David Westerfield

Theology. Culture. Technology.

Tag: Five Solas

How Were You Saved? – Why the Five Solas (Still) Matter

There’s something about understanding your ancestral roots that gives foundation to understanding who you are and where you came from. Diving into your genealogical records and background can give you some form of a framework to knowing more about your identity, why you are the way you are in various ways.

The same can be said of understanding the nature of our salvation, or rather the nature of how we were saved.

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Five Solas of the Reformation: Southern Seminary

This was a theology conference put on by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on the Five Solas of the Reformation in 2015. Enjoy!

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Five Solas of the Reformation – Gregg Strawbridge

Sola Scriptura: The Scripture Alone is the Standard

The doctrine that the Bible alone is the ultimate authority was the “Formal Principle” of the Reformation. In 1521 at the historic interrogation of Luther at the Diet of Worms, he declared his conscience to be captive to the Word of God saying, “Unless I am overcome with testimonies from Scripture or with evident reasons — for I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils, since they have often erred and contradicted one another — I am overcome by the Scripture texts which I have adduced, and my conscience is bound by God’s Word.” Similarly, the Belgic Confession stated, “We believe that [the] holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God, and that whatsoever man ought to believe unto salvation is sufficiently taught therein…Neither may we consider any writings of men, however holy these men may have been, of equal value with those divine Scriptures nor ought we to consider custom or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God… Therefore, we reject with all our hearts whatsoever does not agree with this infallible rule” (VII).

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Resources for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

With this year being the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Reformation (though there were quite a number of precursors leading up to that point), there are a number of great resources that are celebrating what God has done in history in recovering the gospel, while expressing the urgent need for ongoing reformation in our present day in the church (universally).

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Five Solas, Each Described in One Sentence

Taken from the St. Andrew’s Chapel website (R.C. Sproul’s church).

Sola Scriptura
Bible is the sole written divine revelation and alone can bind the conscience of believers absolutely.

Sola Fide
Justification is by faith alone. The merit of Christ imputed to us by faith is the sole ground of our acceptance by God, by which our sins are remitted.

Solus Christus
Christ is the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed.

Sola Gratia
Our salvation rests solely on the work of God’s grace for us and in us.

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone belongs the glory.

Reformation Day – Martin Luther – 95 Theses

Praise God for raising up someone to oppose those who were holding down the Gospel through greed, power and manipulation. There had been those before Luther such as John Huss and John Wycliffe who some would consider the first line of troops to break the stronghold of the “Normandy beach” but most of the initial Reformers died for the sake of Christ in making His Gospel known. But Luther was the first to gain a foothold on the beach by nailing his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517 – aka Reformation Day (though it had already begun in debates and dialogs with various Roman Catholic theologians. It was revolutionary, the explosion of the Protestant Reformation was about to take place all over Europe. After seeing the Gospel pop out of the Scriptures before his eyes when reading Romans and Galatians in particular, that the righteous shall live by faith in Christ alone and nothing else (no works, etc), he could not help but see the unbelievable fallacies and evils of the Roman Catholic Church in direct opposition to the Gospel itself in the Scriptures. He saw they had set up a legalistic, religious system of approach to God, offering to all that more was needed than the blood of Christ alone to be saved, such as penance, purgatory, etc. Luther opposed this by showing that Salvation is by Sovereign Grace in the cross work of Christ on behalf of His people. Luther’s main emphasis in the Reformation was a returning to the Biblical Gospel, that we are saved by sovereign Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Christ Alone revealed in the Scriptures Alone to the Glory of God alone (the Five Solas).

Luther considered his most important work to be The Bondage of the Will, which spread like a wildfire throughout Europe, a letter (book really) written to Erasmus, a Roman Catholic theologian debating Luther on the Scriptural validity of the will being free from the corruption of sin or not. The heart of the Reformation itself dealt with the will, i.e. does God have to regenerate the will by the work of Christ to turn our affections and desires; whether God has to do a supernatural work in the heart to make a person willing to believe in Christ alone in order that they may be saved. Monergism vs. Synergism was the core issue. The doctrine of faith alone simply supported Grace Alone. It is God who saves from beginning to end, Alpha to Omega, the flesh is of no avail, just as Jesus said. I find it ironic that today most Protestant evangelicals in the West use the same arguments of Erasmus (a Roman Catholic theologian) when defending free will theology, whereas Luther would oppose them, just as he does in his most important book. It is odd that many disagree with the very conclusions of the heart of the Reformation itself, all the while benefiting from all that came out of it, even though this was the key issue to the whole thing, according to Luther himself. Regardless, praise God for raising up faithful people to spread his Gospel, even when it cost them their lives. Praise God for Reformation Day!

