Galatians Series and Our 25th Anniversary

I am preaching three messages from the book of Galatians over the next few weeks as our church approaches and celebrates our 25th anniversary on May 23, Pentecost Sunday.
When you spend time listening or reading Galatians it is easy to believe that it’s message is more important than any other portion of Holy Scripture. I encourage you to read through it. If you like, you can also listen to someone else read it. I have given you a link below to my favorite reader, Max McLean, reading Galatians from the KJV. Listen to the entire book, 123 verses, in less than twenty minutes!

 

For thirty years or so, between his conversion on the road to Damascus and imprisonment in Rome, the Apostle Paul traveled through the Roman Empire and started churches in the provinces of Galatia, Asia, Macedonia, and Achia. In the course of his missionary journeys described in the book of Acts (13-14; 16:23-20:38; 18:23-20:38), he wrote letters to help in the supervision of the churches, and Galatians is one of those. Maybe he knew some of these readers very well and that explains why more than any other letter from him, Galatians is imprinted with the marks of his personality as well as the fullness of his passionate belief in the message he proclaimed. He is greatly disappointed and distressed that the gospel he proclaimed has been compromised by “another gospel”. He appeals to his own experience of coming to faith in Jesus and moving from death to life in Christ and allows no possibility for any other way of acceptance with God except by faith in Him alone. A comment from Geoff Ziegler’s study of the book captures the concern: “Any addition to Jesus as the basis for our standing before God is ultimately a deadly subtraction; to say we need more than Jesus to be justified before God is to lose everything.” Paul’s authority as an Apostle as well as his own experience are mounted in this letter to win back his friends to the message he proclaimed.

Sunday Sermon Videos

May 2, 2021

2021年5月2日

11:30am English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“Jesus and Justice”
Romans 3:23-26,
Matthew 4:23-5:1,
6:31-33
Rev. Dr. Jack Davidson
戴惟信牧師

9:00am Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

『在耶穌裡的傑作』
以弗所書 2:8-10
慎勇牧師
Pastor Mark Shen
“Masterpiece in Jesus”
Ephesians 2:8-10

10:15am Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

《 上帝的特工 》
诗91:11-12
任晓静牧师
Pastor Mary Ren
“Agents of God”
Psalm 91:11-12


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工

Beginner Church 幼儿敬拜
3 yrs old – Grade 1 (三歲至一年級)

Junior Church 儿童敬拜
Grades 2-5 (二至五年級)

A Passion to Right the World, Part 3

As I mentioned last week, one of the books I read while away on my sabbatical was an older publication of Carl Henry’s, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism. Someone who listened to the sermon last Sunday was kind enough to mention that they had difficulty following what Henry was saying in the quote. Specifically, I think they meant his observation-

 

 “The apostolic Gospel stands divorced from a passion to right the world. The Christian social imperative is today in the hands of those who understand it in sub-Christian terms.”

I understand Henry in this quote to be lamenting the abandonment of social effort and engagement by Evangelicals in his era. He was concerned that if Evangelicals remained disinterested in the well- being of larger society, then those who did not understand the Christian message would continue to fill the vacuum. I hope that makes sense and seems as relevant to you as it did to me when I read it.

Carl Henry’s book, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism
Carl Henry’s book, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism

In discussing God’s justice and the importance of Christian involvement in society, I want to make a brief comment on the phrase “social justice” that has become controversial recently. One video brought to my attention by a friend featured a gifted and well-known Evangelical pastor who offered a definition of “social justice” which sounded politically socialistic but which he insisted was the only proper way it could be defined. The pastor references an article by Kevin DeYoung with which I’m familiar and uses DeYoung to support his argument. Read DeYoung for yourself and draw your own conclusions. I’ve included a link to it below. DeYoung seems willing to acknowledge the legitimacy and use of the phrase “social justice” by evangelicals with some qualifications.

I was recently paging through the New International Version of the Bible (1974) which many of us use, and it employs the phrase “social justice” to explain the theme of Amos in its introduction. I can think of a number of places where I have seen the phrase similarly used to describe the emphasis of other Old Testament prophets. John Stott in his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount uses the phrase “social righteousness” which amounts to the same thing. I don’t doubt that people could mean different things by their use of the phrase but I do not think the church should shun the phrase simply because someone else uses the term to describe their vision of a textbook socialistic society. I think the phrase “social justice” remains an accurate way to describe the prophetic emphasis of the Old Testament which called upon the people of God to verify their covenantal relationship to Him by their concern for the well-being of the less fortunate and under privileged in their society. Along with DeYoung’s article,I have a link to another article on the same topic by Joe Carter who is on the pastoral staff of McLean Bible Church in Arlington, Virginia.

