R.C. Sproul on Abortion

I believe that the greatest ethical issue today is that of abortion. In recent years many have come to see terrorism as more concerning than abortion. I am baffled by that, because more people were killed on September 10 in the womb of U.S. women than were killed on 9/11 in New York City. More babies were slaughtered on September 12 than adults were killed on 9/11. If we had a camera on the womb so that CNN could show us graphic videos of what actually happens in the slaughter of unborn children, abortion would be quickly abolished, but the reality of it is covered up. If there is one thing I know about God, it is that he hates abortion. The German ethicist Helmut Thielicke indicated something unusual in his massive mid-twentieth-century work on Christian ethics. The work appeared before Roe v. Wade; that is, before Western civilization had embraced abortion on demand. In his book Thielicke wrote that abortion has always been considered a monolithic evil in Christian thought among both liberals and conservatives. That is clear from the very first century, in the Didache, which called abortion “murder.” Abortion is an unspeakable evil that God abhors, one that the American church tolerates and winks at. That troubles me deeply, and I do not understand it.

Sproul, R. C.. Romans (St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary) (pp. 422-423). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

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4/29 Put It Into Practice

  1. In what ways did God comfort, challenge, or correct you today?
  2. Pastor Paul used four words to describe the Lord’s Supper. Can you list those words?
  3. In what way is the Lord’s Supper a remembrance?
  4. In what way is the Lord’s Supper a covenant renewal?
  5. In what way is the Lord’s Supper a participation?
  6. In what way is the Lord’s Supper a proclamation?
  7. Explain why baptism marks entrance into the new covenant and the Lord’s Supper marks continuation in the new covenant.
  8. What is the connection between church discipline and the Lord’s Supper?
  9. Lord willing, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper again soon. What can you do to make the Lord’s Supper a more meaningful time of worship?
  10. How can you help your family make the Lord’s Supper a more meaningful time of worship?

Preparing for the Lord’s Supper

Our statement of faith and church covenant are helpful tools for discipleship and unity. Concerning discipleship, our statement and covenant teach true doctrine in a short summary fashion. Concerning unity, our statement and covenant provide short reminders of what we believe and what we commit to do for one another. Broadly speaking, the statement of faith records what we believe, and the covenant records our commitment as members one of another. As we come together, please consider what Christ and His Church have handed down for our benefit.

On Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer1, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost2; to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life3; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper4, in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ5; preceded always by solemn self-examination6.

  1. 3:5-6; 28:19; Mark 16:16; John 3:22-23; 4:1-2; Acts 2:38; 8:12, 36-39; 16:32-34; 18:8
  2. 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Gal. 3:27-28
  3. Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:20-21
  4. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; Acts and Epistles
  5. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:26
  6. John 6:26-71; 1 Cor. 11:28; 5:1, 8; 10:3-32; 11:17-32

 Our Church Covenant

As we trust we have been brought by divine grace to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ and by the influence of his Spirit to give ourselves up to him; so, we do now solemnly covenant with each other:

That, God, enabling us we will walk together in brotherly love.

That, we will exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully build up, encourage, rebuke, admonish, and discipline one another as the case shall require.

That we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor omit the great duty of prayer, both for ourselves and for others.

That, we will participate in each others joys and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each others burdens and sorrows.

That, we will earnestly endeavor to bring up such as may be under our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

That we will seek Divine aid to enable us to walk circumspectfully and watchfully in the world, denying ungodliness and every worldly lust.

That we will strive together for the support both temporally and spiritually for a faithful evangelical ministry among us.

That we will endeavor by example and effort to win souls to Christ,

And through life, amidst evil report and good report, seek to live to the glory of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light,

And may the Great Head of the church enable us to keep and perform this solemn covenant. Amen.

4/22 Put It into Practice; Romans 12:6-8

  1. In what way did God comfort, challenge, or correct you today?
  2. What would it look like for you to take one step toward becoming more like Jesus?
  3. Describe what prophecy looks like today. How do you know if someone has the gift of prophecy?
  4. Who do you know that is a good servant? What makes him/her effective?
  5. What do you think is the difference between a good teacher and a Holy Spirit gifted teacher?
  6. Who do you know that could use a word of encouragement? What is your plan for coming alongside and helping? Consider a card, email, or text message and include a pertinent Scripture or prayer.
  7. Does a person have to be wealthy to have the gift of generosity? Why or why not?
  8. What effects does a lazy leader have on a group? What effects does a diligent leader have on a group?
  9. Think about the most merciful thing a person has ever done for you. Can you see specific ways the Holy Spirit gifted that person?

Some Help for the “Gifts”

Here is a helpful understanding of the gifts from Ray Stedman and an encouraging word from James M. Boice.

I am a son of God among the sons of men. I am equipped with the power of God to labor today. In the very work given me today God will be with me, doing it through me. I am gifted with special abilities to help people in various areas, and I don’t have to wait until Sunday to use these gifts. I can use them anywhere. I can exercise the gift God has given me as soon as I find out what it is, by taking note of my desires and by asking others what they see in me and by trying out various things. I am to set myself to the lifelong task of keeping that gift busy (Ray Stedman).

Paul told Timothy, “Fan into flame that gift of God, which is in you” (2 Tim 1:6). That is exactly what you should do. You have a gift. The rest of the body needs it. You will be accountable for what you do with it. Use it so that one day you will hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness” (Matt 25:21, 23) (James M Boice).

Romans 12:6-8 Put It Into Practice

  1. In what way did God comfort, challenge, or correct you today?
  2. How has God gifted you to build up your brothers and sisters?
  3. According to Romans 12:6, why do we all have different gifts? Why is diversity important in the body?
  4. Take a moment to define the seven gifts in Romans 12:6-8 and give examples of how you see this gift working in the church?
  5. Are the use of the gifts authoritative or is the Bible authoritative? Why does authority matter?
  6. How does viewing the church as an event attended once a week affect the way a person understands spiritual gifts?
  7. How does viewing the church as a family affect the way a person can use his/her gifts?
  8. Pray for God to use your gift, and the gifts of your brothers and sisters, to build up the church.

Romans 12:3-6 Put It Into Practice

  1. In what way did God comfort, challenge, or correct you today?
  2. What has God called and gifted me to do for the good of the church? Am I using the gift faithfully? How can I be more fruitful with the gift God has assigned?
  3. In what ways did you stir up your brothers and sisters to love and good works today?
  4. Are you a hyper-thinker (think too much and do too little) or are you a hypo-thinker (do too much and think too little)? How does this affect your family and this church?
  5. How do you keep from envying other members who have, what you perceive to be, greater gifts than yourself? Think about our common justification and our mutuality (1 Cor 12:21-26).
  6. What can you do to protect the unity of the body while encouraging the diverse use of gifts in the body?
  7. What lessons can you learn from your physical health? How do these relate to the church-body?