Zeal for the House of God

Vicky and I went home this weekend and had the opportunity to worship on the Lord’s Day with God’s people at Grace Baptist Church of Essex. Grace is a Reformed Baptist Church and our “home away from home.” We typically go back to Windsor on the first of every month, which is why we were just there. The pastor of Grace is Richard Valade, who is one of the greatest pastors I have ever known. He is a solid preacher, a good theologian, a caring pastor and an all around great guy; my family and I have benefited greatly from his ministry over the past few years.
He preached an excellent message yesterday morning from John 2:12-22, where Christ cleansed the temple from those seeking to make money from God’s house. I enjoyed the sermon so much that I thought I would post the mp3 for others to check out.
Comparing the zeal that is shown in society over such events like the Super Bowl, Pastor Valade challenged us to have even greater zeal for the house of God, just as Christ did. I’m taking a course in ecclesiology right now, so this sermon fit right into my current mindset. The world can often be religiously fanatic about sports, celebrities, music, etc. Their devotion, were it directed to Christ, would be commendable. Unfortunately the Christian church gets caught on the bandwagon and misdirects its zeal to things other than Christ. He also took a shot at the faith-healers on TV who make money from God’s people, lumping them into the same category as those in John 2.
I really appreciate Pastor Valade’s preaching style. He sticks very close to the text and draws appropriate application throughout. There is a real seriousness about his messages, yet at the same time a profound sense of caring for his flock, even as he admonishes them. I put him in the category of preachers from the 19th century, which is appropriate I guess because one of his heroes is Bishop J. C. Ryle, a 19th century Anglican. Often in his sermons I hear the familiar words, “Bishop Ryle says…” Pastor Valade also has had a healthy dose of D.A. Carson in this study on John, which I’ve appreciated.
So click here for a good exhortation to true zeal.

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Filed under audio, don carson, richard valade, windsor

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