Gospel Reformation Network will host a pre-General Assembly conference June 17-18 at Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, S.C.. Titled “What Grace Does: Reclaiming the Whole Gospel for the Whole Man,” the conference will focus on the work of sanctification.
Dr. Richard Phillips, senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church and a member of the Gospel Reformation Network (GRN), along with 11 other PCA leaders, is the convener of the 2013 conference.
“Our goal is for the conference to promote a more balanced and more robust understanding of the gospel than is often presented today,” Phillips said.
The free conference will begin Monday evening and conclude at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, in time for attendees to prepare for General Assembly’s first meeting.
In addition to Phillips, other conference keynote speakers will be Dr. Harry Reeder, Dr. Ligon Duncan III, and the Rev. Al Baker. The four-keynote address will examine different aspects of grace in the Christian’s life.
“Grace not only justifies but also regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies,” Phillips said. “We want to emphasize that we need not pit justification and sanctification against each other and that faithful preaching of God’s Word involves not only proclaiming salvation promises but also giving biblical exhortations to godliness.”
“Grace not only justifies but also regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies,” Phillips said. “We want to emphasize that we need not pit justification and sanctification against each other.”
In the first plenary session, called “Grace Regenerates,” Reeder will expound on the work of the Holy Spirit in the sinner’s heart. On Tuesday morning in the second session, called “Grace Liberates,” Duncan will speak about how Christ frees His people from sin.
In “Grace Recreates,” Phillips will shift the focus from what believers are saved from to what believers are saved to. In the final session, “Grace Consummates,” Baker will examine the future glory awaiting God’s children and how believers presently partake in that future.
GRN’s purpose is to provide clear, biblical teaching on sanctification. The group formed in 2012 over a growing concern about some teachings on sanctification.
Phillips said GRN members worried about a “general de-emphasis on holiness” in the broader evangelical church, an overemphasis on justification by faith that seemed to condone a lack of personal holiness, and a view of the gospel that treats sanctification as a secondary issue.
“We think that out of a concern to combat a perceived legalism in some quarters, an imbalanced version of the gospel is being taught that downplays the necessity of sanctification to our salvation,” he said. GRN hopes to provide some balance and offer resources that help pastors speak to this imbalance, too.
In addition to solid teaching, conference attendees can enjoy an extensive Christian bookstore courtesy of Reformation Heritage Bookstore. Also, Second Presbyterian will provide a hospitality room with food for conference goers.
Though the conference is free, GRN strongly recommends registering. For more information and to register, visit www.gospelreformation.net.