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No Creed But the Bible?

November 2, 2015 1 comment

John Piper was asked by a podcast listener if he subscribed to the 1689 Confession of Faith? Here are five points that he made against the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith:

 

 
Now here is the deal with the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. I didn’t choose to go that route, even though it is a good, solid, Reformed Baptist version of the Westminster Confession. And there are several reasons why. Here they are:

1) The language is somewhat foreign. Its vocabulary is like reading the King James Version. And I think it is probably a mistake to try to enshrine that today as the one if you expect families to use it without any updated form.

2) While I am able to affirm that Genesis 1 refers to literal 24-hour days, I had a hard time thinking that I should make that a matter of confessional faithfulness to Christianity, and so I stumbled over that section.

3) The understanding of the Sabbath is, perhaps, more rigorous and narrow than my understanding of the implications of Jesus’s teaching about the Sabbath.

4) There are certain historic categories of theology, like the covenant of works and others, that have proved useful, but you might wonder: Shall I make that the structure of the theology I am going to present?

5) This is going to sound so piddly — and yet you can’t be piddly in a confession — little things like saying that bread and wine are prescribed in the Lord’s Supper. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say that wine was used in the Lord’s Supper. That comes as a shock to a lot of people. It doesn’t say that is what was used.

Now I suspect it was. I suspect it was wine, but it always uses the term cup or fruit of the vine and, therefore, if you get into a knock down battle and say we are going to settle this confessionally and you go to the 1689 Confession, it is going to say wine is what you are supposed to use. And I would say: Well, that is just unbiblical, because that is not what the Bible says, even though that is totally legitimate and maybe even preferable, but not at all required.

To read the entire audio transcript, click here.

To download the audio, click here.

 

 

My response to Piper:

1) The language of the1689 Confession is not foreign to the average reader of today. It is fairly simple in its explanation of the doctrines in which it confesses. That is not to say, that the average reader today, doesn’t need to study a little history of the Church because the confession does use certain words that affirm the truth, over and against the errors that tried to creep in during church history. But this is also true of the scriptures contained within Holy Writ. Unless one studies the historical setting of the Bible, then the reader will not grasp certain things in which the Bible states. So if, the average reader of today, struggles with the confession, then it is certain that they haven’t studied any church history and probably hasn’t studied any Biblical history. Of course, there are modern versions of the 1689 Confession, in modern language, and so Piper’s objection right here is absurd and ridiculous.

2) Piper has a hard time thinking that the 24 hours days of Genesis should by a matter of confessional faithfulness to Christianity. But why does he think that? Is he saying that whatever God states in scripture shouldn’t be a matter of confessional faithfulness to Christianity? To deny what God says in scripture is to deny scripture. Many, for the sake of not trying to look like the Bible is outdated or is ignorant concerning creation, have chosen to try and harmonize the scriptures with the obscure data of fallen man’s so-called science. Paul warned Timothy of this in 1 Timothy 6:20, whereby Paul said, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called…” So I say, if someone gets Genesis wrong, then they get all of scripture wrong. Genesis lays the foundation for the rest of Biblical revelation. And if you notice several of his remaining objections are points that can be cleared up by studying the book of Genesis.

3) Piper also has a problem with the 1689 on its doctrine concerning the Sabbath. Yet the Sabbath, is part of the Moral law, and is contained within the ten commandments. These ten commandments where given on Mt Sinai, and are the totality of what is contained in the moral law. However, these ten commandments were revealed before Mt Sinai when God wrote these commandments on the heart of man at creation. We see that most of these commandments were broken in Genesis and God judges those who broke them.

4) Piper also seems to have a problem with the covenant of works. Yet, if one does away with the covenant of works, then they do away with Christ’s sacrifice. What law did Christ fulfill? Why did Christ have to die in our place, if no covenant was broken? If you do away with the doctrine of the covenant of works, then you do away with justification.

