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Summary: A series to call the Baptist Church back to its fundamental root.

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Remember Who You Are What You Stand For And Be In By 11

(Knowing Your Heritage)

Rev 2:1-5

Intro: We had a good year last year we were able to regain some financial footing, many of us can say that we grew spiritually last year as a result of the Discovery Project and we added new members as well as added some new names to the Lambs Book of life.

But as we look forward to this New Year let us take time to remember our heritage.

When our kids were teens and they would go out in the evening with their friends Sally would often say to them as they left the house, “Remember Who You Are What You Stand For And Be In By 11. What she was really telling them was that it was important to know your heritage.

The theme for 2008 is Digging for the Truth; Uncovering God’s Glory. In Eph 3:8 “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” The truths we are going to be digging for this year are the truths about what God really wants from us, both as individuals and as a church. In that same text Paul referrers to a mystery that Christ had reveal to him that he was passing on to them. It is that mystery we are going to strive to discover.

The place we need to start is discovering our true identity

What is our identity? We need to be able to remember who we are and what we stand for and be in church by 11; just who are we and what do we stand for anyway?

In our Text today Jesus is, in a sense, giving us the same reminder that Sally gave the kids

[Stand/Read Rev 2:1-5/pray/dismiss Jr. Church]

This busy, separated, sacrificing church really suffered from “heart trouble”—they had abandoned their first love! They displayed “works … labor … and patience” (Rev. 2:2), but these qualities were not motivated by a love for Christ. What we do for the Lord is important, but so is why we do it!

What is “first love”? It is the devotion to Christ that so often characterizes the new believer: fervent, personal, uninhibited, excited, and openly displayed. This is the same devotion that once defined most Baptist Churches but I fear has been lost in most modern day Baptist Churches. Jesus is saying essentially the same thing to the church there in Ephesus that Sally would say to the kids when he says in v. 5 “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works…”

What are we, as an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church to remember? Do you know?

Let’s discover the truth of what that really means…

Independent

The words "Independent" and "Fundamental" have been added by Baptist churches after the use of the name Baptist failed to fully identify what they believed.

The word "Independent" means that the church is not a member of any council, convention or is a part of any hierarchy outside the local congregation

1. An Independent Baptist Church would not be apart of a national organization that would exercise authority over the local church

2. Therefore the name "independent" means that the church patterns itself after the New Testament example and stands alone under the authority of the Bible and answers only to Jesus Christ

3. Independent churches have no organized organization over them in authority

4. They direct their own affairs under the authority of the New Testament Scriptures, free from the outside interference

5. The New Testament teaches that Christ is the head of the church, (Eph. 5:23) and the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)

6. The local pastor is the shepherd (Heb. 13:17, Acts 20:28, Eph. 4:11) or leader of the congregation

7. The Independent Baptist church has a congregational form of government with each member having the right of the vote and all the affairs of the church is conducted by the local congregation following the guidelines of the New Testament

So, as an Independent Fundamental Baptist all earthly authority exists with in the confines of this building and we/I answer only Jesus Christ for all our decisions

Fundamental

What is a Fundamental Baptist church? It is a church that believes in the fundamentals of the faith.

The fundamental doctrines of the faith are:

1. The inerrancy of Scripture meaning Scripture is without error

a) Our first article of faith says it this way:

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is, and shall remain until the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man.

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