Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ern Baxter's Sermon Notes on "The Two Houses".

Remembering the outstanding sermon on the "Two Houses" that Mike Sandeman preached at CCK, Brighton on Sunday night, I was fascinated to find Ern Baxter's sermon notes on the very same theme. Here they are:

It got me thinking again about 'Foundations'. In an ever increasing attempt to try and maintain the tension between Spirit and Word, I realised that Tuesday's post on "Dead Orthodoxy" could have given the impression that it is my view that all doctrine is "bad" and all experience is "good". Hopefully those who have been reading this blog for a while will realise that is not my view by any stretch of the imagination. I just passionately feel that what we are lacking - especially in the UK - at this time is the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Dr Lloyd-Jones preached another sermon in the Revival series that in a sense beautifully compliments the sermon on "Dead Orthodoxy" and that was called "Defective Orthodoxy". These foundations are essential if we are to withstand the storms that will surely come.

His headings were briefly as so:

i) Orthodoxy.

- The Doctrine of Justification by Faith. "There has never been a revival but that this has always come back into great prominence".

- The Doctrine of Regeneration. "It emphasises the absolute necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit".

ii) Defective Orthodoxy.

- "The first and foremost trouble ... is to be concerned about the Person rather than with the Person Himself. I am indicating that there is a terrible danger of putting the doctrines, the true doctrines about the Persons into the place of the Persons. And that is absolutely fatal".

- "The lack of balance, a lack of true Scriptural proportion in the understanding of the doctrines, and the presentation of the doctrines that are absolutely essential to salvation. If we lack a balance in the Scriptural proportion of the doctrines we shall find ourselves becoming dry and arid and useless".

- "A defective doctrine of the Church. The whole idea of the Church as we find her in the New Testament seems to be going out ... The man in the street is only attracted finally by power ... Why do we allow the idea of big business to govern our thinking and our strategy rather than the teaching of the New Testament itself, as exemplified in the long history of the Church?".

And finally ... "We can be perfectly orthodox and yet our orthodoxy can be useless if we are failing in our lives, if we are disobedient to God's holy laws, if we are guilty of sin and continuing in known sin. If we put our own desires before Him, then we have no right to expect revival, however orthodox and correct we may bein all our doctrines and in all our understanding".


Anonymous said...

I really appreciated these notes on "Defective Orthodoxy". It was quite a thrill to actually see some of Ern Baxter's sermon notes - how DID you get them!?

I would share your concern though that our problem is more dead orthodoxy - and quenching the Spirit rather than getting truth "right". However we don't need to abandon either! Let us ensure that we get our foundations laid in right doctrine, but then make our daily pursuit of the ultimate imperative of drinking the Spirit our passion!

Dr S A J Burgess

Ollie said...

That's AMAZING to see Ern Baxter's own writing!! Wow!! :oo And great to hear his own take on the two houses parable - I think ever since you shared about them, it has freshly been awakened in my mind. Foundations are so important!!

For example, (apologies to any Arminian readers) but the foundation of the sovereignity of God is just so absolutely essential as a foundation isn't it? If we truly believe that God is divinely sovereign then that belief will hold us through thick and thin. Suffering slots into place because God is on the throne!! Like John Piper's book that is coming out that you mentioned.

So thank you for freshly reminding us of this.

michaelaj said...

I like the quote from Martyn L-J that you highlighted: "The man in the street is only attracted by power". That is an attention-grabbing statement in this evangelism culture that we have. I am not saying that our evangelism is wrong. Far from it! We are commanded to go and preach the Gospel. But doesn't it just remind you of that text that your pastor preached on a few Sundays ago from 2 Corinthians?

That the gospel did not come in words only but in POWER!! I don't want to tip the balance too far and become power obsessed like some areas in the USA today. (I'm from the USA so I can say that!). But I think we are lacking a huge anointing in our ministry today. And that is why by and large the man in the street isn't attracted.

God visit us again!