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Archive for the ‘Confessions’ Category

How the Bible Relates to Man-Made Creeds

by Tom Nettles

The pivotal question of how one concedes authoritative force to a creedal, or confessional, proposition holds paramount importance in their use in pedagogical and disciplinary ways. If churches, associations, or denominations as a whole are to use their creeds as instruments of ordination, church instruction, and discipline, then some method of demonstrating the biblical character of their propositions must be clearly conceived. Phillip Schaff rightly reminds Christians, that “the Bible has, therefore, a divine and absolute, the Confession only an ecclesiastical and relative, authority.” Additionally, he warns that “any higher view of the authority of symbols is unprotestant and essentially Romanizing.” Having issued that caveat, he proposed, “Confessions, in due subordination to the Bible, are of great value……

Read the entire article at Founders Ministries.

Why (and How) Your Church Should Hold the 1689 Confession

by Sam Waldron

Introductory remarks by Mark Dever May 27, 2005

“This article considers the question of why a church should consider using the Second London Confession (1689) as its church statement of faith. It has been occasioned by an article by Shawn Wright in the 9Marks e-newsletter in which Shawn concludes that the 1689 confession is not the best confession for a congregation to use. While I agree with many of Shawn’s points, I regret needless division over this. I love and appreciate the 1689 confession, and the sister churches who use it; and I would not want to discourage them in their God-glorifying work in any way. How a statement of faith is used is as much at issue in this discussion as which statement of faith is used. I hope and pray that vigorous and charitable discussion of the congregational use of statements of faith will be encouraged by this exchange. It is a good conversation to be had between brothers, and it should be had in a way which encourages us all to get on with the work according to the best light we have. Sam Waldron, a friend and co-laborer in the gospel, associate pastor of Heritage Baptist Church, Owensboro, Kentucky, has submitted this defense of using the 1689 confession. He instructs us well on the practice of many Reformed Baptist churches and provides good food for thought.”

INTRODUCTION

Let me begin by thanking 9Marks for graciously allowing me this opportunity to respond to Shawn Wright’s article, “Should you use the 1689 London Confession in your church?” Fairness to Wright dictates that this essay not greatly exceed his in length. A more extended rebuttal will be published in the June 15 issue of the Founder’s Journal. Allow me to say that it gives me no joy to criticize the essay of my friend, Shawn Wright. It is only a sense of the importance of the issues he raises that constrains this response….

Read the entire article at 9Marks 

The Wednesday Word: I Confess

I confess

That I am a great sinner, but Jesus is an even greater Saviour. (Ephesians 2: 8-9).

I confess

That I need a Saviour and that Jesus is the Saviour I need (2 Timothy 1:10).

I confess

I am guilty, prone to wander but, by the Gospel, I am justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

I confess

I had ruined myself by sin, and, apart from grace, I would stand exposed to divine retribution. But I rejoice in the Gospel because by the Gospel I continually learn that Jesus was made (reckoned) sin for me, that I might be made (reckoned) the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I confess

I am now a child of God.

Because of the Gospel, I am made alive, adopted, justified, accepted, and clothed in righteousness. ” God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6: 14).

I confess

I have been raised from spiritual death. Spiritually speaking, my filthy garments of sin are taken off and new robes of righteousness, white, clean and beautiful, put on (Zechariah 3:3-4, Isaiah 61:10).

I confess

Now that I am saved, I will “Set my affection on things above where Christ is” (Colossians 3: 2). He is precious. I will purpose to enjoy Him today and every day.

I confess

That Jesus is with me 24 hours per day for He said, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28: 3). Even when I neglect to seek Him, even when I don´t think of Him, He is with me. He is the Master of all grace. I am continually with Him. I cannot be where He is not. There is no separation (Romans 8:38-39).

I confess

That I am, “Kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1: 5).

I cannot keep myself. The pull of the world the flesh and the devil are too strong for me. But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. “I will not be afraid of tens of thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about” (Psalm 3:6). “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27: 1). He will keep me unto salvation.

I confess

The Lord has promised that “In the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me” (Psalm 27: 5). In the time of danger, He will hide me in His dwelling place and defend me. He will situate me in a place inaccessible to my enemies.

I confess

That God Himself is with me as my Captain (2 Chronicles 13:12). As you lead me Oh Lord, I acknowledge that you are in charge.

I confess

I have a High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of my infirmities (Hebrews 4:15). Lord Jesus, you know about my sickness and sorrow. You stand in my shoes. You understand the struggles that come as a part of this wretched human condition.

I confess

That “In Thee Lord do I put my trust” (Psalm 16:1).

I have no one else to trust. Whom can I trust with my eternal destiny but you? You have promised eternal life to your sheep. You have died in my place and risen from the grave. I put my trust in you.

