TFC | September 13th, 2014

Catechism Question #37: How does the Holy Spirit help us?

PART 3: Spirit, restoration, growing in grace

Question #37: How does the Holy Spirit help us?

Answer: “The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, comforts us, guides us, gives us spiritual gifts and the desire to obey God; and he enables us to pray and to understand God’s Word.”

Verse:   Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:17-18

Prayer:  AND now, O Holy Spirit, love of God, who proceedest from the Almighty Father and his most blessed Son, powerful advocate, and sweetest comforter, infuse thy grace, and descend plentifully into my heart; enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling, and scatter there thy cheerful beams! dwell in that soul which longs to be thy temple; water that barren soil, over-run with weeds and briars, and lost for want of cultivating, and make it fruitful with thy dew from heaven…. O that it may please thee to come to me, thou kindest comforter of mourning souls, thou mighty defence in distresses, and ready help in time of need. O come thou purger of all inward pollutions, and healer of spiritual wounds and diseases. Come, thou strength of the feeble, and raiser of them that fall. Come, thou putter down of the proud, and teacher of the meek and humble…. Come, come, thou hope of the poor, and refreshment of them that languish and faint…. Come, Holy Spirit, in much mercy, come, make me lit to receive thee, and condescend to my infirmities, that my meanness may not be disdained by thy greatness, nor my weakness by thy strength: all which I beg for the sake of Jesus Christ, my only Saviour, who in the unity of thee, O Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth with the Father, one God, world without end.

Augustine of Hippo (354–430). Bishop of Hippo in Roman North Africa, philosopher, and theologian, Augustine is considered a saint and Doctor of the Church by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He wrote an account of his conversion in his Confessions, his most known work, but he is also one of the most prolific Latin authors in terms of surviving works with hundreds of separate titles (including apologetic works, texts on Christian doctrine, and commentaries) and more than 350 preserved sermons.


TFC | August 31st, 2014

Catechism Question #36: What Do We Believe About The Holy Spirit?

PART 3: Spirit, restoration, growing in grace

Question #36: What do we believe about the Holy Spirit?

Answer:  That he is God, coeternal with the Father and the Son, and that God grants him irrevocably to all who believe.

Verse:  “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”  John 14:16-17

Prayer:  “We desire to thank you heavenly Father for the marvelous resources that you have given to us through the Holy Spirit. We thank you that each of us who has come to put our trust in Jesus Christ has the privilege of the indwelling Spirit. We pray that he may so fill us as to show Christ to us and to form Christ in us from day to day. We ask these things for ourselves and for one another for the glory of your great name.”

John Stott (1921–2011). An English Anglican preacher who for many years served as rector of All Souls Church in London, Stott was one of the principal framers of the Lausanne Covenant (1974). His numerous books include Why I Am a Christian and The Cross of Christ.
From the end of the sermon “The Work of the Spirit” on John 16:5–15, recorded 18th August 2002, available from | August 24th, 2014

Catechism Question #35: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from?

PART 2: Christ, redemption, grace.

Question #35: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from?

Answer:  All the gifts we receive from Christ we receive through the Holy Spirit, including faith itself.

Verse:  “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.”  Titus 3:4-6

Prayer:  May God have mercy upon us all, and by his Spirit open our eyes to see the glory of the cross.”

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981). A Welsh medical doctor and Protestant minister, Lloyd-Jones is best known for preaching and teaching at Westminster Chapel in London for thirty years. He would take many months, even years, to expound a chapter of the Bible verse by verse. Perhaps his most famous publication is a 14 volume series of commentaries on Romans.
From The Cross (Wheaton: Crossway, 1986), 83.
TFC | August 17th, 2014

Catechism Question #34: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through Christ alone, must we still do good works and obey God’s Word?

PART 2: Christ, redemption, grace.

Question #34: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through Christ alone, must we still do good works and obey God’s Word?

Answer:  Yes, because Christ, having redeemed us by his blood, also renews us by his Spirit; so that our lives may show love and gratitude to God; so that we may be assured of our faith by the fruits; and so that by our godly behavior others may be won to Christ.

