Together on Purpose

KINGSJSv3Here at King’s Church, we practice “Family Integrated Worship,” where families attend our Sunday worship service together (rather than children or teens attending their own meetings separate from their parents). The only exception we see to this (both now and in the future) is to provide a safe place for the under 3’s in a nursery. However, we do not wish to segregate older children and teens from the rest of the congregation – sending them off to different rooms or buildings. Instead, on earth, as it is in heaven, young and old together, with one voice in unity, we the gathered people of God seek to proclaim His praises and hear His word together.

We do not make the claim that our way of worshiping is the only valid way to do Church on the Lord’s Day. Indeed, we believe there are times when it is entirely appropriate for specialized ministry to take place. One Biblical example of this is that older women are exhorted to teach the younger women (Titus 2:3-5), which presumably means that men are excluded from such a gathering.

However, while in no way wishing to be divisive or suggest, even for a moment, that we are the only Church in town obeying God, we practice “Family Integrated Worship” because of certain convictions we have.

At church together.

At church together.


As we examine the Biblical data we find that throughout the centuries, this has been the normal way in which the people of God have gathered. This is clear from both the Old and New Testaments.

Deuteronomy 31: 11-13 reads, “When all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

Joshua 8:35 says, “There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.”

Ezra 10: 1 While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly.

These and other scriptures testify to the fact that when God’s people assembled, it was normal for children to be included.

In the New Testament, children were present during Christ’s preaching and teaching ministry (Matthew 14:13-21).

When Paul wrote to the Church at Ephesus, he included a message for the children (Eph. 6:1-3). In doing so, a clear assumption was in his mind; that when his letter was read to the gathered Church, children would be present in the service to hear it. The same assumption can be found in Colossians 3:20, where we read, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

In recent decades, many have practiced a very different model for doing Church, something called “age segregated worship” where the family is split up, fragmented and isolated from each other in the service. We have now had a great deal of time to assess the long term effects and fruit of such ministry. The results are in and what we have observed has not been good. While church growth did occur, at least initially in the short term; when teens become adults we see a severe lack of participation in the life of the local church. The percentage of teens in youth ministry who make the transition to regular, ongoing participation in the local Church as adults, is alarmingly low. That is tragic and heart breaking!

In the light of this, we need to ask an important question:

Could it be that the model we have used may be a big factor in this?

We believe so. Continue reading

The Atonement: The Strongest Refutation of Rome’s Eucharistic Errors

G3 Conference 2017

Dr. James White – The Atonement: The Strongest Refutation of Rome’s Eucharistic Errors

Soli Deo Gloria: To God Alone Be the Glory

sproul877Article by Dr. R. C. Sproul. Original source here.

Soli Deo gloria is the motto that grew out of the Protestant Reformation and was used on every composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. He affixed the initials SDG at the bottom of each manuscript to communicate the idea that it is God and God alone who is to receive the glory for the wonders of His work of creation and of redemption. At the heart of the sixteenth-century controversy over salvation was the issue of grace.

It was not a question of man’s need for grace. It was a question as to the extent of that need. The church had already condemned Pelagius, who had taught that grace facilitates salvation but is not absolutely necessary for it. Semi-Pelagianism since that time has always taught that without grace there is no salvation. But the grace that is considered in all semi-Pelagian and Arminian theories of salvation is not an efficacious grace. It is a grace that makes salvation possible, but not a grace that makes salvation certain.

In the parable of the sower we see that regarding salvation, God is the one who takes the initiative to bring salvation to pass. He is the sower. The seed that is sown is His seed, corresponding to His Word, and the harvest that results is His harvest. He harvests what He purposed to harvest when He initiated the whole process. God doesn’t leave the harvest up to the vagaries of thorns and stones in the pathway. It is God and God alone who makes certain that a portion of His Word falls upon good ground. A critical error in interpreting this parable would be to assume that the good ground is the good disposition of fallen sinners, those sinners who make the right choice, responding positively to God’s prevenient grace. The classical Reformed understanding of the good ground is that if the ground is receptive to the seed that is sown by God, it is God alone who prepares the ground for the germination of the seed.

The biggest question any semi-Pelagian or Arminian has to face at the practical level is this: Why did I choose to believe the gospel and commit my life to Christ when my neighbor, who heard the same gospel, chose to reject it? That question has been answered in many ways. We might speculate that the reason why one person chooses to respond positively to the gospel and to Christ, while another one doesn’t, is because the person who responded positively was more intelligent than the other one. If that were the case, then God would still be the ultimate provider of salvation because the intelligence is His gift, and it could be explained that God did not give the same intelligence to the neighbor who rejected the gospel. But that explanation is obviously absurd.

The other possibility that one must consider is this: that the reason one person responds positively to the gospel and his neighbor does not is because the one who responded was a better person. That is, that person who made the right choice and the good choice did it because he was more righteous than his neighbor. In this case, the flesh not only availed something, it availed everything. This is the view that is held by the majority of evangelical Christians, namely, the reason why they are saved and others are not is that they made the right response to God’s grace while the others made the wrong response. Continue reading

The Best Use Of Your Time

Text: Ephesians 5:11-16

The rich, the poor, the successful and the unsuccessful – everyone of us gets the same amount of time each day. 24 hours. 1,440 minutes. Time cannot be stopped, captured, repossessed, bought, slowed down, managed or controlled. We cannot change time but we can change our priorities, in order to make the best use of it. Here’s how we can do that.

