Results tagged “membership” from Reformation21 Blog

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The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals first encourages Christians to act biblically, join a church, and support that local body fully. Only then does the Alliance ask the Faithful to band together for the proclamation of the Gospel, the teaching of confessional doctrine, and the fostering of reformation to the glory of God. 

The Alliance and its members conform to the creeds and confessions of the reformation and wish to herald biblical inerrancy, subscribing to the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy. Also, the Alliance and those who join it stand on the Cambridge Declaration as a method to minister together. We seek not to reduce our theology but to broadcast it to the world.

Alliance Friends are committed and faithful partners in proclaiming the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Together we share the mission to uphold God's inerrant Word and its doctrines. Friends enable the Alliance to proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in the church. 

Alliance Friends receive a number of benefits:
Free introductory book: God, Adam, and You
Your choice of monthly audio: The Bible Study Hour audio commentary, Dr. Barnhouse & the Bible audio commentary, or Message of the Month CD or MP3 downloads.
A monthly statement and letter updating you on what's new.
A 20% discount on all Alliance audio resources (when ordering by phone or mail).
Free standard shipping on all orders (placed by phone or mail).
Discounted registration to all Alliance events (including PCRT).

You can join us in working to reform the church of our day 
with a monthly gift of just $25. 

Alliance Friends are the cornerstone of our ministry, providing the faithful prayer and financial support necessary to keep us teaching solid biblical truths. Call 215-546-3696 to join.

Text Links:
http://www.alliancenet.org/creeds-confessions-and-catechisms
http://www.alliancenet.org/the-chicago-statement-on-biblical-inerrancy
http://www.alliancenet.org/cambridge-declaration
http://www.alliancenet.org/join-as-a-friend-of-the-alliance
http://www.reformedresources.org/richard-phillips-books/god-adam-and-you-biblical-creation-defined-and-applied/

The Triune God

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Our latest book, The Triune God, has recently been published in partnership with P&R Publishing. It is high testament to the blessings of God upon some very hard work as it's the culmination of many years of steady and faithful labor by one pastor and one church family. 

Rev. Ron Kohl is the senior pastor of Grace Bible Fellowship Church (a supporting Alliance Member Church) in Quakertown PA. Yes, that Quakertown, of our Quakertown Regional Conference on Reformed Theology. After several years of an encouraging and edifying event, this volume is evidence of the faithful teaching and ministry that has happened there.

In the latest Alliance Re:port Ron tells of the conference and makes a case for Alliance events in a piece titled "Mary Moments in a Martha World." If you have not read it, you ought. And if you need a copy our Alliance Re:port, wish to learn more about Alliance Member Churches, or to order a copy of The Triune God, please call us (215-546-3696) as we would be happy to mail you one.

The Triune God can be ordered here - http://reformedresources.org/books/the-triune-god/
Alliance Re:port can be viewed here - http://allianceradio.org/1403SpringAllianceReportforweb.pdf
Alliance Member Churches can be found here - http://www.alliancenet.org/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID307086_CHID560230_CIID1423494,00.html

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The winners of Jeremy Walker's book, The New Calvinism Considered: a personal and pastoral assessment, will soon be receiving their copies thanks to EP Books! Thank everyone for signing up, those random selected are:

Joan H, Huron, OH
Anthony F, Valencia CA
Helene B, Luverne MN
Alvin L, Herndon VA
Corey D, Walker MI
Nate B, Paso Robles, CA
DeWayne W, Willingboro NJ
Greg M, Olathe KS
Mark P, Tuscaloosa AL
Charles B, Greenville SC

Spurgeon's standards for conversion and membership

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Spurgeon, Charles Haddon 4.jpgI hope that I will be able at some point to provide a review of Tom Nettles' excellent volume, Living for Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (pastors and preachers, you need this book, and can get it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Westminster).

In the meantime, there are a couple of threads from the book that it is profitable to weave together. Spurgeon was adamant that the door to the church be well-guarded, and had a carefully-developed system whereby converts applying for membership were graciously but robustly assessed by elders, himself, and the whole congregation. He did not rush people into professions of faith, baptism and church membership (indeed, he had some distaste for the inquiry room as potentially exerting a pressure beyond that of the Holy Spirit's work on the heart of a sinner).

At two separate points in the book, Nettles shows how - at times of particular evangelistic endeavour, as well as during the more regular procedures of church life - the saints were encouraged to make a thoughtful and scriptural assessment of a man's standing with God and prospective relationship with the local church.

With regard to conversion,
counselors of inquirers looked for three pivotal evidences of true conversion. One focused on the nature of the individual's perception of his sin and dependence on the work of Christ. Did the inquirer seem to have a clear and distinct and abiding sense of the seriousness of his offense toward God, a healthy remorse for that sin, a desire to turn from it and cease such offensive behavior toward God; did he also recognize that God was willing to receive him through the atonement made by Christ and through that alone? Second, did the present determination of the person's soul indicate a clear intention to live for Christ and overcome the opposing forces of the world; did he feel the urgency of seeing others escape from the wrath to come? Three, with a full knowledge of his own unworthiness and his full dependence on God, did the person have some knowledge of the doctrines of grace and that mercy was the fountain from which his salvation flowed? (310-11)
Then, with a great deal of common ground, here is the expectation for church membership:
Arnold Dallimore's examination of this book [called the Inquirers {sic} Books, in which interviewing elders recorded their comments] showed that the entire interview process centered on the determination of three things. One, is there clear evidence of dependence on Christ for salvation? This involved a clear and felt knowledge of sin and a deep sense of the necessity of the cross. Two, does the candidate exhibit a noticeable change of character including a desire for pleasing God and a desire for others to believe the gospel? Three, is there some understanding of, with a submission to, the doctrines of grace? The only effective antithesis to merit salvation, in Spurgeon's view, was a knowledge of utter dependence on divine mercy. (248)
Perhaps, in our day, we are not always sure what we should be looking for in the heart and life of men and women who profess faith in the Lord Jesus. Far too many churches, perhaps feeling the pressure of numbers or some other force, are inclined to drop their standards or blur their distinctions, if they have them in the first place. In the face of that, these standards seem to me to be thoroughly biblical, genuinely gracious, and appropriately robust. They combine doctrinal understanding, experimental religion, and principled obedience - a religion of head, heart and hand, if you will. If more congregations embraced a righteous assessment of this sort with regard to professing converts and applicants for membership, I am persuaded that they would be spiritually healthier places than they too often are.