From the Pastor’s Desk (4/29/2015)

Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,

We had a wonderful time on the retreat with Providence OPC this past weekend.  The Lord blessed us with good weather (thankfully the rain in the morning stayed away in the afternoons) and good times together.  We are already looking forward to next year’s retreat.  Moreover, I know you were blessed by Pastor York’s ministry this past Lord’s Day.  We greatly missed our church family and eagerly and joyfully look forward to seeing everyone and to worshipping our Lord together this Lord’s Day.

A few announcements:

  • TONIGHT we will gather at the VanTubergen’s home at 7:00 to continue our study through Galatians.


  • THIS SUNDAY we will collect the deacon’s offering and will celebrate the Lord’s Supper.


  • We will enjoy a catered fellowship meal this Sunday.  We want to celebrate our mothers a week early to Mother’s Day … so plan to stay after worship for some good food and fellowship.


  • The ladies’ Mugs n’ Muffins is scheduled for next Saturday, May 9th at 9:00.  Location TBA.


  • Continue to be in prayer regarding a future church plant in South Houston.  Pray the Lord would raise up his sheep in that area.


  • Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is pat II in the series “How to understand our Bibles.” 

Have a blessed week and weekend.

From the Pastor’s Desk

Mid-week Devotional

“Understanding Your Bibles, part II”

Matthew 5:21, 22; 7:28, 29, “‘You have heard that it was said … But I say to you’ … and the crowds were astonished at [Jesus’] teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.”

How are we to understand our Bibles? What Biblical principles should we employ in determining the meaning of a particular passage of Scripture? These questions center on the practice of ‘hermeneutics’ – or Biblical interpretation. And last week we examined briefly the first principle in this series, the principle of reading our Bibles ‘Christologically.’ That is, Christ is the center of God’s revelation – he is the sum and substance of the Scriptures – and thus, we are to read our Bibles through ‘Christ-centered’ lenses. But what does this mean? What does this look like? Below are a few examples of a Christ-centered reading of the word of God.

The prophets. The prophet was the mouthpiece of the Lord – he brought the revelation of God to the people of God. And the continual refrain of the prophet, “Thus says the Lord,” underscores this truth. The prophet did not bring his own word; rather he was commissioned and called to bring the word of God to the people of God (e.g. Jer 1:4-10). Ultimately, Jesus is the great prophet of God, par excellence. He is the very image of God (Col 1:15) and the very word of God (John 1:1-18). Thus while the prophets must proclaim, “Thus says the Lord,” Christ proclaims, “But I say unto you” (e.g. Matt 5:22, 28, 32, etc.). Indeed Jesus is the full, final, and climactic revelation of God to his people (John 14:9; Heb 1:1-3). So, for example, when we read the word of God was ‘rare’ in the days of Samuel (1 Sam 3:1); we can rejoice that the word of God is not ‘rare’ today, rather God in Christ has revealed himself to us once and for all.

The Priesthood and the sacrificial system. The role of the priest centered around the tabernacle and later the temple in Jerusalem. He offered prayers on behalf of the people and he oversaw the sacrifices offered on the altar. And just as Christ is the great and final prophet, so also he is our great high priest. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He is the true temple – the true meeting place of God and man (John 2:18-22). But Jesus is not just the priest – he is also the sacrifice. He is both the offeror and the offering. And whereas the sacrifices under the Old Covenant were offered day after day and year after year, Christ offered himself once for all, and has sat down at the right hand of the Father on high (Heb 7:27; 8:1-13; 9:11-12, 27-28; 10:10-14 … the Book of Hebrews expounds the priesthood of Christ in the greatest detail). Thus, the entirety of the cultic system in Israel points forward to and finds its fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Monarchy. The kings in Israel were God’s ordained instrument to promote truth and justice, and to lead Israel into war. But again, just as the Lord Jesus Christ is the true and final prophet and priest; so also he is the true and final king. Christ is the once and for all bringer of justice and he is the one who conquers his enemies, the enemies of sin, death, and Satan (1 John 3:8; Col 2:15; Heb 2:14, 15; 1 Cor 15:54-57; Rev 19:11-21). Thus for example, when we read of David’s mighty exploits as Israel’s king (e.g. David’s victory over Goliath), we should first and foremost think of such exploits as foreshadowing Christ’s greater victory. And when we read of the sin and failure of Israel’s kings, we should rejoice in Christ our perfect and sinless king. Brothers and sisters, Christ is our great prophet, priest, and king – and the word of God centers on his glorious person and work – the Son of God come in the flesh to save sinners and to defeat the evil one. May we rejoice in Him today!!