Reaffirming the Faith

Theological positions: Independent Particular Baptist, Predestinarian.trinitarian bible003

Soteriological Position: What theologians call “Calvinistic” (Supralapsarian)

Eschatological Position: Amillennial Historicist

Covenantal Position: 1689 Federalism

Creeds and Confessions: London Baptist Confession of 1689

(Some questions I had to fill out on a forum that I thought I would include.)

Are some men elected to salvation?

Yes.

Are some men elected to damnation?

Yes.

Is salvation by works?

No.

Jesus died for all men?

No.

God loves all men?

No.

Christ experienced sin in His person?

No.

Was sin imputed or imparted to Christ?

Imputed.

Is righteousness imputed or imparted to believers?

Imputed.

God predestines all things, including sin?

Yes.

God wanted Adam to fall into sin?

Yes, it was decreed.

God has how many wills?

One. (His decretive will of purpose is His will of pleasure)

Do you believe in Justification from Eternity?

Yes.

What point in time is righteousness imputed to the elect based upon?

The entire life of Christ culminating in His death.

Baptism is required for salvation?

No.

Baptism is the sign of the new covenant?
No.

THE CARTER LANE DECLARATION OF 1757 with some adjustments

(Those words in red have been added or indicate change to the DECLARATION in light of personal belief and for clarity of position. The plural “we” and “our”, etc has been changed to reflect a singular statement of belief.)

  1. I believe, That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Words of God, and the only rule of faith and practice. The Holy Scriptures, composed of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, are the verbally inspired Word and Revelation of God. The Bible is inerrant and infallible. Divine inspiration of the original autographs extends to the divine preservation of a pure text to this day. The preserved Word of God is found in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus.
  1. I believe, That there is but one only living and true God; that there three Persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, Who are equal in nature, power, and glory; and that the Son and the Holy Ghost are as truly and properly God as the Father. These three Divine Persons are distinguished from each other by peculiar relative properties. The distinguishing character and relative property of the First Person is begetting; He has begotten a Son of the same nature with Him, and Who is the express image of His Person; and therefore is with great propriety called the Father. The distinguishing character and relative property of the Second Person is that He is begotten, and He is called the Only Begotten of the Father, and His own proper Son; not a Son by creation as angels and men are, nor by adoption as saints are, nor by office as civil magistrates are, but by nature, by the Father’s eternal generation of Him in the divine nature; and therefore He is truly called the Son. The distinguishing character and relative property of the third person is to be breathed by the Father and the Son, and to proceed from Both, and is very properly called the Spirit or Breath of both. These three distinct Divine Persons, we profess to reverence, serve and worship as the one true God.
  1. I believe, That before the world began, God did elect a certain number of men unto everlasting salvation leaving other men in their sin; those whom He did predestinate to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ of His own free grace, and according to the good pleasure of His will; and that in pursuance of this gracious design by means of secondary and direct causes that work to accomplish His eternal plan and purpose, He did contrive and make a covenant of grace and peace with His son Jesus Christ, on behalf of those persons, with all their grace and glory, were put into the hands of Christ, and made His care and charge.
  1. I believe, That God created the first man Adam, after His image, and in His likeness, an upright, holy, innocent creature, capable of serving and glorifying Him, but he sinning, all his posterity sinned in him, and came short of the glory of God; the guilt of whose sin is imputed; and a corrupt nature derived to all his off-spring descending from him by ordinary and natural generation; that they are by their first birth carnal and unclean; averse to all that is good, incapable of doing any in the sight of God, and prone to every sin; and are also by nature children of wrath and under sentence of condemnation, and so are subject, not only to a corporal death, and involved in a moral one, commonly called spiritual, but are also liable to an eternal death, as considered in the first Adam, fallen and sinners; from all which there is no deliverance, but by Christ the second Adam.
  1. I believe, That the Lord Jesus Christ, being set up from everlasting as mediator of the covenant, and He having engaged to be surety of His people did in the fullness of time really assume human nature, and not before neither in whole nor in part; His human soul being a creature, existed not from eternity, but was created and formed in His body by Him that formed the spirit of man within Him, when He was conceived in the womb of the virgin; and so His human nature consists of a true body and a reasonable soul, both which, together, and at once the Son of God assumed into union with His Divine Person, when made of a woman and not before, in which He really suffered and died as the substitute of His people, in their room and stead; whereby He made all that satisfaction for their sins which the law and justice of God could require, as well as made way for all those blessings which are needful for them both for time and eternity.
  1. I believe, That the eternal Redemption which Christ has obtained by the shedding of His blood is special and particular, that is to say that it was only intentionally designed for the Elect of God, and Sheep of Christ, who only share the special and peculiar blessings of it.
  1. I believe, That the justification of God’s Elect is only by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, without the consideration of any works of righteousness done by them;and that the full and free pardon of all their sins and transgressions, past, present and to come, is only through the blood of Christ according to the riches of his grace.
  1. I believe, That the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification and faith is not an act of man’s free will and power, but of the mighty, efficacious and irresistiblegrace of God.
  1. I believe, That all those who are chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sanctified by the Spirit are sealed unto the day of redemption, these shall certainly persevere, so that not one of them shall ever perish but shall have everlasting life.
  1. I believe, in the true, literal reign of Christ mentioned in Revelation 20. It is a literal reign, but the 1000 years mentioned are symbolic of the entire period of time between Christ’s first and His second coming.
  1. I believe, That Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of Christ, to be continued until His second coming; and that the former is absolutely requisite to the latter; that is to say, that those only are admitted into the communion of the church, and to participate of all the ordinances in it, who upon profession of their faith, have been baptised by immersion, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
  1. I believe, That singing of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs vocally is an ordinance of the Gospel to be performed by believers, but that as to time, place, and manner, everyone ought to be left to their liberty in using it.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Lined-Out Hymnody from Southern Kentucky

