Luke 1:1-4 "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed."
This past Sunday we started a new sermon series entitled "Most Surely Believed." For the next couple of months we will be going through the articles of faith and some other basic fundamental doctrines. We are doing this to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us and to know the certainty of those things, wherein we have been instructed.
Sermon preached by Elder Josh Winslett at Antioch PBC in Oxford, MS.
Luke 1:1-4 Most Surely Believed: Church History
- Church is what? Preference (fast food) or divine commandment
Disciple of what? Christ!
We are not ecumenical
Traditionally, everyone thinks they are right. Ussually to the persecution of the Baptists
-Quote from John Calvin, Defense of Orthodox Faith against the Prodigious Errors of theSpaniard Michael Servetus, published in early 1554, "Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt.”
Church membership/discipleship does not equal sonship (thief on the cross)
Kingdom is invisible and within you- Luke 17:20
You have to be born again to see it and enter in- John 3:3-5
Press into it- Luke 16:16
At hand- Matt 3:2, Matt 4:17, Matt 10:7
Suffereth violence- Matt 11:12
People can hinder other people from being saved to this kingdom- 1 Thess 2:16
Pillar and ground of the truth- 1 Tim 3:16
Cannot be forced on people, must be freely entered into –John 10:9
- When did the church begin? When Jesus was baptized- Mark 1:1-15
- Built upon a rock: Christ- Matt 16:18 (Chief corner stone- Eph 2:20)
Gates of Hell would not prevail! If Jesus believed it would not prevail, then I believe it.
- Church hasn’t ever been, or will be, re-established or rediscovered, it was given once- Jude 1:3
The faith given once will be preached until the end of the world- Matt 28:20
- Churches can lose their candle stick- Rev1-3
Judged not according to denomination- Judged individually as an autonomous body (a true NT church has to be from the correct lineage, baptism, and gospel)
- Pliny, Roman governor, from the second century writes to the emperor about the Christians, “namely that they were accustomed on a stated day to assemble before sunrise, and to join together in singing hymns to Christ as to a deity; …… Their worship being concluded, it was their custom to separate, and meet together again for a repast, promiscuous indeed, and without any distinction of rank or sex, but perfectly harmless”
- Confessions of Faith throughout history testify of a chain of doctrine and practice
(Confessions should never be used as scripture. They are written by fallible man. They should be used a mile posts through history.)
- True church has went by many different names: Montanists, Novations, Donatists, Paulicians, Albigigenses, Paterins, Petrobrussians, Henricians, Arnoldists, Waldenses, Anabaptist, Baptist, Primitive Baptist
- Here are historical quotes from non-Baptists concerning Baptist succession:
-From Lutheran historian Johann Lorenz Mosheim:
"The true origin of that sect which acquired the denomination of Anabaptists by their administering anew the rite of baptism to those who came over to their communion, and derived that of Mennonites from the famous man to whom they owe the greatest part of their present felicity, is hidden in the depths of antiquity, and is, of consequence, extremely difficult to be ascertained."
"Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay concealed, in almost all the countries of Europe, particularly in Bohemia, Maravia, Switzerland, and Germany, many persons, who adhered tenaciously to the following doctrine, which the Waldenses, Wickliffites, and Hussites, had maintained, some in a more disguised and others in a more open and public manner; viz. 'That the kingdom of Christ, or the visible church which He established upon earth, was an assembly of true and real saints, and ought therefore to be inaccessible to the wicked and unrighteous, and also exempt from all those institutions which human prudence suggests, to oppose the progress of iniquity, or to correct and reform transgressors.'"
-From Dr. Ypeij, Professor of Theology in the University of Groningen and Rev. J.J. Dermot, Chaplain to the King:
"We have now seen that the Baptists, who were formerly called Anabaptists, and in later times, Mennonites, were the original Waldenses, and who, long in the history of the church, received the honor of that origin. On this account the Baptists may be considered as the only Christian community which has stood since the apostles, and, as a Christian society, has preserved pure the doctrine of the gospel through all ages. The perfectly correct, external and internal economy of the Baptist denomination tends to confirm the truth disputed by the Romish Church, that the Reformation, brought about in the sixteenth century, was in the highest degree necessary; and, at the same time, goes to refute the erroneous notion of the Catholics, that their communion is the most ancient." (My Church by J.B. Moody, pp. 311)
-From Zwingli, a Protestant companion of John Calvin:
"The institution of the Anabaptists is no novelty, but for 1300 years has caused great trouble in the church." "An institution of the Ana-Baptist is no novelty, but for thirteen hundred years has caused great trouble in the church (the Catholic and Presbertirian) Baptist are known as trouble maker because we hold to the purity of doctrine of the NT and we don’t apologize for it - If you spend any time witnessing you’ve witnessed it." 1500
-From Hosius, Bishop of Cordova, assisted as legate of Pope Sylvester:
"Were it not that the baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers." (Hosius, Letters, Apud Opera, Pages 112-113)
-John Clark Ridpath, doubtlessly the greatest historian the world has ever produced and a Methodist by denomination:
"I should not readily admit that there was a Baptist church as far back as 100 A.D., although without doubt there were Baptist churches then, as all Christians were then Baptists."
-Sir Isaac Newton:
"The Baptists are the only body of known Christians that have never symbolized with Rome."
-From Alexander Campbell, the father of the Campbellites:
"I would engage to show that baptism as viewed and practiced by the Baptists, had its advocates in every century up to the Christian era…and independent of whose existence (the German Anabaptists), clouds of witnesses attest the fact, that before the Reformation from popery, and from the apostolic age, to the present time, the sentiments of Baptists, and the practice of baptism have had a continued chain of advocates, and public monuments of their existence in every century can be produced." (In his debate with Mr. Macalla)
-From Robert Barclay, a Quaker:
"We shall afterwards show the rise of the Anabaptists took place prior to the Reformation of the Church of England, and there are also reasons for believing that on the Continent of Europe small hidden Christian societies, who have held many of the opinions of the Anabaptists, have existed from the times of the apostles. In the sense of the direct transmission of Divine Truth, and the true nature of spiritual religion, it seems probable that these churches have a lineage or succession more ancient than that of the Roman Church (Barclay, The Inner Life of the Societies of the Commonwealth, 11, 12, London, 1876)."
- Practically speaking, how does this help you? Knowing that God has passed the torch to you, you should first feel a sense of humility and responsibility. God has commanded us to occupy this kingdom. To occupy we must enlist, put on his armor, and fight the good fight.