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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « Assenting to the Gospel through Our Natural Powers? | Main | Opposition to the Gospel by A.W. Pink »

    The Together for the Gospel Statement

    We are brothers in Christ united in one great cause – to stand together for the Gospel. We are convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and marginalized in many churches and among many who claim the name of Christ. Compromise of the Gospel has led to the preaching of false gospels, the seduction of many minds and movements, and the weakening of the church's Gospel witness.

    As in previous moments of theological and spiritual crisis in the church, we believe that the answer to this confusion and compromise lies in a comprehensive recovery and reaffirmation of the Gospel – and in Christians banding together in Gospel churches that display God's glory in this fallen world.

    We are also brothers united in deep concern for the church and the Gospel. This concern is specifically addressed to certain trends within the church today. We are concerned about the tendency of so many churches to substitute technique for truth, therapy for theology, and management for ministry.

    We are also concerned that God's glorious purpose for Christ's church is often eclipsed in concern by so many other issues, programs, technologies, and priorities. Furthermore, confusion over crucial questions concerning the authority of the Bible, the meaning of the Gospel, and the nature of truth itself have gravely weakened the church in terms of its witness, its work, and its identity.

    We stand together for the Gospel – and for a full and gladdening recovery of the Gospel in the church. We are convinced that such a recovery will be evident in the form of faithful Gospel churches, each bearing faithful witness to the glory of God and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Article I
    We affirm that the sole authority for the Church is the Bible, verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, and totally sufficient and trustworthy.

    We deny that the Bible is a mere witness to the divine revelation, or that any portion of Scripture is marked by error or the effects of human sinfulness.

    Article II
    We affirm that the authority and sufficiency of Scripture extends to the entire Bible, and therefore that the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and practice.

    We deny that any portion of the Bible is to be used in an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness of any other portion. We further deny any effort to identify a canon within the canon or, for example, to set the words of Jesus against the writings of Paul.

    Article III
    We affirm that truth ever remains a central issue for the Church, and that the church must resist the allure of pragmatism and postmodern conceptions of truth as substitutes for obedience to the comprehensive truth claims of Scripture.

    We deny that truth is merely a product of social construction or that the truth of the Gospel can be expressed or grounded in anything less than total confidence in the veracity of the Bible, the historicity of biblical events, and the ability of language to convey understandable truth in sentence form. We further deny that the church can establish its ministry on a foundation of pragmatism, current marketing techniques, or contemporary cultural fashions.

    Article IV
    We affirm the centrality of expository preaching in the church and the urgent need for a recovery of biblical exposition and the public reading of Scripture in worship.

    We deny that God-honoring worship can marginalize or neglect the ministry of the Word as manifested through exposition and public reading. We further deny that a church devoid of true biblical preaching can survive as a Gospel church.

    Article V
    We affirm that the Bible reveals God to be infinite in all his perfections, and thus truly omniscient, omnipotent, timeless, and self-existent. We further affirm that God possesses perfect knowledge of all things, past, present, and future, including all human thoughts, acts, and decisions.

    We deny that the God of the Bible is in any way limited in terms of knowledge or power or any other perfection or attribute, or that God has in any way limited his own perfections.

    Article VI
    We affirm that the doctrine of the Trinity is a Christian essential, bearing witness to the ontological reality of the one true God in three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of the same substance and perfections.

    We deny the claim that the Trinity is not an essential doctrine, or that the Trinity can be understood in merely economic or functional categories.

    We affirm that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, in perfect, undiluted, and unconfused union throughout his incarnation and now eternally. We also affirm that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, as a sacrifice for sin, and as a propitiation of the wrath of God toward sinners. We affirm the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Christ as essential to the Gospel. We further affirm that Jesus Christ is Lord over His church, and that Christ will reign over the entire cosmos in fulfillment of the Father's gracious purpose.

    We deny that the substitutionary character of Christ's atonement for sin can be compromised without serious injury to the Gospel or denied without repudiating the Gospel. We further deny that Jesus Christ is visible only in weakness, rather than in power, Lordship, or royal reign, or, conversely, that Christ is visible only in power, and never in weakness.

    Article VIII
    We affirm that salvation is all of grace, and that the Gospel is revealed to us in doctrines that most faithfully exalt God's sovereign purpose to save sinners and in His determination to save his redeemed people by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to His glory alone.

