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When I speak with other pastors I am always interested to hear how they approach their calling. I want to know what their work week is like. How much do they preach? How much do they teach classes, Bible studies, etc.? How much time do they spend with family? How much do they engage with the congregation? You can see how much a pastor really loves a church by how much they put into it. You can get an idea of their attitude towards their calling in the way they carry out their days. Maybe they don’t get to preach that often, but they’re constantly with the people, old, young, chatty, silent ones, families, singles, etc. Or maybe they preach all the time and then they are never seen again.
Last week I met a pastor who taught service during the week, then on Sunday he taught a Sunday School lesson in the morning, preached a sermon, stayed till everyone was finished speaking him, went home and took a nap, then preached in the evening and stayed till everyone was finished speaking with him. You would think someone that went through that sort of day was a young, fresh out of seminary, single, man. But you would be wrong. He was a pastor of a congregation of 5,000 and he had been in ministry for over 30 years! (more…)
Last week we discussed Regeneration. The object of regeneration as a work of the Holy Spirit are those whom God has decreed to save from before the foundation of the world and for whom Christ has died. The Elect are the recipients of faith as a gift from God. The Reformed speak of this as redemption decreed, accomplished and here, as redemption applied.
New life in Christ must be nourished and strengthened. This new faith in Christ is a gift where women and men are able believe only because God has enabled them to do so. Faith is not a response from sinners who chose on their own free will, but an intentional particular work of God in the regenerate who come to faith through the preaching of the Word and administration of the sacraments. The Reformed tradition has recognized three aspects or types of faith called notitia,(knowledge),assensus (assent) and fiducia (trust), all three are necessary for saving faith. (more…)