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9Marks. Gospel Coalition.
Welcome to Fonthill Baptist Church. We are a church in the Niagara region. We are a Baptist
church and practice expository preaching. A traditional church in Fonthill. If you live in St.
Catharines, Welland, Pelham, Niagara Falls, we are a friendly church with solid Bible teaching.
We believe in prayer and teaching the word of god. We are in the process of revitalization. An
old church that needs to be a church plant. Reformed Baptist. Evangelical. Conservative
congregation. Calvinistic, Armenian, premillennial, amillennial, post-millennial, we are
welcoming to all. A church plant. Reformation theology. Exposition. New. What is it?
An expositional sermon takes the main point of a passage of Scripture, makes it
the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today.
Where is it in the Bible?
According to Scripture, God accomplishes what he wants to accomplish
through speaking (see Gen. 1:3, Isa. 55:10-11, Acts 12:24). This means
that if preachers want their sermons to be filled with God’s power, they
must preach what God says.
The Bible has many examples of this kind of preaching and teaching:
Levitical priests taught the law (Deut. 33:10), Ezra and the Levites read
from the law and gave the sense of it (Neh. 8:8), and Peter and the
apostles expounded Scripture and urged their hearers to respond with
repentance and faith (Acts 2:14-41, 13:16-47).
On the other hand, God condemns those who “speak of their own
imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord” (Jer. 23:16, 18, 21-22).
Why is it important?
Expositional preaching is important because God’s Word is what convicts,
converts, builds up, and sanctifies God’s people (Heb. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:23; 1 Thess.
2:13; Jn. 17:17). Preaching that makes the main point of the text the main point
of the sermon makes God’s agenda rule the church, not the preacher’s.
Biblical theology is sound doctrine; it is right thoughts about God; it is belief that
accords with Scripture.
1. The entire Bible teaches sound doctrine.
2. Many New Testament books, such as Paul’s epistles to the Romans and
Ephesians, are stuffed to the brim with rich doctrinal teaching (see Rom. 1-
11 and Eph. 1-3).
3. The authors of the New Testament frequently argue that sound doctrine is
essential for healthy Christians and healthy churches (see 1 Tim. 1:5, 2
John 1-6, and Titus 2:1-10).
Biblical theology is essential for
1. Evangelism. The gospel is doctrine. Therefore, sound doctrine is
necessary for evangelism.
2. Discipleship. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth”
(Jn. 17:17). Christians grow by learning and living in light of the truth—in
other words, by sound doctrine.
3. Unity. According to the New Testament, the only true unity is unity in the
truth (1 Jn. 1:1-4; 2 Jn. 10-11).
4. Worship. To worship God is to declare his excellencies (1 Pet. 2:9-10) and
to exalt him because of who he is (Ps. 29:2). True worship is a response to
A biblical understanding of conversion recognizes both what God does and what
people do in salvation. In conversion, God
gives life to the dead (Eph. 2:5)
gives sight to the blind (2 Cor. 4:3-6)
and gives the gifts of faith and repentance (Phil. 1:29; Acts 11:18).
And in conversion, people
repent of sin (Mk. 1:15; Acts 3:19)
and believe in Jesus (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 3:21-26).
A biblical understanding of conversion recognizes that only God can save, and
that he saves individuals by enabling them to respond to the gospel message
through repenting of sin and trusting in Christ.
Jesus called people to repent and believe in him (Mk. 1:15). He said that
unless someone is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven (Jn.
Throughout the book of Acts, the apostles call people to turn from their sin
and trust in Christ (Acts 2:38, 3:19-20, 10:43, 13:38-39, 16:31, 17:30).
Many of the epistles describe both our need to repent and believe in Christ
and God’s supernatural work to accomplish this (Rom. 6:1-23; 1 Cor. 2:14-
15; 2 Cor. 4:3-6; Eph. 2:1-10; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; 2 Tim. 2:25-26).
A biblical understanding of conversion is important for churches because
1. It clarifies how churches should exhort non-Christians—they should call
non-Christians to repent of sin and trust in Christ.
2. It reminds churches that they must rely upon God in all of their evangelistic
efforts; only he can give new spiritual life.
3. It teaches churches to maintain a sharp distinction between themselves
and the world.
o Church members’ lives should be marked by the fruit of conversion,
o Churches should admit to baptism and the Lord’s Supper only those
who show evidence of conversion.
Churches should evangelize and teach about the Christian life in such a way that
the radical nature of conversion is continually emphasized.
