All Articles For Cammenga, Ronald

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Previous article in this series: May 15, 2021, p. 375. True faith distinguished from wicked presumption Although assurance is of the essence of faith, the faith of God’s people is an imperfect faith. Their faith is often mixed with unbelief. Although strong at times, there are other times when faith is weak. Mingled with true faith are doubts and fears. Besides the mountain tops of faith, there are also the deep, dark valleys. In His infinite goodness, God stoops to the weakness of our faith. With a view to the assurance of faith, God in various ways and by various...

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Previous article in this series: July 2021, p. 427. We Are to Have a Good Hope For All. And although God knows who are His, and here and there [in Scripture] mention is made of the small number of elect, yet we must hope well of all, and not rashly judge any man to be reprobate. For Paul says to the Philippians, “I thank my God for you all” (now he speaks of the whole church in Philippi), “because of your fellowship in the Gospel, being persuaded that he who began a good work in you will bring it to...

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God Has Elected Us out of Grace. From eternity God has freely, and of His mere grace, without any respect to men, predestinated or elected the saints whom He wills to save in Christ, according to the saying of the apostle, “God chose us in him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). And again: “Who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our...

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Previous article in this series: January 15, 2021, p. 182. Stooping to our weakness “Calvinist believers who struggle with their assurance can never know with certainty that they are one of the elect.” So writes Jerry L. Walls in Why I Am Not a Calvinist.1 The charge is as old as Arminianism. It was an objection voiced by the Arminians (Remonstrants) prior to the Synod of Dordt. In reality, the opposite is true. It is the teaching of Arminianism that strips believers of comfort. This heresy maintains that Christ died for every human being without exception. Despite a death of...

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And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed...

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The member of the church struggling with a debilitating injury or terminal disease. The widow or widower coping with loneliness. The young person fighting against a particular temptation—drunkenness, immorality, worldliness. The young mother overcome by the demands of her calling in her home and with her children. The parents who are taking seriously their calling to bring up their children in the fear of the Lord. The couple whose marriage relationship is severely strained. The church member who has been wickedly deserted by an unfaithful spouse. The Christian schoolteacher discouraged because of harsh criticism by parents who do not much...

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Good works as fruit In the Standard Bearer article “Of free will and thus of human powers” of November 15, 2020, Prof. R. Cammenga stated: In this paragraph, the SHC [Second Helvetic Confession] makes plain that good works are not to be viewed only ever as fruit and nothing but fruit—fruit that in a sort of automatic and mysterious way simply appears in the life of the regenerate. But fruit is not the only way in which Scripture speaks of good works. Good works are not only fruit, certainly not fruit that in some automatic and mysterious way appears in...

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Previous article in this series: November 15, 2020, p. 90. The Free Will Is Weak in the Regenerate. Secondly, in the regenerate a weakness remains. For since sin dwells in us, and in the regenerate the flesh struggles against the Spirit till the end of our lives, they do not easily accomplish in all things what they had planned. These things are confirmed by the apostle in Romans 7 and Galatians 5. Therefore, that free will is weak in us on account of the remnants of the old Adam and of innate human corruption remaining in us until the end...

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Previous article in this series: October 15, 2020, p. 36.   Assurance of the essence of faith Assurance is of the essence of faith. This is the historic and confessionally Reformed view of assurance, as it is the teaching of Scripture. The Heidelberg Catechism teaches that assurance is of the essence of faith in its classic description of faith in Lord’s Day 7, Q&A 21. There the Heidelberg Catechism describes faith as both knowledge and confidence. Confidence is just another word for assurance. Although faith is knowledge and confidence, it may be said that of the two elements of faith,...

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The regenerate work not only passively but actively. [I]n this connection we teach that there are two things to be observed: First, that the regenerate, in choosing and doing good, work not only passively but actively. For they are moved by God that they may do themselves what they do. For Augustine rightly adduces the saying that “God is said to be our helper. But no one can be helped unless he does something.” The Manichaeans robbed man of all activity and made him like a stone or a block of wood. [The next paragraph will include the second observation.]...

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