Category: General Theology

Unlimited Propitiation, Limited Redemption (Guest Post)

Unlimited Propitiation, Limited Redemption (Guest Post)

Author and Theologian, James Quiggle has brought us another excellent post. This time on Propitiation and Redemption

 

God sent Christ to the cross to propitiate (fully satisfy) God for the judicial debt due the crime of man’s sins, 1 John 2:2; Romans 3:25. Propitiation: the satisfaction Christ made to God for sin by dying on the cross. Christ’s propitiation fully satisfied God’s holiness and justice for the crime of sin. Christ’s propitiation was of infinite merit, because his Person is of infinite worth, thereby being sufficient for all the sins of the all the world.

God himself specifically applies the infinite merit of Christ’s propitiation according to his decree of election, Ephesians 1:4, through his gift of grace-faith-salvation, Ephesians 2:8. Election: The choice of a sovereign God, 1) to give the gift of grace-faith-salvation to effect the salvation of some sinners, and 2) to take no action, positive or negative, to either effect or deny salvation to other sinners. The decree of election includes all means necessary to effectuate salvation in those elected.

The sum of these things is the unlimited merit of Christ’s propitiation, and the limited redemption that merit is used to accomplish. Put in terms of an ongoing controversy, Christ did not die only for the elect, he died to propitiate God for all sins. Not to redeem all sinners, but to propitiate God for all sins. In familiar terms this is known as Unlimited Atonement and Limited Redemption.

The unlimited merit of Christ’s propitiation is not universal salvation. That misguided belief confuses propitiation with redemption. Propitiation is God acting toward God to satisfy God for the crime of sin. Redemption is God acting toward man to effect the forgiveness of a person’s judicial debt for his or her sins.

Some Reformed theologians, from the time of the Synod of Dort (1619) have taken a shortcut through doctrine to say since the merit of the propitiation is applied only to the elect, then Christ died only for the elect. (The technical term is a metonymy (a substitution) of the effect for the cause.) But that shortcut undermines the truthfulness of the gospel call to every sinner (discussed below), and denies the clear statement of 1 John 2:2, not for our sins only but also for all the world. The careless distort doctrine and thereby create error.

The merit of propitiation (the older term is atonement) must be applied to effect redemption. Every Old Testament example of forgiveness of sin through sacrifice teaches the merit of the shed blood, the atonement, must be applied by faith to effect forgiveness of sins to accomplish redemption.

The redemption Christ’s propitiation accomplishes is limited and particular, because applied according to a specific purpose, through a specific means, to specific individuals. That specific purpose is God’s choice to save some not others: the decree of election, Ephesians 1:4. That specific means is God’s gift of grace-faith-salvation, Ephesians 2:8, given only to the elect. The specific individuals are those whom God has chosen to give his gift of grace-faith-salvation according to his decree of election.

God’s decree of election does not prevent any from coming and believing; thus the legitimacy of a gospel call to all sinners. In the 48 uses of the Greek words for choice, none of those uses ever says anything negative about the ones not chosen. Those words are eklégō (Strong’s 1586); eklektós (Strong’s 1588); eklektós (Strong’s 1589). Do the word study, see for yourself.

The gospel call is directed toward “whoever desires,” Revelation 22:17; whoever believes on him, John 3:16; Romans 10:11; 1 John 5:1; whoever calls on the name of the Lord, Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13. If, as some propose, Christ died only for the elect, then God is a liar when he states in the gospel that “whoever desires, whoever believes, whoever calls” on the name of the Lord will be saved.

That offer to “whoever” is why propitiation is not redemption, and why election does not prevent any from coming and believing. The infinite merit of Christ’s propitiation is available for any who “desire, believe, call upon” to be saved. The decree of election takes no action, positive or negative, to either effect or deny salvation to other sinners. The call to believe is a genuine offer to all, the moral responsibility to believe is genuine requirement for all, salvation is genuinely available to any “whoever” who might “desire, believe, call upon” the Lord to be saved.

Why, then, are only the elect saved? Because the unsaved sinner is unable to overcome his or her desire to remain a sinner. The evil attribute sin in human nature influences every other attribute with the inclination to sin, and in that sense sin can be said to dominate the will. The sinner freely chooses sinning because his will is of itself always inclined to choose sinning, and as being rebellious and disobedient toward God never desires to change its inclination to choose sinning to rebel against God, disobey his commandments, and seek a path in life apart from God.

Thus the necessity of God’s gift of grace-faith-salvation. The propitiation (atonement) is sufficient for all, but is efficient to redeem only the elect, because only the elect receive God’s gift of grace-faith-salvation. The sinner is unable to initiate saving faith because his will is of itself always inclined to choose sinning, and as being rebellious and disobedient toward God never desires to change its inclination to choose sinning.

The problem some in Reformed theology have is basic ignorance of the doctrines they profess to believe. Thus the unbiblical statement, Christ died only for the elect. No, Christ died for the purpose of fully satisfying—propitiating—God’s holiness and justice for the crime of sin. That is why the propitiation was, “not for our sins only, but also for all the world,” 1 John 2:2. And having been satisfied for all sins, God could act in justice and holiness to genuinely offer salvation to all, and act according to his sovereign will to apply that merit in truthfulness, justice, and holiness to those whom he has chosen to be his legacy out of the world (Ephesians 1:11).

None are prevented from “desiring, believing, coming,” because the gospel call is legitimately made to all. But the fact of sin is that only those whom God has given his gift will desire, believe, and come.