5) Finally Piper has a problem with the 1689 because it speaks of wine being used in the Lord’s supper. He states that wine is unbiblical and that it was probably only the fruit of the vine which was used at the Lord’s supper. You would think that someone who was a Pastor for as many years as he was, that they would not be so ignorant concerning such a matter as this. The Lord’s supper took place between March and April, seeing that the Passover was a movable feast. The harvesting of grapes took place in late October. Now how does Piper propose that the Jews preserved grape juice for six months? Welch had not yet been born. Once new wine was bottled, it started the fermentation process.

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A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-19-The Lord’s Supper

February 27, 2014 1 comment

The Lord’s Supper

 

1. What other ordinance has Christ established?

The Lord’s Supper.

2. In what does this ordinance consist?

In eating bread and drinking wine in remembrance of Christ.

3. Who alone are authorized to receive it?

The members of His churches.

4. In what way is it to be observed?

As a church ordinance, and in token of church fellowship.

5. Is there any established order in which these ordinances are to be observed?

Yes; the believer must be baptized before he partakes of the Lord’s Supper.

6. What does the Lord’s Supper represent?

The death and sufferings of Christ.

7. Does the mere partaking, either of Baptism or the Lord’s Supper confer spiritual blessings?

No; they are worthless, if not injurious, to those who do not exercise faith.

8. But how is it when they are partaken of by those who do exercise faith?

The Spirit of God makes them, to such persons, precious means of grace.

9. Whom has Christ appointed to administer Baptism and the Lord’s Supper?

The authorized ministers of His churches.

 

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

Benjamin Keach’s Definition of Drunkenness

Chapter XXX : Of the Lord’s Supper

1. The Supper of the Lord Jesus, was instituted by him, the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his Churches unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death (a) confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further ingagement in, and to, all duties which they owe unto him; (b) and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other.

a 1 Cor. 11.23,24.25,26.

b 1 Cor. 10.16,17.21.

2. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sin of the quick or dead; but only a memorial of that (c) one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the crosse, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all (d) possible praise unto God for the same; so that the Popish sacrifice of the Mass (as they call it) is most abominable, injurious to Christs own only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the Elect.

c Heb. 9.25,26.28.

d 1 Cor. 11.24. Mat. 26.26,27.

3. The Lord Jesus hath in this Ordinance, appointed his Ministers to Pray, and bless the Elements of Bread and Wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use, and to take and break the Bread; to take the Cup, (e) and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the Communicants.

e 1 Cor. 11.23,24,25,26, &c

4. The denyal of the Cup to the people, worshiping the Elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, (f) are all contrary to the nature of this Ordinance, and to the institution of Christ.

f Mat 26.26,27,28. Mat. 15.9. Exod. 20.4,5.

5. The outward Elements in this Ordinance, duely set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truely, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit the (g) body and Blood of Christ; albeit in substance, and nature, they still remain truly, and only (h) Bread, and Wine, as they were before.

g 1 Cor. 11.27.

h 1 Cor. 11.26. & v.28.

6. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of Bread and Wine, into the substance of Christs body and blood (commonly called Transubstantiation) by consecration of a Priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture (i) alone, but even to common sense and reason; overthroweth the (k) nature of the ordinance, and hath been and is the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross Idolatries.

i Act. 3.21. Luk. 24.6. & v.39.

k 1 Cor. 11.24,25.

7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible Elements in this Ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally, and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified (l) & all the benefits of his death: the Body and Blood of Christ, being then not corporally, or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of Believers, in that Ordinance, as the Elements themselves are to their outward senses.

l 1 Cor. 10.16. ch. 11.23-26.

8. All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion (m) with Christ; so are they unworthy of the Lords Table; and cannot without great sin against him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, (n) or be admitted thereunto: yea whosoever shall receive unworthily are guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgement to themselves.

m 2 Cor: 6,14,15.

n 1 Cor. 11.29. Mat. 7.6.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith

Concerning God’s Gifts

February 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Who loves not woman, wine and song,

Remains a fool his whole life long.

Martin Luther