What is a Reformed Baptist?

Over the years Reformed anything has been, among most “main stream” evangelical circles, nearly a four letter word. Mostly due to ignorance and misinformation folks think Reformed or Covenant Baptists are smug in their salvation and do not believe in evangelism of the Great Commission, but nothing could be further from the truth. This excellent article deals with the history and distinctions of Reformed Baptists, tomorrow I will post some of my favorite resources on Reformed Evangelism. – Mike

 

What is a Reformed Baptist?

What is a Reformed Baptist?

What is it that makes a “Reformed Baptist” distinct from other kinds of Baptists and Reformed folks? Reformed Baptists grew out of the English Reformation, emerging from Independent paedobaptist churches in the 1640’s for some very specific theological reasons, and they held to a particular kind of theology. Here are some of the theological identity markers of Reformed Baptist churches.

1. The Regulative Principle of Worship. This distinctive is put first because it is one of the main reasons Calvinistic Baptists separated from the Independent paedobaptists. The Particular (or Reformed) Baptists come from Puritanism, which sought to reform the English church according to God’s Word, especially its worship. When that became impossible due to Laud’s authoritative opposition, the Puritans separated (or were removed) from the English church. Within the Independent wing of Puritan separation, some of them saw a need to apply the regulative principle of worship to infant baptism as well, considering this to be the consistent outworking of the common Puritan mindset. The earliest Baptists believed that the elements of public worship are limited to what Scripture commands. John 4:23 says, “True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” (see also Matt 15:9). The revealed “truth” of Scripture limits the worship of God to what is prescribed in Scripture. The Second London Baptist Confession 22.1 says:

The acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

Because the Bible does not command infant baptism, early Baptists believed that infant baptism is forbidden in public worship, and the baptism of believers alone is to be practiced in worship. This regulative principle of worship limits the elements of public worship to the Word preached and read, the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, prayer, the singing of Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and whatever else the Scripture commands.

Many Baptists today have completely abandoned the regulative principle of worship in favor of entertainment-oriented worship, consumerism, individual preferences, emotionalism, and pragmatism. Such Baptists have abandoned the very principle that led to their initial emergence from paedobaptism. One wonders whether a church can depart from a doctrine necessary to the emergence of Baptists in their English context and still rightly identify as a “Baptist” church.

2. Covenant Theology. While Reformed paedobaptist churches sometimes insist that they alone are the heirs of true covenant theology, historic Reformed Baptists claimed to abandon the practice of infant baptism precisely because of the Bible’s covenant theology.

Reformed Baptists agree with Reformed paedobaptists that God made a covenant of works with Adam, which he broke and so brought condemnation on the whole human race (Rom 5:18). They also say that God mercifully made a covenant of grace with His elect people in Christ (Rom 5:18), which is progressively revealed in the Old Testament and formally established in the new covenant at the death of Christ (Heb 9:15-16). The only way anyone was saved under the old covenant was by virtue of this covenant of grace in Christ, such that there is only one gospel, or one saving promise, running through the Scriptures.

Baptist covenant theologians, however, believe they are more consistent than their paedobaptist brothers with respect to covenant theology’s own hermeneutic of New Testament priority. According to the New Testament, the Old Testament promise to “you and your seed” was ultimately made to Christ, the true seed (Gal 3:16). Abraham’s physical children were a type of Christ, but Christ Himself is the reality. The physical descendants were included in the old covenant, not because they are all children of the promise, but because God was preserving the line of promise, until Christ, the true seed, came. Now that Christ has come, there is no longer any reason to preserve a physical line. Rather, only those who believe in Jesus are sons of Abraham, true Israelites, members of the new covenant, and the church of the Lord Jesus (Gal 3:7). In both the Old and New Testaments, the “new covenant” is revealed to be a covenant of believers only, who are forgiven of their sins, and have God’s law written on their hearts (Heb 8:10-12).

Baptists today who adhere to dispensationalism believe that the physical offspring of Abraham are the rightful recipients of the promises of God to Abraham’s seed. But they have departed from their historic Baptist roots and from the hermeneutical vision of the organic unity of the Bible cast by their forefathers. Baptist theologian James Leo Garrett correctly notes that dispensationalism is an “incursion” into Baptist theology, which only emerged in the last one hundred fifty years or so. See James Leo Garrett, Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study (Macon, GA: Mercer, 2009), 560-570.