(first blogged in 2010)

This is some moving, soul stirring music from the Southern States.  These hymns are similar to the Gaelic Psalms sung in Scotland and I’m sure there is a connection, not to mention it sounds similar to early Blues music before the electric guitar.

Have a listen.

They are offered as free downloads from the Old Regular Baptist [1] website.

Turn it up and be engulfed by the power of the human voice.

jm


[1] note, these brothers and sisters are Arminian in their theology

Grace and Salvation

Amen, be encouraged, it is all of GRACE! john_gill

“That there are universal offers of grace and salvation made to all men, I utterly deny; nay I deny that they are made to any; no not to God’s elect: grace and salvation are promised for them in the everlasting covenant, procured for them by Christ, published and revealed in the gospel, and applied by the Spirit.” John Gill, The Doctrine of Predestination Stated

“kept pure in all ages…”

(posted in 2010)

I hold to the same position the 17th century Reformers confessed, and is stated in Westminster and Second London Baptist Confessions.  According to these confessions, the scriptures are:

“immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them.” (article 1:8)

Dr. Edward Hills explains how Erasmus, in his first printing of his Greek New Testament, was guided by a common faith held by all concerning, the text they had. And that,

“Luther, Melanchton, Stephanus, Calvin, Beza, and the other scholars of the Reformation Period who labored on the New Testament text were similarly guided by God’s special providence. These scholars had received humanistic training in their youth, and in their notes and comments they sometimes reveal traces of this early education. But in their actual dealings with the biblical text these humanistic tendencies were restrained by the common faith in the providential preservation of Scripture, a faith which they themselves professed along with their followers. Hence in the Reformation Period the textual criticism of the New Testament was different from the textual criticism of any other book. The humanistic methods used on other books were not applied to the New Testament. In their editions of the New Testament Erasmus and his successors were providentially guided by the common faith to adopt the current text, primarily the current Greek text and secondarily the current Latin text. … thus the logic of faith led true believers of that day, just as it leads true believers today, to the Textus Receptus as the God-guided New Testament text”

The Greek text edition circulated by Theodore Beza was in common use and considered authoritative. There was little or no further textual criticism done to his Greek edition, hence, it was received. In history we find a clear witness of the Protestant church to the Received Text. The church is the witness, the pillar and ground of truth. (1 Timothy 3:15)

