Chaplains Hand Book by Peter Hammond
FRONTLINE FELLOWSHIP PO Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa www.frontline.org.za
Chaplains Hand Book by Peter Hammond Permission is hereby granted to any mission, church, magazine or other periodical to reprint, or quote from, any portion of this book, so long as two conditions are met: (I) the passage must be reprinted, or quoted, in context, in full, word for word; (2)full acknowledgement must be given in the following words: This article is taken from the Frontline Fellowship Chaplains Hand Book, by Peter Hammond.
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright ÂŠ 1982 by Thomas Nelson, used with permission
Copyright ÂŠ2017 by Peter Hammood ISBN 978-0-9946971-3-4
Published by: FRONTLINE FELLOWSHIP PO Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa Tel: +(27-21) 689-4480 Fax: +(27-21) 685-5884 email@example.com www.frontline.org.za
Introduction As a chaplain, you have many serious and solemn duties and responsibilities. This Hand Book, which includes the supplementary Chaplains Prayer Book, is designed to assist and empower you to carry out your duties more effectively. As a chaplain you are responsible for the spiritual well being of all in your unit. In the army, the chaplain is to be the pastor of the soldiers, non-commissioned officers and the officers, of all ranks. In the police, a chaplain is to care for all the officers and constables. In a prison, a prison chaplain is to care not only for the prisoners, but also for the wardens. Hospital chaplains are responsible for the spiritual care of the patients, and also of the medical staff. In addition, chaplains are frequently called upon to care for the families and relatives of those they are primarily responsible for. Chaplains are of course responsible to the government officials under whom they serve. Chaplains have a dual responsibility, to the church and to the state. The state is a minister of justice answerable to Almighty God, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Chaplains are also ministers of the Church, which is a minister of grace under our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. In all these duties, your authority is grounded in Scripture, your responsibilities are clearly shown in Scripture and the Holy Bible is your most important equipment. "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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will Judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and teaching. " 2 Timothy 3:16- 4:2 Dr. Peter Hammond
Chaplains Hand Book
Introductioni Guidelines for Church Services 2 Prayers of Confession 3 The Nicene Creed 6 The Apostles’ Creed 7 Church Service 8 Prayers of Intercession 9 The General Supplication 13 Morning Prayer 16 The Apostles Creed 17 The Lord's Prayer 17 Funeral Service 19 Dedication Service (for Young Children) 24 Baptism Service (for Adults and Responsible Children) 28 Benedictions30 The Creed of Athanasius 31 The Art of Preaching 33 Motives for Missions 36 Evangelism45 Leading People to Christ 49 The Roman Road 50 The Gospel in John 51 The ABC’s of Salvation 51 Evangelism Explosion 52 The Facts of the Faith 55 The Adventure of Discipleship 59 What is a Christian? 60 Principles for Discipleship 63 Biblical Character 65 Suffering67 The Testimony of the Twelve Apostles 69 The Suffering of Christ 72 War in the Bible 74 All Out War 79 Spiritual Warfare 81 Called to Conquest 83 Hatred of Evil 84 Praying Against Evil 85 Verses of Victory 87 Standing Orders from our Commanding Officer 88 A Time For War 89 God’s Army 91 The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion 92 The Westminster Confession 103 Evangelising in the War Zones 133 Teaching that Transforms 135
Guidelines for Church Services "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." 2 Timothy 4: 1-2 Chaplains are to seek to maintain a high standard of Bible teaching, inspiring Christian concern for the suffering, the weak and the needy and missionary vision for the unreached. We need to give suitable priority to both education and evangelism, to work and worship, to moral issues and missionary outreach, in spiritual zeal and social concerns. We need to be committed to working for Biblical Reformation and praying for Revival. This includes praying for justice according to the Psalms. Suggested Order of Service CALL TO WORSHIP Open the service with a suitable Scripture (e.g.: 1 Chronicles 16:8-12; 16:23-29; 16:31-36; Psalm l; 2; 8; 22:27-31; 24; 27:14;29: 12;46: 1-4; 47; 63:1-5; 95; 96; 97; 98:1-2; 99:l-5;100; 101; 112; 113; 117;121; 122; 125; 127; 134; 146; 149;Revelation 4; 5:6-13).
CALL TO WORSHIP
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His Name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing Psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy Name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth." 1 Chronicles 16: 8-12 "Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place. Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, Give to the Lord glory and strength.Give to the Lord the glory due His Name..." 1 Chronicles 16:23-2 9 "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; And let them say among the nations, 'The Lord reigns.' Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;Let the field rejoice, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice 2
before the Lord,For He is coming to judge the earth. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. And say, 'Save us, O God of our salvation;Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy Name,To triumph in Your praise.' Blessed be the Lord God of IsraelFrom everlasting to everlasting!" 1 Chronicles 16:31-36 "Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He Who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His Name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. " Psalm 100 Opening PRAYER of worship, adoration and praise Hymn READING of some aspect of the Law of God (e.g.: Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5; Deuteronomy 27:15-26; 28:1-25, 58-63; 30:15-20; Joshua 1:6-9; Matthew 5:3-12; 7:21-27; Mark 10:19; Luke 6:20-26, 4649; 9:23-26; Ephesians 4:17-32; 5:1-21; Philippians 4:4-8; Colossians 3:1-23;Revelation 20: 1 1-15;21:7-8).
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Exhortations to Repentance: The Scriptures urge us to acknowledge our wickedness before Almighty God our Heavenly Father and to confess our many sins to Him, that they may be forgiven through His infinite goodness and mercy in Jesus Christ our Lord. "We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your Name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land." Daniel 9:5, 6 "For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. " Psalm 51:3 "Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities." Psalm 51:9 "Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no one living is righteous." Psalm 143:2 3
Guidelines for Church Service
"So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. " Joel 2: 13 "To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets." Daniel 9:9, 10 "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8,9 Chaplain: We should always humbly admit our sins before God, but especially when we meet together to give thanks for the great benefits we have received from Him, to praise and worship Him, to hear His holy Word and to ask what is necessary for our bodies and souls. Therefore let us come before the throne of our gracious God and pray together: Congregation: Almighty and most merciful Father; we have strayed from Your ways like lost sheep, we have left undone what we ought to have done, and we have done what we ought not to have done. We have followed our own ways and our own desires and we have neglected and broken Your holy Laws. Have mercy on us Lord. Restore those who repent and confess their sins according to Your promises declared in Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant, merciful Father, for His sake, that hereafter we may live righteous and obedient lives, to the glory of Your holy Name. Amen. Chaplain: Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness and live. He has given authority and commandment to His ministers to declare to His people that He pardons and forgives the sins of all who truly repent and believe His Holy Gospel. Therefore, let us ask Him to grant us true repentance and His Holy Spirit, that we may please 4
Him now, and that the rest of our life may be pure and holy so that at the last we may come to His eternal joy through Jesus Christ our Lord. Congregation: Almighty God, heavenly Father, we confess that we have failed You in our thoughts and words and deeds. Because we are sinners by nature we have strayed from Your ways and not only have we done wrong but we have failed to do right. Lord, You alone can forgive sin. Have mercy on us, pardon our sins and help us to serve You not only with our lips, but with our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Responsive Reading and Prayer: Lord, remember not our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; punish us not for our sins. Spare Your people whom You have redeemed with Your precious blood. Spare us good Lord. From all evil and harm, from sin, from the cunning attacks of the devil; and from everlasting condemnation. Lord deliver us. From all spiritual blindness; from pride, vanity and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, malice and all uncharitableness. Lord deliver us. From sexual and all other deadly sin; and from the deceits of the world, The flesh, and the devil. Lord deliver us. From fire and storm, drought and flood, from epidemic and famine, from strife and violence, from bombs and bullets, from rebellion and violence and from dying suddenly and unprepared. Lord deliver us. From all false doctrine, heresy and schism; from hardness of heart and contempt of Your Word and Commandments. Lord deliver us. In all times of misery, in all times of prosperity, in the hour of death and on the day of judgement. Lord deliver us. By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation; by Your holy birth, life and obedience to the Law. Lord deliver us. By Your agony and anguish, by Your cross and suffering, by Your precious death and Atonement, by Your glorious Resurrection and Ascension and by the coming of the Holy Spirit. Lord deliver us. STATEMENT OF FAITH (e.g.:The Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed, The Athanasian Creed, or excerpts from the Thirty Nine Articles, or the Westminster Confession of Faith, or any other suitable historical, Biblical Confession of Faith)
THE NICENE CREED Let us stand and recite our common Faith. What do we believe? I believe in one God, the Father, Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth and of all that is, seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God, from God; Light, from Light; True God, from True God; begotten not made, of one substance with the Father. Through Him all things were made, Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven, Was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man. For us He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered, died and was buried. On the third day He rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures; He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead And His Kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son together He is worshipped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. I believe in Christ's holy universal and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
THE APOSTLES' CREED
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, He died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; Christ's holy universal Church, the fellowship of Christians, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. NOTICES of upcoming events, outreaches, items for prayer and testimonies of answered prayer. (If an Offering is to be taken up, it can also be taken up at this time.) PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION (including for members of the unit in need, commanders, persecuted Christians, church and civil leaders and imprecatory prayers against the wicked where appropriate.) SCRIPTURE READING(S) HYMN SERMON HYMN BENEDICTION
Church Service The Chaplain reads a Psalm and greets the congregation. He announces the first Hymn. After the Hymn has been sung, while the congregation remains standing, he reads one or more of these, or other suitable verses from the Bible, followed by the exhortation. "We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your Name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land." Daniel 9:5-6 "For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me." Psalm 51:3 "Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities." Psalm 51:9 "Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no one living is righteous." Psalm 143:2 "So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm." Joel 2:13 "To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His Laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets." Daniel 9:9, 10 "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel." Mark 1:15 "I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, â€œFather, I have sinned against Heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son." Luke 15:18, 19 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8, 9
Exhortation The Scriptures urge us to acknowledge our wickedness before Almighty God our heavenly Father and to confess our many sins to Him, that they may be forgiven through His infinite goodness and mercy in Jesus Christ our Lord. 8
We should always humbly admit our sins before God, but especially when we meet together to give thanks for the great benefits we have received from Him, to praise and worship Him, to hear His holy Word and to ask what is necessary for our bodies and souls. Therefore let us come before the throne of our gracious God and say together:
General Confession said together:
Almighty and most merciful Father, we have strayed from Your ways like lost sheep, we have left undone what we ought to have done, and we have done what we ought not to have done. We have followed our own ways and our own desires and we have neglected and broken Your holy Laws. Have mercy on us Lord. Restore us who repent and confess our sins according to Your promises declared in Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant, merciful Father, for His sake, that hereafter we may live righteous and obedient lives to the glory of Your holy Name. Amen.
Assurance of forgiveness said by the Chaplain standing: Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness and live. He has given authority and commandment to His ministers to declare to His people that He pardons and forgives the sins of all who truly repent and believe His holy Gospel. Therefore, let us ask Him to grant us true repentance and His Holy Spirit, that we may please Him now, and that the rest of our lives be pure and holy - so that at the last we may come to His eternal joy through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer said together:
Our Father,which art in Heaven. hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. 9
The Chaplain can then lead the congregation in a time of intercession, using two or three of the following prayers:
Prayer for our Land Almighty,everlasting God, bless our land, its rulers and people. Grant that all of us may live in obedience to Your Word and follow after truth, righteousness and justice. Lord, give peace in our time,Âpeace with justice, and with lasting freedom - to the glory of Your holy Name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for all in need Almighty,merciful Father, You have told us not to think of ourselves only, but to remember the needs of others. We pray for all in want or need, for the sick in body or mind,for the poor and lonely,for those in distress and despair and for all who have strayed from Your way. Merciful Lord, deliver them, strengthen and restore their faith, bless and help them through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In time of disaster Heavenly Father; we thank you for the reminder that power belongs to God and not to man. Look in mercy on Your people, forgive our sins and give relief to all those suffering from the disaster of... Grant also healing and restoration to Your wonderful creation to the praise of your great Name. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A general intercession God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly implore You for all people everywhere, that You would be pleased to make Your ways known to them, Your saving power to all nations. Especially we pray for Christ's holy Church, that it may be so guided and governed by Your Spirit, that all who call themselves Christians may be led by the Word of God and hold to the Faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally,we commend to Your Fatherly goodness all those who are in any way afflicted, or distressed, in mind, body or circumstances, especially those known to us, or for whom our prayers are asked, that it may please You to comfort and deliver them, according to their different needs, giving them patience in their sufferings, and a blessed end to all their troubles. All this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 10
A general thanksgiving Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we Your unworthy servants give You most humble and hearty thanks, for all Your goodness and loving kindness to us and to all men. We bless You for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life. But above all for Your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. Give us, we pray,such a deep sense of all your mercies, that we may be truly thankful and praise You not only with our lips, but with our lives, by giving ourselves to Your service, and by walking before You in holiness and righteousness all our days. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit be all honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.
For the Church Almighty God, the great Shepherd of Your people, bless those who are called to the ministry of Your Word and the congregations to whom they minister. Fill them with the love of Your Truth and clothe them with holiness. Give grace to our bishops, pastors and chaplains, and all other ministers, that their lives and teaching will witness to Your true and living Word through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the extension of Christ's Kingdom God of all the nations of the earth, we pray to You to remember the multitude of men and women who, though created in Your image are ignorant of Your love and salvation. Grant that by the witness of those missionaries and evangelists who serve our Lord Jesus Christ, that wherever they minister Your Word, perishing souls may be saved, the church revived, and the Name of our Saviour magnified. In Christ's Name we ask it. Amen.
For protection Almighty God we look to You for protection. Protect us from bombs, landmines, artillery and other weapons of the enemy. Keep us alert. Guide our footsteps. Keep us sensitive to Your still small voice. May You cause the enemies' weapons to misfire and their bombs to miss their targets or fall to explode. May their pilots fall sick, may their Antonovs and Migs develop engine failure. May they get lost. May Every weapon formed against us fail to have effect. Protect us we pray. In Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.
For victory in battle Lord God,Almighty,You are the Lord of lords and the King of kings. Grant us steadfast hearts to love, trust and obey You. Strengthen us that we may serve Your cause and people with courage and resilience. Be merciful to 11
us. Forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Make us quick and accurate. Guide our hands and feet. Make us alert to danger and swift to respond. Help us to work effectively together -for we pray all this in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer for help Lighten our darkness Lord we pray,and in Your great mercy defend us from all perils and danger of this night, for the love of Your only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer for those in authority Almighty God, who rules over the nations of the world, we commend to Your merciful care the people of this land, that being guided by Your providence we may dwell secure in Your peace. Grant to our leaders and to all in authority,wisdom and strength to understand Your Word and to do Your will. Fill them with the love of truth, justice and righteousness, that they may serve Your people faithfully -to Your honour and glory: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for clergy and people Almighty and everlasting God send down your gracious Holy Spirit on our bishop, pastors, chaplains and other ministers and all congregations of our church. That they may truly please You, refresh, protect and bless them continually,to the honour of our Advocate and Mediator Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of St. Chrysostom Almighty God, who has given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to You; and has promised that when two or three are gathered together in Your Name You will grant their requests; fulfil now Lord the desires and petitions of Your servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of Your truth, and in the world to come, life everlasting. Amen.
For ourselves Go before us Lord, in all our doings with Your most gracious favour, and grant us Your constant help, that in all our works, begun, continued and ended in You we may glorify Your holy Name, and by Your mercy receive everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
At end of day Be present, merciful God and protect us through the hours of this night, that we, who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting 12
world, many rest on your eternal changelessness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Grace said together
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen.
The General Supplication or Litany - Responsive Prayer For Mercy God the Father, Creator of all, have mercy on us sinners. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us sinners. God the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son have mercy on us sinners. Holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity,three Persons and one God, have mercy on us sinners. Amen.
For Deliverance Lord, remember not our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; punish us not for our sins, spare Your people whom You have redeemed with Your precious blood and be not angry with us forever. Spare us good Lord. From all evil and harm, from sin, from the cunning attacks of the devil; from Your wrath and from everlasting condemnation, good Lord deliver us. From all spiritual blindness; from pride, vanity and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, malice and all uncharitableness, good Lord deliver us. From sexual and all other deadly sin; and from the deceits of the world,the flesh, and the devil, good Lord deliver us. From fire and storm, drought and flood, from pestilence and famine, from strife and violence, from bombs and landmines, from rebellion and war and from dying suddenly and unready, good Lord deliver us. From all false doctrine, heresy and schism; from hardness of heart and contempt of Your Word and commandments, good Lord deliver us. In all times of misery, in all times of plenty, in the hour of death and on the Day of Judgment, good Lord deliver us. By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation; by Your holy birth, by Your 13
circumcision and obedience to the Law; by Your baptism, fasting, and temptation, good Lord deliver us. By Your agony and anguish, by Your Cross and suffering, by Your precious death and burial, by Your glorious Resurrection and Ascension and by the coming of the Holy Spirit, good Lord deliver us. Amen.
For Help Lord God we sinners ask you to hear us and to rule and direct Your holy Church in the right way. Hear us good Lord. Enlighten all bishops and other ministers with true knowledge and understanding of Your Word and let their preaching and life clearly show it. Hear us good Lord. Grant wisdom and strength to our leaders and all in authority, and that they may first seek Your honour and glory. Hear us good Lord. Give grace to the judges and magistrates to discern the truth and give right judgement. Hear us good Lord. Help us to love and revere You, to hear and receive Your Word, to live by it, and to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit. Hear us good Lord. Bring to the truth all who have gone wrong, or been deceived,strengthen those who stand firm in the Faith, encourage the faint hearted, lift the fallen, and finally beat down satan under our feet. Hear us good Lord. Help and undertake for all in danger,or any kind of suffering or persecution, need, or trouble, the poor,the hungry and the homeless; protect all who travel by land, water, or air and have pity on all prisoners. Hear us good Lord. Bless the widows and fatherless children, all women in childbirth, all who are sick, all young children and the aged, the lonely and all who fear and despair. Hear us good Lord. Forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers and turn their hearts. Hear us good Lord. Grant us true repentance; forgive our sins, indifference and ignorance, and fill us with Your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to Your holy Word. Hear us good Lord. 14
Protect the earth, and all your creatures, grant us plentiful harvests and make us truly thankful for all you provide. Hear us good Lord. Amen.
