This morning the pastor covered Luke's account of the transfiguration and explained it's relation to preparation for the Lord's death. One benefit he cited was that it would strengthen Peter, James, and John, who were present, to deal with the seeming failure of his death, which was really a victory and according to plan.
We had a very intriguing sermon from Matthew 7:6. What particularly stayed with me was the qualification that we don't presume people are dogs/swine and thus not share the truth. We testify to the truth first and proactively, and then keep silence if it becomes clear that canine and porcine responses are all that come forth. Another valuable contribution was the simple observation that truth is holy and precious.
In AM worship, I preached on Mk 4.21-25. As Mark (and Luke too) uses these statements, they serve as a followup illustration of the parable of the Sower (4.1-20). It speaks of Christ being revealed as Saviour in due time, and of his followers being made clear in the world as well. There is a significant warning that God will deal with us as we deal with him, and a threefold encouragement for Christians when our graces are weak (in vv 24-25).
In PM worship, I preached from Micah 7.1-20, focusing on vv 18-20: who is like our God? He gives justifying and sanctifying grace, making a through dealing with our sins, so that we are forgiven and made holy in Christ. Like Micah, we are therefore emboldened to stand alone if necessary, for God through the covenant of grace upholds us (v 20). In preparing for this sermon, I was greatly helped by Richard Sibbes' sermon on the passage in vol 7 of his collected Works.
The Lord helped me today to make the gospel plain and to press home these texts to both the conscience and the affections. All in all, a wonderful Sabbath.
Last Lord's day but better late than never. Morning Luke 9:18-36 The theme the pastor said, of Luke chapters 7,8, and 9, being 'Whom say the people that I am.' He pointed out that though Peter, and we assume the other disciples, could say He was the Christ of God, the disciples were troubled by His saying that He must suffer many things and be slain, and they didn't understand it. The transfiguration was the confirmation to them of His being God's Son, even to the extent of hearing the Father's own voice proclaim it, Luke 9:35. Our pastor goes on to referring to this witness in 2 Peter 1:16,17,18.
The evening, continuing in Luke 9:37-45, with the man whose son has a demon. Appealing to our Lord, the man says the disciples were unable to cast out the demon that tormented his son, though they had been successful with others. The Lord responds with Luke 9:41, lamenting the 'faithless and perverse generation', Continuing the exposition, our pastor refers to the more detailed account in Matthew 17, the theme is the disciples lack of faith, and the efficacy of prayer.