April 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
1 Corinthians 5:7-8; Romans 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; * therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, * but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.
Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; * death hath no more dominion over him.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once; * but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, * but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.
Christ is risen from the dead, * and become the first fruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, * by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, * even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.
March 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
To participate in liturgy is to participate in theology. It is to think God’s thoughts after Him. It is to hear His call and to respond in community with His gathered body. It is to participate in Kingdom life.
March 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
The Lord’s Day is a Christian mystery or, if one prefers, an expression of the one Christian Paschal Mystery. In the full observance of the First Day of the week, we are not only taught the doctrines of creation, redemption, and sanctification, we not only remember them, but we enter into them, or reenter them. We ourselves experience admission to a renewed creation, as a resurrected people in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the communion of saints, in the foretaste of heaven, as citizens of that blessed country where the river of life flows forever and God wipes away the tears from every eye. – From the Preface of “The Day of Light: The Biblical and Liturgical Meaning of Sunday”
March 28, 2010 § Leave a comment
Matthew 19:13-14, “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people,but Jesus said, Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Trinity, my little five year old, came to me today and said, “Daddy, I want to live forever and ever. I don’t want to die.” I told her that when you belong to Jesus you will live forever and ever. I told her that’s what God promises her in her baptism. She said, “But Daddy, when I get one hundred years old I will die.” I told her yes, but you will go to be with Jesus, and when he returns he will bring you with him and you will get your body back and will live with him forever and ever. Her eyes got real big and she smiled ever so big and went running through the house saying, “Yea! I get to live forever and ever because Jesus has promised me that I will!”
Why the majority of the Reformed world will not let such a little child as my Trinity come to the communion table and eat the bread and drink the wine where this very promise is renewed each Lord’s Day is beyond me. I marvel at such childlike faith.
Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West
January 11, 2008 § 1 Comment
I want to throw out a question. I have been following the debate concerning the sacraments for sometime now. The impression I get from time to time is that when it comes to the administration of the sacraments we become almost pelegian in practice? What I mean is this, it seems that we tend to think of the participation in the sacraments as a mere human act of the will that may or may not have any real benefit, but the secret work of the Spirit in the heart is seen as that which is truly sovereign. Its as if we have without meaning to compartmentalized the two experiences in the church. But what if we really begin to view even the external things in the church as just as much sovereign acts of God as we do the internal regeneration that the Spirit works in the heart of those who have true faith? How would this impact our thinking and our theological development? Just thinking out loud.
Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West
August 25, 2007 § Leave a comment
Stand fast, brethren, in the faith of Jesus Christ, and in His love, in His passion, and in His resurrection. Do ye all come together in common, and individually, through grace, in one faith of God the Father, and of Jesus Christ His only-begotten Son, and “the first-born of every creature,” but of the seed of David according to the flesh, being under the guidance of the Comforter, in obedience to the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote which prevents us from dying, but a cleansing remedy driving away evil, [which causes] that we should live in God through Jesus Christ.
Ignatius (A.D. 35-107) Epistle to the Ephesians, Chapter 20
July 27, 2007 § Leave a comment
Of the Sacraments
As the fathers under the law (besides the verity of the sacrifices) had two chief sacraments to wit, circumcision and the Passover, the despisers and contemners whereof were not reputed for God’s people so do we acknowledge and confess that we now, in the time of the evangel, have two sacraments only, instituted by the Lord Jesus, and commanded to be used of all those that will be reputed members of his body: to wit, baptism and the supper, or table of the Lord Jesus, called the communion of his body and blood. And these sacraments (as well of the Old as of the New Testament) were instituted of God, not only to make a visible difference betwixt his people, and those that were without his league; but also to exercise the faith of his children and, by participation of the same sacraments, to seal in their hearts the assurance of his promise, and of that most blessed conjunction, union, and society, which the elect have with their head, Christ Jesus.
And thus we utterly damn the vanity of those that affirm sacraments to be nothing else but naked and bare signs. No, we assuredly believe that by baptism we are engrafted in Christ Jesus, to be made partakers of his justice, by the which our sins are covered and remitted; and also, that in the supper, rightly used, Christ Jesus is so joined with us, that he becomes the very nourishment and food of our souls. Not that we imagine any transubstantiation of bread into Christ’s natural body, and of wine in his natural blood (as the Papists have perniciously taught and damnably believed); but this union and conjunction which we have with the body and blood of Christ Jesus, in the right use of the sacraments, is wrought by operation of the Holy Ghost, who by true faith carries us above all things that are visible, carnal, and earthly, and makes us to feed upon the body and blood of Christ Jesus, which was once broken and shed for us, which now is in heaven, and appears in the presence of his Father for us. And yet, notwithstanding the far distance of place which is betwixt his body now glorified in the heaven, and us now mortal in this earth, yet we most assuredly believe that the bread that we break is the communion of Christ’s body, and the cup which we bless is the communion of his blood. So that we confess, and undoubtedly believe, that the faithful, in the right use of the Lord’s table, do so eat the body and drink the blood of the Lord Jesus, that he remains in them and they in him: yea, that they are so made flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones, that as the Eternal Godhead has given to the flesh of Christ Jesus (which of its own condition and nature was mortal and corruptible) life and immortality, so does Christ Jesus’ flesh and blood eaten and drunken by us, give to us the same prerogatives. Which, albeit we confess are neither given unto us at that only time, neither yet by the proper power and virtue of the sacrament only; yet we affirm that the faithful, in the right use of the Lord’s table, have such conjunction with Christ Jesus, as the natural man cannot apprehend.
Yea, and further we affirm, that albeit the faithful, oppressed by negligence, and manly infirmity, do not profit so much as they would in the very instant action of the supper, yet shall it after bring fruit forth, as lively seed sown in good ground. For the Holy Spirit (which can never be divided from the right institution of the Lord Jesus) will not frustrate the faithful of the fruit of that mystical action; but all this, we say, comes by true faith, which apprehends Christ Jesus, who only makes this sacrament effectual unto us. And, therefore, whosoever slanders us, as that we affirm or believe sacraments to be only naked and bare signs, do injury unto us, and speak against the manifest truth.
But this liberally and frankly we must confess, that we make a distinction betwixt Christ Jesus, in his natural substance, and betwixt the elements in the sacramental signs; so that we will neither worship the signs in place of that which is signified by them; neither yet do we despise and interpret them as unprofitable and vain; but do use them with all reverence, examining ourselves diligently before that so we do, because we are assured by the mouth of the apostle, That such as eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, unworthily, are guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord Jesus.
1. Gen. 17:10-11; Ex. 23:3,etc.; Gen. 17:14; Num. 9:13.
2. Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26.
3. 1 Cor. 10:16; Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:27.
4. Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:11; 3:21.
5. 1 Cor. 10:16.
6. Eph. 5:30.
7. Matt. 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30.
8. John 6:51; 6:53-58.
9. 1 Cor. 11:27-29.
I just love the language of the early Reformers. I pray we as a church will recover some of this most biblical and beautiful language.
Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West