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Posts Tagged ‘Ministry’

The retreat of the Reformed Baptist Movement & there will be no Baptist Library Vol 2 at the moment

February 8, 2019 4 comments

It seems that within the last few years the Reformed Baptist movement has taken a step or two backwards. Blogs that used to provide great content for Reformed (Particular) Baptists or websites that did the same, have disappeared over the last few years. The Confessing Baptist site is gone. One cannot click a link for it without getting an error message. Pb Ministries has disappeared. I could go on and on listing sites, but you all should get the picture just by the few I listed.

It also seems that there is little to no interest for a library for Reformed (Particular) Baptists. Having spent upwards to 18 hours a day building the Vol I Library has done nothing to peak the interest among Reformed (Particular) Baptists. I have had a few suggestions that I should build a library that would be Baptist friendly and that would also be an alternative to the Puritan Hard Drive. In other words, several folks have told me that I should build a library that would require the selling of a hard drive for Reformed (Particular) Baptists.

This was my goal. My goal was to build a library that was Baptist friendly and also a library that was so big that it would have to fit on a hard-drive. However, since releasing The Baptist Library Vol I. I have sold absolutely no copies. My posts have been shared on Facebook, Reddit, Tumbler, Youtube, Linkedin, and this blog. I have also had my post shared in several Facebook groups that are centered on Reformed Baptist Theology.

With 350 Cd’s ready to ship, but no buyers of said Cd’s, I have stopped thinking about a library for Reformed (Particular) Baptists and have started concentrating on how I will pay my bills. So for the time being, all work has ceased and it looks like I will be going back out on the road driving a big rig.

Now I don’t mind working and I love truck driving, however, I also love trying to build a library that will equip saints for the ministry of spreading the gospel. This is my number one goal in life and that is to develop something that will aide people in their study of the Bible and in making them more knowledgeable in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So my heart is divided. I want more than anything to put that drive together, yet I also have to provide for my household. Seeing that a labourer or worker is worthy of his hire, no matter if he has a secular job, or if he is in the ministry of equipping the saints, then whatsoever he does ought to provide for his household. With that said, I have come across many a website that claims one should not make money or be paid for their work in the things of God. This is simply not true. Scripture is plain that a minster is worthy of his hire and that ministry ought to provide for the necessities of this life.

Once I go back out on the road everything will continue on here at Reformedontheweb as usual. I have placed enough post in scheduled post mode, so that I don’t have to touch this blog for several months. However, as I have time, I will log into this site and answer questions, moderator comments, and pre-schedule some more post.

The Baptist Library Vol I will still be available for purchase while I am gone. This includes all individual collections as well. My wife will ship out the orders while I am on the road.

Thank you to all those who have followed this blog over the past 9 years.

Sincerely,

Hershel L Harvell Jr.

What Spirit Should Characterize Elders on a Plural Eldership?

by Phil Newton

When the New Testament writers sought to teach churches about elder plurality they did not start with an organizational manual or flow chart or rationales for effective management. They started with the sufferings of Jesus Christ. In that model demonstrated by Jesus Christ, elders work together, serve one another, and shepherd the flock of God.

Paul taught the Ephesian elders “to shepherd the church of God which He [Jesus] purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). The weight of Christ’s redemptive work at the cross fills that phrase, “purchased with His own blood.” Shepherding first takes place when the elders come to terms that the church does not belong to them. They serve the purposes of the One who laid down His life for the sheep. So any jockeying within the eldership to gain the upper hand over the fellow elders or over the congregation in order to satisfy selfish desires…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Brief History of Baptist Ministerial Education

September 27, 2016 Leave a comment

by James M. Renihan, Ph.D.

In 1662, circumstances were bleak in the English churches. Charles II had been restored to his father’s throne two years before, and was enacting legislation intended to force men who could not submit to its conscience-breaking demands out of every possible position of influence. Dissent from the Church of England was a punishable offence, and many were subject to cruel injustices for conscience sake. Among the many stipulations was this: in order to attend one of the great Universities, one must submit to the royal prerogatives and participate in the life of the Established Church. Since future ministers received their education at Oxford and/or Cambridge, this meant that an educated ministry was now very difficult for Dissenters to obtain.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Source [Confessing Baptist]

3 Pieces of Marriage Advice from Spurgeon’s Mother-In-Law

Charles Spurgeon abandoned his fiancée on a Sunday afternoon. After lunch, a carriage took the betrothed couple from Susannah’s house in St. Ann’s Terrace to Kennington where Charles would preach. Susannah recounted the event:

I well remember trying to keep close by his side as we mingled with the mass of people thronging up the staircase. But, by the time we had reached the landing, he had forgotten my existence; the burden of the message he had to proclaim to that crowd of immortal souls was upon him, and he turned into the small side door where the officials were awaiting him, without for a moment realizing that I was left to struggle as best I could with the rough and eager throng around me. At first, I was utterly bewildered, and then, I am sorry to have to confess, I was angry.