3. Calvinism. Because Reformed Baptists held to the covenant theology (federalism) of the 17th century, they were all Calvinists. The theological covenants of the old federal theology undergirded the early Baptist expressions of their Calvinistic soteriology. When Adam broke the covenant of works, God cursed all human beings with totally depraved natures (Isa 24:5-6), making them unable and unwilling to come to Christ for salvation.

But God didn’t leave the human race to die in sin; rather, in eternity past, God unconditionally chose a definite number of people for salvation and formed a covenant of redemption with Christ about their salvation (Isa 53; 54:10; Lk 22:29). At the appointed time, Christ came into the world and obeyed the covenant of redemption, fulfilling the terms of the covenant of works that Adam broke. In the covenant of redemption, Jesus kept God’s law perfectly, died on the cross, atoned for the sins of His chosen people, and rose from the dead, having effectually secured salvation for them (Heb 9:12).

God made the covenant of grace with His elect people (Gen 3:15; Heb 9:15-16) in which He applies all the blessings of life merited by Christ in the covenant of redemption. The Holy Spirit mercifully unites God’s chosen people to Christ in the covenant of grace, giving them blessings of life purchased by Christ’s life and death. God irresistibly draws them to Himself in their effectual calling (Jn 6:37), gives them a living heart (Ezek 36:26), a living faith and repentance (Eph 2:8-9; Acts 11:18), a living verdict of justification (Rom 3:28), and a living and abiding holiness (1 Cor 1:30), causing them to persevere to the end (1 Cor 1:8). All of these life-blessings are the merits of Jesus Christ, purchased in the covenant of redemption, applied in the covenant of grace.

The doctrine of the covenants is the theological soil in which Calvinism grew among early Baptists. Calvinistic Baptists today need to recover the rich federal theology of their forefathers so that the doctrines of grace they’ve rediscovered will be preserved for future generations.

4. The Law of God. Reformed Baptists believe the 10 commandments are the summary of God’s moral law (Exod 20; Matt 5; Rom 2:14-22). They believe that unless we rightly understand the law, we cannot understand the gospel. The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ kept the law for our justification by living in perfect obedience to earn the law’s blessing of life and by dying a substitutionary death to pay the law’s penalty. But the gospel isn’t only a promise of justification. It’s also the good news that Christ promises graciously to give the Holy Spirit to His people to kill their lawlessness and to make them more and more lawful. Titus 2:14 says that Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, who are zealous for good works.”

The Second London Baptist Confession, 19.5 says:

The moral law does for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof,(10) and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it;(11) neither does Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.(12)

10. Rom 13:8-10; Jas 2:8,10-12
11. Jas 2:10,11
12. Matt 5:17-19; Rom 3:31

Therefore, while justified believers are free from the law as a covenant of works to earn justification and eternal life (Rom 7:1-6), God gives them His law as a standard of conduct or rule of life in their sanctification (Rom 8:4, 7). God’s moral law, summarized in the 10 commandments (Rom 2:14-24; 13:8-10; Jas 2:8-11), including the Sabbath commandment (Mk 2:27; Heb 4:9-10), is an instrument of sanctification in the life of the believer. Believers rest in Christ for their total salvation. Christ takes their burdens of guilt and shame, and His people take upon themselves the yoke of His law, and they learn obedience from a humble and gentle Teacher. 1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

Baptists who hold to new covenant theology, or progressive covenantalism, do not have the same view of the law as the dominant stream of their Baptist forebears.

5. Confessional. Most of the early Baptists, both in England and in America, held to the Second London Baptist Confession of 1677/1689. While certainly not all Calvinistic Baptists subscribed to this confession, it was the main influence among Baptists in England and America after its publication. This confession, based on the Westminster Confession (Presbyterian) and the Savoy Declaration (Independent), was originally edited and published in 1677, but formally adopted by Baptist churches in 1689 after English persecution lifted.