Closing prayers Son of God we ask You to hear us. Son of God we ask You to hear us. Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, grant us Your peace. Lord have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord deal not with us according to our sins, Nor reward us according to our wickedness. Lord we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us of the great works that You did in their days and in the old times before them. Lord arise, help and deliver us for Your honour. Glory to God, Father,Son and Holy Spirit as in the beginning so now and for ever .Amen. Then follow: The announcements. Scripture Readings The Hymn before the sermon. *The Sermon The closing Hymn (during which the collection may be taken). The blessing/benediction.
"The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26 or "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever." Ephesians 3:20, 21 Amen 15
Morning Prayer The Chaplain welcomes the congregation. He announces the first Hymn. After the hymn has been sung he reads one or more of the following (or other suitable) verses from the Bible: "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24 "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a Horn of Salvation for us in the house of His servant David." Luke 1:68, 69 "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His Glory." Isaiah 6:3 "You are worthy, O Lord,to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your Will they exist and were created." Revelation 4:11 The Chaplain says: We have come here to take part in the worship of God; to confess our sins to Him and to ask for His forgiveness; to thank Him for making us and protecting us; to praise Him for His love and mercy; to hear from His holy Word, and to pray for our needs and the needs of others. But, first, let us confess our sins and pray together: Almighty God, heavenly Father,we confess that we have sinned against You, in our thoughts, words, and deeds and in what we have left undone. Lord have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and help us that we may serve You better and please You more through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Chaplain: Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, does not wish the death of a sinner,but that he should turn from sin and trust in Christ. God's Word declares that He forgives the sins of all Who truly repent and believe the Gospel. God gave His Son Jesus Christ to die that we could be forgiven and have everlasting life through Him. Let us therefore worship God saying: Congregation: Lord, we worship You for Your wonderful plan of salvation and Your great love that while we were lost sinners Christ died for us to give us eternal life. Chaplain: Glory be to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 16
Congregation: As it was in the beginning, so now and for ever. Chaplain: Let us stand as we recite our common Faith in the words of: The Apostles Creed: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, He died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From there He shall come to Judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; Christ's holy universal Church; the fellowship of Christians, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. The Chaplain says: Let us pray The Lord's Prayer together: Our Father,which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, In earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, the power,and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer for our Land
Almighty, everlasting God, bless our land, our leaders and people. Grant that all of us may live in obedience to Your Word and follow after truth, righteousness and justice. Lord, give peace -with justice and freedom -in our time, to the glory of Your holy Name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 17
Prayer for our Church Heavenly Father, You have called us to be living members of Christ's holy Church. Bless the fellowship of the churches, its bishops, pastors, chaplains and other ministers and those in responsible positions. Grant to all who belong to Your Church sure faith in Your holy Word and lives obedient to it. May we always serve You and each other in prayer and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for all in need Almighty,merciful Father, You have told us not to think of ourselves only, but to remember the needs of others. We pray for all in want or need, for the sick in body or mind,for the poor and lonely, for those in distress and despair and for all who have strayed from Your way. Merciful Lord, deliver them, strengthen and restore their faith, bless and help them through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Then follows: The Scripture readings. *Bible message. A closing Hymn. The blessing.
The Grace: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all for ever more. Amen.
Funeral Service The Chaplain begins the service saying: Listen to God's Word. The Lord Jesus Christ said: "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." John 11:25 The Apostle Paul wrote: "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
A Psalm of David 1. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. 3. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name's sake. 4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. 6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Other appropriate Psalms that could be read include: Psalm 103; 130; 139. At the burial of a child, passages from Lamentations 3:22-26; 3:31-33; John 6.37-40; 1John 3:1-2 and Psalm 23 could be read. 19
The Chaplain shall lead the congregation in prayer:
At the Burial of an Adult O God, who by the glorious Resurrection of Your Son Jesus Christ destroyed death, and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that Your servant (name), being raised with Him, may know the strength of His presence, and rejoice in His eternal glory; who with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Or O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of Your servant (name), and grant him an entrance into Your heavenly land of light and joy, in the fellowship of Your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. Or O God of grace and glory,we remember before you this day our brother (sister) (name). We thank you for giving him to us, his family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In Your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by Your call, we are reunited with those who have gone before; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
At the Burial of a Child O God, whose beloved Son took children into His arms and blessed them: Give us grace to entrust (name) to your never failing care and love, and bring us all to Your Heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. The Chaplain may add the following prayer: Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding: deal graciously with (name) in their grief. Surround them with your love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness, and strength to meet the days to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Scripture readings can be read from any of the the following:
From the Old Testament
Isaiah 25:6-9 (He will swallow up death for ever) Isaiah 61:1-3 (To comfort those who mourn). 20
Lamentations3:22-26, 31-33 (The Lord is good to those who wait for Him). Job 19:21-27a (I know that my Redeemer lives). Appropriate Psalms: are also: 42:1 -7 ,46,90:1-12 , 121, 130, 139:1-11.
From the New Testament Romans 8:14-19, 34-35, 37-39 (The glory that shall be revealed). 1Corinthians 15:20:26, 35-38, 42-44, 53-58 (The resurrection body). 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:9 (Things that are unseen are eternal). 1 John 3:1-2 (We shall be like Him). Revelation 7:9-17 (God will wipe away every tear). Revelation 21:2-7 (Behold, I make all things new).
The Gospel John 5:24-27 (He who believes has everlasting life). John 6:37-40 (All that the Father gives Me will come to Me). John 10:11-16 (I am the Good Shepherd). John 11:21-27 (I am the Resurrection and the Life). John 14:1-6 (In My Father's house are many rooms). At the end of the Scripture readings the Reader says: This is the Word of God. The Chaplain should then lead the congregation in prayer: For our brother (sister) (name), let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ Who said, "I am the Resurrection and the Life." Lord, You consoled Martha and Mary in their distress; draw near to us who mourn for (name), and dry the tears of those who weep. Hear us, Lord. You wept at the grave of Lazarus, Your friend; comfort us now in our sorrow. Hear us, Lord. You raised the dead to life; give to our brother (sister) eternal life. Hear us Lord. You promised paradise to the thief who repented; bring our brother (sister) to the joys of Heaven. Hear us Lord. Our brother (sister) was washed in Baptism and anointed with the Holy Spirit; give him fellowship with all Your saints. Hear us Lord. He was nourished with Your Body and Blood in the Eucharist; grant him a place at the table in Your heavenly Kingdom. Hear us Lord. 21
Comfort us in our sorrows at the death of our brother (sister); let our Faith be our consolation, and eternal life our hope. *Then follows the sermon Thereafter one or more of the following prayers may be offered: Our loving heavenly Father,You did not spare Your beloved only Son our Lord Jesus Christ, but gave Him to redeem us by His death on the Cross; comfort and support those who mourn here before You, let them not doubt Your love but bring them through their sorrow to a fuller knowledge of Your divine wisdom and purpose and that all things work for the good of those who love You, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Lord Jesus Christ, Your heart went out to the widow of Nain who had lost her only son and You restored him to her; You were deeply moved by the grief of those who mourned over Lazarus death and You wept and restored him to life; have compassion on Your servants in their loss and grief. Be to them a very present help in trouble, give them eyes of faith that they may see that the eternal God is their refuge and that underneath are the everlasting arms; we ask it in Your Name. Amen. Lord, merciful Father, You have promised not to break a bruised reed and You do not despise any one crushed by sorrow; most mercifully answer our prayers for those who are bruised and distressed; calm the storm and scatter the clouds, that they may praise and bless You, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Grace- said together:
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all ever more. Amen. The first part of the service concludes here. Then follows the Committal or burial. The chaplain says: Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes up, and is cut down like a flower; he disappears like a shadow and does not stay. In the midst of life we are in death. To whom can we turn for help but to You Lord God, most holy,most mighty? Although You are justly angered by our sins, deliver us not to the terror of eternal death. Hear our prayers most merciful God for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. 22
Almighty God our heavenly Father,with you are the souls of all who have died in the Faith of Christ, here we commit the body of our dear brother earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ Who will transform our lowly bodies, that they may be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control. Amen. "Everyone the Father gives to Me will come to Me; I will never turn away anyone who believes in Me." He who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also give new life to our mortal bodies through His indwelling Spirit. My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy,and in Your right hand are pleasures for evermore. Then, while earth is cast upon the coffin, the Chaplain says these Words: In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother (sister) (name), and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make His face to shine upon him and be gracious to him, the Lord lift up His countenance upon him and give him peace. Amen.
Suitable Hymns for Funeral Services "A Mighty Fortress is our God" "Abide with Me" "All Glory Be to God on High" "All People That on Earth Do Dwell" "Be Thou My Vision" "Breathe on Me, Breath of God" "Cast Thy Burden on the Lord" "Christ the Lord Is Risen Again" "Faith of Our Fathers" "For All the Saints" "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" "God Moves in a Mysterious Way'' "God of Grace and God of Glory'' "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah" "I know That My Redeemer Lives" "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise" "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" "The Church's One Foundation" 23
The Benediction The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant: Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight; through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Dedication Service (for young children) Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the Kingdom of God." Mark 10:14 The Apostle Peter said: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children..." Acts 2:38, 39 Moses said: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." Deuteronomy 6:4-7 Then the Chaplain says: Christian friends, seeing that everyone is born with a sinful nature and because our Saviour said that no one can enter God's Kingdom unless he is born again from above, let us together earnestly pray to God our Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that He will mercifully grant this child that which by nature he (or she) cannot have; that he (or she) may be born of the Holy Spirit and be made a living member of Christ's holy Church. Let us pray together: Almighty and everlasting God, as you saved Noah and his family in the Ark from perishing in the judgement of the flood, we pray You, in Your infinite mercy,to look graciously upon this child, wash him (or her) and sanctify him (or her) with the Holy Spirit, that he (or she), delivered from Your righteous anger may be received into the ark of Christ's Church, and grant that firm in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in love, he (or she) may so pass over the waves of this troubled world, that finally he (or she) may come to the land of everlasting life, there to reign with You for ever and ever,through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 24
Hear the Word of God as it is written in the tenth chapter of Mark's Gospel, beginning at verse thirteen: "Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.' And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them." You have heard in this reading from God's Word that Jesus gladly received the children of God's people, that He commended them, that He rebuked those that kept them from Him, that He openly showed His love for them, when He embraced them in His arms, laid His hands on them and blessed them. We need therefore not doubt, but confidently believe, that He will receive this child which we bring to Him in prayer; that He will embrace him (or her) with the arms of His mercy; that He will give him (or her) the blessing of eternal life and make him(or her) a partaker of His everlasting Kingdom. Therefore, let us give thanks to God, and say together: Almighty and everlasting God, heavenly Father, we give You humble thanks that you have called us to the knowledge of your grace and to faith in You. Increase this knowledge and confirm this Faith in us more and more. Give Your Holy Spirit to this child that he (or she) may be born again and be made an heir of everlasting salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen. The Chaplain says to the parents and godparents: Christian friends, you have prayed that our Lord Jesus Christ will graciously receive this child, deliver him (or her) from his(or her) sins,fill him(or her) with the Holy Spirit and give him (or her) the Kingdom of Heaven and everlasting life. Our Lord has promised to answer prayers which we offer in His Name, and this promise He will surely keep. For your part you must live in conformity with your prayers by setting this child the example of Christian lives and Christian homes. You must continue in your prayers for him(or her) in the years ahead and instruct him (or her) in the Word of God and Christian faith and hope. Will you do this? Answer: By God's grace, we will. Chaplain: This child, for his(or her) part, must also faithfully promise by 25
you today dedicating yourselves to bringing this child up in the Faith, until he (or she) comes of age to take the promise for himself (or herself), that he (or she) will renounce the devil and all his works, firmly believe God's holy Word and Obediently keep His commandments. I ask therefore: Do you in the name of this child renounce the devil and all his works, the greed and deceit of the world, and the sinful desires of the flesh, so that you will not follow them or be led by them? Answer: I renounce them all. Chaplain: Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth? And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son our Lord? And that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; that He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; that He went down into hell, and also rose again the third day; that He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and from there will come again at the end of the world, to judge the living and the dead? Do you believe in Christ's holy universal Church; the fellowship of Christians; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and everlasting life after death? Answer: All this I firmly believe. Chaplain: Will you dedicate this child to our Lord Jesus Christ? Answer: This is our desire. Chaplain: Will you then obediently teach God's holy Word and commandments to this child so that he (or she) may love and serve Him faithfully all his(or her) life? Answer: I will. Chaplain: Merciful God, grant that the old nature in this child may be so buried that the new man may be raised up in him (or her.) Congregation: Amen. Chaplain: Grant that all sinful desires may die in him or her and that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in him (or her.) Congregation: Amen. Chaplain: Grant that he (or she) who is here dedicated to you may be granted heavenly grace and be everlastingly rewarded, through Your 26
mercy,blessed Lord God Who governs all things for ever and ever. Congregation: Amen. The Chaplain takes the child and asks the parents his (or her) name. He first names it and then dedicates the child to God: I dedicate you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. We receive this child in to the congregation of Christ's Church and sign him(or her) with the sign of the cross (here the minister makes a cross on the child's forehead) to show that he (or she) will not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified and fight bravely against sin, the world and the devil and continue to be Christ's faithful follower and servant till his (or her) life's end. Amen.
Let us pray together We give you heartfelt thanks, most merciful Father that you hear our prayers made in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to regenerate this child with Your Holy Spirit, to receive him(or her) for Your own child by adoption and to include him (or her) in Your holy Church. We pray that he (or she) may die to sin and live to righteousness , being crucified with Christ and raised with Him, and that with the rest of Christ's holy Church, he (or she) may inherit Your everlasting Kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Almighty God, our heavenly Father, your Son Jesus shared at Nazareth the life of a godly home; may this child be brought up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Bless every family here. Help parents to teach the knowledge of Your Word and righteousness . Help children to respond with love and obedience . May our homes be blessed with Your presence, and filled with faith, hope and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Grace said together:
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore Amen.
(Adults and Responsible children) "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My Judgments and do them." Ezekiel 36:25-27 "Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." Acts 2:38, 39 The Chaplain says: God's Word tells us that everyone is born with a sinful nature, that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that no one can naturally enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but must be born again. Baptism is the external and visible sign of the new birth, of the washing away of sin and of becoming a member of God's family. But, it is of no effect without the inward and spiritual work of the Holy Spirit who first brings us to repentance and then to trust in the perfect sacrifice for sins made on the cross by our Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore, let us pray that God will graciously grant our brother(s) (and sisters(s)) who have come here for baptism that which by their sinful nature they cannot have, that they may be born of the Holy Spirit and made living members of Christ's holy Church. Amen. Chaplain: Almighty God, heavenly Father, You sent Your Son into the world to save sinners, by living a life of perfect obedience to Your holy Law, by suffering and dying upon the cross, by rising from the dead and ascending into Heaven; mercifully grant to these Your servants, who have come to baptism, to be cleansed from their sins, born again to everlasting life, and that they may be filled with Your Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Then follows: The Scripture Readings (e.g. 1 Corinthians 10:1-6; Romans 6:1-4; and Mark 1:4-11) should now be read. *Sermon Hymn 28
Chaplain: Brothers and sisters in Christ, in the presence of God and this congregation do you renounce the devil and all his works, the deceit of the world and the sinful desires of the flesh so that you will not follow them or be led by them? Answer: I renounce them all. Chaplain: Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth? Answer: I do believe in Him. Chaplain: Do you believe in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord? He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell and on the third day He rose again. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. Answer: I do. Chaplain: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit, Christ's holy universal Church, the fellowship of Christians, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting? Answer: All this I firmly believe. Chaplain: Will you then obediently keep God's holy Word and commandments and serve Him faithfully all your life? Answer: I will. Chaplain: May our merciful God grant that your old nature may be buried and that the new nature will grow in its place. Congregation: Amen. Chaplain: Grant that your sinful desires may die and Christian values live in their place. Congregation: Amen. Chaplain: Grant that you may have strength and endurance to win the victory over the devil, the world and your sinful nature. Congregation: Amen. 29
The Chaplain baptises them in water saying: Chaplain: . ..I baptise you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. We receive you into the congregation of Christ's Church and sign you with the sign of the cross (here the minister makes a cross on their foreheads) to show that you will not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified and to fight bravely under His Name against sin, the world, and the devil, and to continue as Christ's faithful soldier and servant to your life's end. Amen. Chaplain: Let us pray together: Heavenly Father, we thank You that You hear our prayers made in the Name of Your Son Jesus Christ for these our brothers (or sisters) who according to Your Word have been baptised in Your Name; that they might receive new birth by your Holy Spirit, become Your own children by adoption, and living members of your holy Church. Grant that they may die to sin and live to righteousness, being crucified with Christ and raised with Him, and that they,with the rest of your children may inherit Your eternal Kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Benediction: To God's gracious mercy and protection we commit you. The Lord bless and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord give you peace both now and for ever. Amen. "Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen." Jude 24 - 25 "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all." 2 Corinthians 13: 14 "May the Lord Himself, Who is our source of peace, give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all." 2 Thessalonians 3:16 "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the Blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:20-21 30
The Creed of Athanasius The Athanasian Creed composed between AD 381-428, based on the work of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria AD 329-373, affirms and defines the fundamental Christian doctrine of God the Holy Trinity. 1. Whoever will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Holy Christian Faith. 2. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled: without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. 3. And the Holy Christian Faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity; 4. Neither confounding the Persons: nor dividing the Substance. 5. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son; and another of the Holy Spirit. 6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. 7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son; and such is the Holy Spirit. 8. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate; and the Holy Spirit uncreate. 9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible; and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible. 10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal; and the Holy Spirit eternal. 11. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. 12. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three untreated; but one untreated and one incomprehensible. 13. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty; and the Holy Spirit Almighty. 14. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. 15. So the Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Spirit is God. 16. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. 17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord; and the Holy Spirit Lord. 18. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. 19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity: to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord; 20. So we are forbidden by the Holy Christian Faith: to say there be three Gods or three Lords. 21. The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten. 22. The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten. 23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. 24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. 25. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another: none is greater, or 31
The Creed of Athanasius
less than another; 26. But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together: and coequal. 27. So that in all things, as is aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. 28. He therefore that will be saved: must thus think of the Trinity. 29. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation: that he also believes rightly in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 30. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess: that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. 31. God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds: and Man, of the Substance of His mother, born in the world; 32. Perfect God, and perfect Man: of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting; 33. Equal to the Father, as touching His Godhead: and inferior to the Father, as touching His Manhood. 34. Who although He be God and Man: yet He is not two, but one Christ; 35. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking of the Manhood into God; 36. One altogether; not by confusion of substance: but by unity of Person. 37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man: so God and Man is one Christ; 38. Who suffered for our salvation: descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. 39. He ascended into Heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty: from where He shall come to judge the living and the dead. 40. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; and shall give account for their own works. 41. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting: and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. 42. This is the Faith of Christ's Holy Universal Church: which except a man believes faithfully, he cannot be saved. Glory to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit as in the beginning so now and forever. Amen.
