The Communion of Saints (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 27 – The Communion of Saints (In Full) 

All saints are united to Jesus Christ their head by his Spirit and by faith, although this does not make them one person with him. They have fellowship in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory. Since they are united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces and are obligated to carry out these duties, both public and private, in an orderly way to promote their mutual good, both in the inner and outer aspects of their lives.

Saints by profession are obligated to maintain a holy fellowship and communion in worshiping God and in performing other spiritual services that promote their mutual edification. They are to aid each other in material things according to their various abilities and needs. They should especially exercise communion in the relationships they have in their families and churches. Yet the rule of the gospel also directs them, as God provides opportunity, to extend their sharing to the whole household of faith, to all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. Nevertheless, their communion with one another as saints does not take away or infringe on the title or individual ownership that people have in their goods and possessions.

 

Chapter 27 – The Communion of Saints (w/ Scripture) ESV

-All saints are united to Jesus Christ their head by his Spirit and by faith, although this does not make them one person with him. They have fellowship in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory.

(1 John 1:3, that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.)

(John 1:16, For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.)

(Philippians 3:10, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,)

(Romans 6:5-6, For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.)

-Since they are united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces

(Ephesians 4:15-16, Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.)

(1 Corinthians 12:7, To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.)

(1 Corinthians 3:21–23, So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.)

-and are obligated to carry out these duties, both public and private, in an orderly way to promote their mutual good, both in the inner and outer aspects of their lives.

(1 Thessalonians 5:11, Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.)

(1 Thessalonians 5:14, And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.)

(Romans 1:12, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.)

(1 John 3:17-18, But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.)

(Galatians 6:10, So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.)

-Saints by profession are obligated to maintain a holy fellowship and communion in worshiping God and in performing other spiritual services that promote their mutual edification.

(Hebrews 10:24-25, And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.)

(Hebrews 3:12-13, Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.)

-They are to aid each other in material things according to their various abilities and needs.

(Acts 11:29-30, So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.)

-They should especially exercise communion in the relationships they have in their families

(Ephesians 6:4, Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.)

-and churches.

(1 Corinthians 12:14–27, For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.)

-Yet the rule of the gospel also directs them, as God provides opportunity, to extend their sharing to the whole household of faith, to all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. Nevertheless, their communion with one another as saints does not take away or infringe on the title or individual ownership that people have in their goods and possessions.

(Acts 5:4, While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”)

(Ephesians 4:28, Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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The Church (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 26 – The Church (In Full) 

The catholic—that is, universal—church may be called invisible with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace. It consists of the full number of the elect who have been, are, or will be gathered into one under Christ her head. The church is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

All people throughout the world who profess the faith of the gospel and obedience to God through Christ in keeping with the gospel are and may be called visible saints, as long as they do not destroy their own profession by any foundational errors or unholy living. All local congregations ought to be made up of these.

The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error.4 Some have degenerated so much that they have ceased to be churches of Christ and have become synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, Christ always has had and will have in this world to the very end a kingdom of those who believe in him and profess his name.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the church. By the Father’s appointment, all authority is conferred on him in a supreme and sovereign manner to call, institute, order and govern the church. The Pope of Roman Catholicism cannot in any sense be head of the church; rather, he is the antichrist, the man of lawlessness, and the son of destruction, who exalts himself in the church against Christ and all that is called God. The Lord will destroy him with the brightness of his coming.

In exercising the authority entrusted to him, the Lord Jesus, through the ministry of his Word, by his Spirit, calls to himself out of the world those who are given to him by his Father. They are called so that they will live before him in all the ways of obedience that he prescribes for them in his Word. Those who are called he commands to live together in local societies, or churches, for their mutual edification and the fitting conduct of public worship that he requires of them while they are in the world.

The members of these churches are saints by calling, visibly displaying and demonstrating in and by their profession and life their obedience to the call of Christ. They willingly agree to live together according to Christ’s instructions, giving themselves to the Lord and to one another by the will of God, with the stated purpose of following the ordinances of the Gospel.