In closing out the focus of the last few blogs on the topic of justice, I would like to comment on Black Lives Matter and will repeat as I’ve said to some of you that BLM originated because the church did not continue its work in civil rights. And because the church retreated from civil rights after the 60s, BLM is probably best understood as an example of the very thing Henry feared: “the Christian social imperative … in the hands of those who understand it in sub-Christian terms.” BLM is a loosely organized patchwork of groups, decentralized, and each with different leadership and distinctives. I do believe that a Christian, called, as he or she is, to be salt and light in the world, can participate in BLM if they believe this is where their Lord is calling them to serve Him in seeking after His justice for Black Americans. I could change my mind about this were I confronted with BLM organizational goals contrary to the teaching of Scripture so maybe someone reading this has something they would like for me to consider. The third link below is for an article on BLM by Pastor Mika Edmondson, pastor of New City Fellowship in Southeast Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you are interested in these matters and have not read Pastor Edmondson’s article that we posted last year, you should consider his perspective. The fourth and final link is a response to Edmondson’s article by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Seminary and one of our nation’s important evangelical voices. I hope all this is helpful in evaluating the different opinions you have heard (including mine!) on these important topics.

 

Sunday Sermon Videos

April 25, 2021

2021年4月25日

11:30am English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“Justice in the Psalms”
Psalm 33:1-6, 8-9
Rev. Dr. Jack Davidson
戴惟信牧師

9:00am Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

『 主再來的預言與回應』
使徒行傳 1:9-11,21-26
陳立平長老
Elder Ben Tran
“The Prophecy of Christ Returns and Responds”
Act 1: 9-11, 21-26

10:15am Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

《 得着上头来的奖赏 》
林前9:24-28;腓3:13
卢乾坤牧师
Pastor Lu Qiankun
“Reward From Above”
1 Corinthians 9:24-28;
Philippians 3:13

 

Carl Henry’s book, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism

A Passion to Right the World, Part 2

Founder of Christianity Today, Billy Graham, with Carl F.H. Henry (1913-2003), editor, who is holding the first issue.

As I mentioned last week, one of the books I read while away on my sabbatical was an older publication of Carl Henry’s, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism. Here is another quote that I found relevant and convicting:

“…the Hebrew-Christian tradition historically involved an articulate statement not only of dogmatics [doctrine] but of the social implications of redemption. Today, Protestant Fundamentalism [evangelicalism] …is a stranger in its predominant spirit, to the vigorous social interests of its ideological forebears. Modern Fundamentalism does not explicitly sketch the social implications of its message for the non-Christian world; it does not challenge the injustices of totalitarianisms, the secularisms of modern education, the evils of racial hatred, the wrongs of current labor-management relations, and the inadequate basis of international dealings. It has ceased to challenge Caesar and Rome … The apostolic Gospel stands divorced from a passion to right the world. The Christian social imperative is today in the hands of those who understand it in sub-Christian terms.” p.45

I will be speaking more about justice this Sunday. Coming back to a recent Sunday School class, and the question about  “equity” – the difference between equality and equity is a little hard to work out, isn’t it? But I think I found a helpful example brought to my attention in Dr. Shannon’s book, The Major Themes of the Bible. In his chapter “Principles of Justice and Compassion” he mentions the distribution of the land to Israel and the Jubilee legislation that forgave debts. He points out how the Jubilee legislation kept the land from belonging to fewer and fewer people. In my thinking, the Jubilee legislation was the equity that kept things relatively equal among Israel’s tribes. So perhaps equity can be thought of as the dynamic or ongoing work of keeping things as originally intended. I am going to think about this more and come back to this next week with a final word from Carl Henry.

Dr. Fosters Shannon’s book, The Major Themes of the Bible
Dr. Foster Shannon’s book, The Major Themes of the Bible

Sunday Sermon Videos

April 18, 2021

2021年4月18日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“The Right Man at the Right Hand, part 3”
Psalm 110:4,7
Rev. Dr. Jack Davidson
戴惟信牧師

Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

『 開啟心靈之眼』
弗1:15-23
慎勇牧師
Pastor Mark Shen
“Enlighten the Eyes of our Hearts”
Ephesians 1:15-23

Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

《 不一样的上帝 》
提后3:16; 罗15:4
任晓静牧师
Pastor Mary Ren
“A Distinct God”
2 Timothy 3:16; Romans 15:4


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工

Beginner Church 幼儿敬拜
3 yrs old – Grade 1 (三歲至一年級)

Junior Church 儿童敬拜
Grades 2-5 (二至五年級)

Founder of Christianity Today, Billy Graham, with Carl F.H. Henry (1913-2003), editor,
who is holding the first issue.

