Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Shared Gospel Ministry

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on January 11, 2011 at 2:15 pm

In the Second London Confession, Chapter 27 paragraph 2 we read: “Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services, as tend to their mutual edification; as also in relieving each other in  outward things according to their several abilities, and necessities; which communion according to the rule of the Gospel, though especially to be exercised by them, in the relations wherein they stand, whether in families, or Churches; yet as God offereth opportunity is to be extended to all the household of faith, even all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.” This was accomplished in many ways. In some cases, for example when a farmer’s barn burned to the ground, people from nearby churches would help to rebuild. But even more important (and you will notice mentioned first in the Confession’s statement) was their conviction that there must be spiritual fellowship. Here is an example. In the Broadmead, Bristol church, there were several men who had been called and appointed by the church to preach the Word in public (see 2LCF 26:11). But in other places, there were no such men. Here is a letter from a church in the town of Horton, appealing to the Broadmead church to distribute its gifts. The letter is from the Underhill version of the Broadmead records, page 210.

Letter from the church at Horton, Gloucestershire.

To the church of Christ in the city of Bristol, who usually assemble in Broadmead, with whom our dearly beloved brother Hardcastle walketh as pastor; we, the church of Christ who usually assemble at Horton, in the county of Gloucester, send greeting, desiring that grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father, through our dear Lord Jesus, may be multiplied upon you all, and in you all; that so you may grow in all the graces of the most Holy Spirit, and at length be found to the praise of his glorious grace.

Dear Brethren,—The occasion of our writing unto you at present, is to return you thanks for affording that assistance you have toward the carrying on the work of the Lord at Nympsfield, in sparing our beloved brethren, brother T. Jennings and brother Terrill, so often as you have. Our request unto you is, that you will be pleased to continue that assistance; and not only our request, but, indeed, as it is well known, we suppose, to those brethren with you which have been there, that through the goodness of God it is the desire of some hundreds of souls which come to that meeting. You will find the names of some of them here subscribed in the name of the whole.

We hope we have no need to use any arguments to provoke you to so good a work, considering that the work is the Lord’s, though a self-denying work. We pray you to encourage our brethren; send them to help the Lord against the mighty: we mean the great work of the ministering of the word in that place, where it is so much desired. So we rest,

Your weak and unworthy brethren in the best relation. Signed by us, in the name, and by the appointment of the whole, at the church assembly, this 27th day of the sixth month, anno Domini, 1673,—

James M. Renihan, Dean
The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies
www.reformedbaptistinstitute.org
  1. May we who have this as our Confession and the means to fulfill its mandates do so without hesitation when able. There are so many precious fellowships and Churches who need Elders and gifted men to fill their Pulpits,Council,Console and Comfort them due to often dark providences and circumstances beyond their control. I fear we who are blessed with a plurality and beyond of Elders are often content with not considering sending one or two out when possible to those with none. We are often quick to send money,which is a good work,but slow to send the greater wealth of a GOD called and gifted Elder or candidate for the Eldership. GODS people need His word more than ever before because the Wolves are everywhere. Lord help us to practice our Faith and its principles which form the content of our Confessions we pray. Amen

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