Pink’s classic work on divine sovereignty.
“Present day conditions call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotence, God’s sufficiency, God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns. Faith is now in the crucible; it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the Throne of God. What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God.”—from the Introduction
“Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” —Revelation. 19:6
Item code: sogo.
Source [Chapel Library]
CHAPTER 5-CHURCH HISTORY
What is known and taught as Church History is in reality history of Christianity rather than a history of the church Christ founded and promised perpetuity to. History reveals that the true Church as an institution was represented by local congregations as opposed by a developing and growing hierarchy until the bishop of Rome is made Pope or Supreme Bishop. This hierarchy is made up of the collective body of bishops with the pope as supreme bishop. This hierarchy is independent of the lay members in Roman Catholic churches who are nothing short of spiritual slaves being told what to believe and do. This false church claimed to be the only mediator of grace, and to cut oneself off from it was to lose all hope of salvation. The first general organizations were diocesan (district) .
Things became so rotten in Roman Catholicism until some of the members could stand it no longer and being excommunicated became founders of other denominations of Christians. This period began in the reformation under Martin Luther, when Protestantism was born. The Lutheran Church was organized in 1520; the Episcopal (Church of England) began with Henry VIII in 1534; the Presbyterian by John Calvin in 1535; Dutch Reformed separated from Roman Catholicism in 1540; Congregational founded by Robert Brown in 1580; Methodist by John Wesley in 1740; Free Will Baptist by Benjamin Randall in 1780; Disciples of Christ organized by Alexander Campbell in 1827; Mormons by Joseph Smith in 1830; Anti Mission Baptists by Daniel Parker in 1832; Nazarenes by S. F. Breece in 1835; Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy in 1884.
Now the history of Baptists is altogether a different story. If there has been a New Testament church existing down through the ages it has to be the Baptist Church, since all other groups have a beginning sometime since 1520. Our contention is admitted by others. Alexander Campbell, in his debate with McCalla (Presbyterian) had this to say: “From the apostolic age to the present time the sentiments of Baptists and the practice of baptism has had a continued chain of advocates; and public monuments of their existence in every century can be produced.”
John Clark Ridpath (Methodist) wrote to W. A. Jarrell (Baptist) as follows: “I should not readily admit that there was a Baptist Church as far back as A. D. 100, though without doubt there were Baptists then, as all Christians were then Baptists.”
In preparing their history, the Dutch Reformed Church, devoted a chapter to the Dutch Baptists. And in this chapter is this statement: “The Baptists may be considered as the only Christian community which has stood since the days of the apostles and as a Christian society which has preserved pure the doctrines of the Gospel through all ages.”
SOME DISTINCTIVE BELIEFS
1. The New Testament is the only law of Christianity-the sufficient rule of faith and practice. We do not go to the Old Testament for what we believe and practice as a church. This in no wise means that the Old Testament is not true as the word of God. But we do not get our doctrine as a church from the Old Testament. The Church of Christ is a New Testament institution. The Bible and the Bible alone is the religion of Protestants.
2. Individual responsibility. This covers a lot of ground. It does away with proxy religion in baptism, etc. This calls for freedom of conscience and religious liberty. Every person must give account of himself to God. Calls for obedience to God when there is conflict between God’s command and human authority. Calls for separation of Church and state. Calls for liberty not toleration. I do not want to be tolerated by the state in religious matters. I want to be left alone, to follow my own conscience. I do not want to have to get any license to preach from any human government. I got a license to marry people because marriage and the home are state institutions, not religious and spiritual.
3. The church is a body of baptized believers, equal in rank and privilege, administering its own affairs under the headship of Christ.
C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3
By Aldert Mohler, Jr.
While America’s evangelical Christians are rightly concerned about the secular worldview’s rejection of biblical Christianity, we ought to give some urgent attention to a problem much closer to home–biblical illiteracy in the church. This scandalous problem is our own, and it’s up to us to fix it.
Researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli put the problem squarely: “Americans revere the Bible–but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.” How bad is it? Researchers tell us that it’s worse than most could imagine.
Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels. Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples. According to data from the Barna Research Group, 60 percent of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments. “No wonder people break the Ten Commandments all the time. They don’t know what they are,” said George Barna, president…..
Read the entire article here.
By William F. Leonhart III
I originally posted this article back in February of 2013. In discussing catechesis with my wife tonight, I went in search for it. After reading it, I decided it was worth a repost. I hope you find it helpful.
It has been such a blessing for our family to catechize our daughter. My wife and I use The Baptist Catechism, but my four-year-old and the children’s ministry at our church use the more basic Catechism for Boys and Girls. Every night we get together as a family to pray, sing hymns, and read God’s word. Of course, we haven’t always been able to do this perfectly, but it has become a fairly regular expectation for my family. When we gather together at night to have family worship, we also spend some time catechizing our daughter and one another. We even let our daughter ask us questions from The Baptist Catechism. She loves it. So, today, I was thinking about the benefits of catechesis and thought I’d simply blog about it.
Some Benefits of Catechesis:
•It helps us to make sense of the things we are reading regularly in Scripture. We should not simply be concerned that our families understand what the texts say in their immediate contexts, but what the Bible as a whole has to say on various topics. If we simply focused in on the immediate contexts of certain texts, we would never arrive at a full-fledged understanding of even the essentials of Christianity…..