    We deny that any teaching, theological system, or means of presenting the Gospel that denies the centrality of God's grace as His gift of unmerited favor to sinners in Christ can be considered true doctrine.

    Article IX
    We affirm that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God's means of bringing salvation to His people, that sinners are commanded to believe the Gospel, and that the church is commissioned to preach and teach the Gospel to all nations.

    We deny that evangelism can be reduced to any program, technique, or marketing approach. We further deny that salvation can be separated from repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Article X
    We affirm that salvation comes to those who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We deny that there is salvation in any other name, or that saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.

    Article XI
    We affirm the continuity of God's saving purpose and the Christological unity of the covenants. We further affirm a basic distinction between law and grace, and that the true Gospel exalts Christ's atoning work as the consummate and perfect fulfillment of the law.

    We deny that the Bible presents any other means of salvation than God's gracious acceptance of sinners in Christ.

    Article XII
    We affirm that sinners are justified only through faith in Christ, and that justification by faith alone is both essential and central to the Gospel.

    We deny that any teaching that minimizes, denies, or confuses justification by faith alone can be considered true to the Gospel. We further deny that any teaching that separates regeneration and faith is a true rendering of the Gospel.

    Article XIII
    We affirm that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers by God's decree alone, and that this righteousness, imputed to the believer through faith alone, is the only righteousness that justifies.

    We deny that such righteousness is earned or deserved in any manner, is infused within the believer to any degree, or is realized in the believer through anything other than faith alone.

    Article XIV
    We affirm that the shape of Christian discipleship is congregational, and that God's purpose is evident in faithful Gospel congregations, each displaying God's glory in the marks of authentic ecclesiology. We deny that any Christian can truly be a faithful disciple apart from the teaching, discipline, fellowship, and accountability of a congregation of fellow disciples, organized as a Gospel church. We further deny that the Lord's Supper can faithfully be administered apart from the right practice of church discipline.

    Article XV
    We affirm that evangelical congregations are to work together in humble and voluntary cooperation and that the spiritual fellowship of Gospel congregations bears witness to the unity of the Church and the glory of God.

    We deny that loyalty to any denomination or fellowship of churches can take precedence over the claims of truth and faithfulness to the Gospel.

    Article XVI
    We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women, and that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also affirm that all Christians are called to service within the body of Christ, and that God has given to both men and women important and strategic roles within the home, the church, and the society. We further affirm that the teaching office of the church is assigned only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and love God.

    We deny that the distinction of roles between men and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women from meaningful ministry in Christ's kingdom. We further deny that any church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.

    Article XVII
    We affirm that God calls his people to display his glory in the reconciliation of the nations within the Church, and that God's pleasure in this reconciliation is evident in the gathering of believers from every tongue and tribe and people and nation. We acknowledge that the staggering magnitude of injustice against African-Americans in the name of the Gospel presents a special opportunity for displaying the repentance, forgiveness, and restoration promised in the Gospel. We further affirm that evangelical Christianity in America bears a unique responsibility to demonstrate this reconciliation with our African-American brothers and sisters.

    We deny that any church can accept racial prejudice, discrimination, or division without betraying the Gospel.

    Article XVIII
    We affirm that our only sure and confident hope is in the sure and certain promises of God. Thus, our hope is an eschatological hope, grounded in our confidence that God will bring all things to consummation in a manner that will bring greatest glory to his own name, greatest preeminence to his Son, and greatest joy for his redeemed people.

    We deny that we are to find ultimate fulfillment or happiness in this world, or that God's ultimate purpose is for us to find merely a more meaningful and fulfilling life in this fallen world. We further deny that any teaching that offers health and wealth as God's assured promises in this life can be considered a true gospel.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. I Corinthians 15:1-4

    Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water." Revelation 14:6-7

    Signed: J. Ligon Duncan III, Mark E. Dever, C.J. Mahaney, R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

    Posted by John Samson on April 29, 2006 01:48 PM

    Comments

    What is tragic is that we have to have these statements. Each statement in this should ALREADY be central in how our Churches function. Let's pray that God will awaken His Church to again surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the Sovereignty of God.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