To every church gathered in this way, conforming to Christ’s mind as declared in his Word, he has given all power and authority that is in any way necessary to conduct the form of worship and discipline that he has instituted for them to observe. He has also given them commands and rules to use and carry out that power rightly and properly.

A local church, gathered and fully organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members. The officers appointed by Christ are overseers or elders, and deacons. They are to be chosen and set apart by the church called and gathered in this way, for the distinctive purpose of administering ordinances and for carrying out any other power or duty Christ entrusts them with or calls them to. This pattern is to be continued to the end of the age.

Christ has appointed the way to call someone prepared and gifted by the Holy Spirit to the office of overseer or elder in a church. He must be chosen by the collective vote of the church itself. He must then be solemnly set apart by fasting and prayer. The body of elders of the church must lay hands on him if there are any already in place. A deacon must be chosen by the same kind of vote and set apart by prayer and laying on of hands as well.

The work of pastors is to give constant attention to the service of Christ in his churches in the ministry of the word and prayer. They are to watch over the souls of church members as those who must give an account to Christ. The churches to whom they minister must not only give them all due respect but also must share with them from all their good things according to their ability. They must do this so their pastors may have a comfortable living without having to be entangled in secular matters and so they can show hospitality to others. This is required by the law of nature and by the explicit command of our Lord Jesus, who has ordained that those who preach the Gospel should earn their living by the Gospel.

Although overseers or pastors of churches must be engaged in preaching the word as a function of their office, yet the work of preaching the word is not totally restricted to them. Others who are also gifted and prepared by the Holy Spirit for it and approved and called by the church may and should preach.

All believers are obligated to join themselves to local churches when and where they have the opportunity. Likewise, all who are admitted to the privileges of a church are also subject to the discipline and government of it, according to the rule of Christ.

Church members who have been offended and have performed their duty concerning the person by which they are offended, should not disrupt any church action or absent themselves from the assemblies of the church or administration of any ordinances because of the offence at any of their fellow members. Instead, they should look to Christ in the further action of the church.

Every church and all its members are obligated to pray continually for the good and prosperity of all churches of Christ in every place. They must also—at every opportunity within the limits of their stations and callings—exercise their gifts and graces to benefit every church. Also, when churches are raised up by the providence of God, insofar as they enjoy opportunity and favorable circumstances for it, they should have fellowship among themselves for their peace, growth in love, and mutual edification.

Cases of difficulties or differences—doctrinal or administrative—may arise, touching on the peace, union, and edification of all churches in general or an individual church. Other cases may occur when a member or members of a church are injured in or by disciplinary action that is not in keeping with truth and order. In such cases, it is according to the mind of Christ for many churches having fellowship together to meet through their messengers to consider and give their advice concerning the issue in dispute and to report their advice to all the churches concerned. Nevertheless, these assembled messengers are not entrusted with any church authority, strictly speaking. Neither do they have any jurisdiction over the churches themselves, to exercise any discipline either over any churches or individuals or to impose their decision on the churches or officers.

 

Chapter 26 – The Church (w/ Scripture) ESV

-The catholic—that is, universal—church may be called invisible with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace. It consists of the full number of the elect who have been, are, or will be gathered into one under Christ her head. The church is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

(Hebrews 12:23, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,)

(Colossians 1:18, And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.)

(Ephesians 1:10, as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.)

(Ephesians 1:22-23, And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.)

(Ephesians 5:23, For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.)

(Ephesians 5:27, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.)

(Ephesians 5:32, This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.)

-All people throughout the world who profess the faith of the gospel and obedience to God through Christ in keeping with the gospel are and may be called visible saints,

(1 Corinthians 1:2, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:)

(Acts 11:26, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.)

-as long as they do not destroy their own profession by any foundational errors or unholy living. All local congregations ought to be made up of these.

(Romans 1:7, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.)

(Ephesians 1:20–22, that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,)

-The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error.

(1 Corinthians 5, It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”)

(Revelation 2, “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lamp stands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

To the Church in Smyrna

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

To the Church in Pergamum

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

To the Church in Thyatira

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’)

(Revelation 3, “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Philadelphia

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Laodicea

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”)

-Some have degenerated so much that they have ceased to be churches of Christ and have become synagogues of Satan.