Verse:  “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” I Peter 2:9-12

Prayer:  “There is so much mercy in the heart of God for his people, and…Jesus his Son has by his blood made so living a way for us that we might enjoy it, and the benefit of it for ever…. To that end is this goodness revealed: “Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.” Hope! who would not hope to enjoy life eternal?… Did but the people of God see to what they are born, and how true the God of truth will be to what by his word they look for at his hands, they would…groan earnestly under all their enjoyments to be with him, who is their life, their portion, and their glory for ever. But we profess, and yet…long not for the coming of the day of God; we profess the faith, and yet by our whole life show to them that can see, how little a measure of it we have in our hearts. The Lord lead us more into the power of things; then shall the virtues of him that has saved us, and called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, and the favour of his good knowledge, be made known to others far otherwise than it is. Amen.”

John Bunyan (1628–1688). Known as the tinker of Elstow, Bunyan underwent a dramatic conversion experience and became a leading Puritan preacher. As his popularity grew, Bunyan increasingly became a target for slander and libel and was eventually imprisoned. It was during his time in prison that he commenced his best known work The Pilgrim’s Progress, first printed in 1678.

From “Israel’s Hope Encouraged” in The Works of that Eminent Servant of Christ Mr. John Bunyan, Volume 3 (Edinburgh: Sands, Murray & Cochran, 1769), 416–417.

TFC | August 10th, 2014

Catechism Question #33: Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else?

PART 2: Christ, redemption, grace.

Question #33: Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else?

Answer:  No, they should not, as everything necessary to salvation is found in Christ. To seek salvation through good works is a denial that Christ is the only Redeemer and Savior.

Verse:  “Know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” Galatians 2:16

Prayer:  “Glory in Christ. Glory not in your own faith, your own feelings, your own knowledge, your own prayers, your own amendment, your own diligence. Glory in nothing but Christ. Alas! The best of us know but little of that merciful and mighty Saviour. We do not exalt Him and glory in Him enough. Let us pray that we may see more of the fullness there is in Him.”

John Charles Ryle (1816–1900). The first Anglican bishop of Liverpool, Ryle’s appointment was at the recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. As well as being a writer and pastor, Ryle was an athlete who rowed and played cricket for Oxford University. He also was responsible for the building of over forty churches.
From Holiness (Lightning Source, 2001), 115.
TFC | August 3rd, 2014

Catechism Question 32: What Do Justification and Sanctification Mean?

PART 2: Christ, redemption, grace.

Question #32: What do justification and sanctification mean?

Answer:  Justification means our declared righteousness before God, made possible by Christ’s death and resurrection for us. Sanctification means our gradual, growing righteousness, made possible by the Spirit’s work in us.

Verse:  “To God’s elect…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”  I Peter 1:1-2

Prayer:  Grant, Almighty God, that as we carry on a warfare in this world, and as it is thy will to try us with many contests,—O grant, that we may never faint, however extreme may be the trials which we may have to endure: and as you have favored us with so great an honor as to make us the framers and builders of thy spiritual temple, may everyone of us present and consecrate himself wholly to thee…so that thou mayest be worshipped among us perpetually; and especially, may each of us offer himself wholly as a spiritual sacrifice to thee, until we shall at length be renewed in thine image and be received into a full participation of that glory, which has been attained for us by the blood of your thy only-begotten Son. Amen.”

John Calvin (1509–1564). A theologian, administrator, and pastor, Calvin was born in France into a strict Roman Catholic family. It was in Geneva however where Calvin worked most of his life and organized the Reformed church. He wrote The Institutes of the Christian Religion, the Geneva Catechism, as well as numerous commentaries on Scripture.
From Calvin’s Bible Commentaries: Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Haggai, translated by John King (Forgotten Books, 1847), 251.
TFC | July 31st, 2014

Connection Sunday – August 24

Connect in relationshipsSunday, Aug. 24 is Connection Sunday at TFC. During worship, we’ll look at connecting through Spiritual Friendship in John 17. Then stop by the Fellowship Hall for a bite to eat and our annual Connection Fair, where you’ll get a chance to preview places to connect at TFC for the upcoming school year. All Connection Groups will be represented: home groups, men’s and women’s Bible studies, Multigenerational Choir, and Sunday and Wednesday Children’s, Youth and Adult Connection Groups. In addition, you’ll be able to visit with folks about our various ministries: men’s, women’s, children’s, youth, music and Primetimers. There’s a place for you to connect at TFC. You belong!

TFC | July 27th, 2014

Catechism Question 31: What Do We Believe By True Faith?