Therefore do not confuse atonement (propitiation) with redemption. The atonement (Christ’s propitiation) was directed toward God only, in order to satisfy God’s justice and holiness for the judicial debt of the crime of sin. Redemption is directed toward man by God through election, Eph 1:4, to redeem sinners through the applied merit of Christ’s propitiation, via the gift of grace-faith-salvation, Eph 2:8.

The definitive statement on biblical salvation was accomplished by the Synod of Dort, 1618–1619. Here are the portions applicable to this discussion, from the Canons of the Synod of Dort.

SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE, Of the Death of Christ and the Redemption of Men Thereby, Article 3, “The death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sin, and is of infinite worth and value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.” In familiar terms Unlimited Atonement/Propitiation.

FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE, Of Divine Predestination, Article 6, “That some receive the gift of faith from God and others do not receive it proceeds from God’s eternal decree, for ‘known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world’ (Acts 15:18). ‘Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will’ (Eph. 1:11). According to which decree, He graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however obstinate, and inclines them to believe, while He leaves the non-elect in His just judgment to their own wickedness and obduracy.”

Article 7, “Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, He hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault from their primitive state of rectitude into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ.”

SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE, Of the Death of Christ and the Redemption of Men Thereby, Article 8, “For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of His Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation”

Or, as the summary states: “While the death of Christ is abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world, its saving efficacy is limited to the elect.” Unlimited Propitiation, Limited Redemption.”

Christ died on the cross to propitiate God for all sin, so God could act in justice, holiness and righteousness to save sinners. Salvation: The application of Christ’s infinite merit to overcome the demerit of sin and save a soul, specifically applied through God’s gift of grace-faith-salvation, according to God’s sovereign decree of election, then personally applied by each sinner through saving faith in Christ, in response to receiving God’s gift of grace-faith-salvation.

The 4-fold Gospel (A.B.Simpson)

The 4-fold Gospel (A.B.Simpson)

Perhaps one of my favorite articles by A.B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, is the 4-fold Gospel. This article looks at 4 ministries of Jesus found in the 4 Gospels: Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, Soon Coming King.

 

The link below is provided by permission of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. As with them, I pray it blesses you.

 

The 4-Fold Gospel PDF

Arminianism- The F.A.C.T.S.

Arminianism- The F.A.C.T.S.

Many of my Calivnist Brethren, in their zeal to defend Scriptural Truth, often  and unfortunately mischaracterize the soteriology of the Arminians.

 

While I do disagree with them, as a Calvinist my own self, I emphatically oppose characterizing Arminians as heretics. In the link below, Dr. Brian Abasciano lays out Arminian Soteriology on behalf of the Society of Evangelical Arminians.

 

The F.A.C.T.S.

1 John 2:2 and Calvinism

1 John 2:2 and Calvinism

While discussing Calvinism with a colleague, 1 John 2:2 came up.

Here is the text of the verse before we consider…

 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

It has been said that this verse poses a problem for Calvinism but I disagree. The text clearly demonstrates that anyone who wants to can be saved. What it does not address is the question of who wants to be saved.

We tend to overthink matters and thereby complicate things. Does Scripture teach Divine Election?  Yes. Does the Scripture teach that man is responsible for his sin? Yes. Does the Scripture teach that only the Elect are saved? Yes. Does the Scripture teach us who comprises the Elect? NO!! Therein lies the problem with being too rigid in certain systems. God does not make a habit of revealing anything more than we need to know. Therefore we get in trouble if we go further than He has revealed and presume to know that which is not our business.

1 John 2:2 is not a problem for Calvinists any more than it is a proof of Arminianism. It is simply a fact laid out in Scripture. Here is the fact: The penal substitutionary atoning death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is absolutely sufficient for anyone that wants to be saved. This particular verse does not speak to who it is that would want to be saved and there need not be any controversy over the verse. In fact the only reason there is a controversy is that humand create one where one need not exist.

Why Did We Switch to Weekly Communion?

Why Did We Switch to Weekly Communion?

Why have communion weekly if there is no proscription to do so in the Scripture? The answer has much to do with the reason behind our breaking the wafer before we partake: it is a participatory symbol. Let me explain…

The nearest to an instruction that Scripture gives us to the frequency of communion is in 1st Corinthians 11. We  could presume from verse 20 that it was a weekly occurrence butt the Apostle does not spell that out. That being said, in verse 26 he does get very specific, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” The closest to an apostolic command is that ye do it often, so we do.

We do not mean to imply, in any way, that it is superior to celebrate communion weekly. Neither are we allying ourselves with Rome. Rather we remember that we gather for a worship celebration and it is appropriate that we come to the Lord’s Table when we gather.  What could be more worthy of celebration than the death and resurrection of the Lord.

During our time of corporate worship, our souls are nourished on the word of God. Should they not also be nourished by the Word who is the Living Bread come down from Heaven (John 6:51). Let’s be clear, the bread and the wine DO NOT literally become the body and blood of the Lord. Rather, we are showing two things: 1. That we are participating in the Atonement purchased by the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus. 2. We show our gratitude that this Atonement was made on our behalf.

What about the “real presence” of Jesus in communion? Good question. One of the names of the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and since the Holy Spirit is omnipresent, the presence of Christ is always with us. He is not more present at the communion table and less present at the picnic table. Christ is always with us, at communion and everywhere else.

The Communion Service is a memorial for us. It reminds us of our divine rescue from sin and our continued dependence on Christ. In eating the physical bread and drinking the physical cup we are making a very profound and powerful statement: “By grace, the body of Christ was broken for me and the blood of Christ washes away my sin.” These physical symbols portray a spiritual reality- we are partakers in the blessings of life in Christ.

