Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2015 Keach Conference Audio

The four messages from the 2015 Keach Conference have been posted to sermonaudio.com.  Thanks to Ron Young, Sr. for stepping in at short notice to fill in for Bro. Steve Clevenger who had to miss due to a death in his family.

Bryan Wheeler:  Session 1 (Man in the State of Innocence)

Ron Young, Sr.:  Session 2 (Man in the State of Sin)

Alpheus Atkins:  Session 3 (Man in the State of Grace)

Jeff Riddle:  Session 4 (Man in the State of Glory)


Monday, September 28, 2015

Scenes from the 2015 Keach Conference

The 14th annual Keach Conference of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship of Virginia was held last Saturday (September 26) at Christ Reformed Baptist Church.  The theme this year was taken from Chapter Nine of the London Baptist Confession (1689): "Of Free Will."  Here are a few scenes from the conference:

Image: 2015 speakers and leaders:
Bret Vincent (Covenant RBC Warrenton); Jeff Riddle (Christ RBC, Louisa), Bryan Wheeler (Emmanuel RBC, Verona), Ron Young, Sr. (Plantation Road BC, Roanoke), Alpheus Atkins (Trinity RBC, Boone's Mill).

Image: Gathering for the morning session.  We had 85 registered attendees at this year's conference.

Image:  Conversations between sessions.

Image:  Catered Virginia bbq and homemade sides and desserts for lunch.

Image:  The children enjoyed the new playground at CRBC.

Images:  Faces and fellowship.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Vision (9.25.15): Does Man Have "Free Will"?

It is sometimes wrongly said that those who hold to Reformed theology do not believe in man’s “free will.”  Indeed, noted RB pastor and theologian Walter Chantry has written an article titled the “Myth of Free Will.” The point is not that we reject that man has a will but we affirm the Biblical teaching that man’s will has been corrupted by the fall.  Thus, the title of the Reformer Martin Luther’s influential work on this topic is Of the Bondage of the Will. Man’s will might be renewed through regeneration, but it will not be fully restored till he reaches heaven.

Christian theologians have spoken of four “states” or conditions of man. Thus, the Scottish Puritan Thomas Boston titled his classic work Human Nature in Its Fourfold State, in which he described:  (1) Man in the State of Innocence (pre-fall man); (2) Man in the State of Nature (fallen man); (3) Man in the State of Grace (regenerate man); and (4) Man in the Eternal State (for the believer, glorified man).

In this year’s Keach Conference, hosted at CRBC this Saturday (September 26), we will hear four messages based on chapter nine of our Baptist Confession (1689), “Of Free Will”:

1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty and power of acting upon choice, that it is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil. (Matthew 17:12; James 1:14; Deuteronomy 30:19)

2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but yet was unstable, so that he might fall from it. (Ecclesiastes 7:29; Genesis 3:6)

3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto. (Romans 5:6; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Titus 3:3-5; John 6:44)

4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, and by his grace alone enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so as that by reason of his remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly, nor only will, that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil. (Colossians 1:13; John 8:36; Philippians 2:13; Romans 7:15, 18, 19, 21, 23)

5. This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only. (Ephesians 4:13)

May this meeting serve to glorify God and to edify his saints.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Review: Michael Timothy Law's "When God Spoke Greek"

I posted today an audio recording of my review of Michael Law's book When God Spoke Greek:  The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible (Oxford University Press, 2013).  This review appeared in the last issue of the RBT.  You can also read it here.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Asia Ministry Trip

It's been a while since I've posted anything on the blog and I hope to get back in the groove this week. I just got back last weekend from a ministry trip to Asia.  It was a very encouraging and enjoyable journey that would be impossible fully to explain.  Among the highlights:
  • Preaching at the Damansara and Subang Jaya Reformed Baptist churches in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.
  • Preaching six messages on the theme "Jesus:  A Friend of Sinners" at the Reformed Ministers' Conference also in Kuala Lampur.
  • Getting the opportunity to join in outreach ministry to migrant workers in Malaysia.  Here is a youtube video of one such occasion posted by the local ministry when I preached a simple sermon on John 14:6 to a group of Nepali men in their bunkhouse, with the help of the interpretation of Brother Mitra Rai.
  • Getting the opportunity to spend time and have fellowship with Pastor Poh Boon Sing.
  • Teaching in a conference and preaching on the Lord's Day at the Grace Reformed Evangelical Church in Hong Kong.
Thanks to those who offered prayer and encouragement for this ministry trip.

Here are a few pics:

Image;  Here are some of the brethren who attended the conference in KL.  Delegates came from Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, and Singapore.

Image:  Fellowship with some of the KL brethren.

Image:  My wife and two youngest sons were able to join me on the journey.  Here we are with the impressive Hong Kong skyline in the background.

Image:  Fellowship with brethren in HK.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Reformed Baptist Trumpet (Vol. 6, No. 1)

I just sent out the newest edition of the Reformed Baptist Trumpet (Vol. 6, No. 1) an occasional e-journal of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship of Virginia.  If you want to be added to the list for the journal send your request to: reformedbaptist.va@gmail.com.

You can also view the issue here.

Inside this issue you will find:

  • An invitation to the 2015 Keach Conference to be held September 26, 2015 at Christ Reformed Baptist Church of Louisa, VA (see here for more info).
  • An article by W. Gary Crampton:  "The Word of God:  A Two-Fold Revelation"
  • An article by Jeff Riddle:  "The Administration and Administrators of Baptism"
  • A book review of Timothy Michael Law's When God Spoke Greek (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • Paradosis article featuring a sermon excerpt from Benjamin Keach:  "The Voice of Christ."
We hope to see many of you at the Keach Conference on September 26!

Grace and peace, Jeff Riddle

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Vision (9.2.15): The Density of Hebrews 1:3

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3).

I preached last Sunday morning on Hebrews 1:3 noting this verse teaches us two things about who Jesus is and three things about what Christ is doing or has done.

Two things about who Christ is:

1.  He is “the brightness of his [the Father’s] glory.”  No man can look upon God, but Jesus has made the glory of God known to us (cf. Exod 33:20; John 1:14, 18).

2.  He is “the express image [Greek:  charakter] of his [the Father’s] person.”  As Jesus told Philip:  “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Three things about what Christ is doing or has done:

1.  He is “upholding all things by the word of his power.”  The worlds were not only made by him (cf. Heb 1:2; John 1:3) but they also continue to be sustained by him.  Christ is not only the Creator but also the Sustainer of all things.

2.  He “had by himself purged our sins.”  Literally:  He made of himself purification [katharismos] for our sins.  The participle here is in the aorist tense indicating completed action in the past.  Christ’s atoning work is a complete.  “It is finished” (John 19:30).  Notice also the emphasis on particular redemption.  He purged “our sins [i.e., those of the elect].”

3.  He “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (cf. Psalm 110:1; Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; 1 Peter 3:22).  Having completed his work, Christ now sits in session, ruling over his church, until the time when he comes again (cf. Eph 1:19-23).

There is indeed a great deal of dense content packed into this brief verse.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle