Category Archives: Together For The Gospel

brothers in Christ

We are brothers in Christ united in one great
cause to stand together for the Gospel.

 

We are convinced that the Gospel of Jesus
Christ has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and
marginalized in many churches and among many who
claim the name of Christ. Compromise of the Gospel
has led to the preaching of false gospels, the seduction
of many minds and movements, and the weakening of
the church’s Gospel witness.

 

As in previous moments of theological and
spiritual crisis in the church, we believe that the
answer to this confusion and compromise lies in a
comprehensive recovery and reaffirmation of the
Gospel and in Christians banding together in Gospel
churches that display God’s glory in this fallen world.

 

We are also brothers united in deep concern for
the church and the Gospel. This concern is specifically
addressed to certain trends within the church today.

 

We are concerned about the tendency of so many
churches to substitute technique for truth, therapy for
theology, and management for ministry.

 

We are also concerned that God’s glorious
purpose for Christ’s church is often eclipsed
in concern by so many other issues, programs,
technologies, and priorities. Furthermore, confusion
over crucial questions concerning the authority of the
Bible, the meaning of the Gospel, and the nature of
truth itself have gravely weakened the church in terms
of its witness, its work, and its identity.

 

We stand together for the Gospel and for a full
and gladdening recovery of the Gospel in the church.

 

We are convinced that such a recovery will be evident
in the form of faithful Gospel churches, each bearing
faithful witness to the glory of God and the power of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Article I

 

We affirm that the sole authority for the Church is the
Bible, verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, and totally
sufficient and trustworthy.

 

We deny that the Bible is a mere witness to the divine
revelation, or that any portion of Scripture is marked
by error or the effects of human sinfulness.

 

Article II

 

We affirm that the authority and sufficiency of
Scripture extends to the entire Bible, and therefore
that the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and
practice.

 

We deny that any portion of the Bible is to be used in
an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness
of any other portion. We further deny any effort to
identify a canon within the canon or, for example, to
set the words of Jesus against the writings of Paul.

 

Article III

 

We affirm that truth ever remains a central issue for
the Church, and that the church must resist the allure
of pragmatism and postmodern conceptions of truth
as substitutes for obedience to the comprehensive
truth claims of Scripture.

 

We deny that truth is merely a product of social
construction or that the truth of the Gospel can be
expressed or grounded in anything less than total
confidence in the veracity of the Bible, the historicity
of biblical events, and the ability of language to
convey understandable truth in sentence form. We
further deny that the church can establish its ministry
on a foundation of pragmatism, current marketing
techniques, or contemporary cultural fashions.

 

Article IV

 

We affirm the centrality of expository preaching in the
church and the urgent need for a recovery of biblical
exposition and the public reading of Scripture in
worship.

 

We deny that God-honoring worship can marginalize
or neglect the ministry of the Word as manifested
through exposition and public reading. We further
deny that a church devoid of true biblical preaching
can survive as a Gospel church.

 

Article V

 

We affirm that the Bible reveals God to be infinite
in all his perfections, and thus truly omniscient,
omnipotent, timeless, and self-existent. We further
affirm that God possesses perfect knowledge of all
things, past, present, and future, including all human
thoughts, acts, and decisions.

 

We deny that the God of the Bible is in any way
limited in terms of knowledge or power or any other
perfection or attribute, or that God has in any way
limited his own perfections.

 

Article VI

 

We affirm that the doctrine of the Trinity is a Christian
essential, bearing witness to the ontological reality
of the one true God in three divine persons, Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit, each of the same substance and
perfections.

 

We deny the claim that the Trinity is not an essential
doctrine, or that the Trinity can be understood in
merely economic or functional categories.

 

Article VII

 

We affirm that Jesus Christ is true God and true
Man, in perfect, undiluted, and unconfused union
throughout his incarnation and now eternally. We also
affirm that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for
sinners, as a sacrifice for sin, and as a propitiation of
the wrath of God toward sinners. We affirm the death,
burial, and bodily resurrection of Christ as essential to
the Gospel. We further affirm that Jesus Christ is Lord
over His church, and that Christ will reign over the
entire cosmos in fulfillment of the Father’s gracious
purpose.

 

We deny that the substitutionary character of Christ’s
atonement for sin can be compromised without
serious injury to the Gospel or denied without
repudiating the Gospel. We further deny that Jesus
Christ is visible only in weakness, rather than in
power, Lordship, or royal reign, or, conversely, that
Christ is visible only in power, and never in weakness.

 

Article VIII

 

We affirm that salvation is all of grace, and that
the Gospel is revealed to us in doctrines that most
faithfully exalt God’s sovereign purpose to save
sinners and in His determination to save his redeemed
people by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ
alone, to His glory alone.