Historic Reformed Baptists were thoroughgoing confessionalists. They were not bare “biblicists.” Biblicists deny words and doctrines not explicitly stated in Scripture, and they deny that the church’s historic teaching about the Bible has any secondary authority in biblical interpretation. The early Baptists, however, did not believe that individual church members or individual pastors should interpret the Bible divorced from the historic teaching of the church (Heb 13:7). They believed that the Bible alone is sufficient for doctrine and practice, but they also believed the Bible must be explained and read in light of the church’s interpretive tradition (1 Tim 3:15), which uses words other than the Bible (Acts 2:31 is one refutation of biblicism, since it explains Psalm 16 in words not used in that Psalm). Reformed Baptists believed that their theology was anchored in the church’s rich theological heritage and that it was a natural development of the doctrine of the church in light of the central insights of the Reformation (sola Scriptura: no baptizing infants; sola fide: only converts are God’s people).

Under the guise of upholding Sola Scriptura, many Christians today seek to read the Bible independently and come to their own private conclusions about what it means without consulting the church’s authorized teachers or the orthodox confessions of faith. But that’s not what Sola Scriptura historically meant. Scripture teaches that the church is the “pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). The church as a whole is charged with interpreting the Bible, and God has authorized teachers in the church throughout history. Therefore, while every individual Christian is responsible to understand Scripture for himself, no Christian should study the Bible without any consideration of what the great teachers of the past have taught about the Bible.

The majority of historic Reformed Baptists held to the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689 because they believed it is a compendium of theology that best summarizes the teaching of Scripture in small compass.

Predestination is Practical

Jeff Robinson | May 26, 2017

    In some churches, it is a word that conjures up images of an angry and capricious God who acts arbitrarily to save some, but consigns most sinners—including deceased infants—to eternal perdition. For many professing Christians, it is the mother-of-all-swear-words…

 Continued at Source: Predestination is Practical 

 

 

Some Practical Implications of Calvinism

| May 11, 2017 Founder’s Ministries

Calvinism’s doctrine of God’s sovereign rule over all things is far from an abstract teaching with little if any effect on the lives of ordinary believers. Rather, Calvinism has many practical implications. While they may not automatically follow from simply holding to Calvinistic doctrine, they do follow naturally when Calvinism is truly believed and embraced from the heart. This list is not intended to suggest that non-Calvinists deny any of these truths, only that Calvinism certainly implies them.

Continued at Source: Some Practical Implications of Calvinism

What is a Reformed Baptist?

 What is it that makes a “Reformed Baptist” distinct from other kinds of Baptists and Reformed folks? Reformed Baptists grew out of the English Reformation, emerging from Independent paedobaptist churches in the 1640’s for some very specific theological reasons, and they held to a particular kind of theology. Here are some of the theological identity markers of Reformed Baptist churches.

Continued at Source: What is a Reformed Baptist? 

The Founders Blog  Posted: 30 Mar 2017 04:58 AM PDT

 

 

Voddie Baucham’s Expository Apologetics Lectures!

From The Domain for Truth

Voddie Baucham is the author of Expository Apologetics: Answering Objections with the Power of the Word.”

He has also gave lectures on Expository Apologetics and his method is driven by Presuppositional (Biblical) Apologetics.  I love how he begins by saying Christian apologetics is not something only for the “elite” Christians.  It is a responsibility of all of us.

Here are the 4 Part Lectures:

False Teachers and Deadly Doctrines – Tim Challies

Never has it been more important for Christians to commit themselves to rejecting false doctrine and pursuing sound doctrine. False teachers and their teaching in this article and the ones that follow….

Source: False Teachers and Deadly Doctrines – Tim Challies

TULIP and its Origins

Re-blogged from : December 28, 2016

Since the beginning of its history the Christian church has evolved.  From its inception with Jesus and the Apostles it has morphed into many branches and theologies.  After the start of the Protestant Reformation Lutheranism got its start in Germany.  Meanwhile is Switzerland reformed theology was born on January 19, 1523 when, Ulrich Zwingli, issued sixty-seven articles which were the first code of the Swiss reformed church[1]….

Continued at : Source: TULIP and its Origins

Where Does Your Hope Lie?

The following was preached at Bayside Baptist Church, Bay St Louis MS Sunday 28 Dec 2014

1 Peter 3:10-15

 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

 

            I have entitled this sermon Where Does Your Hope Lie? I will be focusing in on verse 15 but let us take a running start at it by looking at verses 10-14 briefly.

 

            Peter begins this portion of his epistle by pleading with the brethren to do no evil. To avoid it (v11) to not speak it (v10) in fact we are to seek peace and to do good (v11) always.

