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Why Have a Confession of Faith? #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
July 6, 2022 8:00 am

Why Have a Confession of Faith? #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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July 6, 2022 8:00 am

You have undoubtedly seen or heard the term -confession of faith- used by many churches on their website bulletins. But what does it mean- And how important is it to a church, especially one you may consider joining- Today Pastor Don continues Teaching God's People God's Word, and he will clear up any misconceptions on this vitally important subject. --thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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What a concession does is it explains what we believe the Bible teaches. The Bible is our authority. The confession is our summary of what we believe the Bible teaches. Hello asked for listening to the truth of founding pastor of truth Community Church, Cincinnati, Ohio hi Bill, you have no doubt seen nor heard the term confession used by churches in their bulletins on their website but what does that mean exactly how important is it to a church, especially the church that you may be considering joining to have one today as Don continues teaching God's people.

God's word is going to clear up any misconceptions on this vitally important subject. Let's begin today's lesson right now on the truthful now, a confessional church in my opinion separates itself from other kinds of churches were calling you to faith in Christ and obedience to Christ as our primary emphasis were not here to coach you in life are not interested in being a life coach, whatever that is. On a pastor to teach the word of God to the people of God confessional church exist to instruct people to teach them to take them in the Bible not to simply play with their emotions and make them feel good. It does you no good to go to a church that makes you feel really good.

If it's not imparting true doctrine to your mind because it is doctrine that reveals Christ is doctrine that helps you understand and appropriate Christ is doctrine that will sustain you in the worst trials of life comes now, you're not always going to feel good about life. You all know that already. Don't you a lot of you know the sorrow, the deep sorrow that life can bring. Well, what undergirds you what helps you stand and that is truth, not a play with your emotions. In contrast, others we teach doctrine rather than relying on external ritual. There are a lot of reasons that were not Catholics. Here, there are a lot of reasons about that but one of the things that distinguishes us from the Catholic churches were not interested in the external rituals were not interested in going through an outer formality of worship. We want the real thing we want to worship God in spirit and in truth and that comes to us through the teaching of his word.

There are those that talk about worship in terms of the music that takes place in the church. Well as I got really great worship there by which the referring to the music okay but what we need to understand is, is that worship envelops the act of preaching as well. We are worshiping God right now right in this moment is the word of God is taught and you hear it with faith and you respond with commitment to obey it. This is worship is not simply music the whole cage is an act of worship and service to God.

We need to understand that and so why do we have a confession of faith. It helps us fulfill the purpose of the church.

I believe that a confession of faith is an exercise of integrity and is an exercise in informed consent. What I mean by that is, we are putting on full display with full disclosure. This is what we teach so that if someone comes to our church and joins our church. They understand we told them in advance were not hiding something that were going to inject later on. Once we tricked into signing on the bottom line trick people you get my point a confession of faith is an exercise in integrity that a church opposed to the world to itself to its people and especially to God. This is what we believe now.

Secondly, why do we have a confession of faith.

The purpose of the church is key. Secondly, the purpose of spiritual leadership. The purpose of spiritual leadership and let me let me let me approach it this way. I'm one of the part for my notes just a bit borrowed from next week's message and and bring it forward.

There is there something that needs to be said about the church and its confession and and what does it mean for people who want to attend. What does it mean for people who want to join our church. How does this play into the purpose of the church and the purpose of having a confession of faith. Anyone is welcome to attend our church if they are willing to peaceably receive the instruction of the church. If a Roman Catholic came into our church and say I just want to sit and learn here, but I'm Catholic I want you to know that in my mind that's fine you know you come you you want to learn, and you'll peaceably receive the instruction that's great someone comes and wants to learn they can come and learn.

If someone wants to become a member of our church, then the standard is a little different is that they, the person needs to affirm our confession of faith. To the extent that they understand it. Look, there are confession of faith. It can be an intimidating document to those that are used to reading theological literature. I get that but simply a recognition membership is a statement by by which someone says I understand that this is what you teach. I agree with that as far as I understand it, if you know and we said we give people room to say there is something here that I disagree with and we talk about that to see if it's consistent with membership but membership comes in a non-someone has to say. I agree to submit to the teaching of that confession. That's what I believe. I affirm and I want to I want to advance the teaching of that and in leadership in the teaching role you have to you have to support the teaching of the confession. But here's what I was getting to there is one type of person that a confession excludes from even attending from even attending a church like ours and it's this and stay with me and watch me here what a confession excludes as a person who disagrees and wants to argue about the sale. Not only do I disagree.

