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The Gifts of the Spirit

July 30, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

We have taken time to unpack what Sinclair Ferguson means when he says: “The heart and soul of the Spirit’s ministry is to sustain us ‘in Christ’” (The Holy Spirit, p. 100). The ministry of the Spirit does not add anything to what we have in Christ, nor does the Spirit compete with or replace Christ. The Spirit unites us to Christ and sustains us in that all-satisfying, all-sufficient relationship, through his various works.... Keep Reading

Biblical Fidelity in a Shifting Culture

July 23, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Four weeks ago the Supreme Court of the United States announced their ruling which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. While not unexpected, and the topic having been hotly debated for years both in political and ecclesiastical spheres, reactions to the ruling have been abundant and vastly variant. Some have asked for my opinion and perspective on the decision. While I am no political or cultural expert, I am a pastor, committed to the Word of God and seeking to make known God’s truth. I believe the Bible is not silent regarding God’s standards for marriage and the church’s responsibility in a shifting culture. If I call people to anything, I want to call people to be faithful to God’s revealed truth in Scripture.... Keep Reading

Long-Term Labors for the Gospel

July 16, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Greetings from Warm Springs, Oregon! Our team from Oak Hills has been ministering with Sacred Road Ministries this week on the Warm Springs Reservation. Part of our team has been laboring hard in the community garden and the other part of our team has been working on painting the cedar shingles of the tribal long house. Each afternoon at 3pm we gather together to help lead the Kids' Club for 50+ children. God has been good to our team this week, answering prayers daily and building us up in his grace.... Keep Reading

Making Known God’s Grace in Warm Spring

July 12, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Oak Hills is going on another missions trip. Yes, as a church, we are going. Sure, only 10 of our members depart Saturday morning for Warm Springs, Oregon, but we are all involved with the mission. It’s part of our DNA. We “long to know and make known the astonishing grace of God.” This longing to make known the grace of God is rooted in our growing knowledge and experience of God’s gracious kindness to us in Christ and our deepening compassion on those who do not know Christ. Our longing drives us to send and go and pray and be involved with missions. If our longing is weak, we have much to learn and we ought to beseech God to enliven our hearts.... Keep Reading

Oceans of Love

July 2, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Greetings from Folly Beach in Charleston, South Carolina! My family and I are enjoying summer vacation on the beach (and my nephew is getting married tonight). My kids love the beach and ocean for hours of adventurous play (don't worry, we're looking out for sharks). I love the ocean because of its power and rhythms and beauty and depth of mystery. As one of God's splendid creations, the ocean has inspired much poetic reflection. One of my favorite hymns incorporates the imagery of the ocean:... Keep Reading

The Body Work of the Spirit

June 25, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Over the past month I have been reflecting on the various aspects of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit seeks to sustain us “in Christ” through his ministries of regeneration, illumination, and sanctification. The work of the Spirit is not limited, though, to an individual experience. In fulfillment of his declaration in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” Jesus has poured out his Spirit on believers. It is through the work of the Spirit that Christ builds his church. We call this the body work of the Spirit and the gifting of the Spirit. Both are the work of Christ through the Spirit in order to build his church.... Keep Reading

The Sanctifying Ministry of the Spirit

June 18, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Over the past few weeks we have been reflecting on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Sinclair Ferguson says: “The heart and soul of the Spirit’s ministry is to sustain us ‘in Christ’” (The Holy Spirit, p. 100). Part of sustaining us in Christ is the Spirit’s sanctifying work. Sanctification is the necessary process of the Holy Spirit making us more and more like Christ. Our growth in holiness is an essential result of our salvation (notice it is not the means of our salvation). Christ has graciously given us his Spirit to empower this process. So, how does the Spirit empower the process of sanctification? How does the Spirit help me grow in holiness? John Calvin and the Puritan pastors of the 17th century spoke of the Spirit’s work of mortification and vivification: death & life. Daily dying to sin and daily coming to life to righteousness.... Keep Reading

The Sanctifying Ministry of the Spirit

June 11, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Sinclair Ferguson says: “The heart and soul of the Spirit’s ministry is to sustain us ‘in Christ’” (The Holy Spirit, p. 100). The ministry of the Spirit does not add anything to what we have in Christ, nor does the Spirit compete with or replace Christ. The Spirit unites us to Christ and sustains us in that all-satisfying, all-sufficient relationship. Last week we looked at the Spirit’s specific ministry of illumination, which is the Spirit’s work of opening our minds and hearts to see the beauty and goodness of Christ in all of Scripture and invigorating our minds and hearts to delight in Christ more and more. Let’s consider the Spirit’s ministry of sanctification. Sanctification is a biblical word that speaks about the process of becoming more and more holy. What role does the Spirit play in this process and how is sanctification connected with our being in Christ? Sanctification is the necessary process of the Holy Spirit making us more and more like Christ. Let’s break down this definition... Keep Reading

The Illuminating Ministry of the Spirit

June 4, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Last week we considered Sinclair Ferguson’s excellent summary of the ministry of the Spirit: “The heart and soul of the Spirit’s ministry is to sustain us ‘in Christ’” (The Holy Spirit, p. 100). The ministry of the Spirit does not add anything to what we have in Christ, nor does the Spirit compete with or replace Christ. The Spirit unites us to Christ and sustains us in that all-satisfying, all-sufficient relationship. We then looked at a brief survey of the New Testament passages that highlight this ministry of the Spirit.... Keep Reading

The Ministry of the Spirit

May 28, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

What does the Spirit do anyway? Over the past two weeks we have considered the goodness of the gift of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Jesus promised in Acts 1:8 that the Spirit would empower his disciples to be witnesses. On Pentecost the Spirit was poured out on the church, with several signs, by Christ to affirm and apply his redemptive work. Left with only these descriptions, though, the ministry of the Spirit still is vague. He gives power and he applies the work of Christ. But how does this work and how is the Holy Spirit’s ministry connected with the work of Christ? And what difference does the ministry make in our day to day lives?... Keep Reading

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