The Art of Preaching INTRODUCTION
We all need to learn how to preach/speak in public. The ability to communicate or teach is a gift that needs cultivating and practice. Most important, we each need a relationship/experience with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) to equip us for service. A.
BIBLICAL BASIS (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 4:2) There is a distinct difference between: Preaching, Proclaiming, Teaching, Testimony, Instructing, Evangelising, Witnessing, and each has their time and place in a chaplain's life.
B. THREE BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PREACHING 1. Have something Worthwhile, Important and Relevant to say. 2. Explain and illustrate what you say. 3. Know how to start and how (and when) to finish. C. WHERE DO I GET MY MESSAGES FROM? 1. Directly from the Word of God, the Bible (Jeremiah 1:9, 17; 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). 2. As Truths we know to be appropriate for the occasion (Acts 20: 18-35). 3. As Lessons which we know our audience needs to know (2 Timothy 4:2). 4. Systematic Bible Study of Topics, Books, People, Miracles, Parables, Doctrines. 5. A vibrant Relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. 6. The Renewing of our Minds by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2). 7. Understanding Vital Truths. 8. Genuine Knowledge of our Listeners' Needs (insights into a truth and how it relates to life experiences from daily relationships). Sensitivity and relevance to listeners' needs. ALL PREACHING MUST BE CLEAR. RELEVANT AND SCRIPTURAL. D. HOW DO I PREPARE MY MESSAGES 1. Choose your SUBJECT and topic carefully and prayerfully in the light of your AIM. 2. Define your THEME clearly. 33
The Art of Preaching
3. Collect all the necessary MATERIALS and find all relevant SCRIPTURES. 4. Discover SOURCES and resources for material. Be well read. Do your homework. 5. Develop and THINK over the theme. 6. VALUE TEST it: is it Important? Relevant? Appropriate to that group? 7. QUALITY CONTROL: Are the Facts correct? Are the Principles sound? Is the argument Clear? Is the progression Logical? Are the Illustrations suitable? Are the sentences Clear, Complete and Concise? Will it be Interesting and easy to listen to? 8. Make an OUTLINE: Title: Scripture text: Theme: Aim: Introduction: Headings: Conclusion: 9. In any service, aim for a spirit of worship, edification (encouragement, correction, warning, or instruction), intercession and participation/fellowship. Aim for RESULTS. Motivate people to action! Inspire, inform and involve; educate and enlist; motivate and mobilise your listeners to repent of their sins, to trust in Christ and to obey God's Law in Scripture. E. COMMUNICATING IDEAS 1. HO HUM? (Wake me up). Start a fire in your first sentence. 2. WHY BRING THAT UP? (Relevance). 3. FOR INSTANCE? (Example and evidence). 4. SO WHAT? (What can I do about it?) 34
F. LAWS OF COMMUNICATION 1. Listeners like STORIES. 2. Listeners like EXAMPLES (especially from the lives or lips of famous people). 3. Listeners like VISUAL AIDS (like Jeremiah's or Ezekiel's). 4. Listeners like CLEAR STRUCTURE and order/progression. 5. Listeners like STATISTICS - IF DRAMATISED. 6. Listeners like examples that make HISTORY COME ALIVE. 7. Listeners like speakers who keep to their TIME LIMIT. G. CONCLUSIONS are to Sum Up, to Clarify and to Conclude (Never to introduce new material!) H. BASIC GUIDELINES FOR ALL PREACHING • Stand up to be seen! • Speak up to be heard! • Shut up to be appreciated! Your personal appearance, cleanliness, neatness and clothing are an important part of your message. Your posture, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions and tone of voice can enhance or undermine your message. Beware of wasted words and never wafile! (Well, ah, like, urn, ah, you know!) Never preach without prayer. Do not preach in your prayers! Be natural. Identify with your audience. Respect the integrity of your audience (do not insult them). Back up your message with your life. " Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." Colossians 4:6 "Preach the Word!" 2 Timothy 4:2
MOTIVES FOR MISSIONS Wrong Motives and False Calls Because of human depravity, even the best of us can do some of the finest ministry with mixed Motives. You must not wait for your motives to be 100% pure before launching out into missions - or you will never get there. But once in the mission field you can expect God to thoroughly purify your motives. Those who go to the mission field for predominantly wrong motives can cause a lot of grief - to themselves and those around them. These are some examples of wrong reasons for involvement in missions: 1. The desire to escape problems at home or work - boredom, job dissatisfaction, in-law problems, etc. ("Escaping" to the mission field does not work because you tend to take your problems with you.) 2. The desire to impress other people. Missionary children who feel obligated to follow in their parent's footsteps. Fear of disappointing college teachers, pastor, or church friends. A desire to be more holy and dedicated than one's peers. (God's Will is more important than what people think of you.) 3. The desire to prove something to yourself. (The mission field is not the place to go for an ego trip). 4. The desire to earn favour with God. A "salvation by works" mentality. 5. Feelings of guilt and pity for being better off than the "downtrodden masses" who have been "exploited and oppressed." 6. Emotionalism. Human emotions are God-given, and essential, but emotion is not a good enough basis for a call. What is Holding You Back? 1. Are you in debt? You must pay it off! 2. Are you getting too much education? 3. Are you falling in love with someone who is not committed to missions? 4. Are your parents opposed to your going? 5. Are you worried about your safety? 6. Are you afraid of failing? 7. Are you afraid of dirt, disease and discomfort? 8. Are you worried about your children? 36
The greatest hindrance to missionary work is self. Self that refuses to sacrifice. Self that refuses to give. Self that refuses to go. "Go ye therefore..."
Why Many Resist the Call to Missions 1. The Myth of the Super-Spiritual Missionary Unrealistic estimation of the spiritual qualifications required. (Missionaries are ordinary Christians who face the same struggles and infirmities as other Christians, yet are responding to the Great Commission). 2. The Burden of Deputation The hard work of promoting missions, recruiting prayer supporters, inspiring others into missions and getting one's home church involved is essential but daunting. 3. The Reluctance to Make a Life Time Commitment The most efficient expenditure of resources is career commitment. Yet the existentialism of the "now generation" militates against long-term commitment. We need to be committed for life to do God's Will and be flexible as to where and how God may direct us to accomplish it. 4. The Reticence to Learn another Language The negative experiences of many in foreign language classes at school discourage them from attempting to learn how to communicate the Gospel in the field though a foreign language. (Yet there are many mission fields where English, French, or Portuguese is needed.) Actually, language learning in the field while communicating the Gospel is a far more enjoyable and workable experience. 5. The Fear of Failure Many fear that they might fail to raise enough support, or fail to adjust to a new culture, or fail to learn a new language. The fear of a tough, demanding, dangerous, or difficult job in unfamiliar surroundings. The fear of the unknown deters many from launching out in obedience and faith. "Nothing ventured - nothing gained." (Example of John Mark â€“ failed and deserted Paul but later returned, repented and recovered to become an assistant to Paul and Peter and author of the Gospel of Mark.) There is a general lack of direction and commitment. A paralysing passivity and inertia. "Look at the Fields" John 4:35. Commitment and obedience will open up God's blessings.
Why Many Who Respond to the Call are Sidetracked 1. Love and Marriage Many prospective missionaries get sidetracked by marrying someone who is not willing to be a missionary. 37
Motives for Missions
2. Parental Opposition The tension between honouring our parents and obeying the Lord (Matthew 10:37). 3. Financial Debts Good intentions crippled by unwise choices and enslaving debt. But Christ must come first.
Why Should the Heathen be Evangelised? 1. The Bible is True "for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:21 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16 "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." Romans 1:16 2. All Mankind is Lost "As it is written: 'There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one'. 'Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit'; 'The poison of asps is under their lips'; 'Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness'. Their 'feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known'. 'There is no fear of God before their eyes.' Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the Law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:10-23 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18 38
3. Death is Inevitable "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the Judgement" Hebrews 9:27 4. Judgement is Certain "because He has appointed a Day on which He will Judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:31 "For as many as have sinned without Law will also perish without Law, and as many as have sinned in the Law will be Judged by the Law (for not the hearers of the Law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the Law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, by nature do the things in the Law, these, although not having the Law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the Day when God will Judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel." Romans 2:12-16 5. Hell is Real "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it." Matthew 7:13 "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 25:46 "Then I saw a great white Throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the Heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were Judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were Judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:11-15 6. There is Only One God "One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:5-6 "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other." Isaiah 45:22 39
Motives for Missions
7. God Loves the Whole World "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3- 4 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 8. The Whole World Belongs to God "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein." Psalm 24:1 "If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness." Psalm 50:12 9. The Nations are the Inheritance of the Messiah "I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, 'you are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.'" Psalm 2:7- 8 "A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel." Luke 2:32 "For to which of the angels did He ever say: 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You'? And again: 'I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son'?" Hebrews 1:5 10. Jesus Died for All Mankind "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29 "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the Kingdom is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship; all those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who cannot keep himself alive. A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation, they will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this." Psalm 22:27-31 "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." 1 John 2:2 40
11. Jesus Saves "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25 "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." 1 Timothy 1:15 "Then they said to the woman, 'Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world'." John 4:42 12. Jesus is The Only Way to God "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a ransom for all." 1 Timothy 2:5-6 "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." 1 Timothy 1:15 "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'." John 14:6 13. There is No Salvation Outside of Jesus "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." 1 John 5:9-12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 14. Jesus Left Us an Example "But He said to them, 'Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.'" Mark 1:38 "Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd." Matthew 9:35-36 41
Motives for Missions
"but He said to them, 'I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.'" Luke 4:43 "So Jesus said to them again, 'Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.'" John 20:21 15. Jesus Commands Us "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen." Matthew 28:18-20 "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.'" Mark 16:15 "and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:47 "So Jesus said to them again, 'Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.'" John 20:21 16. The Love of Christ Compels Us "So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the Gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8 "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 'This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31 "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again." 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 17. The Lord is Worthy of All Praise, Worship and Honour "saying with a loud voice: 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honour and glory and blessing!' And every creature which is in Heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: 'Blessing and honour and glory and power be to Him who sits on the Throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!'" Revelation 5:12-13 42
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His Name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. 1 Chronicles 16:8, 24-25 18. The Holy Spirit Impels Us "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of Judgement." John 16:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8 19. The Prophecies Must be Fulfilled "And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14 "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the Throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands." Revelation 7:9 20. To Speed His Return "And the Gospel must first be preached to all the nations." Mark 13:10 "looking for and hastening the coming of the Day of God, because of which the Heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" 2 Peter 3:12 21. God's Will Must be Done "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 5:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9 22. The Need is Great "Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few.'" Matthew 9:37 23. The Opportunities are Unprecedented "Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the 43
Motives for Missions
harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" John 4:35 24. Our Personal Responsibility "When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand." Ezekiel 3:18 "For if I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel!" 1 Corinthians 9:16 "For 'whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.' How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!'" Romans 10:13-15 "May Your ways be known on earth, Your Salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise You, O God; may all the peoples praise You." Psalm 67:2-3
CHRIST HIMSELF Once it was the blessing, now it is Lord; Once it was the feeling, now it is His Word. Once His gifts I wanted, now the giver own; Once I sought for healing, now Himself alone. Once it was painful trying - now it is perfect trust; Once a half salvation - now the uttermost. Once it was ceaseless holding - now He holds me fast; Once it was constant drifting - now my anchor's cast. Once it was busy planning - now it is trusting prayer; Once it was anxious worrying - now He has the care. Once it was what I wanted - now what Jesus says, Once it was constant asking - now it is ceaseless praise. Once it was my working - His it hence shall be. Once I tried to use Him - now He uses me. Once the power I wanted - now the Mighty One. Once it was for self I laboured - now for Him alone. 44
Evangelism DEFINITIONS OF EVANGELISM "Evangelism, in the strict sense, is proclaiming the Good News of salvation to men with a view to their conversion to Christ and incorporation in His Church" - Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church. "The Mission of the Church is to so incarnate itself in the world that the Gospel of Christ is effectively communicated by word and deed toward the end that all men and women become faithful disciples of Christ and responsible members of His Church." - Peter Wagner, Frontiers in Missionary Strategy. "According to the New Testament, evangelism is just preaching the Gospel, the Evangel. It is a work of communication in which Christians make themselves mouthpieces of God's message of mercy to sinners. The way to tell whether in fact you are evangelizing or not is to ask whether conversions are known to have resulted from your witness. It is to ask whether you are faithfully making known the Gospel message." - J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. "Evangelism is the proclamation of the Gospel of the crucified and risen Christ, the only redeemer of men, according to the Scriptures, with the purpose of persuading condemned and lost sinners to put their trust in God by receiving and accepting Christ as Lord in every calling of life and in the fellowship of His Church, looking forward to the day of His coming Glory." Stanly Mooneyham, Berlin World Congress of Evangelism. "Evangelism is the bringing of persons to Christ as Saviour and Lord that they may share His eternal life. Here is the heart of the matter. There must be a personal encounter with Christ. For on this relationship to God in Christ depends the eternal destiny of man. This and this alone is the purpose of evangelism." Samuel Moffett, Korea. "Personal evangelism is definite prayer and personal effort to bring a fellow sinner to accept Jesus Christ as His Saviour and to follow Him as his Lord." Roger Voke, SouthAfrica. "To evangelise is to present Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit that men come to put their faith in God through Him, to accept Him as their Saviour and to serve Him as their King in the fellowship of His Church." Archbishop William Temple. Evangelism is the passing on of Good News. It is bringing someone face to face with the claims and commands of Jesus Christ. 45
The Four Essentials of Evangelism
1. The only foundation laid is the foundation of PRAYER. (Acts 4:31; Colossians 4:2-4; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2). 2. The only Authority relied on is THE WORD OF GOD. (Isaiah 55:11; Romans 1:16; 10:17; 2Timothy3:16-17). 3. The only power trusted is the power of THE HOLY SPIRIT. (Romans 15:18-19, 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; Acts 1:8). 4. The only Saviour proclaimed is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. (Acts 4:12; 8:5, 35; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 12:2).
The Characteristics of an Evangelistic Message
1. It Must be SIMPLE Do not preach over people's heads. It must be clear. Easy to understand. Easy to remember. 2. It Must be SCRIPTURAL The Word of God is our source, authority and power. Preach Biblebased messages. 3. It Must be SUITABLE Relevant and applicable to the situation, times and thought patterns of the audience. 4. It Should be SERIOUS Humour is a useful tool but it should not be improperly used. The Gospel is a serious matter. Eternal destinies are at stake. There are heartbroken people out there. 5. It Should be STIRRING Not artificial or forced but presented with conviction, warmth and concern. Either put fire into your sermons or put your sermons into the fire. 6. It Should be SPECIFIC Demand a decision. Preach for a verdict. Require a response. Be specific and clear as to what the Gospel is and what it requires. "Preach as a dying man to dying men," Preach as though this was the last message you will preach and the last message your hearers will ever hear. Make your message count - for eternity. 46
New Testament Evangelism
The early Church's advantages included: a common (lingua franca Greek) language, Roman peace and good roads. Their difficulties included: there were so few of them (120 to start with); they had no learning, no organisation, (no printing presses, radio stations, films, tapes, etc., obviously). They had to contend with tremendous racial barriers, class structures, religious pluralism, extreme decadence in society, political suspicion (and persecution later) from Rome, and general cynicism of Pagan society. Yet they succeeded in conquering the Roman Empire because: they lived their message and were transformed by it; their dedication and willingness led them to obey no matter what the cost; their obvious love for one another; their enthusiasm and joyful sense of discovery; their endurance; their concern for non-Christians, their priorities of ''prayer and the Word", were evidence of the overflowing, life changing, character transforming power of the Spirit. They exercised an every-member-ministry; they had shared leadership, dynamic, fresh and varied worship, they emphasised teaching and obedience to God's revealed Word.