A Passion to Right the World

In a recent Sunday School class, I used the word “equity” and was asked about its meaning. The larger question being discussed was the position or practice of our church on justice issues in society. How much our own ministry should be or will be influenced by concerns about what is happening in our society? To begin, the biblical idea of equity comes from a Hebrew term that basically means “level” like a geographical plain. The idea of equity in society should mean that people are treated “on the level” or fairly. If we pay attention to our society or the people we encounter in life generally, we will become aware of situations where there is inequity

One of the books I read while away on my sabbatical was an older publication of Carl Henry’s, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism. Carl Henry was an American evangelical and Christian theologian who gave leadership to evangelicals in the mid-to-late 20th century. He is perhaps best known for his leadership along with Billy Graham in the founding of Christianity Today. He wrote this book to argue for the active involvement of evangelicals or “fundamentalists” in the social issues of American culture. He was troubled that evangelicals had distanced themselves from societal concerns and that “the apostolic Gospel stands divorced from a passion to right the world (p.45).” Sound relevant? I will be sharing some other notable excerpts next week. Keep in mind that Henry wrote this book in 1947! Given the divisions in our nation and which are reflected among Christians and in our own church, what Henry worried about then, is worth our concern now.

 

Sermon Videos

April 11, 2021

2021年4月11日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“The Right Man at the Right Hand, part 2”
Psalm 110:3,5,6
Rev. Dr. Jack Davidson
戴惟信牧師

Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

『不朽的盼望』
徒1:1-11
陳立平長老
Elder Ben Tran
“Long for the Imperishable”
Acts 1:1-11

Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

《 赐我自由》
约翰福音8:31-36
郑宇长老
Elder Zheng Yu
“Set Me Free”
John 8:31-36

 

Jesus as Warrior King (King Aragon)

View of the World


It was great to be back and see so many of you on Easter Sunday! I appreciated some comments that I received through email and other interactions on the phone or in person about the sermon on Easter Sunday. After thinking about it a little more, I am going to go on in Psalm 110 this Sunday. On the traditional church calendar, Easter Sunday is the “First Sunday of Easter” and the following Sunday is the “Second Sunday of Easter” and so on. The series explanation for Easter Sunday and this coming Sunday is reposted below.

I am persuaded that the truths touched on in Psalm 110 provide the basic and best biblical structure for shaping a Christian perspective and outlook about so much that is happening in our world today. Most recently attention has shifted to concern over the treatment of Asians and Asian Americans in our society. Please, when you have a minute check our link to Karalee Nakatsuka’s letter that she has given us permission to circulate. Also, if you have written anything or come across an article that you have found particularly helpful for evaluating or understanding these times in which we live, pass it along to me. I’d like to consider it.

Click to Read Karalee’s Letter

The Right Man at the Right Hand — Psalm 110: View of the World 

Three-Part Series on Psalm 110

Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021
Psalm 110:1-2

Second Sunday of Easter,
April 11, 2021
Psalm 110:3,5,6

Third Sunday of Easter,
April 18, 2021
Psalm 110:4,7

By Colin Smith, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28360765

 

Arguably, the most frequently quoted psalm in the New Testament, Psalm 110 sets forth the authority and power of Jesus Christ over, and in, this present fallen world.  King David, the author of the psalm, prophetically listens in and records God direct message to His anointed King.  David’s reference to Him as “my Lord” is his act of worship, recalling Joshua’s worship and his humble question to the mysterious man he encounters outside Jericho: “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” In Psalm 110, Yahweh and His King are in Divine alignment with one purpose: to completely subdue and rule our world. Their unity of purpose is such that whether the setting is the throne (verse 1), or the battlefield (verse 5),  they are at each other’s “right hand” to this end. Jesus began His conquest by breaking the power of sin’s punishment on the cross and now in the fullness of His resurrection, and through the work of the Holy Spirit, He is breaking the power of sin’s presence. The battle against sin is not over, not in us, and not in our world, but we can take heart. If we believe in Him, the right Man is on our side, as Martin Luther taught us to sing. No other psalm displays the divine Person of Christ, His passion, His power, and the prospect before Him.

Watch Sermons Online

Dear Friends,

…today I would like to share some of
my thoughts, not out of anger, but out of care for our community, to provide an opportunity for increased
awareness and understanding, in the hopes that we can continue to work to become a hospitable community for
all.

Easter Sermon Videos

April 4, 2021

2021年4月4日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“The Right Man at the Right Hand”
Psalm 110
Rev. Dr. Jack Davidson
戴惟信牧師

Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

『主恩豐富』
約21:1-14
慎牧師
Pastor Mark Shen
“The Richness of the Lord”
John 21:1-14

Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

《 你认识耶稣的复活吗? 》
太28:1-10
赵保罗牧师
Pastor Paul Zhao
“Do You Know the Resurrection of Jesus?”
Matt 28:1-10


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工