“Biblical Elders & Deacons” by Nehemiah Coxe [Free eBook Friday]

Coxe Elders Deacons Book

Biblical Elders and Deacons
by Nehemiah Coxe D. 1688

[Download in .ePub .mobi & .pdf formats]

Chapel Library:

Christ’s will as revealed in Scripture is the pattern for the church, and Nehemiah Coxe unfolds aspects of that pattern that relate to church leadership. “The edification and beauty of the Church is much concerned in her order, not such an order as superstition will dictate, or litigious nicety contend for, but such as sets her in a conformity with Christ’s will; and particularly the filling up of the offices which He has appointed, with persons duly qualified for the administration of them, and the regular acting both of officers and members in their respective positions.”

Pages: 32.


I. Exposition

II. Appointment of Deacons

III. Appointment of Elders

IV. A Pastor’s Duty toward His People

V. The People’s Duty toward Their Pastors

VI. Conclusion


Tom Nettles Interviews Tom Ascol on the 1689 [Founders Journal]

Founders Journal · Summer 2005 · pp. 4-9 has an interview, conducted by Tom Nettles, with Pastor Tom Ascol on the Second London Confession of 1689. It begins:

founders journal summer 2005Start by telling us how long your church has used the 1689 Confession.

Since 1989 Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida has been guided by a commitment to the 1689 (Second London) Confession of Faith. We adopted that confession as a detailed expression of our doctrinal commitments as a church and for the purpose of guiding us in the selection of officers, teachers and other leaders in the church. We use the edition that is published by the elders of Grace Baptist Church in Carlisle, PA, but also allow for the use of the Carey edition, entitled A Faith to Confess. This latter edition employs modern language and is more easily read by some.[1]

Pastor Tom Ascol
Pastor Tom Ascol

How does using a confession of faith benefit a church body?

A church can receive great benefit from properly using a (or more than one) confession of faith. By adopting a confession of faith a clear statement is made that on certain matters of faith and practice the church is pre-committed. That is, the church declares, “We are not looking for truth in these areas, we believe that we have found the truth of God’s Word on these subjects and this is what our views are.” This kind of pre-commitment is very useful in times of doctrinal uncertainty or controversy. If some members come to convictions that are contrary to the church’s confession, then those members can be addressed on the basis of what the church has previously stated to be its views. Further, those seeking to join the church have in the confession a clear declaration of what can be expected in the preaching and teaching ministry.

A good confession can help promote the unity of the church. Opinions are not all equally valid and where there exists in a church a common commitment to a list of doctrinal convictions, those views that deviate from or contradict that commitment can be readily recognized and addressed. No church can long survive if it must continually reevaluate each and every doctrine when at once it is questioned.

A good confession can also help a church grow spiritually. Such a confession represents the collective wisdom of trusted teachers. It can prove to be a great source of instruction for those who are committed to understanding and applying biblical truth. A confession serves as a reminder of what God has taught others whose lives and views we respect. It can be consulted as a guide in Bible study, or can actually provide an outline for a doctrinal study of the Word.

Dr. Tom Nettles
Dr. Tom Nettles

What are the doctrinal strengths of the Second London Confession [2LC]?

The doctrinal strengths of the 2LC are seen in the comprehensiveness of its thirty-two chapters. Matters related to the heart of salvation are addressed in detail in at least twelve of those chapters, covering everything from “God’s Covenant” (chapter 7) to the “Assurance of Grace and Salvation” (chapter 18).

In addition to these soteriological chapters, the confession also treats matters related to the life and health of a local church. Twelve chapters address the Bible’s teachings on the law, gospel, Christian liberty, worship, the Sabbath, oaths, civil government, marriage, the church, communion of the saints and the ordinances (chapters 19–30).

In addition, chapters on authority (1), the nature and sovereignty of God (2–5), sin (5) and last things (31, 32) are included. All of these subjects are important to the spiritual vitality of individual believers and churches. As a believer grows in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, these are matters that he will discover he must develop opinions and perhaps even convictions on. It is very helpful for a local church to state plainly its position on these matters. Members can expect the teaching and preaching ministries of the church to be within these confessional boundaries. The confession can also be used as an excellent tool for the systematic study of biblical doctrines. The insights of those who have gone before us and whose testimonies have proven faithful are invaluable aids in study and growth…

The rest contain answers to the following questions:

  • Do you think that the length of the articles is helpful or confusing?