The Message of New Testament Evangelism
1. They preached a PERSON. Their message was Christ centred, emphasising His death and glorious Resurrection. 2. They proclaimed a GIFT - the gift of forgiveness, of the Holy Spirit, of adoption and reconciliation with God. 3. They looked for a RESPONSE - repentance, Faith in Christ, and baptism. 4. The INCARNATION. "God has become man." Historic and unique event. 5. FORGIVENESS of sins. Striking at the heart of our problems. 6. The CROSS. God has acted. The Lord Jesus has been crucified. He is our Atonement, guilt-bearer and expiation of our sins. 7. The RESURRECTION. Christ Jesus is alive. He is Lord and reigning on High. 8. The evangelist preaches CHRIST. A person - not a system. An experience of vital relationship to Christ is needed. 47
Evangelistic preaching must always centre upon: 1. The person and character of Jesus Christ as God incarnate. 2. The Teaching of Jesus Christ on God, life, the Kingdom and eternal destiny 3. The Death of Jesus Christ as the Atonement for sin. 4. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is our living Lord.
New Testament Methods of Evangelism Every member evangelism (Jude 23; 1Thess. 1:8; Acts 8:1, 4). Spontaneous, natural, continuous, joyful sharing of the Gospel. They worked from where they were (Jerusalem) outwards, in ever widening ripples (Acts 1:8). They concentrated on those who were most responsive - the "God fearing fringe". (e.g. Acts 10; 13, etc.). They ran a lot of home meetings (Acts 17:5; 18:7; 21:8; 12:12; 20:7; 2:46; 5:42;28:17; 16:32; 10:22) informal, relaxed gatherings for fellowship, prayer, communion, follow-up, evangelism, etc. They often held discussions on neutral ground (Acts 3; 22; 28). They wrote and used the Scriptures and literature. They engaged in missionary journeys (e.g. Acts 13-14; 16-20, etc.). They relied on personal conversations. "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19 "He who sows with tears shall reap with joy." Psalm. 126:5 "Go therefore and make disciples." Matthew 28:19
Leading People to Christ 1. God is Sovereign. He rules our lives. We cannot accomplish anything of eternal value except that He chooses to work through us. (Ephesians 2:8-10) 2. We are commanded to witness (Acts 1:8). 3. As in agriculture, the more seeds we sow the more we will reap. Not everyone you encounter will want to hear the Gospel. You need to witness to many in order to win a few (2 Corinthians 9:6). 4. Make your witness early. Let people know you are different and why you are different. If we dilute the Gospel message, or seem embarrassed about presenting the claims of Christ, then it diminishes the perceived value of a relationship with the Lord Jesus. (Luke 9:26) 5. Do not wait until you feel right or ready. Usually people spend too much time evaluating their feelings instead of doing their duty. Accept that you will probably feel awkward and nervous about your first witnessing. Plunge into the new challenge! (2 Timothy 1:7). 6. Every relationship and interaction is an opportunity for witness (John 4: 10-26). 7. Plan, prepare, select and rehearse. Make an appointment to discuss our relationship to God. Choose a quiet place where you can speak without interruptions. Be punctual. Open with prayer. Use an open Bible. 8. One way you could explain the way of salvation is through the Roman Road. Mark these verses in your Bible so that you can easily find and explain them.
The Roman Road 1. "As it is written: 'There is none righteous, not not one.'" Romans 3:10 2. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 3. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23 4. "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 5. "if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9 6. "For 'whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.'" Romans 10:13 7. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect Will of God." Romans 12:1-2 8. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" Romans 5:1 9. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 10. "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
The Gospel in John John 1:11-12; 3:16-17; 3:36; 1:29; 3:3,5; 3:16; 4:24; 7:37-38; 8:12; 8:32, 36; 10:9-11: 11:25-26; 14:6; 20:31.
Ensure that you clearly explain sin, salvation and the Saviour. • We must admit our sin. • We must acknowledge that our sins have separated us from God. • We must submit to Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
The ABC's of Salvation
A. ADMIT YOU ARE A SINNER Acknowledge your sin. Repent and confess your sins to God. "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. " 1 John 1:8,9 B. BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR SINNERS "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. " 1 Peter 3:18 C. COMMIT YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6 D. DEDICATE YOURSELF TO BEING A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God which is your spiritual worship." Romans 12:1
After presenting the Gospel message we must draw back and give the person a chance to think over what we have said. Keep the channels of communication open by not being forceful and pushing them to make a decision. Motivate them without manipulating them! Do not despise honest scepticism. Help sincere seekers to find peace with God. Do not rush the process. You may only be a link in the witness chain. Once a person has prayed and made a commitment to Christ get him involved in regular Bible study, prayer, fellowship and worship. Encourage him to tell others about what God has done in his life. 51
Evangelism Explosion 1. Every Christian is a Witness. 2. Pastors must train their members to Evangelise. 3. The best training is On-the-Job.
The 5 Laws of Persuasion in John 4
1. Attention. "Will you give Me a drink?" Jesus began where she was and got her attention. 2. Interest. "If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked. . . living water:" Now she was interested. 3. Desire. "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. . . a spring of water welling up to eternal life." Now she ardently desired what Jesus was offering. 4. Conviction of Sin. (Truthfulness of claims). "Go, call your husband.... you have had five husbands." He put His finger on her situation. She tried to divert the conversation and avoid the issue. "Our fathers worshipped on this mountain but.. " 5. Commitment. Jesus used her digression to pull her back to the main subject and confronted her with the decision she must make: "God is Spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth... I who speak to you am He!" Now the woman at the well was confronted by the Living Word of God. She had to either submit to Him or reject Him. Springboards to evangelism: the meaning of people's names ("Grace'', "Timothy", "Christopher", etc.), Special events: Christmas and Easter and their significance, the Seasons as symbolic of our spiritual condition, news headlines, etc. Witnessing should be a way of life, not a programme. First find out their backgrounds and beliefs. Three Questions: 1. If you were to die today, do you know where you would go? 2. If you were to die and stand before God and He were to ask you 'Why should I let you into My Heaven?' What would you say? 3. If God was to judge you on the basis of His Ten Commandments - would you be innocent or guilty? 52
The Gospel Outline a. GRACE 1. Heaven is a free gift. (Romans 6:23) 2. It is not earned or deserved. (Ephesians 2:8-9) b. MAN a. Is a sinner. (Romans 3:23) b. Cannot save himself. (Matthew 5:48) c. GOD a. Is merciful - therefore He doesn't want to punish us. (Joel 2:13) b. Is just - therefore He must punish sin. (Nahum 1:3) d. CHRIST a. Who He is - the infinite God-Man. (John 1:1, 14) b. What He did - He died on the Cross and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and to purchase a place in Heaven for us, which He offers as a gift. (1 Corinthians 15:35) e. FAITH 1. What it is not - mere intellectual assent. (James 2:19) 2. What it is - trusting in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. (Acts 16:31)
The Commitment a. The Qualifying question: "Does this make sense to you? " b. The Commitment question: "Would you like to receive the gift of eternal life? " c. The Clarification of Commitment: "Let me explain this more clearly . . ." d. The Prayer of Commitment. e. The Assurance of salvation.
The Immediate Follow up a. Welcome to the family of God! b. Provide booklet/literature c. The means of growth: 1. Bible Study 2. Prayer 3. Worship 4. Fellowship 5. Witness d. Make appointment for him to attend the next chaplain's service. e. Closing Prayer 53
Some general guidelines: • Do not intimidate people. • Do not give the reference when you quote Scripture (but know where it is if asked). • Do quote just the relevant portion of the verse. • Do ask your prospect's opinion and listen respectfully to his views. • Do start where the person is - do not assume that he knows much about the Bible. • Do not ask misleading questions. • Do not criticise other churches or Christians. • Do not be too intense - smile; do not make the person feel they're being pinned down. • Do ensure that your grooming, cleanliness, neatness and clothing is modest and God-honouring and not distracting. • Do not feel you need to secure a commitment. High pressure tactics are to be avoided. • Do make your exit pleasant - even if the Gospel is rejected. • He may still be wrestling with the Gospel challenge. (Source: Adapted from Evangelism Explosion by Dr. D. James Kennedy)
The Facts of the Faith The Bible is the Word of God The Bible itself teaches its divine origin and authority: • "No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation." 2 Peter 1:20 • All Scripture was written as "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:21 • "God Spoke . . . by the prophets . . . and by His Son." Hebrews 1.1-2 • The Word of God, once given and written, is exact in all details down to each letter and stroke of the pen. Matthew 5:18 • "The Scripture cannot be broken. " John 10:35 • "The Word of the Lord endures forever" 1 Peter 1:25 • The Gospel accounts are based on careful research, historical facts and eyewitness testimonies: "just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, ... that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed." Luke 1:2-4 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life - the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness ... that which we have seen and heard we declare to you." 1 John 1:1-3 The Bible presents itself as God's revealed Word. On almost every page we find "The Lord said. . . ", "God spoke.. .", "The Word of the Lord came. . ." The Apostles believed that they were speaking under the inspiration of The Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:4; 15:3, 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 4:15; 2 Peter 3:2; Galatians 1:6-12, Revelation 22:18, 19). Jesus regarded the Old Testament as the Authoritative Word of God (Matthew 4:4; Mark 14:27; Matthew 19:4; Mark 7:11-13; John 10:34, 35; Luke 24:25-27, 44). Jesus also taught that His Words had a unique power and life (John 6:63; 15:3), that they would not pass away (Mark 13:31) and that they must be heard and obeyed (Matthew 5:17-48; 7:24; John 8:31-38; 14:23). 55
The Facts of the Faith
We cannot accept the authority of Jesus without a the authority of the Old Testament which He lived, taught, appealed to and fulfilled. We also have to recognise that Jesus deliberately chose and trained certain men to be His Apostles (Luke 5:27; 6:12-16; John 17:6) and gave them a special anointing with the Holy Spirit (John 20:2 1; Acts 1:8), promising them the Holy Spirit to guide their teaching (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13). This compels one to also accept the authority of the New Testament. We can also appeal to fulfilled prophecy, archaeological discoveries, manuscript evidence and historical records to support these internal evidences to the accuracy and uniqueness of the Bible. Most powerfully, however, we can point to the unique impact of the Bible on millions of lives throughout the centuries and on our own as well. Some sceptics may not believe that the Bible is the Word of God, but they are choosing to ignore a lot of accumulative evidence to do this.
Jesus is The Only Way to God The Bible teaches that there is only one way of salvation: "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all ..." 1 Timothy 2:5-6 Our Lord Jesus Himself declared that there is only one way to God: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'" John 14:6 This has been the Apostolic Message from the very beginning: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. " Acts 4: 12
Jesus is God in Human Form The first disciples of Christ, being Hebrews, had the highest regard for the Old Testament Scriptures. It was the Word of God. Yet it was definitely incomplete: it spoke of a day when God would judge the earth; of a king from David's line whose kingdom would never end. It spoke of all the families of mankind being blessed by Abraham's seed. It spoke of a prophet like Moses arising from among the people, whose teaching would be unparalleled. It spoke of a Servant of the Lord, whose death would atone for the sins of the people, of one who would make a New Covenant between God and men; one who would put the Spirit of the Lord into the hearts of men so that they could know God personally and have their sins wiped out. It spoke of a stone, despised by the builders, which would become the keystone. It spoke of one like a Son of Man, who would receive 56
authority, honour and royal power so that people of all nations, races and languages would serve Him. It spoke of a priest like the legendary Melchizedek, whom the Almighty would call Lord and welcome to His throne. It spoke of a coming Messiah, who would be born of the tribe of Judah, from David's line, in Bethlehem. He would be despised and rejected by the very people He came to rescue. He would die among wicked men and His tomb would be supplied by a rich man. Yet, He would live again, forever, and the Lord's purpose would succeed through Him. All of this was fulfilled by Jesus! Not some, or much of it. All of it! Prophecies made by many prophets over a thousand years and more were all fulfilled by one historical person. And what mighty prophecies they were too! 1. In the Old Testament, Yahweh is the only Saviour there is "I, even I, am the Lord and besides Me there is no Saviour" Isaiah 43: 11 "... And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me." Isaiah 45:21 Yet in the New Testament, Jesus is hailed as "Our Great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ." Titus 2: 13 His very Name, Jesus, means "Yahweh saves" "You shall call His Name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21 Both God's role and His Name as Saviour are attributed to Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus claimed the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:7-10; Luke 7:48) and He is seen as the Saviour of sinners (John 3:17, Acts 4:12; Galatians 1:4; Hebrews. 9:26). He raised the dead (Mark 5:3543; Luke 7.11-17, 22; John 11) and He gives eternal life to all who now believe in Him (Mark 10:21; John 3:16; 5:24; 1 John 5:11, 12). 2. In the Old Testament Yahweh alone is the Judge (Daniel 7:9,10; Psalm 99; Deuteronomy 32). Yet Jesus claimed this uniquely Divine function in the New Testament (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:22-30). " For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10 3. That Yahweh alone is the Creator of all things is basic to the Old Testament (Genesis l; Psalm 33:6-9; Isaiah 42:5). Yet the New Testament reveals that through Jesus all things came into being (John 1:1-3; Hebrews. 1:2; 1 John 1:1), and that Jesus is the Sustainer and Upholder of all things (Matthew 28: 18; 1 Corinthians 8:6). 57
The Facts of the Faith
4. Yahweh alone is worthy of worship, and to worship any other being than the Lord God would be the worst and most fundamental of all sins (Exodus 20.3-6; Deuteronomy 6:4-15). Yet prayers are addressed to Christ (Acts 7:59; 9:13, 1 Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 22-20); Doxologies are ascribed to Him (Romans 9:5; 2 Timothy 4:18; 2 Peter 3:18, Revelation 1:5,6); Old Testament worship passages are transferred from Yahweh to Christ (e.g. Isaiah 8:13-15 in Romans 9.33; 1 Peter 2:7-9; 3:15). The disciples worshipped Jesus (Matthew 28:17; Luke 24:52), and when Thomas said to Him: "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28), far from rebuking him, Jesus merely suggested that he should have believed earlier. The book of Revelation also presents the most unambiguous assertion of Deity when it records the great worship of Christ in heaven "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing!" Revelation 5:12 5. Even the Name of Yahweh is ascribed to Christ. When the Old Testament was translated into Greek in the 2nd Century B.C. the Sacred Name of God, YHWH, usually rendered Yahweh, was translated into the Greek word Kyrios (Lord), There are about 7000 instances of this in the Septuagint, so when this exalted Name is attributed directly to Christ (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Philippians 2:11, etc.), it is a clear statement of Christ's Deity. The confession "Jesus is Lord" tells it all. Certainly the title "Lord of Lords" (1 Timothy 6: 15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16) cannot be interpreted any other way than that Jesus is God incarnate. There are also many occasions where the New Testament applies Old Testament passages concerning Yahweh directly to Jesus - e.g. Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:34, 35; Romans 8:38; Hebrews 10:12, 13; 1 Peter 3:22; Isaiah 6:10 in John 12:41; Isaiah 45:23 in Philippians 2:9-11; Joel 2:32 in Romans 10:13 and Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8). A supreme example of this is John the Baptist's ministry to "Prepare the way for the Lord (Yahweh)" Matthew 3:3, which is a direct quote from Isaiah 40:3, which unmistakably refers to God Himself. Of great significance is Jesus' self designations as the I AM (John 6:35;8:12, 24, 58; 11:25; 14;6; 15:1, 5 18:5). This is a deliberate identification with God's revelation of Himself in Exodus 3:14 as "I AM". All this is conclusive and the accumulative proof of all these evidences of the Deity of Christ is overwhelming. Yet even further proof could be sought in the Resurrection (Romans 1:4). The atheists have yet to explain away the hard historical facts of The empty tomb, The eyewitness accounts of those hundreds who saw Christ alive again (1 Corinthians 15:4-8), The transformation of the disciples and even the existence of the Church (represented by over two million church buildings and over 2 billion members). 58
The very Names of Jesus (Yahweh Saves), Messiah (God's Anointed One), Son of Man (the Lord and Judge of all revealed in Daniel 7:13, 14), Emmanuel (God with us), and The Son of God, point to His Deity. His uniquely perfect and sinless life, and His teaching - which are unsurpassed in authority, clarity, insight and power - all this can only support the Biblical claims for the Deity of Christ. It is upon this solid foundation of accumulative evidence that the Church of Christ based its great ecumenical creed of Nicea: "We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father; only begotten, that is of the substance of the Father; God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father; through Whom all things were made, things in heaven and things on the earth; who for us men and for our salvation came down and was made flesh and became man, suffered and rose on the third day, ascended into the heavens, is coming to Judge the living and the dead."
What does this mean for us? The glorious truth of the Incarnation is that God has made Himself known personally, specifically and fully by taking our human nature unto Himself, by coming amongst us as a particular man, yet without ceasing to be the infinite, transcendent and eternal God. God has in Christ taken upon Himself the responsibility and penalty for the sins of the world, God has borne the brunt of suffering and evil by subjecting Himself to its cruelty and horror. The Incarnation reveals the reality and depth and costly nature of His Love, Holiness, Justice and Mercy. Jesus is the Eternal Son of God, who became incarnate to reveal God to us and to reconcile us to Himself. He is the second person of the Trinity, God revealed in human form. Jesus is God, and so we have a full and final revelation and redemption in and through Him.