Read the entire article here.
ABERFELDY, July 17, 1855
MY PRECIOUS LOVE, —
Your dearly-prized note came safely to hand, and verily it did excel all I have ever read, even from your own loving pen. Well, I am all right now. Last Sabbath, I preached twice, and to sum up all in a word, the services were “glorious.” In the morning, Dr. Patterson’s place was crammed; and in the evening, Dr. Wardlaw’s chapel was crowded to suffocation by more than 2,500 people, while persons outside declared that quite as many went away. My reception was enthusiastic; never was greater honor given to mortal man. They were just as delighted as are the people at Park Street. To-day, I have had a fine drive with my host and his daughter. To-morrow, I am to preach here. It is quite impossible for me to be left in quiet. Already, letters come in, begging me to go here, there, and everywhere. Unless I go to the North Pole, I never can get away from my holy labor.
Now to return to you again, I have had day-dreams of you while driving along, I thought you were very near me. It is not long, dearest, before I shall again enjoy your sweet society, if the providence of God permit. I knew I loved you very much before, but now I feel how necessary you are to me; and you will not lose much by my absence, if you find me, on my return, more attentive to your feelings, as wen as equally affectionate. I can now thoroughly sympathize with your tears, became I feel in no little degree that pang of absence which my constant engagements prevented me from noticing when in London. How then must you, with so much leisure, have felt my absence from you, even though you well knew that it was unavoidable on my part! My darling, accept love of the deepest and purest kind from one who is not prone to exaggerate, but who feels that here there is no room for hyperbole. Think not that I weary myself by writing; for, dearest, it is my delight to please you, and solace an absence which must be even more dreary to you than to me, since travelling and preaching lead me to forget it. My eyes ache for sleep, but they shall keep open till I have invoked the blessings from above — mercies temporal and eternal, — to rest on the head of one whose name is sweet to me, and who equally loves the name of her own, her much-loved,
C. H. S.
By Bill Hier
Those who see any relationship within Scripture, and so creation, between our God and mankind in general, are simply not looking at those relationships given to us (not “suggested” to us) by our God in His special revelation, which is the Scriptures.
From Adam, to Noah, to Abraham and the other Patriarchs, to Moses, to David, one cannot find a relationship which is not predicated and founded in the covenant construct. Indeed, our God is covenantal, and so gives us the paradigm of His relationship with both Israel and our parent of the flesh:
Hosea 6:7: But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.
This is a paradigmatic statement of mankind’s relationships with God throughout Scripture, and since Scripture defines man’s relations with God as they occur within natural revelation, this is a paradigmatic statement of man’s relations with God throughout history.
Going back to the very first relationship of man with God, our God declares, of the nation Israel, that they have broken that covenantal relationship with Him as the father of mankind did. Subsequently, all else that occurs within Scripture, and so natural theology, must be so defined, not because we would have it as such, but because our God declared it as such.
Read the entire article here.
Salvation is entirely by grace. It is both unearned and undeserved.
We are chosen by grace (Ephesians 1:4).
We are given to Christ by grace (John 6:37).
By grace, we are made alive together with Christ, (Ephesians 2:5).
He has glorified us by grace (Ephesians 2:6).
We are redeemed by grace (Ephesians 1:7).
We are justified by grace (Titus 3:7).
It’s Grace! Grace! Grace from beginning to end.
It is clear that in Scripture, God does not give one iota of credit to man regarding salvation. It is all of grace! Amazing Grace. Glorious Gospel Grace. The making alive, the undeserved favour, the adoption as children into God’s family is all by grace.
He made us accepted by grace (Ephesians 1:6).
We have forgiveness by grace (Ephesians 1:7).
Union with Christ and the good works that follow as God’s purpose, after salvation (Ephesians 2:10), are all the gift of God! It’s all of grace!
It’s no wonder then that Paul writes in Galatians 6:14; “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
To “glory” is “to boast.” Paul is reminding us that we cannot boast in anything except the cross of the Lord Jesus. That’s another way of saying that salvation has been accomplished by grace. All of our prosperity, all of our accomplishments, all of our doctrinal understanding, and even our accumulated insights are nothing to glory about. We can boast only in the grace of God as revealed in the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ! In the Old Testament, Jesus is the coming Messiah. He is the promise of grace In the New Testament, He is the realized Messiah, the true Promise of Grace apprehended.
Grace always brings us to Christ Jesus. He procured salvation for us. He Himself is our salvation. He Himself is the grace of God. Grace is embedded in His very name, for the name of Jesus, means salvation. Remember: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Grace brings people to Christ, and to no one else. Grace enables us to look unto Him by faith to be saved.
But what about repentance brother? Yes, what about it? Is that not important? Yes, it is! But let me ask you…from where do we get repentance? The goodness of God, exhibited in His Grace, leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). There is no other way! Praise to His Name! It’s Grace, Grace, Grace, Glorious Gospel Grace!
So we can say grace is:
1) Free Grace—the gift of God (Ephesians 2: 8-9).
2) Saving Grace—it brings us to eternal salvation.
3) Sovereign Grace—not of ourselves, but by God’s sovereign will. Salvation is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy (Romans 9:16).
4) Sustaining Grace—We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5).
And that’s the Gospel Truth!