Reformed Perspectives Magazine, Volume 5, Number 2, January 17-January 31, 2003


Oviedo, FL
Confessing Christ
The Bible, The Basis of Our Confession1

I. The Word of God.

  • A. Bible
  • B. Holy
  • C. God's Word
  • D. Inspired
  • E. Inerrant
  • F. Infallible

II. How Do We Know the Bible Is the Word of God?

  • A. Some say on the authority of the church.
  • B. Some say on the authority of the Word.
    • 1. God in His Word Claims to Be Its Author.
      • a. The witness of Scripture (Over 2,000 times the phrase "thus says the Lord or its equivalent is used).
      • b. The witness of Christ (Matthew 5:17,18; John 16:13).
      • c. The Witness of the Apostles (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; 3:15,16).
      • d. WCF, 1.4.
    • 2. The Evidence within Scripture Confirms the Claim that the Bible Is God's Word.
      • a. The Bible's unity as proof. It contains 66 books, written by 36 different authors in different locations, written over a period of 1,600 years and yet it has an underlying unity and harmony. The OT points toward the Savior to come and the NT points to the Savior who has come (Luke 24:27).
      • b. The prophets (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:6; 53:5,6).
      • c. The basic message of the Bible.
        • 1) Man's complete ruin in sin.
        • 2) His inability to save himself.
        • 3) The power of God's grace alone to save him.
      • d. Archaeology and history confim the truthfulness of the Bible.
    • 3. The Testimony of God's Holy Spirit in Our Hearts.
      • a. Some reject the Bible in spite of evidence (John 20:31; Luke 16:31) because the Holy Spirit has not enabled them to see the truth of what the Bible teaches.
      • b. The same Holy Spirit enables others to see that the Bible is God's inspired word.

Christ, The One We Confess

  • I. Who Is Jesus?
    • A. Jesus asked the Pharisees this question (Matthew 22:42).
    • B. Jesus asked the disciples this question (Matthew 16:13).
    • C. The pre-existence of Christ (John 1:1-3).
    • D. The existence of Christ (John 1:14).
    • E. Christ testified under oath that He was the Son of God (Luke 22:70).
  • II. The Person & Work of Christ
    • A. Humiliation (birth, sufferings, death, burial, descent into hades).
    • B. Exaltation (resurrection, ascension, session, return).
    • C. Offices (prophet, priest, king)
    • D. Atonement
      • 1. Satisfaction
      • 2. Substitution
      • 3. Active obedience
      • 4. Passive obedience
      • 5. Extent
  • III. How Can we be Sure?
    • A. His Miraculous Birth (Matthew 1; Luke 2).
    • B. His Sinless Life (Hebrews 4:15).
    • C. His Supernatural Works (Matthew 11:4-5).
    • D. His resurrection from the dead (John 20: 27; 1 Corinthians 15).IV. What Did Christ Come to Do?

      Christ came into the world for the salvation of those whom the Father had in love chosen to be his own.

      • A. Man's Need.
        • 1. We are all sinful and fallen creatures (Romans 3:10-23). 2.
        • 2. We are dead in our sin (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-2).
      • B. God's Provision.
        • 1. The justice of God. He must punish sin.
        • 2. The mercy of God (Romans 5:8).
          • a. He lived for us (Romans 5:19).
          • b. He died for us (Matthew 20:28; Galatians 2:20).

Repentance & Faith
Requirements of a True Confession

  • I. Repentance
    • A. OT & NT background (Mark 1:15; Luke 5:32; Luke 13:3,5).
      • 1. It was the message of the OT prophets.
      • 2. It was the message of John the Baptist.
      • 3. It was the message of Jesus.

      The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news! (Mark 1:15)

      I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32)

      I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:3, 5)

    • B. What is true repentance? Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after new obedience (SC, Q/A 87).
      • 1. Admission of Sin (Romans 3:20; Matthew 22:37,39)

        Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. (Romans 3:20)

        Jesus replied: "‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 37-39)

        For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. (Psalm 51:3)

        "The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. (Luke 15:21)

        "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' (Luke 18:13)

      • 2. Sorrow for sin (godly or worldly sorrow 2 Corinthians 7:10).

        Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

        "I have sinned," he [Judas] said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." (Matthew 27:4)

      • 3. Turning from sin to righteousness (Luke 18:18-22; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Acts 22:10).

        A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'" "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Luke 18:18-22)

        See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:11)

        10 "‘What shall I do, Lord?' I asked. "‘Get up,' the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.' (Acts 22:10)

      • 4. The fruit of repentance.

        Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. (Luke 3:8)

  • II.Faith
    • A. Background.

      He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." (Acts 16:31)

      Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel. (WSC Q/A 86)

    • B. Elements:
      • 1. Knowledge (of Christ & self).

        Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. (1 Timothy 1:15)

      • 2. Conviction.

        27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27-28)

      • 3. Trust.

        19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (James 2:19)

        12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God… (John 1:12)

      • 4. The evidence of saving faith.

        For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

The Christian Life
Living Our Confession

  • I. The Purpose of the Christian Life.
    • A. To glorify and enjoy God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
    • B. The Christian life is God-centered (Romans 11:36).
    • C. A self-centered Christian life is a contradiction in terms (1 Corinthians 6:19,20).
      • 1. What does it mean to glorify God? It means to display God's glory in our lives, to reveal God's glory to others. Others should see the glory of God's character in us.
      • 2. God created all things to reveal his glory (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20).
      • 3. God created the human race as the crowning glory of all his creation.
      • 4. Then fall (Ephesians 2:1).
      • 5. Redemption (2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:9-10).
  • II.The Standard of the Christian Life.
    • A. How can we live a life that glorifies God? (SC, Q/A 2). B.
    • B. Introduction (Exodus 20:1-17).
      • 1. Whom to worship (3).
      • 2. How to worship (4-6).
      • 3. Reverence (7).
      • 4. Rest (8-11).
      • 5. The home (12).
      • 6. Life (13)
      • 7. Purity (14).
      • 8. Property (15).
      • 9. The tongue (16).
      • 10. The heart (17).
  • III.Strength for the Christian Life.
    • A. Apart from Christ you can't (John 15:5).
    • B. Through the strength of Christ you can (Philippians 4:13).
    • C. United to Christ you have the desire and ability (Philippians 2:13).
    • D. How do I get the grace I need to live the Christian life?
    • 1. Word.
    • 2. Sacraments.
    • 3. Prayer.


1. This is an outline of Calvin Knox Cummings, Confessing Christ (Suwanee, GA: Great Commission Publications, 1997). Prepared by Rev. David James.