    This is good but I don't see how Sovereign Grace Ministries fits into this document. They teach that C.J. Mahaney is an apostle and they are firm on bringing in contemporary culture into the worship. And as far as the Lord's Supper...well, the SG that I went to praticed it once a quarter with juice and crackers, and no explanation of its efficacy. Also, in their "worship," they jump up and down, shaking all their body parts for the Lord. And the women go up to the stage to give "prophecy." C'mon guys, I'm all for being ecumenical, but just because CJ (he's a nice guy with a great personality) wrote a little book (that is very questionable on its view of the third use of the Law)and has created a charismatic church that is okay with the doctrines of grace, does not mean he should be recognized as leading a righteous movement. These are just the facts. Am I going overboard? Are these things non-essentials? Let me know. I'm just trying to hold true to the gospel that was taught to me by the Scriptures and the Reformed teachers of those Scriptures.

    Hi Mike S.,

    Perhaps I might just respond to your remarks.

    Regarding C. J. being an apostle, I must admit that I too found that designation a little hard to accept until I heard their explanation of the term. Neither C. J. nor those in Sovereign Grace Ministries are claiming to have new revelation, or are writing Scripture. Though using the word apostle, their literature is very clear what they mean by the term, and they want to stress they use it with a lower case "a" rather an upper case "A" for apostle. More could be said, and more could be gleaned from their own literature, but I can certainly live with the term knowing what they mean and what they don't mean by it. I am sure that the brothers who know C. J. and have received him with open arms may not use the term "apostle" when speaking of him, but on the other hand, knowing what C. J. means by the term has not meant that he be excluded from fellowship in the Gospel. Obviously you see it differently.

    You write: "and they are firm on bringing in contemporary culture into the worship."

    I disagree. I find their worship very God centered - the lyrics especially so. I don't believe we have to be stuck in the 16th century musically in order to be reformed. One of the cries of the Reformation was Semper Reformanda, or Always Reforming. Was 16th Century music the height and zenith of anointed and biblical worship? I certainly hope not. I don't believe that using guitars, synthesizers, or even drums is caving in to culture. Some may strongly disagree, but there you go.

    You write: "And as far as the Lord's Supper...well, the SG that I went to praticed it once a quarter with juice and crackers, and no explanation of its efficacy."

    I think to be fair, we could talk of any denomination in this kind of light and find things which bother us, but this does not mean that this is something sanctioned by the denomination. I am sure each of us would be ashamed by certain things that take place in our own company, perhaps in another local church, or state. But this doesn't mean that everyone in that movement/denomination can be painted with the same brush, so to speak. For my part, I have been present at a Sovereign Grace Church when holy communion was served and I am still moved (many month's later) when I recall the wonderful biblical exhortation that was given that day. The centrality of the cross was apparent to all in the meeting, I believe.

    You write, "Also, in their "worship," they jump up and down, shaking all their body parts for the Lord."

    I realise that dancing before the Lord may be an abomination to some, but we have to say that there is at least some biblical precedent for it. David danced before the ark of the covenant with all his might. Michel, his wife, despised him in her heart. We need to make sure we keep our hearts right, whether we dance or merely are observing others who do so. Certainly, I don't think David or others who danced in Scripture should have been disfellowshipped for their dancing, do you? There were people who danced before the Golden calf - yes, I too would have a big problem with that.. but dancing before the Lord? I think we need to be very careful here. We can't see into hearts in the way that God does. Certainly it can be done for all the wrong reasons and invalid motivations... but that doesn't mean it cannot ever be done for the right ones. David was right before the Lord. Michel was not. I for one would be very hesitant to dismiss someone as a brother or sister for dancing before the Lord. Just a thought in this regard - If David and the people of Israel could be this excited in the Lord under the law, how much more should we under grace?

    You write, "And the women go up to the stage to give "prophecy.""

    Of course, cessationists believe all the gifts of the Spirit ceased once the Bible was written. But are folk like Wayne Grudem and myself who are non-cessationists to be disbarred from fellowship, or considered too extreme to be considered brothers in the Gospel? Speaking entirely anachronistically just for a moment, the Apostle Paul might have have been considered to be a reformed charismatic (reformed, because he wrote Romans 8, 9; Eph. 1, 2; charismatic in that he wrote 1 Cor. 12-14). Cessationsits dispute whether he would be so today, but are folk who believe that the gifts of the Spirit still operate in some sense in our day to be disbarred from fellowship? You obviously think so. I do not.

