Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church ... a Light to the Nation

Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church

Our Name: As a CHRISTIAN Church: We believe that the entire Bible is the authoritative and inspired Word of God. We hold that the historic Creeds shared by all Christian Churches, (the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed), the Reformed Confessions, (the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt) and the Westminster Confession as an accurate summary of the teachings of God's Word. The Church is Presbyterial in its form of Government, being governed by the Church Council, comprising the Minister(s), the Elders and the Deacons, as elected by the Church Membership. As a REFORMED Church: We are in the tradition of the historic Protestant Reformation. We believe the Bible to be our rule for faith and life. We believe that God saves us from our sin by Grave Alone. We believe that we receive the gift of eternal life only by faith in His only Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. As a CHURCH: We believe that we belong to Christ, as members of His body. We believe that He is our King, the Head and Saviour of His Church. We believe that He has called us to be His People, living out our faith in His Church and in His Kingdom. OUR VISION: We are a Christian Church that Loves God and others, Grows together in Christ, and Reaches the Lost
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Week’s theme: Show me your true faith

Today’s theme: True faith is alive

Read James 2:26: “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)
Death is a hopeless and sorrowful state. It literally brings everything to a standstill.
James says: “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
A dead faith is hopeless and sorrowful state. It brings some people’s so-called Christianity to a standstill. Yes, nothing happens with a dead faith. There are no signs of life.
A dead body without spirit must be laid to rest. No one can after all live with a dead body. A dead faith must also be buried.
A dead faith leads, as with physical death, to sorrow, despair and hopelessness for everyone around it. Dead faith has a hugely detrimental effect on a church, which is why loving discipline is one of the characteristics of a living church.
Our Lord Jesus conquered death. He lives and because we have been grafted into Him by true faith, we live with Him.
Faith that is alive is faith that grows. A growing faith needs nourishment. The Word of God that is proclaimed, by the power of the Spirit, is living bread for growing believers.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the life-giving power of Your Spirit. We pray that You will feed us with the bread of life that we may grow daily in faith. Amen

Danie de Kock Emeritus
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Week’s theme: Show me your true faith

Today’s theme: True faith takes courage

Read James 2:6-7: “But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)
It is easy to speak about faith, but it’s not so easy when it comes to doing.
Why is it often so difficult to practically live your faith? Practicing your faith is in direct conflict with the practices of the world. Yes, your and my conduct as believers radically differs from the unbeliever’s worldly actions. Wealth and status are oh so appealing to our sinful nature. It comes naturally to us to esteem the rich and disdain the poor.
We do indeed battle our sinful nature daily and that is why the apostle Paul writes:
(Gal. 5:17) "For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want."
It takes quite a bit of courage to go against the grain. Our Lord Jesus after all clearly warned us against the broad road to destruction. The road following Christ is narrow, leading to a small gate.
Believers live in accordance to God’s law. It takes courage and sacrifice.
We don’t have the courage ourselves to fully surrender to Christ and can only do so with the powerful guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Our Father, we are so easily led astray by the world. Guide us through Your Spirit to be willing to sacrifice it all for the sake of our King Jesus Christ. Amen

Danie de Kock Emeritus
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Week’s theme: Show me your true faith

Today’s theme: True faith shows the Lord is King

Read James 2:5: “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in die eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)
One of the most difficult things in life is to maintain the balance between our hate of sin and on the other hand our love for the committer of that sin.
Our Lord Jesus perfectly upheld this balance. He died for us when we were still sinners. He did so because of His infinite love for us (cf. Rom. 5:8)!
Listen to James’ question here: “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in die eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom...?”
In 1 Corinthians 1:28-31 the apostle Paul explains: “He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – no nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’” (Emphasis: Dr. D. de Kock)
The Lord is sovereign. He chooses us to know Him in His greatness and power.
He makes us new through the work of His Holy Spirit inside us that we may grab hold of our Lord Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer, in faith.
All of this is clear and irrefutable proof: The Lord is King in your and my life!
Prayer: We are so thankful, o Lord, for Your great love and unfathomable grace. You have made us Your possession. Teach us all the more how to live as citizens of Your kingdom. Amen

Danie de Kock Emeritus
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Week’s theme: Show me your true faith

Today’s theme: True faith isn’t blinded by appearances

Read James 2:1-4: “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favouritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine cloths and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)
James’ rebuke is brotherly. His readers are after all fellow believers in the Lord Jesus.
These fellow believers tend to look down on certain people.
It is not true faith. The seemingly poor and tattered at first glance is not inferior and the expensively dressed is not necessarily better.
James warns that such judgement is ill-considered.
True faith doesn’t distinguish between people. The law teaches to love your neighbour as yourself.
Our Lord Jesus tells us in Luke 6:35: “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
The apostle Paul even goes so far as to say: “...God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
True faith follows the wise counsel of the apostle Paul: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…taking the very nature of a servant” (cf. Phil. 2:5-7).
Prayer: Our heavenly Father, guide us by Your Spirit to not exalt ourselves. Teach us humility and to place others above ourselves. Amen

Danie de Kock Emeritus
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Read Colossians 1:15-20: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)

God, the Almighty Ruler and Creator was pleased to dwell in all His fullness in a human body!
How great the thought.
Why did He do so?
He did so to reconcile to Him a world that had turned its back on Him.
He comes and bears the full punishment of a world that wanted nothing to do with its Creator.
As such He restores peace and bears His own wrath over our sin.
You have been reconciled to Him that you may once again experience the peace of a life that is completely devoted and surrendered to Him.
On 25 December we look back on the day that He fulfilled His promise of centuries ago (Gen. 3:16) and became an infant that we may know Him and grab onto Him in faith.
The question remains: Do you know this Jesus? Do you daily seek greater knowledge of Him and of the reconciliation He brings. Do you hunger and thirst to understand it better and experience it more deeply?
Don’t miss the actual celebration of Christmas! Use this festive season to indeed do so.
Prayer: Almighty God, soon we will be commemorating the day You in Your awesome grace became flesh and subjected Yourself to the ultimate consequence of our rebelliousness. Thank You, Lord Jesus for bringing reconciliation for me, for the world. Peace has been restored between you and me because You bore in my place the full punishment for my rebellious selfish deeds. I want to live in this peace, once again devote myself to You, know You better and better. Come and answer this prayer as You promised You would. Amen

Thomas Dreyer
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Read Colossians 1:15-20: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)

This Jesus who Paul praises as the Creator of all things; as the One gives purpose and meaning to our life; who holds all things together that it may not fall apart due to sin; this Jesus is also the beginning and head of the church.
It makes being church, being the body of Jesus, here on earth important!
I cannot attend church, go to church. I am the church, I have been grafted into Him as member of His body or I am not.
Jesus endured death and rose again with the idea that His body would follow and rise together again.
One day we’ll do so physically, but we can through the power of the Holy Spirit already here and now rise out of our selfishness and die to our idols and confess and worship Him as the Firstborn, the One who has supremacy over everything and everyone.
Do you seek to rise this way from the dead and start living? Anew or perhaps for the first time? Pray with:
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for bringing me life with Your death and resurrection that I may be a member of Your body. Lord, help me to view my church as a living organism, a body of which I am a member, and not an event or institution that I occasionally attend or visit. Work inside me that I may live church, may love my fellow members as I love You, because they are Your body. Amen

Thomas Dreyer