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Showing posts with the label Christian Liberty

Classic Sermon: 'Maintaining the Cause of the Reformation'

 By Dr. Alan Cairns - Posted at Sermon Audio : Preached October 5, 2003 Direct Link:  Maintaining the Cause of the Reformation | SermonAudio Image Source:

All Things to All Men: What Does it Really Mean?

Posted at Reformation Scotland : How much should churches change their message and methods to suit the culture around them? Some believe that whatever methods will connect with people are justified. The gospel must be “contextualised” they say. This means that we must adapt everything but the core message to suit the culture. The main Bible verse that they use to support this idea is when Paul speaks of being all things to all men in order to save them. Does that mean that we must adopt the culture around us and everything we do must be changed? How should we understand this verse? Reaching back beyond current debates and controversies to learn from the way that others in the past have understood this passage is particularly helpful. It brings a different perspective that help us to see things in a clearer way. We are not the only generation to seek to understand the Scriptures and if we are prepared to learn from other Christians in our own day then why not from the past too? Th

'If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.'

Galatians 5 (KJV) 5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. 11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach ci

The Mission of the Church, by J. Gresham Machen

Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : [*An Address delivered under the title, “Safeguarding the Church,” before the Presbyterian Ministers’ Association in Philadelphia, March 1st, 1926 , and (under the title, “What the Church Stands For”) previously in the Washington and Compton Avenue Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, 12 February 1926. Excerpted from The Presbyterian, vol. 96, no.14 (8 April 1926): 8-11.] Before we can consider the mission of the Church, we must determine what the Church is. What are its limits? What forms a part of it and what does not? Where is the true Christian Church to be found? According to the Westminster Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian Church, the invisible Church is to be distinguished from the visible Church. The invisible Church consists of the whole number of those who are saved; the visible Church consists of those who profess the true religion, together with their children. There is absolutely no warrant in Scripture for supposin

Of Rites, Ceremonies and Things Indifferent

The Second Helvetic Confession CHAPTER XXVII Of Rites, Ceremonies and Things Indifferent CEREMONIES AND RITES. Unto the ancient people were given at one time certain ceremonies, as a kind of instruction for those who were kept under the law, as under a schoolmaster or tutor. But when Christ, the Deliverer, came and the law was abolished, we who believe are no more under the law ( Rom. 6:14 ), and the ceremonies have disappeared; hence the apostles did not want to retain or to restore them in Christ's Church to such a degree that they openly testified that they did not wish to impose any burden upon the Church. Therefore, we would seem to be bringing in and restoring Judaism if we were to increase ceremonies and rites in Christ's Church according to the custom in the ancient Church. Hence, we by no means approve of the opinion of those who think that the Church of Christ must be held in check by many different rites, as if by some kind of training. For if the apostles did no

The fruit-bearing Christian

By Dr. Iain Campbell - Posted at Sermon Audio : Scripture Text: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22 KJV) Link:

Christian Liberty, Blogs, and Beer

Posted at The Reformed Reader : The blogosphere is filled with trends and fads – blogs have the “power” to set trends, even in Christian communities. Though this may rub a few of our readers the wrong way, one trend or fad I can’t help but notice is to include all things smoke and drink into the blog, possibly under the name Christian liberty. In the blog world of Calvinism, for example, it is trendy and fashionable to compare weak Christians to light beer and strong (manly?) Christians to stout ale. It is trendy in the blog world to trumpet fat cigars and dark beer while even mocking Christians who do not do these things or do them in “weakened” form. A few things have to be said to this. First, Christian liberty is different than the liberty we enjoy in many Western cultures. Civil liberty means you may listen to music “x” as long as it isn’t over a certain decibel level. However, Christian liberty is quite different because 1) it puts our neighbor first and 2) because it

The Liberating Power of the Spirit

By T.M. Moore - Posted at The Fellowship of Ailbe : More power is available - more than we've ever known. Plants in the Garden of the Lord (4) Awake, O north wind, And come, O south! Blow upon my garden, That its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden And eat its pleasant fruits. Song of Solomon 4.16 Free in the Spirit The Apostle Paul wrote, in 2 Corinthians 3.17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is , there is liberty.” How could it be otherwise? The Spirit of God is not bound by sin or the finite limitations of human thought or flesh. The Holy Spirit is not constrained by any inability to know the future, access the wisdom of God, or to exercise His power in accomplishing His purposes. It makes sense that, wherever the Spirit of God is full, overflowing, and exerting His cultivating presence, liberty and fruitfulness would be the order of the day, and the Bride of Christ would be liberated from every hindrance and constraint tha

Cool Calvinists Cuss?