(Revelation 18:2, And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.)

(2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.)

-Nevertheless, Christ always has had and will have in this world to the very end a kingdom of those who believe in him and profess his name.

(Matthew 16:18, And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.)

(Psalms 72:17, May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!)

(Psalm 102:28, The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.)

(Revelation 12:17, Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.)

-The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the church. By the Father’s appointment, all authority is conferred on him in a supreme and sovereign manner to call, institute, order and govern the church.

(Colossians 1:18, And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.)

(Matthew 28:18–20, And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”)

(Ephesians 4:11-12, And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,)

-The Pope of Roman Catholicism cannot in any sense be head of the church; rather, he is the antichrist, the man of lawlessness, and the son of destruction, who exalts himself in the church against Christ and all that is called God. The Lord will destroy him with the brightness of his coming.

(2 Thessalonians 2:2–9, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,)

-In exercising the authority entrusted to him, the Lord Jesus, through the ministry of his Word,  by his Spirit, calls to himself out of the world those who are given to him by his Father.

(John 10:16, And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.)

(John 12:32, And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”)

-They are called so that they will live before him in all the ways of obedience that he prescribes for them in his Word.

(Matthew 28:20, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”)

-Those who are called he commands to live together in local societies, or churches, for their mutual edification and the fitting conduct of public worship that he requires of them while they are in the world.

(Matthew 18:15–20, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”)

-The members of these churches are saints by calling, visibly displaying and demonstrating in and by their profession and life their obedience to the call of Christ.

(Romans. 1:7, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.)

(1 Corinthians 1:2, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:)

-They willingly agree to live together according to Christ’s instructions, giving themselves to the Lord and to one another by the will of God, with the stated purpose of following the ordinances of the Gospel.

(Acts 2:41-42, So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.)

(Acts 5:13-14, None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,)

(2 Corinthians 9:13, By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others,)

-To every church gathered in this way, conforming to Christ’s mind as declared in his Word, he has given all power and authority that is in any way necessary to conduct the form of worship and discipline that he has instituted for them to observe. He has also given them commands and rules to use and carry out that power rightly and properly.

(Matthew 18:17-18, If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.)

(1 Corinthians 5:4-5, When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.)

(1 Corinthians 5:13, God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”)

(2 Corinthians 2:6–8, For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.)

-A local church, gathered and fully organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members. The officers appointed by Christ are overseers or elders, and deacons. They are to be chosen and set apart by the church called and gathered in this way, for the distinctive purpose of administering ordinances and for carrying out any other power or duty Christ entrusts them with or calls them to. This pattern is to be continued to the end of the age.

(Acts 20:17, Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him.)

(Acts 20:28, Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.)

(Philippians 1:1, Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:)

-Christ has appointed the way to call someone prepared and gifted by the Holy Spirit to the office of overseer or elder in a church. He must be chosen by the collective vote of the church itself.

(Acts 14:23, And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.)

-He must then be solemnly set apart by fasting and prayer. The body of elders of the church must lay hands on him if there are any already in place.

(1 Timothy 4:14, Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.)

-A deacon must be chosen by the same kind of vote and set apart by prayer and laying on of hands as well.

(Acts 6:3, Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.)

(Acts 6:5-6, And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.)

-The work of pastors is to give constant attention to the service of Christ in his churches in the ministry of the word and prayer. They are to watch over the souls of church members as those who must give an account to Christ.

(Acts 6:4, But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”)

(Hebrews 13:17, Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.)

-The churches to whom they minister must not only give them all due respect but also must share with them from all their good things according to their ability.

(1 Timothy 5:17-18, Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”)

(Galatians 6:6-7, Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.)

-They must do this so their pastors may have a comfortable living without having to be entangled in secular matters

(2 Timothy 2:4, No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.)

-and so they can show hospitality to others.

(1 Timothy 3:2, Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,)

-This is required by the law of nature and by the explicit command of our Lord Jesus, who has ordained that those who preach the Gospel should earn their living by the Gospel.

