Christ – The Object of True Saving Faith
Pastor Shelton begins this booklet by showing us that we must put our faith in Christ alone. He looks at the nature of true saving faith which trusts in Christ and leans upon His character as surety of the new covenant, His willingness to save sinners, and His precious blood which will never lose its power.
Item code: ctoo.
Source [Chapel Library]
The Glory of a True Church- The Power of the Keys, with Church-Discipline, and Members Duties one to another
The Power of the Keys, with Church-Discipline, and Members Duties one to another
1. We judge it necessary that a Day monthly be appointed particularly for Discipline, and not to manage such affairs on the Lord’s-day, which should be spent on the publick Worship of God, of a different nature: besides, such things may (on the account of Discipline) come before the Church which may not be expedient to be heard on the Lord’s-day, lest it disturb the Spirits of any Members, and hinder their Meditation in the Word which they have newly heard: tho in small Congregations perhaps a day in two or three Months may be sufficient.
2. The Power of the Keys, or to receive in and shut out of the Congregation, is committed unto the Church:53 The Political Power of Christ, saith Dr. Chauncy, is in the Church, whereby it is exercised in the Name of Christ, having all lawful Rule and Government within it self, which he thus proves, viz.
1. The Church essential is the first Subject of the Keys.
2. They must of necessity to their Preservation, purge themselves from all pernicious Members.
3. They have Power to organize themselves with Officers. Yet I humbly conceive I may add, that the Concurrence of the Presbytery is needful hereunto.
4. If need be that they call an Officer from without, or one of another Church, they must first admit him a Member, that they may ordain their Officer from among themselves.
5. They have Power to reject a scandalous Pastor from Office and Membership.
This Power of Christ is exerted as committed to them by the Hands of the Elder appointed by Christ, the due management whereof is in and with the Church to be his Care and Trust, as a Steward, whereof he is accountable to Christ and the Church, not lording it over God’s Heritage. And that the Power of the Keys is in the Church, appears to me from Mat. 18. If he will not hear the Church; it is not said, if he will not hear the Elder, or Elders. As also that of the Apostle, in directing the Church to cast out the Incestuous Person,54 he doth not give this Counsel to the Elder or Elders of the Church, but to the Church;55 so he commands the Church to withdraw from every Brother that walks disorderly. Purge out the old Leaven, that you may be a new Lump.56
Benjamin Keach- The Glory of a True Church, And its Discipline Displayed (1697)
by Tom Ascol
With the resurgence of reformed theology has come a rediscovery of the doctrine of Christian liberty. This doctrine is important for spiritual growth and health because, as Paul succinctly put it in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
There are many such yokes that well-intentioned people try to place on believers—telling us what we must do and not do or how we must live if we want to be pleasing to the Lord: “Don’t groom like that.” “Dress like this.” “Don’t drink that.” “Don’t drive (or ride) that,” etc.
The same type of pressure was placed on first-century Christians. They were admonished to be circumcised, to keep certain Jewish customs and to maintain certain dietary restrictions in order to be holy. The questions raised by these pressures are what led to the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15.
Read the entire article here.
William F. Leonhart III / August 27, 2016
Q.5: May all men make use of the Holy Scriptures?
A. All men are not only permitted, but commanded and exhorted to read, hear, and understand the Holy Scriptures.1
1John 5:38; Revelation 1:3; Acts 8:30
Having conducted a survey into the nature of Scripture itself, we now bring ourselves to the consideration of how men are to make use of it. The question is asked of the catechumen, May all men make use of the Holy Scriptures? What does the catechizer mean by the words “make use”? To make use, according to the answer offered, is to read, hear, and understand the Holy Scriptures. The catechism goes so far as to note that we are not only permitted, but are commanded and exhorted to avail ourselves of the Scriptures in this way.
Read the entire article here.
TO MR. JAMES WATTS
BOROUGH, August 25, 1854.
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,—
I am astonished to find that fame has become so inveterate a fabricator of untruths, for I assure you that I had no more idea of coming to Cambridge on Wednesday than of being dead last week.
I have been, this week, to Tring, in Hertfordshire, on the border of Bucks. I have climbed the goodly hills, and seen the fair vale of Aylesbury below. In the morning, I startled the hare from her form, and at eve talked with the countless stars. I love the glades, and dells, the hills and vales, and I have had my fill of them. The week before, I was preaching at Ramsgate, and then tarried awhile at Margate, and came home by boat. Kent is indeed made to rejoice in her God, for in the parts I traversed, the harvest was luxuriant, and all seemed thankful.
The Crystal Palace is likewise a favorite haunt of mine; I shall rejoice to take your arm one day, and survey its beauties with you.