One of my favorite quotes from Luther:

“Whilst a man is persuaded that he has it in his power to contribute anything, be it ever so little, to his salvation, he remains in carnal self-confidence; he is not a self-despairer, and therefore is not duly humbled before God, he believes he may lend a helping hand in his salvation, but on the contrary, whoever is truly convinced that the whole work depends singly on the will of God, such a person renounces his own will and strength; he waits and prays for the operation of God, nor waits and prays in vain . . .” – Martin Luther

Martin Luther – Lessons from His Life (MP3) – John Piper
Biography of Luther
Luther’s 95 Theses
What is Monergism?
Bondage of the Will – Martin Luther

David Phillips – One Year Since His Death

Well, I cannot believe it has already been a year since Dave died. It seems like forever ago and at the same time it seems like yesterday. I can remember exactly how I felt as well as the circumstances in which I found out. Courtney and I had decided to stay home because of the ice, and then got a call from someone we didn’t expect to hear from saying, “Tell me this isn’t true!” We had no idea what they were talking about, but then it was confirmed. Dave had died. Man how sad that day was. But my fellowship with Christ was so sweet during those sad days. “He must increase but I must decrease.” And trials make that reality so true. So many things have already changed; Dave’s immediate influence and input on matters pertaining to the ministry have ceased, but the doctrines he so fervently taught have remained because these doctrines are scriptural (salvation and justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, spiritual growth through the preaching of the Gospel to our dead hearts, the sovereignty of God in all things amongst many others). Despite the changes that have occurred within the student ministries over the past year and the adjustments that have been made, Christ has stayed the same and caused His church to persevere through sustaining our faith by the Holy Spirit after his passing. I have listed a few of Dave’s sermons here that I have on my site in remembrance of him. Praise God for the years the Lord gave us with Dave. Man how the Lord used him as an instrument to change my life by showing me the value, worth, sufficiency, and glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ crucified and risen for our sins. O how we miss you Dave! It saddens my heart greatly that you are no longer with us … but praise God that you are now with the treasure of all who call upon Him, Jesus Christ.

Introduction to Romans (MP3)
Knowing God (MP3)
Romans 4 (MP3)
The Perpetual Gift (MP3)

Archived Articles Pertaining to David Phillips … also, News Archive

For those of you who are interested, I’ve archived the internet articles written after Dave’s death on Feb. 19th and 20th of this year.

Feb 19th Article
Feb 20th Article

Also, I have setup an archive section on my site where I’m going to be saving articles and various things I’ve found interesting on the net. I’ll be going through a categorizing stuff in the near future as well to make it easy to find articles. So check it out … www.westerfunk.net/archives

To find more articles pertaining to David Phillips, go here: www.westerfunk.net/archives/personal.

Believers Are Truly Aliens in this Life

Ever since Dave Phillips went to be with Christ, I have been feeling more like an alien here in this life. The reason for this has a lot to do with the knowledge that Dave has gone home, his true home, to be with the Lord forever in glory. That’s my home, this earth is not. What matters then? Christ. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Everything is temporal here, but everything is eternal and perfected there where Christ is. Dave loved the things in this life that the Lord blessed him with, but He loved Christ more and desired to be with him more, because Christ is everything; He is truly lovely and He is life, and knowing Him is eternal life (John 17:3). Not knowing Him is dreadful and terrifying, because there is no good apart from Him. There is no life apart from Christ, there is only wrath and fury against you. Dave has been glorified in the Lord, something I cannot even begin to fathom. He’s been made perfect because of Christ’s death and resurrection. I’ve been thinking a lot more about heaven and being perfected in Christ, about no longer having a struggle with sin, but being freed from it! How wonderful. What an awesome thing to look forward to! The past week and a half or so, I have just been longing for my true home more. What a glorious day it shall be when I see Christ face to face, no longer living by faith but by sight! Dave has been finally conformed to Christ, and oh how I long for that day! Christ is my Savior, King, Lord, God, Stronghold, Strength, Deliverer, Righteousness, Rock, Fortress, Shield, Protector, my everything (Psalm 18:2). I have nothing apart from Him, even if I possess the whole world (Mark 8:36-37). I have found so much joy in knowing that Christ will rule one day forever and that I will go to be with Him because of His glorious work in my life through the cross. On the cross, He took my punishment on Himself, having become a curse for me, He then died, rose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and then at His pre-appointed time, applied the work of the cross in my heart by the Holy Spirit, that I would be regenerated from my dead, wretched, sinful soul that wanted nothing to do with Him, given the eyes to see and ears to hear the wonderous work and call of the Gospel, and He then gave me the gift of faith (provided through the cross) that I would apprehend Him and love Him (Acts 16:14). It is this truth that has set me free and given me life. God saved me, it is all His work, I was only a dead recipient, made alive by the Gospel. There is nothing I desire more than Christ. And it is this truth that Christ will ultimately conform me to Himself in glory that has given me so much hope in all my trials throughout my whole life. Dave is there in glory and perfected, no longer entangled in this mess of sin and corruption. And though I will miss him for a time, how wonderful is it that He sees the glory of Christ, right now!? The Dave we loved, talked with, interacted with, is now with the Lord. How I long to be conformed to Christ! This event has just driven me closer to Christ and desiring to be like Him, loving the things He loves, and hating the things He hates, and sharing the Gospel with others. Man I want to be there with Christ. He is my all and my wonderous God and King. He is so faithful and glorious. And it is through the cross that this has been made actual for Dave and will be made actual for me when I die and can be made actual for any of you who do not know the Lord, who do not know Him savingly. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Then with this truth, do not be conformed to this sinful world any longer, but walk in the renewal of your mind (Romans 12:1-2), casting off sin by the work of the cross and look forward to the hope of the complete redemption of your soul at death, and the resurrection of your body on the Day of the Lord. O Lord, come soon, we love You and need You. Send Your Spirit in power that we may live lives pleasing to You. O Lord, teach us to love the things You love and hate the things You hate. Teach us and work in us, Father, to love and exalt Christ more than anything in this world. O Lord we are weak and frail sinners, corrupted by our wickedness and the vile that remains in our hearts. Cleanse us with Your blood, remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh (Ezekial 36:26) that we may live our lives in submission to Your sovereignty and rule over our lives, giving You glory in any and every circumstance (Philippians 4:12-13). O Lord, we are aliens in this life, and we should live as such, preaching Your cross and the redemption You have provided through it (Romans 10:14-15). Lord, as the song It Is Well with My Soul states, “Haste the day when my faith shall be sight.” Let us always consider that our dwelling is not here, where moth and rust destroy, but where the great God of glory lives, where the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world lives! You are holy and glorious! There is none like You.