(1 Corinthians 9:6–14, Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.)

-Although overseers or pastors of churches must be engaged in preaching the word as a function of their office, yet the work of preaching the word is not totally restricted to them. Others who are also gifted and prepared by the Holy Spirit for it and approved and called by the church may and should preach.

(Acts 11:19–21, Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.)

(1 Peter 4:10-11, As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.)

-All believers are obligated to join themselves to local churches when and where they have the opportunity. Likewise, all who are admitted to the privileges of a church are also subject to the discipline and government of it, according to the rule of Christ.

(1 Thessalonians 5:14, And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.)

(2 Thessalonians 3:6, Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.)

(2 Thessalonians 3:14-15, If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.)

-Church members who have been offended and have performed their duty concerning the person by which they are offended, should not disrupt any church action or absent themselves from the assemblies of the church or administration of any ordinances because of the offence at any of their fellow members. Instead, they should look to Christ in the further action of the church.

(Matthew 18:15–17, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.)

(Ephesians 4:2-3, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.)

-Every church and all its members are obligated to pray continually for the good and prosperity of all churches of Christ in every place.

(Ephesians 6:18, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,)

(Psalms 122:6, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!)

-They must also—at every opportunity within the limits of their stations and callings—exercise their gifts and graces to benefit every church. Also, when churches are raised up by the providence of God, insofar as they enjoy opportunity and favorable circumstances for it, they should have fellowship among themselves for their peace, growth in love, and mutual edification.

(Romans 16:1-2, I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.)

(3 John 8–10, Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth. I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.)

-Cases of difficulties or differences—doctrinal or administrative—may arise, touching on the peace, union, and edification of all churches in general or an individual church. Other cases may occur when a member or members of a church are injured in or by disciplinary action that is not in keeping with truth and order. In such cases, it is according to the mind of Christ for many churches having fellowship together to meet through their messengers to consider and give their advice concerning the issue in dispute and to report their advice to all the churches concerned.

(Acts 15:2, And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.)

(Acts 15:4, When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.)

(Acts 15:6, The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.)

(Acts 15:22-23, Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings.)

(Acts 15:25, it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,)

-Nevertheless, these assembled messengers are not entrusted with any church authority, strictly speaking. Neither do they have any jurisdiction over the churches themselves, to exercise any discipline either over any churches or individuals or to impose their decision on the churches or officers.

(2 Corinthians 1:24, Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.)

(1 John 4:1, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

Marriage (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 25 – Marriage (In Full) 

Marriage is to be between one man and one woman. A man must not have more than one wife nor a woman more than one husband at the same time.

Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, for the increase of humanity with legitimate offspring, and for the prevention of immorality.

Everyone who is able to give rational consent may marry. Yet Christians are to marry in the Lord. Therefore, those who profess the true religion should not marry unbelievers or idolaters. Nor should the godly be unequally yoked by marrying those who lead evil lives or hold to damnable heresy.

Marriage should not occur within the degrees of blood relationship or kinship that are forbidden in the Word. These incestuous marriages can never be made lawful, so that the individuals may live together as husband and wife, by any human law or consent of the parties involved.

 

Chapter 25 – Marriage (w/ Scripture) ESV

 -Marriage is to be between one man and one woman. A man must not have more than one wife nor a woman more than one husband at the same time.

(Genesis 2:24, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.)

(Malachi 2:15, Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.)

(Matthew 19:5-6, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”)

-Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,

(Genesis 2:18, Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”)

-for the increase of humanity with legitimate offspring,

(Genesis 1:28, And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”)

-and for the prevention of immorality.

(1 Corinthians 7:2, But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.)

(1 Corinthians 7:9, But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.)

-Everyone who is able to give rational consent may marry.

(Hebrews 13:4, Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.)

(1 Timothy 4:3, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.)

-Yet Christians are to marry in the Lord.

(1 Corinthians 7:39, A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.)

-Therefore, those who profess the true religion should not marry unbelievers or idolaters. Nor should the godly be unequally yoked by marrying those who lead evil lives or hold to damnable heresy.

