Archive for August, 2010

The Authority of Christ in Scripture’s Authorship

Christianity is often called a book-religion. It would be more exact to say that it is a religion which has a book. Its foundations are laid in apostles and prophets, upon which its courses are built up in the sanctified lives of men; but Christ Jesus alone is its chief cornerstone. He is its only basis; he, its only head; and he alone has authority in his Church. But he has chosen to found his Church not directly by his own hands, speaking the word of God, say for instance, in thunder-tones from heaven; but through the instrumentality of a body of apostles, chosen and trained by himself, endowed with gifts and graces from the Holy Ghost, and sent forth into the world as his authoritative agents for proclaiming a gospel which he placed within their lips and which is none the less his authoritative word, that it is through them that he speaks it. It is because the apostles were Christ’s representatives, that what they did and said and wrote as such, comes to us with divine authority. The authority of the Scriptures thus rests on the simple fact that God’s authoritative agents in founding the Church gave them as authoritative to the Church which they founded. All the authority of the apostles stands behind the Scriptures, and all the authority of Christ behind the apostles. The Scriptures are simply the law-code which the law-givers of the Church gave it.

If, then, the apostles were appointed by Christ to act for him and in his name and authority in founding the Church–and this no one can doubt; and if the apostles gave the Scriptures to the Church in prosecution of this commission–and this admits of as little doubt; the whole question of the authority of the Scriptures is determined. It will be observed that their authority does not rest exactly on apostolic authorship. The point is not that the apostles wrote these books (though most of the New Testament books were written by apostles), but that they imposed them on the Church as authoritative expositions of its divinely appointed faith and practice.

(Source: B.B. Warfield’s “The Authority and Inspiration of the Scriptures”, from The Selected Shorter Writings of B.B. Warfield Volume 2, page 537-539)

RePost@WHI “Terms to Learn”

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Interview A Pastor

1. How does the pastor help the church?
2. How does the parish become faithful to the 5 marks of the Catholic church ( one, holy, apostolic, catholic and marian devotion)
3. How does the parish help the church as people of God grow?
4. How can the youth help the parish?

Reply…

1. Pastors are considered shepherd of God’s flock (the church). Pastors nurture his flock with God’s Word, God’s ways and the Gospel.

They uses God’s Word to continue to reveal God’s specific revelation to His people. Some even uses Reformed Catechisms to teach the flock systematically the doctrine that we confess.

Pastors also have to lead the flock by example; living in this world to identified as “the people of God”, we must heed the challenge of James, the brother of Jesus, to prove our faith with our works. Pastors are to instruct the flock to live a righteous life (even social works) not because it is a requirement for salvation but a way of life of a saved man, who was redeemed by the blood of Christ.

It is also a must for a pastor to help remind the flock to where our faith all began, that is the Gospel. That Jesus Christ lived a perfect life as man, died a miserable death yet without sin but become sin for the sake of the children of God; rose to life after three days and declared victory over sin and death; wherein His main purpose of doing so is to glorify His Father, Yahweh.

2. Our church believed in the universal church in which we are included. The Church that we are in remain faithful in the Catholic Church as we faithfully believe in the 5 Pillars of Christianity. We who are evangelical protestant remain faithful to God, to Christ and to the Holy Spirit as we confess that (1) Scriptures alone is our standard in living, that (2) by Christ’s work alone are we saved, that (3) our salvation is by grace alone, (4) justified by faith alone to (5) the glory of God alone.

3. This question as been answered already in #1. I was just too detailed in answering number 1.

4. The youth can help the church in participating in learning the Word of God, sharing the Gospel, helping in some ways to assist Sunday School teachers or Bible Study leaders, maintaining the cleanliness of the church surroundings and taking care of church property, participating in outreach programs of the church and a lot more. The help youth can give will always be limitless.

To God be the glory!!!

Christianity vs Evangelicalism

There is a huge difference between Christianity and much of Evangelicalism.

Christianity defines the gospel as “Jesus Christ is God who assumed our flesh, lived a perfect life in our place under the law, fulfilled it perfectly, bore our debt for having broken the law, and then was raised the third day for our justification.” The whole gospel is completely about Jesus Christ and everything contained in that gospel happened between the years 1 to 33 AD [sic]. That gospel was finished in 33 AD and then it was proclaimed and it is still being proclaimed to the ends of the earth.

The Evangelical version of that is: no, the gospel really is, not just includes, but the gospel really is Jesus in my heart; my being born-again (it is not that the gospel brings about my new-birth), but the gospel is my new-birth. And therefore, the gospel is my moral transformation.

Brothers and sisters, if you hold that second view there is no reason at all for you to criticize the Medieval [Roman Catholic] church because the doctrine of justification for the Medieval church was, “What happens inside of you. Your sanctification.”

This is what the whole Reformation was about, and why we need a second reformation.

(Adapted from Mike Horton, “God’s Story vs. Our Stories,” The White Horse Inn, June 14, 2009.)

Justification

“Those whom God effectually calls He also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting them as righteous, not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone. They are not justified because God reckons as their righteousness either their faith, their believing, or any other act of evangelical obedience. They are justified wholly and solely because God imputes to them Christ’s righteousness. He imputes to them Christ’s active obedience to the whole law and His passive obedience in death. They receive Christ’s righteousness by faith, and rest on Him. They do not possess or produce this faith themselves, it is the gift of God.”

(Taken from the 1689 London Baptist Confession, Chapter 11, Section 1)

Imputation

Simply, to credit or reckon. Through Adam, the guilt of sin is imputed to all men; through Christ, righteousness is imputed to believers (Rom 5:12-21). On the cross, Christ exchanged his righteousness for man’s sinfulness (2 Cor 5:21) by means of imputation. The sins of believers were imputed (credited) to Christ on the cross, and the righteousness that belonged to Jesus Christ was imputed (credited) to believers. Thus, believers possess an “alien” righteousness and can stand before a righteous God.

(Source: WHI terms-to-learn “Imputation”)

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