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Biblical.  Confessional.  Reformed.  Reverent.

Sunday Worship Services
10:30am – Morning Worship
5:30pm – Evening Worship
Church Address
Moultrie Middle School
654 Coleman Boulevard
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
 

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Great Is His Faithfulness: Christ Church at One Year

Many years ago I attended a Billy Graham Crusade in Charlotte, North Carolina. I don’t remember a whole lot about the evening except that there was a heavy downpour of rain and we sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness, the beloved hymn written by Thomas Crisholm in 1923. To sing this great hymn with approximately 60,000 people was a glorious foretaste of heaven, where with one voice the full number of God’s redeemed from every tribe, tongue, and nation will give thanks and praise to God (Rev. 7:9-12)–– celebrating His faithfulness, mercy, and love. God’s covenant faithfulness was the theme of our worship that night, and I have no doubt that it will be the theme of our song for eternity!

Perhaps you already know that Great Is Thy Faithfulness was inspired by a text from Lamentations. Lamentations is one of those Old Testament books that most Christians are unfamiliar with. One reason for its neglect might be it’s focus on the severe judgment of God. The Southern Kingdom of Israel had become so profoundly idolatrous that God Himself raised up the nation of Babylon in 586 B.C. to invade their land and take them into captivity and exile. Lamentations, written by the prophet Jeremiah, is true to it’s title. It’s a lament for the dreadful condition of God’s unfaithful people.

Thankfully, there is another significant theme in the book of Lamentations, namely, God’s loyal, steadfast, covenant-keeping faithfulness. God’s faithfulness is what Jeremiah and others desperately held on to as death and destruction encompassed them. The rank idolatry the Southern Kingdom invited God’s covenant curses (Deut. 27:9ff), and they deserved to be utterly destroyed. Nevertheless, God would not forsake His gracious covenant promises (Gen. 3:16; 12:1-3; II Sam. 7:14). In a time of great sorrow and lament, Jeremiah and the remnant would not despair. They believed that the steadfast love and faithfulness of God endure forever.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” (3:22-24)

Beloved Christ Church, sometimes sin and the world get the better of us. We do not love God and our neighbor (e.g. spouse, children, family, co-workers, folks next door, etc.) as we ought. Our lives are full of spiritual ups and downs. Sometimes our faith falters in the face of various trials and conflicts. Even so, let us not lose heart. Let us remember the precious biblical promise that “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases - great is {His} Faithfulness.” And may we remember that God’s covenant faithfulness and mercy is ultimately realized in the sending of His beloved Son Jesus Christ to redeem us from the power and penalty of our sins. Christ is the essence of God’s fidelity.

Through faith in Christ we receive new life, forgiveness, righteousness, and an eternal inheritance. Apart from Christ we remain in our sin and invite everlasting judgment–– that which is typified in God’s dealings with OT Israel and the surrounding nations. But in Christ we are reconciled to God and counted as one of His very own children. Christ bore God’s curse on the cross for us, that we might be called sons of God (Gal. 3:13)!

Dearest friends, God’s loving faithfulness in Christ not only calls us to rest our faith in Him alone for salvation, but it also calls us to a life of growing trust and obedience. We must understand that God’s faithfulness is never an excuse for our unfaithfulness. Rather, God’s loving faithfulness is a profound reason and motivator toward spiritual growth and increasing holiness. Therefore, beloved, “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23).

Reflecting upon the first year of Christ Church Presbyterian, it is very easy to see the evidence of God’s covenant faithfulness all around us. Let’s consider for a moment what God has done: He called the Paynes and Hodges, from Georgia and California, to move to Charleston, SC in order to plant a new Reformed and confessional church. He then raised up several PCA congregations and mission-minded individuals to form gospel partnerships with Christ Church in order to commence the work last June. Since last June, God has, by His mysterious providence, gathered numerous wonderful families and gifted individuals from the Charleston area to form the core of our growing congregation–– a wonderful blend of some who are mature believers and others who are new to the discipleship process. In one short year we have received over 100 members, members who are passionate about biblical worship and God-centered evangelism. We also rejoice in the covenant children who have been born and baptized since the inception of the church ... with several more on the way!

The Lord has also shown His faithfulness by bringing Michael and Agnes Giuliani to the church, two gifted musicians who take sacred music seriously and play for the glory and majesty of God. Who ever dreamed that the music of our church plant could be so exceptional? Think also about the well-attended and deeply encouraging weekly men’s, women’s, and MUSC Bible studies. Think about the loving and utterly essential ministry of Ross and Joanna Hodges, two godly and well-equipped laborers for the gospel. Or how about the faithfulness of God in providing us with an amazing, convenient, and highly visible location for our Lord’s Day ministry? What about the humble service of the Lord’s Day set up crew (e.g. signs, hymnals, communion, bulletins, etc.) and nursery workers?

Perhaps more significant than any of these things is the way in which our Heavenly Father has been faithful to our congregation in the midst of suffering. None of us were prepared for the amount of hardship that came earlier this year. A cancer diagnosis, an untimely death, and other profound trials emerged all at once. How could our young church plant handle this amount of suffering at one time? In fact, we could not. And that’s precisely the lesson that God wants to teach us in these early days of our congregation, namely, that God is faithful to His promises (Rom. 8:28-39) and we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]” (Phil. 4:13).

As we celebrate the one year anniversary of Christ Church, let us revel in the steadfast love and faithfulness of God in Christ. He is worthy of all our praise! Beloved, anything good that has occurred at Christ Church over this past year is only the result of God’s abiding love and faithfulness. Therefore, let us give Him our utmost love and devotion. He is worthy. And let us believe the promise that “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful” (I Cor. 1:8-9).

Your Pastor, Servant, and Friend,

Pastor Jon