However, I do have a question for anyone reading this blog today -- and it stems from some things that happened to me and Dan and Phil not directly related to the Founders Conference, or related to anyone we saw at the conference.
Let's imagine you're a pastor, and you have a statement of faith which begins like this:
We believe:Seriously now: good on you. That's real meat -- real Confessional foundations there. That's where any other statement about the faith you could make would have a place to stand as you roll out your convictions.
the Bible is God's Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our every day lives. (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
But then let's imaging that this is the rest of your statement of faith:
there is one God who is the Creator of all things and is eternally existent in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (John 14:18-27)As they say: that's it. That's the whole statement of faith.
that man was created in God's image, but is separated from God by sin. His only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Gen. 1:26-31, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21)
in salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
that our eternal destination of either Heaven or hell is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:16-17, 5:24)
in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as a subsequent gift to salvation. (Acts 19:1-6)
it is the Father's will for believers to become whole, healthy and successful in all areas of life. Because of the fall, many may not receive the full benefits of God's will while on earth. That fact, though, should never prevent all believers from seeking the full benefits of Christ's provision in order to better serve others.
1) Spiritual (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
2) Mental (Philippians 4:7-8)
3) Physical (1 Peter 2:24 )
4) Financial (2 Corinthians 9:6-10)
Without getting all fisky over the problems evident in this affirmation, let me ask you: if the Bible is "God's Word ... accurate, authoritative and applicable to our every day lives", this statement of faith seems to leave out, well, most of the Bible.
I couldn't say much more today without passing out from theological overload, but I want you to think about this: if this is a valid statement of faith for a church, why would anyone have a reason to attend that church faithfully? Would attendance even be on your radar?
I know it is for you people. Be in the Lord's house on the Lord's day with the Lord's people this weekend, and try to treat the "accurate, authoritative and applicable" Word of God as if it has more than 27 verses of Scripture in it. Because you know what? It does -- and they are.