PART 2: Christ, redemption, grace.

Question #31: What Do We Believe By True Faith?

Answer:  Everything taught to us in the gospel. The Apostles’ Creed expresses what we believe in these words: We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Verse:  “I…urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”  Jude 1:3

Prayer:  “Meet and just is it to worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Trinity consubstantial and undivided. Meet and just is it to hymn Thee, to bless Thee, to praise Thee, to thank Thee, to worship Thee in all places of Thy dominion. For Thou art God unspeakable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, always I AM, still I AM: Thou, and Thy Only-Begotten Son, and Thy Holy Spirit. Thou it was that from non-existence to existence broughtest us; and when we were fallen aside raisedst us again, and leftest nothing undone to bring us to heaven and bestow on us Thy kingdom to come. For all these things we thank Thee, and Thine Only Begotten Son, and Thy Holy Spirit, for all that we know, and for all that we do not know, of the seen and of the unseen benefits that are come upon us…. We also, O tender Lord, cry and say: Holy Thou art and All-holy, Thou and Thine Only-Begotten Son and Thy Holy Spirit. Holy Thou art and All-holy, and great is Thy glory: Who didst so love Thy world as to give Thine Only Begotten Son, that every one that believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life…. Remembering…all that came to pass for us, the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into the heavens, the Throne at the right hand, the second and glorious Coming again…thee we hymn, thee we bless, to Thee do we give thanks, Lord our God. Amen.”

John Chrysostom (347–407). Archbishop of Constantinople, John was born in Antioch. He was given the title Chrysostom which means “golden mouth” because of his eloquent preaching. He is recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church as a saint and Doctor of the Church. Chrysostom is known for his Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (from which this prayer is taken), and his vast homiletical works including 67 homilies on Genesis, 90 on the Gospel of Matthew, and 88 on the Gospel of John.
From The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople (London: Joseph Masters, 1866), 61–63.
TFC | July 20th, 2014

Catechism #Question 30: What Is Faith In Jesus Christ?

PART 2: Christ, redemption, grace.

Question #30: What is faith in Jesus Christ?

Answer:  Faith in Jesus Christ is acknowledging the truth of everything that God has revealed in his Word, trusting in him, and also receiving and resting on him alone for salvation as he is offered to us in the gospel.

Verse:  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Gal. 2:20

Prayer:  “Let us pray with the disciples, “Lord increase our faith” and with the poor man in the gospel, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”

Richard Sibbes (1577–1635). An English Puritan theologian, Sibbes was known in London in the early 17th century as “the Heavenly Doctor Sibbes.” Preacher at Gray’s Inn, London and Master of Catherine Hall, Cambridge, his most famous work is The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax.
From the sermon “Fountain Opened: or The Mystery of Godliness Revealed” in The Works of the Reverend Richard Sibbes, Volume 1 (Aberdeen: Chalmers & Co., 1809), 213.
TFC | July 13th, 2014

Catechism Question #29: How Can We Be Saved?

PART 2: Christ, redemption, grace.

Question #29: How Can We Be Saved?

Answer:  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9

Prayer:  “Offended Sovereign! I am justly under sentence of death, and should I eternally perish, yet thou art righteous…. But is there nothing in thy revealed character that may encourage a miserable creature and a guilty criminal, to look for mercy and hope for acceptance? Art thou not a compassionate Saviour, as well as a just God? Is not Jesus thy only Son, and hast thou not set him forth as a propitiation through faith in his blood? To him, therefore, as my only asylum from divine wrath, I would flee…. I have no claim on thy mercy. Only, if it seemed good to thee to save the vilest of sinners, the most wretched of creatures; if it please thee to extend infinite mercy to one who deserves infinite misery and is obliged to condemn himself; the greater will be the glory of thy compassion…boundless grace shall have the glory.”

Abraham Booth (1734–1806). An English Baptist minister, Booth served as pastor of Prescot Street Church in Whitechapel, London for 35 years as well as founding what is now Regents Park College for ministerial training in Oxford. He is most known for his work The Reign of Grace (from which this prayer is taken).
From “The Reign of Grace” in Works of Abraham Booth: Late Pastor of the Baptist Church, Volume 1 (London: Button, 1813), 87–88.

Sunday at Trinity Fellowship:

Steps of Faith - Joshua 3

Sept. 14, 2014