Letter from Pastor Michael

Dear Christ Church Family,

Greetings in the Lord! I hope and pray that this message finds you well. 

Last night, Sarah & I had about a dozen members & visitors to Christ Church in our home for the MUSC & Young Professionals Bible study. It's such a joy to be able to fellowship with the saints throughout the week, to encourage each other in the Lord, and to study God's Word together! In this study we are slowly working our way through Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, and last night we looked at 1 Corinthians 10:6–13. 

In that passage, the Apostle Paul exhorts the Corinthians not to be complacent in their faith, but to take seriously the commands of the Lord and heed the warnings of Scripture, which details many of the ways that God's people have disobeyed his will and suffered judgment for their grievous sin. But, while God's people are always tempted to sin, and God's wrath burns hot against sin, he also will always graciously provide you and me with "the way of escape" when we are tempted. Indeed, Paul says in verse 13, "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability."

Dear believer, be encouraged when you face trials and temptations of every kind, because God is faithful, he holds you in his firm grasp. Because you are in Christ "neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord [Rom. 8:38–39]." Take heart dear believer, and press on in your daily walk with Christ; know that you are a new creation in Christ; continue to kill your sin; persevere so that you may grow in sanctification; stand firm in the Lord.

As you may know, earlier this month the Gospel Reformation Network held its annual conference at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL. I was privileged to attend this fantastic conference along with a few other wonderful folks from Christ Church: Rachael McIntosh, Tom Clark, and Mike Royal. 

Many of the themes we saw from our study of 1 Corinthians 10:6–13 last night were discussed with much greater depth, clarity, wisdom, and insight by the wonderfully gifted men who spoke at the GRN Conference. We heard all week about the importance and relevance of the Christian's new birth to our growth in grace, the vital need for the church's leaders to exemplify humility and piety, the love of God and his work of sanctification in our lives, and the importance of ordained leadership in the church's public worship services. We also had many historical examples held before us; both the positive, from the life and ministry of Harry Reeder and the life and times of Old Princeton professor Samuel Miller, as well as the negative example provided by the decline of the Church of Scotland.

The GRN has graciously uploaded all of the lectures from the conference to YouTube, and I would heartily commend all of them to you! You will be challenged, encouraged, and greatly enriched by spending time listening to the lectures. 

Please carve some time out of your day very soon to watch Pastor Jon's lecture: "Don't Shrink Back: Holy Courage & Gospel Confidence in a Secular Age." In it, he clearly lays out many of the issues facing our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America [PCA], and highlights one of the great needs of our day: for ministers and elders to lead God's people with holy courage and confidence in the finished work of Jesus Christ our Lord, standing firm in the Lord against the onslaught of the world, the flesh, and the devil. 

As you hear Pastor Jon talk about all these things happening throughout the PCA, please pray for our denomination. We are truly at a crossroads, and we need the Lord’s help to maintain fidelity to Scripture and the Standards of the Church. Please begin to pray for the General Assembly of the PCA that will meet in Birmingham on June 21–24. Pastor Jon, Tobe Hester, Mike Royal, and I will all be there for this important gathering of ruling and teaching elders to conduct the business of the PCA. Pray that the Lord will do his will among us and that all those gathered will seek to please God in all that we say and do.

You may find all of the lectures on the GRN's YouTube page.

I pray that you are greatly blessed by these lectures, just as I was.

I am looking forward to seeing you all this Lord's Day, as we will corporately worship our holy Triune God in Spirit and truth! 

With love in Christ our Savior,

Pastor Michael