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Posts Tagged ‘Reformation’

The Wednesday Word: Repentance or Reformation?

Opinions are like noses…everyone has one. That’s why, when it comes to doctrine, we so often hear “I think this,” or “I think that,” and “Mr So-and-So thinks the other.” There are many varied and colourful opinions out there but to establish the veracity of a matter we need to ask what God thinks? What are His thoughts?

In Matthew 22:29 the Lord rebuked the Sadducees saying, “You do err, not knowing the Scriptures.” That’s a sombre reprimand for many of us.

God has spoken and His word endures for ever (1 Peter 1:25). What then does His Word say, for example, about repentance? Is it the same as reformation? Let’s then, for just a moment, look at this important truth.

In Acts 17:30-31 we discover that, “God now commands all men everywhere to repent: Because he has appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.” Let’s unpack this;

Who commands repentance? God!

When does He command it? Now!

Whom does He command to repent? All men!

Where does He command this? Everywhere!

Why does He command repentance? To escape the coming judgment.

What assurance have we that there is a coming judgment? Christ has been raised from the dead!

Through the years, many have considered their responsibility to repent, and yet they still lack salvation.

Why?

Because they confuse reformation with repentance. They realise, to a point, their sinful condition, and unfitness for God’s holy presence, so they turn over a new leaf. They give up their obvious and visible sinful habits and try to lead a good and religious life. By doing so, they hope to make amends for their ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’. Oh, and yes, they believe that Christ died on the cross, but they seem to have no idea that they are to trust Him for their salvation. They do not see Him as their sin-bearer and substitute. However, by their upright behavior and sincerely trying to be good they believe they will reach heaven someday.

But is this repentance? Far from it! Repentance is seeing ourselves as poor, helpless, vile, lost sinner whose only hope is Jesus. What we are looking at with the ¨new leaf adherents¨ is the evidence of the deeply rooted self-righteousness of a deceived mind. These folks have gone through reformation not repentance. But God commands repentance, not reformation. Reformation will probably be appreciated by their neighbours but repentance towards God and repentance unto life are other things altogether.

If a person trusts in their reformation to gain eternal life, they are trusting in what they have done. But we are not saved by works. We are not called upon to trust what we have done (see Ephesians 2:8-9). A saved person does not justify themselves, but they look to Christ alone for their right standing before God. What a vast difference there is between reformation and repentance! Repentance is a change of mind about sin, our lostness and about Jesus. Real salvation is by grace. By the work of the Spirit we see that we are guilty and lost (see Luke 19:10). We comprehend that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (see 1 Timothy 1:15). We understand that Jesus, the appointed Judge, is also the Saviour.

Those hoping in their reformation must realise the following: God is “just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). They must, ‘Believe on (trust on) the Lord Jesus Christ, and they shall be saved,’ (Acts 16:31).

We are not called to believe about Him as merely an historical fact, but to trust the Person and finished work of the risen One. We cannot do a single thing to please God before we believe, for ” in all your doings your sins do appear ” (Ezekiel. 21:24). Reforming our ways is not the ground of salvation. We must believe and trust on Him first, and then follow Him.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

Reaffirming Sola Scriptura

by Tom Nettles

Sola Scriptura as Philip Schaff indicated, confessions and creeds hold no absolute authority for Protestants. Their authority is only an ad hoc, ecclesial, and localized standard for the sake of unity in fellowship and consistency of witness either in a denomination or a local assembly of believers. They can be amended or expanded in light of evidence from more mature biblical exegesis or in light of doctrinal and cultural challenges to biblical truth. For this reason, confessions arising from within Protestantism usually contain an article that affirms the sole authority, inspiration and infallible authority of Scripture. For example, the Second London Confession of the Baptists stated in its first sentence, “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, Faith, and Obedience.” In paragraph 6 of the same article on Scripture, reflecting the words and concepts of both the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Savoy Declaration with one slight variation [italicized], the confession added: “The whole Councel of God concerning all things necessary for his own Glory, Man’s Salvation, Faith and Life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture; unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new Revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” Thus, one of the most influential confessions in Protestantism begins with a ten paragraph article affirming the sole and certain authority of Scripture closing with these words: “The supreme judge by which all controversies of Religion are to be determined, and all Decrees of Councils, opinions of ancient Writers, Doctrines of men, and private Spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture” [WCF]. Again, the Second London Confession varied the language slightly, insisting even more clearly on the sole authority of Scripture, closing with the phrase after the words “can be no other,” with these words, “but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.”

For Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, however, the view of the creedal tradition is quite different. The Orthodox churches consider the first seven ecumenical councils as guided by the Holy Spirit resulting…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Happy Reformation Day 2016!

October 31, 2016 2 comments

Reformed on the Web would like to wish everyone a Happy and blessed Reformation Day!

Here is a four volume history on Luther and the Protestant Reformation:

James MacKinnon [1860-1945], Luther and the Reformation, 4 Vols. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1925-1930

Volume 1- Early Life and Religious Development to 1517 (Pdf)

Volume 2- The Breach with Rome (1517-21) (Pdf)

Volume 3- Progress of the Movement (1521-29) (Pdf)

Volume 4- Vindication of the Movement (1530-46) (Pdf)

Video Interview with Michael Haykin on Martin Luther

 

Michael A. G. Haykin is Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has authored numerous books including: The Spirit of God: The Exegesis of 1 and 2 Corinthians in the Pneumatomachian Controversy of the Fourth Century (E. J. Brill, 1994); One Heart and One Soul: John Sutcliff of Olney, His Friends, and His Times (Evangelical Press, 1994); Kiffin, Knollys and Keach: Rediscovering Our English Baptist Heritage (Reformation Today Trust, 1996); ‘At the Pure Fountain of Thy Word’: Andrew Fuller as an Apologist (Paternoster Press, 2004); Jonathan Edwards: The Holy Spirit in Revival (Evangelical Press, 2005); The God Who Draws Near: An Introduction to Biblical Spirituality (Evangelical Press, 2007); The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers (Reformation Trust, 2009); The Empire of the Holy Spirit (Borderstone Press, 2010); Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church (Crossway, 2011). Haykin is the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and blogs at Historia ecclesiastica. Haykin is married to Alison and they have two children, Victoria and Nigel.

 

 

Source [Credo Magazine]

2016 Reformation Preaching Conference [Events]

February 15, 2016 Leave a comment

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2016 Reformation Preaching Conference
http://www.reformationpreachingconference.com/

Theme: “Family Worship”
Date: June 18, 2016a

Registration is required as seating is limited

$20.00 per adult or $30.00 per family

Location:
Sovereign Grace Church
755 W. Broadway, Suite 218
Lawrenceburg, KY, 40342

(Click Here To Register)

 

 

Source [Confessingbaptist.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Five Points of Reformed Baptist Churches

 

 

 

Five Points 1

Five Points 2

Sam Waldron 1689 Baptist Confession and its Orthodoxy

Teaching Others to Walk

Appendix

Teaching Others to Walk:

The Use of Creeds and Confessions In Local Church Reformation

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deut 4:9

The Future Generation

God is concerned about the future generations. Psalm 78:1-6 says:

O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old – what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. (NIV)

Psalm 145:4 similarly says: “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts” (KJV).

One of the best teaching tools available in a reforming situation is the use of creeds, confessions and catechisms. Unfortunately, the use of these teaching tools has been lost in all-too many churches. Yet it is vitally important that we recover the use of our historical confessional statements. Reformation will not come if we do not know who we are and where we have come from. To this end, in my view, every reforming pastor should have on his shelf and in his church library a copy of Timothy and Denise George’s collection of Baptist confessions of faith, covenants and catechisms.

Definition Of Creeds, Confessions and Catechisms

It is often said that Baptists are not creedal people, that we have no creed but the Bible. This simply is not true. Baptists have often utilized confessions of faith, beginning with the General Baptists’ Short Confession of Faith in Twenty Articles (1609) and the Particular Baptists’ London Confession of 1644 and continuing to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Baptist Faith and Message, recently amended in 1998.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

On Confessions of Faith

Theologian Russell Reno has noted that confessions of faith serve a dual purpose — to define truth and to isolate falsehood:

“The impulse behind confessions of faith is doxological, the desire to speak the truth about God, to give voice to the beauty of holiness in the fullest possible sense. However, the particular forms that historical confessions take are shaped by confrontation. Their purpose is to respond to the spirit of the age by re-articulating in a pointed way the specific content of Christianity so as to face new challenges as well as new forms of old challenges. As a result, formal confessions are characterized by pointed distinctions. They are exercises in drawing boundaries where the particular force of traditional Christian claims is sharpened to heighten the contrast between true belief and false belief…. As they shape our faith, confessions structure our identities.”

Free Ebook: A Baptist Catechism

Free PDF/MOBI/EPUB: “A Baptist Catechism: For Personal & Family Devotion” [including the 1689, Catechism, Church Covenant + more]

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Kindle [mobi] | iPad [epub] | PDF | Print: $11.25 / £7.86

 

Description:

Pastor JD Hall & Family
This material has been collected specifically for use among Reformation Montana churches, but it has been made available for all Baptists of life-faith.

Includes:

•Declaration of Reformation [by JD Hall]
•London Baptist Confession of Faith [(1689) Slight Revisions by Charles Spurgeon]
•Baptist Catechism [as presented by the Charleston Association, 1813]
•Baptist Church Covenant [ an abridged version taken from “A Declaration of Faith” by J. Newton Brown (1853)]
•A Modern Day Downgrade [by JD Hall] – a short treatise on why catechism is necessary for Reformation in our modern times.

Endorsements:

JD Hall & James White “Western culture today seeks to cut itself free from burdensome things like truth, consistency, and commitment. The Baptist Catechism reminds us that there are truths worth living for, and dying for, that give life transcendent meaning and purpose.”

— Dr. James White, Director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, host of The Dividing Line and 2013 RefMT Conference Speaker

Ken Fryer “Although this catechism is intended for Baptists of all varieties, as a Southern Baptist I find my Convention in the paradoxical position of affirming biblical inerrancy while many of its churches are doctrinally deficient. To assist the church in extricating herself from this less than God-honoring predicament, I highly recommend Pastor J.D. Hall’s book A Baptist Catechism for Personal and Family Devotion. Along with an open Bible, it will be a refreshment to your soul and serve as a vehicle to foster restoration in our churches.”

— Ken Fryer 2nd Vice President of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, serving at Heritage Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana

 

 

Source [Confessingbaptist.com]