David Phillips (Life Stage 1 Pastor @ CCBC) Has Passed Away

“…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” – Job 1:21

“Frequently it is when we are crushed and devastated that the cross speaks most powerfully to us. The wounds of Christ then become Christ’s credentials. The world mocks, but we are assured of God’s love by Christ’s wounds.” – D.A. Carson.

For all of you who have not heard, David Phillips, the Life Stage 1 pastor over the student ministries @ Christ Chapel Bible Church, passed away this morning in a car wreck on his way to preach at the main services. This has been quite a shock for everyone, but Jesus is Lord, and nothing happens apart from His will. That, in addition to many other things (the death and resurrection of the Son of God being the main thing), is our comfort in the midst of this trial. This is a part of His perfect plan that we cannot fathom. Romans 5, Romans 8, James 1, all of Job, and the Psalms come alive even more so during times like this. This is for the Lord’s glory and the ultimate good of those who love Him. For me personally, as with many others, David Phillips played a huge role in my developmental process. As God’s instrument, he was one of the main influences Christ used in bringing me to Himself after having turned my back on Him in anger for the things He ordained to happen to my family. In addition, Dave was one of the main influences on my theology. When Dave first came on board @ CCBC, one of the biggest things he brought in his teaching was Justification and all that entails. Though I didn’t know that at the time (as far as the formal doctrine), his teaching of this essential piece of the Gospel, was one of the biggest reasons for my change, to trust in and fall on Christ and His perfect righteousness on my behalf, having taken my sin and it’s punishment on Himself and having imputed His righteousness to me through the cross. In addition to all of the doctrines he taught that are so essential to the Christian faith (5 Solas, Doctrines of Grace, Reformed theology), the one thing He brought that revolutionized my walk with Christ was his teaching on loving Him first and foremost above all other things, in all the facets of my life. Eating, reading, talking, thinking, in everything, do all things to the glory of God. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone). I was changed because I saw the practical, applicational nature of this in Dave. All of the theology undergirded that one thing, that one command even. He didn’t just talk about theology in some stoic, academic sense alone, but lived it out, applied it in his life, and as a result, many lives (including mine) have been transformed by the Gospel of Christ, under David Phillips teaching. I thank Jesus immensely that He sovereignly brought Dave Phillips into my life as God’s instrument of grace that I may live my life in love for Christ and pointing others toward Him. And Dave wasn’t only my spiritual father in leading me back to Christ, but he then became an amazing friend of mine. Praise God for Dave’s life, and praise God in his passing. I will miss him immensely, along with so many others, and I am deeply sorrowful for this loss. But what we mean for (or understand as) evil, God means for (designs for) good (Genesis 50:20).

Please pray for Dave’s wife, Jen, as well as both sides of their families as they mourn this great loss. And please pray for the student ministries at Christ Chapel as students process this information. Pray that many unbelieving students would come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, and pray that those who do know Christ would persevere and endure in their faith, to the praise of the glory of the grace of Christ.

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Obituary

Services:

The Viewing will be held at Greenwood Funeral Home, Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Funeral will be held at McKinney Memorial Bible Church Wednesday, Feb. 22 @ 4 p.m. with a reception following the service at the “Bubble” at Christ Chapel Bible Church.

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Amazing. On Friday, Dave posted the sermon he was going to give (it is amazing because he had never posted his sermon notes online before and wow did it speak to the exact situation that occurred) …
Dave’s MySpace Sermon Entry

News articles:
Star-Telegram Article
Article 2
CBS11TV.com Article

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
Philippians 3:20-21

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