Two years ago we used the Children’s Shorter Catechism in our public worship, last year we confessed the entire Heidelberg Catechism and this year we will focus our attention on the Ecumenical Creeds of the Christian Church: The Apostle’s, Nicene and Athanasian. Evangelicals have a general uneasiness to the use of creeds and confessions which springs from a very healthy respect for the Holy Scriptures. If you are one of them and wonder why we use them be sure to check out an earlier installment I wrote here http://www.newlifelamesa.org/2009/05/confession-of-faith/. Here our discussion will be limited to an introduction to the Apostles’ Creed followed by a line-by-line exposition of it in successive articles. Whenever we confess the creed I get questions about its content. Hopefully these pieces will go a little way into answering some of … Read More »
How can we know that we are participants in this covenant of grace?
Thus far we have been thinking about covenant theology and have covered the three major covenants of this system: covenant of redemption made with the members of the Trinity before creation; the covenant of works made with Adam and subsequently with the second Adam, Christ, wherein perfect and perpetual obedience was required; and the covenant of grace made with fallen sinners wherein their sins are not counted against them because of the life and death of Jesus Christ. How can we know that we are participants in this covenant of grace? How can we know that our names have been registered in the divine registry? God has answered this question in the sacraments—baptism and the Lord’s Supper—wherein he condescends to our weakness and gives us … Read More »
Who are God’s people? For the majority of the last two thousand years Christians have with one voice affirmed that Christians, the church, are God’s people and that membership is open to any and all who would join the church through faith in Christ, baptism and repentance. However, the last two hundred years, or so, have seen an emergence of another idea. God’s people should not be limited to the church, we are told, but should also include the nation Israel. As the Baptist Standard put it:
“Evangelical Christian theology undergirding some reaction to the Arab-Israeli conflict hinges on one pivotal notion–that the Jewish people are God’s people, God’s chosen ones who must be protected.”– Baptist Standard
Hundreds of recent quotes could be marshaled to demonstrate that this had become the prevailing view among American Protestants. However, … Read More »
As far as sheer volume is concerned, the covenant of grace is the dominant theme of Scripture. From the third chapter of Genesis to the final pages of Revelation, the Bible chronicles for us the outworking of the covenant of grace in history.
Simply put, the covenant of grace is God’s remedy to Adam’s representative failure in the garden.
Simply put, the covenant of grace is God’s remedy to Adam’s representative failure in the garden. Through the first man, humanity’s federal head, all were plunged into the condemnation of sin (cf. Rom. 5:12). Left to ourselves, we could never reverse the penalty for such an act. Enter the covenant of grace. Grace is God’s favor bestowed to the undeserving. Grace means that he looks upon us to bless and not to curse. Only Jesus makes … Read More »