All Articles For Dykstra, Russell J

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The focal point of all of history is the coming of Jesus Christ. The whole Old Testament pointed ahead to His birth. The law and the types foreshadowed it, the prophets foretold it, and the people of God prayed for the coming of the Lord’s Anointed, the Messiah. The long-awaited Messiah came “in the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4), in the exact time and circumstances sovereignly determined by God. This was the Seed of the Woman that God promised to Adam and Eve so long before (Gen. 3:15). Born of Abraham’s race He was, of Judah’s tribe, of David’s line,...

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Prof. Dykstra is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Previous article in this series: November 1, 2009, p. 56. In the first article, we maintained that John Calvin was God’s instrument to build upon the foundation of Martin Luther, thus furthering the reformation of the church. The basic details of Calvin’s life indicate the work God called Calvin to do. In this second article, we take note of the man as God created and molded him to be the powerful reformer that he was. God’s Prepared Instrument—Training Focusing briefly on John Calvin as church...

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I believe one holy catholic and apostolic church. That confession is found in the Nicene Creed, the first ecumenical creed adopted by the church. The church of Jesus Christ is one, and it is ecumenical. The root meaning of the word ecumenical is universal. The one church is Christ’s church, and He gathers His church out of all the nations. The true church of Christ on this earth constantly seeks to manifest that oneness. That is proper ecumenicity. The sixteenth century Reformation of Luther and Calvin is generally not known for having an ecumenical spirit. On the contrary, two of...

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Prof. Dykstra is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. John Calvin was a church reformer par excellence. He was a church reformer only because God made him a church reformer, for the church is God’s and reformation is God’s work. When the church of God apostatizes from His truth and the biblical pattern for the church, then reform is required. The church must be re-formed, that is, formed back to the Bible. Church reformation is a spiritual work, and thus reformation begins with the Spirit changing the hearts of the members. God Himself determines...

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[The reader is asked to read first the Belgic Confession Article 29: The Marks of the True Church, and Wherein She Differs from the False Church.] Many of the great debates of the Reformation concerned the church itself—what the church is, and what she should be like. That fact led Guido de Bres to devote the largest section of the Belgic Confession to ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church. The Confession gives solid, biblical instruction on the offices and government of the church (30, 31), the order and discipline that must be found in the church (32), the sacraments (33-35),...

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With this issue, by the grace of God, the Standard Bearer begins a new volume, eighty-eight years after it was launched. As they do every summer, the SB writers set the course for the new year by adopting a schedule of writers and rubrics. It is my privilege to pull out the telescope and give you a peek at the course they have determined to follow, D.V. I can tell you immediately, that the direction and goals of the SB are the same as they have been for its entire existence. The flag of the ship flies on the front...

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