Here at West Tennessee Reformed, we still believe that God speaks powerfully through his written Word, The Holy Bible. We want to be a protestant Reformed confessional church, we want to stick with our Reformed "doctrinal distinctives" as W. Robert Godfrey put it on a recent broadcast of Renewing Your Mind, because the God of the universe is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). We want to be faithful to him and to who he has revealed himself to be in the scriptures (Colossians 1:15).
We also think Carl Trueman nailed it when he said, "Christianity is moving to the margins of American life, and Christians are heading into cultural exile. The question is: How will we survive? The answer is: as Paul did in the first century. First and foremost, we need the simple proclamation of God’s Word in church week by week, reminding us of our identity in Christ. We need liturgies and worship saturated with that Word. We need engagement with the world consistent with the identity formed in us by a clear and confident faith in that Word. In short, we will survive—indeed, we will thrive—through a vibrant commitment to exactly what the historic Reformed faith has emphasized." ~From the article published at First Things, "A Church For Exiles: Why Reformed Christianity Provides The Best Basis For Faith Today" https://www.firstthings.com/article/…/08/a-church-for-exiles
The Christian walk is not easy, but as Pastor Mark reminded us this past Sunday evening, there is hope for those of us who are burned out on church and for those of us who are feeling overwhelmed by the sin, pain, and suffering in the world.
We understand there are many in our day who think churches need to change in order to reach more people, but we think sticking with how God himself desires to be worshiped, in reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28 and in spirit and truth (John 4:24), it will allow more people to see and know God in a more transparent way, the way he himself has revealed himself to us in The Holy Bible. This allows people to see the Reformed church as being more transparent as well because we can't promise anyone a life free from sin, pain, trouble, weakness, fear, self-doubt or weakened faith. We can't promise you won't ever be judged, offended, or sinned against. In fact, you may even experience persecution, but as Pastor Mark also reminded us this past Sunday evening, this is what we have been promised:
*Eternal Life (John 3:36).
*That God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
*The presence of the Holy Spirit with you (John 14:16).
*That God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
*That when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away (1 Peter 5:4).
*That if you humble yourself under God’s mighty hand He will exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6).
*That you can cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
*That after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore you, secure you, strengthen you, and establish you (1 Peter 5:10).
*That you will be richly provided an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:11).
*That the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials (2 Peter 2:9).
*That the Lord knows the way you have taken and when He has tested you, you will come forth as gold (Job 23:10).
*That if you draw near to God, he will draw near to you (James 4:8).
*That you are God’s child now, and what you will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears you shall be like him, because you shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2) because you will finally see him face to face (1 Corinthians 3:12) our King, our Comforter, our Overcomer, our Savior.
No, we are not promised a life of perfect, material, earthly, social, and emotional security. But we are promised that if we take Christ's yoke upon us and learn from him, trading our pride and our self-focus to gaze upon the one who is gentle and lowly at heart that we will find rest for our souls. That my friends is transparency.
When we are more concerned about God's business first instead of our own interests first, it will lead to a joyous love for God and a pursuit of his will and glory. It will lead to a concern for the lost and a service that is less burdensome and more joyful. When we see the benefit of belonging to a Reformed community of believers where God is present in the reading and preaching of his Word, where God applies his Word to his people's hearts and minds through his power, we can be confident that we will be strengthened. As W. Robert Godfrey stated, we need to be building strong, faithful, Reformed churches centered around the preaching of God's Word where we will be strengthened and where we will find fellowship among God's people.
We would love to have you join us, come as you are (Romans 5:8).
We meet every Wednesday evening at 7pm and every Sunday evening at 5pm for Bible study.
Pastor Mark holds informal worship services on the last Sunday of every month at 5pm.
We meet at 1st Presbyterian Church in Adamsville, TN 328 Old Stage Rd.
The main points in this blog post were borrowed from the sermon Pastor Mark preached for us this past Sunday evening. You can listen and are encouraged to listen to the full sermon here:
"What Are You Doing Here?" God's Encouraging Word To Elijah 1 Kings 19:1-18 preached on Sunday evening, 9/30/18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUdl9818PXw
And Jesus said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)
West Tennessee Reformed is a conservative Presbyterian church planting effort where Christ is preached consistently and where God speaks powerfully through his written word, The Holy Bible.