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All Articles For Key, Steven R

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. We have seen that justification is the act of God’s grace by which He imputes righteousness to the sinner. God justifies the ungodly! We are immediately faced with the question: How is this possible? We recognize that there must be a ground for that divine verdict that has proclaimed our righteousness. What is that ground? What is the basis for God’s declaring us righteous? That is an important question. The answer to that question will reflect upon the very being of God. The ground of our justification is...

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. The truth that we now consider is the very bedrock of true Christianity. Justification is that truth that proclaims the glory of the sovereign God and the wonder of sovereign, particular grace in Christ Jesus. It sets before us the value of our religion. That God’s people are righteous before Him in Christ—that is the bedrock of true Christianity. Any so-called Christianity established on anything other than the perfect and imputed righteousness of Christ is a sham. It is nothing more than a sham. For without the perfect...

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. Article 29 of the Belgic Confession begins this way: We believe that we ought diligently and circumspectly to discern from the Word of God which is the true church, since all sects which are in the world assume to themselves the name of the church. But we speak here not of hypocrites, who are mixed in the church with the good, yet are not of the church, though externally in it; but we say that the body and communion of the true church must be distinguished from all...

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. We have seen from Scripture and the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7, that the activity of saving faith consists of two elements, a certain knowledge and an assured confidence. Having considered the certain knowledge of faith, we turn our attention now to the element of confidence. Both aspects of saving faith are seen in the apostle’s confession in II Timothy 1:12b: “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” He not...

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. As we proceed in our consideration of what has been called “The Golden Chain of Salvation,” we come to the activity of saving faith. We have seen that faith must first be understood as the bond by which God through the Holy Spirit grafts us into Christ. Nobody is saved without that bond, without being grafted into Christ. That includes infants. For all, the Bible teaches, are conceived and born in sin. But in the doctrine of salvation, it is the activity of faith that is on the...

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. We have seen that a proper understanding of faith begins, not with the activity of believing, but with the truth that faith is first and essentially a living connection with Christ, the bond which God by His Holy Spirit establishes when He grafts us into His own dear Son.   God’s Work Alone   When we consider the establishment of that graft, we get to the very heart of the truth of the Christian faith. It is in wisdom that the Heidelberg Catechism approaches the question of salvation...

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. As we continue our study of the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation, we come to the doctrine of saving faith. For a man to be born again by the wonderwork of regeneration is quite obviously the work of God and God alone. We contribute nothing to our spiritual birth. The fact that God calls us from darkness into His marvelous light (II Pet. 2:9) must also be the work of God. But when it comes to faith, many seem to think that we speak now of...

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. The history of Dr. Martin Luther and his influence on preaching is well worth considering. The Reformation took root, after all, by the restoration of faithful preaching, with Martin Luther and the other Reformers leading the way. Although it would be an overstatement to say that preaching had been entirely lost prior to the Reformation, it is true that there were very few faithful preachers left in the church, and preaching itself had certainly fallen on hard times. The element of proclamation, the “thus saith the Lord” which...

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. One of the most common problems the church faces today is an ignorance concerning the importance and calling of church membership. Many have separated themselves entirely from the instituted church, from the oversight of elders, and from the faithful preaching of the gospel. Some have done so because they insist that membership in God’s church does not necessarily mean membership in a church institute. One can belong to the body of Christ, they say, regardless of whether or not he has anything to do with a local congregation....

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