I want to argue about it. I want to I want to corner people often I want to tell them and explain why why this is church's teaching is wrong or I want to come to you elders and I won't argue with you about doctrine and nausea going on and on. Not simply wanting to learn having a contrary position and wanting to argue it. Confession excludes that kind of person and let me explain to you why our church is a peaceable church. We have the right and the privilege in the prerogative to exercise our faith in peace.

We we are forthcoming and what it is that we teach. It is all right to do this in a peaceable way and so when someone comes knowing that they disagree and wanting to argue our responses luck my friend. You need to find a place to worship. That's consistent with your own convictions.

That's not what we teach here. It's nothing personal but we can't have you injecting division over your pet issue because we've been playing from the start what it is we teach and believe we want to do that in peace without having arguments week after week after week and so there you go. This is part of protecting the unity and peacefulness of the church, consistent with Ephesians chapter 4, which by the way, I invite you to turn their I was a little side to side road. There, but the confession the confession only excludes people who want to argue against it. Teachable people even if they disagree are welcome to be here to learn now.

That said, a confession is consistent with the purpose of church leadership with Ephesians chapter 4 verse 11 Ephesians chapter 4 verse 11 Christ gave some as apostles, psalmist prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the service to the building up of the body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of the faith to see if there church isn't supposed to be divided over its doctrine is a unity, that's intended the knowledge of the son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of every individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Look beloved in verse 11. The church as pastors and teachers they teach biblical truth.

They teach biblical doctrine.

It is to build up the body of Christ. Verse 12 to produce unity to produce maturity and in verse 14 to come to a point where people are no longer tossed back and forth in their spiritual opinions or understandings. The purpose of the church.

The purpose of teaching is to bring people to places of conviction where you say to yourself, and you have it etched in your heart. This is true, and that is false, there comes a point where you close the question instead of endlessly wandering and looking for different opinions, different answers, no we study God's word. We come to conclusions and the conclusions are expressed in the confession of faith. Now I confession because it sets forth the teaching of the church enables elders and other spiritual leaders to fulfill their role.

The role of an elder of spiritual leadership is to explain the Bible. Nehemiah chapter 8 verse eight says they read from the book from the law of God clearly and they gave the sand so that the people understood the reading, teaching is not designed to fascinate you.

It's designed to instruct you so that you would have understanding that you would grow in your knowledge of truth in the book of acts chapter 8.

Philip opened his mouth and beginning from Scripture. He preached Jesus to the man to whom he was speaking in acts 17 Paul went to the Jews and for three Sabbath's reason with them from the Scriptures explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead. Do you see the pattern. These men in both private and public settings took the Bible, opened it and explained it to the ones who were hearing them. That is, can consistent with what the biblical qualifications for elders are in Titus chapter want an elder must be able to exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict. Titus chapter 2 verse one. As for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Look me to step back your moment. We can all take a breath here. I realize that this may seem like kind of a minority report from the church at large. Even the evangelical church at large. But when you go to the Bible you see you see over and over again, especially in the New Testament epistles the central importance of teaching.

Well, if teaching is so central then there must be something in the life of the church that summarizes and expresses what it is that's being taught here. That's the role of the confession what it means is you come in and you're new to the church. You can pick up one of those little green booklets and you can read through and you can see what this church teaches. You don't have to listen to hundreds of sermons to try to figure it out on your own. It summarized right there for you if somebody comes or if you hear other teachers and think that sounds different than what I'm used to.

You can go to a confession and have an easy point of comparison, but it's the point. It's one of the primary responsibilities of spiritual leadership in the church to teach the faith of Scripture to lead a church to settled convictions about what the Bible teaches were to come to settled convictions and no longer be tossed here and back and forth so a confession of faith summarizes doctrine and it uses standard vocabulary to explain the faith and so the purpose of the church is to teach the purpose of elders are to teach and bring people to settled understanding of truth.

That's a confession of faith is an instrument to that end, Alexander paired with a primary objection, I alluded to this earlier in this this part for me is a little bit is kind of fun to be able to say these things I enjoy what I do. I'm blessed to do what I do.

I'm grateful to God for the privileges that I have in my life and the men and women Boys and Girls Club of truth Community Church are a primary factor of the privilege of God is given to me. I'm grateful for all of you just see you know that a primary objection about using confessions. Some men believe that a confession of faith undermines biblical authority. This is probably the primary objection you'll get to it, and there are those who will say something like this. This is a point of pride to them all in our church. We have no free but the Bible ever heard people say that our church just holds to Scripture you know we don't dilute it with confessions we hold to Scripture and Yunnan. It's it's impossible to reason with people like that but I'll help you understand how to think through that.

