Ministering God’s Word from Uganda

This coming Lord’s Day, we have the special privilege of having a faithful brother and pastor from Uganda preach in our morning worship service.  I first met Vanensio Bamwitirebye a few years ago, when he was a student at The Cornerstone Bible College & Seminary.  He has since returned to Uganda, where he is involved in pastoring, church-planting, leadership training, and mercy ministry.  RCG members can see here to learn more about this dear brother.

Most of you know that as a church, we are currently in a process of praying about new missions partnerships.  Prior to learning of this opportunity for Vanensio to preach at RCG, we had already identified more than 10 potential partnerships for consideration.  For this reason, it has not seemed prudent to add Vanensio as another potential partnership.  So while we aren’t considering partnering with Vanensio at this time, we’re grateful to have him with us to proclaim God’s word, and to learn about God’s work in Uganda.

Vanensio will be here with his California host, Tom Johnson from Napa.  We’re praying and trusting that God will bring great mutual encouragement to all of us, in the great hope and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:8-17).

Because Christ lives, and is returning,

“But God” is the Gospel

“BUT GOD…” (Eph. 2:4)!

The very heart of the Gospel is expressed in these glorious words, “BUT GOD…”!  Though mankind is spiritually dead and hopeless in sin (Eph. 2:1-3), God has powerfully acted in Christ to bring about the salvation that only He could accomplish (Eph. 2:4-10).  “BUT GOD…” really summarizes the whole message of Scripture, played out from Genesis to Revelation.  Over and over again, God’s word reveals:

  • All the deadly works of man in sin, and
  • All the mighty works of God in Christ!

Oh Beloved, what hope, riches, power, and assurance for believers are found in these truths!  “BUT GOD”!!   The God who is rich in mercy and great in love has flooded us with His kindness in Christ – to the praise of His glorious grace!  And God wills for us to know and believe these truths all the more, daily trusting the absolute sufficiency of His mighty, saving power.

To that end, let me encourage you to listen to this sermon on Eph. 2:4 by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (a faithful Bible expositor from the 20th Century).  May God continue to strengthen your soul in the fullness of His grace in Christ!

Because Christ lives, and is returning,

On Biblical Inerrancy

As you know, last week’s Shepherds’ Conference focused on the theme of the inerrancy of Scripture.  Ever since the Garden of Eden, when Satan tempted Eve by saying, “did God actually say…?” (Gen. 3:1), the authority and reliability of God’s Word has been under attack.  Satan’s strategy is as simple as it is deadly:  if he can tempt you to doubt God’s Word – which is now permanently revealed in the 66 books of Scripture – then you’ll be deceived into thinking there’s no need to treasure, trust, and obey that Word.

Because this issue of inerrancy is so important for the spiritual health of individual Christians, and the whole church, I encourage you to learn more.  All of last week’s 18 general sessions are helpful in this way (some more than others).  You can find them here.  While it’s best to listen to the messages in order, you might start with the Panel Q&A, which provides some helpful background to the topic.

Additionally, more information about the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, which gives a somewhat recent historical context, can be found here.

Beloved, God’s holy word is the treasure of all treasures.  He has given it that we might know and grow in His salvation through Jesus Christ – 2 Tim. 3:14-17.  May we be faithful stewards of what He has entrusted to us!

Because Christ lives, and is returning,

Greetings from the Shepherds Conference

Greetings, brothers and sisters.  As you know, myself and 10 other men from RCG are currently at the Shepherds Conference in Los Angeles.  Thank you for your prayers!  We’re being encouraged with the preaching of God’s word, and the fellowship of literally thousands of like-minded men.  It is a blessing to be here – a blessing we pray will “spill over” to you and many others.


If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the live-stream of the main sessions (there are 4-5 each day).  Here’s the website:  As you’ll see, video of earlier sessions is also beginning to be available.  With the sessions not concluding until Friday evening, there’s still a lot more to go.


Thanks again for your prayers – 2 Thess. 3:1-2!  We’re all looking forward to getting home to Sacto, and seeing you this coming Lord’s Day.




As We Begin “Ephesians”

With great joy and expectation, I’m planning to begin preaching through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians this coming Lord’s Day.  What a glorious portion of God’s Word this is, revealing the fullness of believers’ identity and calling in Christ, and the practical implications of how we’re to walk worthy of that calling.


The central message of Ephesians is heralded by Paul early on.  In Eph. 1:9-10, as Paul recounts the unsearchable riches of God’s blessings in Christ, he declares that all of this is “…according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth…”.


In his excellent commentary on Ephesians, P.T. O’Brien observes:  “This text provides the key for unlocking the glorious riches of the letter, draws together into a unity many of its major themes, and enables us to gain an integrated picture of the letter as a whole.”  (The Letter to the Ephesians, Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans Publ. Co., 1999, pg. 58).


Beloved, as we plan to “camp out” in Ephesians for many months to come, let me  encourage you in a couple of ways:


  • Be regularly reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians – both on your own, and/or with others.  With only 6 chapters, there are numerous ways you could plan to do this.  The key is to try and saturate yourself in the context and thought of the letter, which will greatly aid your understanding and application.
  • Be regularly praying the prayers of Paul in Ephesians (1:15-23; 3:14-21) – both for yourself and for other believers.  If you’re not sure about the meaning of these prayers, keep praying and reading!


May God do among us “…far more abundantly than all that we ask or think…”, for the glory of His great name in Christ!


Grace upon grace,


A Look Ahead

Wow – amazingly, we’re already into the month of August!  I trust you have been having a refreshing summer thus far, and more than anything that you are growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:17-18).


Along with our modified summer schedule continuing through the end of August, we are having some guest preachers over the next 3 Lord’s Days at RCG.  Please be praying that the Lord would use these men to faithfully proclaim God’s living word (Eph. 6:19-20).  Pray likewise that all of us who gather each Lord’s Day would be faithful hearers and doers of God’s truth (Mt. 7:24-27).  Here’s the schedule for the next few weeks (for our morning corporate worship services):


  • August 10 – Cliff Peppers (Pastor/Elder at Gold Country Baptist Church in Cameron Park)
  • August 17 – Adrian Donato (Academic Dean at The Cornerstone Seminary in Vallejo)
  • August 24 – Tim Ingrum (you know this guy!  Deacon at RCG, husband of Willie, tall, bearded,… 🙂 )
  • August 31 – I’m planning to be back in the pulpit, Lord willing.


Also, please plan to gather with us on Sunday, Aug. 17 at 5pm, as we’ll be sharing a combined Lord’s Supper service with Grace Bible Church (Roseville), and The Cornerstone Bible Church (Natomas).  The service will take place at RCG, and Adrian Donato will be preaching.  Childcare will be provided, and we’ll also have refreshments afterward.


With much gratitude and affection, all of you continue often in my prayers – particularly in view of Eph. 1:15-23, and Eph. 3:14-21!


Because Christ lives, and is returning,