    "C'mon guys, I'm all for being ecumenical, but just because CJ (he's a nice guy with a great personality) wrote a little book (that is very questionable on its view of the third use of the Law)and has created a charismatic church that is okay with the doctrines of grace, does not mean he should be recognized as leading a righteous movement. These are just the facts. Am I going overboard? Are these things non-essentials? Let me know. I'm just trying to hold true to the gospel that was taught to me by the Scriptures and the Reformed teachers of those Scriptures."

    I for one am not prepared to label men of God like Wayne Grudem, C. J. Mahaney and R. T. Kendall outside the pale of orthodoxy. C. J. is a very precious brother in the Lord, and I personally thank God for a movement that embraces the doctrines of grace and seeks to teach its people the proper use of the gifts, correcting mis-use where and when appropriate, and biblical church discipline. Here's something from Sovereign Grace Ministries regarding the gift of prophecy:

    "The insistence that gifts such as prophecy were limited to the apostolic age most commonly arises from entirely understandable concerns about the issue of revelation. Scripture is truly, and must remain, the only source of inspired, inerrant, authoritative revelation from God for the faith and life of the church. However, New Testament teaching regarding spiritual gifts in no way implies that the gifts necessarily endanger the role of Scripture in the church's life. Our experience with spiritual gifts confirms this. The best way to prevent the undermining of Scripture's authority is, quite simply, to maintain and teach a high view of Scripture. Scripture must be allowed to function in a way that demonstrates that it is indeed God's normative revelation for the faith and life of the church. This includes allowing Scripture to govern the use of spiritual gifts. We strongly believe that, when gifts such as prophecy and tongues are viewed in light of Scripture, and their use is tested and governed by Scripture, two things will happen: God's people will be edified by the proper functioning of the gifts in accord with God's purposes, and Scripture will be protected as the only "authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice, and doctrine."

    I thank God for C. J.'s ministry and am proud to call him a friend and brother in the Gospel.

    I would like to respond to some of John Samson's comment on dancing. How do we know for sure the type of dancing which was done by David? Does he have any sources which give us some info. about this dancing? The last time I read passages dealing with this they seemed a bit obscure (I must confess that I may be wrong here, but I don't think so). And how much of the experience of Pentecostals is read into these passges that deal with dancing?
    I used to be Pentecostal but left due to the foolishness of many church leaders and their lack of biblical knowledge; perhaps I should say incoherent and contradictory knowledge.
    I would also like to add that simply because this dancing was mentioned in historical books of the Bible does not mean we have the permission and doctrinal backing to do it as well. The historical books in the Bible mention things such as actions which are not explicitly rejected or even commented upon but are still wrong, sinful, or foolish. I would not reject someone's profession of faith for practicing dancing, but I do think it is OK to withhold church membership from a person who practices this.
    Those who are not cessationist must remember that they must place Scripture above all else with nothing beside it, including their life changing experiences.

    Hi Alberto,

    Just a brief response.. you ask: "How do we know for sure the type of dancing which was done by David? Does he (John S) have any sources which give us some info. about this dancing?"

    We know very little about it, except that he danced before the Lord with all his might. What we do know is that it would have to involve more than standing or walking... and definitely some leg movement, otherwise it could not be classed as dancing. If you have ever seen Israeli dancing, you would know that it is very flamboyant by western standards - very exhuberant and joyful and certainly very colorful. Definitely not the sort of thing found in a typical church. Which is more biblical - the stiff and starchy westerner singing with hymn book in hand, or the joyful expression of the Jewish people? You tell me!

    If a Jew becomes a Christian, is he to abandon all of his Jewish heritage and become totally like us, merely standing to attention when singing to God? And if he does not, and moves with even a little of his might... is he to be excluded from Christian fellowship? Are we actually being more biblical by our non expressive western style of worship? Are we really?

    If you or I were to go to a Jewish Christian assembly in Israel, I think we might be shocked at how joyful and expressive the services are. The same would be true in Africa and other cultures around the world. Much exuberant expression takes place including dancing. Are all of these millions of professing Christians to be put outside the church? Are only those who stand with hymn books in hand to be saved? I sure hope not!

    Is the western idea of Christian piety and worship really God's view? And if someone sees these things differently to us, what are we to do? How are we to relate to these people? I am just asking questions.. perhaps you can tell me what you think?