The Adventure of Discipleship (Romans 12:1-2)
Salvation - "Brothers" * Come to Christ - Repentance and Faith Repentance involves: Contrition - a change of heart Conviction - a change of mind Conversion - a change of life Dedication - "Present your bodies a living sacrifice" * Go for Christ - Sacrifice and service missions and evangelism 59
The Facts of the Faith
Worship is not so much what we say as what we do. Worship is more than words and songs - it's our whole life. It involves wholehearted sacrifice and service (Mark 12:30-31). Separation - "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world" * Set apart for Christ - separated from sin and sanctified - holiness - spiritual health - holy lifestyle. "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful" Psalm 1:1 Transformation - "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" * Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-20) The Battle for the mind (Colossians 2:8) Bible-based Christ-centred Spirit-led "But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law he meditates day and night" Psalm 1:2 Reformation - "Then you will be able to test and approve what God's Will is - His good pleasing and perfect Will"
* Applying God's Word to all areas of life: economic, social, education, civil, judicial, moral, ethical, entertainment, arts and sciences (2 Chronicles 14 & 15; Isaiah 33:22, Matthew 28:19).
What is a Christian? The Bible teaches us that a Christian is: 1. A SAINT 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Peter 1:15; Hebrews 13:12 Be Holy - set apart for the exclusive use of God. 2. A FREE MAN 1 John 3:8; Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 1:4; Hebrews 2:14, 15 The Word of God is the truth (John 17:17) that sets us free (John 8:32) and a Christian is one who has surrendered to the Word of God (James I :21-25) and received the freedom that God gives (John 8:36). "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1 (see also Ezekiel 34:27) 3. A SERVANT Matthew 20:26-28; Mark 9:35; John 13:15; Luke 17:10 Jesus came to serve to serve God and to serve others. We are to follow His example and be concerned above all else with serving God and meeting the needs of others (1 John 3:18). (See also: Matthew 25:34-40; Luke 12:47, 48; 1 Corinthians 15:58). 60
4. An ATHLETE Keep yourself in training for a godly life. Do spiritual exercises (1 Timothy 4:7, 8). Rid yourself of all unnecessary weight. Free yourself of all known sin, throw aside every encumbrance and run with determination and endurance (Hebrews 12:1). Obey the rules (2 Tim 2:5). Run to win, submit to strict discipline, run straight, harden your body, control your movements (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Run your best, run the full distance (2 Timothy 4:7). 5. A SOLDIER 2 Timothy 2:3,4 We have a spiritual enemy to fight (Ephesians 6:12,13). We have a spiritual war to win (Romans 13:12,14). We have spiritual weapons that are powerful to the destroying of strongholds, to destroying false arguments, and to pulling down every proud obstacle raised against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:35). Therefore: Be disciplined (2 Timothy 2:4): Be motivated (Acts 20:24): Be obedient (1 Tim 6:14); Be prepared (Ephesians 6:10-12); Be alert (1 Peter 5:8,9); and Use the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), the Word of God (Hebrews 4: 12); to spread the truth that sets people free (John 8:32); fight evil (Romans 12:21); resist the devil (James 4:7); bind the powers of evil (Matthew 1:29; 18:18); enforce the victory of the Cross (Colossians 2:15); attack the strongholds of the enemy (2 Corinthians 10:4); storm the gates of hell (Matthew 18:19); set prisoners free (Isaiah 61:1); win the victory in Jesus' Name (1 Corinthians 15:57). "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:37 6. A WORKER Matthew 20:16 As workers for the Lord (Col 3:23) we are to always do our best (2 Timothy 2:15) and everything we do is to be done in Love (1 Corinthians 6:14). "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (see also Hebrews 5:10,11 and Matthew 6:33). 7. A VESSEL 2 Corinthians 4:7 Don't be polluted with wrong thoughts and wrong desires (Colossians 3:8). Don't be empty (Ephesians 3:17 19). Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). (Galatians 5:22 and Matthew 5:8).
The Facts of the Faith
8. A DISCIPLE A disciple is one who gives up everything (Luke 14:33); denies himself (Matthew 16:24); takes up his cross (Mark 8:34) and follows the example of Jesus (1 Peter 2:21). It is a life characterised by dedication to the Word of God (John 8:31) and love for the people of God (John 8:34). 9. A PILGRIM People with a call, people of persistence, travellers seeking after the best that God has for them, people with a vision who proclaim their faith (Hebrews 11). Strangers to this world, (1 Peter 2: 11) refugees (1 Peter 1:1), foreigners. You do not belong to the world (John 15:18,19) and are just passing through. You belong to a heavenly country and as pilgrims you must press on towards it, forsaking the world. Don't look back. Never turn back (Hebrews 11:13-16). Look for something far better (Jeremiah 29:13). 10. A FARMER Matthew 2 1:28-32 As a Christian you are like a farmer in God's vineyard (Matthew 20:1). You must sow (John 4:37) the seed of the Gospel (Mark 4:14) which will accomplish (Isaiah 55:11) the task of salvation (Romans 1:16). We must plough up the hard ground and water the soil with much prayer (1 Corinthians 3:8) and reap the harvest (John 4:38). Remember that the person who sows few seeds will have a small crop; the one who sows many seeds will have a large crop (2 Corinthians 9:6). (see also Proverbs 10:5 and Matthew 9:37-38) 11. The SALT OF THE EARTH Matt 5:13; Luke 14:34,35 Salt preserves - we should preserve that which is holy and good and right. Salt heals - we should heal the broken-hearted with encouragement, comfort, love and prayer. Salt melts - we should melt the cold hearts of sinners with the warmth of our love and the enthusiasm of our faith. Salt creates thirst - we should make sinners thirst after the spiritual life in Jesus - The Living Waters. 12. The LIGHT FOR THE WORLD Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12) Jesus is in the believer (Colossians 1:27) We are now light for the world (Matt 5: 14-16). So SHINE for Jesus! 62
PRINCIPLES FOR DISCIPLESHIP "... All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the Age." Matthew 28:18-20 A Great Claim:
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (The Lordship of Christ in all areas of life.)
A Great Commission: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" (The whole Church taking the whole Gospel to the whole world.) A Great Command:
"teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you"
A Great Promise:
"and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the Age."
"... commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." 2 Timothy 2:2 Discipleship is not complete until the disciple is discipling. A disciple is a learner. Discipleship is the process of following the Lord in relationships of accountability with other believers. It involves discovering and practising what it means to follow Christ. "He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12 "If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed." John 8:31 "My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honour." John 12:26 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." John 15:8 "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:33 "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'" Matthew 16:24 63
Principles for Discipleship
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35 "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps." 1 Peter 2:21 "Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." 2 Timothy 2:21
We speak to God
Responsibilty to Responsibility to believers unbelievers
God speaks to us
BIBLE OT & NT
Biblical Character ALERTNESS We must be sober, watchful and alert. We must watch over: ourselves (Deuteronomy 4:15-23, Exodus 34:12) our relationships (Exodus 34:12) our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) our lips (Psalm 141:3) our paths (Proverbs 4:26) We are to be alert to:
the call of Christ (Ephesians 5: 14-17) the judgement of Christ (Micah 7:7) the coming of Christ (Matthew 24:42-44) spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12-18) the snares of our enemy (1 Peter 5:8)
"Therefore let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch and be sober." 1 Thessalonians 5:6
We must be steadfast, faithful and unwavering. We must stand firm: in the faith (2 Thessalonians 2:25) in the midst of suffering (1 Peter 5:9) in the face of false teaching (Hebrews 13:9) in times of trial (James 1: 12) We are to be steadfast: in good works (Galatians 6:9) in enduring love (Hosea 6:4) in moral conduct (Philippians 1:27) in absolute loyalty to God (Proverbs 24:21) "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58
COURAGE We must be courageous, fearless and brave. We are called to: be fearless in the Lord (Isaiah 12:2) trust in God's Power (2 Chronicles 32:7-8) trust in God's Will (Psalm 139:13-19) trust in God's presence (Psalm 118:6) be brave in the face of our enemies (Deuteronomy 3 1:6) be brave in the midst of punishment (Job 5:17-24) 65
be brave for the sake of God's people (2 Samuel 10:12) be brave in all our service (1 Chronicles 28:20)
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7
STRENGTH We must be dynamic, stalwart and strong. We are called to be strong in Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-6) The Gospel comes in power (1 Thessalonians 1:5) Salvation comes in power (Romans 1:16). Every believer should receive power from above (Luke 24:49) Believers are empowered for evangelism (Acts 1:8). Christ has promised us the strength of His might (Ephesians 1:9). We are able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4: 13). "He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:29-31
LOVE We must be kind-hearted, loving and unselfish. We are to love: strangers and refugees (Deuteronomy 10:19) our neighbours (Leviticus 19:18) our enemies (Matthew 5:44) our brethren (1 Peter 3:8) We are to:
live in love (Ephesians 5:1-12) abound in love (Philippians 1:9) encourage one another in love (Hebrews 10:24-25) be an example of love (1 Timothy 4:12)
"Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father" 1 Thessalonians 1:3
Suffering "You therefore must endure HARDSHIP as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." 2 Timothy 2:3 "Yes, and ALL who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12 "We are HARD-PRESSED on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" 2 Corinthians 4.8,9 "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" 1 Peter 2:21
What is the Purpose of Suffering in the Christian Life? "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" 1 Peter1:6,7 "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4 "Blessed is the man who ENDURES temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the CROWN of life which the Lord has promised to those who LOVE Him" James 1:12 "and if children, then heirsâ€”heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." Romans 8:17 "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christâ€™s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4: 12-13 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
SUFFERING PURIFIES us and PREPARES us for special service. All of God's great men knew great suffering while God PURGED and PREPARED them for His service. Joseph experienced 12 years in slavery and prison before becoming governor of Egypt. Moses was 40 years in the desert before becoming the deliverer of Israel. David was an outlaw and a fugitive for years before becoming King of Israel. The Bible is full of examples of great men of faith enduring suffering for the Lord. There is no short cut to maturity. Realistic preaching is always encouraging. One does not strengthen people by telling them what they want to hear. Fairy tales and fantasies about endless blessings is not only cruelly false, but destructively self indulgent. Comfort softens us, but hardship strengthens us. Wealth often breeds selfishness and greed, but suffering can encourage sharing and love.
The Apostles Testimony Many may consider teaching on suffering to be negative. It is not negative. To teach on suffering is to recognise the reality of everyday life. To recognise that suffering is inevitable is not discouraging at all. Notice what sort of message the apostles of the early church taught: "Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, 'WE MUST THROUGH MANY TRIBULATIONS ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.'" Acts 14:22 What was the experience of Christians in the early Church? The Apostle Paul, that great "Apostle of Faith'', wrote about some of his experiences: "I am more: in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness besides the other things. . . " 2 Corinthians 11:23-33 It is always a privilege to suffer for Jesus. The suffering is temporary, but the Glory is eternal. Note the testimony of the Apostles who, rather than claim comfort, safety and luxury at home, chose rather to suffer for Christ whilst obeying the Great Commission: 68
THe Testimony of the Twelve Apostles
"â€ŚThese who have turned the world upside down have come here too." Acts 17:6 Peter Simon, whom the Lord Jesus renamed Peter, was born in Bethsaida, in Galilee. He was a fisherman, the son of Jonah. His brother, Andrew brought him to the Lord. It was Peter who preached so powerfully on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, winning over 3,000 to Christ. After being imprisoned several times in Jerusalem, Peter and his wife ministered in Babylon, from where he wrote his first Epistle (1 Peter). While ministering in Rome, John Mark (the writer of the Gospel of Mark), served as his translator. Mark wrote his Gospel under the apostolic authority of Peter, who was eyewitness to much of what was recorded. The emperor Nero personally condemned the Apostle Peter to death in AD68. Peter insisted that he was not worthy to be crucified in the same manner as His Lord and was thus crucified upside down. Before he met his death at the hands of the Romans, he converted his jailers, Processus and Martinianus, and 47 others in the prison, to the Lord. Andrew Andrew was the first of the Apostles to follow Jesus. Throughout the Gospels we see him bringing people to the Lord, including the little boy with the five loaves and two fish. After the Day of Pentecost, Andrew engaged in widespread missions to the Caucasian Mountains, (present day Georgia), to the Scythians on the Caspian Sea, to Byzantium (which is present day Turkey), to Greece, to Thrace and Macedonia. Church historian Eusebius records that Andrew preached to the Scythians, Sogdians and the Saxons. In Patros he was martyred, crucified on an X shaped cross which today is know as the St. Andrews cross. The governor of the Edessenes, Ageas, attempted to force all Christians to sacrifice to the Roman idols. Andrew publically confronted him and was condemned to death. Andrew declared: "I would not have preached the honour and glory of the cross if I feared the death of the Cross." Andrew was martyred 30 November AD80. Four countries claim Andrew as their patron Saint: Russia, Greece, Germany and Scotland. 30 November is St. Andrews Day. The St. Andrews cross is the national flag of Scotland. John The Apostle John was the son of Zebedee, a fisherman of Galilee. His mother, Salome, was the sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus. John, his brother James, and the Apostles Peter and Andrew, were all partners in 69
The Testimony of the Twelve Apostles
a fishing business prior to their calls by the Lord. John's brother, James, was the first of the Apostles to die, John was the last. All of the Apostles except John, met a violent death. However, John lived a martyrâ€™s life. The Lord Jesus entrusted His mother Mary to the care of John. John founded churches throughout Asia, wrote the Book of Revelation, the Gospel according to John and 1, 2 and 3 John. James James, the elder brother of the Apostle John, was the first Apostle to suffer martyrdom. By order of King Herod Agrippa, James was beheaded in Jerusalem in AD44. Matthew Matthew was a tax collector before being called by the Lord. He was a gifted writer, and perhaps the best educated of the Apostles. He is the writer of the Gospel according to Matthew. He undertook missions to Persia, Egypt and Ethiopia where he was martyred for Christ. Philip After the Ascension of Christ, Philip travelled into Scythia (in what is today Southern Russia) and ministered there for 20 years. Philip is also believed to have ministered as far as Gaul (present day France). After this he ministered in Asia Minor (what is today, Turkey), where, in Hierapolis, he was used of the Lord to heal the wife of the Roman proconsul. For this he was crucified. Bartholomew The Apostle Bartholomew ministered through Asia Minor, including in Hierapolis, Laodicea, and Colosse, in Armenia and in India. In AD68, Bartholomew was martyred in Albanopolis, (now Derbend in Azerbaijan), after he converted the king of Armenia to Christianity. The king's pagan brother murdered Bartholomew in retaliation. Thomas Thomas Didymas (the twin) was a fisherman from Galilee. After the Ascension, Thomas went as missionary to Babylon where he established the first Christian churches there. Thereafter he ministered in Persia and India, winning many converts. The Bar Thomas Church endures in India to this day. He was martyred in Mylapore (what today is a suburb of Madras), on 21 December. James the Younger James, (the son of Alpheus) was the brother of Matthew and the son of Mary, (the wife of Cleophas another follower of the Lord). James came from Capernaum. He established the churches in Syria. For preaching 70
Christ, he was thrown down from the Temple by the scribes and pharisees and then stoned to death, in Jerusalem. Jude (Thaddeus) The Apostle Jude took the Gospel to Armenia where he established the church in Edessa. Armenia became one of the first Christian kingdoms. Later he evangelised in Syria and Persia. Jude was martyred in Kara Kalisa, near the Caspian Sea, 40 miles from Tabriz (in what is today Iran). Simon Simon the Zealot ministered throughout North Africa, including in the great city of Carthage. He planted the Gospel in Spain and ministered in Britain where he was martyred 10 May, 61AD in Caistor, Lincolnshire. Matthias Matthias was chosen as an Apostle to replace the traitor Judas. Matthias evangelised in Armenia and the Ukraine, planting churches in Colchis and Sebastopol. He was martyred in Adjure, in what is today Georgia, in the Caucasian Mountains. "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12 "For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that you should follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21
The Sufferings of Christ "CHRIST ALSO SUFFERED FOR US, LEAVING US AN EXAMPLE. . ." 1 Peter 2:21 Jesus was misunderstood, slandered, falsely accused and lied about: "For they said, 'He is out of His mind.'" Mark 3:21 "The people answered and said, 'You have a demon.'" John 7:20 "Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!" Matthew 11:19 "We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar... He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea." Luke 23:2,5 Jesus was hated and betrayed: "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." John 15:18 "Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death." John 11:53 "But Jesus said to him, 'Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?'"' Luke 22:48 Jesus was forsaken by His friends: "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." John 6:66 "Then they all forsook Him and fled." Mark 14:50 Jesus was unjustly arrested, illegally tried and wrongly condemned: "Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me?'" Mark 14:48 "Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree." Mark 14:55, 56
"Pilate. . . said to them... 'I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. I will therefore chastise Him and release Him'" Luke 23:13-16 "But they cried out, â€œAway with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" John 19:15 Jesus was mocked, beaten, whipped, insulted, slapped and crucified. "Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him." Mark 14:65 "Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt." Luke 23:11 "Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified." Matthew 27:26 "And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads." Matthew 27:39
War in the Bible Judges 3:1-2
"Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan (this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it.)"
God's strategy for complacency is to train His people through conflict. Taught to trust God in battle to be purged, purified and prepared as soldiers of Christ. Exodus 15:3, 4"
"The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is His Name. Pharaohâ€™s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea."
Exodus 17:8-16 Victory over the Amalekites by prayer and the sword. Deuteronomy 20: 1-4 "When you go out to battle ... do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you. .." Joshua 6:1-5
God guided the Israelites to victory over Jericho.
Deborah's song of victory rebuked those who failed to fight for freedom. "Why did you sit among the sheepfolds? ... 'Curse Meroz,' said the angel of the Lord,'Curse its inhabitants bitterly, because they did not come to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.'"
Judges 6 & 7
God directed Gideon to defeat the Midianites and rescue Israel from their power.
1 Samuel 11
The Spirit of God led Saul and Israel to rescue the people of Jabesh Gilead.
