PRAY FOR YOUR PASTORS

A good reminder from Robby Gallaty in Exalting Jesus in Malachi (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary):

“Regarding vocational ministers, without a doubt, there is perversion throughout the history of the clergy; such transgression was not isolated to the priests of the OT. Whether we look at the Roman Catholic sexual scandals, the adulterous, immoral relationships of some pastors, or the greed of many televangelists, no one is outside of the sting of sin. Sadly, many apparently get away with their sinful leadership. But God, who sees it all and certainly does not forget anything, holds church leaders to a higher standard. James 3:1 is a sobering reminder: “Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment.”

Church leaders are examined both by the Lord and by other people. Ministers’ families are constantly being scrutinized. Their finances are constantly being examined. Their material possessions are being analyzed and questioned. People from the inside and outside of the church judge their marriages, speech, actions, and attitudes all the time. Additionally, a pastor experiences the constant burden for lost family members, for backslidden church members, and of performing funerals for friends. This may be one reason why hundreds of pastors leave the ministry every single month.

Ministry is both a terrifying and a thrilling endeavor. The thought of standing before a righteous God to give an account for how His gospel was carried out is alarming. But what a privilege to be set apart for ministerial service! However, with great privilege comes great responsibility. Thankfully, One has come who carried out this responsibility perfectly. He was righteous under the law, never being led astray. Jesus stands as the quintessential priest and fulfillment of the Levitical priesthood.

Five key points can be extracted from this text as they relate to the calling of ministers:

1. Pray for their proclamation, that they would be men and women who preach and teach the gospel, the whole counsel of God.

2. Pray for their purity. The greatest gift that a minister can give is not his preaching ability, his ability to visit the sick or to comfort those who have lost loved ones, how consistently he visits hospitals, or how engaging of a counselor he is. The greatest gift a pastor can offer to his church is his personal holiness before the Lord.

3. Pray for your leaders’ marriages. The enemy would love nothing more than to destroy marriages. What God has brought together, Satan would delight in tearing asunder.

4. Pray for their protection. The enemy is likened to a roaring lion seeking to destroy and devour leaders in the church (1 Pet 5:8).

5. Pray for their perseverance. Ask God to empower them to stand firm to the end, looking to Jesus as their source, strength, and example of faithful service (cf. Heb 12:1-4).”

HUNGARY MISSION TRIP (2019)

For several years now, our church family has partnered with Baptists on Mission to work with local missionaries in Hungary. Our commitment to Nagyhalász, Hungary was solidified when we sent out a Fairview member to work among that people group. Because of our consistent work in the area, God has allowed our teams to lead English Bible Camps in a local school, and we have seen many children and adults repent of their sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ.

God willing, I will travel with a team from our church to teach Bible in the local schools in June-July. I am writing to humbly ask that you would be willing to pray for this endeavor, and consider supporting this mission trip financially. I am trying to raise around $2,000 by the end of May to cover the cost of this mission endeavor. If you feel led to give toward this mission, you can make a check out to:

Fairview Baptist Church

5608 Ten Ten Road, Apex, NC 27539

Put Matt Capps/Hungary in the memo line.

Or, you can give online at fairviewchurch.org/give by giving to the Hungary Trip and placing Matt Capps in the comment section.

Thank you so much for your consideration. I appreciate your prayers as we go to minister among the people in Nagyhalász, Hungary, and provide support to our missionaries in the area.

HOW THE TRINITY SHAPES THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH

An excerpt from my latest article at Credo Magazine:

“British theologian Colin Gunton once argued that one shortfall of modern ecclesiology derives from the fact that it has rarely been rooted in the conception of the Triune God. This observation is worth consideration. I would argue that the unity of the Triune God, even as each member is distinct in his function to accomplish the plan of redemption provides a framework by which we can understand the unity and the mission of the church.

One might even argue that we cannot formulate a proper ecclesiology without reference to the doctrine of the Triune God. For the purpose of this article, I will utilize three of the primary New Testament metaphors for the church, namely, the people of God, the body of Jesus Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit, to build a framework for a Trinitarian ecclesiology. Perhaps a more comprehensive understanding of how the doctrine of the Trinity informs our ecclesiology might nourish a more holistic understanding in at least two particular areas, namely, the unity and mission of the church.”

Click here to read the whole thing.

GOSPEL UNITY OVER CULTURAL UNIFORMITY (GALATIANS 2:1-10)

This sermon was preached at Fairview Baptist Church on January 20, 2019. To view the entire series on Galatians, click here.

PAUL THE EVANGELIST (GALATIANS 1:10-24)

This is the second sermon in a series on Galatians preached at Fairview Baptist Church. To listen to the entire series, visit this page.

THE GOSPEL OF GRACE AND PEACE (GALATIANS 1:1-9)

The first sermon in a series on Galatians at Fairview Baptist Church in Apex, NC.

A CHRISTIAN APPRECIATION OF ART

My latest article at Tabletalk:

Andrew Wyeth, one of America’s most renowned realist painters of the twentieth century, had an uncanny ability to capture the solemn nature of the rural American life with painstakingly controlled brushstrokes and a muted color palette. One of Wyeth’s most intriguing and iconic paintings is titled Christina’s World (1948). The central focus of the work is a brunette female lying in a field with her left hand struggling toward her far-off farmhouse. The figure in the painting is modeled after Wyeth’s neighbor, Anna Olson. Olson suffered from a degenerative muscular disorder that limited her to crawling around her house and family land.

There is nothing loud or wildly fantastic about the subject matter of Christina’s World. The power of the painting is held in what might be called the familiar whisper of beauty, a sense of the deep struggle in longing for home. It is a whisper that we cannot ignore. Like Christina’s World, beautiful art is never viewed with indifference. As philosopher Roger Scruton has noted, “Beauty demands to be noticed; it speaks directly to us like the voice of an intimate friend.” There is a sense in which all good art gives a certain voice to beauty. As C.S. Lewis reminds us in The Weight of Glory, beauty and art point beyond themselves. Beauty comes through as “the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”

Read the rest of the article here.