 

            I believe the scripture points out two reasons for this directive. The first can be found in verse 12. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers:…  Now I am a simple man of simple means but this is pretty clear to me. God is watching my every move. If I live a righteous, that is God honoring life, He will also hear my prayers. BUT, in this case the word is more than just a connection between two sentences, it is a clear warning, but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. Now I do not know about y’all but getting the all-knowing ever present, all powerful God of the universe mad at me is not high in my priority list.

 

            Peter next goes on to say something a little confusing at first. Do you see it?  Let’s look at verses 13 and 14 again:

 

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye:

 

            Maybe it is just me but when I read that I am both encouraged and intimidated. Verse 13 implies that no one can harm the true chosen children of God. Then verse 14 says But and if ye suffer the Greek text suggests a better rendering to be nevertheless when you suffer. Now wait a minute I thought no harm can come to me.

 

            The problem here is my trying to interpret scripture of my own understanding. I read no harm and think physical pain while the text refers to spiritual security. Look at Romans Chapter 8 with me:

 

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

            I hope you can see what both Paul and Peter are speaking of here. Nothing of this earth can separate a child of God from him. Christ said of His sheep (followers, chosen children of God) no one could remove them from His hand.

 

            I want to add a caution here for I believe there is one thing that can come between us and God. That thing would be ourselves. Maybe you have never experienced this, but I have. Gotten to a place where all is going so smooooth, that you think hey I got this and soon forget about God. We alone but barriers between us and God.

 

            Look back at main text in Peter. God is so merciful though that He does not leave it at that. No He tells us in the remainder of verse 14; be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. Knowing that we would have times of trouble, trails and suffering God adds words of comfort.  I think the reason for that comfort and the second reason for the directive in verse 10 and 11 lies in verse 15; one of my favorite verses of scripture:

 

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

            Remember I have titled this sermon Where Does Your Hope Lie? As the New Year fast approaches many of our friends and relatives will be preparing to make a New Year’s resolution in the hopes of changing something about their lives. Folks make these resolutions each year in the hope they can change for the better or find peace and comfort they are sorely lacking.    Ask a group of everyday folks outside Wally World or Lowes where their hope lies and you would get countless different answers. For some it is family, a job, or their “church”. Still others find it in bottles of booze or pills and sadly many would simply answer “hope what Hope”? As Sanctified Born Again believers we do not find any assurance in our own determination, our own will power to make changes in our lives. No we rest on the power of God to both change us. It is the comfort we have in that Hope, that Anticipation that indwells all true believers; a hope, those of the world are blind too. 

 

            I want to break verse 15 down into three tasks that I have labeled Acknowledge, Answer and Attitude.

 

            The first task noted in verse 15 is to Acknowledge or Sanctify God in our hearts. Now this is more than just admitting God exists for even the devil does this. No the Greek word translated Sanctify in the KJV entails so much more. I like the way the Amplified Bible translates this as: But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord

 

            We must confess God as sovereign ruler of the whole universe. Surrendering our all to Him and declaring His son Christ Jesus as Lord and Master of our lives. To do less and call ourselves “Christian” is to live a lie.

 

            This sanctification must not just be verbal; it must be in our hearts. Romans 10:10 tells us that with the heart man believeth unto righteousness. It must be a true deep rooted belief that is evident in both our talk and our walk. We cannot have one without the other.

 

            The next charge in verse 15 is Answer. We are to be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you(us). This is the defining task, the crux of the matter if you will. We, who are true believer’s, must be ready always. Not just when we feel good and are having a really blessed day. No in the midst of trials and turmoil, on top of the mountain and in the depths of the valley we must be ready to give an answer or as the ESV translates it always being prepared to make a defense.

 

            The answer is not some theological gem, no, it is simply a reason of the {or for the} hope that is in you (us). If you will allow me to reminisce for a moment, when I first started down the path of Christianity I was attending a church that was always talking about witnessing. My first thought was these people are in court a lot. I mean my only association with witnesses was from Perry Mason TV series. Ok so I soon got over my ignorance and then came the in nervousness. How was I to witness to anyone? I barely knew the bible so surely God would not want me to talk about it our Him?

