All Articles For Laning James A

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Previous article in this series: May 1, 2013, p. 348. A person whose spiritual heart is dead is said to be unregenerate. In this article we con­sider the fact that an unregenerate person will never call out to God for salvation. The proper order, therefore, is this: First God gives a person a new heart, and only then does he begin to seek God. Although that is the proper order, many professing Christians teach the opposite. They say that first an unregenerate person must seek God, and only then will God grant unto him a new heart. An unregenerate person,...

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Previous article in this series: June 2013, p. 402. Before our Lord ascended into heaven, He gave us a mandate. He called us to go forth and make all nations disciples of Christ, teaching them to observe everything that Christ has taught us. Constantly we are to be doing this. Centrally on Sunday by means of the official proclamation of the gospel, but also throughout the week, we are to be busily engaged in this work that our Lord has given us. Together we are to seek to learn all that Christ has taught us, applying it to our own...

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Many love to speak about “culture” today. Christian education, supposedly, is de­signed to teach our children to engage in “cultural activities” that will make this world a better place. But what exactly is culture? What is accomplished by the various “cultural activities” promoted in neo-Calvinistic colleges today? More importantly, what activity would be the biblical counterpart to the world’s idea of developing culture? What is “culture”? A cultural activity is one that is designed to develop human beings, especially by means of education. It refers to the act of “cultivating” people to promote their growth. Just as agriculture has to...

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“When does God raise His people from the dead?” If you ask that question to a group of young children, they will likely hesitate for a moment. Then, with a bit of uncertainty in their voice, some of them may answer, “After they die?” This answer is correct, of course, but there is more. So we could follow up with a more specific question: “Does God also raise His people from the dead before their bodily life comes to an end?” This second ques­tion gets right to a central point about salvation. And when a young believer understands the answer...

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Redemption has been redefined by many. The true gospel is about the redemption of the church, but many today proclaim a redemp­tion of this world. Not surprisingly, this shift from the redemption of the church to the redemption of this world would involve a change in what is meant by the term redemp­tion. Therefore it is of utmost importance that we know what Scripture means by this term, and how it is being used very differently today by many who claim to be giving instruction in the truth of the Reformed faith. The redemption provided by Christ To redeem is...

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Previous article in this series: June 2012, p. 398. Since these articles have appeared over a number of months, I will summarize what has been said thus far. Those who teach the relatively new “Reformational” theology¹ speak of a “Word of God” not found in the Scriptures. Denying that Scripture fully reveals to us the will of God, they say we must turn to the creation to discover many of the details concerning what God’s will is. Yet when they speak of the “creation” they are refer­ring to more than the animals, plants, and inanimate matter. Man is included in...

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Beginning with this article, I intend to start a new series on the subject of salvation by grace alone. It is of central importance that we thoroughly understand this truth, and that we know how to take the Scriptures in hand and teach this truth to our chil­dren and to others. We all frequently encounter those who claim to believe that salvation is entirely a gift of God’s grace, but who then contradict themselves when they speak of man having to fulfill a condition to be saved. When speaking to these people, we do well to explain to them key...

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The devil told Adam’s wife that she would not die if she ate of the forbidden fruit. Many people still today think that what the devil said was true. Viewed externally, it might appear that what the devil said was correct. Adam and his wife both partook, and yet their bodily life continued. Contrary to what might have been expected, they did not drop down dead on the spot. But what happened to Adam and his wife on the inside? Instead of communing with God, they ran away from Him. Instead of confessing their sin with sorrow, they made excuses...

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We have considered the fact that the life we have in Christ is higher than the life Adam had before the fall. Should that not lead us to think about whether it was God’s plan all along that Adam would fall, so that Christ would come, and raise us to the higher life that is found only in Him? Indeed, it was God’s plan. In fact, everything that takes place does so according to God’s perfect plan. God’s will always accomplished Every event in history is something that God has de­creed will take place. In eternity, God ordained every­thing that...

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Rev. Laning is pastor of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan. Previous article in this series: April 15, 2008, p. 325. Central to dispensationalism is their distinction between Israel and the church. God is said to promise one thing to Israel, and another thing to the church. And He does this, they say, because He has one goal with Israel, and another goal with the church. Two different goals for two different groups of people who receive two different promises. This idea is at the heart of dispensationalism. By making this unbiblical distinction, they wrongly divide not only God’s...

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