(Nehemiah 13:25–27, And I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair. And I made them take an oath in the name of God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women? Among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless, foreign women made even him to sin. Shall we then listen to you and do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying foreign women?”)

-Marriage should not occur within the degrees of blood relationship or kinship that are forbidden in the Word.

(Leviticus 18, And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord. “None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. I am the Lord. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter or of your daughter’s daughter, for their nakedness is your own nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, brought up in your father’s family, since she is your sister. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s relative. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s relative. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother, that is, you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, and you shall not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to uncover her nakedness; they are relatives; it is depravity. And you shall not take a woman as a rival wife to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive. “You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness while she is in her menstrual uncleanness. And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her. You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion. “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. For everyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people. So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.”)

-These incestuous marriages can never be made lawful, so that the individuals may live together as husband and wife, by any human law or consent of the parties involved.

(Mark 6:18, For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”)

(1 Corinthians 5:1, It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

Civil Government (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 24 – Civil Government (In Full) 

God, the supreme Lord and King of the whole world, has ordained civil authorities to be under him and over the people, for his own glory and the public good. For this purpose he has armed them with the power of the sword, to defend and encourage those who do good and to punish evildoers.

Christians may lawfully accept and carry out the duties of public office when called to do so. In performing their office they must especially maintain justice and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each kingdom or other political entity. To carry out these duties they are authorized now under the New Testament to wage war in just and necessary situations.

Because civil authorities are established by God for the purposes stated, we should submit in the Lord to them in everything lawful that they require. We should submit not only for fear of punishment but also for the sake of conscience. We ought to make requests and prayers for kings and everyone in authority, so that under their rule we may live a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.

 

Chapter 24 – Civil Government (w/ Scripture) ESV

-God, the supreme Lord and King of the whole world, has ordained civil authorities to be under him and over the people, for his own glory and the public good. For this purpose he has armed them with the power of the sword, to defend and encourage those who do good and to punish evildoers.

(Romans 13:1–4, Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.)

-Christians may lawfully accept and carry out the duties of public office when called to do so. In performing their office they must especially maintain justice and peace,

(2 Samuel 23:3, The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God,)

(Psalms 82:3-4, Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”)

-according to the wholesome laws of each kingdom or other political entity. To carry out these duties they are authorized now under the New Testament to wage war in just and necessary situations.

(Luke 3:14, Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”)

-Because civil authorities are established by God for the purposes stated, we should submit in the Lord to them in everything lawful that they require. We should submit not only for fear of punishment but also for the sake of conscience.

(Romans 13:5–7, Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.)

(1 Peter 2:17, Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.)

-We ought to make requests and prayers for kings and everyone in authority, so that under their rule we may live a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.

(1 Timothy 2:1-2, First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

Lawful Oaths and Vows (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 23 – Lawful Oaths and Vows (In Full) 

A lawful oath is an element of religious worship in which a person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgment solemnly calls God to witness what is sworn and to judge the one swearing according to the truth or falsity of it.

People should swear by the name of God alone and only with the utmost holy fear and reverence. Therefore to swear an empty or ill-advised oath by that glorious and awe-inspiring name, or to swear at all by anything else, is sinful and to be abhorred. Yet in weighty and significant matters, an oath is authorized by the Word of God to confirm truth and end all conflict. So a lawful oath should be taken when it is required by legitimate authority in such circumstances.

Whoever takes an oath authorized by the Word of God should consider with due gravity the seriousness of such a weighty act and to affirm nothing in it except what one knows to be true. For the Lord is provoked by ill-advised, false, and empty oaths, and because of them this land mourns.

An oath is to be expressed in the plain and ordinary meaning of the words, without any ambiguity or mental reservation.

A vow must not be made to any creature but to God alone. Vows should be made and performed with the most conscientious care and faithfulness. However, Roman Catholic monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and obedience to monastic rules, are by no means steps to higher perfection. Instead, they are superstitious and sinful snares in which Christians may not entangle themselves.

Chapter 23 – Lawful Oaths and Vows (w/ Scripture) ESV

 -A lawful oath is an element of religious worship in which a person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgment solemnly calls God to witness what is sworn

(Exodus 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.)

