STIRRINGS AT BETHESDA
A Weekly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church
September 22, 2014
1. Bethesda Academy, Monday, 6:30 p.m.
2. Ladies Book Study, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
3. Bible Study & Prayer Meeting, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
4. Men/Boys Camp Out, Friday, 7 p.m.
5. Church Work Day,, Saturday, 8 a.m.
6. Sunday School, Sunday, 9:15 a.m.
7. Worship Service, Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
8. Discipleship Training, Sunday, 5 p.m.
PRAISE THE LORD, we reached our church goal! We have one more Sunday remaining in our collection of the Missouri Mission Offering. Even though we made our goal, you may still contribute.
Men/Boys Camp Out
The camp out begins this Friday, September 26 at 7 p.m.
The carcasses of all but two who came out of Egypt fell in the wilderness through unbelief.
Some Theological Terms
Our exposition of Romans brings us to the middle of chapter 3 on Sunday. Paul summarizes his teaching on human depravity and then begins his instruction on the doctrine of justification by faith. It seems appropriate to me to include some remarks on these (and other) theological terms we will be reading and hearing over the coming weeks. I begin with some thoughts on Total Depravity.
John Owen summarized Total Depravity by writing:
It is an inherent evil, the fault and corruption of the nature of every man. It is a thing not subject or conformable to the law of God, but hath in itself, even after baptism, the nature of sin. By it we are averse from God and inclined to all manner of evil. It deserveth Gods wrath and damnation.
Thomas Gregory summarizes the doctrine of total depravity with 5 statements:
1. Sin is the responsible choice of man to violate Gods law.
2. Sin is a depravity of the whole nature of man.
3. Sin conveys guilt before God for mans personal and Adams representational sin.
4. Sin is the actively developed apostasy of man against God.
5. Sin is a full warrant for eternal punishment.
Perhaps one of the best statements on the subject of depravity may be found in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Here is the entire section on the Fall of Man.
Chapter 6 Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof
1 Although God created man upright and perfect, and gave him a righteous law, which had been unto life had he kept it, and threatened death upon the breach thereof, yet did not long abide in this honour; Satan using the subtlety of the serpent to subdue Eve, then by her seducing Adam, who, without any compulsion, did willfully transgress the law of their creation, and the command given unto them, in eating the forbidden fruit, which God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.
2 Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and we in them whereby death came upon all: all becoming dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.
3 They being the root, and by Gods appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation, being now conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set them free.
4 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.
5 The 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 the first motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.
God’s faithfulness can be manifested in two ways. It can be manifested in blessing on those who embrace His promises, or God can be faithful to punish and to judge those who reject His promises.
J. Ligon Duncan
Our Missouri Mission Offering collection ends this Sunday. I am so grateful for everyone who has given to support Missouri missions! For a church our size in our present economic conditions to donate over $500 for this cause is quite remarkable. Thank you so much for your generosity.
I close my column this week with a prayer request. Our dear younger brother, Zachary Mueller, could use your prayers. I ask you to take a few moments even as you read this and pray for him. Ask the Lord to give Him both peace and purpose. And, as you recall this request during the week, please continue to pray for him.
May this week be a blessed one in Christ.