That, Beloved, is why we take communion weekly; to remember staggering grace that saw the King of the Universe die for our sin. Remember that next time you come to the table and come as often as you feel is good to do so. For us, we will come, weekly, to remember the body and blood of our Lord and to, in that memorial, celebrate the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

A Lenten Fast: Biblical Truth Meets Tradition

A Lenten Fast: Biblical Truth Meets Tradition

I am a Baptist Pastor. I also have some mild inclinations toward Anglicanism and many friends on both sides of the Lenten Debate. Is Lent biblical or is it just tradition? I contend that is it both. Walk with me down this path…

What is Lent?

Historically, Lent is the 40-day period leading up to Resurrection Sunday. It calls our attention to the time when the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Prior to that temptation, Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights with much prayer. (See Matthew 4 for additional study) Lent reminds us to do the same.

Do Fasting and Ashes go together?

Esther 4:1 tells us that Mordecai clothed himself in sack cloth and ashes, walking about the city wailing loudly.

Job 42:6

Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”

Nehemiah 9:1

Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the sons of Israel assembled with fasting, in sackcloth and with dirt upon them.

Jonah 3:5-9

Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water.

Should I tell people what I am giving up for lent?

Nope

Matthew 6:16-18 (NIV)

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

How do I please God with my fast?

Read Isaiah 58. The Lord God, Himself, describes the fast that pleases Him. So often we are tempted toward the outward acts of righteousness, tithing our mint, dill, and cumin and we miss the entire point behind the act (Luke 11L24).

A proper fast is designed to give God His due glory and to prepare ourselves to be with Him and to serve Him.

So is ritual wrong?

Not at all. Many liturgies, including those in Leviticus, are filled with deep and rich theology. Ritual helps to guide us in our theology and more importantly in our doxology (praise). A certain level of ritual (if your church has an order of service you have ritual) is necessary to help us stay on the path. Ritual, however, must never rise to the level of mandate, if that mandate cannot be drawn, chapter and verse, from the Scripture itself.

What do I do?

Enjoy the ritual, if you like. It was designed to help you grow closer to God. Just as the Model Prayer (The Our Father) is designed to teach us to pray and to develop the right habit and attitude, so ritual and liturgy do the same.

Give God the glory and don’t advertise your obedience. God deserves glory, you and I don’t.

If you celebrate Lent, I wish you to have a holy season which draws you deeper into communion with Christ. If you do not celebrate Lent, I still wish for you to draw deeper into communion with Christ. He will be our inheritance and treasure forever so let us savor that Treasure even today.

 

What is Dispensational Theology

What is Dispensational Theology

The following is a guest post by James Quiggle:

Theology is the science that seeks to understand God and his interactions with his creation through systematic study of God’s revelation of himself in the Bible.

Dispensationalism is a systematic method of understanding history as a series of God-initiated economies, or “dispensations,” by consistently applying the principles of the grammatical-historical (literal) hermeneutic to all scriptures.

Dispensational theology is that branch of the science of theology that seeks to understand God and his interactions with his creation, as God has revealed himself in the Bible through a series of God-initiated economies, or “dispensations,” by consistently applying the principles of the grammatical-historical (literal) hermeneutic to all scriptures.

The Covenants of Works and Grace: What Is Covenant Theology?

The Covenants of Works and Grace: What Is Covenant Theology?

Disclaimer: I hold to Dispensational Theology. That being said, it is our goal to provide a well-rounded understanding of both the Bible and historical Reformed Theology. (We believe Dispensationalism is a natural outgrowth of Reformed Theology)

The folllowing article is held in copyright by Dr. Richard Pratt and Third Millennium Ministries. It is used by permission. 

The Covenants of Works and Grace: What Is Covenant Theology?

In the seventeenth century an outlook developed in Reformed theology that saw covenants between God and humanity as central to the teaching of Scripture. In older works this approach to the Bible was called Federalism. In our day, it is more common to speak of this perspective simply as Covenant Theology.

In traditional Covenant Theology, the whole history of the Bible was divided into two major covenant relationships: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. Neither of these expressions appears in the Bible, but the distinctions form helpful theological categories that reflect the underlying unity of Scripture, much as the term “Trinity” summarizes one essential aspect of the truth of Scripture about God. This dual covenant approach to Scripture finds a clear expression in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (WCF 7.1-519.1,6WLC 3136,97).

In Reformed theology the term covenant of works refers to the arrangement God made between himself and Adam before humanity’s fall into sin. It does not refer to the covenant made with Moses at Sinai, as other Christian traditions tend to use the term. In the covenant of works with Adam, God promised blessings to Adam if he obeyed the command of God (Ge 1:28-30), but judgment if he disobeyed (Ge 2:15-17). The determining factor was Adam’s works, thus the term covenant of works(cf. Ho 6:7). In recent years, the value of describing Adam’s relationship with God as a covenant of works has been questioned; many prefer simply to speak of a pre-redemptive arrangement or probation before the fall into sin. In all events, the Scriptures indicate that Adam failed to keep God’s command. So God made a second covenant arrangement, the covenant of grace in Christ.

The terminology covenant of grace is used to describe God’s relationship with his people throughout the rest of Scripture. Properly speaking, this covenant was ultimately made with Christ as the last Adam, the representative of redeemed humanity. It is designated a covenant of grace because it operates on the basis of divine grace offered through Christ’s death and resurrection to all who believe in him. Some Reformed theologians have spoken of a heavenly, eternal covenant between the Father and the Son, which they have called the covenant of redemption(Jn 6:37). The covenant of grace is the historical expression of this eternal covenant.