Susannah left the service and fumed all the way home. Her mother gently “tried to soothe [her] ruffled spirit” and offered some motherly advice about marriage:

[My mother] wisely reasoned that my chosen husband was no ordinary man, that his whole life was absolutely dedicated to God and His service, and that I must never, never hinder him by trying to put myself first in his heart.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3- Chapter 31- The Ministry

CHAPTER 31-THE MINISTRY #1Co 4:1-21

Paul tells how ministers are to be regarded, what account is be taken of them, what attitude people should have toward them. We should not be too hasty in criticizing them or passing judgment upon their work.

1. They are ministers of Christ and stewards of the mystery of God. They belong to Christ. They are stewards of mysteries. A steward was a house manager, a slave under his lord, but a master over the other slaves in the same family. The gospel is here called mysteries. Mystery is something known only to the initiated. “He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (#Mt 13:11). The man who never preaches anything that everybody can’t understand is not preaching mysteries.

2. “It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (#1Co 4:2). Plain honesty is what is required of a steward. This is what is expected of bank clerks and others in positions of trust, like public officials.

3. Human judgment does not count in appraising the work of preachers. The preacher cannot judge his own ministry. Paul was not justified by what he thought of his work. He placed little importance to what the Corinthians’ thought of it. The Lord is the only one who has the right or ability to judge. Failure to be conscious of one’s own sin does not mean that he is innocent. Most prisoners plead “not guilty”.

4. “Judge nothing before the time” (#1Co 4:5). Stop passing judgment, quit criticizing. The censorious habit was ruining the Corinthian church. Wait and let the Lord judge when He comes. He alone can judge the secret things of a man’s ministry. He will turn on the light and reveal it all. Wait and get His praise.

5. These principles are to be applied in their thoughts about Paul and Ananias. Apply these principles and you will not be puffed up for one against another.

6. It is God who makes ministers to differ. He speaks only of true God called ministers.

Preachers are to have no credit for their difference in gifts. But at Corinth they were making their different gifts ground for division. Different gifts are a great blessing. They are sovereignly bestowed. No preacher is the best example on all points. In calling and qualifying preachers, God does not imitate the candle maker who brings a tub full of tallow and pours it into one mold. All candles come out of candle molds just alike. We have diversity of gifts and divisions of labor. Exhortation, exposition, interpretation, tactfulness in visiting the sick and strangers.

Paul contrasts between the Corinthians and the apostles and uses sarcasm and irony. They were satisfied and having an easy time; the apostles were having a hard time.

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 3-Chapter 2-A Manual For Godly Living

CHAPTER 2-A MANUAL FOR GODLY LIVING (Exposition of Romans Chapter 12)

If one should select a portion of Scripture as a manual or guide to Christian living, surely he could do no better than to turn to the closing chapters of Romans. Here we have the Christian’s duty in various relations of life. In this chapter we shall attempt an exposition of Romans 12.

We now enter what is called the practical part of Paul’s letter to the Romans. If the doctrinal portion of Romans is distasteful, the practical portion will be even more so. He who despises the mercies of God will rebel at the commands of God. Practical Christianity must rest upon doctrinal Christianity. You cannot divorce doctrine from life. As G. Campbell Morgan puts it: “You cannot grow the tulips of the kingdom of God unless you get the bulbs from heaven.” A man’s conduct is the fruit of what he believes. The flower of a godly life has its roots deep in the soil of experienced grace.

Paul, after giving us the greatest of all expositions of the grace and mercy of God; gives vent to his feeling of adoring wonder at the ways of God: and follows with an exhortation to becoming conduct on the part of those who can follow him in the gracious experiences of the mercies of God.

1. PAUL’S GREAT APPEAL (1, 2). Observe,

1a) HE BESEECHES. He does not command like Moses who gave the law. The Christian minister cannot give orders nor compel; he can only get things done by beseeching. A Christian hierarchy, whether in the form of a Baptist Board, or a Methodist Bishop, or a Roman Catholic Pope is contrary to the very norm of New Testament Christianity.

1b) HE BESEECHES BY THE MERCIES OF GOD. This is the greatest argument for a consecrated life. Paul wants the mercies of God to be realized and bear fruit to the glory of God. The highest and purest of all human motives is to act out of appreciation for the mercies of God.