I confess

That you are coming back for me (John 14:3). There is a soon coming day that is called the Day of the Lord. My hope is centered in You Lord Jesus, the God-man. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Content of the Noble New Hampshire Confession (Part 2)

by Tom Nettles

In the last entry, we saw how the New Hampshire Confession describes God’s operations of grace in the present so that our corruptions are overcome in his granting us salvation. This entry begins with the Confession’s statement on the location of these present operations in the divine purpose established in eternity.

The article entitled “Of God’s purpose of Grace” continues the robust affirmation of divine prerogative and power while also insisting on the immediate responsibility of man, or free agency, of man. The confession states, “We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God,” [not just his perfect foreknowledge of all things that will happen], “according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners [God’s eternal purpose governs all the necessary operations by which he saves those he has elected], “that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end”……

Read the entire article here.

Free Ebook: What Baptists Believe (Pdf)

The New Hampshire Confession an Exposition

O. C. S. Wallace

AUTHOR’S FOREWORD

This book was used twenty years in the form, and with the contents, prescribed by Dr. J. M. Frost. About one-third of the original material has been cut out, and certain changes have been made in the arrangement, in order that as a textbook it might conform to a new plan for the books used in the Training Course for Sunday School Workers. As in the original book, the several articles of the New Hampshire Confession, with the original proof-texts, are placed at the beginnings of the several expositions. For the convenience of those who use the book in courses having ten lesson periods, there are nine chapters instead of eighteen. Among other things omitted, to make the book of the required size, is an Introduction giving the history of the New Hampshire Confession. These changes have been made under the direction of Dr. P. E. Burroughs, who also prepared the questions following the several chapters, and the General Foreword.

O. C. S. W.

May 1, 1934.

Download your copy here. (Pdf)

The Content of the Noble New Hampshire Confession (Part 1)

by Tom Nettles

In our last entry, we examined the complex context in which the New Hampshire Confession of Faith was written—the anti-mission-society movement, the Free Will Baptist movement, and the phenomenon of Charles Finney’s impact on Baptist ideas. In this entry we begin an examination of its content.

These challenges prompted the New Hampshire Baptist Convention to appoint a committee in 1830 to present a confession of faith that would summarize the views of the churches of the Convention. After several revisions both by individuals and other committees, it was finally presented in 1833 by the Board of the Convention and recommended to the churches for Adoption. In 1853, J. Newton Brown added two articles, “Repentance and Faith” and Sanctification,” and published the confession in a book he put together entitled The Baptist Church Manual.

 

Read the entire article here.

The Noble New Hampshire Confession

by Tom Nettles

Every confession of faith has its own historic context and yields a more accurate understanding when its words are seen in light of that context. This rather obvious truism, however, is particularly relevant to understanding the New Hampshire Confession of Faith. Given the normative status of the Second London Confession for Baptists from New England to the deep South, several rather intense doctrinal challenges to early 19thcentury Baptists made a confessional response necessary for Calvinistic missionary Baptists.

 

Read the entire article here.

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 22

22. As Christ doth not teach, nor allow that we should be without natural affection, or unsociable; (see Rom. 1:31.) so our being made partakers of Christ, doth not discharge us from the duties of our relations. Believing servants must perform the duties of servants towards their masters though unbelieving; I Tim. 6:1. So believing children must perform the duties of children towards their parents; Col. 3:20, believing wives, the duties of wives towards their husbands; I Pet.3:1, and believing subjects must be subject to principalities and powers, and obey Magistrates, Rom 13:1, & c. Titus 3:1. I Pet. 2:13, 14, 15. But still they must remember that their fear toward God must not be taught by the perception of men; Isaiah 29:13, that they ought to obey God rather then men; Acts 5:29, and that the submission that must be given to men, must be given to them for the Lord’s sake, I Pet. 2:14.

Thus I conclude with the Apostle’s words (in 2 Tim. 2:7) a little varied, but not misapplied; Consider what we teach: and the Lord give you understanding in all things.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 21

21. Although we know that in some things we are yet very dark, and in all things as yet we know but in part, and do therefore wait upon God for further light; yet we believe that we ought in our practice to obey, and serve, and glorify God in the use of that light which he hath given us; and not neglect the good using of that light which God hath already given us, under pretence of waiting for more, I Cor. 13:9, Acts 18:25.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 20

20. Though a believer’s right to the use of the Lord’s Supper do immediately flow from Jesus Christ apprehended and received by faith; yet in as much as all things ought to be done not only decently, but also in order; I Cor. 14:40, and the word holds forth this order, that disciples should be baptized, Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38, and then be taught to observe all things (that is to say, all other things) that Christ commanded the Apostles, Matt. 28:20, and accordingly the Apostles first baptized disciples, and then admitted them to the use of the Supper; Acts 2:41,42, we therefore do not admit any to the use of the Supper, nor communicate with any in the use of this ordinance, but disciples baptized, lest we should have fellowship with them in their doing contrary to order.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith