Weekly Update from Pastor Phil


We finished up VBS at South Woods on Friday evening. I’m grateful for Chris and Jessica Wilbanks for their leadership in preparation for VBS and for each day’s unfolding of every detail. They had a remarkable team working with them who loved the kids, served them, and showered them with evidence of the greatness of Jesus Christ. Thank you VBS workers! I’m thankful, as well, for all of the parents who entrusted their kids to our team’s leadership and service. And what a great group of kids! Pray that the fruit of the week will show up in the lives of these children in the months and years ahead.

We return to our weekly STINT class tomorrow on Why the Reformation Still Matters. This week’s study is on the theology of the cross. If we lose sight of what the Word teaches on the cross then we’ve lost Christianity. So it does matter, indeed! I’m glad that we’re getting to reflect upon these reformation truths each week.

On Sunday morning, one of our dear friends, Joey H. who serves in Central Asia, will be giving a testimony at the beginning of our service. He was my guide and translator during my first trip to Central Asia quite a few years ago. He’s taught me so much about gospel work in the Islamic world. I know that you’ll enjoy hearing him and meeting his family this week.

Looking ahead, let me encourage you to register for the 2017 National Founders Conference, October 3–5, hosted by South Woods. What is this conference about? That’s a good question when we live in a day with dozens of excellent conferences. This one focuses specifically on “Reformation Truths Now and Forever,” with biblical expositions that journey through the inspiration of God’s Word, the condition of humanity, the justifying work of Christ, the ongoing work of holiness in the believer, the necessity of grace alone, faith alone, and the glory of God alone. Our speakers include Tom Nettles, Ray Ortlund Jr., Fred Malone, Geoff Thomas, Tom Hicks, Matt McCullough, Jordan Thomas, and me. The fellowship will be encouraging and the times of worship led by Jim Carnes will give us a glimpse of gathering around the throne forever. So register for the conference and join us in Memphis October 3–5. http://founders.org/events/2017/10/2017-national-founders-conference/

I had the opportunity to do a historical overview of elders during the “core seminar” time at Cherokee Baptist in Memphis on Sunday, and then preached on Titus 1:5–9 in the worship serve on elders in the life of the church. I appreciated the chance to dialogue with these folks about how the local church functions together.

Matt Sliger continued our partnership in expounding 1 John on Sunday. I read through his sermon before he preached it and gloried in the grace of God shown to us, particularly how our gracious God has testified to the power and effectiveness of the work of Christ. I think that you will find this message to be very helpful toward assurance in Christ.

I’ll be picking back up in that well known text on assurance 1 John 5:13 on Sunday.

Phil N.