« PreviousContinue »
RE there distinctive doctrines in our Churchnon
in the Medicles of Religion's
There are several of great importance.
2. What eight doctrines are specially emphasized by the Methodist Episcopal Church?
Repentance, Justification, Regeneration, the Witness of the Spirit, Holiness, Free Will, Universal Atonement. Possible Apostasy.
3. What is Repentance ?
Godly sorrow for sin, evidenced by sincere reforma tion. A penitent turning of the soul to God for mercy, Isa. 55. 7; 2 Cor. 7. 10.
4. What is Justification ?
Remission of all penalty due for sins previously committed. Full forgiveness. Rom. 5. 1; 8. 1.
5. What is Regeneration ?
It is the renewing of the soul in righteousness by the Holy Ghost. The subject of regeneration is made “a new creature in Christ Jesus." John 3. 3; Eph. 4. 23; Titus 3. 5.
6. What do we mean by the Witness of the Spirit ?
The immediate testimony of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the Christian of his acceptance as a child of God. This testimony confirms the assurance of the believer's own heart. Rom. 8. 16.
7 What is Holiness or Sanctification ?
It is the perfecting and completing of the soul in an the graces of Christian character. Those who possess it love God with all their heart and their neighbors as themselves. This work of grace may be instantaneous or gradual. It is to be persistently sought by faith, through prayer, as the work of the Holy Spirit.
8. What do we mean by Free Will ?
That all men have freedom of will to accept or reject Christ as Saviour. They can freely choose or refuse to be saved. John 3. 16.
9. What is Universal Atonement ?
The fact that Christ died and atoned for the sins of the whole world. Every soul is equally redeemed by the death of Christ. Heb. 2. 9; Rev. 22. 17.
10. What is Possible Apostasy ?
It is the teaching of Scripture that the soul once renewed may possibly fall into sin and guilt, and dying ir this state be finally lost. 1 Cor. 9. 27.
OUTY OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP.
BY B. HAWLEY, D.D.* VERY Christian should become a member of the
visible Church, because it is a divine institution. 1. The apostolic letters are addressed to the Churches founded and confirmed by the apostles. I Cor. 1. 2; 2 Cor. 1. 1; 1 Thess. 1. 1.
2. Apostolic salutations are to Churches. Rom. 16. 16. and everywhere in the epistles.
3. Jesus Christ is the founder of the Church. Matt. 16. 18.
4. The authority and power of discipline are vested in the Church. Matt. 18. 17.
5. Believers on earth are a part of the true spiritual Church. Eph. 3. 15.
6. The general Church is the spiritual kingdom of Christ. John 18. 36; Luke 17. 20, 21; Rom. 14. 17.
7. Jesus Christ is Head of the Church, and Christians in an organized capacity are the body. Col. 1. 18; Eph. 4. 5; 5. 23, 27; Rom. 12, 5.
8. “Ecclesia," meaning assembly (Acts 19.32, 39), in an evangelical sense, designates a Church, or congregation of Christians, having the ordinances of the Gospel
* Dr. Hawley kindly permits the author to use his tract on Church Membership, and also his arrangement of the Articles of Religion and the General Rules.
and discip!!ne duly administered Eph. 2. 19; Acts 2 47; Eph. 1. 1; Gal. 3 7. 9. 14; Acts 11. 22, 26.
9. To the Church belong the ministry, the Scriptures, and ordinances for the perfecting of the saints. Acts 14. 23; Eph. 4. 11-13; Phil. 1. 1.
That all Christians should be members of the visible Church is further evident:
1. From the teaching and practice of the apostles. Acts 2. 41, 47; 14. 23, 27; Rom. 1. 7; I Cor. 1.2; Eph. 3. 5.
2. From the authority of our Lord. Matt. 28. 19; 18. 18; 4, 19.
3. The Church is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and Christians share his influences somewhat because of a union with the Church. Eph. 2. 20-22; 1 Peter 2. 5; Heb. 3. 6; 1 Cor. 3. 16; 2 Cor. 6. 16.
4. Christians derive spiritual life and health from the Head of the Church, because of a union with him in the Church. John 5. 24; 20. 31; 1 John 5. 11, 12.
5. Religious prosperity is promoted in the Church. Matt. 18. 20; John 14. 23; 15. 4; Eph. 5. 23, 26, 27.
6. The perpetuity of the Church depends on the union of Christians with it. Isa. 9. 7; Dan. 2. 44; Matt. 28. 20; 1 Cor. 11. 26; 15. 25.
The duty of Church membership being established, “ what Church should you join ?”
1. You should unite with that Church whose doctrines are the most scriptural, in which are the most religious life, activity, love, and fellowship.
2. Where the religious privileges are best calculated to promote piety, and to develop and strengthen the Chrisian graces.
3, Where you can get and do the most good.
ARTICLES OF RELIGION.
HE probationer is required to answer the following
Do you be lieve the doctrines of Holy Scripture as set forth in the Articles of Religion of the Methodist Episcopal Church?" . He should carefully study the doctrines and Scripture proofs to enable him to answer intelligently and conscien tiously. He is not asked if he .comprehends and can explain these doctrines, but if he believes them to be taught in the Bible. If he accepts them sincerely, to the best of his understanding, it is sufficient.
I. OF FAITH IN THE HOLY TRINITY. There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity—the Father the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Isa. 45. 22; Psalm 90. 2; John 4. 24; Mark 10. 27; Psalm 147. 5; 52. 1; Isa 44. 24; Neh. 9. 6; 2 Cor. 13. 14; Matt. 28. 19.
II. OF THE WORD, OR SON of God, WHO WAS MADE
VERY MAN. The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very ang Eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed virgin; so that two