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Showing posts from February, 2018

The Initiatory Rite of the Church

This past week in our Systematic Theology class the subject was the church. We studied: the nature of the church; the role of the church; the government and unity of the church; the initiatory rite of the church, Baptism; the continuing rite of the church, the Lord’s Supper. Today I would like to answer three questions regarding baptism: What is the meaning of baptism? Who is the subject? What is the mode?

Believer’s baptism is an outward symbol of what has happened inwardly to the believer. For this reason, Romans 6:4 is often referred to during baptism. Buried in the likeness of Christ death and raised with Christ to walk in newness of life. (Rom.6:4) Baptism is an outward expression or testimony of faith and commitment to Christ. Salvation is in no way dependent on baptism, but baptism completes our faith. Like James said, “But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’” (Jam.2:18) The m…

The Study of Salvation

For any who are following me on this journey of going deeper into the Word of God and understand the church, today I write a brief synopsis of this past week in my Systematic Theology class. This past week was a big week, because we studied the doctrine of salvation. We studied varying concepts of salvation that exist among men. We studied the antecedent to salvation which is predestination.  We studied differing views of predestination: Calvinism, Arminianism and Karl Barth. We studied the beginning of salvation; regeneration and conversion. By conversion I mean the human response to God’s offer of salvation. There is both a negative and positive side to the human response to God’s offer of salvation; repentance is the negative side (abandonment of sin) and faith is the positive side. Regeneration is God’s work alone. Regeneration is the transformation of a human being from within. Christ referred to this as the new birth. We had an interesting class discussion on which comes first …

The Work of the Holy Spirit

This past week we studied the Holy Spirit. As believers we are never alone, the Holy Spirit is always with us every step from conversion to glorification. It is a wonderful journey that we are all on; I liken it to the wonderful allegory, “The Pilgrim’s Progress” written by John Bunyan. All believers are on a journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit are our guides. The Holy Spirit converts/regenerates, sanctifies and glorifies the believer through the Word of God. It is not clear to me the order of conversion/regeneration, but it is clear to me that sanctification follows, and glorification is to come. Therefore, we will consider conversion/regeneration together.

Jesus strongly emphasized in His teaching the work of the Holy Spirit in the beginning of the Christian life. It is conversion that is humanly speaking the beginning of the Christian life and it is regeneration that is Godly speaking the beginning of the Christian life. …