Posted in Baptism, Bible, Biblical Theology, John Calvin, Theology, tagged clarity, illumination, inerrancy, infant baptism, inspiration, Scripture, Spirit, sufficiency, Westminster Confession of Faith on October 16, 2008 |
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Here are my answers to the study notes as I prepare for my oral exam next week. I thought some people might be interested in the types of things I must know. Since there are over 300 questions, I’ll go chapter by chapter through the Westminster Confession of Faith. Please …. I’m not putting them up to debate issues. I recognize that not all Christians will agree on these matters. It may not represent your doctrinal standards, but it is mine. If you think I misunderstood the Confession of Faith, I’m open to correction as long as you keep in mind that perhaps you have misunderstood the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Chapter I: Of The Holy Scriptures
1. Distinguish between “general” and “special” revelation. “General” revelation is available to all men everywhere. The creation declares God’s invisible attributes (Ps. 19, Rom. 1). “Special” revelation is the Scriptures.
2. Is general revelation clear? Is it authoritative? Is it sufficient? To what end? “General” revelation is clear, and it is authoritative. It is sufficient only that we may know that God exists. Our sinful nature distorts and twists “general” revelation such that people either deny there is a God or they worship a false god. It is insufficient for us to know how we may be saved. As a result, it is sufficient to condemn us.
3. According to the Confession, why are the Scriptures necessary? They are necessary that we might know what we are to believe concerning God and what duty He requires of us. They are necessary due to the lies and attacks of the flesh, Satan and the world against God and truth.
4. What are the four attributes of Scripture and what is meant by them? Authority, sufficiency, infallible, & clarity. The Scriptures have authority on all matters to which they speak because they are God’s Word to us. They are sufficient in that they tell us all we need to know for our salvation and life of godliness. They are infallible meaning they are fully reliable and not deceived or deceiving. Clarity means that all that we need to know is clearly expressed. Non-essential matters are less clear.
5. What is meant by the Scripture’s self attestation? Scripture itself teaches that God is its author.
6. Describe for us your understanding of inerrancy? The original manuscripts contain no errors or falsehoods, therefore Scripture is reliable.
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Posted in Apologetics, Bible, Evangelism, Ministry, Missions, Prayer, tagged clarity, Evangelism, God's sovereignty, gospel, grace, mercy, misery, missions trips, Prayer, Preaching, responsible, sin, thankful on July 17, 2008 |
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This morning I was reading Colossians 4, and saw this:
2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (NIV)
First, I was convicted by the encouragement to be thankful in prayer. I’m (by both nature and nurture) a glass half-empty guy. Paul wanted them to be thankful as they prayed. They were to have eyes that saw the good around them, not just the sin & misery. They were to look for grace & mercy that were already there and thank God for it.
Second, they were to pray that God would open doors for the message of the Gospel. God is in control, and he must open doors for the Gospel. I was reminded to pray for the 3 mission teams I know of that are heading out in the next few weeks to Russia, LA and MS. I want God to open doors for the message. As I preach this Sunday, I want him to open hearts since he’s opened a door to preach the message.
Third, he asked them to pray that he would speak it clearly. God is sovereign, even in salvation, and he alone grants faith and repentance- even to unlikely people. But Paul was responsible to speak clearly. He recognized this- and we need to recognize this as well. God’s sovereignty in salvation does not mean we can be lax in either looking for open doors or in how we speak when we have one.
But Paul also recognized that he needed grace from God to speak clearly. He was dependent on God to fulfill his responsibility.
So, because of the gospel …….
- Are you watchful for evidence of grace & mercy, and expressing gratitude?
- Are you praying for open doors for the message?
- Are you praying that God would help you be clear when you have an opportunity to present the message of grace?
Sadly, all too often I’m not- but I want to be. I am responsible to be- may God help me to fulfill my responsibility.
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