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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Announcement of Church Name Change



Maranatha Community Church of Central Texas

has changed its name to

Providence Reformed Baptist Church



What are the reasons and rationale behind this name change?

1. Nobody can say Maranatha.
2. Nobody can spell Maranatha.
3. Nobody knows what Maranatha* means.
4. We have been suspected of being connected with a college cult ministry known as Maranatha Ministries.
5. We are often confused with charismatic (in the worst sense of the word) churches.
6. Our church name does not identify us as Reformed in our theology.
7. Our church name does not identify us as Baptist in our practice.

As for the new name, it faithfully describes who and what we are:

1. We are who we are as believers and as a church body because of the Providence** of God.
2. We are Reformed in our theology, holding to the Five Solas of the Reformation and the Doctrines of Grace.
3. We are Baptist in our polity and practice as is demonstrated by our Confession of Faith, which includes the First (1646) and Second (1689) London Baptist Confessions of Faith.

We remain a Member Church of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (FIRE).

Our website will be updated to read:

About Us

Providence – this identifies the Supremacy of God. We belong, by Divine Providence, to the Almighty, Living, and True God who is the Sovereign Lord and Creator of all things. He exists as One Being in Three Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, indivisible in essence yet distinct in personalities. In His infinite power and wisdom, He upholds, directs, disposes and governs all creatures and things, from the greatest to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, to the end for which they were created, according to His own will and for His good pleasure. As the providence of God in general reaches to all creatures, so, in a more special manner, it takes care of His church, and governs all things to the good of His chosen people.

Reformed – this identifies our belief. We are following in the tradition of the Reformers and Particular Baptists of the past by holding to the Five Solas of the Reformation and the Doctrines of Grace, also known as Calvinism. The Five Solas include Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Solus Christus (Christ Alone), and Soli Deo Gloria (God’s Glory Alone). We believe that the Word of God is our only inspired, infallible, and inerrant rule for life and faith and that the Scriptures teach that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone and that all things work together for our good and for the glory of God. We also uphold the importance of the phrase Always Reforming. The work of reformation in the church and in our lives will not be finished until Christ returns. So we are always reforming, refusing to be conformed to this world and instead being transformed into His image.

Baptist - this identifies our practice. We believe that the Bible teaches that baptism is for believers only, those who profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ. The ordinance is to be administered by immersion of the person being baptized in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In our church polity we believe that membership in the local church is made up of those who have been regenerated by the power of the Spirit of God and further that each local congregation is independent of other congregations and subject to its Head, Jesus Christ, who calls and appoints those who would lead, serve, and be members in the congregation according to His Word.

Church – this identifies what we are. We are a local congregation of believers in Jesus Christ. We have been called by God to forsake our sin and embrace His Son and each other. We have been called to “Go therefore and make disciples…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;” (Matthew 28:19-20). The church is not a building, a location, or an organization. It is His designation for the assembly of people called by His name. As such, our course has been charted by God; our destiny has been planned by God; our members have been chosen by God; our purposes have been defined by God. We exist as a church to glorify Him, obey Him, serve Him, honor Him, praise Him, and love Him above all else in this life.



* The word “maranatha”, which in 1 Cor 16:22 is translated as “O Lord, come,” refers to an expectant plea for the soon return of Jesus Christ.

**For a definition of Divine Providence, refer to The Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689, Chapter 5: Divine Providence

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