1 Samuel 14:6, 23
The Lord rescued Israel from the Philistines by the faith, courage and initiative of Jonathan.
1 Samuel 15:2-3 The Lord commanded Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites. 74
1 Samuel 17:45-47
David was enabled by the Lord to defeat Goliath.
2 Samuel 5:19-20 David sought the Lord's will and was guided to attack the Philistines. Psalms
Many of the Psalms are prayers to God for guidance in war, or hymns of thanksgiving to the Lord for victory in battle.
"For You have armed me with strength for the battleYou have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, so that I destroyed those who hated me... You have made me the head of the nations ... The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God who avenges me, and subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies."
In the Bible wars were ordained as a means of restraining evil, judging wickedness, purging sin and purifying God's people. When God's people rebelled against His Law then God allowed them to be defeated and enslaved, or exiled, by the Midianites, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans or others. Deuteronomy 28:1,7 " If you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God , to observe carefully all His commandments ... the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth." (Cf: Leviticus 26:7-8; Joshua 1:5) Leviticus 26:14-17
"But ... if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments...you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you. " (cf: Deuteronomy 28:25; 43)
The Scriptures reveal God as a God of war as well as a God of peace, because God is primarily a God of justice. Jeremiah 21: 12
"Execute judgment in the morning; And deliver him who is plundered out of the hand of the oppresor, lest My fury go forth like fire and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings...." 75
War in the Bible
On certain occasions God has not only permitted war but has commanded it. In the Bible military defence against aggressor nations is given the same status as capital punishment for murderers. Proverbs 21:15
"It is a joy for the just to do justice, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity."
Many Men of God Have Been Soldiers Much of the Bible is written by soldiers and for soldiers. JOSHUA was a mighty man of God and a mighty soldier commanding the Israelite army in the battle with the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-16), and in the conquest of the promised land (Joshua). King DAVID was "a man after God's own heart," and the writer of much of the Psalms as well as a great soldier (1 Samuel 17:45, 47; 18:5; 7; 2 Samuel 5:17-25;8:1-14; 10:12; 12:26-29). Hence David was able to say: "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle. My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer, My shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me." Psalm 144:1,2 ABRAHAM resorted to military action to rescue Lot from the four heathen kings (Genesis 14:11-16). DEBORAH and BARAK were led by the Lord to defeat Sisera and the Canaanite armies (Judges 4:14,15), GIDEON was commanded by God to defeat the Midianites and rescue Israel from their power (Judges 6:14, 15). God gave SAMSON the power to defeat the Philistines and keep Israel safe for twenty years (Judges 14:19; 15:14, 15,20; 16:28-30). The four CENTURIONS (Roman officers) mentioned in the New Testament are all commended in one way or another (Luke 7:9; 23:47; Acts 19:2: 27:43). The Centurion at Capernaum was praised for his faith. Cornelius and the Italian Regiment of the Roman Army had the great honour of being the first Gentiles to be baptised by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. 76
Throughout the Bible the work and calling of soldiers are frequently mentioned, yet never with any suggestion that it could be, in and of itself, dishonourable or unchristian. John the Baptist, in answering the soldiers' question of what they were to do, never suggested that they should leave the army. He merely replied, "Don't extort money and do not accuse people falsely .Be content with your pay." Luke 3:14. He told them how to be good soldiers. The Christian life is often likened to many acceptable and honourable occupations, such as that of a farmer, athlete, worker, citizen, pilgrim and soldier (1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:3, 4; Ephesians 6:11-17). Many of the aspects of a soldier's life are commended such as: self-sacrifice, discipline and loyalty. "What About Turning the Other Cheek?" Jesus said: "If someone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too." Matthew 5:39. Let us not say more than what Jesus said. What He did NOT say was, "if someone stabs you in the one cheek let him stab you in the heart too!"; neither did Jesus suggest that if someone rapes your sister let him attack your mother too. Nor did Jesus demand that if the Arabs bomb Nairobi we should let them bomb Lusaka as well. These ridiculous things Jesus emphatically never taught! Yet that is how some pacifists are misinterpreting these verses. Jesus said, "If someone slaps you..." Let us not suggest more than what our Lord taught. Don't fight over an insult. Don't kill to preserve your pride. Don't retaliate just because of an insult. A slap can hardly be interpreted as a threat of bodily harm or fatal injury. A slap represents an insult. Matthew 5:39 was never meant to abolish national defence or self defence. It was never given that cowards could quote it as an excuse for not doing their duty in protecting their family. For the man who believes that God's commands of the Old Testament (which allow capital punishment for murderers and military defence for nations) could be abolished by the coming of our Lord, Jesus said: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." Matthew 5:17 "What About Loving Your Enemies?" To "love your enemies", Matthew 5:44, is a Christian obligation. So is to love your brother, to honour your parents, and to love your neighbour. Surely my priority must be to defend my family and neighbour against any aggressor - be it a criminal, terrorist or foreign invader. 77
War in the Bibl
And I was never commanded to love God's enemies, who persecute His Church. Nor was I commanded to love my country's enemies. Personal vengeance and jealousies are forbidden. My enemies I must forgive. But my family must be protected, my country must be defended, and my neighbours must be saved from aggression and violence. I have personally taken the Gospel to marxist terrorists, Muslim Jihadists and to communist soldiers, over the border. But when they cross the border and threaten my neighbours, I must do my duty and take up arms to stop them. I will do everything in my power to bring the Word of God and the Gospel of Christ to the enemies of my land and Faith. I will endeavour to bring as many as possible to repentance from sin and to faith in Christ. But when called up to serve my country, I will do my utmost to protect my fellow citizens from all foreign aggression or terrorism. Those who refuse to repent of their sins and turn away from the ways of terror, intimidation, fear and hate - those who endanger the lives of the innocent and defenceless - I will fight, kill or capture. Of course, any captured or wounded enemy will receive prompt medical care, humane treatment and the Gospel. That is Christian love demonstrated in a practical and balanced way.
All Out War The Bible makes it clear that the Christian life is real, serious warfare. Weapons are issued (2 Corinthians 10:4); Strategies are formulated (Luke 14:26- 33); Espionage is exposed (Acts 20:29-30); Commissions are given (Matthew 28:19-20); Battle cries are sounded (Ezekiel 33:3-9); Opponents are disarmed (Colossians 2:15); Captives are taken (2 Corinthians 10:5); Prisoners are freed (Isaiah 51:14); and Victories are won (1 Corinthians 15:57). We cannot have victory without a battle. We need to look beyond our problems to God's solutions, beyond our needs to God's provisions. I have the power to face all circumstances through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:3). If God be for me who can be against me? (Romans 8:31). We are more than conquerors through Christ Who loves us (Romans 8:37). There is no sin so great but that God's Grace is greater still. There is no problem so large but that God's answer is greater still. There is no enemy so strong but that Jesus is stronger still. "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4 "Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 94:16 We are Christians. People with a message - a message of life and death. We are soldiers of Christ engaged in a spiritual world war. Let us wake up to the urgency of a world going to hell and a spiritual emergency in the Church. Truth is at stake as humanistic unchristian philosophies creep into the churches and sweep through the land. Newspapers, films, tapes, videos, books, T.V. programmes and UNESCO textbooks are all too often promoting unBiblical standards and anti-Christian ideologies. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5 If we love the Lord then we must obey Him (John 14:15). If we love the lost then we must tell them the truth of the Scriptures: "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." Hebrews 9:27 79
All Out War
"I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:3 "he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36 The priority of our time is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:31). This will involve "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Proverbs 1:7. "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil." Proverbs 8:13. "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good." Romans 12:9. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21
Spiritual Warfare As Christians, we are all spiritual soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3, 4). The Soldier of Christ is to be: willing (Philippians 1:20). dedicated (2 Timothy 4:7) disciplined (2 Timothy 2:4) motivated (Acts 20:24) obedient (1 Timothy 6:14) prepared (Ephesians 6:10-18) alert (1 Peter 5:8) We have a spiritual enemy to fight (Ephesians 6:12, 13) We have a spiritual war to win (Romans 13:12, 14) We have spiritual weapons:
that are powerful to the destroying of strong holds ,to destroying false arguments, and to pulling down every proud obstacle raised against the knowledge of God. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
These are God's Powerful Weapons
1. Forgiveness conquers Evil (Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:20; Colossians 3:13; Luke 17:4; Proverbs 25:21) 2. Love conquers Hatred (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 1 John 3:18; 1 John 4:16-18; Luke 6:27-36; John 13:34, 35) 3. Faith conquers Unbelief (Ephesians 6:16, Romans 10:17; James 2:26; 1 John 5;4; Hebrews 11:1 1 Thessalonians 5:8) 4. The Holy Spirit conquers the Flesh (Galatians 5, Romans 8, John 6:63, 1 John 4:4; 2 Corinthians 3:17) 5. The Word of God - the sword of the Spirit - is the Truth that sets us free. (Hebrews 4:12; Matt 10:34; Ephesians 6:17; John 8:32; John 15:3; John 17:17). 6. The Power of the Blood of Jesus conquers Sin (1 John 1:7; Revelation 12:11) 81
7. The Angelic Powers protect us (Acts 12:7: Psalm 91:11) 8. Prayer changes things (Acts 4:31; Acts 12:5, 11; Daniel 9:3-19; John 17) 9. Praise conquers Defeat (Joshua 6:20; 1 Kings 18:36-39) 10. The Name of Jesus gives Victory (Luke 24:47-49; John 16:23, 24; 16:18; Colossians 3:17) "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Called to Conquest Psalm 24:1
The Earth is the Lord's and everything in it.
Matthew 28:18-20 The Church is to disciple the nations. Colossians 1:15-20 Jesus is Lord of all areas of life. Matthew 5:13-16 Christians are to confront, transform and lead the world (Genesis 1:27-28). Daniel 7:14
The Kingdom and authority of Christ is over all nations (Revelation 11:15).
The people of God are to rule over all the earth.
The land will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the seas are full of water (Isaiah 45:22).
Many nations will come to God (Revelation 7-9).
The nations plan rebellion and plot together against the Lord, but God will break them and subdue the whole earth under His rule (Matthew 16:18).
All nations will turn to God. He will rule the nations (Psalm 67; Psalm 72:11; Psalm 86:9-10).
God's Kingdom will destroy and conquer all previous empires and last forever (Haggai 2:7; Zephaniah 2:11; Zechariah 14:9).
The Gospel will be preached throughout all the world as a witness to all mankind (Malachi 1:11; Revelation 5:9-10).
1 John 5:4
Every child of God is able to defeat the world (John 16:33).
1 John 4:4
Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the World (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you (1 John 3:8).
Revelation 12:11 Our brothers won the victory by the blood of the Lamb and by the truth which they proclaimed, and they were willing to give up their lives and die. Romans 8:37
We are more than conquerors through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). 83
Hatred of Evil "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good." Romans 12:9 "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil." Proverbs 8:13 "These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19 "Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way." Psalms 119:104 "You rebuke the proud - the cursed, who stray from Your commandments." Psalms 119:21 "Indignation has taken hold of me because of the wicked, who forsake Your law." Psalm 119:53 "I hate the double-minded, but I love Your law." Psalm 119:113 "Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good." Romans 12:21 "Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 94:16 David, the shepherd king, was a man after God's own heart and the Psalms contain many of his heartfelt prayers and songs of praise to God. The Psalms flow with vibrant worship and love for God. The Psalms were the prayer book of our Lord Jesus and of the early Church. The Psalmists' love for nature comes through clearly. But most of all, the Psalms are full of a love for God's Law - for His Word. The Psalmists were jealous for the glory and honour of God. They hated evil and wanted justice to be done. We too must share the Psalmists' hatred of evil, their love for God's Law and their reverent and holy respect for God's holiness. "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts." Isaiah 6:3 "I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'" Isaiah 6:8 84
Praying Against Evil The Psalms are alive with a burning devotion to God, a refreshing appreciation of God's holiness, a zealous enthusiasm for God's Word and an intense hatred of evil. The soldier/shepherd/king/Psalmist David was "a man after His own heart" 1 Samuel 13:14. We need to learn to fear and respect and love God as David did. And "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil." Proverbs 8:13 "Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against You." Psalm 5:10 "Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just; for the righteous God tests the hearts and minds. My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart. God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready ... Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head... I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness." Psalm 7:9-17 "The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God." Psalm 9:17 "O Lord, punish those wicked men! Remember those who are suffering." Psalm 10:12 "Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; Seek out his wickedness until You find none." Psalm 10:15 "The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked, so that men will say, '... Surely He is God who judges in the earth.'"Psalm 58:10, 11 "Scatter them by Your power, and bring them down, o Lord our shield For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips. Let them even be taken in their pride, and for the cursing and lying which they speak. Consume them in wrath... And let them know that God rules in Jacob to the ends of the earth. " Psalm 59:11-13 "But God will wound the head of His enemies, the hairy scalp of the one who still goes on in his trespasses." Psalm 68:21 85
Can we say, with the Psalmist, that we too are always praying against evil? How can evil be increasing if we are really resisting evil? Compromise and apathy, half-heartedness and a lukewarm response to God's Word is weakening us to accept evil instead of opposing it. The Lord Jesus has given His people, the Church, the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever we bind, limit or restrict, will be bound. Whatever we loose, release or disseminate will be loosed (Matthew 16:19). Those people who submit to God and who trust in Christ have the power and authority to resist evil (James 4:7), oppose what is wrong (1 John 4:4) and extend God's Kingdom (Matthew 28: 19) by prayer and practice, in faith and action. God is great and whoever is submitted to God's Word can say: "For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall...For who is God, except the Lord?...It is God who arms me with strength... He teaches my hands to make war... For You have armed me with strength for the battle...The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted." Psalm 18:29-46
Verses of Victory "Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people. " Psalm 3:8 "Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies." Psalm 108:13 "Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 1 Corinthians 15:57 "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4 " And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death." Revelation 12:11 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21: 7-8
Standing Orders from our Commanding Officer "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:3-4 "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!" Luke 12:4, 5 "Have faith in God." Mark 11:22 "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbour as yourself.'" Luke 10:27 "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 "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21 "Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:7-9
A Time for War As the Bible says, there is a time for war. "To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance;... A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace." Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 A Soldier's Testimony Many Christians can testify of how God has protected them in combat situations. History and the Bible record many occasions when God has led His people to battle, strengthened them in defeat and led them to victory. "I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. The pangs of death surrounded me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears....
A Time for War
He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God. For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect..... He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze... I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.... For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me... The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.... You also lift me up... You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your Name." Psalm 18 90
God's Army "Like a strong people set in battle array. Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color. They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief. The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness. THE LORD GIVES VOICE BEFORE HIS ARMY, FOR HIS CAMP IS VERY GREAT; FOR STRONG IS THE ONE WHO EXECUTES HIS WORD. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?" Now, therefore, says the Lord, 'Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning."' Joel 2:5-12
The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion The foundational statement of true doctrine and worship upon which all Episcopal churches were established. Originally agreed upon by the Archbishops, Bishops, and the whole clergy of the Church of England, in London 1562.