(Deuteronomy 10:20, You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear.)

(Jeremiah 4:2, and if you swear, ‘As the Lord lives,’ in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.”)

-and to judge the one swearing according to the truth or falsity of it.

(2 Chronicles 6:22-23, “If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath and comes and swears his oath before your altar in this house, then hear from heaven and act and judge your servants, repaying the guilty by bringing his conduct on his own head, and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.)

-People should swear by the name of God alone and only with the utmost holy fear and reverence. Therefore to swear an empty or ill-advised oath by that glorious and awe-inspiring name, or to swear at all by anything else, is sinful and to be abhorred.

(Matthew 5:34, But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,)

(Matthew 5:37, Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.)

(James 5:12, But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.)

-Yet in weighty and significant matters, an oath is authorized by the Word of God to confirm truth and end all conflict.

(Hebrews 6:16, For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.)

(2 Corinthians 1:23, But I call God to witness against me—it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth.)

-So a lawful oath should be taken when it is required by legitimate authority in such circumstances.

(Nehemiah 13:25, And I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair. And I made them take an oath in the name of God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.)

-Whoever takes an oath authorized by the Word of God should consider with due gravity the seriousness of such a weighty act and to affirm nothing in it except what one knows to be true. For the Lord is provoked by ill-advised, false, and empty oaths, and because of them this land mourns.

(Leviticus 19:12, You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.)

(Jeremiah 23:10, For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right.)

-An oath is to be expressed in the plain and ordinary meaning of the words, without any ambiguity or mental reservation.

(Psalms 24:4, He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.)

-A vow must not be made to any creature but to God alone. Vows should be made and performed with the most conscientious care and faithfulness.

(Psalms 76:11, Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared,)

(Genesis 28:20–22, Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”)

-However, Roman Catholic monastical vows of perpetual single life,

(1 Corinthians 7:2, But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.)

(1 Corinthians 7:9, But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.)

-professed poverty,

(Ephesians 4:28, Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.)

-and obedience to monastic rules, are by no means steps to higher perfection. Instead, they are superstitious and sinful snares in which Christians may not entangle themselves.

(Matthew 19:11, But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 22 – Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day (In Full) 

The light of nature demonstrates that there is a God who has lordship and sovereignty over all. He is just and good and does good to everyone. Therefore, he should be feared, loved, praised, called on, trusted in, and served—with all the heart and all the soul and all the strength. But the acceptable way to worship the true God is instituted by him, and it is delimited by his own revealed will. Thus, he may not be worshipped according to human imagination or inventions or the suggestions of Satan, nor through any visible representations, nor in any other way that is not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and to him alone—not to angels, saints, or any other creatures. Since the fall, worship is not to be given without a mediator nor through any mediation other than of Christ alone.

Prayer with thanksgiving is an element of natural worship and so is required by God of everyone. But to be acceptable, it must be made in the name of the Son, by the help of the Spirit, according to his will. It must be accompanied by understanding, reverence, humility, fervor, faith, love, and perseverance. Prayer with others must be in a language that is understood.

Prayer is to be made for lawful things and for all kinds of people who are alive now or will live later. But prayer should not be made for the dead nor for those known to have sinned the sin that leads to death.

The elements of religious worship of God include reading the Scriptures, preaching and hearing the Word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord, as well as the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper. They must be performed out of obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear. Also, purposeful acts of humbling with fasting and times of  thanksgiving should be observed on special occasions in a holy and religious manner.

Under the gospel, neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship is now restricted to or made more acceptable by the place where it is done or toward which it is directed. Instead, God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth—daily in each family and privately by each individual. Also, more formal worship is to be performed in public assemblies, and these must not be carelessly or deliberately neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calls us to them.

It is the law of nature that in general a portion of time specified by God should be set apart for the worship of God. So by his Word, in a positive-moral and perpetual commandment that obligates everyone in every age, he has specifically appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy to him. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the appointed day was the last day of the week. After the resurrection of Christ it was changed to the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s Day. This day is to be kept to the end of the age as the Christian Sabbath, since the observance of the last day of the week has been abolished.

