Post Category: Articles by Pastor Jon

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Spires and Lamp Posts | Letter from Pastor Jon

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Last Lord's Day, on a beautiful summer morning in Oxford, Hans and I walked to church. The location was about two miles from the hotel. Along the way there was much cause for inspiration. First, there was Merton College, where J.R.R. Tolkien taught for many years. Tolkien, of course, is the author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Also along our route was the ancien...

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His Grace Is Sufficient

The Apostle Paul pleaded three times with the Lord that he would be delivered from a particular "thorn in the flesh." The nature of the thorn is a mystery. Some speculate that it was diminishing eyesight. Whatever the nature of the affliction, we know that God chose not to remove it from Paul's life. God declared: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfe...

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Pastoral Letter | Be Strong in the Lord

Dearest Christ Church Family, The times in which we live make it hard to be strong. Are you are feeling weak and anxious at the start of this new year? You are not alone. Many are feeling it. The Pandemic, now entering its third year, is wearing people down, not least because of the politically divisive and polarizing response of our elected leaders, the media, and societ...

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Letter from Pastor Jon | Thirty Days of Prayer

Dearest Christ Church Family, When the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle to the Philippian Church, he was a prisoner of the Roman Empire. The believers in Philippi were worried about him. They were also anxious about what would become of the church if he were to be executed. But Paul, a faithful and loving shepherd, reassures them that "what has happened to me has really ser...

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The Way of Life

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THE WAY OF LIFE Over the next several weeks Pastor Jon will be working through "The Way of Life: Christian Belief Experience" by Charles Hodge (1797-1878). This little doctrinal gem was first published in 1841, and provides a clear explanation of the nature of Scripture as objective revelation from God, as well as essential doctrines of the faith -- sin, justification, f...

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Pastoral Letter from Pastor Jon

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Dearest Christ Church Family, These are dark and challenging times for our nation. The same is true for the church. This perfect storm, a tempest fueled by Covid-19, racial tensions, violent riots, media hysteria, unbelief, and a massively consequential election cycle, has fostered considerable fear and confusion in our day. Anxiety, depression, and suicide have skyrocket...

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Four Simple (and pretty obvious) Ways to Improve Your Walk With God

Originally posted December 2018 Do you want to grow in your walk with God? Is spiritual progress a priority in 2019? The serious follower of Christ is committed to "grow[ing] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). His aim is spiritual maturity, not lifelong spiritual adolescence. God's Word commands his redeemed children to "grow up ...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Sanctification, Part I

The Nuts and Bolts of Sanctification, Part I God's saving grace in Christ is much bigger and more comprehensive than one might initially think. God's grace not only rescues, it renovates. It not only justifies, it sanctifies. It not only reconciles, it renews. It not only propitiates, it purifies. It not only delivers, it matures. Indeed, the sovereign grace of God not on...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Sanctification, Part II

The Nuts Bolts of Sanctification, Part II Definitive and Progressive Sanctification The grammar of God's Word teaches us that believers are sanctified (definitive sanctification), and are presently being sanctified (progressive sanctification). We have been set apart as holy (I Cor. 1:2), and are thus called to be holy (I Pet. 1:14-16; Col.3:1-17). God has definitively ...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Sanctification, Part III

Sanctification is fostered through the Means of Grace God, in his sovereign wisdom, appointed specific and objective means of grace by which he saves, nourishes, grows, and matures his children spiritually (Acts 2:42). Those primary means are the Word of God, sacraments, and prayer (I Cor. 1:18; Heb. 4:12; I Cor. 10:16-17; I Pet. 3:21; Mt. 6:5-15). When faithfully dischar...

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