Today (Wednesday) is the third day but the second full day of the Zambian Reformed Conference. I missed the opening day and the first full day (Monday) as Felistas and I crossed the Atlantic from the USA.
|Dr Voddie Baucham preaching|
Dr Voddie Baucham took the first session this morning. He was handling the theme: “Running Forward.” His task was to challenge us on the subject of missions. Today, he expounded the context of the Great Commission, i.e. the claim by Jesus that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). He had this authority first of all as God and then in the second place he earned it as man. Using passage after passage across the New Testament all the way to the book of Revelation, he showed us the victory that Christ has won for us. He also showed how Jesus fulfilled ALL the promises of the Old Testament as the promised and protected seed and as the true Israel.
|Part of the congregation listening to Dr Voddie Baucham|
Dr Voddie Baucham then also showed the content of the Great Commission. Our first responsibility is “Go”. This is a global commission. The pattern of the apostles was that they went to the nations. This was a multi-ethnic commission. One of the demands of this is to translate the Bible into the various languages of the earth. This also implies church planting. This is an evangelistic commission. It demands that individuals abandon their previous allegiances and commit themselves to the triune-God. This is also a comprehensive commission. You need to teach them all the commands of Christ. We must make disciples. It is a doable commission because Jesus will be with us to the end of the ages.
|Part of the congregation listening to Pastor Ken Jones|
Pastor Ken Jones took the second session. He was handling the theme: “Remaining Faithful.” His task was that of preaching on the doctrines of grace. Today, he handled the doctrine of election. Before the foundation of the world, God knowing that Adam would sin and bring condemnation on his offspring, God sovereignly chose to save some of Adam’s posterity. It was not based on any good in them. This was a free and sovereign choice.
Pastor Jones then took the meeting through various passages of Scripture beginning with the Old Testament and all the way to the New Testament (e.g. Deut. 7:6-8, Rom. 9:6-21, Eph. 1:3-6, 2 Thess. 2:13-14). From these passages he showed that God chose sinners in spite their sin. The purpose for God’s choice is that those that he chooses would be holy and would love him. Whereas in our creation God puts us in Adam, in election God chooses us to be in Christ (the last Adam). The means us by which he brings us into Christ is the message of the gospel. It is imperative that we get that message right and we get it out! The motive for God choosing one sinner over another is the pleasure of his good will.
|Pastor Ken Jones preaching|
Pastor Jones made it clear that unconditional election is consistent with God’s attributes and character. He also postulated unconditional election does not violate human free will. Unconditional election does not negate evangelism but fulfils evangelism. Unconditional election lets grace to be grace. It shows that God’s favour is unprovoked favour. God freely chose to save sinners.
I missed the afternoon as I was battling jet lag. Hopefully, I will report on this tomorrow when I will participate in the afternoon 25th anniversary panel.
|Dr Voddie Baucham preaching in the evening meeting|
In the evening, Dr Voddie Baucham began by quoting John Piper’s statement that “Missions exists because worship does not.” He then went on to assert that if we are to understand missions then we must understand true worship. We must worship God only in the way that he has specifically instructed (the regulative principle in contrast to the normative principle).
|Dr Voddie Baucham attempting to preach with a megaphone|
during a power outage. In the end he preached without amplification.
Dr Baucham then went on to use the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments) to show how true God himself delineates worship. The first commandment gives us the object of our worship. It must be the triune God and not what we want. The second commandment sets the limitations of our worship. Sincerity is not enough and innovation is not acceptable. Rather, we should aim for faithfulness. (At one stage there was a powercut and Dr Baucham preached in darkness).
|Part of the congregation attending the evening meetings|
The third commandment demonstrates the reverence that we are to have in worship. This refers to the attitude of our hearts. Everything that we do has consequences. We must ask ourselves whether what we are doing is reverent before God or just feeding our passion. The fourth commandment gives us the regularity of our worship. We are to worship God on the seventh day after six days of work. We do so because he says so. In missions, we are calling all human beings to participate in this worship. Missions exists because worship does not!
|Another part of the congregation attending the evening meeting|