Reformed Doctrine

REFORMED DOCTRINE

 

On July 31st 2016, One Way Christian Center has left the non-denominational status and has become a Reformed Baptist Church.  We are currently not officially affiliated with any conventions or other churches.  We are studying the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 and we are considering adopting this document.  We are 12 miles Southwest of Altus, OK and Altus Air Force Base (AFB).

 

Reformed:  You may be asking; what is a Reformed Church.
In the 1500’s Martin Luther and other men attempted to reform the church back to the original beliefs.  The name “Pro-test-ant” was a derogatory term given to the protesters.  Today this is the name of the Protestant Faith.  These men believed in 5 basic principles, called the 5 Solas:
1. Sola Scriptura (“by Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority. Traditions, councils and church leaders must not be ignored but they are not the final authority.
Sola Scriptura
2. Sola Gratia (“by grace alone”): We are all fallen, incapable of performing any good work leading to salvation.  We are dead in our sins and trespasses.  BUT before the foundations of the world God sovereignly choose his elect to bestow His grace upon.  By Him we are made alive and we willingly come to Him to never be lost again.  Many consider this offensive and unfair but to these feelings Paul wrote, “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses,” “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy” Rom 9:14,15
By Grace Alone

By Grace Alone

3. Sola Fide (“by faith alone”): Faith is the means whereby a sinner is graciously justified before God.  –Not faith plus merit or faith plus works–but faith alone.
By Faith Alone

By Faith Alone

4. Solus Christus (“in Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is the object of faith.
In Christ Alone

In Christ Alone

5. Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.  Are we really seeking to give God ALL the glory?  We should ask ourselves, does this song, sermon, doctrine, activity or special event seek to glorify man or God.  Is it man centered or God centered?  If you want to please the world you will be man centered but if you want to please God you will be God centered.  You can’t do both.
To The Glory of God Alone

The Glory of God Alone

2 of the most famous Reformed Baptist Preachers:
Charles Spurgeon
John Bunyan (Wrote: Pilgrims Progress)
Current:
Albert Mohler – President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Alistair Begg, D. A. Carson
If you are looking for more information on the reformed faith check out Ligonier Ministries and the other links at the bottom of this page.

The desire of the reformers of the past was to return the church to its original Bible-based beliefs.  Our desire today is the same.  As the church is pulled in the direction of the world, it is necessary for us to constantly evaluate, affirm or reject certain doctrines or actions based on the Word of God.

Doctrine – In a general sense, whatever is taught. Hence, a principle or position in any science; whatever is laid down as true by an instructor or master. The doctrines of the gospel are the principles or truths taught by Christ and his apostles. (Webster 1828)

 

1 Timothy 4:13 NKJV  Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

 

1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV  Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

 

2 Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;) 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

 

Doctrine is very important; when Christ came, he found the religious people strayed away from the truth.  Additionally, the epistles in the Bible were written to affirm or deny particular teaching or beliefs.  For example, the church at Corinth strayed in many areas, which prompted Paul to write 1st and 2nd Corinthians.  It’s our duty to examine ourselves against the Word.

 

In many circles today, doctrine is shunned.  We hear statements all too often such as, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It has always mattered what you believe.  Additionally, history reveals that churches who abandon doctrine will eventually divide to the point where there is nothing left.  The General Baptist movement was a good example of this.  How can Christians be unified in Christ if we all believe differently, especially on the major items?

 

There are many beliefs in the Word of God worth dying for and there are other things the Word says, not to argue over. From Paul, to Timothy, then to his successor, doctrine has been passed down to us. We know that even great men are fallible.  If they are imperfect, how much more corruptible are we?  However, despite our shortcomings and failings, the Spirit of God has sustained and upheld His church. Many things have come against it, yet it still stands.  God has been revealing and confirming the truth throughout history.  We are in a position to look back and evaluate the mistakes of the past and press forward in truth.  Now, is our time!

 

We would be fools to think the Spirit only speaks to us and hasn’t revealed his truth to His Church throughout history.  We can spend years developing our own doctrine or evaluate the doctrines of the past against the Word of God.  We are to build on the foundation that has already been laid.  Two main source documents for our church are the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith and 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.  In using these two documents we are attempting to reform back to where the reformers left off.

 

The scripture is our highest authority.  We recognize that church counsels, popes and pastors have erred and it is our job to search the scriptures to see what is true and what is false; remembering that if they have erred, the culture, sin and the ways of the world can affect our beliefs.  It is the Spirit of God who enables us to continue in truth.

 

DOCTRINES OF GRACE

 

The Doctrines of Grace originated from the students of Jacob Arminius, who after the death of Arminius brought 5 disputed doctrines to the church.  The church came together to search the Word of God at the Synod of Dort.  They rejected the 5 protested articles and issued doctrine called the Canons of Dort to positively affirm the opposite.  These affirmative points later became known as the Doctrines of Grace but some call them the 5 Points of Calvinism.