J. H. Gosden of the Gospel Standard Baptist observes in his commentary on the Gospel Standard Baptist Articles of Faith,

“By inspiration of God gave the Holy Oracles, and power – perennial miracle – He preserves them intact. They are inerrant, unchangeable, unlosable. Could they err or change or be lost, their divine origin would be disapproved and dependence upon them would be misplaced. In such a case there would exist no foundation upon which to build for eternity, no final court of appeal respecting truth and error, no standard of doctrine, no rule of practice, no touchstone of experience. “

Those who prefer to use a rational approach in defining the New Testament text have to admit that scripture is selected by the text critic. In the office of a scholar many manuscripts are studied. The assumption is often stated that “only the originals are inspired.” The scholar must conduct examinations of the many manuscripts to determine which verse is more likely to be inspired and therefore authentic. But what kind of method does he use? What is his rule to determine what is, might be or is not scripture? The Bible critic or critics, whatever the case maybe, must choose and whatever kind of rule chosen, becomes their guiding principle. It is not driven by the logic of faith the Reformers used but a secular naturalistic presupposition. This presupposition denies the God who acts in history and intervenes in our daily lives. It denies what scriptures reveals about itself.

As the peoples historian D’Aubigne declared, “Christianity is neither an abstract doctrine nor an external organization. It is a life from God communicated to mankind…”

The CT man has no biblical text:

Bart Ehrman states, “there is always a degree of doubt, an element of subjectivity.”

Kurt Aland declares that the latest Text of the United Bible Societies is “not a static entity” and “every change in it is open to challenge.”

G. Zuntz admits that “the optimism of the earlier editors has given way to that scepticism which inclines towards regarding ‘the original text’ as an unattainable mirage.”

Douglas Wilson writes,

“This witness is not offered by the Church as “something to think about” or as a mere “suggestion.” The testimony of the Church on this point is submissive to Scripture, but authoritative for the saints. For example, if an elder in a Christian church took it upon himself to add a book to the canon of Scripture, or sought to take away a book, the duty of his church would be to try him for heresy and remove him immediately. This disciplinary action is authoritative, taken in defense of an authoritative canonical settlement. This does not mean the Church is defending the Word of God; the Church is defending her witness to the Word. As the necessity of discipline makes plain, this witness is dogmatic and authoritative. It is not open for discussion. God does not intend for us to debate the canon of Scripture afresh every generation. We have already given our testimony; our duty now is to remain faithful to it. “

Dr. Daniel Wallace is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and is considered an expert inn ancient biblical Greek and New Testament criticism. In a blog post about the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature he wrote,


“As remarkable as it may sound, most biblical scholars are not Christians. I don’t know the exact numbers, but my guess is that between 60% and 80% of the members of SBL do not believe that Jesus’ death paid for our sins, or that he was bodily raised from the dead. “

We cannot declare the originals only, exchanging “King James Onlyism” for “Original Text Onlyism,” our very idea of sola scriptura does not allow for it. Without a foundational set of manuscripts Protestantism is reduced to just one of many traditions with sola scriptura a late development and no less of a tradition then that found in Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism. This tradition is reduced to a Magisterium of scholars instead of Popes, Cardinals and Bishops. We have replaced the Roman Magisterium with a Magisterium of Textual Critics.  Rome acts like a final authority, and the scholar tells us what the final authority might be.
jm

Fuller on the Covenant of Works

Posted on Feileadh Mor back in 2013.

Random quotes from Andrew Fuller about the covenant of works:andrew-fuller

“Sinners are exhorted to “seek” God, to “serve” him with fear and joy, to “forsake” their wicked way, and “return” to him, to “repent” and “be converted.” These are manifestly exercises of the heart, and addressed to the unconverted. Neither are they to be understood as the requirements of a covenant of works. That covenant neither requires repentance nor promises forgiveness. But sinners are directed to these things under a promise of “mercy” and “abundant pardon.” There is a wide difference between these addresses and the address of our Lord to the young ruler; that to which he was directed was the producing of a righteousness adequate to the demands of the law, which was naturally impossible; and our Lord’s design was to show its impossibility, and thereby to convince him of the need of gospel mercy; but that to which the above directions point is not to any natural impossibility, but to the very way of mercy. The manner in which the primitive preachers guarded against self-righteousness was very different from this. They were not afraid of exhorting either saints or sinners to holy exercises of heart, nor of connecting with them the promises of mercy.”

