Is Scripture Sufficient to Define Good Works?

While the central message of the NCFIC is the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture, we find ourselves speaking of the many areas that this doctrine speaks to. So, if you want to know what pleases God in church life, family life, work life or any other kind of life, go to scripture. The answer is there.

Last Tuesday night, during our Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine Webinar, we covered Chapter 16 of the Second London Baptist Confession on the doctrine of good works. In this section, the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture for good works is stated. In paragraph 1, the confession reads,

Good works are only such as God hath commanded in His Holy Word, and not such as without the warrant thereof are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretense of good intentions.

This is the sufficiency of scripture for good works. It is based on the idea that God shows us what is good. Micah stated it this way, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.

We often think we can make up any kind of work and call it good. What the confession is reminding us of is that God defines what is good and makes gives commands and principles that define it. For example God has much to say about the eduction of children, the care for the poor, the life and work of a woman and a man… The problem is, we concoct works that sound good to us, but they may contradict what God has commanded, or keep us from doing what God has already commanded.

God has given us commands for what is good to do in the church and in the family, but we are often dissatisfied with it – we have a better idea.

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Chapter By Chapter Comments – A Weed in the Church

Here is a pastor who is reading and reviewing A Weed in the Church by commenting chapter by chapter.



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Thoughts on Interpreting the Confession

Our objective during our Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine is to help families learn how to apply a historic confession of faith. The example we are using is the Baptist Confession of 1689. Here is Richard Barcellos with some insightful thoughts on interpreting the Confession. He writes,

  1. Like the Bible, the Confession is often self-interpreting, latter statements shedding interpretive light on former statements and former statements upon latter.
  2. Unlike the Bible, however, the self-interpreting phenomena of the Confession are not infallible.
  3. Like the Bible, the Confession is progressive in its formulation, latter statements assuming the former and building upon them.
  4. Like the Bible, inner-biblical (inner-confessional) exegesis/intertexuality is present in the Confession and often the key to its proper interpretation.
  5. Like the Bible, the Confession possesses authorial intent.
  6. Unlike the Bible, there is no divine author.
  7. Like the Bible, seeking to understand human authorial intent requires understanding background information, such as symbolic sources, historical-theological context, the theological nomenclature of the era, and the writings of the editor(s) of the Confession.

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Are You Catering to a Particular Generation’s Preferences?

John MacArthur in his book, "The Truth War" puts his finger on what we believe is the systemic virus that is afflicting evangelicalism – catering to preferences instead of boldly preaching the Word of God.

"Notice: he deliberately refused to customize his message or adjust his delivery to suit the Corinthians’ philosophical bent or their cultural tastes. He had no thought of catering to a particular generation’s preferences, and he used no gimmicks as attention-getters. Whatever antonym you can think of for the word showmanship would probably be a good description of Paul’s style of public ministry. He wanted to make it clear to everyone (including the Corinthian converts themselves) that lives and hearts are renewed by means of the Word of God, and by nothing else. That way they would begin to understand and appreciate the power of the gospel message.

"By contrast, today’s church-growth experts seem to have no confidence in Scripture’s power. They are convinced the gospel needs to be "contextualized," streamlined, and revamped anew for every generation. Forty years of that approach has left evangelicals grossly untaught, wholly unprepared to defend the truth, and almost entirely unaware of how much is at stake. The evangelical movement itself has become a monstrosity, its vast size and visibility belying its almost total spiritual failure. One thing is certain: the cumbersome movement that most people today would label "evangelical" is populated with large numbers of people who are on the wrong side in the Truth War."

The Truth War (Nelson, 2007, pp. 165-68)

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Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine Webinar Update

A Glorious First Sunday at Sovereign Redeemer

Last Sunday, Sovereign Redeemer Community Church, the church we just planted in the nearby town of Youngsville, NC, held their first service. There were approximately 110 people there.

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The Average Woman Will Kiss 22 Men Before Marriage

A recent news report says that "Your prince is 22 frogs away."

The article contends that interviews with 2000 people reveal that,

"The average woman will kiss 22 men, have four long-term relationships and get her heart broken five times before meeting “the one”, a study claims. The path to true love will also see her endure six bad dates, have six one-night stands and be cheated on four times before finding her perfect match. The typical woman will have met at least one partner online, been taken on holiday by three different men and had three long- distance relationships. One-in-five even say they have a child with someone else before finding their soulmate – and most have lived with two men before they meet Mr Right. The average man will make slightly more of his single days, kissing 23 girls and having 10 one-night stands before getting round to settling down. But he will also have his heart broken six times...

