The 9:00 am session speaker was Richard Philips, Senior Minister of Second Presbyterian in Greenville, SC on "The Perfect Sacrifice" (Hebrews 7:26-28). He contrasted the work of the human high priest who relied on external adornment (priestly robes) but lacked the requisite holiness. He asked, "Where is the true Priest?" and pointed to Christ as the only holy, innocent, and unstained Priest (v. 26).
The 10:45 am speaker was Ian Hamilton of Cambridge Presbyterian of Cambridge, England. His was a very experimental word for Pastors. His text was the doxology of Romans 11:33-36 and his theme, "The Minister's Calling."
1. Our preaching must pulse with the note of breathless wonder (see v. 33: "O, the depths....).
Paul was not just captured by grace but captivated by it. We do not manufacture doxology. The gospel is not a chunk of Calvinistic facts. Our presentation of the gospel is not to be "clinical," "mechanical" or "metalic." God's grace is a not a mere demarcating Shibboleth but a heart-stopping wonder.
2. Our preaching must have a grace-constrained humility (vv. 33-34).
We must not be "theological know-it-alls," but we must be humbled before the Lord. We need a spirit of "humble gravity." This is counter to the modern stress on "relaxed informality." In past days, evangelicals confessed a Big God and a little man. Today it is a Big Man and a little god.
3. We must sound a note of "exultant adoration" (v. 36).
We must express "a doxological confession of faith." This is the terminus ad quem of the gospel of grace. Hamilton shared that he saw this most in his pastoral mentor, James Philips. he noted that Philips was a shy man who even had trouble communicating at times. Once his mentor asked a group of 5-6 year olds in a Children's sermon, "Children, what's wrong with Britain today?" He then answered his own query, "Moral and spiritual declension!" Despite his shortcomings, however, Philips knew about exultant adoration.
We had lunch with Presbyterian brothers from South Carolina and a Baptists bother from PA.
The 3:30 pm session was with David Campbell of Grace Baptist Church of Carlisle, PA on "Feeing the Sheep" from Titus 2:1-3:2. He reminded us that we preach each Lord's Day to two groups of people, the saved and the unsaved, and stressed our duty to feed the saved.
We had supper with a table of all Baptists, including three brothers from NC.
The evening session (7:00 pm) was Iain Murray on "Our Present Needs." They are:
1. Our need for less self-confidence.
2. Our need for persevering faith.
3. Our need for increased faith in God's goodness and love.
4. Our need for guidance in the best use of our time.
This included six points for young men:
(1). Take regular time out to look at your life;
(2). Watch your own temperament (if you like to study, go visit; if you like to be around people, you probably need to study more);
(3). Read the best and only the best (with pencil [or some way to take notes and retrieve what you read and study] in hand);
(4). Don't let the internet control your priorities;
(5). Avoid losing time on controversies;
(6). Sometimes it is best if you do not see in your churches what you cannot change.
5. Our need not to stop hoping and praying for revival.