WTS Posted at The Reformed Reader : (This is a slightly edited repost from May, 2012) One recent trend in some calvinistic circles is the use of vulgar and crass language. It is not uncommon to hear cussing among younger males who are coming to embrace the doctrines of grace. Popular Calvinist pastors use coarse language in sermons, in tweets, on blogs, and in books (some say this is OK because it’s satire or irony). Sexual terms are used without prudence. Some calvinistic seminarians even cuss between classes like army privates in the barracks. In fact, it is “cool” nowadays to be a cussing Calvinist. (Emergents and evangelicals aren’t the only trendy Christians!) Carl Trueman interacts with cool Calvinists cussing (or cool cussing Calvinists). This is very much worth reading: “Why is it that language that would offend most of my non-Christian friends, and that they would regard as a sign of seriously limited vocabulary and deep childishness, is deemed by some

Lent: Of Good Intentions, Spiritual Disciplines, and Christian Freedom

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog: Carter Lindberg tells the story of how the Reformation began to break out in Zürich in 1522: During Lent of 1522, Zwingli was at the house of Christoph Froschauer, a printer, who was laboring over the preparation of the a new edition of the epistles of Paul. In order to refresh his dozen tired workers, Froschauer served sausages. Was it just a coincidence that the number of participants and the manner of distribution recalled the Lord’s Supper? This public breaking of the Lenten fast flouted both medieval piety and and ecclesiastical and public authority. The Zurich town council arrested Froschauer, but not Zwingli, who himself had not eaten the meat. Zwingli, who held the eminent post of people’s priest at the Great Minster church in Zurich, could have smoothed everything out. Instead he made a public issue of the incident by preaching a sermon, “On the Choice and Freedom of Foods” (23 March 1522), that was soon enlarged into a print

Christian Homes

By A.W. Pink (September, 1948) - Posted at Grace Gems : Many of those who look no farther than the temporal happiness of individuals and the welfare of the State are not insensible of the importance and value of domestic relationships , realizing that the family is but the unit of the nation. No matter how excellent the constitution and laws of a country may be, or what its material resources, they are insufficient and ineffectual, unless a sure foundation for social order and public virtue is laid in the healthy regulation and wise discipline of its families. The nation is but the aggregate of individuals comprising it; and unless there are good fathers and mothers, good sons and daughters, brothers and sisters — there will be no good citizens. It is because our home life has so sadly deteriorated, that social decay is now so far advanced, nor can it be arrested until parents once again properly discharge their responsibility. We have no hesitation in saying that the future welf

Religion and the Founding of the American Republic

Posted at Religion played a major role in the American Revolution by offering a moral sanction for opposition to the British--an assurance to the average American that revolution was justified in the sight of God. As a recent scholar has observed, "by turning colonial resistance into a righteous cause, and by crying the message to all ranks in all parts of the colonies, ministers did the work of secular radicalism and did it better." Ministers served the American cause in many capacities during the Revolution: as military chaplains, as penmen for committees of correspondence, and as members of state legislatures, constitutional conventions and the national Congress. Some even took up arms, leading Continental troops in battle. The Revolution split some denominations, notably the Church of England, whose ministers were bound by oath to support the King, and the Quakers, who were traditionally pacifists. Religious practice suffered in certain places because of the a

Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter XX I. The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the Gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, and condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; [1] and, in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin; [2] from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; [3] as also, in their free access to God, [4] and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind. [5] All which were common also to believers under the law. [6] But, under the New Testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected; [7] and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, [8] and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinaril