Archive for October, 2015

What kind of church do we want Cornerstone to be? Do we want to be a “Christian ghetto church” that withdraws from the community, concerned only about the people we have and those who happen to find us? Are there not ways that we intentionally can share Christ with others? Perhaps we can open our homes to unbelievers and lead conversations to aspects of the gospel, something the Lord would use to soften hearts and draw unbelievers unto himself.

Are there ways that we can inform others of some of our beliefs? There really are Christians looking for “a Cornerstone,” but they don’t really know that we exist. Oh, they may know there is a church called “Cornerstone,” but they don’t realize that we hold to Reformed doctrine. How can we better get that word out?

Unfortunately, many who are satisfied with today’s typical Baptist church culture assume that’s what we are. When they visit, they discover otherwise and don’t return. Others are looking for a Reformed fellowship and assume that we are basically the same as any other Baptist church, so they don’t even look into Cornerstone to learn what we’re about. How can we better inform the community? Don’t assume they know. Most do not.

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Thinking about prayer, Alistair Begg has shared some useful observations about prayer that we should find helpful:

“If our prayer is meager, it is because we regard it as supplemental and not fundamental.

“We can do more than pray after we have prayed but not until we have prayed.

“We do not pray for the work. Prayer is the work and preaching is gathering up the results.

“God does not delay to hear our prayers because he has no mind to give; but that by enlarging our desires, he may give us the more largely” (William Philip, Why We Pray, 16).

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Dr. Ray Ortlund, pastor of Immanual Church in Nashville, Tennessee, addresses a fundamental issue confronting American churches, and this is certainly true of many, many Baptist churches: ““The need of our times is the re-Christianization of our churches, according to the gospel alone, in both doctrine and culture, by Christ himself. Nothing less than the beauty of Christ will suffice today, though what a renewed church will look like may, at present, lie beyond our imaginations” (The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ, 18-19).

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Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse [1895-1960], longtime pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, commented on the sad case of Cain: “He started with human reason as opposed to divine revelation; he continued in human willfulness instead of divine will; he opposed human pride to divine humility; he sank to human hatred instead of rising to divine love; he presented human excuses instead of seeking divine grace; he went into wandering instead of seeking to return; he ended in human loneliness instead of in divine fellowship. To be alone without God is the worst thing that earth can hold, to go thus into eternity is, indeed, the second death” (Genesis, 38-39).

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Jesus says some things about discipleship that are shocking to twenty-first-century ears and rarely repeated in pulpits. For instance, Jesus said, “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law” (Luke 12:49–53). We must not think casually about following Jesus.


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