Thursday, July 5, 2007

Reformed: Our Commitment to the Reformation

To say that one is Reformed has the effect of bringing many different images in the minds of different people. Let us simply say that in stating that the Confessional Baptist blog is Reformed is to say that we see ourselves first as being indebted to those who have gone before us. In the early part of the 16th century, an event swept through the halls of the church that left her forever changed.

The legacy of the Reformation is embodied in a monument in Geneva, Switzerland. This monument, known as "The Monument to the Reformers" displays the memory of four men used by God to change history forever. There, chiseled in stone, towering some thirty feet in the air, stand four men carved in stone: William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox - men used by God in the reformation of the church of their day. Chiseled into the stone, around the image, is the Latin phrase: Post tenebras lux - After darkness, light! These words embody the historical event known as the Reformation, in which the darkness that had engulfed the light of the gospel through the perversions of the Roman Catholic Church through the centuries, had been lifted by the grace of Almighty God.

This image embodies in many ways the hope of the impact and influence of the Confessional Baptist blog. Though the gospel was recovered in those dark days (almost 500 years ago), we are in danger today of finding ourselves in dark days once again. One might say of the church today: Post lux, tenebras - After light, darkness! Once again the church of Jesus Christ is, by nature of various forces, seeing the gospel of her beloved Savior eclipsed, her name tarnished, and her doctrine undermined. We seek, along with many other faithful brethren, a new Reformation - that once again, in our day, the light of the gospel of the glory of God in the face of Jesus may shine bright for the joy of all peoples. We stand on their shoulders and on those of others who have gone before, remaining committed to the gospel they loved and preached, and for which many gave their very lives.
Furthermore, as a Reformed blog, we stand committed to the great truths of the gospel that were recovered in the aforementioned period. These truths are laid out in detail in the following affirmations:

Our Authority: Scripture Alone
We hold Scripture, the word of God, to be inspired, inerrant, authoritative, complete, and sufficient as the only conscience-binding authority of man. It reveals the character of God to men and serves as an absolute guide into all truth necessary for life and godliness. Through it Christ rules His church and equips it for every good work.

Our Message: Grace Alone
We hold that the message of the gospel is a message of grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God by which He redeems sinners. The Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the gospel message (which is good news for all them that believe), regenerates the heart, bringing it to repentance and faith in the all-sufficient grace of God. In this gospel message of grace, God alone is savior and in this way fulfills His eternal purpose in bringing glory to Himself alone.

Our Confidence: Faith Alone
We hold that man lays hold of this gospel by faith alone. Faith is the gift of God, not a work of man, and is God’s means of justifying sinners and making them right with Himself. Our only hope before Almighty God is trusting Him and forsaking all self-will and effort.

Our Focus: Christ Alone
Based on the fully righteous life and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, God justifies the one who has faith in Him. Christ, and Christ alone, is the ground of the believer’s justification before a holy God. We hold that the focus of redemption, life and eternity is Christ and Christ alone. Our sole aim is to please Him by seeking Him with all that we are.

Our Purpose: The Glory of God Alone
We hold that the purpose of the church universal and local, as well as the purpose of the individual believers which make up the church (this is where blogs would come in), is the continual seeking of the glory of God, and of God alone, in all that she does. "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.".

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