LBCF Reflections. Part 228

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.


Chapter 26. Of the Church. Paragraph 14a: “As each church, and all the members of it, are bound to pray continually for the good and prosperity of all the churches of Christ, in all places, and upon all occasions to further every one within the bounds of their places and callings, in the exercise of their gifts and graces…”

In our day and age, interdependency on any other church is all but extinct. Who needs anyone else today? We’re all so wealthy here in the west. We’re self-sufficient. We’ve so much and more than what’s needed most often. Well, perhaps it’s not about need at all? This section is meant to remind readers that there’s a wider body of Christ. A wider work in Jesus’ kingdom than just what’s going on in and around the walls of their local church. I confess that I find myself rarely in prayer for the saints in other denominations. I should pray more than I do for churches as I drive by them that the Gospel is as loved there as it is in my own church of worship. I’ve frequented many cathedrals and churches in Europe. It became quite sad often to see them as painted tombs and I wondered if the Gospel had ever once been proclaimed inside them. But with each sad exit from the candled, cold, quite halls of these churches I’d thank God for anyone who’d had the truth given to them from inside. I will not pray for growth in all churches, of course, but my standard or default is hope for each one. Paul even wrote once that he could rejoice even when people were preaching from improper motivations. Philippians 1:15-18.

I’ve written in some length about my views on denominations in God’s hands. Not varying religions, mind you, I’m no syncretist, but of the differing denominations in Jesus’ church. The first precepts are the triune God and the Gospel of imputed righteousness. After that, there are very few headings that make for godly divisions. I think it should be a matter of repeated education in churches of what the other denominations of God’s house are and for what reasons we can still have fellowship with them. We’ve learned a great deal from the failures of our fathers on this. The Reformation of the church did not remove unlawful strife, but we’re far better off as a result of it today.

Pray for your church, reader. Pray also for what I hope are the many other churches in your city who are seeing the Lord honored, the saints edified, and the Gospel going forth from its people into their lives just as from your own church. As the churches grow more and more, the peoples are edified. As go the churches, so goes the culture. The church has always been the answer. The salt. Matthew 5:13. The church should be our focus. As each of us focus where we are, we can also look to each other as well in prayer and love. Pray that God’s work in every legitimate denomination of the Faith (there are roughly nine thousand) around the world would be strong and unflinching. That they would be examples of the Gospel in their own lives and equipped to bring it to the people in their lives as well.

Joseph Pittano

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