  • How does it serve in the process of a person becoming a church member?

  • Do pastors/elders relate differently to the 2LC than those members that are not so called?

  • How does it serve in the educational process of the church?

  • How does it serve in the discipline of the church?

  • How is it related to biblical exposition in the church?

  • Another idea you would like to cover


Read the entire interview.

[HT: @1689_LBCF]

The Purpose of the 1689 London Confession of Faith [James Brown Jr.’s 3-part Audio Podcast]

Here is another podcast from a 1689’r that just hit our hard-working Bapti-Bot’s radar, though it has been around since 2010!

James Brown Jr.Standing Firm James Brown Jr:

This year marks the 325th anniversary of the 1689 Second London Confession of Faith. In recognition of the impact this confession has played in our history and its significance for our future, we restarted our podcasts [RSS | iTunes] to highlight this standard of confessional Reformed Baptists.


We began with three podcasts focusing upon the purpose of the 1689…


In these three podcasts we attempt to set forth the purpose for the publication of the 1689 London Confession of Faith. The spirit of this document cannot be separated from its content. It was the purpose of these English Baptists to show our unity with the catholic Church and our distinctions as Baptists within the universal visible Church.

Here are the podcast:

1689 confessionThe Purpose of the 1689 London Confession of Faith

In this episode, we will begin examining the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Instead of beginning with its historical background or content, we will begin by looking at the reasons it was drafted to be used as the basis of the London association of Credobaptist churches. Their intent, purpose and the nature of the document is revealed in its Preface to the Reader. If we are going to recover true confessionalism, it must include the purpose and not just the content. In other words, we must recover the spirit of the confession along with the letter of the confession.


[Purpose 1: To set forth the Reformed Baptist principles.]


The Purpose of the 1689 London Confession of Faith – Part 2

In this episode, we will continue our examination of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith…


[Purpose 2: To set forth the Reformed Baptist unity among all orthodox Reformed churches... podcast even getting into some Covenant Theology]


The Purpose of the 1689 London Confession of Faith – Part 3

In this episode, we will continue our examination of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith…


[Purpose 3: To set forth Reformed Baptist distinctives.


Purpose 4: To set forth our liberty within the church universal.


Purpose 5: To set forth their mission of reformation.]


James Brown Jr.
James Brown Jr.

James Brown Jr. is a pastor at Reformed Church of the Holy Trinity, a 1689 London Baptist church plant in Mooresville, Indiana. He is an ordained Baptist minister who has served Independent and Southern Baptist Churches in Indiana and Georgia since 1998.

James is a Gulf War veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps. He and his wife, Sonya, have 8 children and 1 grandchild.

He is also one of the speakers at the upcoming “Baptists, Confessionalism & the Providence of God” Conference“.

2014 Founders Conf. SW AUDIO now online: “The Means of Grace” feat. Barcellos, James Renihan, Vincent, Montgomery, & Garrick

2014 Southern Baptist Founders Southwet Means of Grace


[SermonAudio | RSS feed]

1 Devotional Psalm: Psalm 111 | Larry Vincent | THU 09/25/2014
32 min MP3:

Introduction to the Means of Grace | James M. Renihan | THU 09/25/2014

50 min MP3:

Preaching as a Means of Grace | James M. Renihan | THU 09/25/2014

55 min MP3:

Baptism as a Means of Grace | Richard Barcellos | FRI 09/26/2014

59 min MP3:

Means of Grace Cover02

Baptist Confessions and the Means of Grace | James M. Renihan | FRI 09/26/2014
61 min MP3:

Founders SW 2014 Means of Grace Q and A

Means of Grace Q&A | Various Speakers | FRI 09/26/2014

48 min MP3:

Prayer as a Means of Grace | Richard Barcellos | FRI 09/26/2014

50 min MP3:

The Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace | Richard Barcellos | FRI 09/26/2014

45 min MP3:

9 Preparation for Heaven | Jason Montgomery | SAT 09/27/2014

66 min. MP3:

10 The Minister’s Expectation for Success | Steve Garrick | SAT 09/27/2014

60 min. MP3:


Is Calvinism “Satanic”?, the Local Church, KJV Onlyism feat. James White & John Samson [AUDIO]

Here are three recent Apologia Radio episodes of particular interest:

spurgeons calvinismIs Calvinism “Satanic”? – with John Samson – 7/26/2014

…we respond a portion of a video (Here) put up by Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church. Anderson is well known on the internet for his anti-Calvinism rants, KJV Onlyism, and for the famous incident wherein he was tazed by border agents. In his recent video he says that Calvinism is Satanic and that Calvinists are perverts.