1c) PAUL BESEECHES THE BRETHREN. Exhortation is ministry to the saints. He is not appealing to the sinner, but to those who have an experience of grace and mercy.

1d) HE BESEECHES THEM TO PRESENT THEIR BODIES TO GOD. The believer’s body is to be a living sacrifice in contrast to dead animals offered under the law. It is not to obtain but to acknowledge the blessing of salvation. It is a sacrifice of praise. The body is to be a holy sacrifice. Under the law the animals offered in sacrifice had to be ceremonially clean and physically sound; under grace the human body must be morally clean. A whiskey-soaked body is a filthy sacrifice. The sacrifice must be pleasing to God. It is not man nor even the church that we must please but God. Consecration is primarily to God and not to a cause or a work. One may be consecrated to a good work and yet scarcely ever think of God. Everything is to be done as unto the Lord. The sacrifice of the believer constitutes his “reasonable service.” The Greek word for reasonable is logikos, and is variously translated reasonable, intelligent, rational, spiritual, etc. The word is found in one other place in the Greek New Testament. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (#1Pe 2:2) and is translated by the phrase “of the word.” It comes from the same root as logos, which means word. The believer’s service to God must be regulated by the word of God. This is most important, for one may be busy in doing what God has not commanded, and in the way God has not commanded; yea, one may be doing what God has forbidden.

1e) HE BESEECHES BELIEVERS TO BE DIFFERENT. “And be not conformed to this world.” World here means the inhabitants of the world morally considered. The world is bad; it lies in the lap of the Wicked One. “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (#1Joh 5:19). The devil is its god. He has dominion over it. The world is self-centered and Satan—controlled. The believer is not to agree with it, or be like it. He must not fall in with the world in its thinking and doing. He must think and do according to the Word of God.

1f) “BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED”. The Greek is “metamorphoo,” and means a change in appearance. It is the word used for the transfiguration of Christ. In our text it denotes a moral change, to be effected by the renewal of the mind. A change of mind-new thoughts and new ideals-is wrought in regeneration, and this change must be renewed and deepened. Outward transformation must begin in the mind and heart. If a man’s conduct is to be right his thinking must be right. In this way the believer will know “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God,” and be able to demonstrate it in his every day life. Believers are God’s demonstrators, we are to demonstrate the fact and worth of God in human life. The commercial world uses this method in making sales. The car salesman will put you into his car and behind the wheel to demonstrate its speed and riding comfort. The refrigerator man will put a refrigerator in your home on trial to let you see its freezing qualities. In this day of keen competition many things are sold in trial. It is a solemn and pertinent question the believer should put to himself; what kind of a demonstrator am I for Jesus Christ Whom I profess to trust and love and obey? What impression does my life make on others?

2. SPECIAL DUTIES BASED ON SPECIFIC GIFTS (3-8).

2a) Have a just estimate of your gift. There are different measures of faith—do not think you know it all—do not act as if you are the “whole cheese”. Think soberly about yourself and your abilities. Do not be intoxicated with conceit. Recognize the gifts of others. Be humble.

2b) We are many members in one body. Every church (local assembly) is a body of Christ likened to the human body. Each member has his own gift and place in the body, and what he does affects the whole body. Each member of the church ought to be dear to every other member.

2c) Each member must exercise his own gift. It is not a natural talent, but a gift sovereignly bestowed by the Holy Spirit. There are seven of these gifts here enumberated:

2c1) PROPHECY. The Spirit given ability to utter Divine truth. It strictly signifies the foretelling of future events, but seems to have a wider sense in the New Testament, including the gift of explaining the Scriptures. It is forthtelling as well as foretelling. There are no foretellers since the New Testament was completed. We have in the Bible all the truth we need for our spiritual good.

2c2) MINISTRY. The Greek word means service, and is used in a wide sense. It is used of Christ in #Ro 15:8 “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” , of Phoebe in #Ro 16:1 “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:”; of the office of deacon in “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:” (#Php 1:1), “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre” (#1Ti 3:8). In our text it does not seem to refer to an office, but to practical service in the church without naming the particular service. Every member is to render some service.

2c3) TEACHING. The ability to teach God’s word is a gift of the Spirit. It is a gift the pastor or bishop must have “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach” (#1Ti 3:2). A mere exhorter should never be made a bishop, that is, a pastor.

2c4) EXHORTATION. This means to excite to duty and dissuade from sin and requires a peculiar talent—a gift of the Spirit. It is not an office. We need laymen in our churches with the gift of exhortation —men who can arouse the brethren to greater activity; to be more than seat warmers. The exhortation of a Godly layman seems to have more effect than that of the pastor.

