Summary: This massage was preached on the Sunday Sovereign Grace Family Church was affirming the decision of the Elders to join the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals.
Today is an historic for Sovereign Grace Family Church.
This church has been in existence for over half a century.
We began as Forest Christian Church in a different building and a different time in history.
Throughout the years, the denomination we were formally associated with became increasingly liberal, and in 1999 we decided we could no longer stand with them.
Then, in 2008 we went through a period of revival.
We began to see the need to fortify our doctrinal positions and begin to take strong stands on certain issues.
This did not please everyone --- but those among us who were fighting for the truth were most concerned about pleasing God.
In 2010, we changed our name to demonstrate the fact that we had, in many ways, become a new church.
We are Sovereign Grace - because we are committed to the historic principles of the Protestant Reformation, and specifically Reformed Theology which is centered on God’s sovereignty.
And we are a Family Church - because we are committed to the role of the family in the life of the church, the roles of fathers and mothers as the teachers of their families, and we are committed to being a church family.
Well, today we are going together to take another step in our continual reformation.
Our elders, after a long time of study and prayer, have decided to seek the congregational affirmation that we join the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals.
As I said, this is an historic occasion, one that a decade ago would have been considered unreasonable to even consider.
Yet God, in His sovereign providence, has brought us to this very important place and time.
One of the great quotes which is used among Reformers is “Semper Reformanda” - always reforming.
The church has the responsibility to always be seeking to ensure that it never deviates from God’s Word, and is always willing to make reforms where necessary.
Today is a good and exciting day - today is a day of continued reformation.
In keeping with what we are doing, I want to address a question to ensure there is no confusion about the affirmation we are making.
The question is: What is a Reformed Evangelical?
The term evangelical means “Gospel believer”.
The “evangel” is the Gospel, and an evangelical believes and promotes the Gospel of Christ.
The title evangelical should apply to all Christians, because to be a Christian is to believe the Gospel.
Years ago, the term “born again Christian” was popularized... but it was really redundant because to be a Christian means you are “born again”.
In the same way, the term “evangelical Christian” is redundant, because a Christian is, by definition, one who believes and promotes the Gospel.
So, as Christians, we are evangelicals.
But what is a Reformed Evangelical.
When people discuss Reformed Theology, there are two sets of doctrines which are normally brought out in the conversation.
The first is the Five Solas