Wednesday Bible Study
Weekly Bible Studies
--"The fields are ripe for harvest!"--
THE REFORMED FELLOWSHIP: This group meets to develop a systematic understanding of the Christian faith in our modern culture, making use of great Reformed literature as the basis for a free-wheeling discussion over breakfast. Currently, we are beginning a new study in R. C. Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, meeting each week on Thursday mornings for breakfast at the A&N Diner and Family Restaurant in Sellersville, PA.
October 31, 2019: "Effectual Calling," a discussion by Pastor MacLaren based on Dr. R. C. Sproul's book ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. (October 31, 2019)
October 24, 2019: "Predestination and Reprobation," a discussion by Pastor MacLaren based on Dr. R. C. Sproul's book ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. (October 24, 2019)
October 17, 2019: "Predestination," a discussion by Pastor MacLaren based on Dr. R. C. Sproul's book ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. (October 17, 2019)
October 10, 2019: "Salvation,"
October 3, 2019: "The Unforgivable Sin" and "Syncretism," a discussion by Pastor MacLaren based on Dr. R. C. Sproul's book ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. (October 3, 2019)
September 5, 2019: "Human Depravity." We all admit to making "mistakes," and there is always room for improvement. But are the defects of our life merely superficial or do they reflect a much deeper problem? Watch as Pastor MacLaren explains from his commentary on the book ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH by Dr. R. C. Sproul.
August 29, 2019: "Original Sin!" Many believe that people are basically good and that our imperfections may be corrected by a change in our environment or through education, meditation, and medication. The Bible has a completely opposite description of our human condition. We are wicked to the very core of our being, and every aspect of our lives is corrupted by our "sin." Can such a view be true? Watch as Pastor MacLaren explains from his commentary on the book ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH by Dr. R. C. Sproul.
August 22, 2019: "That's a Sin!" Have you ever heard someone say, "That's a sin!" They are usually describing something so offensive that there just is no better way of describing it than as a "sin." But what really is "sin?" Who gets to determine what is sinful or morally evil? Watch as Pastor MacLaren explains from his commentary on the book ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH by Dr. R. C. Sproul.
August 15, 2019: "Still Our Ancient Foe." Pastor MacLaren discusses the presence of Satan and demons in the world and shows how they were defeated decisively at the cross of Christ. This video also contains Pastor MacLaren's reflections on the recent deaths of two prominent men in the OPC and the challenge of depression in the lives of God's people.
August 1, 2019: "Christians in Flesh and Spirit."
July 25, 2019: "Man as Body and Soul." Many Evangelicals believe that our human nature is composed of three parts, body, soul, and spirit. They point to Scripture passages like that in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 for support, and argue that man's soul is morally neutral and capable of thinking obediently and choosing to follow God. The spirit of man however is dead to God and needs to be revived by the new birth. Pastor MacLaren will show from the Scriptures that this is not so. God has composed us of two parts, body and soul. This distinguishes the Christian faith from paganism and from compromises with humanistic faiths.
July 19, 2019: "Man in God's Image." The Christian faith is unique in its description of man as made in the image of God. The nature of this "image" has major consequences for our ability to distinguish man from beast, and to see how man can relate really and truly to God. Watch as Pastor MacLaren introduces the idea of the image of God in mankind. This video was recorded on July 19, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church in Perkasie, PA (www.firstchurchopc.org).
July 11, 2019: "Sanctified by the Spirit." Pastor MacLaren brings together two topics in this one video, yeah, even three! First he will map out a theological landscape for you to see where the Reformed Faith fits in the broad theological/religious landscape. Second, he will discuss the work of the Spirit in sanctifying the church. And finally, he will show that our knowledge of ourselves is mutually informed by our knowledge of God.
June 27, 2019: "The Holy Spirit as Comforter."
June 20, 2019: "Tongues and Spirit Baptism." Do you speak in tongues? Many believe that the experience of speaking in tongues is evidence of the Spirit's baptism in one's life, and that this experience enables you to worship God more personally and witness to others more powerfully. But is the present experience of speaking in tongues what was present in the early church, and it that how God wants us to live today?
June 6, 2019: "The Illumination of the Spirit." A meditation based on Dr. R. C. Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, chapter 40.
May 30, 2019: "The Inner Testimony of the Spirit."
May 23, 2019: "The Ascension of Jesus into Glory."
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April 4, 2019: "The Only Begotten, Baptized Christ," Pastor MacLaren continues his discussion of themes developed in Dr. R. C. Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, chapters 30-31.
March 21, 2019: "The Virgin Birth of Christ." The virgin birth of Jesus has come under withering criticism from liberal theologians and scholars who are skeptical of the Bible's supernatural origins and nature. Such criticism was decisively answered by Dr. J. Gresham Machen about a century ago, who showed that their criticism arose from their naturalistic, pagan assumptions. Watch as Pastor MacLaren explains something of the biblical support for the virgin birth of Jesus, as well as the nature and necessity of that birth for our redemption.
March 14, 2019: "The Sinlessness of Christ." In our modern world, we rarely talk about "sin," as that is religious language that infers an obligation before God. Even more, it describes acts against God's revealed norms that make us vulnerable to divine judgment. We are very much aware of our "shortcomings," "addictions," and "bad habits," but "sins" against God are not so much recognized as ignored and suppressed. Watch as Pastor MacLaren develops the idea of the sinlessness of Jesus Christ and the implications of that for our faith and life. chapter 28 in ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.
February 21: "The Humanity of Christ." Pastor MacLaren picks up his Commentary on Dr. R. C. Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH in this video recorded on March 7, 2019.
