All Articles For Laning James A

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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2020, p. 309. The previous article spoke of God promising deliverance to His covenant people. In this article we consider that the promise of our God is sure. It does not depend upon us for its fulfillment. Our salvation is entirely a gift of God’s grace. The promise of God It is common to hear people speak of God “offering” salvation. The Canons of Dordt speak of Christ being “offered” in the gospel (Canons III/IV, Art. 9). The Canons, however, use the word offer in a different sense. What the Canons state and...

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Reformed believers officially confess to believe the apos­tolicity of the church. The Nicene Creed is one of our official creeds, and in this creed we con­fess to believe “one holy catholic and apostolic church.” Thus it is very important that we understand the meaning of the church’s apos­tolicity, so that we may confess this truth with understanding from the heart. When considering the aposto­licity of the church we once again make a distinction between the church as the universal body of the elect and the church as an institute upon this earth. First of all, it is the church as...

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What a comfort to know we are included in God’s covenant! To be in God’s covenant means that God dwells with us, communing with us, making known to us His secret will concerning our salvation. It means also that He promises us that He will fully deliver us and bring us nigh unto Him to dwell with Him forever. The previous article was on God’s covenant as a relationship of friendship. In this article we consider that those who are included in God’s covenant are the recipients of His promise. We consider first that those who are in God’s covenant...

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The next few articles in this rubric will be on God’s covenant. Lord willing, some of the subjects to be considered will be: God’s covenant is a relationship of friendship and communion that involves God revealing to us His secret will concerning our salvation. The covenant communion that we have with God is rooted in the communion that the triune God has within Himself. Jesus is the Mediator of the new covenant who confirmed the covenant by His death. The one covenant people are the elect in Christ. Just as election is unconditional, so God’s covenant is unconditional. The making...

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Previous article in this series: November 15, 2018, p. 88. When evils come upon us in this life, it is a great comfort to know that they are sent by our Father in heaven who loves us. We may not always think about this right away. Yet, it is often not long before we begin to meditate on what God has told us. We think on how He has assured us that He loves us and that He is accomplishing His good purpose with our afflictions. We remember His promise that He will be with us, and that He will...

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In our greatest trials we are comforted when we remember that our Father in heaven has all creatures in His hand. Indeed, without His will they cannot so much as move. Our Father has planned everything that happens to us in this life. Even when He sends evils upon us, we know that it is in His love for us. Believing this, we remain patient in trying times, looking to Him with confidence for all that we need. God’s providence refers to His everywhere-present power by which He upholds and governs all creatures, so that every event takes place precisely...

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Having considered God’s act of creating all things, we move on to the subject of providence. We are comforted knowing that the God who created all things has not forsaken His creatures, but continues to care for all that He has made. The Almighty King, who is also our faithful Father, continues to govern His creatures according to His will, directing all things to His glory and for our good. This ongoing activity of our God is what we refer to as His providence. The English term “providence” is used in more than one sense. The term has the literal...

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Previous article in this series: January 1, 2018, p. 152. What if Adam had not fallen into sin? Would he eventually have received the heavenly life that we now have in Christ? Many maintain that he would have. Adam was called to obey during a testing period, they say. If he had remained obedient during that period, God would have granted him heavenly life, the life that we now have in Christ. In this article, we take a look at this position. How do those who hold to it attempt to prove their position? And what does Scripture say about...

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Previous article in this series: May 15, 2017, p. 376. Before man disobeyed God, there was no corruption and death among the creatures of the earth. It was when man sinned that something happened not only to him but also to the earthly creation. The earth was cursed. The whole creation began to corrupt. Living creatures began to die. The creation as we see it today is not the way that it once was. No death before the fall From the book of Genesis and the rest of Scripture we know both of these facts: 1) God created all things...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2017, p. 274. We have been considering an erroneous view of God’s kingdom that is being taught by some of the professors at Calvin College, Dordt College, and some others. These colleges describe themselves as institutions designed to train students to be “agents of renewal in the world,”1 and exhort us to join them in an effort to improve “the world.” To assure us that we are called to do this and that our efforts will not be in vain, they point us to God’s promise to renew all things. Yet the renewal...

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