Now for the cause at New Park Street. We are getting on too fast. Our harvest is too rich for the barn. We have had one meeting to consider an enlargement, — quite unanimous, — meet again on Wednesday, and then a committee will be chosen immediately to provide larger accommodation. On Thursday evenings, people can scarcely find a vacant seat, — I should think not a dozen in the whole chapel. On Sabbath days the crowd is immense, and seat-holders cannot get into their seats; half-an hour before time, the aisles are a solid block, and many stand through the whole service, wedged in by their fellows, and prevented from escaping by the crowd outside, who seal up the doors, and fill the yard in front, and stand in throngs as far as the sound can reach. I refer mainly to the evening, although the morning is nearly the same.
Souls are being saved.! have more enquirers than I can attend to. From six to seven o’clock on Monday and Thursday evenings, I spend in my vestry; I give but brief interviews then, and have to send many away without being able to see them. The Lord is wondrous in praises. A friend has, in a letter, expressed his hope that my initials may be’ prophetic, —
I can truly say they are, for I have comfort in my soul, happiness in my work, and satisfaction with my glorious Lord. I am deeply in debt for your offer of hospitality; many thanks to you. My kindest regards to all my friends, and yours, especially your sons and daughters. I am sure it gives me delight to be remembered by them, and I hope it will not be long before I run down to see them. Hoping you will be blessed in going out, and coming in,
C. H. SPURGEON.
theroadofgrace/William F. Leonhart III
You can read earlier posts in this series by clicking on the links below:
As we round out our discussion of Romans note that, in our last three articles, we highlighted Paul’s desire to preach the gospel to the church at Rome. Paul’s mention of his desire in Romans 1:15-17 functions as the thesis statement of the letter:
“So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith,’ (Romans 1:15-17; NASB).
In the first two articles on Romans, we noted four themes in this thesis statement: a gospel for the church, the gospel as God’s power unto salvation, salvation to all without distinction and how, in this way, God will save all His chosen people. These four major themes help us to understand why Paul takes both the first eight chapters of Romans explaining the gospel of Jesus Christ and the following three chapters explaining the relationship between Israel and the church. Since the thesis statement of Romans 1:15-17 sets the framework for all that follows, we are in our present study using it as the lens through which we examine the rest of the book of Romans. In our last article and this one, we are focusing on the theme from faith to faith. Last article, we examined what chapters 12 and 14-16 taught on the matter. This article will focus exclusively on on how the theme is addressed in Romans 13.
Read the entire article here.
But now in Christ Jesus, you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).
The Father, in choosing the method of putting away our sins, selected the very best He had, the blood of His own Son. It is by the priceless blood of the Lord Jesus that we are cleansed from our complete catalog of sins. By the blood of Christ, our spiritual sin stain is taken away and its tortured recollection destroyed. That’s why we read in Hebrews 9:13, “How much more shall the blood of Christ … purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Jesus actually died at Calvary. In John 19:34, we read that one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear and immediately blood and water came out. Christ Jesus really was dead! There, at the cross, Christ Jesus died that we might live. Also, by His blood, we come, not only into life but into communion with God. In the Greek, the word communion is “Koinonia”. It is a beautiful word that means, among other things, fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation and intimacy. And this communion, this ‘Koinonia’ comes through the blood.
But how do we come into contact with the blood? How do we obtain the benefits of His death? Romans 6:3 gives us the answer. It says, “…. that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?” When a person is baptized into the Lord’s death, it is there that he meets with the benefits and blessings purchased by the blood of Christ.
Some groups erroneously teach that Water Baptism is the means of obtaining the advantages and communion of His death. It is only by their baptism, they say, that we can receive forgiveness of sins. They cite the instruction given to Paul in Acts 22:16, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins.” However, they totally ignore that Paul had already, by this stage, given evidence of his conversion and regeneration. He had called Jesus the Lord (Acts 22:10). He was spending his time in prayer (Acts 9:11), and he had been filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:17-18). They claim that, although it is the blood of Christ that washes away sins, the only way to access the effects of the blood is by their baptism. If these rascals are to be believed, then we need to stop singing, “There’s power in the blood” and start singing, “There’s power in the tub!”
But how then are the benefits of Christ’s death to become ours? How are we baptized into Christ? Here’s the answer. It is by faith alone! And where do we get this faith? It is the free gift of God. We can’t earn it or deserve it, we simply receive it!
Have you trusted Christ alone to take away your sins and their legal consequences? If you have, you are already baptized into Christ. If you haven’t, then you still are carrying responsibility for every sin that you have ever committed. That means that when you die, there’s nothing left for you but the Judgment and the Lake of Fire. You may have been baptized in a church building, but if you are not trusting in Christ alone, you are not baptized into Christ. If you are not trusting in Christ alone, you are still in your sins. The shed blood of Christ is of no benefit to you! Why don’t you, right now, call on the Lord and ask him to save you? Why don’t you trust Him, right now, and receive Him and His salvation for yourself? Our God is wonderfully gracious. He will welcome you. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
And that’s the Gospel Truth!