February 14, 2019: "The Covenant of Works," Chapter 24.
February 7, 2019: "Covenant," Chapter 23. The "covenant" is a very significant concept with the Scriptures that we need to understand. It has an impact on a wide range of things, from the plan of redemption to our meditation on Scripture, the preaching of God's word, and the order of worship. Pastor MacLaren develops this concept in this video based on Dr. R. C. Sproul's book ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.
January 10, 2019: "Providence," Pastor MacLaren continues his commentary on Dr. R. C. Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, chapter 20.
September 28, 2018: "The Canon of Scripture," A topic that you will hear rarely discussed at church in the formation of the Christian "canon" of Scripture. How did we come up with the 66 books of the Bible as sacred Scripture? Did that come about by a church decree, or were the documents "canonical" as soon as they were written? Pastor MacLaren discusses this and other related matters in this commentary based on Dr. R. C. Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.
"The Magic Bible," When you sit down in your pew and hear the pastor say as he begins his reading from the Scriptures, "Listen for the word of God," do your ears perk up? I don't mean, do you then listen more attentively to what is about to be said, but do you question the pastor for introducing the Bible reading in this way? Many don't catch what is happening here, but this is a most deceitful and evil thing to say! Watch as Pastor MacLaren explains why.
"The KJV Only and the Canon of Scripture," Does the KJV Only believer, who asserts that the KJV is an inspired, inerrant translation of Scripture, violate the close of the canon of Scripture by the addition of new revelation to the church in the form of the English language translation? Watch as Pastor MacLaren explains in this online video ministry of First Presbyterian Church in Perkasie, PA (www.firstchurchopc.org).
September 21, 2018: "The Prophets of God." Did the prophets merely predict the future, or also preach to the present? Has their ministry ceased with the writing of Scripture, or are there inspired prophets today? Join the Men's Reformed Fellowship as we make our way through Dr. R C Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. This video was recorded on September 20, 2018, with Pastor Richard S. MacLaren.
September 14, 2018: "True Theonomy!" Imagine what would happen if we lived in a culture that had no written laws to follow! Chaos would ensue in short order. Law is essential for the good order of society. God's Law not only governs societies, it governs history, the cosmos, and the Christian life. Watch as Pastor MacLaren comments on Dr. Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, "The Law of God."
September 7, 2018: "Special Revelation and the Bible." How did we get our Bibles? Did God dictate a message to the prophets, or was there a more organic process involved? Is the Bible inspired, and what does that mean? Are the copies of the original manuscripts or the translations today also inerrant? Is the King James Version of the Bible the inerrant word of God? Watch as Pastor MacLaren addresses these and many other issues during this video based on Dr. R C Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.
August 30, 2018: "Immediate and Mediate General Revelation." So you find yourself walking through the jungles of Vietnam in late '69, and though you may be impressed by the jungle, you need to see through and beyond the jungle to the Viet Cong soldier with his gun trained on you in a rice patty. Fastforward to today, do you see the wonder and glory of God in the forests, lakes, and stars above, or do you merely look at the surface of things? Watch as Pastor MacLaren takes us through R C Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH in this video recorded on August 30, 2018.
August 23, 2018: "Paradox, Mystery, Not Contradiction." Some people think they are pretty smart because they can point to "contradictions" in the Bible and so "prove" that you are foolish for believing in Jesus. However, these so-called "contradictions," on further analysis, merely turn out to be paradoxes or mysteries, but not true, real contradictions. Watch as Pastor MacLaren continues his study based on R C Sproul's book, ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH in this video.
August 16, 2018: "Divine Revelation," What does God think of the atheist? Does he have good reason for doubting the existence of God? What about those who never hear the gospel of Jesus--will they go to hell? Can an infant be saved? These are some of the questions Pastor MacLaren considers in the course of this video on the first chapter of ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH by R. C. Sproul.
July 5, 2018: "Introducing ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH." The Men's Reformed Fellowship is a discipleship group for men who are committed to bringing their lives under the lordship of Jesus Christ. We are beginning a study of Dr. R. C. Sproul's book ESSENTIAL TRUTHS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH as the starting point for discussions on the teaching of the Scriptures. Pastor MacLaren in this video develops those conversations further for the benefit of those unable to attend the meetings.
"Machen: The Witness of the Synoptic Gospels to the Deity of Jesus." Modern naturalistic scholarship thought to evade the clear proclamation of the deity of Jesus in the fourth gospel, the Gospel of John, by denying its historicity. It sought refuge in the "synoptic" gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) with the thought that they did not speak so distinctly about the deity of Jesus. Not so, says Machen. They are filled with testimony to his divine nature from the very beginning of their accounts. Pastor MacLaren continues his commentary on Machen's great work, THE PERSON OF JESUS: RADIO ADDRESSES ON THE DEITY OF THE SAVIOR. This video was originally broadcast live on Facebook on April 5, 2018.
"The Deity of Christ." The Men's Reformed Book Club is a ministry of First Presbyterian Church that equips men for following the Lord Jesus within the context of our Western Post-modern Culture. We are currently reading through Dr. J. Gresham Machen's book, THE PERSON OF JESUS: RADIO ADDRESSES ON THE DEITY OF THE SAVIOR. This video begins the second chapter of that book with comments by Pastor MacLaren.
Part 1: https://youtu.be/usUcaRONkoo
"The Triune God." This video covers chapter 1, pp. 10-14. Pastor MacLaren leads the reading and makes comments on the topics considered.