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Category Archives: John MacArthur

Sermon Builder

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Eph. 4:11-14 ESV)

Building from my last post I wanted to just bring to attention a ministry that is focused on the equipping of the saints and doing what the apostle Paul is exhorting the Ephesian church to do. Specifically in church leadership.

Shepherd’s Fellowship is a ministry of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Ca. You may have heard of this church. If not you’ve no doubt heard of their senior pastor John MacArthur. Grace Community Church (GCC) and John MacArthur have been focused on equipping the saints for over 40 years. One of the tools they have been using, to the glory of God, is Shepherd’s Fellowship. Through this ministry you also have Shepherd’s Conference which is a church leadership conference GCC hosts every spring, and Resolved Conference, a cutting edge conference for college students and career singles. I can speak from experience for the Shepherd’s Conference. I’ve been twice. A few years ago Shepherd’s Fellowship began publishing a website designed for church pastors and leaders. The website is dedicated to providing resources for those who are called to this leadership responsibility. On the website you find the ministry tag-line:

The Shepherds’ Fellowship is an association of churches rallying around the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, the importance of expository preaching, and the centrality of a biblical philosophy of ministry.

The fellowship serves as both a resource and an encouragement for pastors and Christian leaders around the globe.

Just recently I noticed on the website under “Resources” a nice tool that provides preachers and teachers a step-by-step guide for putting together expository sermons1 . The tool is called “Sermon Builder“. It walks you through the five phases of sermon development. These phases are Introduction, Preparation, Precision, Production, and Presentation. If you are new to preparing sermons or would just like some guidance in doing so you can’t go wrong here. This ministry is dedicated and focused on encouraging church leaders to be Christ-centered and gospel-centered. To be the best God-ordained preachers and teachers you were called out for. The sermon builder would be a great resource for you.

1Expository sermons are sermons that expound on the particular meaning of a text or passage of scripture.

 

The Marks of a Godly Man – Mark 2: Pursue godliness.

In Mark 1 of a godly man we learned that a man of God is to flee from the lust of money and it’s influences on our life. The apostle Paul follows up this command with an exhortation to:

Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (1 Tim. 6:11b)

This is the the topic of my second posting in this series and the second mark of a godly man. These marks can be found in a sermon by John MacArthur called “4 Marks of the Man of God“. The structure of this verse in 1 Timothy is perfect because after a don’t command is given we are given a do command. If we are command to flee from something we, in turn, should be running after something. The greek verb for “pursue” actually tranlates to “follow after”. We are commanded to flee from the temporary lures of this world and to follow after the eternal in righeousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. In his sermon John MacArthur focuses on the godliness in these attributes we are to pursue, and so will I.

Godliness is about thinking rightly. We need to allow God to sanctify our minds and hearts and cultivate godliness. The apostle Paul obviously considers godliness to be critical to the man who desires to serve God as a church leader. So much so that he mentions godliness nine times in the pastoral epistles known as 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. The godliness Paul was pursuing influenced him to write: 

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:27 ESV)

The NIV replaces the word “discipline” with “beat”. Paul’s attitude was to beat back the natural desires of the flesh in order to keep from being disqualified as a preacher and bring shame on the Lord. This is serious business. I’ll leave this posting with a quote MacArthur uses to conclude this mark. It is a quote from Charles Bridges. (circa 1794 – 1869):

If we should study the Bible more as ministers than as Christians, more to find matter for the instruction of our people than food for the nourishment of our own souls, we neglect to place ourselves at the feet of our divine teacher. Our communion with Him is cut off and we become mere formalists in sacred profession. We cannot feed ourselves by feeding others.

 

Purity in the church

Tonight while surfing the Internet and watching the nasty weather outside I came across a story on Foxnews.com that puritycaught my eye. The headline read “Sinner In Love”, but it was the subheading that really caught my attention. It read “Church to expose Florida woman for ‘Immoral’ relations with boyfriend.” The story is about a woman who is involved in the process of church discipline. You know, the type of discipline hardly ever observed in the local church today. Except for the more faithful churches, this kind of discipline is deemed too harsh in most evangelical churches. God’s word teaches Christians to be holy as He is holy. God also teaches us in 1 Corinthians 7 that we should

cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Many years ago I first learned about church discipline from Dr. John MacArthur Jr. through his sermons on tape. To me it sounded so harsh and alien because I had never seen it practiced. At least not practiced correctly, and certainly not out of love and for the restoration of the one involved in sin. MacArthur’s church, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and our church here in Omaha at Omaha Bible Church both believe that the church must enforce the standard of purity within the local church. We implement church discipline in that if someone sins, we confront him or her for their own good and the good of the church as a whole.

The article on Foxnews.com mentions the three steps involved in church discipline. The three steps come from Matthew 18:15-17. Does your church practice this necessary discipline in order to maintain the purity in the church? What do you do if you find out that someone in your congregation is living in sin with someone else? Do you confront them on love? If you do, where do you take it from there if they do not repent of this sin? The bible is very clear what should be done to preserve the purity of the church and for the ultimate restoration of the sinner.

Please be in prayer for this church in Jacksonville, Florida. Pray for the member to repent and for the leadership there. I emailed the article link to my senior pastor this evening and he replied back that the senior pastor is a friend and like him a graduate of The Master’s Seminary.

The article also mentioned above is linked here.

 

Is this really a church?

After reading all of the bloggers comments surrounding the John MacArthur and Doug Padgitt debate on Christians and Yoga, I found a little video of Doug Pagitt introducing his church. I use that term church loosely of course. I remember someone at Shepherd’s Conference asking John MacArthur if he was offended by a local church with the same name as the one he pastors, Grace Community Church? His response was “I don’t care so much that they use the same name what I do care about is that they use the term church.” This would be the case here. Please watch the video at the link below, and comment it you like.

Solomon’s Porch

HT: fourpointer

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2007 in Doug Pagitt, emergent, John MacArthur, Solomon's Porch