FCQ. 118 – What do we pray fifth? "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."
FCQ. 119 – What does it mean to pray, "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors"? We are asking God to forgive our sins for Christ's sake, and to make us willing to forgive others.
Shorter Catechism Questions:
SCQ. 100 – What does the preface of the Lord's Prayer teach us? The preface of the Lord's Prayer, which is, Our Father in heaven, teaches us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.
Our good friend Samuel, the prophet, is back! He had disappeared for two whole chapters while the Lord prepared Israel for his leadership and for revival. Now they are ready for him and God is ready to revive his people. He is going to revive his people by opening their eyes to see his mercy. And it is on the basis of his mercy that his people respond.
I.Starting with the End: A Transition, 7:15-17.
A.He judged Israel even after Saul became king, 15.
B.Even his rule was localized to the territory of Benjamin – evident by his circuit, 16.
C.He made his ancestral home the seat for his "government," 17.
D.These verses work as a transition between the time of the judges in Israel to the first king – a king like the nations.
II.Preparing for God's Mercy, 7:2-6.
A.Repentance is always present when people are ready to receive God's mercy, 2-3.
B.The call to repentance is a means by which God brings change to his people, 4.
C.Prayer is also present when the people of God are ready to receive his mercy, 5-6.
D.And the Lord rewards their repentance and prayer with an attack by the Philistines.
E.In and through the attack, the people of God experience God's mercy.
III.Experiencing God's Mercy, 7:7-11.
A.Any time the church is serious about the Lord, the Philistines will attack.
B.You may be asking, "How can an attack by their mortal enemies be an experience in God's mercy?"
C.In prayer, they experience the mercy of God, 9-11.
IV.Remembering God's Mercy, 7:12-14.
A.After the battle of Ebenezer, Israel experienced relative peace for the years to come, 13-14.
B.Samuel didn't want Israel to forget the mercy of the Lord, so he sets up a monument, 12.
C.At this point one might say, "I can see how the Lord was merciful to them in this immediate context, but to say that he has always helped them to that point is not true. How about chpt. 4? Or, the years in the wilderness? Or, 400 years of slavery in Egypt? How are those things the help of God?"
D.When we believe in what the Bible says concerning God's love for us, every single day is an Ebenezer day.
E.All these Ebenezers, all this evidence of God's mercy, will empower us to rejoice in the Lord even in the midst of the most horrific afflictions in this life.
Men, be sure to save Saturday, March 7 at 8am for the beginning of our book study. We'll be going through J.I. Packer's book Concise Theology. http://olympiabp.blogspot.com/2015/02/save-date-mens-book-study-3715-8am.html
FCQ. 124 – Who appointed these sacraments? The Lord Jesus Christ.
FCQ. 125 – Why did Christ appoint these sacraments? To mark us off from the world, and to give us comfort and strength.
Shorter Catechism Questions:
SCQ. 103 – What do we pray for in the third petition? In the third petition, which is, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven, we pray that God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
On the occasion of a covenant baptism such as today, our minds are often drawn to the blessing of children, the raising of children, and the place of children in our lives and in the ministry of the church.Since our minds are already naturally drawn that way, it will do us good to consider the place of children in the church and our duties toward them.
It is virtually universal in Christianity that a church must minister to children.Why is that?Because the children are our future?That's part of it.Because ministering to children brings families in?I hope not.The main reason there is this virtually universal desire to minister to children in the Church of Jesus Christ is because they are part of the Body of Christ.This truth goes often unnoticed because it may not fit in some systems of doctrine, but it is almost impossible to get away from the practical applications of it.As a matter of fact, the practice of ministering to children in the Church of Jesus Christ is often much closer to biblical truth than the system of doctrine held by the particular local congregation or individual.
I.Why? They Are Part of the Body of Christ
A.Paul addresses them as such.
B.Paul's instructions follow logically from Jesus's practice.
C.Jesus, and subsequently Paul, acted this way because they understood the promises of God in the New Covenant.
D.Can you show me where these promises are?
E.The Children of God's people are in covenantal union with Christ and are part of his body, the Church.
F.Perceived dangers of this doctrine
G.The effect of this doctrine on Paul:Your children are covenantally united to Christ, so raise them in the gospel.
II.Why Baptize Them?Because the Bible Tells Me So.
A.Let me ask you this: does the Bible say anywhere that babies must not be baptized?
B.The Bible teaches that children of believers should be baptized by equating the significance of baptism with the significance of circumcision.
III.How Do We Raise, Then? Paideia and Nouthesia of the Lord
A.Bring them up
B.In or by the training of the Lord.
C.In or by the admonition of the Lord.
D.The parent who knows that his/her child is covenantally united to Christ will keep the Gospel ever before his/her child because he knows that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
E.If a parent claims the doctrine of God's covenant faithfulness as the reason for his complacency in raising his children in the Lord and in the Gospel, he is twice a child of hell and does not understand the Scriptures at all.
Let me end with this, "The very heart of Christian nurture is this: to bring the heart of the child to the heart of his Savior." Hendriksen
Parents, it is your duty before God to do whatever you can to influence your children in the Gospel.One of the dumbest thing a parent can say or believe is that he is supposed to let his children decide for themselves who they are and what they believe.If you, as a parent do that, I guarantee you, you will be the only person in the entire world acting that way toward your children.
By now you might be saying, "I have failed miserably."If you are there, rejoice!That's the best place to be in order to receive the grace of God.Parenting, like everything else in life, can only be done by losing your life in Jesus Christ.Jesus says that in our weakness his grace is magnified and we are made strong.So if you know you have failed miserably, repent, open your eyes to the grace of God, and nurture and admonish your children the best you can.
"The very heart of Christian nurture is this: to bring the heart of the child to the heart of his Savior."