Subjects of the Articles 1. The Holy Trinity 2. Of the Word or Son of God 3. Christ's Descent into Hell 4. Of the Resurrection of Christ 5. The Holy Spirit 6. The Sufficiency of Holy Scripture for Our Salvation 7. The Old Testament 8. The Three Creeds 9. Original Sin 10. Free will 11. Justification 12. Good Works 13. Works before Justification 14. Works of Supererogation 15. Christ Alone Without Sin 16. Sin after Baptism 17. Predestination and Election 18. Salvation in Christ alone 19. The Church 20. Authority of the Church 21. Authority of General Councils 22. Purgatory 23. Ministryin The Congregation 24. The Language of Public Worship 25. The Sacraments 26. The Unworthiness of Ministers 27. Baptism 28. The Lord's Supper 29. The Participation of Unbelievers 92
30. Communion in Both Kinds 31. The One Offering of Christ Finished on The Cross 32. Marriage of Presbyters 33. Excommunicated Persons 34. The Traditions of The Church 35. The Homilies 36. The Consecration of Bischops and Ministers 37. Civil Magistrates 38. Private Property 39. Oath-taking 1. The Holy Trinity There is only one living and true God. His existence is everlasting, without beginning or end. As a spiritual being, not limited by a body and bodily members, and free from bodily desires and impulses, His power,wisdom, and goodness are infinite. He is the Creator and Preserver of all things whether seen or unseen. In the unity of this one true God there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Who are one in being, power and eternity. 2. Of the Word or Son of God The Son, who is the Word of the Father (John. 1:1), is the Son of the Father from everlasting to everlasting. He is truly and eternally God, one with the Father in being. He took our human nature to Himself in the womb of the Virgin Mary,so that two full and perfect natures, His divine and our human nature, were united in the one person of the incarnate Son, never to be divided. There is therefore one Christ who is truly God and truly man, and who truly suffered, was crucified, died and was buried. By Christ's sacrifice of Himself, not only for original guilt but also for all actual sins of men, God was reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians. 5:19). 3. Christ's Descent into Hell As Christ died for us and was buried, so also it is to be believed that He went down into hell. 4. Of The Resurrection of Christ Christ truly rose again from the dead. His was a bodily Resurrection, with flesh, bones and all things that belong to the perfection of our human nature. His Ascension was a bodily ascension into heaven, where He is now enthroned until the last day,when He will return to Judge all men. 93
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5. The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son is one in being, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son, and thus is truly and eternally God. 6. The Sufficiency of Holy Scripture for Our Salvation Holy Scripture sets forth everything that is necessary for our salvation. Consequently, nobody should be required to believe as an article of the Christian faith, or to regard as necessary for salvation, anything that is not found in Scripture or that cannot be proved from Scripture. By the term Holy Scripture we mean the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, namely: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, Jude, Revelation. The books known as the Apocrypha are read by the Church, as Jerome said, because of the examples they provide of heroic lives and faithful conduct; but the Church does not use these books to establish any doctrine. 7. The Old Testament The Old Testament is not contrary to the New Testament. In the Old as well as in the New Testament, everlasting life is offered to mankind through Christ; for Christ, who is both God and man, is the only Mediator between God and man. Therefore we must not pay attention to any who say that in the Old Testament the patriarchs and others were limited in their expectation to transitory promises. Although the ceremonies and rites of the Law which God gave through Moses are not binding on Christians, and the civil precepts of the Law are not essential for the organisation of any state or commonwealth, yet no Christian at all is free from obedience to the commandments known as moral. 8. The Three Creeds The three creeds, namely the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and what is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, should be received and believed without reservation, because they may be proved from Holy Scripture. 94
9. Original Sin Original sin does not consist in imitating the sin of Adam (as the Pelagians wrongly teach), but is the fault and corruption of the nature with which all the descendants of Adam are born. It is due to original sin that we have departed very far from the original righteousness in which we were created, and are naturally inclined to evil, with the result that there is a constant war between the flesh and the spirit. Accordingly in every person born into this world, original sin is deserving of God's wrath and condemnation. This infection of our nature remains even in those who in Christ are reborn. Because of it the desire of the flesh is not submissive to the Law of God. True though it is that there is no condemnation awaiting those who believe and are baptised, yet the Apostle asserts that all ungodly desires are in themselves sinful. 10. Free Will Since the fall of Adam man's state is such that he is unable, by his own natural strength and good works, to turn and dispose himself to believe and call upon God. Consequently,we have no power of our own to do good works that are pleasing and acceptable to God, unless the grace of God is first given through Christ, so that we may have a good will, and that same grace continues at work within us to maintain that good will. 11. Justification It is not because of any good works or deservings on our part, but only by faith which rests on the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that we are accounted righteous before God. Therefore the doctrine of our justification by faith alone is most edifying and full of strength and comfort. 12. Good Works Although good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow after our justification, cannot put away our sins, and are subject to the severity of God's judgement, yet, inasmuch as they are done in Christ and for His sake, they are pleasing and acceptable to God; for they spring necessarily from a true and vital faith, and are indeed the evidence of a vital faith, just as a tree is recognised by its fruit. 13. Works before Justification Works that are done before receiving the grace of Christ and the indwelling of his Spirit are not pleasing to God, because they do not spring from faith in Jesus Christ; nor is it true (as some say) that they render us fit to receive grace or are deserving of grace. On the contrary, the fact that such works are not done as God has willed and commanded them to be done can only mean that they have the nature of sin. 95
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14. Works of Supererogation Works which are supposedly done voluntarily beyond and in excess of what is required by God's commandments (known as works of supererogation) cannot be taught without self-centred arrogance and irreverence; for it is claimed that persons who perform such works render to God not only as much as it is their duty to render, but actually do for God more than is of bounden duty required; whereas Christ plainly stated, "When you have done all that is commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants'." (Luke 17:10). 15. Christ Alone Without Sin As our true fellow man Christ was like us in all respects, with the exception only of sin, from which He was completely free, both in His flesh and in His spirit. He came into the world to be the Lamb without spot or blemish, and by His once-for-all sacrifice of Himself to take away the sins of the world as the One in whom, as St John says, there was no sin (John 1:29; 1John 3:5). But all the rest of us, even though we have been baptised and born again in Christ, continue to offend in many things; and "if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us". (1 John 1:8). 16. Sin After Baptism Not every serious sin committed after our baptism is an unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit. Therefore persons who fall into sin after baptism should be encouraged to repent. After we have received the Holy Spirit it is possible for us to turn away from the grace we have experienced and to fall into sin, and it is possible for us who have fallen to rise again and amend our lives by the grace of God. Therefore persons who say that they cannot sin any more as long as they continue in this life (claiming to have attained sinless perfection), or who deny any opportunity of forgiveness to those who truly repent, are to be condemned. 17. Predestination and Election Predestination to life belongs to God's everlasting purpose. By this is meant that before the foundation of the world, it is His unchangeable decree, in accordance with His secret counsel to deliver from the curse and damnation those whom He has chosen in Christ, and to bring them by Him to everlasting salvation, as vessels of His mercy (Romans 9:21). Therefore, those on whom such an excellent blessing of God is bestowed are called according to God's purpose by the Holy Spirit working in them in God's good time; through grace they obey this calling and are freely justified by God; they become the sons of God by adoption (Romans 3:24; 8:150; they are conformed to the image of His only Son Jesus Christ; they lead holy lives that are given to good works to the glory of God; and at last, 96
by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting bliss (Romans 8:29f; Ephesians 2:8-10). The reverent consideration of our predestination and election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant and unspeakable strength and comfort to godly persons, who feel the working in themselves of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly passions and drawing their thoughts upward to high and heavenly realities. This teaching is welcome to us both because it strongly establishes and confirms our assurance of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ and also because it kindles in us a fervent love to God. For unregenerate persons, however, who are moved by idle curiosity and who do not have the Spirit of Christ, to be constantly confronted with the doctrine of God's predestination is dangerous and disastrous, since the devil uses it to drive them either to despair or to abandon themselves to immoral and ungodly living, which is no less perilous than despair. Furthermore, we must accept God's promises in the way in which they are ordinarily presented to us in Holy Scripture, and in all that we do the will of God is to be followed precisely as it is revealed to us in the Word of God. 18. Salvation in Christ Alone They are to be condemned as false teachers who assert that persons Will be saved no matter what beliefs they hold or what sect they belong to, provided they sincerely lead their lives according to those beliefs and to the light of nature; for Holy Scripture insists that it is only by the Name of Jesus Christ that we may be saved (Acts 4:12). 19. The Church The visible Church of Christ is a gathering of believing people in which the pure Word of God is preached and the sacraments are ministered with due order and discipline as ordained by Christ. Together with other churches, the Church of Rome has erred, not only in matters of conduct and ceremonial but also in matters of doctrine. 20. The Authority of the Church The Church has power to prescribe rites and ceremonies and has authority in theological controversies; but it is not lawful for the Church to prescribe anything that is contrary to God's written Word, or to expound one passage of Scripture in such a way that it disagrees with another. Therefore, although the Church is a witness and a guardian of Holy Scripture, yet it is not open to it to prescribe anything contrary to Scripture, or to enforce anything not found in Scripture to be believed as necessary to salvation. 97
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21. The Authority of General Councils General Councils may err when they meet, and sometimes have erred, even in issues of theological importance - for such councils are composed of men, not all of whom may be governed by the Spirit and the Word of God. Therefore, nothing declared by such councils as necessary for salvation has binding power or authority unless it is plainly taught in Holy Scripture. 22. Purgatory The Romish teaching about purgatory, pardons, the worship and adoration of images and relics, and also the practice of praying to saints, is a futile deception, which, far from being grounded in Scripture, is repugnant to the Word of God. 23. Ministering in The Congregation No man is permitted to take upon himself the office of public preaching or ministration of the sacraments before he has been called and appointed to fulfil this office. Those persons should be accepted as lawfully called and appointed who have been selected and called to this work by men entrusted with public authority in the Church to call and send ministers into the Lord's vineyard. 24. The Language of Public Worship It is plainly incompatible with the Word of God and with the custom of the primitive Church to conduct public worship or to minister the sacraments in the Church in a language the people do not understand. 25. The Sacraments The sacraments prescribed by Christ are badges and tokens of our profession as Christians, and, more particularly,they are trustworthy witnesses and effectual signs of God's grace and good will to us. By them God works invisibly in us, both arousing and also strengthening and confirming our faith in Him. Christ our Lord has ordained two Gospel sacraments, namely Baptism and the Lord's Supper. The five that are commonly called sacraments, namely,confirmation, penance, ordination, matrimony,and extreme unction are not to be received as sacraments of the Gospel, since they have in part developed from a false understanding of apostolic practice and in part represent states of life allowed in the Scriptures. Moreover, because they have no visible sign or ceremony commanded by God, they do not belong in the same category as the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. 98
The sacraments were not appointed by Christ to be a public spectacle or to be paraded for adoration, but to be used with due discipline. They have a beneficial effect or working only in those who receive them worthily; whereas those who receive them unworthily bring Condemnation on themselves, as St Paul teaches (1 Corinthians 11:27). 26. The Unworthiness of Ministers Although in the visible Church there is always a mingling of evil with good, and at times evil persons hold the chief positions in the ministry of the Word and sacraments, yet, because they do so not in their own but in Christ's Name and perform their ministry by His commission and authority,we may avail ourselves of their ministry both in hearing the Word of God and in receiving the sacraments. The effect of Christ's ordinance is not taken away by their wickedness, nor is the grace of God's gifts diminished in the case of those who receive the sacraments rightly and by faith; for,although ministered by evil men, these are effectual on account of Christ's institution and promise. Nevertheless, it belongs to the discipline of the Church that evil ministers should be investigated and that they should be accused by those who have knowledge of their offences, and, further,that on being found guilty,they should by just judgement be deposed. 27. Baptism Baptism is a sign of the Faith we profess and a mark that differentiates Christian persons from those who are unbaptised; and it is also a sign of regeneration or new birth by which, as by an instrument, those who receive baptism rightly are grafted into the Church, the promises of forgiveness of sin and of our adoption to be the sons of God are visibly signified and sealed, and faith is confirmed and grace increased by virtue of prayer to God. The baptism of young children is under all circumstances to be retained in the Church as a practice fully agreeable with the institution of Christ. 28. The Lord's Supper The supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves for each other,but is especially a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death. Accordingly,for those who rightly,worthily,and with faith receive it the bread that is broken is a partaking of the body of Christ and the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ (1Corinthians 10:16). Transubstantiation (the teaching that the substance of the bread and wine is changed into the actual flesh and blood of Christ) in the supper 99
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of the Lord cannot be proved by Holy Scripture, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthrows the nature of a sacrament, and has given rise to many superstitions. In the Lord's supper the body of Christ is given, taken and eaten only in a heavenly or spiritual manner,and faith is the means by which the body of Christ is received and eaten in the supper. The sacrament of the Lord's supper was not commanded by Christ to be reserved, carried about, lifted up or worshipped. 29. The Participation of Unbelievers Though wicked persons, and all in whom a vital faith is absent, physically and visibly press the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ with their teeth (as Saint Augustine says), yet in no sense are they partakers of Christ; on the contrary,they eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great a reality to their own condemnation. 30. Communion in Both Kinds The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the laity,for both parts of the Lord's sacrament, the wine as well as the bread, ought by Christ's ordinance and commandment to be ministered alike to all Christian persons. 31. The One Offering of Christ Finished on The Cross Christ's offering of Himself on the Cross, once for all, is the perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is no other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Therefore the sacrifices of masses, in which it is commonly said that the priest offers Christ for the living and the dead, to obtain the remission of their punishment or guilt, are blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits. 32. The Marriage of Presbyters Bishops, presbyters and deacons are not commanded by God's Law to take vows of celibacy or to abstain from marriage; therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian persons, to marry at their own discretion, where they judge that it serves better to godliness for them to do so. 33. Excommunicated Persons Any person who by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church and excommunicated ought to be treated by the whole company of the faithful as a heathen and a traitor,until such time as he is reconciled by penitence and received back into the Church by a judge with authority to do so (cf. Matthew 18:17). 34. The Traditions of The Church It is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies should be uniform and identical in every place; for these have at all times been diversified, 100
and they may be changed to accord with the diversities of countries, times, and human customs, provided that nothing be ordained contrary to God's Word. Anyone who by his private judgement willingly and deliberately breaks the traditions and ceremonies of the Church which are not repugnant to the Word of God, and are appointed and approved by common authority, ought to be openly rebuked (so that others may fear to follow his example) as one who offends against the common order of the Church, undermines authority,and wounds the consciences of weak fellow Christians. Every particular or national church has authority to prescribe, change and abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church which have been ordered only by human authority,providing all things are done for edification. 35. The Homilies The two books of Homilies, which were set forth in the times of Edward VI and Elizabeth I respectively, contain godly and wholesome teaching. 36. The Consecration of Bishops and Ministers The form of consecration of archbishops and bishops and the ordering of priests and deacons, set forth in the time of Edward VI, contain all things necessary for such consecration and ordering and nothing that of itself is superstitious and ungodly. Therefore anyone who is consecrated or ordained according to these rites we declare to be rightly,orderly and lawfully consecrated and ordained. 37. Civil Magistrates We do not give to our princes or rulers the right to minister either God's Word or the sacraments. The only prerogative which we recognise as having been given by God himself in Holy Scripture to all godly rulers is that they should rule all states and classes committed to their charge by God, whether ecclesiastical or secular, and restrain with the civil sword stubborn persons and evildoers. The Bishop of Rome has no jurisdiction in this realm. Christians may be punished by the laws of the realm with death for heinous and grievous offences. It is lawful for Christian men to carry weapons and serve inwars at the command of the civil ruler. 38. Private Property The wealth and possessions of Christians are not common to all nor is their right and title to own private property to be questioned. Nevertheless, every person ought to give liberally and according to his ability from the things he possesses to the poor. 101
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39. Oath-Taking While we acknowledge that vain and rash swearing is forbidden to Christians by our Lord Jesus Christ and by St James (Matthew 5:34-37; James 5:12),we judge that our Christian religion does not prohibit us from swearing an oath when it is required by the magistrate in the cause of good faith and charity, providing it is done according to the prophet's teaching injustice, judgement and truth.
The WESTMINSTER STANDARDS
In 1643, during a time of political turmoil, military conflict and threats to religious freedom, the English Parliament called upon 121 "learned, Godly and judicious" pastors, teachers and Theologians, to meet at Westminster Abby to provide considered guidance on issues of Faith and conduct, doctrine and devotion, applying the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life. The Westminster Assembly produced what has been described as the finest, most Biblical description and definition of Christian life, faith and practise. The Westminster Confession, The Larger Catechism and The Shorter Catechism, have been adopted as the standards for most Reformed Churches. The Westminster Confession was adopted by Act of the English Parliament in 1648 and by the Scottish Parliament in 1649. The Westminster Standards have been adopted, with minor modifications, by the Congregational Churches in the form of The Savoy Declaration (1658), by the Baptists, in the London Confession of Faith (1689), and others. The Westminster Catechism is built on the earlier Reformation Heidelberg Catechism, of 1563, which along with The Belgic Confession and The Canons of Dort form the Three Forms of Unity of the Dutch Reformed Churches. The Westminster Standards present succinct summaries of the Faith that are thoroughly and consistently Biblical. The Westminster Catechism has guided pastors and Sunday School teachers for over three centuries as an excellent teaching tool to encourage students to ask critical questions and to seek the truth from the Scripture as our ultimate authority. It is the duty of the Church to clearly define, defend, proclaim and teach the whole counsel of God to a world of doubt and confusion. "As far as I am able to judge, the Christian world, since the days of the Apostles, had never a synod of more excellent divines than the Westminster Assembly." Rev. Richard Baxter "The Westminster Standards â€Śare the richest and most precise and best guarded statement ever pennedâ€Ś and of all that must be safeguarded if Evangelical Faith is to persist in the world." Dr. B.B. Warfield 102
The Westminster Confession of Faith CHAPTER I Of the Holy Scripture. I. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation: therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the holy scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of Godâ€™s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the Books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these: Of the Old Testament Of the New Testament All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life. III. The Books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be anyother wise approved, or made use of, than other human writings. IV. The authority of the holy scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; and therefore it is to be received, because it is the word of God. V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverend esteem of the holy scripture, and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of manâ€™s salvation, the 103
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many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the word of God; yet notwithstanding our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the word in our hearts. VI. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, manâ€™s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word; and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed. VII. All things in scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being Genesis II Chronicles Daniel Exodus Ezra Hosea Leviticus Nehemiah Joel Numbers Esther Amos Deuteronomy Job Obadiah Joshua Psalms Jonah Judges Proverbs Micah Ruth Ecclesiastes Nahum I Samuel The Song of Songs Habakkuk II Samuel Isaiah Zephaniah I Kings Jeremiah Haggai II Kings Lamentations Zechariah I Chronicles Ezekiel Malachi 104
immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence The Gospels according to Matthew Mark Luke John The Acts of the Apostles Paul's Epistles to the Romans the Corinthians I the Corinthians II
the Galatians the Ephesians the Philippians the Colossians the Thessalonians I the Thessalonians II Timothy I Timothy II Titus Philemon The Epistles to the Hebrews
The Epistle of James The first and second Epistles of Peter The first and second and third Epistles of John The Epistle of Jude The Revelation of John
kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto and interest in the scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that the word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, may have hope. IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly. X. The supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the scripture.
The Westminster Confession of Faith
CHAPTER II Of God, and of the Holy Trinity. I. There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal most just and terrible in his judgements; hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty. II. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made, not deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory, in, by, unto, and upon them: he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth. In his sight all things are open and manifest; his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, he is pleased to require of them. III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.
CHAPTER III Of Godâ€™s Eternal Decree I. God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet hath he not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions. III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death. IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished. V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto; and all to the praise of his glorious grace. VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ; are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. VII. The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice. VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will of God revealed in his word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation, to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.
The Westminster Confession of Faith
CHAPTER IV Of Creation. I. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good. II. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image, having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.
CHAPTER V Of Providence. I. God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy. II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently. III. God in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at his pleasure. IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, tohis own holy ends; yet so a the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God; who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin. 108
V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God, doth oftentimes leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends. VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men, whom God as a righteous judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden, from them he not only withholdeth his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had, and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan: whereby it comes to pass, that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others. VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.
