What You Need to Know Before Joining Our Church (Part 1)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, September 9, 2018.
What You Need to Know Before Joining Our Church I. Our beliefs and practices 1. The nature and person of God A. The Trinity i. The LORD is one God (Deu 6:4; 1Co 8:6). ii. The LORD is three persons (the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost) who are one God (1Jo 5:7). iii. See sermons on the Trinity. B. The Deity of Jesus Christ i. Jesus Christ is God (Joh 1:1-3 c/w Joh 1:14; 1Ti 3:16; Joh 8:58). ii. See sermons on the Deity of Jesus Christ. C. The Sonship of Jesus Christ i. Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Mar 1:1; Joh 10:36). ii. Jesus Christ is the Son of God in His human nature (Luk 1:35), not His divine nature (Joh 1:1-3). iii. Jesus Christ is not eternally begotten or eternally generated. iv. See sermons on the Sonship of Jesus Christ. 2. Sovereign grace A. Total depravity i. Man in his natural state apart from grace is spiritually dead (Eph 2:1). ii. In this state he cannot hear (Joh 8:47), understand (Rom 3:11), or believe the gospel (Joh 10:26) because it is foolishness to him (1Co 1:18; 1Co 2:14). iii. In this depraved state, he is also incapable of doing good (Rom 3:12), being subject to the law of God (Rom 8:7), pleasing God (Rom 8:8), or fearing God (Rom 3:18). iv. See sermons on Total Depravity. B. Unconditional election i. Given man's fallen state in which he is incapable of meeting any condition to be saved, if any are to be saved, God must choose to save them. ii. God chose and predestinated a portion of mankind (Rom 8:29-30) called His elect (Rom 8:33) to make them His children who are holy and without blame before Him (Eph 1:4-5). iii. God's election of His people was not based on their will or works, but only on His grace and mercy (Rom 9:11-16). iv. See sermons on Sovereign Grace. C. Limited atonement i. God did not choose to save the entire human race; He only elected a portion of it called His sheep (Joh 10:26-28). ii. Jesus only died for His sheep (Joh 10:11, 15). iii. Jesus died for His church (the sheep) (Eph 5:25-27) which was chosen by God and given to Him to save (Eph 1:4; Joh 17:2). iv. See sermons on Sovereign Grace. D. Irresistible grace i. All of the elect for whom Christ died will irresistibly be given a new spirit possessing eternal life at some point in their lives, which is called regeneration (Tit 3:5). ii. This is also called being born again which happens when the Spirit of God chooses (Joh 3:3-8). iii. It is also called quickening which happens when a sinner is dead in sins and therefore has no ability to resist (Eph 2:1). iv. When Jesus calls a sinner from spiritual death to spiritual life by the power of His voice, the recipient shall live (Joh 5:25). v. It is the grace of God which saves a sinner, not the preaching of the gospel which tells him about it, that is irresistible. vi. Our belief in Irresistible Grace distinguishes us from Calvinists who essentially believe in Irresistible Gospel. vii. See sermon on Irresistible Grace vs. Irresistible Gospel. E. Preservation of the saints i. The saints cannot lose the eternal life that Jesus Christ gave them because it is eternal (Joh 10:28). ii. They are preserved forever by the power of God (Psa 37:28). iii. Jesus will not lose a single person that God the Father gave Him to save (Joh 6:37-39). iv. Our belief in Preservation of the Saints distinguishes us from Calvinists who believe in Perseverance of the Saints. v. See sermons on Sovereign Grace. F. Unconverted elect i. Some of God's elect who are saved by His grace have yet to hear the gospel and are therefore unconverted (Act 18:9-11). ii. Some of God's elect have their faith overthrown and are deconverted, but are yet His children saved by grace (2Ti 2:18-19). iii. Some of God's elect are never converted in this life, but are nevertheless His elect (Rom 11:28-29). iv. Our belief in the Unconverted Elect separates us from Arminians and most Calvinists who deny this doctrine. v. See sermons on Unconverted Elect. G. Temporal salvation i. Temporal salvation is a term that refers to salvations that the elect can experience in this life in addition to the eternal salvation that they already have (2Ti 2:10). ii. Temporal salvation includes being saved from ignorance of God's righteousness, trying to establish your own righteousness, deception and bondage, the power of Satan and sin, fear of death, chastisement from God for sin, and an untoward and wicked generation. iii. Temporal salvation also includes being saved to the knowledge and assurance of election and eternal life, fellowship with God and believers of like-faith, fullness of joy, rest, and victorious living. iv. Understanding the doctrine of temporal salvation is essential to understanding how all of the verses in the Bible that tell the elect that they must do something to be saved reconcile with all of the verses that say that God saves His elect by grace alone without their works. v. See sermon onTemporal Salvation which gives verses to prove each of the points listed above. H. Purpose of the gospel i. The purpose of the gospel is to locate and educate the regenerate. ii. The purpose of the gospel is to call the sheep into the fold and feed them, not to turn goats into sheep. iii. The purpose of the gospel is to tell God's children that God saved them, that they need to repent and believe the gospel, and that they need to obey God be being baptized and added to the church. iv. The grace of God saved us and gave us eternal life (2Ti 1:9); the gospel brings life and immortality to light by telling us how God saved us (2Ti 1:10). v. Belief of the gospel is the evidence of eternal life, not the cause of it (Joh 5:24). vi. See sermons on The Purpose of the Gospel.