The covenant of grace began with the promise made after the fall that the seed of the woman would one day crush the seed of the serpent (Ge 3:15). After this, the covenant of grace unfolded in five major stages of Biblical history. None of these covenant stages opposes any other. On the contrary, each subsequent stage builds upon the previous ones.

(1) After its initiation with God’s grace offered to Adam (Ge 3:15), the covenant of grace developed through the covenant of nature’s preservation given to Noah (Ge 6:189:9-17). Noah’s covenant focused on the stability of the present order of nature until the end of all things, thus providing a stable arena within which God’s redemptive plan would unfold. (2) Next, God’s covenant with Abraham (Ge 15,17) began several stages of covenants made with the nation of Israel as God’s special chosen people. God promised that Abraham’s descendants would receive great blessings and would be the instrument of blessing to the entire human race. (3) Following this, the nation of Israel received Moses’ covenant of law (Ex 19-24) during the exodus from Egypt, in order to guide the nation toward greater blessings in the land of promise. (4) When David became king, God then made a royal covenant with him (2Sa 7Ps 89,132), in which he promised to bless David’s faithful sons and never to take the throne of Israel away from David’s family. (5) Finally, the climax of the covenant of grace came through the new covenant established by Christ (Je 31Lk 22:201Co 11:25Heb 8:8-13). This covenant comes in three stages: the first coming of Christ, the history before his return and the consummation of his kingdom. As the covenant of grace unfolded in this manner, the various stages did not differ in substance but were “one and the same under various dispensations” (WCF 7.6).

The stages of the covenant of grace manifested in God’s Old Testament national covenants with Israel had the special role of preparing God’s people for the coming of his Son, who would fulfill all of God’s promises and give substance to the shadows cast by Old Testament types (Isa 40:10Mal 3:1Jn 1:14Heb 7-10). In the new covenant the temporary arrangements for imparting those blessings are replaced by the realization of that which they anticipated, namely Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant, the Seed of Abraham and heir of his promises (Ga 3:16). Christ obeyed the law perfectly and offered himself as the true and final sacrifice for sin. As the royal son of David, he now reigns over the world as the inheritor of all the covenant blessings of pardon, peace, and fellowship with God in his renewed creation-blessings he now bestows upon believers (Ro 8:17). Christ’s sending of the Spirit from the throne of his glory seals God’s people as his own, even as he gives himself to them (2Co 1:22Ep 1:13-14).

As Heb 7-10 explains, the new covenant is the supreme expression of God’s one eternal covenant of grace with sinners (Heb 13:20)-a better stage of the covenant than those of the Old Testament, with better promises (Heb 8:6), based on a better sacrifice (Heb 9:23), offered by a better high priest in a better sanctuary (Heb 7:26-8:13) and guaranteeing a better hope than the former versions of the covenant ever made explicit. The fulfillment of the old national covenants in Christ brings to fruition the promise that the door of faith would be open to large numbers of Gentiles. To extend the kingdom of God throughout the world (see theological article “The Kingdom of God” at Mt 4), Gentiles and Jews alike become Abraham’s seed by faith in Christ (Ga 3:26-29), while Jews and Gentiles outside of Christ are also outside the covenant of grace (Ro 4:9-1711:13-24).

Scripture describes the elements of God’s covenants with his people in ways that parallel the international treaty arrangements of human emperors in the ancient Near East. Either explicitly or implicitly, four basic dynamics appear in each stage of the Biblical covenant: (1) God shows himself to be the benevolent King who initiates and sustains his chosen people throughout their covenant relationship with him. (2) God requires loyal gratitude from the people embraced by his covenants. (3) Judgments come against those who flagrantly violate his covenants. (4) Blessings come to those who are faithful to the covenants.

As the divine King of the universe (see theological article “The Kingdom of God” at Mt 4), God’s covenantal dealings guided the kingdom forward toward its ultimate end: the gathering of a redeemed people “from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Rev 7:9), who will inhabit a renewed world order (Rev 21:1-5). Here the covenant relationship will find its fullest expression: “They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev 21:3). The kingdom of God still moves toward that goal in our day.

The dual framework of the covenants of works and grace describes the whole of God’s sovereign dealings with humanity. Salvation comes to us because Christ fulfilled the requirements of the covenant of works through his perfect obedience. As a result, our salvation is covenant salvation: Justification and adoption, regeneration and sanctification are covenant mercies; election was God’s choice of the members of his final, purified covenant community, the invisible church (see theological article “The Church: Visible and Invisible” at 1Pe 4); baptism and the Lord’s Supper, corresponding to circumcision and Passover, are covenant ordinances; God’s law is covenant law, and keeping it is the truest expression of gratitude and loyalty in response to God’s covenant grace. Renewing our covenant commitments to God in response to his faithfulness should be a regular devotional exercise for all believers, both in private and in public worship. An understanding of the covenant of grace guides us through and helps us to appreciate not only the diversity of Scripture, but its amazing unity as well.

Declaration of Faith of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association (1845)

Declaration of Faith of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association (1845)

I. OF THE SCRIPTURES.

We believe the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; 1 that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, 2 and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; 3 that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; 4 and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true centre of Christian union,5 and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions, should be tried. 6

Places in the Bible where taught.

1 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Also 2 Pet. i. 31. 2 Sam. xxiii. 2. Acts i. 16 ; iii. 21. John x. 35. Luke xvi. 29- 31. Ps. cxix. cxi. Rom. iii. 1, 2.