The Uniqueness of Christian Service

love01By David Wells

This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine (original source here).

Serving is not, of course, uniquely Christian. Indeed, the language of service has popped up everywhere in our society. To access the Internet, for example, we must have a network service provider. In business, there is a service sector. We get bills for professional services rendered. In our stores, there is customer service. When the gas gets low in our cars, we head for a service station. In our nation, we have the armed services. Wealthy households pay for domestic service. The rest of us wonder if we can afford lawn service.

So, does any of this help us to understand Christian service? The short answer is “no.”

Christian service is unique for three reasons. First, it is unique in its source. That source is our redemption in Christ. Second, it is unique in its objective, which is to model, as far as is possible, Christ’s kind of servanthood. Third, it is unique in its character, for it is motivated by God’s holy-love. Although these are each important, it is on the third that I must focus here.

First, then, I need to explain what I have in mind by the term holy-love. Second, I will explore its connection to our service.

God’s Holy-love

Light breaks down into its rainbow colors when it passes through a prism. In a similar way, God’s love and His holiness are also broken out into different aspects in Scripture. Within His love, for example, we can distinguish mercy, forbearance, kindness, and compassion. And within His holiness, we can see righteousness, faithfulness, justice, judgment, and wrath. God’s holy-love is shorthand for His entire character.

What this hyphenated language does is remind us that God’s character is whole. The God who “is love” (1 John 4:8) is always, everywhere, and at the same time, the God who is a “consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29) and the One who is “light” (1 John 1:5). When we meet God, we meet Him in the wholeness of His character. His judgment, for example, is always preceded by His patience. It is always shadowed by His mercy. His love, in its bond with what is true and right, always accompanies, is always a part of, His holiness.

We are tempted to want one side of His character without the other. We want His love without His wrath, His compassion without His judgment, His mercy without His righteousness. Indeed, the liberalism that has now brought down the mainline denominations did this. It insisted that Christ’s death was only about God’s love and never about His wrath. That meant that Christ’s death was only an example and never an atonement. The reality, of course, was entirely different. God’s love provided in Christ’s death what God’s holiness required. Thus, Christ’s love took Him to the place where He stood in our place of judgment. His death was an atonement, not just an example. We never know God’s love except in its union with His holiness.

How This Works Out

Christian service is about how our redemption in Christ comes into flower in this world. It is what puts hands and feet and lips to God’s holy-love. Once we had as our life’s goal only ourselves. Our self-interest defined our worldview. Now this has changed. Now we are living a new kind of existence (2 Cor. 5:17). It is not one that is self-focused but one that is God-centered, not one that is self-pleasing but one that is open to others. And it is God’s holy-love that motivates this new direction even as it is Christ’s death that makes it possible.

We take the gospel to others because, Paul says, “the love of Christ controls us” (2 Cor. 5:14). But that is not our sole motivation. A little earlier he had said, “knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others” (2 Cor. 5:11). In other words, it is God’s holy-love that motivates us. It is love that feels the painful breakdown in life that sin has brought. It is holiness that understands how wrong this is. It is love that draws us to the side of another. It is holiness that yearns for the day when the world will be cleansed of all that is dark. And the gospel connects with both of these things. It is a message about deliverance from God’s coming judgment, and it is a message about His redemptive love in human life now. This love touches our sin as grace. Love and holiness thus walk hand-in-hand.

There are a thousand ways in which we can serve Christ. Some serve in places of high visibility and others in places of obscurity. It matters not. What matters is that in our service to Christ, another world is seen to be breaking into our everyday life. From this other world come shafts of light, of love in its union with what is holy, love as an expression of what is holy. In this sense, everyone who belongs to Christ is an outpost of eternity in this world. God calls His people so to live, so to serve, that they are themselves the evidence that the age to come is already dawning. That evidence is the presence of holy-love.

Romans with Steve Lawson

Dr. Steve Lawson is currently teaching a Men’s Bible study that is being made available to a wider audience to watch online. Sadly, it seems that the first such recording in Romans was not captured on video (or at least, I cannot find it). However, I have tracked down a preaching he did entitled “The Gospel as Historical Fact” which covered these same exact verses (Romans 1:1-7) here:

Then for the continuation of Romans in the Men’s Bible study, it starts at the very next verse (Romans 1:8). You can go to this link and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find it.

The Daring Mission of William Tyndale

In this session, Dr. Steven J. Lawson traces the daring mission of William Tyndale, who was used by God to ignite the English Reformation, which ultimately cost Tyndale his life.

A fuller teaching by Dr. Steve Lawson, including notes on PDF are found at this link.

Issues for the Western Church in the 21st Century

Dr. Carl Truman

Grace Theological College, New Zealand – July 2015

Session 1 – The Issues Facing Us Today

Session 2: Preaching

Session 3: The Importance of Creeds and Confessions