We are joined on this broadcast with our good friend, John Samson. John is the pastor of King’s Church (www.kingschurchaz.com) and is the author of the book, ‘Twelve What Abouts: Answering Common Objections Concerning God’s Sovereignty in Election’. John speaks with us about the nature of man, God’s sovereignty, and a host of other issues.



church05Samson Claus and Biblical Community – 8/16/2014

…we interview and dialogue with John Samson (author of ’12 What Abouts’) on the local church. Consider this an episode that deals with practical and biblical living as Christians.


We believe this show will really bless you. We address the importance of the local church, being under the authority of Elders, and being involved in transparent and accountable community.



NWO Bible Versions Steven Anderson and James WhiteDr. James White vs. Steven Anderson – 8/30/2014

The internet is buzzing with talk about the interview/discussion between Steven Anderson (Faithful Word Baptist Church) and Dr. James White (Alpha & Omega Ministries). Dr. James White wrote the book, “The King James Only Controversy”. Steven Anderson is a King James Version Onlyist and was interviewing Dr. White for his film on the subject. The entirety of the video (over 2-hours) was recently posted on YouTube and is available for everyone to see.


Dr. White gives us an excellent discussion about the transmission of the text of the New Testament, how we know that God has been faithful in preserving His Word, and how KJV Onlyism is inconsistent and needs to be rejected.


How Much Does Your Church Give? [James Renihan]

” I am always blessed by the faithful contributions which come in from our congregations. But perhaps there is an area where our giving could be increased…”

Dr. James Renihan
Dr. James Renihan

After giving a personal story James Renihan concludes:

Pastors, do you encourage your men to consider the gospel ministry? Do you spend personal time with them and encourage them to pray about this? Do your elders likewise seek to press this matter upon your young men? Do they urge these men to consider the possibility of Christ’s call? And what about your people? Do they esteem ministers? Will they rejoice when one of their own gives himself to serve the Lord in the ministry? I am convinced that our churches must place a higher priority on cultivating their men for service in the church.

Read [6 min. readout]

Santa Claus, the Gospel & the Church + The “right way to fire your pastor” [Tom Ascol]

“Because you have been attending the wrong church.”
“Because you have been attending the wrong church.”

Tom Ascol:

It happened again last week. On Thanksgiving morning I received an email from a friend of a friend. The first line read, “It appears I am being forced out of my pastorate.” The story that unfolded in the rest of that email and upon further inquiry is filled with themes that are tragically too common…

Read the rest [7 min. reaout]

In this article he mentions the “right way to fire your pastor” [23 min. partial readout], which begins:

“Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality” (1 Timothy 5:19-21, NKJV).

Several years ago I preached a message with the same title as this article to the church I serve in Cape Coral. When I mentioned my intentions to a pastor friend, he said, “Tom, haven’t you heard that you never put a loaded gun into the hand of your enemy?” My response then remains my conviction now. First, I do not consider the church I serve to be my enemy. Far from it. Though some individuals from time-to-time have positioned themselves as my enemies, the church as a whole has been and remains the body of Christ and therefore a wonderful means of grace in my life. When a pastor starts viewing the church as his enemy it is a sure sign that he has outlived his usefulness to that congregation.


Secondly, in the sense in which my friend meant it, church members already have a gun. As one who is charged with the responsibility to lead and nurture the flock of God, I want to do everything I can to make sure that it is loaded with the proper ammunition and fired in a right direction.


Even the pastor who rejects any form of congregational government must face the fact that the members have a huge say in his tenure. Regardless of formal suffrage policies, all church members vote in two ways: with their feet and their pocketbooks. Many ministers who have never been officially dismissed have nevertheless been forced out of office by the withdrawal of support by the members.


