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All Articles For Langerak, William

Results 81 to 90 of 92

The primary meaning of glory is derived from the Old Testament word kabod, as in Ichabod, the child so named after the glory of God departed with the ark (I Sam. 4:21). Its New Testament equivalent, doxa (as in doxology), originally meant opinion or view, but biblically has taken on the same meaning as the Old Testament kabod, which refers to a thing of heft or weight, i.e., massive, important, substantial, abundant, or considerable, thus honorable, splendid, magnificent, and awesome to see, experience, or contemplate. The opposite is something slight, trifling, vain, and lacking, thus lowly, dishonorable, contemptible, and shameful (Ps. 4:2; Is. 23:9; Prov. 3:35; I...

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Travail is unique in every respect. For one, as any woman who has experienced it can testify, travail is dreaded due to its pain and uncertainty, but also anticipated with hope due to its purpose, to give birth. Fear takes hold on a woman in travail (Ps. 48:6). “She has sorrow because her hour is come,” Jesus declared, “but as soon as she is delivered she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world” ( John 16:21). Travail is the main biblical term for childbirth. In Scripture a number of words in the original...

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Whenever we gather to give thanks, we should remember what Scripture teaches about the activity, especially this time of year when even the ungodly claim to engage in it. Thanksgiving is essentially an act of worship performed only by faith. Although we thank each other and consider it courteous, with few exceptions thanksgiving in Scripture is directed entirely to God. Giving thanks is a sacrifice of praise, a freewill offering of the heart to express our gratitude to God (Heb. 13:15; Lev. 22:29). Entering His gates with thanksgiving is simply part of our reasonable service and payment of our vows...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Welcome to our new rubric! Like the fresh-faced new teacher who shows up the first day of school after the long summer break, our rubric deserves a proper introduction. Otherwise we classmates don’t know who she is or what she is doing here. This article intends to do just that. In keeping with an unspoken, perhaps unnoticed, but long-standing tradition of the Standard Bearer, the title for this rubric is lifted directly from the Authorized Version of the Bible. In this particular case, II Timothy 4:13. It...

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What is truth? Pilate skeptically asked Jesus (John 18:38). Then he promptly subjected the truth to mockery, torture, and death. That’s the way it is with the ungodly—holding the truth in unrighteousness, they change the truth into a lie, put it to shame, turn from it with their hearts, and expel it from their minds to serve the creature (Rom. 1:18-28). Yet, they dare ask, What is truth? God is truth (I John 5:6). God is truth in that He alone is God (Rom. 1:20). He is truth in that He is perfect, righteous, and without iniquity in all His...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As with heaven, hell is represented by two outstanding pictures. They are the grave ( or sheol) and a garbage dump called Gehenna or valley of Hinnom. Some attempt to escape the existence of hell by noting that these words are used interchangeably in Scripture. But this is as futile and foolish as denying the reality of ‘heaven’ simply because that word refers also to the firmament and outer-space. Make no mistake, hell is real. And the grave and this garbage dump warn of the eternal terror,...

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Sadly, in this issue devoted to the ecumenical spirit of the Reformation, it is necessary to consider another spirit among churches claiming this heritage. It is the spirit of apostasy foretold to come before the day of Christ (II Thess. 2:3). Although ecclesiastical, it is the spirit of this world, and of the Antichrist. Although religious, this spirit forsakes the truth in willful unbelief and disobedience. It is also an ecumenical spirit that unites its own in order to prophesy, cast out devils, and do many wonderful works in Jesus’ name (Matt. 7:22). But it is a false ecumenical spirit...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The original and preeminent inhabitants of heaven are angels. Magnificent creatures, their power, freedom, and glory is unsurpassed. Essentially, angels are spirits—ethical, rational, and living souls created in the beginning with heaven, their home (Job 38:4-7). Though non-corporeal, they are described with earthly and heavenly features, reflecting their transcendence and work as intermediaries. With bird-like wings (even multiple pairs) and star-like brilliance, angels are the mighty steeds (cherubs) and holy, fiery ones (seraphs) of the heavens. Yet, angels can appear on earth in an instant, take human...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Previous article in this series: October 1, 2009, p. 16. By parable, the two celestial tutors teach us both the terrestrial immanence and spiritual transcendence of the third heaven. They also make clear that heaven is not simply a state of being, but a most glorious place, and the quality of life enjoyed there is the highest—a supreme blessedness enjoyed already on earth by the Spirit of Christ sent from heaven, and a future glory, when Jesus returns, that eye has not seen, ear heard, or has...

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Called to Serve: Essays for Elders and Deacons, ed. Michael Brown. Reformed Fellowship (2007). ISBN 978-0979367748. 274 pp. $15.00. Softcover. Reviewed by Rev. Douglas Kuiper. Protestant Reformed Churches in America do little to give our elders and deacons formal, systematic training for their office. Perhaps in the monthly officebearer meetings, some time is spent discussing articles of the Church Order or other relevant material. Occasionally a congregation sponsors a conference or lecture pertaining to the subject. The delegates to Classis West make every effort to gather once or twice a year for a conference. But nothing formal and systematic is...

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