2 2 Tim. iii. 15: Able to make thee wise unto salvation. Also 1 Pet. i. 10-12. Acts xi. 14. Rom. i. 16. Mark xvi. 16. John v. 34-39.

3 Prov. xxx. 5, 6: Every word of God is pure. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Also John xvii. 17. Rev. xxii. 18, 19. Rom. iii. 4.

4 Rom. ii. 12: As many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law. John xii. 47, 48: If any man hear my words — the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. Also 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. Luke x. 10-16 ; xii. 47, 48.

5 Phil. iii. 16: Let us walk by the same rule; let us mind the same thing. Also Ephes. iv. 3-6. Phil. ii. 1, 2. 1 Cor. i. 10. 1 Pet. iv. 11.

6 I John iv. 1: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God. Isaiah viii. 20: To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. 1 Thess. v. 21: Prove all things. 2 Cor. xiii. 5: Prove your own selves. Also Acts xvii. 11. 1 John iv. 6. Jude 3d v. Ephes. vi. 17. Ps. cxix. 59, 60. Phil. i. 9-11.

II. OF THE TRUE GOD.

That there is one, and only one, true and living God, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth;* inexpressibly glorious in holiness;** worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love;*** revealed under the personal and relative distinctions of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost****equal in every divine perfection,***** and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.******

Places in the Bible where taught.

* Ps. Ixxxiii. 18: Thou whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth. Heb. iii. 4. Rom. i. 20. Jer. x. 10.

** Ex. xv. 11: Who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness? Isai. vi. 3. 1 Pet. i. 15, 16. Rev. iv. 6- 8.

*** Mark xii. 30: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. Rev. iv. 11: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Mat x. 37. Jer. ii. 12, 13.

**** Mat. xxviii. 19: Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. John xv. 26: When the Comforter is come, whom I will send you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. 1 Cor. xii. 4-6. 1 John v. 7.

***** John x. 30: I and my Father are one. John v. 17; xiv. 23. Acts v. 3, 4. 1 Cor. iii. 10, 11.

****** Ephes. ii. 18: For through Him [the Son] we both have an access by one Spirit unto the Father. 2 Cor. ii. 14: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Rev. i. 4, 5.

III. OF THE FALL OF MAN.

That man was created in a state of holiness, under the law of his maker;1 but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state it in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners,** not by constraint but choice;*** being by nature utterly void of that holiness required

by the law of God, wholly given to the gratification of the world, of Satan, and of their own sinful passions, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin,**** without defense or excuse.*****

Places in the Bible where taught.

1 Gen. i. 27: God created man in his own image: Gen. i. 31: And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Ec. vii. 29. Acts xvii. 20. Gen. ii. 16.

** Gen. iii. 6-24: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise; she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat; therefore the Lord God drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Rom. v. 12.

*** Rom. v. 19: By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners. John iii. 6, Ps. Ii. 5. Rom. v. 15-19; viii.7.

*** Isai. liii. 6: We have turned, every one to his own way: Gen. vi. 12. Rom. iii. 9-18.

**** Ephes. ii. 1-3: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath even as others. Rom. i. 18: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Rom. i. 32. Gal. iii. 10. Mat. xxv. 41. Rev. xx. 15.

***** Ez. xviii. 19, 20: Yet say ye, Why ? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? — the soul that sinneth it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Rom. i. 20: So that they are without excuse. Rom. iii. 19: That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Gal. iii. 22.

IV. OF THE WAY OF SALVATION.

That the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace,* through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God,** who took upon him our nature yet without sin:*** honored the law by his personal obedience, **** and made atonement for our sins by his death;***** being risen from the dead he is now enthroned in heaven,****** and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, is every way qualified to be a suitable; a compassionate, and an all- sufficient Savior.*******

Places in the Bible where taught.

* Ephes. ii. 5: By grace ye are saved. Mat. xviii. 11. 1 John iv. 10. 1 Cor. iii. 5-7. Acts xv. 11.

** John iii. 16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John i. 1-14. Heb. iv. 14 ; xii. 24.

*** Phil. ii. 6, 7 Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God ; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. Heb. ii. 9 ; ii. 14. 2 Cor. viii. 9.

**** Isaiah xlii. 21: The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable. Phil. ii. 8 Gal. iv. 4, 5. Rom. iii. 21.

***** Isaiah liii. 4: He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Mat. xx. 28. Rom. iv. 25 ; iii. 21-26. 1 John iv. 10 ; ii. 2. 1 Cor. xv. 1-3. Heb. ix. 13-15.

****** Heb. i. 8: Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. Heb. i. 3 ; viii. 3. Col. iii. 1-4.

******* Heb. vii. 25: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Col. ii. 9: For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Heb. ii. 18 : In that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted. Heb. vii. 26. Ps. lxxxix. 19. Ps. xlv.

V. OF JUSTIFICATION.

That the great gospel blessing which Christ of his fulness,* bestows on such as believe in him is justification;** that justification consists in the pardon of sin***and the promise of eternal life, on principles of righteousness**** that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done,***** but solely through his own redemption and righteousness; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.******

Places in the Bible where taught.

* John i. 16: Of his fullness have we all received. Ephes. iii. 8. i Acts xiii. 39: By him all that believe are justified from all things. Isaiah liii. 11. Rom. viii. 1.

** Rom. v. 9: Being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Zech. xiii. 1. Mat. ix. 6. Acts x. 43.

*** Rom. v. 17: They which receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, 6hall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Titus iii. 5, 6. 1 Pet. iii. 7. 1 John ii. 25. Rom. v. 21.

