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Tearing Down and Building Up
Written by Ben Winslett   
Thursday, 23 June 2011 16:38

Today in my personal studies, I came across Jeremiah chapter 1, verse 10. This verse describes the prophet Jeremiah as being one who would tear down and then build back. I find this to be an interesting analogy of the work of the ministry, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. This is actually one principle my father in the ministry taught me when I first began exercising my gift in a public way. Tear down (dismantle) the error and build the truth where it once stood!

Think about it this way. A man cannot be both sober and a drunkard. A woman cannot be both submissive and rebellious to her husband at the same time. A person cannot be both proud and humble at the same time. In an even more important arena of life, one cannot believe both salvation by works and salvation by grace, for it must be by one or the other.

This concept of "tearing down and building up" is demonstrated over and over in the scriptures. Notice this example:

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers... 1 Peter 1:18

Peter first tears down (dismantles) an erroneous viewpoint and then builds up the truth in it's place.

This was also the case in Acts chapter 2, when Peter instructs a group of devout men out of every nation under heaven to "repent and be baptized every one of you..." While these were good men, truly devout, they were worshiping after the manner of the Old Covenant, a covenant that God replaced when He redeemed us by the blood of Jesus Christ. So, repentance was in order! In essence, they "tore down" their old viewpoint and "built up" a new viewpoint, a commitment to Jesus Christ in His Church. This, dear one, is called repentance! Tearing down and then building up.

Consider this to be a model for repentance in your personal life. Whatever the sin that plagues you, to repent of such requires you to tear that down, remove it from your life through the power of the Blood of Christ, and build up righteousness in it's place.

 
Do Immigration Laws Violate the Bible?
Written by Ben Winslett   
Thursday, 23 June 2011 09:16

Here is the answer to a question I received via facebook. It concerns recent laws passed by the State of Alabama granting Police a greater power to investigate a person's status and enforce immigration laws. While this is a civil matter, I feel the question is very appropriate. Do these laws violate God's word? Good question...my answer is below.

 

[Please do not interpret this as our website entering into the public debate of political matters. We are not considering the specifics of a government's policy, but whether or not such a concept is in violation of God's Word.]

 

Question: There are Ministers [who] say that this new immigration law that just went into affect goes against the Bible. I'm just not sure how it's wrong??

 

Answer: It's important to separate a government's responsibilities from an individual's responsibilities. God did this in His book many times. For example, we are commanded as individuals not to kill, yet God instructed His physical nation, Israel, to execute men for a variety of crimes. Apply this concept of separating between "individual and government" to the illegal immigration situation.

We, as believers, are commanded to be charitable and kind to others, to turn the other cheek, to suffer persecution, etc. We are also commanded on a personal level to be hospitable and welcoming to strangers. (Hebrews says some have thereby entertained angels unaware).

Yet, Romans 13 says Civil Government is an institution created by God for the purpose of keeping rule and order. Because of this, we are to keep the law of the land, provided it does not violate God's law. Actually, this text goes as far as to say that God made government to be a "terror to evil." In the Old Testament, God allowed and even commanded Israel to enforce their borders, so it is not contrary to God's will for any other country to do the same.

Since immigration laws are within reason and not contrary to God's Word (there is no mandate condemning such), and they are already in effect, I would say that the enforcing of such is fine and in no way contradictory of the Bible. This is merely the government exercising their authority as God has given them.

 
Two Distinctive Concepts
Written by Ben Winslett   
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 09:33

Every group within Christianity has certain distinctive concepts. By distinctive concept, I mean a concept or belief common only to that particular religious order. These distinct ideas are what makes a group stand apart from other groups. Just like blond hair causes a person to stand out in a crowd of brunettes, each groups' distinctive doctrines cause themselves to stand apart from other religious groups, for better or worse.

Read more...
 
Sermon Notes From June 19, 2011
Written by Josh Winslett   
Monday, 20 June 2011 19:46

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)

 

  • What is the kingdom?

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.

 

 

 
Quotes from non-Baptists on Baptist succession
Written by Josh Winslett   
Monday, 13 June 2011 19:31

 

 

Here are some quotes about Baptist succession from some non-Baptists.

 

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."


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)."

 

From Charles Spurgeon, British Particular Baptist preacher (ok, so he was an English Baptist but I really like this quote):

"We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were Reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor I believe any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with the government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men."

