Good Afternoon Church,
What a blessing it was to celebrate the gospel’s impact on seven different lives during the baptism service this past Sunday. Baptism truly is a very special ordinance and time in the life of a local Church when individual faith goes public, and that is what happened as we heard those individuals joyfully and clearly proclaim personal repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. We had many unbelievers with us on Sunday, and by God’s kind grace they were able to hear and see the gospel declared and dramatized repeatedly with each personal testimony and act of baptism. Let’s continue to pray that by God’s sovereign mercy, the gospel will have genuine saving and sanctifying impact on all of us. I know many of you were deeply encouraged last Sunday, and I hope the joy of the Lord has continued to be your strength and focus all week!
Pray for Our Men’s Class on Fighting Sin
I am purposely writing to you today to encourage and enlist your prayers for the men of our Church and specifically for those who will be taking our upcoming men’s class on fighting stubborn sexual sin. Sadly, the modern Church is infected with sickness on many different levels including the serious problem of sexual sin among those who claim the name of Christ. For far too long, the Church has been timid about this topic and relegated discussions about sexual sin to backroom closets, closed door meetings, or 12 step programs. This has not been helpful and has only further served to strengthen the chains of sinful enslavement that bind many men and women, driving them and their families into deep despair. Frankly, the modern Church has acted like there is little or no hope for this heart malady, which has only served to prove her lack of real understanding in the power of the gospel and the priority of the Scriptures in living transformed lives for the glory of God.
Therefore, by God’s grace, we are seeking to confront this problem head on with an intensive class that will expose the root causes of our sinful passions and then practically equip us to kill them with the life giving hope of the gospel and the lasting help of the Scriptures. While this class is applicable for both men and women, because heart idolatry is a serious problem for all of us, we are specifically starting this class, at this time, with the men. It is an undeniable biblical fact that God has designed the home and the Church to be led by godly men, and when that happens it yields a massive blessing and protection for everyone, including all women, both wives and singles, and every individual family. That is why I have said, from my first Sunday as your pastor, that this Church will only be as strong as the men that fill and lead it. That our homes will only be as strong as the men that lead them. Our marriages will only be as strong as the men that lead, guard, and protect them. Thus, the greatest need for Belcroft Bible Church is that she would be a place filled with godly men who walk with God through faithful obedience to His Word. This class is another decisive step in that biblical direction of seeking to follow God’s design for our lives, our families, and our Church!
Yet, no real lasting change will happen unless God, by His sovereign grace through the power of His Spirit and the clear conviction of His Word, opens eyes, breaks hearts, and rebuilds lives. Thus, I am writing to implore all of you to pray for this class, but most seriously for the men of BBC that God would grow us to be more like Christ. Ladies, I hope your heart is only encouraged by all of this, and I want you to know that I am directly seeking your help in beseeching our Lord on behalf of your husbands and brothers in Christ! As your pastor, I am coming to all the women of Belcroft, young and old, married and single, and asking you to strive in prayer, for us and with us, as we strive for holiness in our walk with our Lord and with one another! I have been praying for this class for weeks, both personally and with my prayer partners, and now I am humbly reaching out to the whole Church, and most personally to all the ladies, seeking your partnership in praying for us. Here are some specific thoughts and requests that might prove helpful as you pray.
1. Pray that all of us as men would be humbled and broken as we come to embrace the root cause of our sin problem. That our self-righteous pride would be shattered. That our self-serving attitudes of heart protection and personal exaltation would be eviscerated. That we would truly see our heart for what it really is and stop feeding it and trusting it!
2. Pray that we would grow deeper in our understanding of the power of the gospel and how the genuine believer has truly been set free from the dominion of sin and Satan. Pray that Christ’s glory and joy would become our greatest pleasure in this life! That we would grow to loathe sin with a holy hatred because of Who it is against and the displeasure it brings upon our great God! Pray that we would have a greater understanding of God’s holiness and all that it means when compared to our sinfulness.
3. Pray that we would be disciplined in our study time both before and during this class. Pray that we would proactively be relentless in persevering in our proactive pursuit for God given purity! Pray that we would be diligent in regular repentance and dedicated to complete submission to the Scriptures in every area of our lives. Pray that we would be encouraged by God’s sovereign sustaining and sanctifying grace and personally encouraged by God’s daily mercy to never stop killing sin at the heart level.
I hope this simple guide will help direct your prayers as you seek to come alongside us and help us to be all that God has called us to be as godly men, husbands, and fathers. The class actually begins on Thursday July 11th at 7:30 pm, so we have some good time to pray in preparation for the class. Maybe some of you ladies could gather together to pray for us during the week, throughout the summer as the class happens, or even on Thursday nights once the class begins. I would also personally ask that you not only intercede on my behalf as one of the men of this Church, but also for my time in working on developing study notes that go along with the book we are using. Pray that I would be effective, clear, and biblical in all my work, and faithful in fulfilling my responsibility to both lead the class, along with my other pastoral duties. Please do not minimize the deep need we have for your prayers and the great opportunity you have to serve our Lord, Church, and families through seeking God’s undeserved grace on our behalf. Also, know that we already have a number of other churches who will be represented in this class, so please pray that God would do His work of grace in the hearts of all the men and every Church as we seek to be faithful in growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ so that we might delight in the Truth while walking in the Word.
Yours for the Master’s Glory,