WHI-1269 | The Lord is My Shepherd

Saturday, 01 Aug 2015

This week on the White Horse Inn we are continuing our series on sustainable church discipleship. In this program, we will be turning our focus from the shepherds to the sheep. What does it mean to be a properly guided sheep? Many of us will recall Psalm 23, but do many of us know what it means for Christ’s rod and staff to comfort us? What does it mean to be chastened by the Lord? What does this look like in a real church setting? What is church discipline? Is it purely negative?

Many people have wrongly seen Christian discipleship either as a purely doctrinal endeavor or as purely practical. In both cases a serious misunderstanding of Christ’s work is apparent. In the Scriptures we see a wonderful matrix of doctrine and practice that the Spirit of Christ uses to form and shape us like a wonderful gardener using a trellis to uphold a vine. How do pastors and elders function in God’s kingdom? What means does the Spirit use to form and shape the faith and love of the people of God? Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we discuss the goodness of church discipline as the supporting means of Christ’s rule.

“The bottom line in all that we’ve been saying here is that Christ cares for us by not only giving us a good bath and a good meal and by feeding us with his word each week. But he also goes out on the limb and finds us where we’re about to break off the limb and fall to our death. Jesus Christ is always walking around looking for us because we are always prone to wonder. If you don’t think you need this, if you don’t think that you need the Word, the sacraments and also the discipline of the church, do you really know what he has saved you from and do you really believe that you’re still like that, you’re still prone to wonder, you’re still a problem for Jesus?
“The good news is you’re a problem that he wanted to have and you have a loving father who cares about you too much to send his son to die for you and not take care of you afterwards. And so it is good news. It is good for us that he has provided in all of these ways. If he didn’t, then he just wouldn’t be the caring father that Scripture tells us that he is. And so, we continue the series sustainable churches because we think that without this kind of care, without this kind of shepherd and this kind of shepherding, we don’t have churches or Christian lives that are sustainable over the long haul.”
– Michael Horton
Church Government
We believe that this true Church must be governed by the spiritual polity which our Lord has taught us in His Word; namely, that there must be ministers or pastors to preach the Word of God and to administer the sacraments; also elders and deacons, who, together with the pastors, form the council of the Church; that by these means the true religion may be preserved, and the true doctrine everywhere propagated, likewise transgressors punished and restrained by spiritual means; also that the poor and distressed may be relieved and comforted, according to their necessities. By these means everything will be carried on in the Church with good order and decency, when faithful men are chosen, according to the rule prescribed by St. Paul in his Epistle to Timothy.
(Belgic Confession, Article 30)

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