Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

What does Baptism represent?

August 14, 2014

In the NT, baptism represents at least three and possibly four things. First, it signifies cleansing from sin and is thus “unto repentance.” Obviously the threat of judgment is behind the need for baptism, but the baptism itself is (symbolically) the means of escape from judgment. Those who are baptized acknowledge their guilt and seek to have it washed away. Second, baptism is a ritual dying and rising again, symbolizing the believer’s participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. …Third, it is a “sincere pledge/request to God” because in baptism one comes to God in genuine faith, seeking forgiveness, and desiring to walk in the light. Fourth, it may represent the effusion of the Holy Spirit upon the believer after the patterns of the descent of the Spirit at Jesus’ baptism and the reception of the Spirit by Cornelius’ household just prior to their baptism (Acts 10:44-48).

Duane A. Garrett in Believer’s Baptism (New American Commentary Studies in Bible & Theology) by Shawn D. Wright

What is Baptism?

August 14, 2014

Baptism is the outward sign of entrance into the New Covenant by the inward circumcision of the heart, evidenced by one’s confession of faith in Christ.

Fred Malone

We believe what suits us

August 9, 2014

Faults in the life breed errors in the brain,
And these, reciprocally, those again.
The mind and conduct mutually imprint
And stamp their image in each other’s mint.

William Cowper

Iain Murray, The Undercover Revolution, p.63

 

The success of error is owing chiefly to the state of mind into which it seeks entrance…if we suffer worldly lusts to obtain the mastery of reason and conscience, -we are in a fit state to welcome delusions, which may enable us in some measure to justify to ourselves a course on which inclination, not principle, has induced  us to enter.

John Brown, The Resurrection Life, quoted ibid.

We are more likely to justify our desired behaviour than behave according to principles of morality and truth.

 

True Gospel preaching is charged with antinomianism

May 19, 2014

If we are proclaiming Paul’s gospel, with its emphasis on the freeness of grace and the impossibility of self-salvation, we are sure to provoke the charge of antinomianism. If we do not arouse this criticism, the likelihood is that we are not preaching Paul’s gospel.

 

Stott, John. The Message of Romans: God’s good news for the world. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 2001. 167

I know of no one fact in the history of mankind…

May 1, 2014

[T]he evidence of our Lord’s life, and death, and resurrection, is of the same sort as that which we rest on in human matters. Whoever has heard the summing up of a judge on any great trial, will be able to understand what I mean; the jury have heard a great many witnesses; some of them have perhaps contradicted others, some have stated things very improbable; in a long cause, if the jury are unaccustomed to what are called the laws or rules of evidence, they may be utterly puzzled what to believe. But it is their business to pass a judgment in the matter, and therefore they must make up their minds one way or the other. In order to do this they are glad to listen to the summing up of the judge. He goes clearly through all the mass of evidence which seemed so contradictory and perplexing; he gives them reasons why such a witness is to be believed rather than another; how he had better means of knowing the truth, and less temptation to depart from it; how his evidence is in itself consistent when examined carefully, and has a look of truth about it; and so he shows the jury that they have very good grounds for making up their minds, and for giving their verdict. Now in this same way, the evidence of our Lord’s life and death and resurrection, may be, and often has been shown to be, satisfactory; it is good according to the common rules for distinguishing good evidence from bad. Thousands and ten thousands of persons have gone through it piece by piece, as carefully as ever judge summed up on a most important cause: I have myself done it many times over, not to persuade others, but to satisfy myself. I have been used for many years to study the history of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them; and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind, which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God has given us, that Christ died and rose again from the dead.

Thomas Arnold, Christian Life, Its Hopes, Its Fears, and Its Close, 6th ed. (London: T. Fellowes, 1859), pp. 14-16.

