Dear FGA Members and Friends,
It is interesting and important to note that the first and most important issue the early church faced had to do with the clarity of the Gospel. The book of Acts is rightly called the “Hinge of History” for it functions as a hinge and forms a transition between Jew and gentile, between law and grace, and between Jerusalem and the utter most parts of the world.
As with many transitions it is often not always smoothly or seamlessly expressed. Such was the case in the early church. Many of the battles the Apostle Paul faced revolved around the formation of the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the function of sanctification by faithfulness in the lives of believers. This is seen to be the case in the Jerusalem Council and other events recorded by Luke in the Book of Acts.
The Apostolic Fathers who should have known better comingled justification with sanctification and so confused the clarity of the gospel. Salvation seemed to be tied to baptism and confession followed by commitment to obey, in some form, the Mosaic Law.
Jumping ahead to the Roman Catholic Church, which some say started at 450 AD and others 1000 AD, in either case the gospel continues to be less than clear and often times confused regarding the meaning of grace and the role of faith in receiving the free gift of eternal life. The Reformation provided a much needed correction, but as we have seen throughout its subsequent history its correction was not without its problems. Once again, in the modern church the confusion between justification and sanctification is manifested in both Reformed and Roman Catholic Church doctrine.
The past might not tell us what to believe, but it can teach us what to avoid. It is to the ancient past, to the inspired scriptures themselves that we must focus upon to find the divine guidance for living the Christian life.
This fall the FGA National Conference (October 8-10 in Irving, Texas) is focusing on the biblical description and distinction of discipleship as seen in the Gospel of Luke. Our conference will provide biblical exposition, theological precepts, and practical application concerning the greatest need inside the Church of Jesus Christ. There will also be some great ministry tables, a fine selection of book tables with some new publications available, and a great time of fellowship.
I hope to see you at the conference. For details and registration go to www.FreeGraceAlliance.com.
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us
Until He comes for us
Dr. Fred Chay