**** Rom. iv. 4, 5: Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Rom. v. 21 ; vi. 23. Phil. iii. 7-9.

***** Rom. v. 19: By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Rom. iii. 24-26. 1 John ii. 12.

****** Rom. v. 1, 2: Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ ; by whom also we have access by faith into his grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Rom. v. 3: We glory in tribulations also. Rom. v. 11: We also joy in God. 1 Cor. i. 30. Mat. vi. 36. 1 Tim. iv. 8.

VI. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION.

That the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel;* that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial and obedient faith,** and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, except his own voluntary refusal to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ;*** which refusal will subject him to an aggravated condemnation.****

Places in the Bible where taught.

* Rev. xxii. 17: Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely. Isaiah lv. 1. Luke xiv. 17.

** Rom. xvi. 26: The gospel, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. Mark i. 15. Rom. i. 15, 17.

*** John v. 40: Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life. Matt, xxiii. 37. Rom. ix. 32. Prov. i. 24. Acts xiii. 46.

**** John iii. 19: And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Mat. xi. 20. Luke xix. 27. 2 Thess. i. 8.

VII. OF GRACE IN REGENERATION.

That in order to be saved, we must be regenerated or born again;* that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind;** and is effected in a manner above our comprehension or calculation,*** by the power of the Holy Spirit, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; **** and that its proper evidence is found in the holy fruit which we bring forth to the glory of God.*****

Places in the Bible where taught.

* John iii. 3: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John iii. 7. Rev. xxi. 27.

** Cor. v. 20 : If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Ez. xxxvi. 26. Deut. xxx. 6. Rom. ii. 28, 29 ; v. 5. -1 John iv. 7.

*** John iii. 8: The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John i 13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. James i. 16-18. 1 Cor. i. 30. Phil. ii. 13.

**** 1 Pet. xxii. 25: Ye have purified your hearts by obeying the truth through the Spirit. 1 John v. 1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Ephes. iv. 20-24- Col. iii. 9-11.

***** Ephes. v. 9: The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth. Rom. viii. 9. Gal. v. 16-23. Ephes. iii. 14-21.

VIII. OF GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE.

That election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which he regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners;* that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end;** that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable;**** that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy;***** that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree;****** that it is ascertained by its effects in all who believe the Gospels is the foundation of Christian assurance;******* and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves, demands and deserves our utmost diligence.********

Places in the Bible where taught.

* 2 Tim. i. 8, 6: Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel, according to the power of God; who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. Ephes. i. 3-14. 1 Pet. i. 1, 2. Rom xi. 5, 6. John xv. 16. 1 John iv. 19. Hos. xii. 9.

** 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14: But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you unto salvation, through sanctification of the spirit, and belief of the truth; whereunto he also called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts xiii. 48. John x. 16. Mat. xx. 16. Acts xv. 14.

*** Ex. xxxiii. 18, 19 : And Moses said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And He said, I will cause all my goodness to pass be fore thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee ; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. Mat. xx. 15: Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own ? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? Eph. i. 11. Rom. ix. 23, 24. Jer. xxxi. 3. Rom. xi. 28, 29. James i. 17, 18. 2 Tim. ii. 9. Rom. xi. 32-36.

**** 1 Cor. iv. 7: For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? 1 Cor. i. 26-31. Rom. iii. 27; iv. 16. Col. iii. 12. 1 Cor. iii. 5-7; xv. 10. 1 Pet v. 10. Acts i. 24.

1 Thess. ii. 13. 1 Pet. ii. 9. Luke xviii. 7. John xv. 16. Ephes. i. 16. 1 Thess. ii. 12.

**** 2 Tim. 10: Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 1 Cor. ix. 22. I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Rom. viii. 28-30. John vi. 37-40. 2 Pet. i. 10.

***** 1 Thess. i. 4-10: Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God : for our Gospel came unto you, not in word only, but in power, etc .

****** Rom. viii. 28-39: Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called them he also justified, and whom he justified them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? if God be for us, who can be against us ? Isaiah, xiii. 16. Rom. xi. 29.

******* 2 Pet. i. 10: Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Phil. iii. 12. Heb. vi. 11.

IX. OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS.

That such only are real believers as endure unto the end;* that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors;** that a special Providence watches over their welfare,*** and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.****

Places in the Bible where taught.

* John viii. 31: Then said Jesus, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. 1 John ii. 27, 28; iii. 9; v. 18.

** 1 John ii. 19: They went out from us, but they were not of us ; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out that it might be made manifest that they were not all of us. John xiii. 18. Matt. xiii. 20, 21. John vi. 66-69.

*** Rom. viii. 28: And we know that all things work together for good unto them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose. Mat. vi. 30-33. Jer. xxxii. 40. Ps. xci. 11, 12; cxxi. 3.

**** Phil. i. 6: He who hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. ii. 12, 13. Jude 24, 25. Heb. i. 14. 2 Kings vi. 16. Heb. xiii. 6. 1 John iv. 4.

X. HARMONY OF THE LAW AND GOSPEL.

That the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government,* that it is holy, just, and good;** and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfil its precepts, arises entirely from their love of sin;*** to deliver them from which, and to restore

them through a mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.****

Places in the Bible where taught.

* Rom. iii. 21: Do we make void the law through faith ? God forbid. Yea, we establish the law. Mat. v. 17. Luke xvi. 17. Rom. iii. 20 ; iv. 15.

** Rom vii. 12 : The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good, Rom. vii. 7, 14, 22. Gal. iii. 21. Ps. cxix. t Rom. viii. 7, 8: The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Josh. xxiv. 19. Jer. xiii. 23. John vi. 44; v. 44.