No man is to be alone against Satan

March 25, 2014
“No man is to be alone against Satan; God instituted the church and the ministry of the Word in order that we might join hands and help one another. If the prayer of one does not help, the prayer of the other will.”
Martin Luther

When nations are to perish in their sins, ‘Tis in the church the leprosy begins

March 18, 2014

When nations are to perish in their sins,

‘Tis in the church the leprosy begins

William Cowper, Expostulation

God gave a miraculous vision to an evangelist during Revival

December 21, 2013

 

During the 1921 Revival in Lowestoft, a Scotsman named Jock Troup had a vision:

Jock Troup, while in the midst of a spirital revival, heard God speak, and had a vision.  What he saw was a man praying far north in Fraserburgh. This man was asking the Lord to send the evangelist He was using in Yarmouth north to where there was a great need. This man had never seen Jock, but he had heard what was happening among the fishermen. By this time the cooper-evangelist had been dismissed from his work because of the call on his time.  He had never been to Fraserburgh, but he had no intention of being disobedient to the heavenly vision. Jock told some of his closest friends of what he had seen and of his decision to leave.  They could not understand why he was going when such mighty blessing was taking place. He knew that the God Who had started the work in Yarmouth, would continue it. Many tried to persuade the revivalist to stay, but nothing and no one would prevent him from answering the call of the Master. The next day the evangelist left. (source)

Jock boarded a train for the North and before it had reached Crewe all those who were in his compartment were led to Christ. When he arrived at Aberdeen, he then transferred to the Fraserburgh train. At Maud two fisherwomen came into the carriage and sat beside Jock. They had spent the day selling their freshly caught haddock around the farmhouses in the country. Baskets were strapped across their backs to carry the fish. The evangelist was asked where he was going and what he intended to do.  He replied, “I am going to Fraserburgh to preach,” and told them how God had spoken to him. “Where are you staying?” they asked him. Jock told them that he had no idea. “Listen son, you come and stay with me,” said one of the old fisherwomen.  So provision was made for him even before he arrived in Fraserburgh.

When he had settled in and had eaten, Jock decided to go for a walk. He went down to the square in Broad Street where a crowd had gathered. Standing on the steps of the drinking fountain, he began to preach. Immediately the crowd moved around him in spite of the cold. As the rain began to fall, the preacher asked if anyone knew where a place was available for meetings.

“What about the Baptist Church?” shouted someone.

“I don’t know where it is,” replied Jock. “We will soon take you there,” came the answer from the crowd.  Off they went along the way, joyously singing with the evangelist. When they arrived at the Baptist Church, the Pastor with his elders were just leaving a specially convened meeting, where it had been decided to send for Jock Troup to come and conduct a gospel campaign in Fraserburgh. The secretary had a letter drafted ready for posting, but that letter never needed to go through a letter box. God had answered the letter before it had been sent off. To the amazement of Jock, as the group of elders left the church, amongst them stood the man God had shown him in the vision at Yarmouth. He had come face to face with the man who had prayed. The heart of the revivalist rose to God in gratitude for leading him step by step. As he led the singing of the old fashioned hymns, men and women began to weep their way to the cross. Blessing flowed like a river. The tide of spiritual dearth had turned and soon God’s flood tide would flow. (source) See, The Forgotten Revival, Stanley C Griffen

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you

May 22, 2013

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

C.S.Lewis, On Forgiveness

A nation needs to foster unity not just diversity

May 10, 2013

The multicultural trend was…manifested (in the USA) in a variety of legislation that followed the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s, and in the 1990s, the Clinton administration made the encouragement of diversity one its major goals. The contrast with the past is striking. The Founding Fathers saw diversity as a reality and as a problem: hence the national motto: e pluribus unum,…”The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of of its continuing as a nation at all,” warned Theodore Roosevelt, “would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.” In the 1990s, however, leaders of he United States have not only permitted that but assiduously promoted the diversity rather than the unity of the people they govern.

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Samuel P. Huntington. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996, p.305-6

The promotion of multiculturalism in the UK has led to ghettos. In the end it may lead to Balkanisation