CHAPTER VI Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment thereof. I. Our first parents being seduced by the subtlety and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory. II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness, and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation. IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions. V. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated: and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin. 109
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VI. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.
CHAPTER VII Of Godâ€™s Covenant with Man I. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on Godâ€™s part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant. II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. III. Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the Covenant of Grace: whereby he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe. IV. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in the scripture by the name of a Testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed. V. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the Gospel: under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all fore-signifying Christ to come, which were for that time sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the Old Testament. VI. Under the Gospel, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lordâ€™s Supper; which, though fewer in number, and administered with 110
more simplicity and less outward glory, yet in them it is held forth in more fullness, evidence and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace differing in substance, but one and the same under various dispensations.
CHAPTER VIII Of Christ the Mediator. I. It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus his only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man; the Prophet, Priest, and King; the Head and Saviour of his Church; the heir of all things; and Judge of the world: unto whom he did from all eternity give a people to be his seed, and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. II. The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance, and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him manâ€™s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man. III. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure; having in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell: to the end, that being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator and Surety. Which office he took not unto himself, but was thereunto called by his Father; who put all power and judgement into his hand, and gave him commandment to execute the same. IV. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake; which that he might discharge, he was made under the law and did perfectly fulfil it; endured most grievous torments immediately in his soul, and most painful sufferings in his body; was crucified, and died; was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption. On the third day he arose from the dead, with the same body in which he suffered; with 111
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which also he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father, making intercession; and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world. V. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of his Father; and purchased not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto him. VI. Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof, were communicated unto the elect in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein he was revealed and signified to be the Seed of the woman, which should bruise the serpentâ€™s head, and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, being yesterday and to-day the same, and for ever. VII. Christ, in the work of mediation, acteth according to both natures; by each nature doing that which is proper to itself: yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in scripture attributed to the person dominated by the other nature. VIII. To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same; making intercession for them; and revealing unto them, in and by the word, the mysteries of salvation; effectually persuading them by his Spirit to believe and obey; and governing their hearts by his word and Spirit; overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation.
CHAPTER IX Of Free Will. I. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined, to good or evil. II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which is good and well pleasing to God; but yet mutably, so that he might fall from it. III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being 112
altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto. IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, and by his grace alone enables him freely to will and to do that whichis spiritually good; yet so as that, by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly nor only will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil. V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone in the state of glory only.
CHAPTER X Of Effectual Calling. I. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by his word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good; and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace. II. This effectual call is of Godâ€™s free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man; who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth. So also are all other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word. IV. Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men not professing the Christian religion be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they ever so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the law of that religion they do profess; and to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.
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CHAPTER XI Of Justification. I. Those whom God effectually calleth he also freely justifieth; not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous: not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christâ€™s sake alone: not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience, to them as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith: which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God. II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love. III. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Fatherâ€™s justice in their behalf. Yet, in as much as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for any thing in them, their justification is only of free grace; that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect; and Christ did, in the fulness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth in due time actually apply Christ unto them. V. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified: and although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may by their sins fall under Godâ€™s fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of his countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance. VI. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.
CHAPTER XII Of Adoption. I. All those that are justified, God vouchsafeth, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption: by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God; have His Name put upon them, receive the Spirit of adoption; have access to the throne of grace with boldness; are enabled to cry, Abba, Father; are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by him as by a father; yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation.
CHAPTER XIII Of Sanctification. I. They who are effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are farther sanctified really and personally, through the virtue of Christâ€™s death and resurrection, by his word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. II. This sanctification is throughout in the whole man, yet imperfect in this life; there abideth still some remnants of corruption in every part: whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. III. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome: and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
CHAPTER XIV Of Saving Faith. I. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the word: bywhich also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened. 115
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II. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein; and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith are, accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace. III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may be often and many ways assailed and weakened, but gets the victory; growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.
CHAPTER XV Of Repentance unto Life. I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the Gospel, as well a that of faith in Christ. II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavouring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments. III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of Godâ€™s free grace in Christ; yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it. IV. As there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation; so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent. V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every manâ€™s duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins particularly. VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof; upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy; so he that scandalizeth his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended; who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him. 116
CHAPTER XVI Of Good Works. I. 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 pretence of good intention. II. These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the Gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto; that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end eternal life. III. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure: yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them. IV. They who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do. V. We cannot, by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life, at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins; but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants; and because, as they are good, they proceed from his Spirit; and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgement. VI. Yet notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him; not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreproveable in God’s sight; but that he, looking upon them in his Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections. VII. Works done by unregenerate men, although, for the matter of 117
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them, they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith; nor are done in a right manner, according to the word; nor to a right end, the glory of God; they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing unto God.
CHAPTER XVII Of the Perseverance of the Saints. I. They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ; the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof. III. Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and for a time continue therein: whereby they incur Godâ€™s displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit; come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgements upon themselves.
CHAPTER XVIII Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation. I. Although hypocrites, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and estate of salvation; which hope of theirs shall perish; yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; which hope shall never make them ashamed. 118
II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God: which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption. III. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it: yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto. And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure; that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance: so far is it from inclining men to looseness. IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it; by falling into some special sin, which woundeth the conscience, and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation; by Godâ€™s withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness, and to have no light: yet are they never utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived, and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair.
CHAPTER XIX Of the Love of God. I. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him, and all his posterity, to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it; and endued him with power and ability to keep it. II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon mount Sinai in ten commandments, and written in two tables; the first four commandments containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty to man. 119
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III. Besides this law, commonly called Moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances; partly of worship,prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the new testament. IV. To them also, as a body politick, he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require. V. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God, the Creator, who gave it. Neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation. VI. Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives; so a, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them Godâ€™s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works: so as a manâ€™s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law, and not under grace. VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God revealed in the law requireth to be done.
CHAPTER XX Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience. I. The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the Gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin, from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love, and willing mind. All which were common also to believers under the law; but under the new testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected, and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of. II. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or beside it, in matters of faith or worship. So that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commandments out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also. III. They who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, do practise any sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty; which is, that, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. IV. And because the powers which God hath ordained, and the liberty which Christ hath purchased, are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another; they who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God. And for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity, whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation; or to the power of godliness; or such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the church; they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against by the censures of the church, and by the power of the civil magistrate. 121
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CHAPTER XXI Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath-day I. The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is good, and doeth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy scripture. II. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to him alone; not to angels, saints, or any other creature: and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone. III. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship, is by God required of all men; and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the Name of the Son, by the help of his Spirit, according to his will, with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and, if vocal, in a known tongue. IV. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter; but not for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death. V. The reading of the scriptures with godly fear; the sound preaching, and conscionable hearing of the word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence: singing of psalms with grace in the heart; as also the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: besides religious oaths and vows, solemn fastings, and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner. VI. Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is, now under the Gospel, either tied unto, or made more acceptable by, any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed: but God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth; as in private families daily, and in secret each one by himself; so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God, by his word or providence, calleth thereunto. 122
VII. As it is of the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which in scripture is called the Lordâ€™s Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath. VIII. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations; but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
CHAPTER XXII Of lawful Oaths and Vows. I. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth or promiseth; and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he sweareth. II. The Name of God only is that by which men ought to swear and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence; therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadful name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred. Yet as, in matters of weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the word of God under the New Testament, as well as under the Old; so a lawful oath being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken. III. Whosoever taketh an oath, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth. Neither may any man bind himself by each to any thing but what is good and just, and what he believeth so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform. Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching any thing that is good and just, being imposed by lawful authority. IV. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation. It cannot oblige to sin; but in anything not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a manâ€™s own hurt; nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics or infidels. 123
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V. A vow is of the like nature with a promissory oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness. VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone: and that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith, and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for the obtaining of what we want; whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties, or to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto. VII. No man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his own power, and for the performance whereof he hath no promise or ability from God. In which respects, Popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself. [See introductory note.]
CHAPTER XXIII Of the Civil Magistrate. I. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him over the people, for his own glory, and the public good; and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil-doers. II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto: in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth; so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions. III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven: yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God. 124
IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, to honour their persons, to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority for conscience’ sake. Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrate’s just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to him: from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted; much less hath the Pope any power of jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and least of all to deprive them of their dominions or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever.
CHAPTER XXIV Of Marriage and Divorce. I. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time. II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife; for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the church with an holy seed; and for prevention of uncleanness. III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry who are able with judgement to give their consent; yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord. And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, Papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies. [See introductory note.] IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden in the word; nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man, or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife. The man may not marry any of his wife’s kindred nearer in blood than he may of his own, nor the woman of her husband’s kindred nearer in blood than of her own. V. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce, and, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead. VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments, unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage; 125
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yet nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as can no way be remedied by the church or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage: wherein a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed, and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills and discretion in their own case.
CHAPTER XXV Of the Church. I. The catholic or universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all. II. The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel, (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all these throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children; and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. III. Unto this catholic visible church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints in this life, to the end of the world; and doth by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual thereunto. IV. The catholic church hath been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. And particular churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them. V. The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth to worship God according to his will. VI. There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God. [See introductory note.]
CHAPTER XXVI Of Communion of Saints I. All saints that are united to Jesus Christ their head by his Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with him in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory. And being united to one another in love, they have communion in each otherâ€™s gifts and graces; and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man. II. Saints, by profession, are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification; as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their several abilities and necessities. Which communion, as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who in every place call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus. III. This communion which the saints have with Christ, doth not make them in any wise partakers of the substance of his Godhead, or to be equal with Christ in any respect: either of which to affirm is impious and blasphemous. Nor doth their communion one with another, as saints, take away or infringe the title or property which each man hath in his goods and possessions.
CHAPTER XXVII Of the Sacraments I. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by God, to represent Christ and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him; as also to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the church and the rest of the world; and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his word. II. There is in every sacrament a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified; whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other. III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments, rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it, but upon the work of the Spirit, and the word of institution; which contains, together with a precept authorising the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers. 127
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IV. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord; neither of which may be dispensed by any but by a minister of the word, lawfully ordained. V. The sacraments of the Old Testament, in regard of the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were, for substance, the same with those of the New.
CHAPTER XXVIII Of Baptism I. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not only for the solemn admission of the party baptised into the visible church, but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his giving up unto God through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life: which sacrament is, by Christâ€™s own appointment, to be continued in his church until the end of the world. II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptised in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto. III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person. IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one or both believing parents are to be baptised. V. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated or saved without it, or that all that are baptised are undoubtedly regenerated. VI. The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of Godâ€™s own will, in his appointed time. VII. The sacrament of baptism is but once to be administered to any person. 128
CHAPTER XXIX Of the Lord’s Supper. I. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in his church unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death, the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him, and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body. II. In this sacrament Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead; but only a commemoration of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all, and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same; so that the Popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect. [See introductory note.] III. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants; but to none who are not then present in the congregation. IV. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other, alone; as likewise the denial of the cup to the people; worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use; are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ. V. The outward elements in this sacrament, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ; albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before. VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of Christ’s body and blood (commonly called Transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to scripture alone, but even to common sense and reason; overthroweth the nature of the sacrament; and hath been and is the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries. 129
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VII. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this sacrament, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses. VIII. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament, yet they receive not the thing signified thereby; but by their unworthy coming thereunto are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with him, so are they unworthy of the Lordâ€™s table, and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto.
CHAPTER XXX Of Church Censures I. The Lord Jesus, as king and head of his church, hath therein appointed a government in the hand of church-officers, distinct from the civil magistrate. II. To these officers the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed, by virtue whereof they have power respectively to retain and remit sins, to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the word and censures; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the Gospel, and by absolution from censures, as occasion shall require. III. Church censures are necessary for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren; for deterring of others from the like offences; for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump; for vindicating the honour of Christ, and the holy profession of the Gospel; and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the church, if they should suffer his covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders. IV. For the better attaining of these ends, the officers of the church are to proceed by admonition, suspension from the sacrament of the Lordâ€™s Supper for a season, and by excommunication from the church, according to the nature of the crime, and demerit of the person.
CHAPTER XXXI Of Synods and Councils. I. For the better government, and further edification of the church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called Synods or Councils. II. As magistrates may lawfully call a synod of ministers, and other fit persons, to consult and advise with about matters of religion; so if magistrates be open enemies to the church, the ministers of Christ, of themselves, by virtue of their office, or they, with other fit persons upon delegation from their churches, may meet together in such assemblies. III. It belongeth to synods and councils ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission, not only for their agreement with the word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his word. IV. All synods or councils since the apostlesâ€™ times, whether general or particular, may err, and many have erred; therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith or practice, but to be used as an help in both. V. Synods and councils are to handle or conclude nothing but that which is ecclesiastical; and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs, which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition, in cases extraordinary; or by way of advice for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate.
CHAPTER XXXII Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead. I. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls (which neither die nor sleep), having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the 131
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judgement of the great day. Besides these two places for souls separated from their bodies, the scripture acknowledgeth none. II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed: and all the dead shall be raised up with the self-same bodies, and none other, although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their souls for ever. III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, unto honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious body.
CHAPTER XXXIII Of the Last Judgement. I. God hath appointed a day wherein He will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgement is given of the Father. In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil. II. The end of Godâ€™s appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy in the eternal salvation of the elect, and of his justice in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing which shall come from the presence of the Lord: but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity; so will he have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they known not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.
Evangelising in the War Zones Frontline Fellowship is a Bible based mission that has pioneered missionary work into neglected and resistant areas in Africa. Since 1982 Frontline missionaries have travelled many hundreds of thousands of kilometres by foot, by motorbikes, by dugout canoes, trucks and aircraft to boldly proclaim the Gospel of repentance and faith in Christ to soldiers, guerrillas, resistance fighters and civilians on all sides ofmany conflicts in Africa. The Founder of Frontline Fellowship, Dr. Peter Hammond, has personally carried out over 140 missions in the war zones and presented over 15000 sermons and lectures in 36 countries. In the course of their missionary activities some Frontline missionaries have been ambushed, come under mortar fire, been strafed by helicopter gunships, been stabbed, shot at, beaten by mobs, arrested and imprisoned. Over the years, 18 people involved in Frontline Fellowship outreaches have been imprisoned in Marxist countries. Yet, by the grace of God, every one was freed in response to persistent prayer and pressure (Luke 18:1-5). Assisting Persecuted Churches Frontline Fellowship has been in the forefront of: *Pioneering missionary work into war-ravaged Mozambique, Angola and Sudan; *Researching neglected areas; *Opening up "closed areas" and forbidden territories; persecuted Christians and prisoners with Bibles, Christian *Assisting literature, hymn books, school textbooks, emergency relief aid (including tons of medicines, clothes, food, seed and tools), encouragement and Bible teaching; *Developing a network of couriers and evangelists to distribute many tons of Bibles in 100 languages, to suffering Christians; *Providing in depth leadership training for thousands of pastors, evangelists and chaplains, teachers, nurses and civil leaders in neglected areas; *Speaking up for the persecuted, publishing the sufferings and testimonies of believers in print, through the Internet and email, on radio and TV and in hundreds of international meetings every year.
Evangelising in the War Zones
Working for Reformation and Revival Frontline Fellowship is a leading force in leadership training, networking and co-ordinating a united Christian stand for righteousness and truth. Frontline Fellowship and its sister ministries, Africa Christian Action, The Christian Action Network, Literature 4 Africa, The Reformation Society and Christian Liberty Books, publish over 100 items a year and distribute well over a million copies of Gospel leaflets, booklets, books and Bibles in up to 100 languages, over 180 tonnes throughout Africa each year. Together with its related ministries, Frontline Fellowship conducts an average of 70 seminars, conferences or workshops each year. Through literature and leadership training, Frontline Fellowship is educating and enlisting tens of thousands of Christians to "disciple the nations.., teaching obedience." Hundreds of Bible study and prayer groups have been mobilised to study, proclaim and obey the Word of God in all areas of life.
Teaching that Transforms Frontline Fellowship missionaries have developed a series of life changing courses to enrich the life of local churches and ministries. These include the: Evangelism Workshops Discipleship Training Course Biblical Woridview Seminar Triumph Amidst Tribulation Seminar God and Government Seminar Reformation and Revival Seminar Muslim Evangelism Workshop Great Commission Course These courses have been conducted in America, Angola, Congo, Denmark, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Sweden, Romania, Albania and Sudan. Participants of these courses have written the following responses: "Biblically based"; "Refreshing"; "Practical and relevant"; "a necessity for every Christian"; "All the lectures made me rethink everything"; "Very professionally presented"; "Very uplifting and rewarding"; "It was lifeÂchanging"; "The best course I have ever attended! "; "Excellent! Worthwhile! Every Christian needs to attend courses like these. " These and other courses are available by correspondence and online through the William Carey Bible Institute. www.WilliamCareyBI.com.
Frontline Fellowship News is a unique resource, presenting first hand research reports, photography and testimonies from the frontline. It is a voice for the persecuted church and an inspiring challenge to prayer and action, for Reformation, revival and missions. Available online at www. frontline.org.za and by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.SermonAudio.com, www.Slideshare.net and www.Soundcloud.com Special Reports, Country Updates and Information for Intercessors, Prayer and Praise Updates are available to supporters by email upon request. Digital Evangelism and Discipleship Resources are available online: www.Livingstonefellowship.org www.WilliamCareyBI.com www.Gospeldefenceleague.org www.ReformationSA.org www.Reform500.org www.ChristianAction.org.za www.Livingstone200.org www.IDOP-Africa.org 135