Treasure in the house of the righteous

In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble. Proverbs 15:6 Is there treasure in your house? What kind of treasure is it? Not all treasure is good! Notice the contrast between the righteous and the wicked. There is much treasure in the house of the righteous. There is treasure also in the house of the wicked. That is because he generates revenue or income. The righteous also generates revenue. However, that earthly revenue is not his great treasure. His treasure is heavenly and spiritual in nature. That explains why the […]

Why catechism? The covenant goals of catechism (2)

Last time I emphasized that good catechism teachers will teach with covenant goals in view. A good catechism curriculum is one thing, and the PRCA have a very good curriculum. But using it properly is quite another thing, and the effort required for that is greater than one might think. Using the curriculum without covenant goals may result in merely filling the heads of the church’s children with biblical knowledge. Important as knowledge is (Hosea 4:6), imparting biblical knowledge without covenant goals promotes ‘historical faith,’ the kind of false faith even the devil has. Knowing about God and knowing God […]

The state would like to educate your children

The title is a misnomer. Would our children truly be educated, we would ask? The state would really like to indoctrinate them to the current secular and antichristian worldview. Public schools have, by and large, become temples of atheism. The Christian Renewal issue dated August 15, 2020, carries a book excerpt by Gene E. Veith. The article is entitled, “The Death of Education.” It begins with the paragraph, The consequences of the politicization of ordinary life and a constructivist view of reality are evident in what is happening with education. Postmodernism and its offshoots are not worldviews that promote learning. […]

The Council of Constantinople (AD 381): Necessary to address other Christological heresies

The first ecumenical council was held in Nicea in 325; the second in Constantinople in 381. We note three reasons why a second council was necessary. Our last article (July 2020) noted that the church had to defend Nicea’s teaching that Christ is truly God because some continued to deny it. A second reason, which we consider now, is that some who defended Nicea’s doctrine of Christ’s divinity proceeded to give wrong explanations for how He is God. The Council of Constantinople was needed to declare how Christ is God against these wrong explanations. The first “canon” (pronouncement) of the […]


Introduction The appeal of the book of Jonah, for this writer, lies in part in the character of Jonah. Disinclined to preach as sent, disobedient, grudging the repentance of those to whom he preached, Jonah shows himself to be a man “subject to like passions as we are” (James 5:17). Yet the prophet was used by God to save His people and to be, in history, an example of the power of God’s Word and the wideness of God’s purpose, even to be a pre-figure of the death and burial of our Savior. That “weakest means fulfill His will” (Psalter […]

Assurance and good works (1)

Assurance belongs to salvation In the goodness of His grace, God not only saves His people; He also gives them the assurance of their salvation. Theoretically, God could have saved us but not given us the assurance of our salvation. Throughout our lives we would, at best, be left to wonder whether we were saved. At worst, we would be assailed by constant doubts and fears concerning our salvation. Then, although God has elected us, we could not in this life know with certainty that we are among the number of God’s elect. Then, although Christ has redeemed us, we […]

The final commandment

Lord’s Day 44 Question 113. What doth the tenth commandment require of us? Answer. That even the smallest inclination or thought contrary to any of God’s commandments never arise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart, and delight in all righteousness. Question 114. But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments? Answer. No; but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience; yet so, that with a sincere resolution they begin to live not only according to some, but […]

Born this way (2): An uncertain question

Previous article in this series: August 2020, p. 450. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. II Corinthians 5:4 In the last article we considered the vast changes in morality that have swept Western society in the last half century or so. As a prime example of these sweeping changes, we considered how society’s view of homosexual behavior has rapidly shifted from the perspective of sin and shame to that of acceptance and normalization—even to the point of […]

Learning from the judges (1) Doing what is right in our own eyes

We will find ourselves in the book of Judges for the next few articles. The period of the fifteen judges takes place after God brought Israel to Canaan, and after the death of Joshua, the successor of Moses. Time and again, two themes arise in Judges: the unfaithfulness of the covenant people, and the faithfulness of Jehovah in His covenant. Both themes will come out in the history we consider in this article. Judges is rich with lessons for us as young people. We do not have the time or space to consider all the lessons in the book, nor […]

Report of Classis East of the PRCA

Summary of Classis East We give thanks to God that Classis East was able to convene on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Sincere thanks is also directed to Byron Center Protestant Reformed Church for graciously and capably hosting the meeting of classis. In order to meet legally and safely, classis declared that its meeting was “essential to execute the business of Classis East,” and it adopted restrictions concerning who were allowed to be present at classis. Unfortunately it was not possible for visitors to observe the public deliberations of classis in person. Rev. G. Eriks served as chairman of the meeting, […]