            Well somewhere along the way I came across this verse and I realized what witnessing (for most of us who are not called as evangelists) really is and what God expects. It is really quite simple. If you love God and He has changed your life. Taken you from HOPELESSNESS to FILLED WITH HOPE that is what you need to share. Being able to quote scripture left and right is all well in good. But people want to hear your story. What has God done for you? Using scripture in a personal manner has a far greater impact on those we share it with.

 

I like how John Calvin put it in his commentary on the verse: But it ought to be noticed, that Peter here does not command us to be prepared to solve any question that may be mooted; for it is not the duty of all to speak on every subject. But it is the general doctrine that is meant, which belongs to the ignorant and the simple. Then Peter had in view no other thing, than that Christians should make it evident to unbelievers that they truly worshipped God, and had a holy and good religion. And in this there is no difficulty, for it would be strange if we could bring nothing to defend our faith when any one made inquiries respecting it. For we ought always to take care that all may know that we fear God, and that we piously and reverently regard his legitimate worship.

           

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown’s Commentary says of a reasonable account. This verse does not impose an obligation to bring forward a learned proof and logical defense of revelation. But as believers deny themselves, crucify the world, and brave persecution, they must be buoyed up by some strong “hope”; men of the world, having no such hope themselves, are moved by curiosity to ask the secret of this hope; the believer must be ready to give an experimental account “how this hope arose in him, what it contains, and on what it rests”

 

Webster’s 1828 dictionary has two definitions of Hope that I find helpful:

 

1. Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense.

A well founded scriptural hope is, in our religion, the source of ineffable {overwhelming} happiness.

 

2. To place confidence in; to trust in with confident expectation of good. Ps.43:5 remind us: Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God.

 

            What is it we can bear witness to? It is our hope, the resolve that God is greater than all our problems that His grace and mercy abound. It is in that alone we have indescribable joy and happiness.

 

            The final tasking is Attitude. We must approach life with a proper attitude. For some of us that is really, really hard.  Maybe you can’t relate to this but when my kids were young they would sometimes misbehave. Now I sure none of your children are like that but I remember saying more often that I can count “if you don’t change your attitude I am gonna change your altitude”.

 

            Now God does not threaten us to have the proper attitude (although I know He disciplines us). Peter, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote our testimony must be done with meekness and fear.  This does not mean we are a push over, a door mat for all who wish to stomp on our parade. Nor does it mean we are to force feed our beliefs down others’ throats. The ESV translates it with gentleness and respect. Our attitudes can affect all aspects of our lives; none more so than our witness for Christ. Peter earlier in verse 4 of chapter 3 said this gentle spirit is precious in God’s sight.

 

            Remember the words of Paul :  Philippians 2:15 – That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; We must be that shining light in an otherwise dark world. Why is this so important? Christ tells us in:  Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  If our testimony is damaged by our attitude how is God glorified in that.

 

            In summary why is it that true brethren; love life, refrain from evil, and do good? Because God has given us hope. Not just any hope but a hope like no other. A hope that one cannot find among those of the world for it is only given through Christ Jesus. It is a hope so strong and powerful than believer’s cannot but help share the Good News of what Christ has done for them.

 

            Where is your hope today? Do you have that hope? The Hope that only God can give? Are you a child of God today? It really is a simple matter. There is no special prayer no magic words. You only have to ACCEPT you are a sinner; CONFESS your sinfulness and BELIEVE Christ died for your sins.  The bible says that is all that is needed to inherit the kingdom of God and the glorious hope of eternal life.

 

            In closing I wish to express my desire that the coming year will be full of hope for you and yours.  Christian artists Bill and Gloria Gather summed up and shared their hope in Christ when their son was born in this song:

 

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

 

In HIS Service

Rebuilding a Future Nehemiah Part IV

Response to Brokenness

 

3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

 

4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

           

            Nehemiah 1:2-4

 

            A reminder of where we were last week in this series. I had entitled the sermon “Recognition of Brokenness”. Verse three tells the tale of walls and gates of Jerusalem being in a sad state of affairs. Nehemiah acknowledges that he understands this in verse four when he says And it came to pass, when I heard these words. We then looked at what brokenness was and its effects on mankind.

