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Summary: This was the 4th message in series, "What do you believe, and why?" The first message was based on 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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This is the 4th message in series, "What do you believe, and why?"

- 1st Message - 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

- 2nd Message - Literally, to obey the Great Commission = Matt. 28.18-20 = Make disciples, baptize them and then "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"

3rd Message - Practical implication of obeying the Great Commission = Joining the church > [Acts 2.37-41]

- And how important the "local and visible" church is = Established by Christ = Authorized by Christ = Empowered by Christ = Believers added to it by the Lord > 1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

- Purchased by the blood of Christ = He is Her Head, Savior, Sanctifies and cleanses Her, Presents Her to God faultless = Nourished and cherished by Christ

- And especially that She is to be the "pillar and ground of the truth"

Esp. in our last message stressed how within the context of the church Christ’s desire is that we move from being believers to becoming disciples = [Acts 2.42]

- And God’s plan and purpose down through the ages = 2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

- Our church is a testament and a testimony to the wisdom of this plan

- Testament = "Strong evidence for something" = The fact of our beginning

- Testimony = "Something that serves as evidence" & "An assertion offering firsthand authentication of a fact" = The fact of our continued existence

- While I didn’t necessarily plan this series with respect to the date = I do believe in "Divine Quinkidinks" as it were

- And so the occasion of our 189th Anniversary TODAY works in well into this series

CHURCH ARTICLE OF FAITH ADOPOTED 1815

Be it remembered that on the 23rd of August 1815, Gamaliel Barnes, Brothers Barnet Whipple, Wm. R. Huntley, James Roberts, Samuel Manwarren, John Manwarren, Asa Barnes, Stutelyl Palmer Jr., and Sisters Hannah Barnes, Hannah Roberts, Fanny Manwarren, Eunice Manwarren, Prudence Car, Lawry Barnes, Lydia Barnes, Caroline Barnes, Polly Morse and Bethiah Williams received the right hand of fellowship as a Gospel Church of Christ by a large council from the Black River Association. As may be seen by the record, the church called the First Baptist Church of Christ in Mexico, fellowshipped on the following articles of faith and convenant.

CHURCH ARTILCES OF FAITH 1815

> We have some significant differences today in our Articles of Faith than this list

> Some issues probably never imagined they would have to address in 1815

> EG: Women preachers; Spiritual gifts (tongues and healings); Ecumenical movement; Evolution; Assisted suicide; Abortion; Marriage and homosexuality

> Also, I note that we might express some of these beliefs slightly different

> EG: Original statement on God -- 1 paragraph, 39 words = Our (online) statement -- 10 paragraphs, 320 words + 1 paragraph of Scripture references

> HOWEVER, "in Spirit and in truth," this 1815 statement stands

> I really do believe this is a wonderful addition to this series, so I don’t want to just rush through it, so...

> ...I intend to cover about 1/2 (???) of this document this week, and "rest" next week, Lord willing...or possibly the next two weeks

> The Scripture references I will quote / refer to should be considered to be representative, not exhaustive

1. WE BELIEVE THERE IS BUT ONE LIVING AND TRUE GOD; AND THAT THERE ARE THREE PERSONS IN THE GOD-HEAD; THE FATHER, THE SON, THE HOLY GHOST, AND THESE ARE ONE IN NATURE, BEING EQUAL IN POWER AND GLORY.

- Interesting that some catechisms, confessions of faith and theological / divinity texts start out with the Scriptures

- For by the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone can we know any Spiritual truth with certainty = IE [Ps. 19.1 (-6) -vs.- 19.7-ff]

- Our online statement begins with "Bibliology" (Doctrine of the Word of God) THEN "Theology" (Doctrine of God)

- 1815 statement begins with God = And how appropriate = Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God...

- Our statement also is a bit more specific = We have additional statements concerning "Christology" (Doctrine of Christ) and "Pneumatology" (Doctrine of the Holy Spirit)

Proof texts = Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: > On the word Elohim ("God"), Simeon Ben Joachi says: "Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim: there are three degrees, and each degree is by itself alone, and yet they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other."

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