That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21 (KJV)
It seems as though in the year 2015 there has been many challenges facing us as Christians, both from outside our walls and from within.
The church needs to be encouraged with the reminder of the steadfastness and surety of God’s reign through grace,
which will not be thwarted by sin nor traitors in our ranks.
If it would please the Lord, we are hoping to achieve several things with this year’s theme: REIGN of GRACE.
Beginning on Friday we hope to provide an overview concerning a very important way in how to understand God’s redemptive plan which is interwoven all throughout the Scriptures – the Covenant of Grace. This Covenant is central to the 1689 Baptist Confession and is sure to provide God’s people with confidence and renewed hope that the Lord fulfills His promises!
Then on Saturday, following the reassurance and reminder of the promises and plans made to Christ’s people, we will offer teachings that have a more practical mood, in hopes they may exhort, encourage and equip those in attendance to continue to fight the good fight,
and not to grow weary in well doing.
So then, please join us that we may continue steadfastly unto the end in the most holy faith which we confess.
Come, gather and meet new friends who share with you in precious like faith.
0:00 – 1:34 What would Voddie say to the person who insist “No incrementalism, it’s everything or nothing!”?
1:35 – 3:20 “What do you say then to the person who responds, “Incrementalism? We don’t do that with other forms of murder. We don’t do that with rape. ‘Hey, we’re against rape BUT we’ll take this piece of legislation that doesn’t completely outlaw it…'”?
3:28 – 4:56 Scott Kluesendorf continues to answer the above
Are you a member of a “reforming” Baptist church that’s not quite Reformed? Are you considering a call to ministry in a church that does not share your Confessional convictions? Ernest Reisinger wrote an encouraging, convicting, and helpful booklet that you’d do well to consider.
In recent years God has been pleased to raise up many among Southern Baptists who have returned, and others who are seeking to return to the historical, biblical and doctrinal roots that our first seminary was founded upon. These doctrines are expressed in the Abstract of Principles found in the Fundamental Law of the seminary written into its charter April 30, 1858: “9. Every Professor of the Institution shall be a member of a regular Baptist Church; and all persons accepting Professorships in this Seminary, shall be considered by such acceptance, as engaging to teach in accordance with, and not contrary to, the Abstract of Principles hereinafter laid down.” (Mueller: History of Southern Seminary; BROADMAN PRESS p.238). A more comprehensive expression can be found in Dr. James P. Boyce’s Systematic Theology. (This can be secured from the author of this pamphlet, Ernest C. Reisinger, 521 Wildwood Parkway, Cape Coral, Florida 33904.) This doctrinal position can also be found in the writings of Dr. John L. Dagg, the first writing Southern Baptist Theologian. I want to point out that if these founding fathers had true biblical doctrine then it is still true because God has not changed and the Bible has not changed. Truth does not change!
In any Reformation of the past there have been many, many mistakes by the Reformers, but more by those zealous followers of the Reformers who sometimes had more zeal than understanding, patience, charity and compassion.
Many who have sought to bring about reformation in their local churches have not gone about it in the right way. Sometimes their timing was wrong. Sometimes their methods have been wrong. Sometimes they needed the wisdom from above described in the Epistle of James: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” James 3:17 (NIV).
Some have made unnecessary divisions over secondary matters. Some have not understood the biblical doctrine of accommodation. We all need more of the application of the words of our best mentor, the great Apostle Paul, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” II Tim. 2:24-26 (NKJ).
It is my sincere desire to encourage the reformation now going on, and hopefully spare some unnecessary shipwrecks in local churches. It is with this desire and motive that I wish to share some, what I hope will be, helpful thoughts on the following topics:
1. The need and necessity of reformation.
2. The means God uses in reforming a church, namely the kind of men God uses.
3. Where true reformation begins.
4. The cost of reformation.
These are real questions and I hope to suggest some helpful answers, not as an authority on the subject, but from many years of experience in reforming situations. The years of experience also include many mistakes.
But if all of this is true – that worship is both our primary duty and our highest privilege – then we need to ask ourselves, “Do we take our worship of God as seriously and engage in it as whole-heartedly as we should?” The Puritan “Directory for Public Worship” states that it is the responsibility of every person present, once the public worship of the church has begun, “wholly to attend upon it,” that is, to give it his undivided attention and to participate in it fully. Pastors are not priests: they cannot worship God for us. They can only lead us in worship: it is the duty of each one, then, to follow and to worship God for himself. [read more…]
“A Sacred Compound”: The Attitude of Worship
So it is, Psalm 2:11 teaches us, with the joy of worship. The joy we ought to experience before the very presence of God Himself is too profound to be “light-hearted.” Building off of the original meaning of the Hebrew word for God’s “glory” (literally, “heaviness” or “weightiness”), Dr. Michael Horton argues, “If we are worshiping the God of Abraham and Jesus, the style of that worship will necessarily be ‘weighty’ or ‘heavy.’ And it is not that God’s glory is merely one attribute, or that it is exclusively identified with God’s holiness, justice, majesty, and power. God is glorious in his love, mercy, and tenderness as well. Thus, Biblical worship entails the recognition that even when we are joyfully extolling God’s nearness and kindness to us, it is always a weighty nearness and a heavy kindness that we admire.” This true, reverent joy of worship, Horton concludes, is something far different from and far deeper than the “peculiarly sentimental American view of joy” (A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of Christ-Centered Worship, p. 166).[read more…]
Dialoguing with God: The Structure of Worship
It’s important to acknowledge up front that there is no divinely authorized “order of service” laid out for us in the Scriptures, and so there is some freedom in this matter, and different churches will arrange their worship differently. This is one of the “circumstances concerning the worship of God” which, not being directly addressed in Scripture, “are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word” (LCF 1.6). One of those “general rules of the Word” concerning worship is that it is to “be done decently and in order” (I Cor. 14:40). So we are to be thoughtful even about the order of our worship. It ought not to be random or chaotic or confused: it ought to be orderly.
As you look at the elements of worship listed above, it becomes clear that each one falls into one of two categories: it is either something that God says to or does for us, or it is something that we say to or do for God. And that is what worship is at its most fundamental level: a meeting between God and His people, an interaction, a dialogue. God speaks; we respond. In technical terms, this is called the Dialogical Principle: worship is a dialogue between God and His people. [read more…]
Call to Worship: The Divine Summons
We tend not to think of our worship in this way. We tend to think of our worship primarily as something that we do for God when it is in reality something that we do only in response to what God has already done for us. He has instructed us to worship Him, He has invited us to worship Him, and He has taken the initiative to make our worship possible through His Son. Let’s endeavor, then, to keep these truths in mind the next time we hear God calling us to worship and learn to see our worship as it really is: a response to a Divine summons. [read more…]