Friday, January 27, 2012

Essential: absolutely necessary and indispensable

Last Tuesday night at our monthly Session meeting(governing board of our church), we spent significant time praying and thinking about essential tenets of our faith.

The word essential means something that is absolutely necessary, indispensable, or basic.

When our church ordain elders, deacons and pastors we ask them to affirm this question:

“Do you sincerely receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do, and will you be instructed and led by those confessions as you lead the people of God?”

Essential tenets of our faith address some of the following themes: God Creation
Sin and fall
Grace and Redemption
Jesus Christ/Incarnation
Jesus Christ/Redemption
Salvation by Grace
Faith Alone
Authority of Scripture

Essential Tenet #1: Authority of Scripture
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. (2Timothy 3:16-17)

When you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God's word, which is also at work in you believers. (1Thessalonians 2:13)

[Jesus] answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.. (Luke 24:44-45)

Scripture and its inherent authority are indispensable to the growth and preservation of the church.

Healthy congregations never try and bend Scripture to fit their experience, but they humble themselves and seek to conform their lives to the bed rock of God's Holy Word!

Those who lead, teach, preach, must also hold a high view of Scripture.

One of my favorite parts of the worship service comes after the reading of Scripture. The Scripture Reader says, "This is the word of the Lord." 

And the people respond, "Thanks be to God!" Within our Reformed heritage we rejoice in the truth and the power of God's holy word.

Question: What role does Scripture play in governing your life?