*** Rom. viii. 2-4: For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. Rom. x. 4. 1 Tim. i. 5. Heb. viii. 10. Jude 20, 21. Heb. xii. 14.

XI. OF A GOSPEL CHURCH.

That a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers,* associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel;** observing the ordinances of Christ;*** governed by his laws**** and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his word;***** that its only proper officers are bishops or pastors, and deacons,****** whose qualifications, claims, and duties, are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

Places in the Bible where taught.

* 1 Cor. i. 1-13: Paul, (unto the church of God which is at Corinth,) Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? Mat. xviii. 17. Acts v. 11; viii. 1; xi. 26. 1 Cor. iv. 17; xiv. 23. 3 John 9. 1 Tim. iii. 6.

** Acts ii. 41, 42: Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls: 2 Cor. viii. 5: They first gave their ownselves to the Lord, and then unto us by the will of God. Acts ii. 47. 1 Cor. v. 12, 13.

*** 1 Cor. xi. 2: Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances as I delivered them unto you. 2 These, iii. 6. Rom. xvi. 17-20. 1 Cor. xi. 23. Mat. xviii. 15- 20. 1 Cor. 5 and 6. 2 Cor. 2 and 7. 1 Cor. iv. 17. i

**** Mat. xxviii. 20: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. John xiv. 15; xv. 12. 1 John iv. 21; John xiv. 21. 1 Thess. iv. 2. 2 John vi. Gal. vi. 2. All the Epistles.

***** Ephes. iv. 7: Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 1 Cor. xv. 12: Seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Phil. i. 27: That I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the Gospel. 1 Cor. 12. 1 Cor. 14.

****** Phil. i 1: With the bishops and deacons. Acts xiv. 23. Acts xv. 22. I Tim. 3. Titus 1.

XII. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD S SUPPER.

That Christian baptism is .the immersion of a believer in water,* in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit;** to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its purifying power;*** that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation, and to the Lord’s Supper,**** in which the members of the church, by the use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ;***** preceded always by solemn self-examination.******

Places in the Bible where taught.

* Acts viii. 36-39: And the eunuch said, See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized ? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest. And they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. Mat. iii. 5, 6. John iii. 22, 23. John iv. 1, 2. Mat. xxviii. 19. Mark xvi. 16. Acts ii. 38; viii. 12; xvi. 32-34; xviii. 8.

** Mat. xxviii. 19: Baptizing them” in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Acts x. 47, 48. Gal. iii. 27, 28.

*** Rom. vi. 1-14: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Col. ii. 12. 1 Pet. iii. 20, 21. Acts xxii. 16.

**** Acts ii. 41, 42: Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, and there were added to them, the same day, about three thousand souls: And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers. Mat. xxviii. 19, 20. Acts and Epistles.

***** 1 Cor. xi 26: As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show the Lord’s death till he come. Mat. xxvi. 26-29 Mark xiv. 22-25. Luke xxii. 14-21.

****** 1 Cor. xi. 28: But let it man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. 1 Cor. v. 7, 8 ; x. 3-32 ; xi. 17-32. John vi. 26-71.

XIII. OF THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.

That the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath,* and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes,** by abstaining from all secular labor and recreations;*** by the devout

observance of all the means of grace, both private**** and public***** and by preparation for that rest****** which remaineth for the people of God.

Places in the Bible where taught.

*Acts xx. 7: On the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them. Gen. ii. 3. Col. ii. 16, 17. Mark ii. 27. John xx. 19. 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2.

** Ex. xx. 8: Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Rev. i. 10: I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day. Ps. cxviii 24: This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

*** Isai. lviii. 13, 14: If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honorable; and shall honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasures, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob. Isai. Ivi. 2-8.

**** Ps. cxviii. 15: The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacle of the righteous.

***** Heb. x. 24, 25: Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is. Acts xi. 26: A whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. Acts xiii. 44: The next Sabbath Day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. Lev. xix. 30. Ez. xlvi. 3. Luke iv. 16. Acts xvii, 2, 3. Ps. xxvi. 8; Ixxxvii. 2.

****** Heb. iv. 3-11 : Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest.

XIV. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT.

That civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society;* and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed,** except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ,*** who is the only lord of the conscience, and the prince of the kings of the earth.****

Places in the Bible where taught.

* Rom. xiii. 1-7: The powers that be are ordained of God. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Dent. xvi, 18. 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. Ex. xviii. 23. Jer. xxx. 21.

** Mat. xxii. 21: Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s. Titus iii. 1. 1 Peter ii. 13. 1 Tim. ii. 1-8.

***Acts v. 29: We ought to obey God rather than man. Mat. x. 28. Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. Dan. iii. 15-18; vi. 7-10. Acts iv. 18-20.

****Mat. xxiii. 10: Ye have one master, even Christ. Rom. xiv. 4: Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? Rev. xix. 16: And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written King, of kings and Lord of lords. Psalm ii; Ixxii. 11. Rom. xiv. 9-13.

XV. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED.

That there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked;* that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem,** while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse;*** and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.****

Places in the Bible where taught.

* Mal. iii. 18: Ye shall discern between the righteous and the wicked ; between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. Isai. v. 20. Gen. xviii. 23. Jer. xv. 19. Acts x. 34, 85. Rom. vi. 16.

*** Rom. i. 17: The just shall live by faith. Rom. vi. 18: We are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. 1 John ii 29: If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. 1 John iii. 7. Rom. vi. 18-22. 1 Cor. xi. 32. Prov. xi. 31. 1 Peter iv. 17, 18.