 

            We determined that mankind, since the fall in Genesis 3 has been in a constant state of brokenness. As a counter to brokenness we looked at what God had intended man to live like. Genesis 1:31 says that all that God created was good and can logically infer from that man was intended to live a good life. Backing up to verse 1:26 we see man was also intended to rule (have dominion) over all the things of the earth. As we turned back to Nehemiah we saw, the report he gets is they (the Jerusalem Jews) are living a broken existence. One not in line with God’s plan, for they are in great affliction and reproach.

 

            Before I move on to today’s theme I do not want anyone left with the wrong impression. God did not have a plan A for mankind and a backup or plan B if man failed at plan A. God is sovereign and in complete control of all things. John MacArthur says of God’s sovereignty: “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3). “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps” (Ps. 135:6). He “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). “For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him” (1 Cor. 8:6).

 

            Ok let’s look at Nehemiah’s Response to Brokenness in verse four. He says when I heard these words that I sat down and wept and mourned certain days. Nehemiah is moved to tears. The bible is full of stories that describe folks weeping and or mourning for a variety of reasons. Let us look at a few:

 

Death – especially the death of a loved one Gen 50:10 And they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days

 

Disobedience –  Ezra 9:4-7 Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice 5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God,

6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. 7 Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.

 

DesolationJoel 1:9-10  The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the Lord; the priests, the Lord’s ministers, mourn.

10 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.

 

In DefeatRev 18:11 10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

 

When Diseased –  Job 2:28 7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.

 

When we lose something valuableGen 27:34-38 34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. 35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. 36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? 37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son? 38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

 

            We are naturally sorrowful when the above events occur. Many of us like Nehemiah are moved to tears when we hear of the suffering and tribulations of saints in lands around the world. But there is no greater event in our lives that should move us to tears than when we come to the realization that our life is a broken mess. Like Nehemiah’s realization of broken walls and gate the realization of our broken lives; is a cause for weeping and mourning.

 

            I have often stated that man cannot fully appreciate the Love of God until he understands the Depravity of Man. One can easily substitute brokenness for depravity. This may seem a hard statement but if you are not brought to tears and your knees with that realization you do not fully comprehend it. Some of your authority, your superiority complex is still alive and kicking.

 

            Lest I leave you thinking all tears are because of sorrow and brokenness there is more to the story. Our old self must die a mournful death in order that we may shed new tears of joy. Again the Bible is full of these stories too:

 

Hard work has joyful payoffPsalm 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy

 

Depending upon GodJeremiah 31:9-13 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications  will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble : for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. 10Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say , He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. 11 For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. 12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. 13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.

 

Joy in knowing the God of LovePs 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

 

Reunions are times of joyful weeping  Gen 33:4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.

 

 

“The catalysts for brokenness don’t have to be huge, tragic or devastating, though sometimes they are. Suffering comes in all sizes and shapes every day of our lives. And when it comes, we often bury the pain of it somewhere deep inside us where it simmers and stews and gnaws away at our peace, faith and health, turning our hearts even stonier, compounding our pride and unbroken- ness layer by layer.”

 

Mark Buchanan wrote in his book Your God is Too Safe, that there is one soil that usually withers pride. It is brokenness. He goes on to write that broken- ness “molds our character closer to the character of God than anything else. To experience defeat, disappointment, loss—the raw ingredients of broken- ness—moves us closer to being like God than victory and gain and fulfillment ever can.”

 

Frederick Buechner in his book Whistling in the Dark  “Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling the secret of who you are, but more often than not of the mystery of where you have come from and are summoning you to where you should go next.”

 

Ken Gire wrote in Windows of the Soul, “In each tear is distilled something of eternity, something of love and compassion and tenderness, all things that originate in heaven and come to earth as a sacrament to the soul, if only I am willing to take and to eat. The closest communion with God comes, I believe, through the sacrament of tears. Just as grapes are crushed to make wine and grain to make bread, so the elements of this sacrament come from the crushing experiences of life.

 

“So much is distilled in our tears, not the least of which is wisdom in living life. From my own tears I have learned that if you follow your tears, you will find your heart. If you find your heart, you will find what is dear to God, and if you find what is dear to God you will find the answer to how you should live your life.”