“The  law has no promise of life to a single transgressor, and never had; but merely a threatening of death. God is   not,  therefore,  in   covenant with sinners, nor they with him: they are not under a  covenant of works; but merely under the curse for transgressing it.”

“A self-righteous attachment to a covenant of works, or, as the Scripture expresses it, a being “of the works of the law,” is no other than the working of unbelief, and rebellion against the truth. Strictly speaking, men are not now under the covenant of works, but under the curse for having broken it. God is not in covenant with them, nor they with him. The law, as a covenant, was recorded, and a new and enlarged edition of it given to Israel at Mount Sinai; not, however, for the purpose of “giving life” to those who had broken it; but rather as a preparative to a better covenant. Its precepts still stand as the immutable will of God towards his creatures; its promises as memorials of what might have been expected from his goodness, in case of obedience; and its curses as a flaming sword that guards the tree of life. It is stationed in the oracles of God as a faithful watchman, to repel the vain hopes of the self-righteous, and convince them of the necessity of a Saviour, Rom. vii. 10 ; Matt. xix. 17. Hence it was given to Israel by the hand of Moses, as a mediator, Gal. iii. 19-21.

But if unbelievers be no otherwise under the covenant of works than as they are exposed to its curse, it is improper to say that whatever is required of them in the Scriptures is required by that covenant, and as a term of life. God requires nothing of fallen creatures as a term of life. He requires them to love him with all their hearts, the same as if they had never apostatized, but not with a view to regain his lost favour; for were they henceforward perfectly to comply with the Divine precepts, unless they could atone for past offences, (which is impossible,) they could have no ground to expect the bestowment of everlasting life. It is enough for us that the revealed will of God to sinners says, Believe; while the gospel graciously adds the promise of salvation.”

More than half of them pick up a King James Version

Older article worth reading.

The Most Popular and Fastest Growing Bible Translation Isn’t What You Think It Is

NIV vs. KJV: Surveys and searches suggest the translation that most Americans are reading is actually not the bookstore bestseller.
The Most Popular and Fastest Growing Bible Translation Isn't What You Think It IsPaul Keller/Flickr

When Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them pick up a King James Version (KJV), according to a new study advised by respected historian Mark Noll.

The 55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New International Version (NIV). And the percentages drop into the single digits for competitors such as the New Revised Standard Version, New America Bible, and the Living Bible.

So concludes “The Bible in American Life,” a lengthy report by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Funded by the Lilly Foundation, researchers asked questions on what David Briggs of the ARDA, which first reported the results, calls “two of the most highly respected data sources for American religion”—the General Social Survey and the National Congregations Study.

The numbers are surprising, given the strong sales of NIV translations in bookstores. The NIV has topped the CBA’s bestselling Bible translation list for decades, and continued to sell robustly in 2013.

The high numbers of KJV readers confirm the findings of last year’s American Bible Society (ABS) State of the Bible report. On behalf of ABS, Barna Group found that 52 percent of Americans read the King James or the New King James Version, compared with 11 percent who read the NIV.

The KJV also received almost 45 percent of the Bible translation-related searches on Google, compared with almost 24 percent for the NIV, according to Bible Gateway’s Stephen Smith.

In fact, searches for the KJV seem to be rising distinctly since 2005, while most other English translations are staying flat or are declining, according to Smith’s Google research.

Smith, whose research on how technology is shaping Bible use is profiled in this month’s CT cover story, blended data from Google Trends and the Google Keyword Tool to see how English Bible translations compare in search terms. Bible translation searches may not necessarily be an indicator of Bible transation usage—a Bible Gateway study earlier this year found dramatic differences between the cities most likely to search for Bible verses and the American Bible Society’s list of top “Bible-minded” cities.

Nevertheless, other studies also indicate that the KJV remains the translation powerhouse. A 2011 Lifeway study, for example, found that 62 percent of Americans—and 82 percent of Americans who regularly read the Bible—own a copy of the KJV.

