Remembering the reformation

October 31 is for Protestants a special day commemorating the Reformation. It was on that day in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Castle church at Wittenburg. This event is often credited with starting the Protestant Reformation. Luther and many others like him were used of God to bring about one of the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit that the world has ever seen. The Reformation came about as a result of a unified conviction to certain truths. These truths would eventually be espoused as the 5 solas of the Reformation. Sola is the Latin word meaning alone or only, and the 5 solas are as follows:

Sola Scriptura -Meaning that Scripture alone is the rule of faith and life.

Sola Gratia- Meaning that Salvation is by grace alone.

Sola Fide- Meaning that Justification is by faith alone.

Solus Christus- Meaning that Christ alone is Lord and Head of His Church.

Soli Deo Gloria- Meaning that to God alone be glory for our salvation & all things.

Through the Sundays of October we will be looking at the Scriptures and how these convictions are not only justified but necessary for the church in all ages. We will also be alluding to some of the historical highlights of the Reformation which will be supplemented even further on Wednesday nights this month. Please pray that this month would be a fruitful time and that God would bring a much needed reformation to His church today as we commit ourselves to these very convictions.



The Bible informs how we Love?

The First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina is one the most historically important baptist churches in America particularly for Southern Baptists. We share the theological and doctrinal identity of that congregation from 150 years ago. But sadly, today we couldn't be farther apart. Back in May, that congregation "declared...that it would allow same -sex marriage and ordain openly homosexual ministers" (See Mohler's Article). They have given us yet another example of where the church will go once it walks away from the full sufficiency and inerrancy of Scripture which occurred quite some time ago. They are but another example of a congregation embracing the deception that to love one must condone and approve of everything particularly homosexuality. This is certainly not biblical love but how does true love respond? Or does it respond at all? With these questions in mind, check out Ray Comfort's short movie Audacity. 

"Nothing"

As we have seen in our study in the book of Amos, God is very much aware of and concerned with sins of social injustice- sins against humanity. With this in mind,  I have often questioned how the people of Germany could have allowed and been involved in the holocaust in which 6 million Jews were murdered systematically during WWII.....Between 1973 and 2013 in the United States over 56 million babies have been killed in the womb. What did the vast majority of Germans do to contribute to the atrocity of the holocaust? The answer is nothing. They stood by and did nothing. The same thing that the majority of Americans and Christians have done since 1973 regarding abortion. God's Word speaks to us with regard to social injustice and it says,

"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, (17) Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow” Isa 1:16-17 .

Church family begin to pray how we at GBC can play a part in eradicating this great evil in our land. Check out John Piper's 5 ways to fight abortion and the links within this short article. May we seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, and defend those who can't defend themselves for the glory of God.

 

 

The Sacred Trust & Who We Are

Every church has a certain identity. There is something that is ultimately and primarily the reason why they exist. Whatever is ultimate and primary will endure often at the loss of other things. Either consciously or unconsciously every church establishes this identity for themselves. What is of ultimate importance for a congregation of believers will inevitably reveal itself. That is why the stated aim of a church is not always that actual aim of a church. It is the actual aim of the church that will ultimately be shown. That is why we must be diligent and intentional in assuring that our stated aim and our actual aim are one. Grace Baptist Church must be ultimately and primarily committed to Truth as revealed in the Scriptures. If we are committed fully to God, we must be fully committed to His Word where He alone reveals Himself and His will for our lives. Paul said, the glorious gospel of the blessed God... had been committed to his trust (1Tim 1:11). He then passed this on to Timothy, among others, to whom he said, "Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us." (2Tim 1:13-14). He was not only to keep it but to pass it on. For he was commanded by Paul who charged, "the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2Ti 2:2). Paul also told Timothy to, "guard what has been entrusted to you" (1Ti 6:20). Handed down from Paul and the other Apostles the church has been left the sacred trust of the revealed truth of the Scripture, and we must be faithful to declare and defend it. Paul's purpose for writing his first epistle to Timothy was clearly stated, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1Ti 3:15). To keep the sacred trust, the church is to be the foundation that upholds truth. This must be the ultimate and primary aim of GBC, and by His grace may it become more and more our identity.