 

            I had planned on closing tonight’s sermon with the joyful knowledge that our victory is won and are tears are temporary. Then this morning’s devotional from the Institute of Creation Research said it all better than I:

 

 

 

 

Tears in Heaven

“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 25:8)

 

It may be surprising to learn there are tears in heaven, but there are three places in the Bible where we are told that God will wipe away our tears there. This promise appears first in the Old Testament in our text—a text which is quoted in the New Testament as applying to the events of the second coming of Christ. “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). The graves will be emptied and death itself will die when Christ comes again! But there will still be those tears, even after death, which God must wipe away.

 

The other two occurrences are in the last book of the Bible, both again in the context of the return of Christ, “[who] shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Finally, in the new Jerusalem, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 7:17; 21:4).

 

But why should there be tears at all when death has passed away? The Scriptures do not say specifically why, but it seems probable that these may be tears of regret at lost opportunities and tears of sorrow for unsaved friends and loved ones. It does say that in the new earth we shall somehow “look upon” the lost (Isaiah 66:22, 24) and that even some of the saved “shall suffer loss” when their works in this life do not “abide” in the judgment (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). But then, after these tears are shed, God will graciously wipe them away, and there will never be sorrow or crying anymore. HMM

 

Institute for Creation Research;  

Days of Praise devotionals:  http://www.icr.org/article/8315

 

 

Next time Response to Brokenness continued, Fasting and Prayer

 

In HIS Service

Mike

Ordo Salutis – The Order of Salvation – Part IX

GLORIFICATION

 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

– – – Romans 8:28-30

 

            As we close our series on Salvation we come to what I believe should be the great hope of every believer, Glorification.

 

            Our main text is often referred to as the “Golden Chain”.  That it is an expression of the Ordo Salutis cannot be denied. Let’s break it down:

 

v.28:  And we know that in all things God works for the good of:

 

Those (The elect) who love him (not by their own efforts), who have been called (effectually not universal) according to His purpose. For

 

Those (The elect) God foreknew He (also) (v.29) predestined (determined beforehand) to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that Jesus might be the firstborn among many brothers. And

 

Those (The elect) those God predestined, He (also) (v.30) called (regenerated)

 

Those (The elect) those God called, He (regeneration, through repentance and faith) He (also) justified (found righteous because of Christ alone)

 

Those (The elect) those God justified, (adopted, sanctified and preserved) He also Glorifies

 

Glorification is the final stage of the Glorification is the final stage of the Ordo Salutis and an aspect of Christian doctrine on Salvation or soteriology. It is also a part of Christian eschatology or last things. . It refers to the nature of believers after death and judgment, “the final step in the application of redemption.[1] The theological doctrine of glorification goes on to describe how believers will be resurrected after death and given new bodies that have a degree of continuity with their mortal selves. [1] c Wayne, Grudem (1994). Systematic Theology. Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 828–839.and an aspect of

 

In the Scripture the idea of glorification deals with the ultimate perfection of believers. The word “glorification” is not used in the Hebrew Old Testament or the Greek New Testament, but the idea of glorification is conveyed by the Greek verb doxazo (“glorify”) and the noun doxa (“glory”) as well as in passages that do not use any word from this root. Although the Old Testament may anticipate the theme to some extent ( Psalm 73:24 ; Dan 12:3 ), the New Testament is considerably fuller and richer in its development, making it explicit that believers will be glorified ( Romans 8:17 Romans 8:30 ; 2 Thess 1:12 ).

 

            In considering what to preach on this topic I listened to quite a few sermons from different well know orators of God’s word. Then I found Brad Baggett’s [1] series of Ordo Salutis on sermon audio and decided to share his thoughts with you. I pray you are uplifted as much as I.

 

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=817081743424

 

            In closing as I was listening to the sermon and writing these few words I had the word of the faithful old hymn Crown Him with Many Crowns running through my mind. Verse four is especially applicable:

 

Crown him the Lord of love;

behold his hands and side,

those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.

 

All hail, Redeemer, hail!

For thou hast died for me;

thy praise and glory shall not fail

throughout eternity.

 

            Do you see it? In beauty Glorified of course speaks of Christ but remember our main text. Verse 20 of Romans 8 says in part:  he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. Just as Christ, who today sits at the right hand of the Father is described in this song as beauty Glorified. We too who have been Elected, Effectually Called, Regenerated, Converted, Justified, Adopted, Sanctified, and Preserved by God have the hope nor more the promise to be Glorified by God. And not just any glory will be ours but the same that marks the beautiful image of His Son.

 

In HIS Service