 

We deny that any teaching, theological system, or
means of presenting the Gospel that denies the
centrality of God’s grace as His gift of unmerited favor
to sinners in Christ can be considered true doctrine.

 

Article IX

 

We affirm that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s
means of bringing salvation to His people, that sinners
are commanded to believe the Gospel, and that the
church is commissioned to preach and teach the
Gospel to all nations.

 

We deny that evangelism can be reduced to any
program, technique, or marketing approach. We
further deny that salvation can be separated from
repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus
Christ.

 

Article X

 

We affirm that salvation comes to those who truly
believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

 

We deny that there is salvation in any other name,
or that saving faith can take any form other than
conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His
saving acts.

 

Article XI

 

We affirm the continuity of God’s saving purpose and
the Christological unity of the covenants. We further
affirm a basic distinction between law and grace, and
that the true Gospel exalts Christ’s atoning work as
the consummate and perfect fulfillment of the law.

 

We deny that the Bible presents any other means of
salvation than God’s gracious acceptance of sinners in
Christ.

 

Article XII

 

We affirm that sinners are justified only through faith
in Christ, and that justification by faith alone is both
essential and central to the Gospel.

 

We deny that any teaching that minimizes, denies, or
confuses justification by faith alone can be considered
true to the Gospel. We further deny that any teaching
that separates regeneration and faith is a true
rendering of the Gospel.

 

Article XIII

 

We affirm that the righteousness of Christ is imputed
to believers by God’s decree alone, and that this
righteousness, imputed to the believer through faith
alone, is the only righteousness that justifies.

 

We deny that such righteousness is earned or deserved
in any manner, is infused within the believer to any
degree, or is realized in the believer through anything
other than faith alone.

 

Article XIV

 

We affirm that the shape of Christian discipleship is
congregational, and that God’s purpose is evident in
faithful Gospel congregations, each displaying God’s
glory in the marks of authentic ecclesiology.

 

We deny that any Christian can truly be a faithful
disciple apart from the teaching, discipline,
fellowship, and accountability of a congregation of
fellow disciples, organized as a Gospel church. We
further deny that the Lord’s Supper can faithfully be
administered apart from the right practice of church
discipline.

 

Article XV

 

We affirm that evangelical congregations are to work
together in humble and voluntary cooperation and
that the spiritual fellowship of Gospel congregations
bears witness to the unity of the Church and the glory
of God.

 

We deny that loyalty to any denomination or
fellowship of churches can take precedence over the
claims of truth and faithfulness to the Gospel.

 

Article XVI

 

We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of
complementary order between men and women, and
that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even
as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also
affirm that all Christians are called to service within
the body of Christ, and that God has given to both
men and women important and strategic roles within
the home, the church, and the society. We further
affirm that the teaching office of the church is assigned
only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment
of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in
their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and
love God.

 

We deny that the distinction of roles between men
and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere
cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male
oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny
that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women
from meaningful ministry in Christ’s kingdom. We
further deny that any church can confuse these issues
without damaging its witness to the Gospel.

 

Article XVII

 

We affirm that God calls his people to display his glory
in the reconciliation of the nations within the Church,
and that God’s pleasure in this reconciliation is
evident in the gathering of believers from every tongue
and tribe and people and nation. We acknowledge
that the staggering magnitude of injustice against
African-Americans in the name of the Gospel presents
a special opportunity for displaying the repentance,
forgiveness, and restoration promised in the Gospel.
We further affirm that evangelical Christianity in
America bears a unique responsibility to demonstrate
this reconciliation with our African-American brothers
and sisters.

 

We deny that any church can accept racial prejudice,
discrimination, or division without betraying the
Gospel.

 

Article XVIII

 

We affirm that our only sure and confident hope is in
the sure and certain promises of God. Thus, our hope
is an eschatological hope, grounded in our confidence
that God will bring all things to consummation in a
manner that will bring greatest glory to his own name,
greatest preeminence to his Son, and greatest joy for
his redeemed people.

 

We deny that we are to find ultimate fulfillment
or happiness in this world, or that God’s ultimate
purpose is for us to find merely a more meaningful
and fulfilling life in this fallen world. We further deny
that any teaching that offers health and wealth as
God’s assured promises in this life can be considered a
true gospel.

 

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you,
which you received, in which you stand, and by which
you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word
I preached to you unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the
Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised
on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures . . . .
I Corinthians 15:1-4

 

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead,
with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell
on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.
And he said with a loud voice, Fear God and give him glory,
because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship
him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.

Revelation 14:6-7

 

sign…….Christopher A Miller

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