The pastor-church relationship is a sensitive and vitally important issue. The proper dissolution of that relationship in difficult circumstances needs to be carefully considered in the light of biblical teachings…

Handling Our Hearts & Mouths with Members Who Question Us [Thabiti Anyabwile]

Thabiti Anyabwile explains how, upon not getting “his way” in an elder vote, “a member questioned me about something they found problematic with the church […] They knew my preferences and would not accept “the elders have decided” as an answer. They wanted to know why I hadn’t pushed a certain change–a good change.”

pointing-fingers-tom-cadrinIt concludes:

It was good for me to “lose” the vote to my fellow elders. In fact, it wasn’t a loss at all but a victory over my own ever-present pride, a victory for the leadership of my fellow elders, a victory over Satan’s use of good things to tempt us into evil things, and a victory for the entire church in protection against a future tyrant who will not listen to or submit to anything or anyone but his own desires. That’s what bothered me. This sheep hadn’t seen these victories–nor had I seen them until Tuesday morning– and was unintentionally tempting me to the destruction of the leadership and potentially the church. All with an appeal to something good that I desired.


I wish I had had the presence of mind to look the member in the eye and kindly say something like, “You do realize you’re asking me to disobey the elders, don’t you?” I would hope a well-placed question like that would signal that I, too, am accountable to the elders as a whole. I would hope a question like that would signal to the member that they should not contemplate rebelling against spiritual leadership. Rather, we should submit our desires–especially our good desires–to the leading of the Lord through the leadership of the elders as a whole. Submission isn’t submission until we’re denying ourselves something we want, giving up one good alternative in favor of another good option we wouldn’t choose for ourselves.


Ninety-nine percent of after church conversations are filled with laughter, loving concern and encouraging conversation. It’s the one percent that tests our Christian character and our leadership skill. We’re not only shepherding the sheep in those moments; we should also be tending our own hearts.

Read the entire post [5 min. readout]

All 30 of Greg Nichols new Doctrine of the Church lectures free online [Audio] via RBS

Reformed Baptist Seminary:

All 30 of Greg Nichols new Doctrine of the Church lectures free online here

Lectures on the definition of the church, church and state, associations, worship, benevolence, evangelism, and more

Nichols Church

Audio below:

Lecture 01

Course orientation and overview.

Lecture 02

Survey of testimony of Westminster Confession, Savoy Declaration, and the 1689 London Baptist Confession concerning the church.

Lecture 03

Survey of the biblical testimony to the concept of the church, Part 1

Lecture 04 

Survey of the biblical testimony concerning the concept of the church, Part 2

Lecture 05

Survey of the biblical testimony concerning the concept of the church, Part 3

Lecture 06

Survey of the biblical witness concerning the concept of the church, Part 4

Lecture 07

Summary of the biblical data and its implications for our definition of the church.

Watch the video here.

Lecture 08

An exposition of the general concept of the church.

Lecture 09

Biblical foundations of the church: its predestination and redemptive-historical portrait.

Lecture 10

The majestic identity of the church: Christ’s body, bride, and posterity in its covenant community and its gospel identity.

Lecture 11

The church as God’s kingdom, the messianic theocracy.

Lecture 12

The local church and its associations.

Lecture 13

The messianic institution of the church.

Lecture 14

The evangelical constitution of the church (or church membership).

Lecture 15

The government of the universal church and the government of the local church.

Lecture 16

The offices of the local church: the eldership and the deaconate.

Lecture 17

The office of the deacon and the women’s auxiliary service; the various gifts with which the Spirit endows the entire church.

Lecture 18

God’s mission and Christ’s vision for the church.

Lecture 19

The corporate worship of the church.

Lecture 20

The ordinances of the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Lecture 21

The corporate prayer of the church.

Lecture 22

The corporate nurture of the church.

Lecture 23

The church and corporate benevolence.

Lecture 24

The church and corporate discipline.

Lecture 25

The church and its evangelistic task.

Lecture 26

The signature or marks of the church.

Lecture 27

The relationship of the church to the state.

Lecture 28

The church’s spiritual warfare.

Lecture 29

The destination of the church as militant and triumphant; God-honoring churchmanship.

Lecture 30

Review of final exam material and Q&A session.

Church Discipline: Earl Blackburn Interviewed by Mark Dever

Earl Blackburn
Earl Blackburn

Earl Blackburn, pastor of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church in La Mirada, CA for 22 years and now pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Shreveport, LA, talks candidly with Dr. Mark Dever about the practical outworking of church discipline in a variety of different circumstances.

Download [mp3]:

[source: 9Marks posted June 6, 2011]