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Confession statement 29

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XXIX ALL believers are a holy and sanctified people, and that sanctification is a spiritual grace of the new covenant, and an effect of the love of God manifested in the soul, whereby the believer presseth after a heavenly and evangelical obedience to all the commands, which Christ as head and king in His new covenant hath prescribed to them.

1 Cor.12; 1 Pet.2:9; Eph.l:4; 1 John 4:16; Matt.28:20.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46

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Christ the head over all things to the church

We will now take up the second thought: Christ the head over all things to the church. Not the head of the church; we have just discussed that, but the head over all things to the church, which is a very different thought. It means that by virtue of his sacrificial expiation here upon the earth, and the atonement made in heaven based upon that expiation on the cross, he received the name which is above every name, was made King of kings and Lord of lords, that he now holds in his hand the scepter of universal dominion, and that he is over all things to, or in behalf, of, the church. We see him express this thought when by anticipation he commands his church, assembled upon a mountain in Galilee, about 500 being present, to go out and preach the gospel to every creature. The statement, “And all authority in heaven and upon earth is given unto me,” means that he is the head of all things to the church; that he exercises the entire sovereignty of the universe in behalf of the church.

B. H. Carroll Commenting on Ephesians 1:22-2:10

Christ is the head of the Church—there is no other

October 26, 2012 2 comments

If Christ is the head of the church in the sense of sovereign or ruler, then it is impious to call anybody else the head of the church. Some claim to be the head of the church in the sense of vicegerent, or vicar. For example, the Pope claims to be the head of the church in that he is Christ’s vicar. The only vicar that Christ has is the Holy Spirit. When Jesus went up to heaven he did send a vicegerent to take his place; another Paraclete to abide with and to guide the church. It is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit for a mere man to claim to be the head of the church.

Spurgeon in his many volumes of sermons has one polemical volume. One of the sermons in that polemical volume is the most excoriating denunciation of the claim that the sovereign of England is head of the church that I have ever seen. He read a proclamation: “I, Victoria Regina, by the grace of God head of the church.” Then immediately following that he quoted Paul’s words: “I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority.” Everybody should read, particularly, that eighth volume of Spurgeon’s sermons. The greater part of Christendom today is under bondage to the thought that the Pope of Rome is the head of the church. They mean by that that he stands in the place of God, and that whatever he speaks, ex cathedra, is infallibly true, and that his authority is ultimate.

In 1870 the capstone was put on the papacy by the Vatican Council, in servile obedience to the Pope, proclaiming his infallibility as head of the church. The head of the church also carries with it the idea of authority, which is called the key of power. Christ is the head of the church. There is no other. We see on earth a body, but the head is above the clouds; we cannot see it. The head of the church is in heaven, the body here on the earth. It is a vital and fundamental article of the Christian faith that we should accept no head of the church of Jesus Christ except the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

B. H. Carroll Commenting on Ephesians 1:22-2:10

Chapter XXVI : Of the Church

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

1. The Catholick or universal Church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit, and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole (a) number of the Elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

a Heb. 12.23. Col. 1.18. Eph. 1.10,22.23. & ch. 5.23,27,32.

2. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the Gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ, according unto it; not destroying their own profession by any Errors everting the foundation, or unholyness of conversation, (b) are and may be called visible Saints; (c) and of such ought all particular Congregations to be constituted.

b 1 Cor. 1 2. Act. 11.26.

c Rom. 1.7. Eph. 1.20,21,22.

3. The purest Churches under heaven are subject (d) to mixture, and error; and som have so degenerated as to become (e) no Churches of Christ, but Synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a (f) Kingdome in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his Name.

d 1 Cor. 15. Rev. 2. & ch. 3. [Most modern editions cite 1 Corinthians 5 rather than 1 Corinthians 15 here.]

e Rev. 18.2. 2 Thes. 2.11,12.

f  Mat. 16.18. Ps. 72.17. & Ps. 102.28. Rev. 12.17.

4. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, in whom by the appointment of the Father, (g) all power for the calling, institution, order, or Government of the Church, is invested in a supream & soveraigne manner, neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is (h) that Antichrist, that Man of sin, and Son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

Col. 1.18. Mat. 28.18,19.20. Eph. 4.11,12.

h 2 Thes. 2.3-9.

5. In the execution of this power wherewith he is so intrusted, the Lord Jesus calleth out of the World unto himself, through the Ministry of his word, by his Spirit, (i) those that are given unto him by his Father; that they may walk before him in all the (k) ways of obedience, which he prescribeth to them in his Word. Those thus called he commandeth to walk together in particular societies, or (l) Churches, for their mutual edification; and the due performance of that publick worship, which he requireth of them in the World.

i Joh 10.16. chap. 12,32.

k Mat. 28.20.

l Mat. 18.15-20.

