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Whatever happened to the Law and the Gospel?

By Fred Malone

When one looks at the New Testament teachings of Jesus and the writings of the Apostles, one would think that a confession of faith ought to have some explanation of the law of God as well as the gospel of Christ. You cannot read the Sermon on the Mount, Romans, Galatians, James, or 1 John without seeing many references to the law of God or the commandments of God. Yet in the progression of Baptist confessions from England into America we see a decided and obvious reduction of any serious reference to the law of God or the commandments of God.

Read the entire article here.

The Law and the Gospel

September 20, 2016 Leave a comment

Founders Journal · Fall 2004 · pp. 7-12

The Law and the Gospel

Romans 6:14

Fred A. Malone

If I could do one thing to improve the effectiveness of pastoral preaching and pastoral care in the church, it would be to call all pastors to understand the doctrine of the Law and the Gospel in Scripture. When I first went to serve as Ernie Reisinger’s associate in 1977, he required me to study Romans 6:14 on the Law and the Gospel and placed a book in my hand to help: The True Bounds of Christian Freedom by Samuel Bolton. Ernie’s book on The Law and the Gospel contains much of what we talked about in those days.

There is much controversy and ignorance over this doctrine today. Errors in this doctrine have spawned dispensationalism, theonomy, the New Perspective on Paul, hypercovenantalism, legalism, antinomianism, shallow evangelism, shallower sanctification, worship errors and unbiblical mysticism. Yet our Reformed and Baptist forefathers generally did not succumb to such errors before 1900. Why not? I believe it was because they understood the biblical doctrine of the Law and the Gospel. You can see it in their confessions of faith and their writings. [1] I pray that today’s pastors, especially Baptist pastors, will restudy this doctrine and reform their lives and ministries by these truths.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Baptism As A Means Of Grace by Fred Malone, Jason Walter & Tom Hicks [Audio]

Building Tomorrows Church Conference audio is up. I recently benefited greatly from two sermons regarding Baptism as a Means of Grace, one is from the 2011 ARBCA GA by Fred Malone:

BAPTISM AS A MEANS OF GRACE

Here are some notes from Tom Hicks on the sermon:

Is baptism a means of grace?

1. There is no ex opere operato (from the work performed) grace conveyed in baptism.

2. Baptism is not a “seal” of the new covenant. The Holy Spirit is the “seal.” Baptism is a “sign” of covenant membership.

3. Baptism is a means of grace appointed by God to strengthen and encourage the faith of the believer who is baptized. Baptism also strengthens other believers and proclaims the gospel to unbelievers who witness the ordinance.

4. Some Baptists wrongly think baptism completes conversion. That notion is neither taught in Scripture nor the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith. Those who would make baptism a part of conversion overturn the Bible’s gracious doctrine of justification by faith alone because of Christ alone.

How is baptism a means of grace?

1. Baptism is a sign to the person baptized of the full salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ. We should never think of baptism without thinking of the Lord Jesus Christ and saving union with Him. The work of Christ on Calvary’s hill must always take precedence in our minds and hearts over the ordinance of baptism itself. As the believer joins faith to his baptism, the Spirit of Christ strengthens the believer’s faith, which lays hold of Christ who is proclaimed in the ordinance.

2. Baptism confirms forgiveness of sins in the heart of the believer. It testifies to the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ. But, baptism itself has no power to accomplish forgiveness of sin, either as an atonement or as a means of appropriating the atonement.

3. Baptism is an appeal to God from a good conscience. We are not to appeal to baptism itself, but we are to appeal to the Lord Jesus Christ directly in baptism. Baptism, therefore, calls us to turn from sin and to Jesus Christ.

4. Baptism becomes a means of grace in older believers who reflect on their previous baptism. It reminds them of Christ and so strengthens their faith.

