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San Marino Castle Fortress RockII. La iglesia visible, que también es católica o universal bajo el evangelio (no está limitada a una nación como anteriormente en el tiempo de la ley), se compone de todos aquellos que en todo el mundo profesan la religión verdadera, (1) juntamente con sus hijos, (2) y es el reino del Señor Jesucristo, (3) la casa y familia de Dios, (4) fuera de la cual no hay posibilidad ordinaria de salvación. (5)

1. 1 Corintios 1:2; 12:12,13; Salmos 2:8; Apocalipsis 7:9; Romanos 15:9-12.
2. 1 Corintios 7:14; Hechos 2:39; Ezequiel 16:20-21; Romanos 11:16; Génesis 3:15; 17:7.
3. Mateo 13:47; Isaías 9:7.
4. Efesios 2:19; 3:15.
5. Hechos 2:47.

– Confesión de Fe de Westminster (1646), 25.2

Este artículo es publicado con permiso de su autor, Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner, y 9Marks. Dr. Schreiner es Profesor James Buchanan Harrison de Interpretación del Nuevo Testamento en el Southern Baptist Theological Seminary en Louisville, Kentucky y es pastor de predicación en Clifton Baptist Church.

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Frecuentemente me preguntan si una mujer puede servir en el ministerio. Mi respuesta es siempre: « ¡bible-bible-study-book-510249Si, claro! Todos los creyentes están llamados a servir y ministrarse unos a otros».

Pero respondería de manera diferente si la pregunta fuera planteada de una forma más precisa: « ¿Existen algunos roles ministeriales en los que las mujeres no pueden servir?» Argumentaría que el Nuevo Testamento claramente enseña que las mujeres no deberían servir como pastoras (lo cual el Nuevo Testamento también llama obispo o ancianos). Está claro en el Nuevo Testamento que los términos pastor, obispo, y anciano se refieren al mismo oficio (véase Hechos 20:17, 28; Tito 1:5, 7; 1 Pedro 5:1-2), y para el resto de este relato utilizaré los términos «anciano» y «pastor» de manera intercambiable para referirme a este oficio. Read the rest of this entry »

pulpit-1In our worship, God’s Word is primary. We commit ourselves to reading God’s Word, proclaiming God’s Word, singing God’s Word, and sacramentally observing God’s Word.

We generally devote time to the public reading of holy Scripture, one chapter from the Old Testament and one from the New. This is a tragically neglected element of worship in modern Christianity and one that ought to be central in public worship (Neh. 8, 1 Tim. 4:13).

Our sermons are generally expository, sequentially studying a book of the Bible, verse by verse. This has often been called the practice of lectio continua in the history of the Church. It binds the preacher to study each verse in context, to find the grammatical and historical meaning. It keeps him from the danger of reading into the text what he wants and requires him to speak the whole counsel of God to the people of God. We cannot cheapen God’s Word by ‘cherry picking’ what we like and leaving the rest.

Yet, our afternoon messages are sometimes topical, on practical subjects. Even then, it is our concern to anchor the lesson in the Word of God, that our minds may be shaped by the mind of the Spirit speaking in Scripture.

Read the rest of this entry »

wolgemutpleydenwurffFor where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and every kind of grace; but the Spirit is truth. Those, therefore, who do not partake of Him, are neither nourished into life from the mother’s breasts, nor do they enjoy that most limpid fountain which issues from the body of Christ; but they dig for themselves broken cisterns out of earthly trenches, and drink putrid water out of the mire, fleeing from the faith of the Church lest they be convicted; and rejecting the Spirit, that they may not be instructed.

-Irenaeus of Lyons (d. ca. 202)

George_Henry_Durrie_-_Going_to_Church1. Above all, God  commands it.  “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”  “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is.”

2. God lets you have six days for yourself.  One for God, six for us.  That’s pretty generous.

3. God deserves our gratitude.  Think about it.  He formed you when you were in your mother’s womb.  He gave you life, breath, and all things.  He makes His sun shine on you, His rain fall on you, His earth to produce for you.  In short, He gives you everything.  Coming into His house is giving credit where credit is due.

4. God deserves public, not just private honor.  We publicly recognize accomplishments, especially those who are especially worthy.  When we gather together in the house of God, we unite our voices to express His greatness.   Officially.  “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.”  The purple heart isn’t awarded in a dark basement, but in a public forum.  And God is greater than our greatest heroes.

5. You were meant to worship.  Theologians have well said that each of us have “the seed of religion” within us.  Having been made by God and for God, we cannot escape our fundamental religiousness.  Not to worship is to act against our humanity.  It is animalistic.  Look  in the mirror.  You’re not an animal, meant to eat, drink, and become compost.  You have a soul, a God-shaped hole that only He can fill.

6. Your children were meant to worship.  They are little humans.  And they need you to fear God and to lead them to Him.  They won’t do it otherwise. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  And if they complain, remember – God put you in the driver’s seat, not them.  You make them eat broccoli, even if they don’t like it.  Get over their foot-dragging.  If you hold the line, they will thank you for it.

7. You will improve your physical health.  Our bodies can be overworked, especially in our fast-paced society.  We weren’t made to do 90 in a 25 mph zone.  God tells us to slow down!  Further, when we give rest to our souls in the Church, the hospital of Christ, our souls are healed and reinvigorated.  And a healthy mind contributes to a healthy body.

8. You will recover your sanity.  When God speaks by His Word, light shines and clouds are dispelled.  A calm there descends on the storm of our thoughts.

9. You will improve all your relationships.  The more we are distant from God, the more alienated we become with husbands, wives,  parents, children.  Back to God is back to family, back to community.

10. The doors to God’s house will one day close.   Now there is an open house.  Now there is easy access to this place of forgiveness, renewal, and restoration.  It is an oasis in a desert, available for all the thirsty to drink and be satisfied.  But not forever.  There is a day, unknown to men, in which God’s offers of grace and  mercy shall be withdrawn, and men shall then face a God-less eternity.  “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man.”  The doors then closed, and the rain fell.

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