2c5) GIVING. Giving is both a duty and a grace “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia” (#2Co 8:1). Giving is the duty of all and a gift of grace bestowed upon some. Where this grace is exercised there will be large gifts for the work of the church. Let large givers give without fanfare or ostention.

2c6) RULING. The Greek word means “to go before,” or “to take the lead”. It is used of the bishop (pastor) in “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;” (#1Ti 3:4): “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine” (#1Ti 5:17). As a leader the pastor must be zealous and diligent. The pastorate is no place for a lazy man.

2c7) SHOWING MERCY. The gift of aiding the needy and of forgiving an enemy. And this must be done cheerfully and eagerly and sincerely. Gill thinks the last three gifts: giving, ruling, and showing mercy, relate to different branches of the deacon’s office. Perhaps so.

3. GENERAL DUTIES BASED UPON SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIPS (9-16).

#Ro 12:9. Love is to be sincere—without hypocrisy. Feigned love is disguised hate. “Abhorring evil.” It is not enough to cease from doing wrong; sin must be hated. “Cleaving to the good.” The Christian is not a mere negation; there is a positive side to his character. While hating evil he must love and hold fast to that which is good.

#Ro 12:10. We are to love one another as members of the same family. And where honor or preference is involved we should want another brother to have it. While the worldly vie with one another in receiving honor; the saints should compete with one another in giving honor.

#Ro 12:11. “Not slothful in business.” This has no reference to secular work, but to service for the Lord. We are to be on fire for the Lord. Stifler renders the verse this way: “In zeal (the outward) not slothful; in spirit (the inward human spirit) fervent; serving the Lord.”

#Ro 12:12. “Hope…tribulation…prayer”: the bulk of many a life. We may not be able to rejoice in present conditions but we can rejoice in hope of a better day. And this hope will give patience and steadfastness in the day of affliction, for hope sees an end to them. And while hoping and suffering we can keep on praying.

#Ro 12:13. We are to relieve the necessities of the saints, and practice hospitality. This implies private ownership of goods and is far removed from Socialism and Communism. Some will be better off than others. Let those who have, voluntarily share with those who have not. But indolence must not be encouraged or even tolerated. “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies” (2Th 3:10,11) for a balancing truth. Every Christian home should be an inn where strangers of the household of faith might find entertainment: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (#Heb 13:2).

#Ro 12:14. Bless your persecutors. The saint must never answer in kind, must not fight the devil with fire; he knows more about that weapon than we do. We are to render blessing for cursing; not railing for railing.

#Ro 12:15. Share the experiences of others. Rejoice with the rejoicing ones and weep with the weeping. Here is Christian wisdom. Christ did not weep at Cana, nor laugh at the grave of Lazarus.

#Ro 12:16. “Be of the same mind one toward another.” Be easy to live with. Regard one another mutually, and let this attitude reach the lowly. Don’t be snobbish and exclusive. The world neglects and rejects the lowly, but Christ died for such people, and we should have fellowship with them in the body of Christ. And do not have a too high estimate of yourself.

4. CHRISTIAN GRACES TOWARD THE WORLD (17-21).

#Ro 12:17. Do not return evil for evil, but meet evil with good. And be honest. Watch your step for the eyes of the world are upon you. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (#Mt 5:16).

#Ro 12:18. Do your best to live at peace with all men. Be sure you are not at fault when peace is destroyed. If men hate you let them hate you for the truth’s sake and not for the evil you do.

#Ro 12:19. Do not seek revenge. Vengeance belongs to God. A Christian seeks revenge when he tries to get even with an enemy—he takes himself out of the hands of his Heavenly Father. It is a way of saying that you can handle your enemy better than He can. Do not usurp His place in judgment; wait for Him to act. He will set things right in His own time.

#Ro 12:20. Befriend your enemy. Help him in time of need. In this way you are heaping coals of fire on his head. This is the only punishment you may inflict—and take care you do not do it literally. A woman who complained of the ill treatment of her husband was asked if she had ever tried heaping coals of fire on his head replied by saying, “No, but I did dash a bucket of scalding water on him.”

#Ro 12:21. Be a conqueror. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Fight your foe with the weapon of good deeds. You conquer when you befriend an enemy, and leave vengeance with God to Whom it belongs. May grace be given to both writer and reader to heed these flesh-rebuking admonitions!

