Sunday, September 12, 2010

"We just believe the Bible"

Every church believes and confesses something about the Bible. It's just that some churches don't write down what they confess about the Bible, or what they confess in writing about the Bible is vague and sketchy. They risk not being accountable to anyone for what they believe, and/or falling into insufficient or false teaching. Saying that you believe the Bible isn't enough. Many false religions say that.

Benjamin Keach's Catechism Questions 100-104 on Baptism [1677]

Question 1oo: What is Baptism?
Answer: Baptism is a holy ordinance, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, signifies our ingrafting into Christ, and our partaking of his benefits, and our engagement to be the Lord’s. [Matt. 28:19; Romans 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; Gal. 3:27]

Question 101: To whom is Baptism to be administered?
Answer: Baptism is to be administered to all those who actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ; and to none other. [Acts 2:38; Matt. 3:6; Mark 16:16; Acts 8: 12, 36; Acts 10:47-48]

Question 1o2: Are the infants of such as are professing believers to be baptized?
Answer: The infants of such as are professing believers are not to be baptized; because there is neither command nor example in the Holy Scriptures, or certain consequence from them, to baptize such.

Question 103: How is Baptism rightly administered?
Answer: Baptism is rightly administered by immersion, or dipping the whole body of the person in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. [Matt. 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39]

Question 104: What is the duty of those who are rightly baptized?
Answer: It is the duty of those who are rightly baptized to give up [join] themselves to some visible and orderly church of Jesus Christ, that they may walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. [Acts 2:46-47; Acts 9:26; I Peter 2:5; Heb. 10:25; Romans 16:5]

"Join together the whole structure, growing into a holy temple in the Lord"

Our joy-filled desire at Grace is to build a body. That is, our desire is not ultimately to subdivide our church into numerous "smaller churches" based on age or race or a thousand other ways we could divide ourselves. Rather, we desire to join together the whole structure “in Christ,” being joined together, growing into a holy temple in the Lord [Ephesians 2:21].

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Reason To Believe

This quote is from R.C Sproul's book: A Reason to Believe. I am rejoicing today that GBC is full of sinners! What a gracious Lord we serve.

What happens is that people observe church members sinning. They reason within themselves, “That person professes to be a Christian. Christians aren’t supposed to sin. That person is sinning; therefore, he is a hypocrite.” The unspoken assumption is that a Christian is one who claims he does not sin. It reality just the opposite is the case. For a Christian to be a Christian, he must first be a sinner. Being a sinner is a prerequisite for being a church member. The Christian church is one of the few organizations in the world that requires a public acknowledgment of sin as a condition for membership. In one sense the church has fewer hypocrites than any institution because by definition the church is a haven for sinners. If the church claimed to be an organization of perfect people then her claim would be hypocritical. But no such claim is made by the church. There is no slander in the charge that the church is full of sinners. Such a statement would only compliment the church for fulfilling her divinely appointed task.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"will not pass away"

Even in the face of “earthquake” [Luke 21:11] and “famine” [v. 11] and “pestilence” [v. 11] and “terrors” [v. 11] and “imprisonment” [v. 12] and “persecution” [v.12] and “adversity” [v. 15] and “death” [v. 16] and “hatred” [v. 17] and “desolation” [v. 20] and “distress” [v. 23] and “perplexity” [v. 25] and “fainting with fear” [v. 26] and “fear” and “foreboding” and “shaking” [v. 26] –

Even in the face of all of this, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” [v. 33].

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Enslaved by whatever people want to call corporate worship

If the Bible is not the standard when we worship corporately, we risk becoming enslaved by whatever "privatized spiritual experiences" a group of people may want to call corporate worship. We may flirt with idolatry, if the Bible is assented to but muted, or make idols of the people or things that have taken its place. Doc