The Sabbath is kept holy to the Lord when people have first prepared their hearts appropriately and arranged their everyday affairs in advance. Then they observe a holy rest all day from their own works, words and thoughts about their secular employment and recreation. Not only that, but they also fill the whole time with public and private acts of worship and the duties of necessity and mercy.

 

Chapter 22 – Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day (w/ Scripture) ESV

 -The light of nature demonstrates that there is a God who has lordship and sovereignty over all. He is just and good and does good to everyone. Therefore, he should be feared, loved, praised, called on, trusted in, and served—with all the heart and all the soul and all the strength.

(Jeremiah 10:7, Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you.)

(Mark 12:33, And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”)

-But the acceptable way to worship the true God is instituted by him,

(Deuteronomy 12:32, “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.)

-and it is delimited by his own revealed will. Thus, he may not be worshipped according to human imagination or inventions or the suggestions of Satan, nor through any visible representations, nor in any other way that is not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

(Exodus 20:4–6, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.)

-Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and to him alone

(Matthew 4:9-10, And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”)

(John 5:23, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.)

(Matthew 28:19, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,)

-not to angels, saints, or any other creatures.

(Romans 1:25, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.)

(Colossians 2:18, Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,)

(Revelation 19:10, Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.)

-Since the fall, worship is not to be given without a mediator

(John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.)

-nor through any mediation other than of Christ alone.

(1 Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,)

-Prayer with thanksgiving is an element of natural worship and so is required by God of everyone.

(Psalms 95:1–7, Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,)

(Psalms 65:2, O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come.)

-But to be acceptable, it must be made in the name of the Son,

(John 14:13-14, Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.)

-by the help of the Spirit,

(Romans 8:26, Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.)

-according to his will.

(1 John 5:14, And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.)

-It must be accompanied by understanding, reverence, humility, fervor, faith, love, and perseverance. Prayer with others must be in a language that is understood.

(1 Corinthians 14:16-17, Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.)

-Prayer is to be made for lawful things and for all kinds of people who are alive now or will live later.

(1 Timothy 2:1-2, First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.)

(2 Samuel 7:29, Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”)

-But prayer should not be made for the dead

(2 Samuel 12:21–23, Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”)

-nor for those known to have sinned the sin that leads to death.

(1 John 5:16, If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.)

-The elements of religious worship of God include reading the Scriptures,

(1 Timothy 4:13, Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.)

-preaching and hearing the Word of God,

(2 Timothy 4:2, preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.)

(Luke 8:18, Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”)

-teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord,

(Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.)

(Ephesians 5:19, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,)

-as well as the administration of baptism

(Matthew 28:19-20, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”)

-and the Lord’s supper.

(1 Corinthians 11:26, For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.)

-They must be performed out of obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear. Also, purposeful acts of humbling with fasting

(Esther 4:16, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”)

(Joel 2:12, “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;)

-and times of  thanksgiving should be observed on special occasions in a holy and religious manner.

(Exodus 15:1–19, Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider[a] he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him,  my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name. “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea. The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’ You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them. “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia. Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. The Lord will reign forever and ever.” For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea.

(Psalms 107, Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron. Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth. Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.)

-Under the gospel, neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship is now restricted to or made more acceptable by the place where it is done or toward which it is directed. Instead, God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth

(John 4:21, Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.)

(Malachi 1:11, For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.)

(1 Timothy 2:8, I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;)

-daily

(Matthew 6:11, Give us this day our daily bread,)

(Psalms 55:17, Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.)

-in each family

(Acts 10:2, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.)

-and privately by each individual.

(Matthew 6:6, But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.)

-Also, more formal worship is to be performed in public assemblies, and these must not be carelessly or deliberately neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calls us to them.

(Hebrews 10:25, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.)

(Acts 2:42, And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.)

-It is the law of nature that in general a portion of time specified by God should be set apart for the worship of God. So by his Word, in a positive-moral and perpetual commandment that obligates everyone in every age, he has specifically appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy to him.

(Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.)

-From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the appointed day was the last day of the week. After the resurrection of Christ it was changed to the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s Day.