That may sound appealing, it sounds really pious. Sounds really godly. We just know free, but the Bible you know but that's not at all what it seems to be friends. Don't get sucked into that kind of superficial emotional argumentation. It's far more reckless than it seems. First of all by saying something like that. We have no creed but the Bible creed sometimes used as a synonym for confession. Well, you're actually stating your own creed when you say that we are no creed but the Bible are creed is that we don't use creates okay will you still have a creed.

Why how silly answer this. First of all, no creed but the Bible that phrase distorts and misrepresents the role of the confession and the life of the church. No question about it. No question about it. A confession, let's let's put it this way. Let's put it this way. Just think with me here. Just think with me here.

Let's say somebody comes to us and says no creed with the Bible as if that settles the issue okay fine fine that's what you say. Let me ask you second question, if I may. What does the Bible teach you have to answer that question, you can't avoid that question and friends listen to me listen to me well on this point a Jehovah's Witness who says and denies the deity of Christ and teaches salvation by works. Jehovah's Witness could say to you, we have no creed but the Bible they could do that in another area completely different realm of theological speculation.

You could go to a Pentecostal church that literally handles snakes in their worship and they would say to you, we have no creed but the Bible. Why do we do this Mark chapter 16 do you see that no creed but the Bible is a completely empty statement because you have to ask the next question. What then does the Bible teach what a confession does is it explains what we believe the Bible teaches. The Bible is our authority.

The confession is our summary of what we believe the Bible teaches. The very first line of our confession of faith. The very first line says the holy Scripture is the only sufficient certain and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.

The confession says the Bible is the final authority.

The confession is under the authority of Scripture, not the other way around. Very important to have that in your mind are confession goes on to say the supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined can be none other than the holy Scripture delivered by the spirit so no creed but the Bible says nothing about what a church believes you have to ask the next question what does the Bible teach no creed but the Bible misunderstands the role of a confession and so what a confession does is it clears the air with the truth.

You come into truth Community Church.

You say, what does this church teach. I'm so glad you asked. Let it summarized here in this little booklet.

Let's read it and see what it has.

To say a confession explains doctrine so that we can contend for the truth in a clear understanding of doctrine helps you grow in your Christian life. And so it has a very central place in the life of the church. That's why we have a confession of faith. Now, one other thing here, and with the someone close don't have any great rhetorical flourish, for I can conclusion here today when someone comes to our church and starts contemplating that they want to become a member. Well, I always want people to understand this. A central part of membership is the heart that says this I understand what this church teaches and I want to be a part of supporting that you see a teaching church has a purpose that transcends the lives of its pastor and its individual members. We we have a transcendent purpose. We exist to propagate and to continue and to defend what we have received from the past that is been handed down to us by better, more intelligent, more godly men were just doing our part to try to sustain it. So it's handed off to the next generation part of our thinking and our church is more mindful that there are families with multiple children that are being raised up in in this church families with five kids families with six kids. The last time I looked at our database. There are 80 Boys and Girls Club under the age of 18 that are in our church's amazing and remarkable part of the great burden that we feels the churches we want to teach in a way that they receive that and embrace it as their own. It's more than what happens on any given Sunday. It's more than what happens in any individual life, we are we are protecting this deposit this trust, the stewardship of truth that we have received and in a second Timothy two kind of way.

What we have received from faithful men. We want to impart it to others so that they will be able to teach others later on themselves about more than you and me in the confession of faith helps us see what it is we hold most dear. The confession of faith expresses what we believe this great book teaches as infallible truth and that's why we have confession faith and so next will continue on with this answering the question of how the confession plays out in the life of truth Community Church but we just we just invite you to become familiar with our membership packs and the red packets outback you might know what our church stands for the God would use that in your lives on green, bringing today's lesson to a powerful, close your of the truth. Pulpit will friend if you'd like to find out more about Don and his Bible teaching ministry, you can just click on the truth. if you'd like to hear this message again.

Just go to the truth. Once there, you'll find all of Don's Bible study resources will also find a link that will allow you to stream the live weekly church services of truth. Community Church your computer or mobile device, all with just a click of a button that's dined on the charge ahead in our series called the confession of truth I built like inviting you to join us that is done. Green continues teaching God's people. God's word

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