Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
What do I mean by Reformed Baptist?
By D. Wayne Layton
To some the term “Reformed Baptist” is an oxymoron. It is like saying “I am a Presbyterian Baptist” others may argue. Traditionally many of those who identify themselves in the “reformed” camp often practice infant Baptism, hold to Covenantal Theology, and practice a Presbyterian form of church government. However the term “reformed” is not exclusively the characteristic of secondary doctrines such as Baptism, eschatology, or church polity.
The term “reformed” is a distinction brought about by the reformers of the sixteenth century. The core of the Reformation was a recovering and a reemphasizing of fundamental primary Biblical truths. The hallmark doctrines that were recovered during the reformation are often described as the “five solas.”
1. "Sola Scriptura" ("Scripture alone" as the authority for life and practice in the church).
2. "Sola Gratia" (God's sovereign "grace alone" as the reason for our salvation without any actual or potential human merit).
3. "Sola Fide" (justification by "faith alone" and no human works).
4. "Solus Christus" (salvation through the Person and work of Jesus "Christ alone").
5. "Soli Deo Gloria" (all things ultimately for "the glory of God alone").
These five Biblical concepts were the pillars upon which the foundation of the Reformation was built. Key reformers such as Calvin, Luther, and Zwingli had divergent views concerning Baptism and Communion, but were in agreement with the five core principle doctrines of the Reformation. The Reformation was focused on recognizing the absolute sovereignty of God in all things. So to be identified as “reformed” is to communicate that you are in agreement with the five pillars of the Reformation, the “five solas” or in short, the absolute sovereignty of God.
The term “Baptist” primarily refers to individuals who affirm believer’s baptism by immersion. Many of those who describe themselves as Baptists do not share the same view on the sovereignty of God, church polity, and eschatology. However, the common distinction among Baptists is the practice of immersion following regeneration.
A “Reformed Baptist” then is person committed to the five pillars of the Reformation and believer’s Baptism by immersion. The “Reformed Baptist Churches” are a group of independent local congregations committed to historic Christianity and in particular, historic Baptist principles. They may vary on secondary doctrines but agree on the primary doctrines of the Faith.
In essentials unity
In non-essential liberty
In all things charity
- St. Augustine
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Advent candles have been a part of the church for hundreds of years. The exact history of this event is not very clear, but it appears that this practice developed to encourage the church to think about the excellencies of Christ’s first Advent. Usually there are four Sunday’s in December prior to Christmas thus four candles are used as object lessons of significant truth and the fifth candle is lit on Christmas day.
Though this December there are only three Sunday’s we will still have a candle each Sunday and then light the final candle on the final day of the year Wednesday the 31st during our candlelight prayer and communion service. Please feel welcome to join us. Below is the theme and Scripture verses that we will be using this Christmas season.
May God bless you and grant you a truly Merry Christmas.
Advent Theme: The Angelic Announcements
Luke 1:16-17 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Luke 1:30-33 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Matthew 1:20-21 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Luke 2:10-11 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
5. Empty tomb
Matthew 28:5-7 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”