    You write: "The last time I read passages dealing with this they seemed a bit obscure (I must confess that I may be wrong here, but I don't think so). And how much of the experience of Pentecostals is read into these passges that deal with dancing?"

    I understand - this certainly can happen. One man when asked the question, "Can Christians dance?" answered, "some Christians can dance, but obviously some cannot!" But joking aside... the point I was trying to make concerned whether or not someone interpreting something that may be a little obscure (like the issue of "to dance or not to dance") differently to us means that they need to be considered as being outside the pale of orthodoxy. I think not. Let's keep the main thing the main thing - orthodoxy in terms of our definition of God, the Trinity, Scripture, the Gospel - Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.. and not whether one believes in clapping or dancing today or even how regularly we should receive holy communion. Are those who partake of the Lord's Supper/holy communion only once a month to be considered false brothers and sisters? Again, I think not.

    You also wrote: I would also like to add that simply because this dancing was mentioned in historical books of the Bible does not mean we have the permission and doctrinal backing to do it as well.

    Yes, I understand that. But again, does doing these things, or at least, allowing for them, put someone outside of the faith? Clapping hands is also something not mentioned in the New Testament. But is someone who is non-cessationist regarding the clapping of hands and believes Psalm 47:1 "Clap your hands all you people, shout to God with a voice of triumph" to be a valid command still applicable to God's people today to be considered a false disciple of Christ? I certainly hope not. Many Baptists and Presbytereans clapped their hands in church this last Sunday! We may or may not agree on these things, but is our disagreement here to be the test of orthodoxy? I think not!

    I hope you can see the point I was trying to make in my comment above. I was not arguing so much for dancing today as for believing someone is my brother or sister in Christ until it becomes absolutely obvious that they are not.

    You write: The historical books in the Bible mention things such as actions which are not explicitly rejected or even commented upon but are still wrong, sinful, or foolish.

    I agree.

    You write: I would not reject someone's profession of faith for practicing dancing, but I do think it is OK to withhold church membership from a person who practices this.

    Really? Throughout the churches of Israel, all the countries in Africa... or are you merely talking about churches in the USA?

    You write: Those who are not cessationist must remember that they must place Scripture above all else with nothing beside it, including their life changing experiences.

    I agree... hopefully all of us have some "experience" of Christ which has been life changing, but all of these things should be tested by and subject to the authority of Scripture before we consider it authentic or legitimate Christian experience. "To the law and to the testimony. If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn." (Isaiah 8:19, 20; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17)

    I am responding to Mr. Samson's response to my previous post.

    Mr. Samson, all I basically wrote about in my previous post was on dancing in church. I did not say that a person cannot express joy when he or she worships in church. Dancing is not the only way to express joy in church; singing from a hymnal can also be a joyful expression.

    Also, my comments on refusing church membership have simply to do with churches which do not practice dancing. A Christian has no right to dance during a servive in a church which does not practice this. Some of these dancers cannot control themselves.

    Also, some people that engage in this dancing try to enter into the "Spirit" and purposely leave the mind behind. For many the mind just simply gets in the way of the "Spirit". They dance, fall on the ground, scream as if they were on a rollercoater, speak (many times scream) in "tongues", and scare the kids (not to mention the unbelievers) around them.

    You seemed to over-respond to my post; perhaps you're a bit sensitive to this because you practice this in your church? And just so you know, I am not a cessationist. I also still consider some Pentecostals brothers and sisters and would defend them against attacks I think to be wrong.

    Hi Alberto,

    Just a brief response:

    You wrote: Mr. Samson, all I basically wrote about in my previous post was on dancing in church. I did not say that a person cannot express joy when he or she worships in church. Dancing is not the only way to express joy in church; singing from a hymnal can also be a joyful expression.

    I agree.

    Also, my comments on refusing church membership have simply to do with churches which do not practice dancing. A Christian has no right to dance during a servive in a church which does not practice this. Some of these dancers cannot control themselves.

    I understand.

    Also, some people that engage in this dancing try to enter into the "Spirit" and purposely leave the mind behind. For many the mind just simply gets in the way of the "Spirit". They dance, fall on the ground, scream as if they were on a rollercoater, speak (many times scream) in "tongues", and scare the kids (not to mention the unbelievers) around them.

