So often people think of the sacrament of circumcision as a physical sign while baptism is a sign of Spiritual renewal. So, these signs might point to Christ, but they have radically different intentions. When we survey scripture we find that this is not necessarily a true distinction with circumcision being physical while baptism is spiritual. In fact, Moses teaches that one being uncircumcised is stating that one is not walking in power of the Lord. So, can we really say that circumcision is not a spiritual sign?
The Apostle Paul speaks Abraham first having faith and then receiving he sign. This would seem that the sacraments are a sign of our faith rather than a sign of the covenant. This has profound implications because this would mean that first we would profess our faith and then receive the sacrament. So, why would we as reformed people baptize infants if this contradicts the Apostle Paul? Why would infants potentially receive the sign if they have not first professed faith like Abraham did?
We have been considering at the language of the Belgic Confession that identifies the preaching of the Gospel as a mark of the true church. If the reformers claim that a mark of the church the the preaching of the gospel then why does Paul exhort Timothy to preach the word? Does our confession need to be rewritten? Does Paul understand the preaching of the word to be the preaching of the Gospel?
Our confession does not merely say that we preach the word, but we preach the Gospel. Why not have a mature church that no longer needs the Gospel because they have advanced beyond it. Then we could have churches that are more geared to young Christians. What basis do we have to preach the gospel for all members of Christ’s church?
Jacob leaves home sent away as a covenantal fugitive to fend for himself at his uncle’s house. He is left alone in the deserve literally stripped of everything that he valued. Is all lost? What can Jacob’s vision in the midst of his existential crises teach us about preaching and the gospel message?
The disciples should understand that Christ predicts his suffering, dying, and being raised up to life. When Christ talked about this part of his ministry Christ really means that he is sent to suffer, die, and to be raised up to life. The disciples and the women who were around Jesus missed this central truth. How does Christ react after his resurrection? How does Christ’s reaction put our worship into perspective and show our parting from worship to be so consoling?
If we already know the gospel then why do we need to hear about our sins being forgiven? Why would we want to talk about the forgiveness of our sins week after week?
We have a time of confession at the beginning of our worship service. As we join together in this time we might wonder why we would engage in such a practice. Why would we confess our sins if we are forgiven in the Lord? Why would we join together to confess our sins in a worship service?
The Lord calls His people to worship Him. This is something that we understand and assume in Christian worship, but why would we invoke or call upon the name of our God? If we know that we are worshipping Him anyway it seems that we are going to do the right thing no matter what. So, what is the significance of this invocation?
The Lord gives His greeting to the Corinthian church through the Apostle Paul. We might think that this is standard, but what does this greeting tell us about our worship today? What does this greeting tell us about the Christian church today? What can this greeting teach us about our Worship?