Evangelism is simply telling non-Christians the good news about what Jesus
Christ has done to save sinners and urging them to repent and believe. In order
to biblically evangelize you must:
1. Preach the whole gospel, even the hard news about God’s wrath against
2. Call people to repent of their sins and trust in Christ.
3. Make it clear that believing in Christ is costly, but worth it.
Scripture contains both teaching on evangelism (Matt. 28:19-20; Rom. 10:14-17;
1 Pet. 3:15-16) and examples of evangelistic preaching (see Acts 2:14-41, 3:12-
26, 13:16-49, 17:22-31). Moreover, any time Scripture speaks of the gospel, it is
teaching us what we are to share in evangelism (see, for example, Romans 1-4
and 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
When a church has an unbiblical understanding of the gospel, they don’t
evangelize, they evangelize in misleading or manipulative ways, or they
share a message that’s not the gospel.
On the other hand, a biblical understanding of evangelism clarifies our role
in the mission God has given to the church: we are to preach the good
news about what Christ has done and pray that God would bring people to
According to the Bible, church membership is a commitment every Christian
should make to attend, love, serve, and submit to a local church.
Throughout Old Testament history, God made a clear distinction between
his people and the world (see Lev. 13:46, Num. 5:3, Deut. 7:3).
Christ says that entering the kingdom of God means being bound to the
church “on earth” (Matt. 16:16-19; 18:17-19). Where do we see the church
on earth? The local church.
The New Testament explicitly refers to some people being inside the
church and some people being outside (1 Cor. 5:12-13). This is much
more than a casual association.
The church in Corinth consisted of a definite number of believers, such that
Paul could speak of a punishment inflicted by the majority (2 Cor. 2:6).
Not only does the New Testament speak of the reality of church
membership, but its dozens of “one anothers” are written to local churches,
which fill out our understanding of what church membership should
practically look like.
Biblical church membership is important because the church presents God’s
witness to himself in the world. It displays his glory. In the church’s membership,
then, non-Christians should see in the lives of God’s changed people that God is
holy and gracious and that his gospel is powerful for saving and transforming
In the broadest sense, church discipline is everything the church does to
help its members pursue holiness and fight sin. Preaching, teaching,
prayer, corporate worship, accountability relationships, and godly oversight
by pastors and elders are all forms of discipline.
In a narrower sense, church discipline is the act of correcting sin in the life
of the body, including the possible final step of excluding a professing
Christian from membership in the church and participation in the Lord’s
Supper because of serious unrepentant sin (see Matt. 18:15-20, 1 Cor.
The New Testament commands corrective discipline (excluding
unrepentant sinners from the fellowship of the church) in passages like
Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, 2 Corinthians 2:6, and 2
The New Testament speaks about formative discipline (our efforts to grow
in holiness together) in countless passages about pursuing holiness and
building one another up in the faith, such as Ephesians 4:11-32 and
Think of discipline as the stake that helps the tree grow upright, the extra set of
wheels on the bicycle, or the musician’s endless hours of practice. Without
discipline, we won’t grow as God wants us to. With discipline, we will, by God’s
grace, bear peaceful fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:5-11).
Scripture teaches that a live Christian is a growing Christian (2 Pet. 1:8-10).
Scripture also teaches that we grow not only by instruction, but by imitation (1
Cor. 4:16; 11:1). Therefore churches should exhort their members to both grow in
holiness and help others do the same.
Peter exhorted his readers to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18)
Paul exhorted the Ephesians to grow by speaking the truth in love to one
another (Eph. 4:15).
Many passages in Scripture instruct us to imitate godly leaders (Phil. 4:9;
The point is that, according to Scripture, all Christians should grow in Christ,
imitate other godly Christians, and encourage others in their growth in
1. Promoting biblical discipleship and growth is important because none of us
are finished products. Until we die, all Christians will struggle against sin,
and we need all the help we can get in this fight.
2. If a church neglects discipleship and growth, or teaches a skewed,
unbiblical version of it, it will discourage genuine Christians and wrongly
assure false Christians. On the other hand, if a church fosters a culture of
Christian discipleship and growth, it will multiply believers’ efforts to grow in
3. A church that is not growing in the faith will ultimately yield an unhealthy
witness to the world.
The Bible teaches that each local church should be led by a plurality of godly,
qualified men called elders.
Paul lays out the qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
Passages that evidence a plurality of elders in one local church include Acts
14:23, Acts 20:17, 1 Timothy 4:14, 1 Timothy 5:17, and James 5:14.
God gifts churches with elders to
feed God’s sheep God’s word (Jn. 21:15-17),
guide the sheep (1 Tim. 4:16; 1 Pet. 5:3, Heb. 13:7),
and protect the sheep from attackers (Acts 20:27-29; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; Tit. 1:9),
while protecting both themselves and the church through the wisdom of
their plurality (Prov. 11:14; 24:6).
The bottom line? Biblical church leadership is important because without it, God’s
people are like sheep without shepherds.
Nehemiah and the New Year