Historically, Presbyterian church polity has distinguished between pastors or ministers and ruling elders. In drawing this distinction, it has not been the intention to deny that pastors or ministers are elders, nor to suggest that they have no function, so far as rule in the church is concerned. Rather, the purpose has been to emphasise the distinction between those who preach and expound the Word of God and those whose primary function is to exercise rule or oversight in the church.
Some of the Biblical Proofs For The Threeness of God – the Trinity of Persons are:
A. Denied by J.Ws, Unitarians, Socinians and all heathen religions.
Heathendom can never know God as triune,
a. He can be known as such only through His Word.
b. Creation reveals that God is, but not what God is.
During both the history of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and the Reformed Churches of the Continent, Scotland and England, there has been, and continues to be, a controversy on the question of God’s character as He expresses it through His love. Does God in some way love all men? Does He desire their salvation? Though there are quite a few variations of opinion and belief among those who affirm an universal love of God and/or His desire for all men’s salvation, basically there were and still are, two groups within the professing Reformed Churches.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2)
One of the tenets of Presbyterian Churches that adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith, and that ought to distinguish them from the prevailing evangelicalism of our day, is the view that they take of covenant children and their place in the covenant of grace. I say ‘ought to distinguish’ because within Presbyterianism, the place of children in the covenant has been so neglected and distorted that many Presbyterians have been robbed of one of the most precious parts of their spiritual inheritance.
Christians are dead to the law as a covenant of works. Being united alone to Christ who is the end of the law for righteousness, we are justified by faith alone. We are dead to the law, that is, we utterly reject it as a way of being either justified or condemned.
I would like to address the necessary distinction between the law as it is a covenant of works, and the law as it is the rule for the obedience of believers. It is my belief that confusion over this distinction leads into the antinomianism that plagues the churches today.
Adore with astonishment the secret counsel of God, through which, those which seemed good to Him are elected, and the other rejected!
That was our believer / theologian’s approach to predestination. He prostrated his mind and heart before the God of the Word; and because he heard God speaking so clearly of His eternal predestination, Calvin believed it, taught it, and preached it! Calvin practiced Sola Scriptura!
That reforming principle demanded predestination; and it delivered us from bondage to Rome’s semi-Pelagianism! Predestination, you see, is both the fountain of grace and the death knell to human merit; predestination is what gives us the other great solas of the Reformation: grace alone, in Christ alone, through faith alone, to God’s glory alone. GRACE ALONE! That is the triumphant cry of the Reformation. Calvin took us to its source – the eternal predestination of God. He drove his peg into that mighty truth and anchored us in the free grace of God.
Calvin’s doctrine of predestination stands at the very heart of the Confessions of the Reformed and Presbyterian churches. The doctrines of grace, or five points of Calvinism, have rightly become the common-places for biblical Christianity.
The due worship of God is to acknowledge him to be, as he is, The only source of all virtue, justice, holiness, wisdom, truth, power, goodness, mercy, life, and salvation; in accordance with this, to ascribe and render to him the glory of all that is good, to seek all things in him alone, and in every want have recourse to him alone.
We exist for worship.
The Sole end of the creation of the nature of man was the glory of God, in that worship and obedience which it was fitted and enabled to perform. For that end, and no other, was our nature created, in all its capacities, abilities, and perfections
John Knox wrote: “You make the love of God common to all men, and that we constantly do deny.“
Why did he write that? He wrote it because he knew that Love is one of God’s attributes, along with holiness and righteousness.
Love is an attribute of God (1 John 4:8,16; Romans 5:8).
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Holiness and righteousness are equally attributes of God (Joshua 24:19; Psalm 99:5; Revelation 4:8; Psalm 145:7; Acts 17:31).
Adam who is the figure of him that was to come, (Romans 5: 14). For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, (1 Corinthians 15:22).
It is a glorious reality.
In its light we have true knowledge of ourselves and our fellow men. First, we know ourselves to be dead in Adam, for the [first, cjc] covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression; and second, we can know certain hope of heaven, for we learn that the covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed. In Adam we are fallen sinners cast upon the mercy of God, and in Christ we are redeemed sinners raised up to sit in heavenly places.
The Reformation recovered the doctrine of federal headship, the Reformed have developed and placed it in its covenantal setting.
As such it is the invincible doctrine of Federal Headship!
We shall discuss the doctrine, and then note that when the Reformers tied headship into predestination they had loosed a truth that might not rest until it had led the church of Christ into the knowledge of Gods covenant – Federal Theology.