Posted by: Michael M. Dewalt | July 6, 2009

Calvin500 Day One

It’s been years since I’ve had such a good sleep as I had last night. After a little jetlag and walking miles throughout the day, it was also the first time in a long time that I was able to go to bed as early as 10pm. After a great night’s rest, attendees of the Calvin500 Tour and Conference spent their Lord’s Day worship in Calvin’s St. Pierre Cathedral in downtown Geneva.

During the morning worship, Rev. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson preached from Philippians 3:8-12. The sermon was entitled “In Christ Alone.”

8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

His three points focused on:

What Paul was by nature

What Paul found in Christ

What he became by grace

Dr. Ligon Duncan on twitter commented on the message saying, “Glorious. Convicting. Strengthening.”

And it was.

During the evening service there were two messages. The first was by Rt. Rev. Henry Orombi, who preached from Matthew 24:45-51 a sermon entitled “Be a Faithful Servant.” Rev. Orombi brought four thoughts to mind in his message for today’s church:

In order to be a faithful servant, one must understand what it means to “feed my sheep.”

In order to be a faithful servant, one must love the church with boldness.

In order to be a faithful servant, it takes a willingness to make a sacrifice.

In order to be a faithful servant, a true and pure love for one’s Savior will love his sheep.

The last message of the evening was given by Rev. Dr. Bryan Chapell, who was preaching from Ephesians 1:3-6 a sermon entitled “In Praise of Predestination.”

Dr. Chapell’s core theme was built around Paul’s concern in writing Ephesians 1—that is, to reveal God’s Fatherhood in His sovereignty. Chapell stressed that we, the church, serve a God that blesses His children—blesses them with a union with Christ, and blesses them with the righteousness of Christ.

Ephesians 1:3-6 reads,

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

This brought a great reminder to me, that when talking about Predestination it is nothing to be argued about, or something to bring up to debate. Rather, it is something that we stand back as believers of the wonderful Gospel and look at the beauty, the awe, and wonder of our precious God in whom we serve, who predestined His elect before all of creation.

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