Category: Doctrine

The Fruit of the Spirit Is … Humility
The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 9)

">

The Fruit of the Spirit Is … Humility
The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 9)


By Joe McKeever, Preacher, former Pastor of seven churches, and retired Director of Missions at the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans.

This is the eighth in a multi-part series by Dr. McKeever on the fruit of the Spirit. You can read them here: Part 1 (Counterfeit Fruit), Part 2 (Love), Part 3 (Joy), Part 4 (Peace), Part 5 (Longsuffering), Part 6 (Gentleness), Part 7 (Goodness), and Part 8 (Faith/Faithfulness).


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, humility…. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Humility may be the most elusive of all personality traits.

If you think you have it, you probably don’t. If you think you don’t, you may well do. Other people are better authorities on whether you possess it, yet they’re not infallible.

The Bible says God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (I Peter 5:5).

We’re told to humble ourselves (I Peter 5:6), but I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where we are encouraged to ask the Lord to humble us.

For good reason, I’m thinking.

When God humbles you, He does it with a strong hand. In the case of Nebuchadnezzar, potentate of Babylon, once he decided that all the gains God had given him were the result of his own military genius, God decided to send him a healthy dose of humiliation. Next day, Nebuchadnezzar was out in the pasture, munching grass alongside the cows. Eventually, when he came to his senses and gave God the praise, the Lord restored his sanity. (Daniel chapter 4)

Lesson number 1 about humility: “You don’t want God humbling you!”

Read more ...

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #2—
The Age (or State) of Accountability

">

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #2—
The Age (or State) of Accountability



By Dr. Lemke, Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, and Editor of the
Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.


Introduction

All denominations that broadly share the Reformation heritage share more beliefs in common than beliefs that differ. This is true of Baptists, Arminians, and Presbyterians/the Reformed tradition – we agree on many more points than we disagree. Like most evangelicals, we largely share the same affirmation of orthodox Nicean Christianity, along with other key beliefs accented in the Reformation — Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, the sovereignty of God over all His creation, the security of the believer, the perfect omniscience and complete foreknowledge of God, and the imperative of the proclamation of the Gospel by the Church.

Despite these many points of agreement, it is the points of agreement on which theological discussions tend to focus. In an earlier post entitled “The Middle Way,” I asserted that we centrist Baptists are “the middle way” between Arminians, on the one hand, and Calvinists/Presbyterians, on the other. Since our book Whosoever Will was a critique of five-point Calvinism, I balanced that by listing twelve points of doctrinal disagreement between centrist Baptists and many Arminians. In this series, however, I would like to point out nine points of difference between centrist Baptist beliefs and the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition.

Given my involvement in the John 3:16 Conference and in writing Whosoever Will, some readers might expect me to begin listing the five points of Calvinist soteriology as the main points of difference between Baptists and Presbyterians. It is true that centrist Baptists such as me may disagree on several of these points with persons who imbibe in the Reformed tradition, but it would be inaccurate to say that the five points as popularized in the “TULIP” were the main points of difference between Reformed and Baptist theology, or that these beliefs are foreign to Baptist theology. In fact, the Particular Baptist tradition plays a long and deep role in Baptist theology, and many Calvinistic-leaning Baptists are in good standing with and hold high positions within the SBC.

Read more ...

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #1—
Soul Competency, the Priesthood of Believers, and Religious Liberty

">

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #1—
Soul Competency, the Priesthood of Believers, and Religious Liberty



By Dr. Lemke, Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, and Editor of the
Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.


Calvinists, Arminians, and Baptists Together for the Evangelical Gospel

All denominations that broadly share the Reformation heritage share more beliefs in common than beliefs that differ. This is true of Baptists, Arminians, and Presbyterians/the Reformed tradition – we agree on many more points than we disagree. Like most evangelicals, we share the same affirmation of orthodox Nicean Christianity, along with other key beliefs accented in the Reformation:

Sola Scriptura – Scripture is the ultimate plumb line for all Christian truth claims.

Soli Deo Gloria – God alone deserves glory.

Sola Gratia and Sola Fide – Salvation by grace alone through faith alone.

Solus Christus — Salvation is available only through Christ because of His substitutionary atonement for our sins.

The Sovereignty of God over All His Creation – This is our Father’s world.

The Security of the Believer – God secures the salvation of the believer (not affirmed by some Arminians).

The Perfect Omniscience and Complete Foreknowledge of God – God knows all things – past, present, and future.

The Imperative of the Proclamation of the Gospel by the Church – The Great Commission must be obeyed.

Read more ...

The Fruit of the Spirit Is … Faith/Faithfulness
The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 8)

">

The Fruit of the Spirit Is … Faith/Faithfulness
The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 8)


By Joe McKeever, Preacher, former Pastor of seven churches, and retired Director of Missions at the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans.

This is the eighth in a multi-part series by Dr. McKeever on the fruit of the Spirit. You can read them here: Part 1 (Counterfeit Fruit), Part 2 (Love), Part 3 (Joy), Part 4 (Peace), Part 5 (Longsuffering), Part 6 (Gentleness) and Part 7 (Goodness).


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness….” (Galatians 5:22).

Some translations have “faith” and others “faithfulness.” The Greek word pistis doesn’t give us much help, since it is translated in a dozen or more ways. Sometimes “faith” refers to a body of doctrine, sometimes to confidence in Jesus, sometimes to the message of Jesus, and so forth.

In the context of the fruit of the Spirit, I’m going with pistis referring to faithfulness, that is, fidelity and loyalty, the quality of being true, steadfast, and reliable.

The Holy Spirit in trust of your life and mine will consistently and increasingly make us true to the Savior, true to the Word, and true to each other.

A phrase every believer serious about his life in Christ would do well to commit to memory is this: A long obedience in the same direction.

Read more ...

Theological Vocabulary Thursday
The Free Offer of the Gospel

">

Theological Vocabulary Thursday
The Free Offer of the Gospel


 

By Ron F. Hale, Minister of Missions, West Jackson Baptist Church. Jackson, TN


Does God have a universal saving will that desires the salvation of all people who will believe, or was our Lord’s atonement only sufficient for some?

Should the Gospel be preached to all indiscriminately with the purpose of calling everyone to repentance and faith?

Is God’s love and saving desire equal or unequal? Does God extend effectual (saving) grace to one group and a common grace to the other?

Is salvation sure and certain of all whom God gave to Christ before the foundation of the world and is in no way conditioned on a sinner responding to the preaching of the gospel?

Is the gospel invitation just a modern method instituted by Evangelist Charles Finney in the 19th century and has no biblical support?

These are questions that relate to the “free offer” or “well meant offer” of the Gospel.  The aim of this article is give some definition to the term, share different perspectives, add some personal views, and ask more questions.

Read more ...