All Articles For Cammenga, Ronald

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Previous article in this series: August 2017, p. 443. Introduction As we saw last time, the opening paragraphs of this fifth chapter of the Second Helvetic Confession establish the fundamental biblical truth that God must be worshiped through the only Mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ. They also condemn the worship of the Roman Catholic Church, which raises up other mediators alongside the only Mediator. These other mediators include especially the saints and the Virgin Mary. Over against Rome’s insistence that the faithful “adore, worship, and pray to the saints in heaven,” the SHC maintains that “God and Christ the Mediator...

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Previous article in this series: October 1, 2017, p. 14. Introduction In our recent articles we have been considering together the truth of the perspicuity of Holy Scripture. By the perspicuity of Scripture we mean that the Bible is clear. The ordinary believer is able to understand Scripture, know with confidence what the meaning of Scripture is, and is able to judge all teaching in its light. We have seen what this truth means and what it does not mean. We have also demonstrated that Scripture teaches its own perspicuity. The truth of the perspicuity of Scripture is a vital...

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Introduction In the end, one little word divided the churches of the Reformation and the Roman Catholic of the sixteenth century. To borrow Luther’s language in his great Reformation hymn, “one little word felled” the corrupt Roman Catholic institute of his day. That one little word was “only,” or as it is in Latin, sola. The Reformers said “only” or “alone,” while Rome consistently said “and.” The Reformers included the word “only” in especially five important doctrines that they taught. These five statements gradually became known as the “five solas.” The Reformers said that the authority in the church is...

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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2017, p. 301. Introduction The six paragraphs of the fifth chapter of the Second Helvetic Confession are the Reformation’s trumpet blast against the false worship of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome’s false worship, particularly her veneration of the saints, is exposed and on the basis of Scripture condemned as idolatrous. But the fifth chapter is not only negative; it is also positive. In broad strokes Heinrich Bullinger, the author of the SHC, sets forth the fundamental principles of the true worship of God, the most important of which is that God is to...

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Previous article in this series: January 15, 2017, p. 180. Introduction “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture than thou dost.” These are the words that William Tyndale (1494-1536), English Reformer and Bible translator, spoke to an ignorant Roman Catholic clergyman whom he was debating. By the grace of God he was able to accomplish the very thing to which he committed himself. And it cost him his life. After he was betrayed by a friend, he was arrested and jailed. Eventually he died...

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Previous article in this series: March 1, 2017, p. 250. The Scriptures of the Laity Furthermore, wherever we turn our eyes, we see the living and true creatures of God which, if they be observed, as is proper, make a much more vivid impression on the beholders than all the images or vain, motionless, feeble and dead pictures made by men, of which the prophet truly said: “They have eyes, but do not see” (Ps. 115:5). Chapter 4 of the Second Helvetic Confession (SHC) develops the biblical and Reformed objection to the use of images in the worship of God....

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Previous article in this series: November 1, 2016, p. 62. Images of God Since God as Spirit is in essence invisible and immense, he cannot really be expressed by any art or image. For this reason we have no fear pronouncing with Scripture that images of God are mere lies. Therefore we reject not only the idols of the Gentiles, but also the images of Christians. Having set forth the truth concerning who God is, the truth that He is the triune God who is one in being and three in persons, the Second Helvetic Confession (SHC) devotes an entire...

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Previous article in this series: September 15, 2016, p. 490. Necessity “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” So writes Job in Job 23:12. Food is necessary, absolutely necessary for us. Without food we die. So it is and even more so, teaches Job, spiritually. What corresponds in the spiritual realm to food in the natural realm is the Word of God, our meat and drink to life eternal. As necessary as food is for the body, so necessary is the Word of God for our souls. We are at present considering Scripture’s perfections....

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2016, p. 275. The third chapter of the SHC concerns the fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith, the doctrine of the Trinity. Convinced of this truth from the very beginning, the Christian church confesses that although God is one divine being, He exists as three distinct persons. Together the three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are the one true and living God. In the first article on this chapter we concerned ourselves with the truth that God is one, “one in essence or nature [being], subsisting in himself, all sufficient in...

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Previous article in this series: August 2016, p. 445. Scripture’s Necessity The Bible is the Word of God—the Word of God in the words of men. The Bible is an entirely unique book. There is no other book in the whole world that is like this book. There is only one book that can be called “the Word of God.” There is only one book written in human language, one book that can be read, studied, and meditated on that is “the Word of God.” That book is the Bible, or Holy Scripture, or just Scripture. Because the Bible is...

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