"It’s just a shame we have to live through so much before finding the partner of our dreams." The survey found that the average woman will have her first boyfriend at 15, and date nine men before settling down. She will be dumped four times and will break up with someone five times."

Come to Gospel Centered Marriages for a Glorious Church, for a better way.  

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Don’t Be a Victim of a Bad Economy – Create Your Own – Become A Financial Professional

Listen to an interview of Scott Brown by Kevin Swanson concerning the Financial Professionals Workshop, coming up May 21st in Wake Forest, NC. Sign up your sons with you and save! Sons are half price when they come with their father. 

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How does the fall of man help you to understand your family?

A new way to register!

The Family Foundations Webinar covers all 32 chapters of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith in two 8 week periods. Registration for the first 8 weeks (16 sessions) will give you access to the archive of videos covering the first half of the confession. Registration for the second half (16 sessions) will give you access to the live webinars running each Tuesday night from Oct. 4th – Nov. 22nd as well as the archive of those videos. Registration for the entire year gives you access to the complete archive for the entire confession as well as live access to the remaining 16 sessions.

With monthly payments, you can still get your registration in early while paying the registration cost in smaller increments up until the conference. The monthly payment amount is automatically determined by the number of months remaining before the final eight weeks. Sign up for the Family Foundations Webinar today and pay only $8.29 a month for 7 months for a single half, or $14.29 per month for 7 months for the entire 32 sessions.

Click here to register

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What Does It Mean to Preach the Whole Counsel of God?

We have been advocates of expository preaching and taking measures to teach the whole counsel of God in the church, rather than neglecting important and difficult parts. Here, D.A. Carson speaks about what Paul meant when he said that he did not neglect to preach the whole counsel of God in Ephesus.

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Has Youth Culture Created the Emergent Church – and Rob Bell’s New Book ?

In the midst of all the press on Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins, Paul Edwards had an interview with Martin Bashir who interviewed Rob Bell recently. In Martin Bashir’s interview with Paul Edwards, a little over half-way through the interview, Paul Edwards said,

Martin, you put your finger on exactly what many of us feel is the driving force behind the so-called emergent church – and that is a group of young men who are sort of producing a reaction to their up-bringing in a very strict fundamentalist Christian environment. Now the junior-high youth pastors are actually pastoring the church, and, you know, ‘bring your soda pop and your jeans into the building and let’s have a popcorn fight, and a pillow fight’…

Martin Bashir replied, putting his finger on one of the root drivers of this,

If you are over the age of 30, you will be condemned as a Luddite, as a Jurassic Park remnant for raising that issue, because you will be…told your view is irrelevant. And that’s one of the problems with this whole issue, because what happens is, when the discussion starts, it becomes a closed discussion; because everybody who has ever lived in the past, who has ever had a theological training that might be Orthodox, that might be mainstream –forget it! That’s out the window! Because NOW what we’re focused on are some really subtle nuance, carefully conceived ways of discussing Christianity, and only THIS generation get it…This is problematic for a number of reasons, not least, if you think about it – history informs the present…Many people are deemed to be gray-haired, old-fashioned, and ignorant, and out-of-touch. But the reality is, that the reason why this fracture is occurring, I think, is because a lot of those people from previous generations, if you like, are raising difficult questions for this particular group of people. And the other to bear in mind is, if the church in the past has been so backward, inward-looking, un-connected to culture, how has it survived?"

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Fathers and Sons: Would You Like to Learn How to Become a Financial Professional?

Scott Brown Erik Weir Ashok Noah Adam Hall Don Murphy

How would you like to become a financial professional? Come to the Financial Professionals Workshop and learn how! This is a fantastic business that facilitates family economy. Kevin Swanson interviewed Scott Brown about the workshop coming up May 21, in Wake Forest, NC.

If you are interested, check out the background and experience of the speakers, the content of the sessions, and the issues we will address in the workshop. To register, click here.

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A Weed in the Church is now an ebook

My new book, “A Weed in the Church” is now available in ebook form here.

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Check out the Intro to Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine

[vimeo 19755363 581 327]

For more information on the Family Foundations Webinar, click here.

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Seven Questions to Ask in Time of Adversity

Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, has posted a helpful blog on how we work through times of uncertainty. He proposes seven questions:

1. What if this isn’t the end but a new beginning?
2. What if the answer to my prayer is just over the next hill?
3. What if this is necessary in order for me to be prepared for the next important chapter in my life?
4. What if God knows exactly what I need at this particular time?
5. What if God is speaking to me through means I would not have chosen for a blessing I cannot see?
6. What does this experience make possible?
7. What will I be telling my grandchildren that I learned was so valuable in this season of my life?

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