A rod out of the stem of Jesse

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots…. Isaiah 11:1 The mighty Assyrian empire had already conquered the northern kingdoms of Syria and Israel at the time of this prophecy; now it was threatening Judah. Assyria with her ruthless and invincible armies had conquered one nation after another. From a human perspective, Judah appeared to be doomed. Today, the antichristian kingdom goes about to establish itself. It manifests its agenda in greater and greater wickedness. It shows its hatred of God and the church more and […]

Synod 2020/2021 and “in the way of repentance” (2)

Distinguishing repentance and good works Before I explain the concept of repentance, I want to demonstrate that repentance and good works of obedience should be distinguished as stated in one part of the decision of Synod 2021. I also want to show that this distinction is important in light of the connection that Scripture makes between repentance and remission. In treating a protest against the decisions of Synod 2020, Synod 2021 demonstrated that the protest contained doctrinal misunderstandings, one of which was: 2) __________ fails to distinguish repentance and good works of obedience. a) The Bible distinguishes between repentance and […]

The Texas Heartbeat Act; The dangers of TikTok

The Texas Heartbeat Act On September 1, 2021 the Texas Heartbeat Act, which was approved by lawmakers in May, went into effect as the law of the state. Some describe this law as the toughest anti-abortion measure in the United States. The law prohibits abortionists from performing an abortion “if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child.” The law has a unique provision for its enforcement that is garnering much attention. It bans state officials from enforcing the law but allows for private citizens to bring charges in civil courts against anyone who performs an abortion banned […]

The Council of Chalcedon (451) The background

The First Ecumenical Council, that of Nicea, met in 325. Fifty-six years later (381), the second one met in Constantinople. Fifty years later (431), the third Council met in Ephesus. But only twenty years elapsed between the third Council and the fourth, which convened in 451 in Chalcedon. Perhaps twenty years between councils seems like a long time; after all, we are used to annual synods. But remember that provincial and regional councils met more often. Between ecumenical councils, which addressed matters of highest importance that pertained to Christendom, twenty years was relatively short. What went on in those twenty […]

The wonders of winter

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Psalm 19:1  God reveals Himself to us not only in His written Word, but also in His creation round about us. God is a God of order, and in His wisdom brought order to His creation by creating the heavenly bodies on the fourth day, as recounted in Genesis 1:14: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years.” He created these […]

Th Supreme Court rules unanimously in favor of religious liberty

United States Supreme Court rulings in recent years have revealed a Court deeply divided along ideological lines. For many years the nine justices of the court were often divided 5-4 on cases with ideological implications, with four justices consistently on the conservative side of social issues, and four justices on the liberal side, with Justice Anthony Kennedy providing the deciding vote that would swing the decision one way or another. A series of retirements and deaths of justices on the court during the presidency of President Donald Trump resulted in what many considered a 6-3 conservative majority, including the replacement […]

Report of the Domestic Mission Committee

What are we doing in home missions? Events this year have left our churches without a home missionary and a calling church. Our only home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, took a call to our Cornerstone PRC in Dyer, IN in January of this year. Due to the loss of her minister and half of her congregation, the Byron Center PRC decided that she could no longer serve effectively as the calling church for another home missionary. So, what is happening in the work of home missions? What is the Domestic Mission Committee (DMC) doing? The DMC is busy not only […]

The covenant of God and our mission to the wordl (5) Covenant, missions, and antithesis

Previous article in this series: August 2021, p. 449. There are people in the world today, believers and their seed, with whom God has established His covenant. God has given them, especially the ministers of the gospel among them, a mission to the world: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.” But God has also given them a command to live in antithesis to that world: “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” In the Old Testament, God established His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their spiritual seed after them in the nation […]

Bring the books…

Job: God’s Sovereignty in Suffering by Rev. Ron Hanko (Jenison, MI: RFPA, 2020). $19.95 hard cover. 160 pp. Reviewed by Rev. Joe Holstege.   The children of God suffer. Some of them suffer more than others, but all of them suffer. They suffer as they pass through life in a fallen world. They suffer from trouble in their families and distress in their marriages. They suffer upheaval in the world and disruption in the church. They suffer persecution and injustice at the hands of men. They suffer beside quiet sickbeds or still coffins. The glory of God’s Word is that […]

Secretary’s report – annual RFPA meeting*

Every Friday our business manager Alex Kalsbeek sends out his update on the work accomplished for that week. At the top of that update he always includes the mission of the RFPA. That mission reads as follows: Our mission is to glorify God by making accessible to the broadest possible audience material that testifies to the truth of Scripture as understood and developed in the Reformed tradition. That mission is always in the forefront of the minds of the staff, and the board has kept that mission in front of us as well as we have worked for you this […]