devotional

13SEP
2020

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 196

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689

 

23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. These are my personal reflections on this beloved historic Particular Baptist confession of the Christian Faith.

 

NEXT-

 

Chapter 22. Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day. Paragraph 8: “The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.”

We ought to go to church. Our lives should surround our churches. My dream in life now moving into the latter half of it is just to be part of a great church. To play a role in the growing worship of a family of families centered on the truth, and living it out by God’s gracious spirit in a city. I’m so hungry for it after twenty-two years of moving around the world. I want a church to center my life in. To die in. To honor God’s sabbath rest in it as often as possible. One of my favorite testimonies in the Bible about someone is the testimony of blessed Dorcas. AKA Tabitha. She had become sick and died (but that’s not what I like about her). Luke tells us some things about this woman. She was loved. He writes of the account how, “This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.” Peter raises her from death that day, but it’s further said of her just prior to the miracle how, “All the widows stood by [Peter] weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.” Acts 9:36, 39 respectively. How great is that? Sweet Dorcas! This lady died and yet lived on in her works to the others. We should all aspire to be a Dorcas where we are with the gifts God’s given us. 1 Corinthians 12.

My dream is to pastor. To be one of the elders in a church in teaching and preaching. To honor Christ in his sabbath rest. To “order my common affairs” around the worship of God with God’s people every week. More than once a week if I can. To seek out the talents in others, pray with them, go to their places of work to pray for them better as I imagine them living out our studies where God has them. To discipline God’s people when it’s needed in the grace God provides in trusted relationship. To be with them in the bad times, the really bad times and the good. To have a set of keys to the church where I can walk through at midnight. To baptize young and old, and the kids and grandkids of others. To bear one another’s burdens. To marry new couples excited to start their lives together in God’s blessing. To hear sound preaching from people in the pulpit. To debate for the learning of God’s people. To see my own kids maybe meet fine young men and a woman (I have three girls and one boy) who want to live around the church with us. To take preaching and teaching to the ends of the earth in the catholic church I so dearly love. To do works for those who have less. To bring the Gospel to the lost. To shoot pool, have birthdays, celebrate graduations and enjoy life with those who’ll worship life’s giver with me! To glorify God and enjoy him together.

Setting aside my time to do all these things and more is a part of what’s done weekly on the days of the church. It’s not about dress code. It’s not about money. It’s not ultimately even about us. God has ordained four spheres of principle blessing, authority or discipline in our lives. Without naming the other three, I’ll say that the church is principle among them. We should set aside our time to honor God there. There are a hundred verses that come to mind. Here are reflections in agreement from my life with what they’re saying here.

I pray you’re a part of a good church. If you’re not, pray about it and get to looking. God will direct you if you’re seeking him in it. It is the place of the commanded blessing.

2 responses to “LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 196”

  1. Dialis says:

    Hi! To be sure, when you say Catholic Church, do you mean universal? Or you changing from Baptist to catholic? Other that I will pray the Lord to do his will in you. Many blessings!

    • Joseph Pittano says:

      By the grace of God, no, I’m not changing from Christ. “Catholic” as in “catholic” (small c), not the Roman-based now-apostate church. No, ma’am. Catholic as used in much of ancient Christian confession (like in the Apostle’s Creed) had little to nothing to do with necessarily affirming a zip code at all, or with false claims to Petrine primacy. It had everything to do with beliefs “according to the whole” or “catholic” beliefs. These are beliefs that come with salvation. The Greek word origin of what we should affirm is καθολικός and transliterates as “katholou” or “catholic.” It simply means “on the whole,” “according to the whole,” or “in general.” And that there is one invisible church on the planet in which each member, under Christ, worships in Spirit and truth.

      It means sola scriptura and tota scriptura. In Christ’s catholic church, there are things universally believed when these principles are practiced.

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