Monday 2 January 2017

Recovering the Westminster Standards and Confessional Presbyterianism

This time of the years is always good. Why? Well it gives a time of reflection of one's priorities, goals and also to consider how to work more effectively and efficiently. Life is more than working efficiently, however there are a number of teachings in the Bible which make us stop and pause for reflection.

Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom".

John 9:4 "We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work".

Deuteronomy 5:12-14 “Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you".

The last verse provides a doctrine of rest and work. Work is a gift from God and hard work is a blessing. Therefore, we must evaluate the use of our time, energy, resources and finances for the honour of the Lord, if we are a Christian.

I have blogged for a number of years and I have found it has helped many people. However, I have fine-tuned my aim for the coming year. It is a simple goal. It is for the recovering of the Westminster Standards and confessional Presbyterianism.

In my view, the Westminster Standards which were produced by the Westminster Assembly in the 1640's in London, England, they are possibly the best summary of the Christian faith in the history of the church. This does not mean that I underestimate other creeds and confessions, but the Westminster Standards are peerless. For clarity of expression, precision of doctrinal truth, a well-rounded body of divinity, they are magnificent.

As an introduction, let us consider the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God1, and to enjoy him forever.

The proof texts for this question includes 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God".

May we live our life each day in 2017 for the glory of God. This is a good question and answer to memorise and to use in family worship.

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