Monday, 27 June 2016

The Propagation of the Reformed Faith in England

Acts 20:27 "For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God".

I am very much enjoying reading the Collected Writings of John Murray this year. I am doing this for my own personal edification and one essay that grabbed my attention recently is from Volume 1 and it is called "The Propagation of the Reformed Faith in New England". Professor Murray served on a committee which sought to pursue church planting in New England in the USA and there are congregations which still exist today from this endeavour.
John Murray explains in this essay:

"It is for the propagation of the Reformed Faith, and that means simply the propagation of the whole counsel of God as it respects faith and life. Its purpose is the evangelism which is not only consistent with the Reformed Faith, but the necessary expression of it wherever it really exists as the controlling thought of mind and passion of the heart. In these times there is evangelism that is clap-trap, much so-called evangelism that does not have the gospel, and much also of evangelism that, though evangelical in its general spirit and result, is not true to the whole counsel of God. It is the aim of this committee to foster and further evangelism that will not be dependent upon the sensational for its appeal or success, but evangelism grounded in the conviction of the absolute sovereignty and efficacy of the grace of God, evangelism among the degraded, ignorant, the indifferent and hostile, that does not fear to declare the whole counsel of God and to proffer men lost and dead in sin the full and free salvation that is in Jesus Christ our Lord".

It is very important that we do not lose the vision for the propagation of the Reformed Faith as John Murray explains. This label as it were, is not and should not be a badge of division, but instead we should be unashamed in our pursuit of sound doctrine, sound care of the sheep and sound reverent public worship. There are so many unbiblical "winds of doctrine" in our day in England. Solid ministers and elders are urgently needed, men who "hold fast" to expounding the "whole counsel of God" is the urgent spiritual need of our day. It is the Reformed Faith as explained in documents such as the Westminster Standards which are needed to be applied and that so without amendment.

Will you join with us in this noble and demanding task in prayer? In Sheffield we are working on a new church plant in Manchester to do just what I have written about, and in Sheffield too we continue to work in Sheffield Presbyterian Church ( to further strengthen the work. Please contact me through our church website if you are excited about such a vision and to find out how you can be further involved.

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