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The Beauty of Christianity in Social Religion, or the Glory and Excellence of a true Gospel Church.

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Alan Gross, Sep 5, 2023.

  1. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    New Hampshire Confession of Faith 1833;

    "A Gospel Church We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers (66),

    "associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (67);

    "observing the ordinances of Christ (68);

    "governed by his laws (69),

    "and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word (70);

    "that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons (71), whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus."

    66. 1 Cor. 1:1-13; Matt. 18:17; Acts 5:11; 8:1; 11:31; 1 Cor. 4:17; 14:23; 3 John 9; 1 Tim. 3:5

    67. Acts 2:41-42; 2 Cor. 8:5; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 5:12-13

    68. 1 Cor. 11:2; 2 Thess. 3:6; Rom. 16:17-20; 1 Cor. 11:23; Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:6; 2 Cor. 2:7; 1 Cor. 4:17

    69. Matt. 28:20; John 14:15; 15:12; 1 John 4:21; John 14:21; 1 Thess. 4.2; 2 John 6; Gal. 6:2; all the Epistles

    70. Eph. 4:7; 1 Cor. 14:12; Phil. 1:27; 1 Cor. 12:14

    71. Phil. 1:1; Acts 14:23; 15:22; 1 Tim. 3; Titus 1

    The Beauty of Christianity in Social Religion, or the Glory and Excellence of a true Gospel Church.

    "The Beauty of Social Religion, or the Glory and Excellence of a true Gospel Church.

    "And we assure you, dear brethren, that we judge it a matter of vast importance and use for preachers and people to be clearly and soundly acquainted with the nature and constitution, the rights and privileges, the faith and order, the worship and ordinances, the officers and discipline, the spirit and temper, the end and design of a true church of Jesus Christ;

    "in order that we may adore the wisdom of Christ as our great prophet, offer our worship to God through his atonement and intercession as our great high priest, and subject our souls and consciences to him as our supreme head, king, and law-giver.

    "We have reason to fear, that there is a very criminal inattention to this important subject amongst professors of Christianity, and even among Protestant Dissenters of our own denomination.

    "And what is the consequence?

    "great ignorance of the glory and beauty of church-fellowship -

    "great violations of the laws of our sovereign Lord the king in Zion, by which he is dishonoured and affronted in his own peculiar kingdom

    "the souls of true christians are injured in their best interests --

    "enquiring persons are offended and prejudiced, when they see professors live unworthy of their Lord and Saviour;

    "and sinners are hardened in their neglect of his great and precious salvation.

    "Let us therefore awake from our indolence of temper, and fix our attention on a subject which is so much for our own happiness, as well as for the glory of God.

    "In treating on the nature of a Gospel Church, we will endeavour to keep in mind one peculiar idea of it, which must render it one of the most lovely and desirable things in the world, (viz.)

    "That it is a state of gracious and refined friendship, grounded on a cordial love to God and to each other.

    "Spiritual friendship is a pleasing attraction of the heart towards the beautiful and good qualities which we esteem, and the amiable image of God we admire in true christians - which produces a mutual inclination between two or more persons to promote each other's holiness and happiness.

    "The spiritual friendship is the union of souls by means of vital holiness, which is the common cement or bond of their mutual and ardent affection.

    "In treating of a Gospel Church, under the pleasing idea of a state of rational, moral, and divine friendship, we consider its materials, constitution and form, the dignity, order, officers, worship, spirit and uses of such a society;

    "and we pray God to enlighten, impress, and animate your hearts whilst you read, and produce in you a most fervent love and attachment to such an excellent society, and cause you to become more useful and honourable members of such a glorious establishment of things under the sole head and sovereign."