“Although the bookstores are now crowded with alternative versions, and although several different translations are now widely used in church services and for preaching, the large presence of the KJV testifies to the extraordinary power of this one classic English text,” Noll commented in the IUPUI report. “It also raises most interesting questions about the role of religious and linguistic tradition in the makeup of contemporary American culture.”

Noll, a leading evangelical scholar, wrote a cover story for CT on where the world would be without the KJV.

The study from IUPUI in some ways paints a more religious picture of Americans than the ABS/Barna study, recording that 78 percent read their Bibles monthly, compared with the 41 percent found by Barna and the 53 percent found by Lifeway.

But IUPUI also found that fewer Americans read their Bibles every day—just 9 percent, less than the 13 percent recorded by Barna and half of the 18 percent found by Lifeway.

IUPUI also noted several main tells: You’re more likely to read the Bible if you’re female (56 percent compared with 39 percent of men), African American (70 percent read at least once a year, compared with 46 percent of Hispanics and 44 percent of whites), and older (56 percent of those over 70 years old, compared with 44 percent of those between 18 and 29). You’re also more likely to read the Bible if you live in the South (61 percent) rather than the Northeast (36 percent).

While IUPUI found that readers name Psalm 23 as their favorite scripture, followed by John 3:16, Barna found that more people liked John 3:16 the best, followed by Psalm 23. (CT covered the 10 most-searched Bible verses of 2013.)

CT has reported on ABS’s State of the Bible reports, including how the Bible gained 6 million new antagonists in 2013.

CT’s previous coverage of the KJV includes a history of the translation, its influence, and how the KJV compares to other translations.

CT’s previous coverage of the NIV includes the Southern Baptist Convention’s rejection of the 2011 version for avoiding male pronouns where both genders are intended and responses from Lifeway and CT.

(Photo courtesy of Paul Keller/Flickr)

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POSTED:March 13, 2014 at 11:17AM
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Gill on Revelation 9

First published in 2009:

Dr. Gill on Revelation 9:11 :

And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

Rev 9:11 – And they had a king over them,….

Which natural locusts have not, Pro_30:27; by whom is meant the false prophet Mahomet, who was at the head of the Saracens, and led them on to commit the outrages they did; and is believed in by the Turks to this day, as the great prophet of God, and by them preferred to all prophets, not only to Moses, but to Jesus Christ; he is the king of the eastern locusts, as the pope of Rome is the king of the western ones; for the Romish antichrist reigns, or at least has reigned, over the kings of the earth, Rev_17:17

which is the angel of the bottomless pit; to whom the key of it was given, Rev_9:1

whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon; both which signify a “destroyer”; and are very applicable both to Mahomet, who by his imposture has been the cause of the destruction of multitudes of souls, as well as by his wars, and those of the Saracens and Turks, of the lives of millions, and of the ruin of many kingdoms, countries, cities, and towns. Abulpharagius (w), an Arabic writer, relates, that in the times of the Chalif Al-walid, there was one Hejajus, who had caused to be slain, of the chief and illustrious men, an hundred and twenty thousand, besides others of the common people, and that fell in war; moreover, that there died in his prison fifty thousand men, and thirty thousand women: and the same writer reports (x), that the famous Abu Moslem put to death six hundred thousand men, who were known, besides those that were unknown, and whom he slew in wars and battles: both these instances are taken notice of by Mr. Daubuz, who justly observes, that surely nothing can come near this “Abaddon”, but the beast, the son of perdition, 2Th_2:3. And to him, the pope of Rome, may the name be truly applied, who has led thousands into perdition, and will go into it himself; and both he, and the false prophet, with the devil, will be east into the lake, which burns with fire and brimstone, and will be tormented for ever and ever, 2Th_2:4. “Abaddon”, with the Jews, is one of the habitations or apartments of hell (y), because it destroys all; “Apollyon” is the same with “Apollo”, the god of the Heathens, who has his name from destroying (z).

(w) Hist. Dynast. p. 129. Dya. 9. (x) lb. p. 140. (y) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 19. 1. Zohar in Gen. fol. 47. 2. & in Numb. fol. 74. 2. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 47. 3. & 93. 4. Raziel, fol. 14. 2. & 35. 2. (z) Phurnutus de Natura Deorum, p. 92. Macrob. Saturnal. l. 1. c. 17.