    All of which is entirely unbiblical. That's also a pretty poor assessment of Sovereign Grace Ministires and Churches which was the original topic under discussion in these comments regarding C. J. and whether or not it is right to include him in "Together for the Gospel." None of these ridiculous extremes would be tolerated either by him or me.

    You wrote: You seemed to over-respond to my post; perhaps you're a bit sensitive to this because you practice this in your church?

    You're sure of this? Actually, none of the things you mention here are practiced at our church.

    Every blessing Alberto,


    Hey Pastor Samson,

    I hope you did not take it personal. What I wrote was not intended to be understood as an assessment of Sovereign Grace Ministries. I have never attended their churces. I have on the other hand attented many Pentecostal services like those of the Assemblies of God.

    I'm glad to hear that you think the things I mentioned are unbiblical. I also don't have any objection with including Mr. Mahaney in "Together for the Gospel". I have trust in the type of men which were involved in this event.

    Hello gentlemen. I am enjoying the posts concerning C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace. My son, Joshua Harris now serves as Senior Pastor at Covenant Life Church in Gaitherburg and I can assure you that from everything I know, CJ, Josh and the entore SG team are solidly orthodox on the authority of scripture and the "small a" in any use of the term apostle regarding CJ or anyone else alive today. The point seems to be that God does raise up men with gifts that go beyond the local churches where they serve. I would put Martin Luther, John Calvin, George Whitefield, John Patton, Hudson Taylor, etc. from the past and John Piper, Albert Mohler and R.C. Sproul, and John MacArthur and few others in the present, in the same "small a" catagory, whether they use the term or not. Their's is an "apostolic and prophetic" vision that sees the bigger picture of what God is doing in their day, takes action and brings Christ's church back to the Bible and back to the Gospel. They have no more authority than any duly appointed Elder in a local church, but they have greater influence on others because or their extraordinary gifts of Bible study and teaching.

    I believe I see movement toward the biblical center by all of these men. I know I see it in myself. Wherever we are coming from in terms of denominational and confessional postions, we are all sensing the move of God in our day to restore sound doctrine to the churches and restore the power of the Holy Spirit to the ministry. In both cases the result is greater effectiveness in the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandment. I hope that issues like dancing and the regulative principle in worship will be occassions for all of us to reexamine our assumptions and become even more biblical and God-centered. If we are going to be modern day reformers, we will have to be humble enough to admit that we also have blind spots that reguire reformation. God bless you all.

    one of the first things Jesus said in his public ministry was "Come" and follow me.and one of the last was GO
    go where? go and preach the gospel

    so first we must come to Jesus
    why? for salvation and salvation alone should be the only reason.
    any other message preached even in love is a false gospel presentation it is not about love and peace though a true convert will have the fruits of salvation it is not a draw card we need rightousness our good works are filthy rags
    we need to return to bibical truth
    we are all evil in the sight of GOd and his rightousness but God does not perfer to give us wrath but mercy but he is just in both we must repent and trust jesus alone for our salvation
    we have such a wounderful gospel God the creator of all heaven and earth came as a man to die to pay our fine
    what a marvelous God we have and we should be his servant and go and tell our neighbors( every person we come across) the bad news God will judge us for our sins but then when the concience convicts them and there mouth is stoped we can give them grace
    we dont need a revival where people claim the name of christ but do not have salvation but a repentence and desire to serve our Lord and savior in Jesus words your for him or against him
    where do you stand ? tell the world the good news God saved us!

    RE Article VI para. 3
    The only purpose the crucifixion of Jesus has accomplished is for a sufficient sacrifice to make a change to the law by adding a Word.
    "It is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." Rom. 2:13 This statement can only be true by a law having been added. Ref. Rom. 5:20 Therefore salvation is predicated upon hearing the only Way this law must be obeyed. The conclusion that Jesus' death is a substitute is in error. For any doctrine of salvation that explains this conclusion fails to explain that the Way into the church Jesus is head of is only by the faith to obey him according to a law.

    Theodore,

    In context the verse you are quoting refers to the fact that not merely knowing or hearing the law justifies, but doing it. As a principle, this is indeed the case, except that no one keeps the law (only Christ ever did). That's the whole point of Romans chapter 3. Verse 20 is clear "For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin."

    To reject Christ as the sin bearing substitute for sinners is to reject the heart of Christianity.

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