6. The Members of these Churches are (m) Saints by calling, visibly manifesting and evidencing (in and by their profession and walking) their obedience unto that call of Christ; and do willingly consent to walk together according to the appointment of Christ, giving up themselves, to the Lord & one to another by the will of God, (n) in professed subjection to the Ordinances of the Gospel.

Rom. 1.7. 1 Cor. 1.2.

n Act. 2.41,42. ch. 5.13.14. 2 Cor. 9.13.

7. To each of these Churches thus gathered, according to his mind, declared in his word, he hath given all that (o) power and authority, which is any way needfull, for their carrying on that order in worship, and discipline, which he hath instituted for them to observe; with commands, and rules, for the due and right exerting, and executing of that power.

o Mat. 18.17,18. 1 Cor. 5.4,5. with v.13. 2 Cor. 2.6,7,8.

8. A particular Church gathered, and compleatly Organized, according to the mind of Christ, consists of Officers, and Members; And the Officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the Church (so called and gathered) for the peculiar Administration of Ordinances, and Execution of Power, or Duty, which he intrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the World are (p) Bishops or Elders and Deacons.

p Act_20:17, with v.28. Phil. 1.1.

9. The way appointed by Christ for the Calling of any person, fitted, and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the Office of Bishop, or Elder, in a Church, is, that he be chosen thereunto by the common (q) suffrage of the Church it self; and Solemnly set apart by Fasting and Prayer, with imposition of hands of the (r) Eldership of the Church, if there be any before Constituted therein; And of a Deacon (s) that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by Prayer, and the like Imposition of hands.

q Act. 14.23: See the original.

r 1 Tim. 4.14.

s Act. 6.3.5.6.

10. The work of Pastors being constantly to attend the Service of Christ, in his Churches, in the Ministry of the Word, and Prayer, (t) with watching for their Souls, as they that must give an account to him; it is incumbent on the Churches to whom they Minister, not only to give them all due respect, (u) but also to communicate to them of all their good things according to their ability, so as they may have a comfortable supply, without being themselves (x) entangled in Secular Affairs; and may also be capable of exercising (y) Hospitality toward others; and this is required by the (z) Law of Nature, and by the Express order of our Lord Jesus, who hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel.

t Act. 6.4. Heb. 13.17:

u 1 Tim. 5.17,18. Gal. 6.6,7.

x 2 Tim. 2.4.

y 1 Tim. 3.2.

z 1 Cor. 9.6.-14.

11. Although it be incumbent on the Bishops or Pastors of the Churches to be instant in Preaching the Word, by way of Office; yet the work of Preaching the Word, is not so peculiarly confined to them; but that others also (a) gifted, and fitted by the Holy Spirit for it, and approved, and called by the Church, may and ought to perform it.

a Act. 11.19,20,21. 1 Pet. 4.10.11.

12. As all Believers are bound to joyn themselves to particular Churches, when and where they have opportunity so to do; So all that are admitted unto the priviledges of a Church, are also (b) under the Censures and Government thereof, according to the Rule of Christ.

b 1 Thes. 5.14. 2 Thes 3.6.14,15.

13. No Church-members upon any offence taken by them, having performed their Duty required of them towards the person they are offended at, ought to disturb any Church order, or absent themselves from the Assemblies of the Church, or Administration of any Ordinances, upon the account of such offence at any of their fellow-members; but to wait upon Christ, (c) in the further proceeding of the Church.

c Mat. 18.15.16,17. Eph. 4 2,3.

14. As each Church, and all the Members of it are bound to (d) pray continually, for the good and prosperity of all the Churches of Christ, in all places; and upon all occasions to further it (every one within the bounds of their places, and callings, in the Exercise of their Gifts and Graces) so the Churches (when planted by the providence of God so as they may injoy opportunity and advantage for it) ought to hold (e) communion amongst themselves for their peace, increase of love, and mutual edification.

d Eph. 6.18. Ps. 122.6.

Rom. 16.1,2. 3 Joh. 8,9,10.

15. In cases of difficulties or differences, either in point of Doctrine, or Administration; wherein either the Churches in general are concerned, or any one Church in their peace, union, and edification; or any member, or members, of any Church are injured, in or by any proceedings in censures not agreeable to truth, and order: it is according to the mind of Christ, that many Churches holding communion together, do by their messengers meet to consider, (f) and give their advice, in or about that matter in difference, to be reported to all the Churches concerned; howbeit these messengers assembled are not entrusted with any Church-power properly so called; or with any jurisdiction over the Churches themselves, to exercise any censures either over any Churches, or Persons: or (g) to impose their determination on the Churches, or Officers.

f Act. 15.2,4,6. & 22,23.25.

g 2 Cor. 1.24. 1 Joh. 4.1

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith

Concerning Women in Leadership

February 10, 2012 2 comments

No good ever came out of female domination. God created Adam master and lord of all living creatures, but Eve spoiled all.

Martin Luther, “Table Talk”(1532)