 

To call these items the 5 points of Calvinism suggest these are the only things John Calvin talked about, which would be false.  It also suggests Calvin is the sole author of these points, which is also false.  When carefully examined these points originate from Scripture and were handed down throughout the generations as sound historical church doctrine.  Calvin may have been the first person to collect these and other points in his Institutes of Christian Religion but he didn’t create them.  It is said, he rediscovered them.

 

Both Arminius and Calvin had passed away by the time the Synod of Dort met to discuss these issues but the terms Arminianism and Calvinism are attributed the founding influences both these men had on the church.  The Canons of Dort (the decision of the Synod of Dort) are more than just 5 abbreviated terms whose acrostic spells TULIP (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Preservation of the Saints).  This document goes to great lengths to fully explain these doctrines from scripture.

 

The following are some sermons to help understand the Doctrines of Grace more fully.

 

EVANGELISM AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD (Sermon with notes and 28 minute audio)

 

Sovereign – 1. Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.  2. Supreme; superior to all others; chief. God is the sovereign good of all who love and obey him.

 

The Doctrines of Grace rightfully stress the sovereignty of God and if preached correctly will also display the responsibility of man as well as man’s moral inability.  A common error of those who wrongly preach the Doctrines of Grace is to put all the emphasis on the sovereignty of God and no emphasis on the responsibility of man.  This sermon shows the truth of affirming both.  Is God sovereign? Yes!  Is man responsible? Yes!

 

Not affirming man’s responsibility can lead to what is called Hyper-Calvinism.  Hyper-Calvinist rarely make a call for action from man.  Since God is sovereign and His ultimate will, will always be done, there is no need to call upon man to repent.  Maybe there is no need to even preach to the lost.  God’s Word rejects this attitude.  We are to preach to the lost, plant the seed and water it.  However, it’s God who brings the life or makes it grow.  It is also God’s sovereign plan for us to plant the seed and preach the gospel.

 

1 Corinthians 3:7 NKJV  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

 

Romans 10:14 NKJV  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?

 

Not affirming and teaching God’s sovereignty in all things as well as the depravity of man, can lead to a religion of works righteousness or boasting in one’s self rather than God.  It only takes one essential work to have a religion of works righteousness.  The Word of God is clear, “the flesh profits nothing.”

 

BEHOLD! THE LAMB OF GOD, WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD! (Sermon with notes and 28 minute audio)

 

In this sermon we see Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  Why is this important to you?  How is this accomplished?

 

THE DEATH OF ADAM AND THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST (Sermon with notes and 28 minute audio)

 

In this sermon we see the death of Adam both spiritually and physically.  According to Romans chapter 5 the spiritual death spread to all men through Adam and likewise spiritual life came to all men through Christ.  The phrase “all men” refers to all men without distinction not the entire human race.  If it were the entire human race then all men would be saved.  The payment is enough for all men but is only applied to those who are born again.

 

Do we choose Christ?  Absolutely!  However, He chose us first.

 

Ephesians 1:4-6 NKJV  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,  (5)  having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,  (6)  to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

 

SERMON – TOTAL DEPRAVITY (part 1) (Sermon with notes and 28 minute audio)

 

This is a short introduction to the Doctrines of Grace sermon series then it transitions to and exposition on the words of Jesus concerning man’s ability.  Part one covers Peter’s acknowledgement of who Christ is and a few verses out of John chapter 6.

MORE SERMONS TO FOLLOW…

Finally, don’t take our word for it; get into the Word yourself and study.  The Word of God should be your starting point.  Realize we all bring biases to the Word of God.  Every day we struggle with the flesh, the world and the devil.  Pray and ask God to reveal his truth to you and remove the impurities.  Don’t be arrogant but realize he promised to keep his church and has revealed the truth you are struggling with or seeking to previous generations.  Finally, always, always confirm His truth in His Word.  Don’t base your doctrine on feelings or anything else but the Word of God.

 

We realize the reformed doctrine in South Western Oklahoma is a minority view.  However, in Historic Christianity, the reformed view was the majority.  Majorities and minorities do not matter, what matters is what does the Word of God, teach?  We also believe one does not need to fully understand or fully embrace these doctrines to be saved.  There are many things we cannot fully understand.  Why do we teach them?  1.  Because they are God’s Truth directly from scripture.  2.  Many views today opposing the Doctrines of Grace are very violent towards God’s Sovereignty, we believe these are false teachings leading the church astray.

 

Below are some resources for further study and consideration:

 

All of our sermons are online

Got Questions.org

Ligonier Ministries

Desiring God, John Piper

MLJ

Charles Spurgeon

Sermon Audio

E-Sword Bible Software (free)