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Archive for March, 2008

This Sunday morning we will be studying the brief but powerful and important letter of Jude. I have been greatly encouraged this week as I have been meditating on Jude’s message. It is a message of hope and trust in God – in God’s preserving grace and faithful justice. It is also a message of action – contend for the faith.

It is interesting that by the time of Jude (circa AD 69) there was already a recognized deposit of the faith. Of course the apostle Paul had already charged Timothy to guard the deposit (of the faith) that had been entrusted to him (1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:14). It should not surprise us that this deposit of faith is constantly under attack. For this reason, we are to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

As you prepare for Lord’s Day worship on the morning of March 30, ask yourself the following questions as you read Jude, “How am I contending for the faith?” “How should the church contend for the faith?” “How does High Pointe contend for the faith?”

Finally, meditate on Jude 24-25, and rejoice in the fact that it is God who keeps us and preserves us in the midst of difficulties.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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Mar
28

What is Reformed Theology?

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I am providing a link to an interview of Dr. Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, in which he explains Reformed Theology. One note before you read it – the interview took place in 2000, so it is eight years old.

I think Dr. George explains Reformed Theology very helpfully.

(ht: Founders Blog)

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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Austin was number eight in a newly announced top ten list of growing cities. As if we didn’t know or feel the growing pains. Just this week I noticed that another subdivision is going up around us. As I drove past Samsung on Monday, some workers were putting up a sign announcing a new master-planned community by Pioneer Crossing to be constructed across the street from Samsung.

Once again, this is a reminder of the privilege we have of being in Austin, Texas. Not only is the world moving to Austin, as evidenced by the number of people groups in our city (over 60) and our university, but Americans from all over are moving here as well.

What does that mean for High Pointe? It means we have to plan and strategize for ministry and evangelism and growth. This is precisely what we are doing. Please pray for the elders of High Pointe as we pray for God’s direction and leading in preparation for ministry, evangelism and growth. It is truly a wonderful time to minister in the Austin-Metro area.

May God continue to grant us much grace!

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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While driving to the office this morning I caught the first portion of R. C. Sproul’s interview of Ben Stein. As I have posted before (here, and here), Stein is linked with a documentary project titled Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, where he takes on the Neo-Darwinian scientific community on their refusal to open inquiry in science. In particular, Stein asks why scientists who question Darwinian evolution are expelled from colleges, universities and institutions.

For information on the interview, go to the Ligonier Ministries blog here.

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Last Sunday was the apex of the Christian calendar – Resurrection Sunday! The Lord was very gracious to us and brought many guests to High Pointe.

The issue we considered is the place of our hope for a life after this one. Most people have some expectancy that there is a life after this one, and many people place their eternal hopes on religion. Whether it is Islam’s “Five Pillars” or Buddhism’s “Eightfold Path,” religion is about what you must do to reach God and the after life. In essence, therefore, religion is about placing your eternal hopes in your own efforts.

Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a helpful reminder in our day that we cannot trust in human philosophies or religion or anything else to lead us to God; Christ alone is supreme and sufficient for salvation.

Paul’s main argument in Colossians is that Jesus Christ has supremacy over all things (1:15-20). Jesus Christ, who is the image of the invisible God, has supremacy over the entire cosmos as its creator; Christ has supremacy over the church as its head; and Christ has supremacy over death as the firstborn from the dead who begins a new humanity.

Since Jesus Christ has supremacy over all things, Christ alone is sufficient for salvation. False teachers had crept into the church and attempted to teach a Christ plus religion. They sought to add to Christ’s work by encouraging the Colossians to observe old covenant demands, along with angelic worship and other things. Paul’s point is that we cannot trust in human philosophies or religion for eternal life; we can only trust in Christ. After all, God is reconciling all things to Himself through the cross of His Son. Further, Paul reminds us that despite our natural sinful condition, those who trust in Christ are united to Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

Consequently, since we have been raised with Christ, we are to live this life in the power of the resurrection, looking forward to the return of Christ when we will be resurrected. In other words, since we are united with Christ by faith, and since Christ is the firstborn from the dead who guarantees our resurrection, then we are to live in light of this wonderful hope. The resurrection of Christ should affect every area of our lives: our marriage, our parenting/homes, our work/vocation, everything!

In what are you trusting for eternal life?

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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This Sunday we will celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I look forward to gathering with God’s people and proclaiming Jesus Christ, crucified and raised!

I will be preaching on the hope of the gospel from the book of Colossians. Since we have been raised with Christ, then we are to seek the things above! As you prepare for this special day, read through Colossians and meditate on the verses that point us to hope. Also, consider how we are to live in light of the resurrection of our Lord!

May God richly bless you, and may He grant us a special blessing as we gather this coming Lord’s day as His church.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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This Friday evening, we will gather to consider the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will meet at 7:00 p.m. I pray you will be able to be with us as we sing about the cross of Christ and remember our Lord’s death.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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Many of our parents responded to our LIFE Institute class, Shepherding a Child’s Heart. Now you can continue to build upon the foundation laid in that class with Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp. In the video below Tedd Tripp explains what he and his wife hope to accomplish in their new book.

I pray that this will be a blessing to you as you seek to raise your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

(ht: Justin Taylor)

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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Last Sunday morning we saw how sin wreaked havoc in God’s creation, bringing God’s holy wrath upon all mankind. Holy God must punish sin, and the flood reminds us of that truth. It also reminds us that Noah’s flood points to a day of final judgment at which all humanity must give an account. However, the good news is that, just like Noah, God preserves His children through the judgment and brings them to a place of final rest. As Peter says, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). And we know that no matter what circumstances we may face, God will sustain and preserve His children until He brings us to that place of final rest.

This week, as we look at Genesis 9:18-12:3, we are once again reminded that after God purged sin and rebellion from His earth, sin and rebellion remains in humanity. So, sinful humanity rebels against God by seeking to make a name for itself and not spreading the glory of God throughout the earth (Genesis 11:1-5). As a consequence, God confuses their language and scatters them over the face of the earth, causing them to fulfill the mandate to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28; see also 9:1, 7).

We see, then, that human sin and rebellion brought about the division of the human race (Genesis 11:6-9). The glaring question at the end of Genesis 11, is, “Is there any hope for the human race or will we continue being divided and warring against one another?”

We see human division everywhere we look: White/Black America; Red/Blue America; Rich/Poor; Male/Female; and on the divisions go . . . Is there any hope for us? Politicians and religious leaders promise us that if we elect them or follow them, they will bring about unity, but I do not place my hope in them.

There is one, however, who promises to be a blessing to all nations and who unites all peoples regardless of ethnicity – His name is Jesus Christ, the offspring/child of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; Galatians 3:16).

As you prepare to be with us this Sunday morning, reflect upon our current political situation. Our politics are fiercely divided by race, and I suspect the division will only grow deeper as election day draws near.

Consider how you deal with and treat others. Is there any partiality in your heart?

Are you willing to go to the ends of the earth that all peoples may hear of Christ and come to know Him personally?

We will ask these and other questions this Sunday morning as we point to Christ, who unites all peoples under Himself.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan

Acts 20:24
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Citing a previous law from the 1950’s, an appellate court in California ruled that school-aged children in California must either attend public or private school or be tutored by a someone with a teaching certificate. I first read the story this morning on SFGate.com which was linked through the Drudge Report. I immediately printed the story and read it in shock to my homeschooling wife.

You can read the entire story here.

You can read the Second District Court of Appeal ruling here.

Denny Burke has some other helpful links about this story in a blog post here.

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