From the Pastor’s Desk (4/13/2016)

Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,

We had a wonderful retreat this past weekend.  We missed all of you who were not able to make it and we are thankful for your prayers.  The Lord blessed us with beautiful weather, lots of fun and good fellowship, and some solid teaching on prayer.  We are already looking forward to next year.  Brothers and sisters, our Lord calls us to be people of prayer – men and women of prayer, boys and girls of prayer, families of prayer, and above all, a church of prayer!  Today, take some time to read and reflect on Paul’s prayer for the Colossians in Col 1:9-14 and Jesus’ teaching on prayer in Luke 11:5-13.  What is Paul’s chief burden for the Colossian Christians?  And what does Jesus teach us should be our mindset in prayer?
May Cornerstone be a church of prayer!  Prayer for one another!  Pray for God’s blessings on our church!  And pray for the spread of the gospel unto the glory of God!
Please note in particular the join evening service scheduled for May 15th!
  • Officer Training – we will continue our officer training session following worship this Sunday.
  • Presbytery Meeting – our Spring Presbytery meeting will be May 6-7 in Tyler, TX.
  • JOINT EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE – on May 15th, we will have a join worship service with Providence OPC.  We will be meeting at Birkes for worship; and will have Rev. Ben Hopp preaching.  Rev. Hopp is an OPC missionary in Haiti.  Please plan to join us for this evening of worship!
  • Devotion – this week’s devotion is a reflection from Gal 1 on the past and present aspects of our salvation.
God bless and I look forward to being back with all of you this Lord’s Day!

From the Pastor’s Desk

Mid-week Devotional

“Salvation Past and Present”

Galatians 1:15a, 16a, “But when he who has set me apart before I was born … was pleased to reveal his son to me.”


If someone were to ask you, “Why are you a Christian,” how would you answer?  Perhaps you might say, “I am a Christian because the Lord opened my eyes to see and to believe the gospel.”  And that would be an excellent answer.  Or perhaps you might say, “I am a Christian because the Lord set his love on me from eternity past, but only now have come to believe the good news of Christ.”  That also would be an excellent answer.  Indeed, these are the two points Paul highlights when giving his ‘testimony’ in Galatians 1:11-17.  Specifically, Paul writes these words in vv. 15-16: “But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles …”

There are three points I want to highlight in these verses.  First, Paul speaks of God’s ‘setting him apart’ before he was born.  God set his love and affection on Paul before he was born.  God sets his love and affection on all his people in eternity past.  In Romans 9, Paul writes that God had set apart Jacob and not Esau before they were born (Rom 9:10-13).  And in Ephesians 1, Paul writes that the Lord chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4).  This is the doctrine of God’s glorious electing love – a love he sets on his people from eternity past – from before the foundation of the world!

Second, the Bible teaches that we must repent and believe unto salvation (John 3:16; 8:24; Acts 16:31; Rom 10:9; Gal 2:16, 20; Rom 3:28).  Thus, God’s purposes in eternity are realized in time and space.  Those set apart before the foundation of the world will come to repent and believe as God effectually calls them by his word and Spirit.  Paul speaks of this when he writes, “[God] was pleased to reveal his son to me” (Gal 1:16a).  Here Paul is referencing his experience on the road to Damascus recorded in Acts 9:1-19.  As Paus was on the road to Damascus (to persecute the church interestingly enough), the Lord shined the light of the gospel into his heart; and Paul was convicted of his sin and turned to Christ by faith.  While many will not have such a ‘Damascus-like’ experience (although some will and do), the principle is the same.  God sets his love on his people in eternity past; yet in time and space He opens our eyes to see his grace and mercy in Christ (2 Cor 4:6; Acts 26:18).

Third, it is all of grace.  God’s election of his people is all of grace.  Paul says he was ‘called by grace.’  And God’s revealing his Son to us in our present experience is all of grace.  God was ‘pleased’ to reveal his Son to Paul.  It is all of grace.  Salvation – from first to last – from election in eternity to conversion in time – is all of grace.  It is by grace we are saved (Eph 2:8).  As Paul writes in Titus, “God saves us … according to his own mercy” (3:5).  Thus, brothers and sisters, how are we to respond to this truth?  We are to come low in worship!  To praise the God of our salvation!  To sing his praises!  To humbly bow before the God of all grace and mercy!  And we are to sow the seed of the gospel far and wide.  We are to tell others of this God of grace and mercy!  May we do this as his people!