Psalm 51 is a psalm of repentance and one we can learn from and even use to model our own confessions. When we feel the pain of conviction, a crushing weight that feels like broken bones, we can run to our Father and cry out to him in repentance. And we can do so in complete confidence, knowing that our loving, merciful God forgives us through the cleansing and atoning blood of our Savior.
I won't feign humility by falsely degrading my own abilities (though to be honest, in my weaker and more insecure moments I have), but in a comparison of intellectual horsepower, I don't measure up to the academic achievements of many of my parishioners. Simply put, I pastor a congregation of people, many of whom are much smarter than me. So, how does one pastor people smarter than him?
When the New Testament writers describe salvation under the figure of being "redeemed," they are borrowing a metaphor from the first-century practice of slavery. Christ purchased believers so that we can no longer claim to be our own (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23; Revelation 5:9.). As slaves of Christ, we identify Him as our Lord and Master (Romans 6:22; 10:9; 2 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Peter 3:15).
No one likes change. Change frequently becomes a platform for anxiety in an individual's life. We all like routine. Knowing what to expect makes us feel safe and offers us the comfort of seeming stability. Yet, change is inevitable. We are changing creatures in a changing world. Things are either changing for the worst or for the better. Nothing remains static. Growth and progress necessitate change. This is no less true with regard to the growth and progress of a local church as it is with regard to an individual's life. Change in the church is one of the most necessary but also one of the most unwelcomed guests. So, given the fact that change can be stressful and steal away an individual's sense of comfort, how should pastors approach this subject in theory and practice?
The Alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars, and churchmen who hold the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today's Church.