of great import and carry great doctrinal weight amongst Roman Catholics.

The prayer above appears in the book, “The Glories of Mary.” How have we edited this prayer? The original contains no references to Christ at all. None. All references to Christ shown above are, in the original, references to Mary. Here is the original prayer:

O, Mother of my God, and my blessed Lady Mary; as a beggar, all wounded and sore, presents himself before a great queen, so do I present myself before thee, who art the Queen of heaven and earth. From the lofty throne on which thou sittest, disdain not, I implore thee, to cast thine eyes on me, a poor sinner. God has made thee so rich that thou mightest assist the poor, and has constituted thee Queen of Mercy in order that thou mightest relieve the miserable. Behold me then, and pity me: behold me and abandon me not, until thou seest me changed from a sinner into a saint. I know well that I merit nothing; nay more, that I deserve, on account of my ingratitude, to be deprived of the graces that, through thy means, I have already received from God. But thou, who are the Queen of Mercy, seekest not merits, but miseries, in order to help the needy. But who is more needy than I? O, exalted Virgin, well do I know that thou, who are Queen of the universe, art already my queen; yet I am determined to dedicate myself more especially to thy service, in order that thou mayest dispose of me as thou pleasest. Therefore, do I address thee in the words of St. Bonaventure(1): “do thou govern me, O my Queen, and leave me not to myself.” Command me; employ me as thou wilt, and chastise me when I do not obey; for the chastisements that come from thy hands will be to me pledges of salvation. I would rather be thy servant than the ruler of the earth. I am Thine; save me. Accept me, O Mary, for thine own, and as thine, take charge of my salvation. I will no longer be mine; to thee I do give myself. If, during the time past I have served thee ill, and lost so many occasions of honoring thee, for the future I will be one of thy most loving and faithful servants. I am determined that from this day forward no one shall surpass me in honoring and loving thee, my most amiable Queen. This I promise; and this, with thy help, I hope to execute. Amen.(2)

To be rather blunt, this prayer is blasphemous. It ascribes authority to Mary which belongs to Christ alone. Our Roman Catholic friends will state they they merely “venerate” Mary and do not elevate her beyond a proper biblical place. One would be hard pressed to find biblical justification for such a prayer.

Is this the thinking of one lone Roman Catholic from years gone by? Hardly. Let us cite the Last Will and Testament of Pope John Paul II, dated March 6, 1979 (emphasis mine):

“Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (cf. Matthew 24, 42) – these words remind me of the last call, which will happen at the moment the Lord wishes. I desire to follow Him, and I desire that everything making up part of my earthly life should prepare me for this moment. I do not know when the moment will come, but like everything else, I place it too in the hands of the Mother of my Master: Totus Tuus(3). In the same maternal Hands I leave everything and everyone with whom my life and vocation have linked me. In these Hands I leave, above all, the Church, as well as my Nation and all humanity.

First, given that the Roman Catholic Church is apostate, there is no “Church” to leave anywhere or with anyone, much less in the hands of Mary. But to whom does the Church belong? Mary? No, the Church is Christ’s. The Church is a people given to the Son by the Father – and the Son will lose none of them but raise them up on the last Day (John 6).

Doctrine matters. Truth matters. I write this not because I hate Roman Catholics, but because I love them and desire to see them leave a system of salvation behind which is based on a little faith and a lot of works for salvation by faith alone in the finished work and Person of Christ alone. The New Testament knows nothing of the Roman system of salvation – I call on Roman Catholics to leave false religion behind and come to Christ and Christ alone.

—————————-

(1) The prayer at the top was edited here because using “St. Bonaventure” would have been a giveaway.

(2) “The Glories of Mary,” (Brooklyn: The Redemptionist Fathers, 1931), pp. 45-46.

 (3) Totus tuus means “totally yours.”

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