Weekly Update: February 2, 2016

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Dear Family,

Sacraments were instituted and ordained by Christ to be a means of grace for the church. This Sunday, we have the joy of coming to the Table of our Lord for sweet spiritual refreshment in his body and blood. Our historic creeds and confessions provide wonderful summaries and reminders of our rich theology. The following excerpt comes from the Belgic Confession, Article 35:

Though Christ always sits at the right hand of his Father in the heavens, yet does he not therefore cease to make us partakers of himself by faith. This feast is a spiritual table, at which Christ communicates himself with all his benefits to us, and gives us there to enjoy both himself, and the merits of his sufferings and death, nourishing, strengthening and comforting our poor comfortless souls by the eating of his flesh, quickening and refreshing them by the drinking of his blood.

Our Lord Jesus Christ continually intercedes for us and makes us partakers of himself by faith. Even our participation in the Supper is by grace, and it is in this way we find spiritual strengthening as we live in the world for the glory of the gospel. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 (ESV),

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

This is a glorious picture of the transforming power of the gospel. In Christ, we no longer live under the dominion of sin but by the power of the Spirit. So family, be sure you prepare yourself for the Table through the reading of Scripture, prayer, and earnest granting and seeking forgiveness from the family of God.

Please pray for me as I will be speaking to Reformed University Fellowship students at the University of North Florida (Tommy Park's ministry) on Tuesday, February 9, on the topic: How Do We Know The Bible Is Reliable? The question is a critical one and deserves a thoughtful response. Please pray that I can present the answer to this question clearly and that the Lord would be glorified.

One final housekeeping note, sometimes folks like to email me concerning something I have written in the blog or simply to encourage me. If you would like to email me, please do so at paul@crosscreek.us. If you click "Reply" to the blog, your email is sent to info@crosscreek.us which goes to Debbie Koerner.

This Sunday in worship, we will seek to unpack the apostle Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV), "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." I hope you will join us.

Blessings,

Paul