An ‘Infomercial’ Worth Considering

Phil Congdon, New Braunfels Bible Church, November 4, 2015

I’ve just about had it with TV.  Regular programming that used to be free now costs every month, and what’s on the air is mostly ads!  In other words, I’m paying money to watch professional marketers tempt me to give them more of my money!  As if that’s not enough, there are half-hour long “shows” offering everything from CD sets to jewelry to weight-loss programs to kitchen appliances that make you think you simply ‘can’t live’ without what they’re offering!  This can be dangerous to your bank balance!

So this month, I’m giving you an ‘infomercial’ with a difference.  I’m not asking you for money.  What I offer is absolutely free.  And I can say, without ‘stretching the truth,’ that you will never be sorry, either in time or in eternity, that you ‘invested’ in this.  I’m talking about the adult Sunday morning classes offered at NBBC.

Let me start with ‘old faithful’ – the Adult Bible Class, which has met since virtually the beginning of NBBC.  Over the years, different godly men have taught, sometimes topically, sometimes going through Bible books.  Last year, Ron First led a study of Jewish Feasts and their significance for Christians today.  Clarke Englund is now teaching through 2 Corinthians.  The class meets in Room 101, with the sliding glass doors.

 Another class which is a favorite for many women is taught by Renee Garner.  You know Renee for her musical abilities – she is a singer-songwriter with four CDs, but she’s also a teacher-extraordinaire, especially clarifying biblical teaching about grace.  Her class is often referred to as the Women’s Class, but some men have dared to attend!  Renee is now teaching on the parables of Jesus. Her class meets in Room 109, next to the kitchen.

A third adult class meets in Room 100 (at the end of the hall, near the restrooms), and is taught by Robert Ambs (who just became an elder) and Daniel Mitchell (who is a deacon).  Both these men are committed to grace and truth, and are leading a study of the Gospel of Luke.  What do you really know about the life of Jesus Christ?  Attend this class and you’ll get to know Him better!

A fourth class meets in the Library, and is geared toward married couples.  Called “The Homebuilders’ Class” (from a series of studies produced by FamilyLife ministries), it tackles subjects that are applicable to married couples raising a family.  Dustyn and Novie Tysdale facilitate the class.  If you’d like to focus on God’s plan for your marriage and family, try out this class!

Finally, every other month (or so), we offer a “Welcome Class” in the ‘Round Room’ located just off of the main entry foyer.  This class last just four weeks, during which we get to know each other, learn about the history of NBBC and its ‘DNA’ (why we do what we do!), review the church’s statement of beliefs, and talk about spiritual gifts and ministry opportunities in the church.  All newcomers are welcome!

Yeah, I know…another ‘infomercial’!  But this one is all about you and me growing as Christians into the kind of people God wants us to be.  We’ve all got 168 hours each week.  Every Sunday morning from 9:00-10:00, you can invest one in learning truth that will change your life!  See you there!

Phil Congdon
Senior Pastor

Comments (2)

  1. Spencer

    Reply

    Dear Brother, I read you paper “John Piper’s Diminished Doctrine of Justification and Assurance”. I know you have great intentions but I believe you completely misunderstand Piper’s view of Christ’s “perfect obedience” imputed to believer’s as righteousness. Piper is not referring to a lived out righteousness in life by the believer for justification, that’s sanctification & adds not one thing to our justification before God & Piper 100% agrees with that.

    His view on Justification is that Christ’s perfect obedience that he lived out here on earth as a man, is counted as ours when we put our faith in Him. It’s a gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:17) that God counts as ours by pure grace & is the grounds of our acceptance with Him. Our sin was counted as Christ’s on the cross, His righteousness is counted as ours through faith (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:22-24; 4:5; 5:1; 10:4).

    Justification occurs immediately upon believing in Christ. At the moment God “declares” us the ungodly as righteous in His sight. The only basis for that declaration is the perfect life, death, & resurrection of Christ on our behalf. It’s not a process, it’s one time declaration that has abiding, permanent results. Has nothing to do with the life lived afterwards. Piper agrees…read his book “Counted Righteous In Christ”.

    Also at that very moment God begins another work of grace in us as we are born again. This work is called sanctification. This is God’s work in us. He now is beginning to conform His accepted, justified child to the image of Christ. In Justification he saved us from the penalty of sin. In sanctification He is saving us from the power & pollution of sin. It IS A LIFETIME PROCESS! It continues all of our days. What Piper & MacArthur are pointing out is that everyone God justifies He also begins to sanctify (Phil 1:6). If they branch (us) is in the Vine (Christ) there will be evidences…fruit. This is what a lot of 1 John is about. IT IS A LIVED OUT RIGHTEOUSNESS but IS NOT the reason the believer is justified before God. It reveals that Christ really is in me & I in Him. His work in me is not why I’m accepted. His work on earth in His perfect life, death, & resurrection is the sole cause of my acceptance. Faith is simply the empty hand that embraces this all sufficient Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Justification has no degrees; however, Sanctification has degrees. Every believer is perfectly justified by Christ….every believer is NOT sanctified to the same degree. In other words a believer can NEVER be more justified (accepted) with God than they are at the very moment they believe. But a believer will be more sanctified as they walk with Christ on this earth & mature in the faith.

    Anyway you may know all of this but I wanted to point it out because it appears you were saying Piper believes that our obedience is the ground of us being accepted & he does NOT believe that.

    Thanks dear brother.

    • MelRae Ambs

      Reply

      Spencer, you — like Piper, MacArthur, and others who share their theology, say you hold to ‘justification by faith,’ that the moment a person believes in Christ, they are declared righteous. But what you ‘give’ with one hand, you ‘take away’ with the other! If I only know I am justified if I have ‘fruit’ (It reveals that Christ really is in me & I in Him, you wrote), I can only ‘know’ I am saved by my good works. Two problems here: 1) Redefining ‘faith’ as including works — so that if you don’t have the works, you never had the faith. This is theological ‘sleight of hand,’ effectively making works necessary for justification. 2) Making any assurance that you are justified dependent on good works. This steals our security and joy, again effectively making works necessary for justification. I appreciate your heart — it is drawing you toward the truth, but beware of the theological implications of Calvinism which undermine the very message you embrace.

      Sincerely,
      Phil Congdon, Pastor

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