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 3

Dispensability

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment

by Jeremy Walker

It would be unfair to say that I am plotting my own demise. It may be that there are plenty of people more than willing to plot that on my behalf. However, I do think it makes sense to take full account of my own expected and intended dispensability. The fable of indispensability afflicts most of us almost naturally. We come to see ourselves at the centre of a particular web, the one without whom some sparkling edifice will most assuredly collapse. If God gifts one or another with an unusual measure of gift or degree of grace, paradoxically, that one can be all the more inclined to imagine themselves irreplaceable. Some learn it a hard way: try falling sick for a couple of months, and watch the kingdom of God stutter and stumble along without you … or not. Even Paul, lest he be exalted above measure, was blessed with a thorn in the flesh.

To be sure, we must take account of certain realities. By the grace of God, each of us is what we are, formed, forged, fashioned by a sovereign God for his wise and perfect purposes. We must not deny that it is for the Lord to appoint those formed, forged and fashioned instruments for particular purposes in particular times under particular circumstances, to raise up men to meet the needs of the hour. At no point can we or need we trespass upon the divine prerogative. God employs us in his kingdom for his glory; he does not rely on us.

 

 

 

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The Most Neglected Part of the Pastor’s Job Description

November 4, 2014 2 comments

A much needed article by Thabiti Anyabwile

 

“Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared at The Gospel-Centered Woman, a new site dedicated to helping pastors and lay leaders disciple women through the local church. Please visited The Gospel-Centered Woman and make use of the excellent contributions there.

The Father is kind to me. Because of His rich love and unending grace, I’m not only a Christian but also a pastor. And for reasons that cannot be explained apart from my Savior’s sheer grace, I count a great company of other pastors as friends and colleagues.

The pastorate is a fraternity, a brotherhood. When we are together, we do what brothers do. We discuss (or argue about) what pastors discuss (or argue about): preaching, theology, the churches we shepherd and sports. We laugh together, counsel one another, plot and scheme for the advance of the gospel. In some ways these confabs become a kind of 360-degree job review. We hit the major bullets on our job descriptions and reflect together on our progress and struggles.

In nearly all the meetings I’ve had with my fellow pastors we come to those areas where we feel ill-equipped, ineffective and perhaps even discouraged. One man mourns his prayer life. Another feels hopeless about evangelism. Still another recounts leadership challenges. Someone wants to improve their preaching. We all share our wisdom, our common struggles and encouragements.

But in all of this talk over the years, I’ve come to believe that the most neglected aspect of a pastor’s job description is the command for pastors to disciple older women in their congregations. It’s a massive omission since in nearly every church women make up at least half the membership and in many cases much more. And when you consider how many ministries and committees depend upon the genius, generosity and sweat of our sisters, it’s almost criminal that most any pastor you meet has no plan for discipling the women of his church apart from outsourcing to a women’s ministry staff person or committee.”

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Preaching — Awesome Responsibility

August 8, 2014 3 comments

Spurgeon 1“Often, when I come in at the door and my eyes fall on this vast congregation, I feel a tremor go through me to think that I should have to speak to you all and be, in some measure, accountable for your future state. Unless I preach the Gospel faithfully and with all my heart, your blood will be required at my hands. Do not wonder, therefore, that when I am weak and sick, I feel my head swim when I stand up to speak to you, and my heart is often faint within me. But I do have this joy at the back of it all— God does set many sinners free in this place! Some people reported that I was mourning that there were no conversions. Brothers and Sisters, if you were all to be converted tonight, I should mourn for the myriads outside! That is true, but I praise the Lord for the many who are converted here. When I came last Tuesday to see converts, I had 21 whom I was able to propose to the Church—and it will be the same next Tuesday, I do not doubt. God is saving souls! I am not preaching in vain. I am not despondent about that matter—liberty is given to the captives and there will be liberty for some of them, tonight! I wonder who it will be? Some of you young women over yonder, I trust. Some who have dropped in here, tonight, for the first time. Oh, may this first opportunity of your hearing the Word in this place be the time of beginning a new life which shall never end—a life of holiness, a life of peace with God!”

Charles H. Spurgeon—1894, Sermon #2371

We ought to examine ourselves

 

It becomes us to inquire, each one seriously for himself, whether the little success which we have already experienced may not be owing to this cause– There may be something about us, on account of which God does not delight in us? I mean no reflection upon any; but let each one examine himself. What is the secret spring of my zeal? Is the doctrine I preach truly evangelical? Let me not take this matter for granted; but examine whether it quadrates with the scriptures. If half my time be taken up in beating off the rough edges of certain passages, to make them square with my principles, I am not in the gospel scheme. If one part of scripture requires to be passed over, lest I should appear inconsistent, I am not sound in the faith, in God’s account; but have imbibed some false system, instead of the gospel; and , while this is the cause, I have no reason to expect that he will delight in me, so as to make me a blessing.’

 

Rev. Andrew Fuller-God’s Approbation of our Labours Necessary to the Hope of Success-Preached