5. Baptism is a sign of the believer’s future resurrection from the dead in glorification.

ALSO

Jason Walter (Christ Reformed Baptist Church – Vista, CA) has a sermon on baptism:

REMEMBER YOUR BAPTISM

 

Source [Confessing Baptist]

Infant Baptism and the Regulative Principle of Worship

November 12, 2015 2 comments

by Fred Malone

Our Presbyterian friends often state that the authority for infant baptism comes from “good and necessary inference” of Old Testament circumcision of infants, not from positive command, example, or institution in the New (Warfield, Berkhof, Murray, et al). In fact, they candidly and regularly admit that there is no command or example of infant baptism in the New Testament, or indeed, in all the Scriptures.

Baptists often reject Presbyterian infant baptism by showing that the Paedobaptist (“infant Baptist”) brand of covenant theology erroneously allows “good and necessary inference” from Old Testament circumcision to overrule the only positive institution of baptism in the New Testament, namely, that of disciples alone. This is a proper argument. However, few recognize that this Presbyterian error is a violation of their own “regulative principle of worship.” Yet, the practice of infant baptism does just that.

This may not seem to be a very significant statement at first, but since the regulative principle is taught and championed by our Presbyterian brethren, it actually is a very serious charge. It means that they contradict their most important principle of worship every time they baptize an infant.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

2015 Founders Conference Now Online

The Distinctives of Baptist Covenant Theology

SEPTEMBER 24-25, 2015

2015 Founders Conference on SermonAudio.com


Psalm 32 Devotional by Jarrett Downs

What Does it Mean to be Baptist and Reformed? by Rev. Fred Malone

The Relationship of the Covenant of Grace to the Old Covenant by Pascal Denault

Hebrews 8 and the New Covenant by Jeffrey D. Johnson

The Relationship of the Covenant of Grace to the New Covenant by Pascal Denault

Contemporary Challenges by Jeffrey D. Johnson

Q and A by Various Speakers

Implications of Covenant Theology by Jeffrey D. Johnson

Galatians 4:21-31 by Pascal Denault

Hosted by: Heritage Baptist Church, Mansfield, Texas

Regulative Principle of Worship

April 16, 2012 1 comment

I am often accused by Paedobaptist of not being part of the true Church because I reject infant baptism. This is a serious charge and one that should, if true, make them break fellowship with all Baptist and all that do not affirm what their views of the true church constitute.

This much stated, I want to say that unlike Paedobaptist, I do not have such a narrow view. In other words, I believe there are believers outside of our denominational titles. Of course I wouldn’t argue that every Paedobaptist is so arrogant that they believe the opposite of this to be true. Nevertheless, when in discussion with most Paedobaptist, I find myself feeling as if they believe that I do not even know Christ, unless I believe in their views of infant baptism.

I want to state that I believe that the sine qua non to knowing Christ is to place one’s faith entirely in Christ alone as one’s substitutionary atonement for one’s sins committed against a holy God. In other words justification by faith alone is an essential doctrine that must be believed by an individual in order for that person to be a child of God. One cannot come to God’s throne offering the fruit of their own works.

Though the doctrines concerning baptism are not essential to salvation, nevertheless they are important because these doctrines do involve the right use of a sacrament that was given to us by Christ himself.(1) Therefore I want to repond to my Paedobaptist bretheren with this article by Fred Malone:

 

Infant Baptism and the Regulative Principle of Worship

According to the Westminster Presbyterian and the 1689 London Baptist Confession (the mother confession of American and Southern Baptists),

“ the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture (WCF 21:1; italics mine).”

This regulative principle teaches that God-approved Christian worship includes only elements and practices “instituted by God Himself limited by his own revealed will [and not] any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.” In other words, speculation, invention, imagination, and uncommanded practices, etc., cannot be permitted to change or neglect instituted worship. Therefore, the only elements of worship approved in the regulative tradition, according to Scripture, are:

“Prayers: The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear; the sound preaching, and conscionable hearing of the word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence; singing of psalms with grace in the heart; as also the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: besides religious oaths and vows, solemn fasting, and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in a holy and religious manner (WCF 21:4-5; italics mine).”

Read the rest of the article here.

(1) Some Baptist would rather call ‘baptism’ an ordinance. I believe the word ‘sacrament’ is correct and had it not been for the abuse of the Catholic Church of the ‘sacraments’, then everyone would use this term.