Ecclesiology


A Shepherd’s Dilemma

Frankly, it's hard for any pastor, I suspect, to zero in on only one. Lots of things perplex, challenge, disturb, perhaps even dismay a shepherd of God's sheep. The one I feel the most more than not is trying to shepherd those with whom I can't seem to make contact. Proverbs 27:23 exhorts, "Know well the condition of your flocks and give attention to your herds." The writer's main application may well pertain to literal diligence on the farm, but I dare say any pastor worth his salt will make the connection that he should familiarize himself as well as he can with the ...

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A Shepherd's Dilemma

Frankly, it's hard for any pastor, I suspect, to zero in on only one. Lots of things perplex, challenge, disturb, perhaps even dismay a shepherd of God's sheep. The one I feel the most more than not is trying to shepherd those with whom I can't seem to make contact. Proverbs 27:23 exhorts, "Know well the condition of your flocks and give attention to your herds." The writer's main application may well pertain to literal diligence on the farm, but I dare say any pastor worth his salt will make the connection that he should familiarize himself as well as he can with the ...

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A Church “Do Your Best”

This week I am doing sermon prep in Ephesians 4:1-6 for a message in September, Lord willing. In the text the apostle exhorts believers who desire to live out a worthy walk in Jesus to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The word for “eager” is variously translated “make every effort” (2 Pet. 1:5) or “do your best” (2 Tim. 2:15). In other words, there are some things about life in gospel community that demand our all. Paul argues in Ephesians 4 for those called of Jesus to His glorious salvation and made part of His ...

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A Church "Do Your Best"

This week I am doing sermon prep in Ephesians 4:1-6 for a message in September, Lord willing. In the text the apostle exhorts believers who desire to live out a worthy walk in Jesus to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The word for “eager” is variously translated “make every effort” (2 Pet. 1:5) or “do your best” (2 Tim. 2:15). In other words, there are some things about life in gospel community that demand our all. Paul argues in Ephesians 4 for those called of Jesus to His glorious salvation and made part of His ...

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Why All the Fuss About an Ordination?

Call it fuss, call it hype, call it excitement, call it attention, call it what you will, this ordained pastor is jazzed about participating in setting apart another godly man for the ministry of the gospel this Sunday night. Lord willing, on January 19, 2014, 6 PM at OGC, Kevin Scott Wilhoit will become Rev. Kevin Scott Wilhoit. This, I am convinced, is the biggest of deals deserving all the fuss, hype, attention, and excitement an entire church can give to it. This begs the question, of course, why is that the case? I can think of at least three important reasons: ...

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Ten Reasons NOT to Become a Church Member

Sometimes I feel woefully inadequate persuading good-for-nothing-brick types to join a local church through positive arguments. For this post I decided to try the reverse psychology approach with ten good reasons why someone would NOT want to join a local church. One, you should not become a church member if you do not want your profession of faith in Jesus to be evaluated and deemed credible or not by a body of believers charged with determining, with God's help, who really does belong to the King as opposed to who might just be fooling himself (Matt. 7:21-23). Two, ...

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Why Churches Should Require Membership Covenants

Next week, Lord willing, OGC will take in a dozen new members. Note: for a biblical defense of the concept of church membership click here. We praise God for the new bunch of folks He has brought into our fellowship. Each of these saints has attended our membership class. They have completed an extensive application and submitted to an interview with two of our officers. They have been approved by the elders in a formal motion at a business meeting and so noted in the minutes. And without exception, each has signed a dated covenant of membership. Copies of that ...

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What Kind of Assistant Pastor We Should Want

I finished my Father's Day message for this year today. I selected Psalm 112 for my text. The writer commands us to praise God for the extraordinary blessing of a man who fears the Lord. I call that kind of man an awestruck man. The man who fears the Lord lives moment-by-moment in a reverent awe of God that shapes everything he does. As we prepare to interview on Saturday four men from our body for the assistant pastor of administration post opening this summer at OGC, we should concern ourselves with numerous issues related to character and skill, but none more than ...

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State of the Church 2012

I delivered this report at our annual meeting on Sunday night. I wanted to make it today's blog post in the interest of informing those who could not attend. Overall, I praise God that I sense before the Lord that the state of Orlando Grace is better than it ever has been for as long as I have served among her leadership in one way or another since January of 2001. I base that on the following considerations. First, we are at peace and have been so consistently for nearly ten years. Not only that, but our commitment to and proficiency in the biblical practices of ...

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A Biblical Vision for the Church

Pastor Mark Dever has a message from 1 Corinthians up on the audio portion of the 9Marks site. I listened to it last week. He entitled it A Biblical Vision for the Church. Essentially he argues that the church exists for God and that the thing that should constrain us more than anything else in terms of our participation in a local church is that perspective. From that starting point he goes on to articulate from various places in the epistle how the local church is to be three things: holy, unified, and loving. He reasons that because God Himself is these things, ...

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