*** 1 John v. 19: And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. Gal. iii. 10 : As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. John iii. 36. Isaiah lvii. 21. Ps. x. 4. Isaiah lv. 6, 7.

**** Prov. xiv. 32: The wicked is driven away in his wickedness, but the righteous hath hope in his death. See, also, the example of the rich man and Lazarus. . Luke xvi. 25: Thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and thou art tormented. John viii. 21-24. Prov. x. 24. Luke xii. 4, 5; ix. 23-26. John xii. 26, 26. Eccl. iii. 17. Mat. vii. 13, 14.

XVI. OF THE WORLD TO COME.

That the end of this world is approaching;* that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven,* and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution;* that a solemn separation will then take place**** that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy;*****and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.******

Places in the Bible where taught.

* 1 Peter iv. 7: But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 1 Cor. vii. 29-31. Heb. i. 10- 12. Mat. xxiv. 35. 1 John ii. 17. Mat. xxviii. 20; xiii. 39; xiii. 49. 2 Peter iii. 3-13.

** Acts i. 11: This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Rev. i. 7. Heb. ix. 28. Acts iii. 21. 1 Thess. iv. 13- 18, v. 1-11.

*** Acts xxiv. 15: There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 1 Cor. xv. 12-59. Luke xiv. 14. Dan. xii. 2. John v. 28, 29; vi. 40; xi. 25, 26. 2 Tim. i. 10. Acts x. 42.

**** Mat. xiii. 49: The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked, from among the just. Mat. xiii. 37-43; xxiv. 30, 31; xxv. 27-33

***** Mat. xxv. 35-46: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal. Rev. xxii. 11: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. Mark ix. 43-48. 2 Peter ii. 9, 10. Jude 7. Phil. iii. 19. Rom. vi. 22. 2 Cor. v. 10, 11. John iv. 36. 2 Cor. iv. 18.

****** Rom. iii. 5, 6 : Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance ? (I speak as a man). God forbid; for how then shall God judge the world? 2 Thess. i. 6-10. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them who trouble you; and to you who are troubled, rest with us — when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. Heb. vi. 1, 2. 1 Cor. iv. 5. Acts xvii. 31. Rom. ii. 2-16. Rev. xx. 11, 12. 1 John ii. 8; iv. 17.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God ?
2 Peter iii. 11-12.

The following churches were represented:

Churches. Counties. 6. Mount Olive* Chatham. 7. Love’s Creek… Chatham. 8. May’s Chapel . .. . 9 . Mount Zion 10 . Mount Carmel . . . 11. Mount Gilead 12. Mineral Spring.. 13 . Pleasant Grove . . Chatham . Orange . ., Orange. ., Chatham . . Chatham . Chatham . , Chatham . . Chatham . . Chatham . Randolph . Orange . . Chatham . 8 67 10 66 2 172 3 43 2 127 65 1 80 43 Names of Delegates. ( Elder Levi Andrews . < William Gean (William Robertson. ( Daniel Hackney . . . . < John Lambert ( D. Murchison (J. W. Stedman . 1 William Burns ( Sherwood White . . . ( David Patterson . < David Johnson ( Samuel Barker ( Eloer W. H. Merritt , 1 John Hutchins ( William G. Weaver. (William Griffin .? A. G. Hinton ( H. J. Stone f. Samuel Dowd . < James Cmtchfield . . ( William Culberson . ( Augustus W. Bynum . 1 Kelleo Mitchell . . . < Allen Ellis ( John Dark 14 . Beave’s Chapel . . . 1 Eli Webster ; 1 105 (John R. Marsh (William H. Bridges. 15. Rocky River …. . < Henry Dorsett 8 63 ( Elder Wm. Lineberry ( John Thompson …. 16. Bock Spring < E. A. Moore 3 47 ( Stephen Moore ( Leander York …. 17. Sandy Creek . < Solomon S. Siler. 1 75 ( William Reece . . . ( Hasten Poe 18. Sandy Field…. . 2 Ruffin Andrews . . 37 112 ( Neverson Cates . .

( James S. Lasater. 19. Gum Spring . < James Gross 19 125 ( Abner Lasater . . . * Formerly Lick Creek. No. Churches. Counties. …..m,.* .v …/l(.r,fi.-:f …. ^, v JElisha Cagle ) 20 Mechanic’s Hill, Asa Williamson >• 1 38 B. P. Person ) 21. Fall Creek Chatham Alston Jones ». Bethlehem Moore { JJ£ ^awhorn. . . . J j „ ( Spencer Dorsett ) 23. Cedar Falls Randolph .? Matthew Sumner. . . > 2 16 ( James F. Marsh ) 146 1660 In 1846, this body met at Love’s Creek M. H., Chat

A History of the Sandy Creek Association, from its Organization in A.D. 1758 to A.D. 1858, by Elder George W. Purefoy, (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1859), 199-213

The Abstract of Principles

The Abstract of Principles

  1. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
  2. There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
  3. God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
  4. God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.
  5. Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life — not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ — in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.
  6. God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.
  7. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose hand He ever liveth to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.
  8. Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone.
  9. Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbleth himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.
  10. Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness.
  11. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.
  12. Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified, by God’s word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ’s commands.
  13. Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
  14. The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all his true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to his commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches he hath given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which he hath appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops, or Elders, and Deacons.
  15. Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper.
  16. The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by his churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship.
  17. The Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted.
  18. God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful thing commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
  19. The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God — the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
  20. God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life.