Starting back with the Gospel of Mark has been quite fun and rewarding. As we dive deeper into the text, we’re going to come up against some teaching that strikes many to the core. As Paul told Timothy, Scripture is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Whenever we come upon a text that is jarring, shattering, and offensive to us, that’s God’s way of getting our attention. The more we wrestle with and apply the teachings of Scripture, the better, more faithful Christians we’ll become.
Our youth group is no stranger to expository teaching! We’ve started meeting weekly so that I can walk our youth through the details of Scripture, just like on Sunday mornings but at a smaller scale. When crossing a stream, we often look for big stones upon which to walk, so as to minimize getting too wet. That is what I am doing for youth group. We’re crossing the wide, deep, and swift waters of Paul’s Letter to the Romans by utilizing the stepping stones of his theology. This book provides much of the foundations for Christian thought and life and is necessary for our youth to grasp as they look toward the next chapter of life.
Bible Study went off on a good start. The Westminster Confession of Faith is a heavy and lengthy summary of Scripture and theology (though its length is but a blink when compared to Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion or Hodge’s Systematic Theology). Yet, it remains a vital document for Reformed theology. Using the expository style of preaching, I am taking a systematic, chapter-by-chapter look at the Confession, where it is grounded in Scripture, and how it relates to us in the 21st Century. I am deeply indebted to Dr. R. C. Sproul, whose book Truths We Confess is my road map throughout this study series. His book and many other resources can be found online at Ligonier.org.
The new Wednesday evening prayer service was also a good success. This service is much more casual and contemporary. Because of the pandemic, we are not having regular prayer fellowship (which met Wednesday mornings in my study). This service will take the place of that fellowship. We offer up prayers of supplication on behalf of the church and the world. Like everything else, this service is not devoid of expository preaching. During the fall and winter seasons, I am taking us through 49 commands of Christ. These various commands are Jesus’ instructions and desires for our righteous living. It is important for us to know and understand what our Savior expects of us.