 

~JW

 
Believe according to the working of His Mighty Power
Written by Ben Winslett   
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 09:17

Ever read Ephesians chapter 2, verse 1? In that verse we find the following: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.."

Paul is writing about Almighty God giving Spiritual life to those who are in a state of death in sin. Notice that verse begins with the word "and." This means that this precious verse is directly tied to the context of the preceding chapter. Allow me to share with you a portion of chapter 1 and the very thoughts of the Apostle Paul leading up to this well known, glorious verse.

Notice the following scripture from Ephesians chapter 1:

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places...

Notice a very important phrase in this paragraph! How do men believe? Does every human even have the ability to believe in Christ? This verse answers those questions.

Remember, Paul's thoughts are culminated with the phrase "And you hath He quickened," which means "made alive." Paul says that EVERY person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, believes "according to the working of His mighty power." What is this telling us? This verse is telling us that the only way a person believes is if God works His mighty power upon the said person. Let me say that a little differently, God must work His mighty power upon a person for that person to be able to believe!

Also, according to the above scripture this event in which God "works His mighty power" is tantamount to the event in which God raised up the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. In simple terms, this "working" of God's mighty power is the same type of event as Christ's resurrection. For an individual to believe, it takes no less power that the very power of God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead! Christ must resurrect our souls.

Why? Well, the answer is simple. Prior to this event a person is "dead in trespasses and in sins." This refers to death in a spiritual sense. Just as a physically dead man can do nothing, being dead, a spiritually dead man can do nothing in a spiritual sense, including repentance and belief. Dead means dead! This is why, naturally speaking, there is "none that seeketh after God" and why "the natural man receiveth not" the things of God (Romans 3, 1 Corinthians 2:14).

We believe because a loving and holy God has given our dead, depraved souls new life in Jesus Christ, in essence making us "new creatures" (new creations) in Christ Jesus.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. - Jesus Christ, John 5:24

 

 
Wonderful Hymn
Written by Josh Winslett   
Monday, 06 June 2011 16:27

This hymn has been on my mind for a few months.  Pay close attention to these beautiful words.


Title: "Behold the Lamb of God."
Hymn book: "The Good Old Songs"
page 701

 

1. Behold! behold the lamb of God!
On the cross, on the cross!
He sheds for you His precious blood,
On the cross, on the cross!
Oh, hear His all important cry,
"Eli lama sabachthani?"
Draw near and see your Saviour Die,
On the cross, on the cross!

2. Behold His arms extended wide,
On the cross, on the cross!
Behold his bleeding hands and side,
On the cross, on the cross!
The sun withholds his rays of light,
The heavens are clothed in shades of night,
While Jesus doth with devils fight,
On the cross, on the cross!

3. Come, brethren, see Him lifted up,
On the cross, on the cross!
For you He drinks the bitter cup,
On the cross, on the cross!
The rocks do rend, the mountains quake,
While Jesus doth atonement make,
While Jesus suffers for our sake,
On the cross, on the cross!

4. And now the mighty deed is done,
On the cross, on the cross!
The battle's fought, the victory's won,
On the cross, on the cross!
To heaven He turns his lanquid eyes,
"'T is finished," now the Conqueror cries,
Then bows His scared Head and dies,
On the cross, on the cross!

5. Where'er I go I'll tell the story
Of the cross, of the cross;
Of nothing else my soul shall glory,
Save the cross, save the cross!
Yea, this my constant theme shall be,
Through time and in eternity,
That Jesus tasted death for me,
On the cross, on the cross!

6. Let every mourner rise and cling
To the cross, to the cross!
Let every Christian come and sing
'Round the cross, 'round the cross!
There let the preacher take his stand,
And, with the Bible in his hand,
Declare the triumphs through the land,
Of the cross, of the cross!

 
Where is the blessedness?
Written by Josh Winslett   
Sunday, 05 June 2011 15:55

Today my mind feels somewhat nostalgic and ashamed. I am feeling nostalgic from looking back at all the spiritual moments in my life and the zeal that I had for my God and his cause. I feel ashamed because that zeal often feels to have left. When I look back at the zeal I possessed in years past I find myself nearly saddened at the apathy that can so easily creep into my heart. The words of hymn writer William Cowper define a prayer that my heart screams.


O For a Closer Walk With God
by William Cowper

1. O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame;
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!

2. Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
Of Jesus and His word?

3. What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left and aching void
The world can never fill.

4. Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,
And drove Thee from my breast.

5. The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.

6. So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.


~JW

 
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