Laying the Foundations Again
By Dr. David W. Dickerson, D. Min., Ed.D.
I have always strongly believed that God’s program in the world is a remnant ministry. Paul informs us in Romans 9:6 that not all Israel is true Israel. We, too, must admit that not all the professed church is the true church of Jesus Christ. Paul instructed Timothy to teach “faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). In this text he refers to the remnant as the faithful who will teach the faithful of the next generation and thus perpetuate God’s program.
At Peachtree Baptist Church and Georgia Baptist College, we believe Baptist doctrine and Bible doctrine to be the same. It is a sad day in America when so called Baptist Churches are no longer comfortable with using the name “Baptist”. Many Baptist churches today have traded the truth of God’s Word for a mess of pottage. They are more concerned with being popular, successful and pragmatic than Biblical. After all, the “emerging church” philosophy and paradigm of the post modern world proclaims, “the end justifies the means.” It makes perfectly good sense to the “so called” preacher who lacks theological knowledge. Most seminaries today are committed to teaching methodology rather than theology. One’s theology will determine his methodology. It is also true that one’s methodology is a revelation of his theology or lack of theological knowledge.
The principle behind Hosea’s warning in Hosea 4:6 applies here:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law (word) of thy God, I will also forget thy children (emphasis added).
Jesus said, And ye shall know the Truth, and the truth shall make you free, (John 8:32).
We can safely conclude that those following a pragmatic approach to ministry, where the gospel of God’s grace is sacrificed on the altar of “easy believism”, is nothing more than “a form of godliness.” Paul exhorted the true church of Jesus Christ to turn away from those “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5). Certainly the difference between the New Testament church and those who have a form of godliness is the demonstration of the power of God in our midst. It was Paul’s conviction that the power of God was not in the methods of men but in the power of the Word of God. It was the power of the Holy Spirit anointed preaching that led to the salvation of sinners and the establishing of the church at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6). Paul was determined that God receive the glory in saving sinners and that men might know their faith did not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). Salvation is not in a plan. It is in the person of Jesus Christ. Saving faith comes by Divine revelation through the preaching of the Word of God (Romans 1:17). Salvation is a gift which includes repentance and faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). That is why we are commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24: 45-48).
Too often the gospel ministry is treated like a business enterprise. The entrepreneur with the sparkling personality who is most innovative becomes the new icon. Since the gospel of grace is considered offensive and preaching against sin is negative the only alternative for these false prophets is to invent another gospel that will not offend sinners.
To the sinner the gospel is offensive! “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Paul warned us in 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 that he feared there would be false teachers whom Satan deceived by corrupting their minds “from the simplicity that is in Christ.” To succeed these false preachers have conjured up “another Jesus, another spirit and another gospel.” Satan has subtly seduced the western churches. Note in our text the word “another” in “another Jesus” is the Greek word “allos” meaning “a slightly different Jesus.” The word “another” in “another spirit” and “another gospel” is translated from the Greek word “heteros” meaning “an altered, completely different kind.” In other words many of the churches of our land are being corrupted subtly with a generation of false preachers who are proclaiming a slightly different, but still another, Jesus, under the power of another spirit other than the Holy Spirit and another alternate gospel. The Psalmist said, “If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) One would automatically assume the answer to be “nothing.” Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe said,” If the foundations be destroyed, lay the foundations again.”
The Word of God teaches us that Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and immediately removed the garbage and restored the foundations. Thus, the walls of the city were reconstructed. The Book of Nehemiah teaches us how they accomplished it. Nehemiah understood the reproach under which God’s name and work were suffering disgrace. It brought him to his knees. Things began to turn around when he became willing to pay the price in fasting and prayer. God responded to Nehemiah’s attitude of repentance and intervened by opening an effectual door for him. He was not only given permission by the pagan King to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of the city, but he was given the building materials needed to accomplish the task. When his fellow laborers recognized this was the result of “God’s good hand” upon him they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Nehemiah’s testimony was “so built we the wall…for the people had a mind to work” (Nehemiah 4:6). We feel very strongly at Peachtree Baptist Church and Georgia Baptist College that we are here “for such a time as this.” It is our firm commitment to God and His church that we will, by the grace of God, continue to stand uncompromisingly for our Historical Baptist distinctives. C.H. Spurgeon said concerning Psalm 11:3, “If the foundations be secure, what can’t we do.” At Peachtree Baptist Church and Georgia Baptist College we are determined to faithfully “Contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.” Our Ecclesiology is Baptistic. We believe God’s program in the world today is the local church. Our Soteriology is Calvinistic, because we teach that salvation is of the Lord. We hold to the doctrines of grace believing it is a simple explanation of the gospel. However, we stand against Hyper-Calvinism as strongly as we do Arminianism. The doctrines of grace are not a deterrent to evangelism, for the scriptures clearly teach a free offer of the gospel. God has chosen a people out of every nation, kindred and tribe. Christ died for them and has commissioned us to preach the gospel to every creature, for they must be born again. God has promised to go with us, because He has ordained the preaching of the gospel as His means of grace by which He calls sinners unto Himself in saving grace. Our Eschatology is Premillenial. We believe in a literal interpretation of the Scriptures. By literal interpretation we mean the Scriptures should be explained according to their normal grammatical understanding. A consistent literal hermeneutic would lead to a dispensational approach to interpreting the Word of God. Our Pneumatology is not what the modern charismatic movement believes. We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the God head. All that the Father and the Son have accomplished on behalf of our salvation is made alive unto us by the regenerating grace work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The Holy Spirit indwells all born again believers, and all believers are commanded to be Spirit filled, or controlled (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 8:11, Ephesians 5:18). The Holy Spirit baptizes believers into the body of Christ and sovereignly gives spiritual gifts to every believer for the edification of the church (1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12). We believe the revelatory and sign gifts including, prophecy, miracles, healings, tongues (Greek glossa, literally “a known language”), and interpretation of tongues (Greek hermeneuo, literally “a translation”) have ceased with the completion of the canon of New Testament Scriptures. Under the topic Pneumatology we assert that we believe in a Theology of Revival. Both the Word of God and church history reveal that God by effusions of the Holy Spirit has periodically intervened in behalf of His Kingdom work advancing His purposes for His glory. There can only be one Pentecost; however, in the Book of Acts we see a clear pattern of revival. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon His church was for the salvation of sinners and the preparation of the church for persecution. The perpetuity of God’s work through the ages reveals He is a God of revival.
If you love the Lord Jesus Christ and desire to be involved in a Bible preaching Church that is committed to training a generation to “Think Biblically” so they can “raise up the foundations of many generations…” (Isaiah 58:2), then we invite you to attend our services and worship with us. Those who are interested in preparing for Christian service so you can be involved in laying the foundation again should consider attending GBC for further theological education. Who knows? God may have already provided you a local church family and bible college here in Senoia. For more information visit our website at peachtreebaptist.org or call our office at 770-599-6888.
Categorised in: Peachtree Baptist Pulpit