(1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.)

(Acts 20:7, On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.)

(Revelation 1:10, I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet)

-This day is to be kept to the end of the age as the Christian Sabbath, since the observance of the last day of the week has been abolished. The Sabbath is kept holy to the Lord when people have first prepared their hearts appropriately and arranged their everyday affairs in advance. Then they observe a holy rest all day from their own works, words and thoughts about their secular employment and recreation.

(Isaiah 58:13, “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;)

(Nehemiah 13:15–22, In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.)

-Not only that, but they also fill the whole time with public and private acts of worship and the duties of necessity and mercy.

(Matthew 12:1–13, At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 21 – Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience (In Full) 

The liberty Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel is found in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, and the severity and curse of the law. It also includes their deliverance from this present evil age, bondage to Satan, the dominion of sin, the suffering of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation. In addition, it includes their free access to God and their obedience to him, not from slavish fear but from a childlike love and willing mind.

All these liberties were also enjoyed in their essence by believers under the law. But under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further expanded. They are free from the yoke of the ceremonial law to which the Jewish congregation was subjected; they have greater confidence of access to the throne of grace; and they have a fuller supply of God’s free Spirit than believers under the law usually experienced.

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and he has left it free from human doctrines and commandments that are in any way contrary to his word or not contained in it. So, believing such doctrines, or obeying such commands out of conscience, is a betrayal of true liberty of conscience. Requiring implicit faith or absolute and blind obedience destroys liberty of conscience and reason as well.

Those who use Christian liberty as an excuse to practice any sin or nurture any sinful desire pervert the main objective of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction, and they completely destroy the purpose of Christian liberty. This purpose is that we, having been delivered from the hands of all our enemies, may serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.

 

Chapter 21 – Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience (w/ Scripture) ESV

-The liberty Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel is found in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, and the severity and curse of the law.

(Galatians 3:13, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”)

-It also includes their deliverance from this present evil age,

(Galatians 1:4, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,)

-bondage to Satan,

(Acts 26:18, to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’)

-the dominion of sin,

(Romans 8:3, For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,)

-the suffering of afflictions,

(Romans 8:28, And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.)

-the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave,

(1 Corinthians 15:54–57, When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.)

-and everlasting damnation.

(2 Thessalonians 1:10, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.)

-In addition, it includes their free access to God and their obedience to him, not from slavish fear

(Romans 8:15, For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”)

-but from a childlike love and willing mind.

(Luke 1:73–75, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.)

(1 John 4:18, There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.)

-All these liberties were also enjoyed in their essence by believers under the law.

(Galatians 3:9, So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.)

(Galatians 3:14, so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.)

-But under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further expanded. They are free from the yoke of the ceremonial law to which the Jewish congregation was subjected; they have greater confidence of access to the throne of grace; and they have a fuller supply of God’s free Spirit than believers under the law usually experienced.

(John 7:38-39, Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)

(Hebrews 10:19–21, Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,)

-God alone is Lord of the conscience,

(James 4:12, There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?)

(Romans 14:4, Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.)

-and he has left it free from human doctrines and commandments that are in any way contrary to his word or not contained in it.

(Acts 4:19, But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,)

(Acts 4:29, And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,)

(1 Corinthians 7:23, You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.)

(Matthew 15:9, in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”)

-So, believing such doctrines, or obeying such commands out of conscience, is a betrayal of true liberty of conscience.

(Colossians 2:20, If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations)

(Colossians 2:22-23, (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.)

-Requiring implicit faith or absolute and blind obedience destroys liberty of conscience and reason as well.

(1 Corinthians 3:5, What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.)

(2 Corinthians 1:24, Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.)

-Those who use Christian liberty as an excuse to practice any sin or nurture any sinful desire pervert the main objective of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction,

(Romans 6:1-2, What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?)

-and they completely destroy the purpose of Christian liberty. This purpose is that we, having been delivered from the hands of all our enemies, may serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.

(Galatians 5:13, For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.)

(2 Peter 2:18, For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.)

(2 Peter 2:21, For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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